I am making/placing portals in the nether every 125 blocks so I have a checkpoint of portals every 1000 blocks in the overworld.

The Y axis of my portal are is at 120, like in the screenshot below.Picture of my portal in the nether

Now, when I entered that portal, it spawned me inside of the cave. (the screenshot shows no portal on it since I removed it, but the obsidian is the original location of the spawned portal) Spawn area of the exit portal

I decided to dig straight up and try to look for a reason why I spawned in the cave and I'm just seeing an area that is perfectly fine for a portal to spawn in.

The surface above the portal I spawned in

My question is why did the game decided to spawn a portal in a cave? Are there some checks that the game does? All I know is if it has a space for it, it goes there.

If it matters, the game version I'm running on is 1.14.4.

2 Answers 2


Nether portals prefer generating on the same height as in the other dimension. So if you create your portal below y=64 in the Nether, it is likely to be generated in a cave in the Overworld.

The closest valid position in 3D distance is always picked.

Minecraft wiki (archive)

  • 1
    But my entry portal is at Y120, the exit portal location doesn't make sense at all of that's the case.
    – Convert
    Sep 14, 2019 at 15:34
  • Oh yes, you even wrote that in the question. Then I don't know. This might be a bug. Sep 14, 2019 at 15:37
  • The wiki (the one you linked, thank you) says the game looks for a 3x4 space to make a valid spawn. Both the cave and the top satisfy this. Maybe the game just lazily checked the area and probably this is a bug. Thank you for your answer, regardless.
    – Convert
    Sep 14, 2019 at 15:42
  • It's a bit more complicated, but a 1×4 area of completely flat ground with nothing on it definitely is a valid portal spawn location. Sep 14, 2019 at 16:28

Usually, when you create a portal in the Nether, it will compare where you made the portal in the Nether (using the 8-block distance trick everyone knows and loves), and place it in the Overworld. Usually, it will start at Y=0, then keep repeating and checking until it reaches a place that has enough space (kind of like how the game loads the player when you load into a world). This is usually why people load on the surface, because there's almost always a definite chance that there is enough space (because (duh) it's the surface).

Although I'm no coding master, this has been my experience for years. Hopefully, this answers your question.

  • One thing I would recommend though is to checkmark which option helped you the most...
    – Tiimzee
    May 23, 2023 at 18:16

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