Surviving in the Nether can be tough in Minecraft. It operates by a different set of rules than the Overworld, has different foes, and has limited access to many resources. For anyone not properly prepared or looking to do a Nether-only run, it can be tough to get by.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect is finding enough food to stay nourished within the Nether. Fortunately, with some proper preparation and creativity, you can keep starvation at bay. Here are all the ways to stay fed and obtain food when surviving in the Nether.
Updated on February 21, 2023, by Branden Lizardi: Minecraft continues to grow and expand, with new features and mechanics changing what can and cannot be accomplished. To ensure that you have all the options available, we’ve updated this list accordingly.
Most folks know about Ruined Portals for their appearances on the overworld. These broken, flaming structures with dark red stone and magma-riddled floors stick out from the usual landscape. They can also generate inside the Nether, though, offering all the same benefits as their overworld counterparts, loot included. What makes Ruined Portals special is that they are the only structures in the Nether with food items as part of the potential loot, found within a single chest nearby.
There are some flaws to this method, of course. They are random and non-renewable. You could travel for an unknowable amount of time only to find a single portal, offering only a single golden carrot. But therein lies the one benefit: every food item that can spawn in those chests will be golden. So if you’re only going to eat few and far between, at least they’ll be filling.
10 Dry Farming
The Nether is so hot that water blocks will evaporate the second they’re placed on the ground. This prevents you from establishing the traditional farms you’re accustomed to. Any cropland that’s hoed will quickly revert back to regular dirt.
That being said, there is a way to still grow crops within the Nether. Once you create a block of farmland, they need to very quickly plant the crop before it reverts. If the crop is successfully planted, it will prevent the farmland from converting. The downside is that it takes forever to grow without water, and it’s a very tedious way to do any large-scale farming. Harvesting with a Fortune III Hoe will increase yields.
9 Transplant Villagers
There are a variety of villagers willing to trade for various forms of food. Farmers will offer things like Carrots and Potatoes, while Butchers will trade for various uncooked and cooked meats. Having several villagers in the Nether can provide a consistent stream of food.
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Keep in mind that they don’t spawn there naturally. The only way for villagers to end up in the Nether is to be pushed through a portal or taken through with a rowboat. It’s also important to keep in mind that Ghasts and other hostile mods will target Villagers, so they need to be protected.
8 Transplant Animals
Through taming and breeding, animal farms are a great source of food. In fact, Steaks and Cooked Porkchops are considered the best sources of farmable food in the game. And with access to tons of lava, you can easily create farms that burn the animals alive, resulting in instantly cooked meats.
Once again, animals are not commonly found in the Nether, and like the Villagers, they need to be coaxed through a portal. This is a bit easier as you can use Leads to drag them through. Breeding them for large-scale farms will be a hassle due to dry farming, so having that food in bulk before entering the Nether will be helpful.
7 Cocoa Bean Farm
Coca Beans can be a surprisingly effective source of food in the Nether. Cocoa Beans only need to be planted on a Jungle Log to grow. You can craft very efficient Coca Bean farms that can be combined with Wheat to make Cookies.
While Wheat farming in the Nether is a pain, only one unit of Wheat is needed to make six Cookies. Rather than trying to make mass amounts of Bread (which takes three Wheat), you can combine it with easier-to-grow Cocoa Beans, making Cookies a superior choice.
6 Berry Bush Planting
The easiest form of traditional farming is to plant Berry Bushes on dirt blocks in the Nether. Unlike standard crops, they don’t require nearby water sources or farmland to grow. Berry Bushes will yield Sweet Berries, which are equal to a Cookie in terms of sustenance.
It takes some time to set up and Berry Bushes must be transplanted into the Nether with Silk Touch, but it’s a viable food source. It’s recommended to harvest Berries with a tool that has Fortune III. Harvesting without yields one to two, and harvesting with Fortune can yield one to five.
5 Wither Rose
The Wither Rose is a flower that drops when the Wither kills any mob. While meaningless on its own, the Wither Rose can be combined with Red and Brown Mushrooms and a Bowl to produce Suspicious Stew.
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This is highly impractical as this particular brand of Suspicious Stew will poison you with Wither resulting in damage. It is possible to stave off starvation and stay alive, but it results in you needing to eat far more often to offset the health loss. Not to mention simply removing the flower results in regular Mushroom Stew, which has the same effect without the Wither side effect.
4 Zombified Piglin
Zombified Piglins will drop zero to one Rotten Flesh when they are killed. When using a Fortune III weapon, they’ll drop zero to four. Rotten Flesh provides the nourishment equivalent to an Apple when consumed.
The downside is that it also has an 80 percent chance of inflicting Hunger for 30 seconds. Eating multiple pieces of Rotten Flesh doesn’t stack Hunger, so you can eat enough to bring your Hunger near maximum before it wears off. It’s not terribly effective, but it will keep you alive and can be combined with Gold Nugget farming efforts.
3 Baby Zombified Piglin Chicken Jockey
There is a 0.25 percent chance that a Baby Zombified Piglin riding a Chicken will spawn in the Nether. In addition to dropping Rotten Flesh, the Chicken will also drop Raw Chicken when killed. This can be cooked to provide a very potent source of nourishment.
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Of course, the main flaw with this source of food is whether it will appear at all. The odds can be nudged slightly by having a Chicken in the Nether, bringing it up to five percent. But at that point, you would be better served having a Chicken farm.
Mushrooms are a handy source of nourishment in the Nether. Brown and Red Mushrooms spawn just about anywhere and don’t require specific light sources. You can establish massive Mushroom farms very easily in the Nether.
You can also use Bone Meal from Wither Skeletons to grow giant Mushrooms. Harvesting from this with a Fortune III tool will yield an incredible amount. When combined with a Bowl, Mushrooms make Mushroom Stew that’s on par with Bread. The only downside is that the Stew doesn’t stack, which can take up quite a bit of inventory space or require crafting on the fly with a Crafting Bench.
By far, the best source of naturally occurring food within the Nether are Hoglins. Found in the Crimson Forest biome of the Nether, they can be killed to drop two to four Raw Porkchops and up to seven Porkchops with a Fortune III tool.
Thanks to the abundance of Lava, you can create clever contraptions to kill the Hoglins with fire, which causes them to drop Cooked Porkchops. Cooked Porkchops are one of the best farmable foods in the game, on par with Steaks. Hoglins are hostile, but with fencing and placed blocks, safe Hoglin farms can easily be established. They can be bred with Crimson Fungi.