Netherite was a material added to Miencraft in The Nether Update of 2020, adding a new rarity and strength tier above Diamond. Now, while you’ll still need to cover yourself in Diamonds for the most part, the ultimate survival experience involves eventually 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 the likes of Diamond and Iron, in that you can craft your tools, weapons and armor out of it. In the durability contest, Netherite sits proudly at the top, knocking Diamond off its pedestal, so for the ultimate kit, you’ll want your full armor and entire arsenal upgraded to Netherite.
However, despite the material being similar to Iron, Gold, and Diamond, it works slightly differently, and the process to obtaining Netherite is threefold. Firstly, you’ll never find Netherite Ore in the wild. In fact, what you’ll be looking for is called Ancient Debris, and is only found in The Nether. Ancient Debris, in turn, is then smelted into Netherite Scrap. Finally, four Netherite Scrap can be crafted into one Netherite Ingot.
Yep, you read that right. You need to find four Ancient Debris for every one Netherite Ingot. Ancient Debris is one of the rarest ores in Minecraft, as well. And, as it only drops itself, it is unaffected by Fortune. In other words, you’ve really got your work cut out for you if you’re seeking full Netherite armor.
Where and how to find Ancient Debris in The Nether
So, we know Ancient Debris only generates in the Nether, but it’s so rare, you’ll still want to know the best places and ways to mine it.
Firstly, it’s worth bearing in mind that Ancient Debris can generate anywhere between Y-levels 8 and 119 in The Nether, so keep an eye out for it wherever you are. However, it’s far less likely higher up, so don’t go actively looking for it at higher levels. Instead, the best level to go actively mining for it is Y=15. However, for an idea of how rare it is, according to the Minecraft Wiki at the time of writing, there is an average of 1.65 Ancient Debris per 16×16 chunk, up to a maximum of five. That’s top to bottom.
Of course, this is The Nether, so even once you’re at the right level, you’ll need to be wary of lava. Take a few Fire Resistance potions with you in case you come into contact with the fiery, orange stuff, which you can get from trading with Piglins if you don’t have a brewing setup.
How to mine Ancient Debris
There are a few tried-and-tested methods for mining Ancient Debris in Minecraft. The most popular is using explosives. With an inventory bursting with either TNT or beds (remember, they blow up in the Nether) you can blow up larger areas in a shorter time, hopefully revealing some Ancient Debris in the process. You’ll just need to be aware of both the blast radius and ensuing lava falls.
Mining at Y=15, you’ll want to place beds to either side of you, once per chunk. To protect yourself from the blast, simply mine a tunnel out to the side of you at eye level, and place the bed at the end.
One 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 a blast, meaning if it’s not in the exposed wall (or hidden behind it) post-explosion, there was never any there. Don’t be dismayed if there is none. Due to its rarity, it could take a while to find any, so just keep exploding!
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 mine at Y=15, ensuring that you still have plenty of Fire Resistance Potions handy.
The last thing to bear in mind when mining for Ancient Debris is that it can only be mined successfully with Diamond or Netherite pickaxes – dig it up with anything else and you’ll lose it!
How to make Netherite tools and armor
If you do manage to find enough Ancient Debris to start upgrading your tools and armor, there is another change to the usual method. Thankfully, this one makes the process cheaper, almost reversing the costly method of needing four Ancient Debris to one Ingot.
Instead of placing your Netherite Ingots in a Crafting Table in the usual fashion, you’ll instead need a Smithing Table. You’ll also need existing Diamond items, as it is – quite literally – an upgrade. For this example, we’ll use a Pickaxe, but no matter which item you’re wanting to upgrade, it will only even cost you one Netherite Ingot.
Place your Diamond Pickaxe into the first space on the Smithing Table, with your Netherite Ingot in the second. You’ll then see you’ll be able to remove your new, Netherite item from the right hand side of the interface.
Then, you can even repair your item with just one more Netherite Ingot when it’s low on durability. Just pop your Netherite item in an Anvil this time, along with one Netherite Ingot, and repair 25% of the item’s original durability.
Uses for Minecraft Netherite
Aside from tools and armor, there are a few other uses for Netherite, as well – if you find enough of it.
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 made with the Beacon item atop a pyramid of Iron, Gold, Diamond, Emerald or Netherite blocks. As such, for an even bigger flex, you could build your beacon pyramid from 164 Blocks of Netherite. However, this is a bit of a waste, since a beacon pyramid constructed from 164 blocks of Iron would have the same strength.
The Lodestone was introduced in the 2020 Nether 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, that compass will now direct you to the Lodestone instead of spawn. It is made out of eight Chiseled Stone Bricks and one 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 earn you the Serious Dedication Achievement, because that is a serious dedication to farming.
Repairing your tools as they wither is much more efficient than crafting new ones, especially when it comes to Netherite. While you can also use the Mending enchantment to keep your tools going strong, it doesn’t hurt to give them a quick fix using an Ingot in an Anvil.
So there you have it. You know now everything there is to know about the mighty Minecraft mineral of Netherite.
With your fresh knowledge on the subject, there will be no stopping you on your quest to become the best Minecraft player you can possibly be. It’s a long road, there’s no question about it. But once you take the plunge into the Nether to fetch your own stash of Netherite, the quest will become a whole lot easier as you’ll be able to fight off monsters, build better equipment, and reign supreme over your fellow players (well, that’s the idea anyway).
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