I have built an area in the sky in the overworld and have attempted to link to it from the ground through the Nether rather than building ladders and such in the overworld. I've read that the Y coordinate does not need to be translated to the Nether since it doesn't reach as high as the overworld anyways as long as all the portals in the Nether are at the same elevation. There's also a video demonstrating this. Is that false? I drew a diagram to best describe what is happening with the attached coordinates. Both overworld portals work fine going to the corresponding portals in the Nether, however both Nether portals link to the same ground overworld portal.

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  • Those overworld portals are really close to each other, less than 50 blocks horizontally. It's going to be difficult to get them to connect up properly.
    – MBraedley
    Mar 18, 2014 at 23:09
  • Looks like the portals are simply sending you to the closest portal it finds that isn't in the same plane. Mar 18, 2014 at 23:13
  • You might be able to figure something out by closing portals strategically, but I'm not really sure, honestly. Etho has something like this (with a forced one-way portal on the ground, and the regular portal in the air) on Mindcrack. But no matter what, with portals this close, one of them is going to end up being a one-way deal.
    – Unionhawk
    Mar 18, 2014 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


Nether portals are just math and are 100% where the scaling of distance moved comes from in the nether. Your problem is that the portal on the right, when translated into overworld coordinates, is closer to the portal on the ground than it is in the air.

I am just going to look at the X value for this example:

  • Nether Portals
    • To Ground: Nether X 15 which translates to 120 in the Overworld
    • To Air: Nether X 9 which translates to 72 in the Overworld
  • Overworld Portals
    • On Ground: Overworld X 121
    • In Air: Overworld X -73

Using the numbers above, when trying to go back to the air portal you are looking for the closest portal to the X Position of 72. Doing the math you are 49 away from the portal on the ground and 145 away from the portal in the air. This is such a large difference that the Z value is not really going to come into play.

What you need to do is to move the portal you want to link to the air overworld portal closer to it in the X value. I would say put it at 0 X or lower. If you do the math above with the portal at the X of 3 you will see that you are 97 blocks from BOTH portals in the X direction (4 would still leave you closer to the ground portal). Putting the portal at 0 or lower in X coordinates should give you a fair amount of room in the Z so it can still be ignored.

Hope this helps.

  • Apologies, all of the coordinates (like 73) are positive values. Both X and Z coordinates (the horizontal values in this case) are spot on when dividing by 8 and flooring the overworld's coordinates. I must have misunderstood the distance algorithm still taking the Y (vertical) values into account, even if the Y values are not divided in the nether. I have since moved the portals in the Nether to the vertical midpoint of Y=108 so that the vertical distances are all equal, making it so the minor horizontal distances make the difference.
    – user72112
    Mar 19, 2014 at 6:49

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