Travelling through the Nether can be a dangerous task. There are multiple obstacles to overcome such as hostile mobs, an ocean floor of lava and vast spaces you could fall from.
Things to know before you go
First of all, how do you get to the Nether? By making a Nether portal, but how do you make a Nether portal? By building a 5 block tall, 4 block wide frame out of obsidian. You get obsidian by mining it with a diamond pickaxe. If you can't find obsidian, you can create it by pouring water over lava. Once you make the portal shape you simply need to light it, you can do this by making a flint and steel and right clicking inside the frame.
With the newly added anchor point block, when you die in the nether you can re-spawn at the anchor point rather than the over world in your bed. The re-spawn anchor will only work upon death in the Nether. It will not work in the over world nor will it work in the end. You cannot activate it at any time, it is only when you die. The re-spawn anchors can have up to 4 charges and it is charged using glow stone.
With the new biomes, there is new terrain to tread. Basalt deltas being the hardest to manoeuvre through. There are pools of lava around and a very uneven floor, not to mention a lot of magma cubes which could easily push you off. The mobs you need to be careful of are Piglins, zombified Piglins Ghasts, skeletons, and Enderman. Thankfully, most of these will not attack you unless provoked. Piglins will like you for as long as you are wearing gold armour, but they can also become agitated if you touch their gold or open any chests. Zombified Piglins work in the same way that Pig men acted; if you hit one they will all start chasing you to attack you. Enderman will not attack you unless you look directly at them. Ghasts and skeletons will both attack you when they see you, so be careful of them. You can easily shoot a Ghast once with a bow and arrow and it will die or alternatively if you hit their flame shot back at them with your sword that will also do the job. There is an increase spawn rate of Ghasts and skeletons in the soul sand valley biome. Wither skeletons and blazes are only found in Nether fortresses, so they are not really a threat unless you go to one.
Essential items to bring with you to the nether are your sword, crafting table and furnace. It is also now a good idea to bring a compass with you. Navigating the Nether is difficult, but now with the newly added lodestone we can find our way around just a little easier. Right clicking a compass on a block of lodestone will make that compass always point to that block of lodestone. This means that if you set up this block in the Nether then your compass will always point to it, so no matter how far you travel, you should be able to find your way back to that block.
Water does not work in the nether, so if you set on fire you better hope your lucky hearts keep you alive. Beds also do not work in the Nether. If you try to sleep, the bed will explode, causing you to take heavy damage or even die. Before, running out of food in the Nether was a big problem, but now food is attainable from killing Hoglins. Hoglins can be found in the crimson forest biome in herds of 3 to 4.
An alternative route?
Some of us just use the Nether for travelling quickly from one place to the other. Making a Nether hub is the fastest way of getting from point A to point B as 1000 blocks in the Overworld is only 125 blocks in the Nether (8:1). For example, if you wanted a portal in the over world at coordinates X 1347 and Y -52 your portal in the Nether would need to be created at around X 168 and Y -7.
We could build our sheltered paths in the nether away from harm however, there is a way to get to the Nether ceiling in survival. Mobs do not spawn on bedrock which is why the Nether ceiling is so safe, as the whole floor is bedrock. Just make sure to put slabs above the Nether portal as mobs can still spawn on obsidian.
The Nether ceiling works in exactly the same way as the Nether with its travel time being 8:1. When getting up there and placing your portal, the location has to be EXACT so that they link up correctly. Getting to the Nether roof can be a bit temperamental, but don’t worry it’s very easy once you get the first portal up there.
There are many different methods of getting up to the Nether ceiling, including ways that do not break the bedrock. There is a method to use Ender pearls but also mine carts and rails. You can find many tutorials for this on YouTube.
Hopefully, this small guide will help you on your journey through the nether, or at the very least make you a little more prepared for what to expect.