Ancient Debris

From Minecraft Wiki
Ancient Debris
First Appearance JE: 1.16 (Snapshot 20w06a)
BE: 1.16.0 beta
Type of Block Solid Block
For other Nether-related topics, see Nether (Disambiguation).
For For other Netherite-related topics, see Netherite (Disambiguation).

Ancient Debris is the second rarest ore block in the game (after emerald ore), added in 1.16 for Java Edition and Bedrock Edition. It is found exclusively in The Nether, generally between y=8 and y=119. It floats on lava in item form, cannot be burned, and has the same blast resistance as obsidian but can be moved by pistons.


Ancient debris generates in the Nether in the form of veins of one to four blocks (veins in adjacent chunks can occasionally increase this amount). The average amount of ore blocks per chunk is 1.65, and the typical maximum is 5 blocks, although it is technically possible to find a whopping 11 blocks. Ancient debris is obtained when mined with a diamond pickaxe or better. Ancient debris also generates only with either blocks or lava surrounding all 6 sides, never open to air (although in some rare instances it generates under a twisting vine, making it visible from the surface).

Ancient debris can be gathered quickly in three ways: TNT explosions destroy netherrack, which has a low blast resistance but leaves ancient debris because of its previously mentioned blast resistance. However, this process is very expensive. Exploiting the mechanic that causes using beds in The Nether and The End to explode works likewise. This process is cheaper and clears a much larger area, but it is more dangerous than TNT explosions as its blast range is higher and it sets fire to nearby blocks and players. However, placing a block between the player and the bed will negate a majority of the damage. Another alternative is to branch mine using a diamond pickaxe with Efficiency V, but it will break quickly, so it is best to have Unbreaking and/or Mending on it, too. Ancient debris is most common on y=15, but if using beds, it is recommended to go a block or two lower to avoid dealing with lava lakes.

The Fortune enchantment does not work on ancient debris, just like iron and gold ore. It also doesn't drop any experience.

An easy and efficient way to look for ancient debris is by digging a very long two-block high, one block wide tunnel at y=12 to y=15. Then place TNT blocks at 4 block intervals along with it. As explained earlier, TNT is a bit costly though, but it exposes lots of ancient debris.


The only usage of ancient debris is for smelting to create Netherite scraps, which can be used to create Netherite ingots. Netherite ingots can be used to create stronger, more durable netherite gear by using a diamond tool, weapon, or armor piece and an ingot in a Smithing Table menu.


Ancient debris requires a diamond or netherite pickaxe to harvest. Using anything else will take a very long time and will drop nothing anyway. Ancient debris will not generate in explored chunks of already generated worlds before 1.16.

Tool File:DiamondPickaxe.png File:NetheritePickaxe.png
Hardness 30
Breaking time[note 1]
  1. Times are for unenchanted tools in seconds.