How to Make Obsidian in Minecraft using Lava and Water – A Geek‘s Complete Guide

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Hey there fellow Minecraft enthusiast! If you‘re anything like me, you just can‘t get enough of the endless adventures and discoveries in the world of Minecraft. As a dedicated Minecraft player for over 5 years now, I‘m thrilled to share with you my comprehensive guide to making obsidian.

Obsidian is hands down one of the most useful and valuable materials for us geeky Minecraft survivors. With its jet black color andTexture, obsidian just looks incredibly cool too! But its natural rarity and hardness to mine can make getting stacks of it really challenging.

Well, not to worry my friend! In this epic guide, I‘ll be revealing all my tips, tricks and hard-earned wisdom for mining and farming obsidian like a pro. We‘ll cover everything from:

  • Obsidian‘s vital uses and mining stats
  • Finding lava and water sources
  • Crafting methods and renewable farms
  • Mining obsidian safely
  • Tweaking designs for maximum efficiency
  • Obsidian‘s role across Minecraft versions and more!

So get ready to master the art of obsidian creation and have unlimited reserves for all your survival needs. Let‘s do this!

Why Obsidian is Crucial for Minecraft Geeks

Before we jump into the details, let‘s first talk about why obsidian is so coveted by us Minecraft geeks in survival mode. Here are some key reasons:

It has the highest blast resistance – With a whopping blast resistance of 6000, obsidian can withstand creeper and TNT explosions, making it vital for sturdy constructions.

Essential for nether portals – Those mystical purple gateways to the Nether realm require at least 10 obsidian blocks to activate. No obsidian means no nether portal access!

Needed for high-tier gear crafting – Enchanting tables, anvils and beacon pyramids rely on obsidian in their recipes. It‘s the foundation for powerful gear.

Looks incredibly badass – C‘mon, you can‘t deny obsidian blocks just ooze a dark, imposing vibe. Great for geek cred!

Satisfying to obtain – The effort to get obsidian makes finally acquiring it super rewarding. The struggle makes it all the sweeter!

So in summary, obsidian‘s unique durability, mystique and utility make it a must-have material for serious Minecraft players. Now let‘s get into the juicy details of how to actually get it!

Lava and Water – Obsidian‘s Elemental Ingredients

The geology geek in me finds obsidian formation fascinating. In the real world, obsidian forms when lava from volcanic eruptions cools rapidly due to contact with water. A similar process creates obsidian blocks in Minecraft.

Obsidian only generates when a lava source block comes into contact with flowing water. This interaction causes the lava to harden into the tough, glass-like obsidian.

But first, you need to get your hands on lava and water. Here‘s where to find good sources in Minecraft‘s Overworld and Nether dimensions:

Finding Lava

Lava is more plentiful the deeper you mine in the Overworld. Here are prime spots to look:

  • Deep underground below Y level 10
  • Pockets near bedrock layer
  • Inside caves and ravines
  • Near dungeons and abandoned mineshafts

In the Nether realm, lava literally flows like water! Source blocks are easiest to find in:

  • Lava ocean biomes
  • Lakes of lava spanning the terrain
  • Lava waterfalls flowing from the ceiling

With a diamond pickaxe, you can mine lava buckets from any source block as well. Lava is key for renewable obsidian farming so remember these spots!

Finding Water

Water is harder to locate in the Nether but incredibly abundant in the Overworld. Here‘s where to look:

  • Oceans, rivers and lakes above ground
  • Flooded caves, ravines and aquifers underground
  • Ice spikes and snowy biomes hold plenty of meltable ice
  • Underwater lava pools or reservoirs near lava levels

You can also bring water buckets from the surface or set up infinite water sources by placing water blocks strategically.

Now let‘s get into the fun part – using this lava and water to start churning out obsidian!

Crafting Obsidian – Methods from Buckets to Farms

When starting out survival mode, collecting a few obsidian blocks using buckets is a quick way to kickstart your portal building. But for large projects or mega-bases, you‘ll need set up renewable farms for a constant supply.

Let‘s go through both bucket crafting and dedicated obsidian farm designs:

Method 1: Precision Obsidian Crafting with Buckets

The bucket method gives you surgical precision for placing obsidian blocks exactly where you need them. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Venture into the Nether or deep underground Overworld to collect lava in buckets.

  2. Scout a good above-ground location near water for your obsidian placement.

  3. Pour out lava buckets in your desired pattern.

  4. Flow water over the lava source blocks by right-clicking with filled water buckets.

  5. The water will turn the lava to obsidian blocks wherever they intersect.

  6. Repeat pouring lava and water to place more obsidian blocks in any shape.

This technique is great when you need obsidian for a specific project in a fixed quantity. The flexibility makes it ideal for jumpstarting builds that need obsidian like nether portals or enchanting rooms.

Method 2: Supercharging Production with Obsidian Farms

For mega bases or huge projects, you‘ll need obsidian on an industrial scale. That‘s where obsidian farms come in!

Here are the core steps to build an basic infinite obsidian farm:

  1. Construct a platform 3 blocks above a large lava pool or lake.

  2. Build walls around the platform and place water source blocks along the inward edge.

  3. The water will flow down and convert the pool below into obsidian.

  4. Mine the obsidian with a diamond pickaxe while avoiding lava drips.

  5. Let the lava recharge, then repeat the waterfall process endlessly!

Some key tips for maximizing your obsidian yield:

  • Build close to your main base for quick collection
  • Add a ice pathway to walk safely over the lava lake
  • Funnel the obsidian drops to a central point using water
  • Store the obsidian in labeled chests for organized stockpiles

With some tweaking, you can produce double chests full in just hours! The initial effort pays off big time.

Here‘s an example of how a medium scale obsidian farm works:

Diagram showing an obsidian farm design with platform and waterfalls flowing over lava lake

As you can see, you can get really creative with the farm layout! Applying real-world engineering helps efficiency.

And if you want a completely hands-off obsidian source, build one of these nifty dripstone farms:

Image showing obsidian generator using pointed dripstone above cauldron

The renewable lava from the dripstone means infinite obsidian on demand!

Comparing Obsidian Mining vs Farming

When first playing survival, collecting natural obsidian from lava pools is your best bet. But as your needs scale up, farming can‘t be beaten for mass production.

Let‘s compare the pros and cons:

Obsidian Mining


  • No setup required
  • Satisfying to find natural deposits
  • Works well for small 1-time needs


  • Unpredictable yield based on luck
  • Lava pits are hazardous
  • Supply is finite

Obsidian Farming


  • Renewable, unlimited supply
  • Scales to produce vast quantities
  • Passive generation while doing other tasks
  • Automatable for hands-free crafting


  • Major initial time investment
  • Can be complex to build
  • Requires finding lava pool and resources

Looking at these factors, farms are the clear winners when you need stacks of obsidian. The work needed to build one really pays dividends!

Mining Obsidian Safely – Don‘t Be That Noob in Lava!

Once you‘ve set up your obsidian production, collecting it using your pickaxe is super satisfying! But mining it can also be dangerous – nothing worse than dying in lava and losing your precious gear.

Let‘s go over some pro tips to safely mine obsidian:

Enchant Your Pickaxe

An Efficiency V diamond or netherite pickaxe will insta-mine obsidian blocks the fastest. Saves you time and safety risks!

Watch Your Step

Never mine blocks directly beneath you to avoid deadly falls into lava. And beware of drips from above too.

Come Prepared

Bring potions of fire resistance and building blocks to quickly rectify any slip ups.

Use Natural Tools

Let water flows carry you across lava safely. Water buckets can also quickly douse flame accidents.

Coordinate Your Efforts

Team up with other players to efficiently collect obsidian and watch each other‘s back.

Eliminate Other Threats

Light up the area thoroughly and set difficulty to Peaceful to prevent nasty mob encounters.

Follow these tips and you‘ll be able to collect obsidian with confidence even as a Minecraft newbie! Safely acquiring your first few blocks is a huge rush.

Innovating Your Obsidian Farm Designs

As you scale up your obsidian production, innovating the farm layout can improve your yield. Here are some cool optimizations you can try:

Multi-Layered Platforms

Stacking platforms above each other lets one lava lake generate even more obsidian.

Water Elevators

Use bubbles to transport the obsidian up to your collection point instead of mining down.

Ice Bridges

Build ridges across the lava lake so you can walk directly on ice blocks for mining.

Cactus Damage

Use cacti to automatically damage and break newly formed obsidian, sending it into hoppers.

Full Automation

Use dispensers, pistons and Redstone to automatically mine and collect obsidian hands-free!

The possibilities are endless for upgrading your farms. Applying real engineering makes mass obsidian production smooth sailing. Share your best tips in the comments!

Changes Across Minecraft Versions

The core mechanics of obsidian creation have remained consistent across Minecraft versions. But Mojang has introduced innovations over time that changed things up:

Lava Flows Made Obsidian (Version 1.17)

Before 1.17, only lava source blocks produced obsidian when meeting water. But now flowing lava also turns to obsidian, increasing farm potential.

Pointed Dripstone for Farms (Version 1.17)

The addition of pointed dripstone blocks enabled fully automatic obsidian farms using cauldrons. Total game changer!

Underwater Ravines Added (Version 1.13)

Flooded ravines in oceans offer huge pools of underwater lava to turn into obsidian with ease.

Netherite Pickaxes (Version 1.16)

Netherite mines obsidian slightly faster than even diamond. Useful once you get geared up!

Efficiency Enchant Buff (Version 1.15)

Higher level Efficiency enchants received speed boosts making insta-mining obsidian possible.

As Minecraft continues evolving, new mechanics keep improving obsidian generation. What changes do you hope to see in the future?

Using Obsidian for Awesome Builds

Now that you‘ve mastered obsidian crafting, what cool projects can you build with it? Here are some of my personal favorites:

Intimidating Obsidian Bunkers

Flex your obsidian reserves to build impenetrable fortresses filled with secrets!

Underwater Obsidian Domes

Use obsidian‘s blast resilience to build impressive underwater bases with scenic views.

Dark Obsidian Monuments

Construct towering Lovecraftian monoliths and temples with obsidian accents.

Redstone Obsidian Circuits

Leverage obsidian‘s blast protection for resilient Redstone systems.

Inter-dimensional Gateways

Link portals creatively between Overworld, Nether and End for quick transit.

Underground Obsidian Arena

Host epic PvP duels and battles in the hollowed-out bedrock arena.

The rarity yet versatility of obsidian makes it perfect for adding that badass factor to builds and bases. Let me know your ideas in the comments!

Frequently Asked Obsidian Questions

Let‘s wrap up this guide by answering some common obsidian FAQs:

Q: How much obsidian do I need for a nether portal?

A: The minimum size portal requires 10 obsidian, but 14 blocks makes a nice 3×4 standard portal.

Q: Does lava turn cobblestone to obsidian?

A: Nope, only source lava blocks convert to obsidian when contacting water. Cobblestone results from flowing lava meeting water.

Q: Can TNT destroy obsidian blocks?

A: Not a chance! Obsidian‘s super high blast resistance makes it immune to TNT or creeper explosions.

Q: Is there an enchantment to mine obsidian faster?

A: Yup, Efficiency on pickaxes speeds up obsidian mining. Efficiency V lets you break it instantly.

Q: How long does obsidian take to respawn from lava?

A: Lava takes about 100 minutes to convert back into a renewable source block for obsidian crafting again.

Thanks for sticking it out to the end! I hoped you enjoyed my complete geek‘s guide to mastering obsidian in Minecraft.

Let me know if you have any other burning questions. And have fun blowing your friends‘ minds with all the obsidian you‘ll now be swimming in!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.