Minecraft Portal Calculator

I love minecraft--it's way too much fun, and way too time consuming. Here is a quick calculator that you can use to plug in coordinates from either the overworld or the nether to find out where your return gate needs to be built in order to have the best chance of being hooked back up with the gate you plan to step through.

Here is what prompted building this calculator.

Wrong Return Gate

I built a portal from my home at X,Y,Z and stepped through only to land in someone else's portal room in the nether. This was fine, but when I walked back through it, my X and Z were nowhere near the gate I entered from--instead I came back to that someone else's homestead and then scrambled across the landscape, at night, a long, long way trying to avoid mobs and hazards; it was a frightening journey. It turns out what I needed to do, was grab my X,Y,Z coordinates before stepping through the original portal and bring at least ten obsidian and flint and steel with me. Once on the nether side of the gate, I needed to explore to X/8, Y, Z/8 and then build a portal there. With any luck, it would attach to the gate I came in from. I know I know, this isn't new knowledge it's just that I had not seen the math clearly articulated on pages found by searching at the time.

Calculator to translate between the overworld and the nether

It seemed like a quick calculator to translate coordinates based on which side of the gate I was plugging in might be helpful and could help provide a mathematical proof while performing the calculations mentally takes hold. As a web developer, I thought building the calculator using JavaScript and HTML might be a fun little project! (I guess algebraic multiplication and division really IS useful. My math teachers would be so proud. ;-)

Suggested steps:

  1. Collect 20 obsidian blocks and create a flint and steel using the recipe.
  2. Go to the place you want your return portal to appear.
  3. Hit F3 while in the game and collect your X, Y, and Z coordinates.
  4. Plug them into the calculator (if you can have a browser open in the background it's quick to switch between the browser and the game without needing to disconnect).

    Note: you can either plug the coordinates in one at a time -or- as a comma separated list (for example 100,66,300). If you only provide two coordinates (such as 100,300) they'll be used to populate X and Z.

  5. Use the first 10 obsidian to build a nether portal and step into the nether (cautiously).
  6. Explore to the coordinates from the calculator. Again, be careful, the nether is more challenging to navigate than the overworld.

    Some specific cautions:

  7. Build your return portal at the coordinates, step through and with any luck you'll be back at the portal you built initially.

Huh, it didn't work?! I believe there are some rare cases in which the gates might not hook up like you expect. If that happens, you may need to do more research to determine what's going wrong. I've had this happen very infrequently, but occasionally it does and I've stepped out of a new gate in a dark ravine or out in the countryside. It seems like it's always above or below the gate I was trying to come back through. (Along the Y axis, though X and Z can be off too. In fact in my case the problem has always been that I was slightly off on my X and Z when building the return gate--and rechecking my coordinates and fixing where the return gate is has solved the problem for me.) However, stepping through a gate into unexpected territory is obviously jarring; So, be prepared. It's always a good idea to carry torches, tools, and supplies.

Thanks for your visit, I hope this helps you. If you find any errors or have suggestions, please let me know. Also, if you are learning web development or wanted to build your own calculator view the source to see how this one works.

Best wishes!