Before you say this is a duplicate, I am well versed in the normal operation of portals, and understand how to link portals that are very close to each other. This problem is occurring in spite of my understanding.

I have two portals - the main access to my base, at y=66, and a portal which is supposed to take me to the top of my mob spawner tower, which is at y=230+. I've calculated the exact locations for each portal in the nether and placed them accordingly, but no matter what, the portal that is supposed to take me to the top of the tower just spawns me at my main overworld portal. I tried raising the tower portal in the nether slightly in hopes that that would help, but it didn't.

Coordinates of main portal pair: -3653, 66, -2722; -456, 70, -340

Coordinates of tower portal pair: -3736,, 238, -2739; -466, 77, -342

It seems like these should be far enough apart to link properly... Any ideas why they aren't? I hope I don't have to raise the tower portal a lot, that would defeat the purpose...

Images showing relative locations of the portals:

  • Ok I think I have figured out why this is happening - because the game takes Y into account when finding the closest portal. Does anyone have any tips to getting this to work the way I want? Or is there not really a good way to do it?
    – Johonn
    Jan 13, 2015 at 3:37
  • how about making the portal close after you enter? is the portal in the spawn chuncks or do you have a hopper chunckloader instaled in the area? Jan 13, 2015 at 10:19
  • No, it's not in spawn chunks, and I don't want a chunkloader because of my villager breeder - wouldn't want it to get out of hand...
    – Johonn
    Jan 13, 2015 at 13:47
  • yeah you might not want to build a village breeder near a mob spawner anyway. sounds like a bad idea. (you know that you can buld it so it will load just 1 chunk I beleve) just search a tutorial on the thing. Jan 14, 2015 at 10:15
  • Yeah I'll probably have to find a way to shut off the breeder - although it's really not working very quickly, which is a different problem... I don't think I'll do a chunkloader though, because it's a server and that would be unfair to the other players.
    – Johonn
    Jan 14, 2015 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


As you said it yourself, portals do take the vertical distance into account. This means you cannot make a sky portal higher than y~=192 if your ground portal is at sea level, as distance from Nether ceiling (your top portal) to sky portal must be less than from Neither ceiling to level of your ground entrance portal.


Sky    [@]                          192
             [@] Nether top         128
             [@] Nether bottom
Ground [@]                           64

But there is a solution!

By moving your ground entrance away horizontally, you can increase distances just enough to fix all the portals (after moving Nether portals to the ceiling, of course).

I have written this handy spreadsheet to easily calculate all distances for two pairs of portals (coordinates in frames are editable). By just moving ground portal from x=-3653 to x=-3623, thirty meters away, you can fix everything! Well, maybe a couple meters more to be sure :-) Again, note I've assumed your Nether portals to be at y=110 and 120, otherwise your Ground portal would have to be much farther.


Ok, I have had problems with this same subject. Sometimes the position of the first portal affects where the sister portal appears. For example, if the original portal is facing east to west and the sister portal is facing north to south you will have very different outcomes. Just keep in mind, one block in the nether is equal to eight blocks in the overworld. Also, if the portals are at different "Y" levels the outcome can greatly change. Try this from the wiki: https://minecraft.wiki/w/Nether_portal

  • I haven't found that different portal orientations affects the outcome much, aside from the direction you end up facing on the other side... As I said in the original post, I do understand portals quite well, I just didn't know that y levels were taken into account when linking to the closest portal in the overworld. I was hoping to have a quick way to get to the top of the tower by going through the nether, but sadly I'd have to climb a significant amount in the nether, which basically makes it not worth it.
    – Johonn
    Dec 13, 2015 at 6:04
  • Yea, sorry dude :(
    – user126825
    Dec 13, 2015 at 22:44

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