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Netherite was a material added to Miencraft in The Nether Update 2020, adding a new level of rarity and strength above Diamond. Now, while you’ll still need to cover yourself in diamonds for the most part, the ultimate survival experience eventually involves upgrading those items to Netherite – if you can find it.
What are Ancient Debris and Netherite?
As mentioned, Netherite is a material in line with Diamond and Iron, in that you can craft your tools, weapons, and armor from it. In the Durability Contest, Netherite sits proudly at the top, knocking Diamond off his pedestal, so for the ultimate kit, you’ll want your full armor and entire arsenal upgraded to Netherite.
However, although the material is similar to iron, gold and diamond, it works slightly differently and the process of obtaining Netherite is threefold. First, you will never find Netherite ore in the wild. In fact, what you’ll be looking for is called Ancient Debris and can only be found in The Nether. The Ancient Debris, in turn, is then melted into Netherite Debris. Finally, four pieces of Netherite can be crafted into a Netherite Ingot.
Yes, you read that right. You need to find four Ancient Debris for each Netherite Ingot. Ancient Debris is also one of the rarest minerals in Minecraft. And, since it only falls, it is unaffected by Fortune. In other words, you really have your work cut out if you’re looking for full Netherite armor.
Where and How to Find Ancient Debris in the Nether
So, we know that Ancient Debris only generates in the Nether, but it’s so rare that you’ll always want to know the best places and ways to mine it.
First, it’s worth keeping in mind that Ancient Debris can spawn anywhere between Y levels 8 and 119 in the Nether, so keep an eye out for it wherever you are. However, it’s much less likely to be higher, so don’t actively seek it at higher levels. Instead, the best level to actively mine is Y=15. However, to get an idea of its rarity, according to the Minecraft Wiki at the time of writing, there is an average of 1.65 Ancient Debris per 16 piece × 16, up to a maximum of five. It’s top to bottom.
Of course, it’s the Nether, so even once you’re leveled up, you’ll have to be wary of lava. Carry some fire resistance potions with you in case you come in contact with the fiery and orange stuff, which you can get by trading with Piglins if you don’t have a brewing setup.
How to mine ancient debris
There are a few proven methods for mining ancient debris in Minecraft. The most popular is the use of explosives. With an inventory teeming with TNT or Beds (remember, they explode in the Nether), you can blast larger areas in less time, hopefully revealing some Ancient Debris in the process. You’ll just need to be aware of both the radius of the explosion and the resulting lava falls.
Mining at Y=15, you’ll want to place beds on either side of you, once per chunk. To protect yourself from the explosion, simply dig a tunnel in the side of you at eye level and place the bed at the end.
Once you click the “Use” button on the bed, it will explode, potentially revealing up to three exposed Ancient Debris. Thanks to Ancient Debris’ high blast resistance, it will never be destroyed in an explosion, which means that if it’s not in the exposed wall (or hidden behind it) after the explosion, it won’t there never was. Don’t be dismayed if there isn’t. Due to its rarity, it may take a while to find some, so keep blasting!
You can use a similar technique with TNT if you have plenty of sand and gunpowder, but the other (slightly) safer but slower method is to simply branch the mine to Y=15, making sure you have still plenty of fire resistance potions at your fingertips.
The last thing to keep in mind when mining ancient debris is that it can only be successfully mined with diamond or netherite pickaxes – dig it up with anything else and you will lose it!
How to Craft Netherite Tools and Armor
If you manage to find enough Ancient Debris to start upgrading your tools and armor, there’s another change to the usual method. Luckily, this one makes the process cheaper, almost reversing the expensive method of needing four Ancient Scraps for one Ingot.
Instead of placing your Netherite Ingots in a Crafting Table the usual way, you’ll need a Forge Table instead. You’ll also need existing Diamond items, because this is – quite literally – an upgrade. For this example, we’ll be using a pickaxe, but whatever item you want to upgrade will only cost you one Netherite Ingot.
Place your Diamond Pickaxe in the first space of the Forge Table, with your Netherite Ingot in the second. You will then see that you can delete your new Netherite item from the right side of the interface.
Then you can even repair your item with just one more Netherite Ingot when it’s low on durability. Simply insert your Netherite item into an anvil this time, along with a Netherite Ingot, and repair 25% of the item’s original durability.
Uses for Minecraft Netherite
Besides tools and armor, there are also a few other uses for Netherite – if you can find enough.
If you’re rich enough (or in creative mode), Netherite Blocks can be a great decorative item. And a huge flex.
Fully functional Beacons are crafted with the Beacon item atop a pyramid of Iron, Gold, Diamond, Emerald, or Netherite blocks. As such, for even greater flex, you can build your beacon pyramid from 164 Netherite blocks. However, this is a bit of a waste, as a beacon pyramid built from 164 iron blocks would have the same strength.
The Lodestone was introduced in the Nether 2020 update and is an item that can be used as an anchor to a specific location. Place a lodestone in a location you want to remember and use a compass on it, this compass will now direct you to the lodestone instead of appearing. It is made up of eight Chiseled Stone Bricks and a Netherite Ingot, but can also be found in Bastion Bridge Loot Chests.
In Java Edition, upgrading an already meme-worthy Diamond Hoe to a Netherite Hoe will net you the Serious Dedication Achievement, as it is a serious dedication to farming.
Repairing your tools as they fade is much more efficient than crafting new ones, especially when it comes to Netherite. While you can also use the repair enchantment to keep your tools in good shape, it doesn’t hurt to give them a quick fix by using an ingot in an anvil.
So this is it. Now you know everything there is to know about the powerful Minecraft mineral Netherite.
With your new knowledge on the subject, nothing will stop you in your quest to become the best Minecraft player possible. It’s a long road, there’s no doubt about it. But once you dive into the Nether to collect your own supply of Netherite, the quest will become much easier as you can fight monsters, build better gear, and reign supreme over your fellow players (well, that’s when even the idea).
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