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Minecraft resource gathering/Ancient Debris

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Ancient Debris is a rare ore found in the Nether. Once smelted into Netherite Scrap, it is used to craft Netherite Ingots, the highest tier of material, which can be used in a Smithing Table to upgrade diamond tools and armor.

36 blocks of Ancient Debris must be mined to upgrade a full set of gear (as it requires 9 Netherite Ingots). Additional Ancient Debris can be used to upgrade more gear or craft Netherite Blocks and Lodestones.

Obtaining[edit | edit source]

Ancient Debris generates in the lower parts of the Nether, being most common at Y=16, so it is recommended to search at that level. Only a few blocks of Ancient Debris are can be found in each chunk. In addition, it never generates exposed to air, meaning that you must dig through the Nether to find it.

Every Nether biome contains Ancient Debris, but it is more difficult to mine for in Basalt Deltas due to the abundance of Blackstone and Basalt blocks, which are harder to mine through.

Since you are mining through large volumes of Netherrack, care must be taken to avoid being caught out by underground lava pockets. A Fire Resistance potion will eliminate this worry, but armor with a level of Fire Protection is a more practical way to give yourself time to get out of lava.

Ancient Debris is not affected by the Fortune enchantment and requires a Diamond Pickaxe or higher to successfully mine.

As well as generating in the Nether, blocks of Ancient Debris can be found in some Bastion chests.

Bastion type Count Chance
Ancient Debris in loot chests
Treasure 1 10%
2 4%
Hoglin Stable 1 12%
2 5%
Other 1 13.48%

Ore Generation Specifics[edit | edit source]

Two types of Ancient Debris veins generate in the Nether. Small veins generate uniformly across all heights, but can only contain up to 2 blocks. Large veins generate in a triangular distribution at levels 8–24, meaning that they're most common at Y=16. They can contain up to 3 blocks. However, most veins of both types only contain a single block.

TNT Strip Mining[edit | edit source]

Strip mine in a straight line for 50 blocks (you can go further if you wish). Then walk back through your tunnel, placing TNT every four blocks. Once back at the start, ignite one piece of TNT and return to a safe area. The explosions clear Netherrack, leaving behind the blast-proof Ancient Debris. The process can be repeated by digging sideways for 15 blocks and, from there, creating another tunnel parallel to the first one.

This method uses a lot of TNT, so it is useful to have farmable sources for Sand and Gunpowder so that it can be crafted in bulk.

Bed Mining[edit | edit source]

Another method to reveal ancient debris is using Beds, which explode in the Nether. This can be an effective technique earlier in the game since beds are cheap to craft. However, Beds are difficult to transport (since they don't stack) and their explosion creates fire which can obstruct Ancient Debris or damage the player.

The basic concept is, as with other methods, to remove Netherrack and (hopefully) reveal any nearby Ancient Debris. You can do this by digging a short tunnel into the Netherrack, and repeating the following steps at intervals along it. You can extend the tunnel as you go.

  1. At eye level, dig a hole into the tunnel's wall that extends as far as you can reach.
  2. At the end of the hole, place a bed. (To place it, you must right-click the second-to-last block of the hole.)
  3. Right-click the bed to explode it.
  4. Check the crater for any newly-exposed Ancient Debris, being mindful of any fire.

To help with the issue of transporting beds, you can instead carry the materials to craft beds (Planks and Wool). When mining with Beds, be wary of the fact that the explosion will also damage you. This is up to 13 HP (Hard difficulty) without armor, but full Diamond Armor reduces this to 2 HP. If you only have weak armor, you can reduce the damage to 6 HP by partially blocking up the hole with a slab.

Manual Mining[edit | edit source]

Using a Diamond Pickaxe enchanted with at least Efficiency II, Netherrack can be broken instantly. This makes it easier to clear out large amounts of Netherrack at Y=16. Ancient Debris will be left intact due to its longer mining time.

This method carries a greater risk of dying to lava. To help with this, stand a few blocks away from mined blocks and have a building block in your off-hand to quickly block off any lava.

Uses[edit | edit source]

Ancient Debris can be smelted in a Furnace or Blast Furnace to create Netherite Scrap (awarding 2 XP). 4 Netherite Scraps can be combined with 4 Gold Ingots on a crafting table to create 1 Netherite Ingot.

Ancient Debris is one of the few blocks that are immune to explosions but can still be pushed by pistons.

History[edit | edit source]

Ancient Debris (along with other Netherite items) was added 1.16 (the Nether Update). They first appeared in snapshot 20w06a.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Adrian Östergård (2020-05-02). "Minecraft Snapshot 20w06a". Minecraft.net. Mojang. Retrieved 2023-01-13.