For those who don’t know, the Nether is an otherworldly dimension that players can access in Minecraft by crafting a Nether Portal out of obsidian blocks. The Nether is far more dangerous than the overworld, typically, with swarms of aggressive monsters, dangerous nether fortresses, and environmental hazards like lava. Unlike the Overworld, however, the Nether has become a bit outdated over the years, not receiving meaningful content or updates for quite a while. That all changes with ‘the Nether Update,’ which Microsoft is aiming to ship before the end of the year.

The Nether Update will bring fresh mechanics, mobs, and biome features to the hellish dimension. With the release of the first snapshot showing off some of the changes we can expect, we now have a better idea of what’s coming with the Nether Update. Mojang may also have some additional changes planned that we still don’t know about.

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Here’s what we do know is coming:

  • Piglins. These guys are a new type of mob that builds settlements and can trade with players. They are effectively unzombified zombie pigmen. The piglins are aggressive unless you’re wearing a gold suit of armor since they are — you guessed it — obsessed with gold. You can barter with them for trading, introducing a new economy on top of what you get with villagers.

    A hoglin

    Source: Mojang

  • Piglin trading. The system being implemented with piglins is a little different to the one in the game right now, and will be a little more “Nether-y,” and involve throwing items on the ground. Oh, and if you loot their chests, be prepared for some swift retribution. Piglins also hunt some of the new creatures in the Nether, such as hoglins.
  • Hoglins. New mobs are abound, including hoglins (previously known as piglin beasts,) which are more battle-hardened pig-type mobs that dwell in the Nether. Hoglins will provide, for the first time ever in the Nether, a food source for weary travelers.

Update October 20, 2019: The official name of piglin beasts is now hoglins!

  • Three new biomes. Up to this point, the Nether has been the same throughout its entirety. That changes with the Nether Update, which is adding three all-new biomes. The soulsand valley are desolate places made mostly of soul sand and soul soil, and are a graveyard for the Nether’s ancestors. Crimson forests are angry red areas where you can find the new hoglin wandering around. Warped forests are dreary alternative versions of the crimson forests, with a blue overcast leaving them depressed. These biomes are meant to be weird, but relatively safe (for the Nether.)
  • New blocks, vegetation, and more. The Nether Update also intends to add a huge number of new blocks and plants to accompany the new biomes. This includes but isn’t limited to: wood-like blocks crimson and warped stems, basalt blocks, crimson and warped nylium, nether sprouts, crimson and warped roots, crimson and warped fungi, warped wart blocks, weeping vines, soul soil, and more. We’ll find out all the details about these new blocks as we get closer to release.

    A new Nether biome

    A new Nether biomeSource: Mojang

  • New special effects and mechanics. Mojang is adding a ton of tweaks to particle effects, sounds, animations and mechanics that will accompany the Nether Update to add new gameplay elements and spooky atmospherics.

    The new target block

    Source: Mojang

  • New target block. This block can be used for hit detection in contraptions. Or to practice your aim.

One of the biggest new changes coming in the Nether Update is indubitably the inclusion of a new ore, one that promises to usurp diamond as the best in the game… Netherite! This elusive ore will be far more dangerous and difficult to obtain, but will return tools, weapons and armor that are more durable, more efficient, more damaging, more resistant to knockback, and able to withstand greater levels of enchanting.

What can netherite do? Well:

  • Netherite items float in lava instead of burn up.
  • Netherite tools are more efficient and more durable.
  • Netherite weapons are more durable and deal more damange.
  • Netherite armor is more protective and has greater knockback resistance.
  • Netherite has better enchantment values than diamond.
  • And finally, to quote Mojang: “…and it looks cool!”

There will no doubt be more features as we get closer to launch and we’ll detail further as more information becomes available. Speaking of which …

When will the Nether Update release for Minecraft?

Microsoft says the Nether Update will ship during the first half of 2020, following the Buzzy Bees update, which launched on December 11, 2019. We’ll update this article as soon as we have more information!

If you want to see what else Mojang and Microsoft announced last year at Minecon 2019, hit the link below!

Related: All the news from Minecon 2019

Are you excited for the Nether Update? What features and changes are you wanting Mojang to make to Minecraft? Let us know in the comments below!

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