So I want to make an obsidian farm. Unfortunately I have only 1 bucket of lava. Now the question is is it possible to make any obsidian farm on the earth surface or are there any rules stating otherwise?

  • See my question about getting lava to replicate. Since the only way to get practically unlimited obsidian from a single lava bucket was a bug that got fixed, the answer is basically no.
    – MBraedley
    Sep 8 '13 at 12:33
  • 1
    Assuming multiplayer, you can build a portal to the Nether, have player in overworld break it, then return through the nether-portal. A new portal will appear in the overworld, resulting in as much obsidian as you can mine.
    – Batophobia
    Sep 9 '13 at 19:54

Yep, minecraft doesn't really check if you're on the surface or not for making obsidian, so any farms that work underground will also work overground.

There's a farm design that only needs one bucket of lava which is not consumed. You will be able to get 1 obsidian for every 1 redstone dust you have.

Here's a gif I made if you want to know how to make/use the farm: http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/4127/h0q.gif

Here's the minecraft wiki page on obsidian farming: http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Tutorials/Obsidian_farming

Here's also a video tutorial (Not mine) showing the same thing:

  • What version of Minecraft is this?
    – shanodin
    Sep 8 '13 at 12:55
  • 1
    @shanodin Unsure of what version video is in, but it has been on for ages and still works as of the latest snapshot and 1.6.2.
    – SirBenet
    Sep 8 '13 at 12:56
  • @colorfusion: Have you tried it (and can prove so)? I'm pretty sure it got fixed in the update after it was discovered.
    – MBraedley
    Sep 8 '13 at 13:13
  • @MBraedley Yep I've tried it. The .gif I linked was made just for this question in the latest version of minecraft.
    – SirBenet
    Sep 8 '13 at 13:17
  • Okay, just tested it myself. It does still work.
    – MBraedley
    Sep 8 '13 at 13:23

The only way you can make obsidian on the surface is to find a surface lava pool or move lava from the Nether/cave and put it down on the surface (and then turn it into obsidian in the normal way)

You can't 'farm' obsidian in the way you can farm wheat/melon etc. - you can only have as much obsidian as you have lava.

Edit - there is a way of mining infinite obsidian using redstone.

  • Did Infiniobsidian get fixed? Sep 8 '13 at 12:41
  • Yeah, that bug apparently got fixed soon after it was found.
    – MBraedley
    Sep 8 '13 at 13:11
  • @MBraedley Redstone->Obsidian still works fine, even in the latest snapshot and 1.6.2.
    – SirBenet
    Sep 8 '13 at 13:13
  • This bug was fixed in 1.8
    – pppery
    Jul 14 '19 at 14:52

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