The Art of Nether Portal Design in Minecraft

Most Minecraft players only ever make a simple nether portal, as shown in the photo above. However, there are so many ways other ways you can design your portal. Nether portals can be so much larger than the standard 5×4 shape (up to 23×23 in any rectangular shape, in fact!) and it’s easy to decorate around them with blocks as well. This article will provide you with all the ins and outs of nether portal design in Minecraft.

Minecraft Nether Portal Design

Nether Portal Rules

Nether portals have to follow these key Minecraft rules:

  • The portal must be rectangular. If you want a different shape (like a circle), you must use multiple rectangular portals to make the shape.
  • The smallest portal size is 5×4, and the maximum size is 23×23.
  • Only obsidian can be used to construct the frame.
  • Corners are not required on the portal frame, you can leave air or put any block you’d like in the corners.
  • Nether Portals are activated by using flint and steel to set a fire inside the frame. Nether portals cannot be activated in the End.


How large do you want your nether portal to be? Large ones typically need to be outdoors due to their size, however small ones can be either outdoors or within a decorated room. Here are some examples of both large and small nether portals:


Large Quartz Nether Portal

PHOTO: A large quartz nether portal inside a survival base.

Large Outdoor Nether Portal

PHOTO: A large outdoor nether portal decorated in a nether style.


Small Nether Portal Room

PHOTO: A small portal room decorated in nether style.

Cozy Nether Portal Room

PHOTO: A small nether portal in a cozy underground room, with a bridge leading to the portal over water.


Next, you will need to decide where to build your nether portal. Here are some suggestions:

  • Having a nether portal near your storage room can be very convenient. This way, when you return from the nether you can easily drop off all your items in your chests.
  • Nether portals can be blended into the environment in or around your base. For example, you can put a portal in a cave, the side of a mountain, in the forest, or even in hill of sand or snow.
  • A small nether portal can be placed in a decorated underground room, or a decorated building above-ground as well. This can provide protection if any mobs go through your nether portals as they will be locked inside this room.
  • A large nether portal will typically have to be somewhere outdoors, unless you have a building large enough to put it in. Don’t forget to decorate the area around it as well.

Examples of Locations

Nether Portal Cave

PHOTO: Nether portal integrated into a cave.

Cozy Nether Portal Room

PHOTO: A nether portal integrated into the side of a hill in a forest.

Nether Portal in a Storage Room

PHOTO: A storage room with a nether portal designed into it. Note that mobs can walk through nether portals, you should have a door between your chests and the portal!

Nether Portal Design Tips

  • Nether portals need to be rectangular, but you can still place blocks in front of the portal to help change the shape.
  • Multiple nether portal frames can be placed next to each other to create different shapes as well.
  • Build around the obsidian frame using blocks that are nether-themed such as quartz, glowstone, netherrack, lava, fire, webs, obsidian, and nether brick. Personally, I really like using quartz and glowstone to decorate my portals.
  • And last but not least, don’t forget to decorate the other side of the portal (in the nether) too! Be careful of making large portals in the nether though, as ghasts can fly through large portals into your base!
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Thanks for the tip for these nether portal areas for designs, this will go great for my videos, I’ll be sure to link this down in the Bio of my next video.