The road to completing a Nether portal is long and potentially arduous. When playing survival mode, it's not as easy as whipping out the obsidian blocks and igniting them. It sometimes requires hours of preparation.

The Nether is a host to a number of mobs, a Nether fortress, and all kinds of materials with their own properties. It's here you'll find a lot of materials for potion crafting, and since they're usually dropped by mobs it is not a wise idea to go into the Nether unprepared for a fight.

Here is a list of things you'll need in order to make a Nether portal.

  1. Water buckets.
  2. A lava source.
  3. A Diamond pickaxe. Obsidian cannot be mined with any other tool than diamond. Make sure you have one.
  4. Spare blocks. Dirt or sand is a good option.
  5. Flint and steel. You'll need this to finish the portal off and activate it.

The first thing you will want to find is an accessible lava source. Digging down to a layer where lava is common is a viable option, but beware there may be additional lava blocks beneath it, creating a trap for your mined obsidian to fall into. Lava pools can sometimes be found on the surface, and providing they're close enough to where you're set up, you should aim for those. They are less likely to have deeper lava flows beneath them.

Once you've found your lava source, pour the water from your bucket onto the lava. This will turn it into obsidian. If you need more water, you can create a 4x4 pit and fill up the four corners to make a renewable water source.

Use your diamond pick-axe to mine the fresh obsidian. You can make a portal with a minimum of 10 blocks of Obsidian, though generally portals are spawned in game with 14 blocks.

Arrange the Obsidian in a 4x5 rectangle. There should be a 2x3 space in the middle completely open. To reach the top levels, spare dirt can be used to elevate you.

Use the flint and steel to ignite the bottom block of the portal, and a purple vortex will fill the inner void.

Step through, et voila! You're in the Nether! If this is your first time in the Nether, you'll also get an achievement. Yay!

Bonus tip: Multiple Nether portals can be placed, and the player will spawn at the closest one to the player's location. If there happens to be no portal closest to the player, the game will create one.