How to make a Portal in Minecraft

While you roam the plains and mountains and jungles of Minecraft, marveling at all the virtual beauty that seemingly stretches on forever, a sinister dark side awaits. Among the demons and otherworldly entities lie fortresses to explore, chests to loot, and unique resources to gather. This guide shows you how to make a portal in Minecraft so you can step into these nefarious realms.

Here we show you how to build two portals: One leading to the Nether biome and one to the End biome. While you may be anxious to revisit an End Ship and want to build an End Portal immediately, you need an item from a Nether Fortress to build the portal, which in itself can be difficult to find.  That means you need to build a Nether Portal first.

Build a Nether Portal

This is an involved process, so we grouped the instructions into four parts.

Part 1: Mine obsidian blocks

Minecraft Mine Obsidian

Obsidian blocks create the frame for your Nether Portal. To obtain obsidian, you need a water bucket, a diamond pickaxe, and a pool of red-hot lava!

Step 1: Equip your water bucket and gather water.

Step 2: Find a pool of lava and shower it with the water.

Step 3: Once the lavas cools, retrieve the water using the empty bucket.

Step 4: Mine the resulting obsidian using a diamond pickaxe.

Part 2: Create flint and steel

Minecraft Make Iron Ingot

This is what you need to light the obsidian frame and create the Nether Portal. Here you need two types of ore: Iron and gravel. With gravel, just mine it with anything — including your hand — until flint appears. Iron ore must be smelted in the Furnace to create iron ingots.

Step 1: Open your Furnace.

Step 2: Place iron ore into the top square.

Step 3: Place fuel into the bottom square, like wood, charcoal, and coal — anything that burns.

Step 4: Drag the resulting iron ingot down into your inventory.

Note: As shown above, you can place more than one iron ore and one fuel into the Furnace at once to create multiple iron ingots in a single sitting. The Furnace will continue smelting until one or all resources are depleted, or you close the Furnace.

Minecraft Make Flint and Steel

Next, with flint and iron ingots now in your inventory, you can make the flint and steel tool.

Step 5: Open your Crafting Table.

Step 6: Place one iron ingot into the top square in the left column.

Step 7: Place one flint into the center square in the middle column.

Step 8: Drag the flint and steel tool down into your inventory.

Part 3: Create a fire charge (optional)

Minecraft Make Fire Charge

This is an optional method of igniting the obsidian frame but requires an ingredient dropped in the Nether. Here’s what you need:

  • Blaze powder — Created by placing one blaze rod into the Crafting Table’s center square. A blaze rod is dropped by a Blaze, which guards a Nether Fortress.
  • Gunpowder — Obtained by killing a Creeper or opening chests.
  • Coal — Mined from coal ore, which you can find from 4 to 15 blocks under the surface.

Step 1: Open your Crafting Table.

Step 2: Place one gunpowder in the left square in the top row.

Step 3: Place one blaze powder in the center square in the top row.

Step 4: Place one coal into the right square in the top row.

Step 5: Drag the resulting three fire charges down into your inventory.

Step 6: Repeat these steps as necessary.

Part 4: Build your Nether Portal

The frame requires a total of 14 obsidian blocks. Once it’s built, ignite any obsidian block side facing inward.

Step 1: Place four obsidian blocks on the ground.

Step 2: Stack four obsidian blocks on the left block currently on the ground. This creates a column of five blocks.

Step 3: Stack four obsidian blocks on the right block currently on the ground. This creates a column of five blocks.

Step 4: Connect the two columns using two obsidian blocks.

Step 5: Move your flint and steel or fire charge from your inventory down to the Hotbar and select it.

Step 5: Perform the following to ignite the portal:

  • PC — Right-click on the inner side of any obsidian block.
  • Console — Select the inner side of any obsidian block and press the left trigger button.
  • Mobile — Tap on the inner side of any obsidian block.
Minecraft Nether Portal Pose

Step 6: Step on through to the dark side of Minecraft.

Note: One block in the Nether equals eight blocks in the Overworld, so be wary about how far you stray from the Nether Portal.

Now it’s time to visit The End.

Build an End Portal

Minecraft End Portal

Here’s the problem. If you’re playing in Survival Mode, you can’t create an End Portal. You can craft the Eye of Ender portion required to build the portal, but there’s no way to obtain the necessary End Portal Frame blocks without switching over to Creative Mode.

The only way to access an End Portal in Survival Mode is to invade an underground Stronghold.  You can locate a Stronghold by loading Chunkbase in your web browser and entering your world seed number. This online app gives you the coordinates of each Stronghold.

Otherwise, there’s no method of crafting an End Portal Frame block. They’re only available in the Creative Mode inventory. Technically you could temporarily switch to Creative Mode and build the portal and then switch back to Survival Mode.

Here are the two ingredients you need to build this portal:

  • 12 Eye of Ender
  • 12 End Portal Frame blocks

Part 1: Create an Eye of Ender

Minecraft Create Eye of Ender

If you don’t want Creative Mode to completely hold your hand, you can craft this portion of the End Portal requirement. Here you’ll need:

  • One Ender Pearl — This is dropped by a fallen Enderman.
  • One blaze powder — To create this ingredient, you need to place one blaze rod into the Crafting Table’s center square. This item is dropped by a fallen Blaze, which typically guards a Nether Fortress.

Step 1: Open your Crafting Menu.

Step 2: Place one Ender Pearl into the center square in the middle row.

Step 3: Place one blaze powder into the right square in the middle row.

Step 4: Drag the resulting Eye of Ender down into your inventory.

Step 5: Repeat these steps until you craft 12 Eyes of Ender.

Part 2: Build the frame

Minecraft End Portal Frame Block Spacing

Standing or hovering in place, you will set 12 End Portal Frame blocks on the ground in a 25 x 25 square grid — three on each side. You must also place these blocks in a specific direction or the End Portal will not ignite.

Step 1: Consider yourself standing on block zero. Without moving, count two block spaces forward (as shown above) and place your first End Portal Frame block in the “two” spot. Place the second and third blocks on each side of the first block.

At this point, there should be an empty block space — the number 1 shown above — between you and the End Portal Frame blocks.

Step 2: Without moving, turn 90 degrees in place and repeat Step 1.

Step 3: Without moving again, turn 90 degrees in place and repeat Step 1.

Step 4: Finally, without moving again, turn 90 degrees in place and repeat Step 1 to place the final three blocks.

Minecraft Correct End Portal Frame Block Placement

As shown above, we placed a grass path block in the center to demonstrate where we stood while using red wool blocks to demonstrate the one-block space between the player and the End Portal Frame blocks.

Note the arrows. The End Portal Frame block engravings absolutely must point inward toward the player for the portal to open. If not, the portal won’t activate.

Minecraft Incorrect End Portal Frame Block Placement

The layout shown above is incorrect. Notice how the engravings don’t point inward, but instead point away from the frame. These engravings absolutely must point inward, which is why placement is extremely important.

Now you can move on to the second half of your End Portal building bonanza.

Part 3: Place the Eye of Ender

Minecraft Working End Portal

To activate the portal, you need to equip the Eye of Ender. Target the End Portal Frame block and do one of the following (depending on your device): 

  • Commands for Gamers playing on PC — Right-click on the End Portal Frame block.
  • Commands for Gaming Consoles— Target the End Portal Frame block and press the left trigger button.
  • Commands for Mobile Device Gamers — Tap on the End Portal Frame block.

The image below shows a failed attempt because the End Portal Frame blocks were positioned incorrectly. Unfortunately, the portal will not work if you don’t position the blocks so that the engravings face inward.

Minecraft Broken End Portal

Part 4: Make another End Portal

A black void means you can cross over, which signifies that your portal creation was a success. The game transports you to the End biome after you jump into the void. If you want to, you can take some time to explore the End biome and maybe even defeat Endragon again.

You’ll need to create another portal once you’re ready to leave the End biome, which should be super simple now that you’re familiar with how to do it. This new portal will take you to your spawnpoint in the Overworld.

Minecraft End City Cropped

Sadly, no direct way to travel to End city using an End Portal in the Overworld exists. The only way to get to the End City or End Ship is to go through the End Gateway after equipping the Ender Pearls. You can then create a portal that will take you home from the End City.

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