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So here's what's going on.

I'm going to be calling my portal at home HP (Home portal) for short, and the portal that takes me back to the overworld NP (Nether portal)

Today I was testing out the HP I just built to see what part of the nether it would take me to, and it all checks out pretty good. When I stepped through the NP to take me back to the overworld it took me to the other side of the island I was building on instead of taking me back to HP. (I will call this other portal OP) I destroyed the OP and went back home to enter the HP again to see if it would happen again. Going through the NP back to the overworld, I was spawned in the exact same spot the OP was located in and it spawned the OP again. So truly I have two questions;

  • why is this happening?
  • how can I make the NP take me back to the HP instead of the OP?

Additional information that may or may not be of use:

  • I play bedrock on a PS5
  • no additional portals were ever build in the nether, only the one NP
  • HP is located in a room I made inside a mountain, a fair distance above what I'd call "ground level"
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  • 1
    I have a similar situation with a portal I built near an ocean temple. When I enter the Nether using my first portal everything works fine, but once I come back the portal in the overworld is generated in another position, and it's also in the middle of the sky, with a netherrack platform under it. Never figured out why this is happening.
    – pinckerman
    May 20 at 21:34
  • @pinckerman are you on bedrock too or Java? Asking to see if this happens on both platforms.
    – Ari
    May 21 at 15:05
  • Bedrock like you
    – pinckerman
    May 21 at 16:18

2 Answers 2

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+100

This was reported as a bug on Mojang Bugs page, and was labeled as "works as intended".

The description seems to match your case:

What I expected to happen was...:
I was expecting to get to the portal (in the overworld) that I created, after going back through the portal (in the nether).
What actually happened was...:
Instead, a new portal in the overworld was generated.

This is because portals are not actually linked. When you enter a portal, the game calculates where you should come out and checks for a nearby portal. If it does not find one, it will create a new one. This may not always be in the right location. If it can't create a portal, due to obstructions, it will create one somewhere else.

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  • This also seems to cover my case, as per one commenter: "if when you created the portal, the nether portal was created somewhat far from where it should, and this reads something like this: neither on open terrain so the game would create a floating portal exactly on the right coordinates."
    – pinckerman
    May 24 at 19:09
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    The wiki also seems to indicate this behavior too: minecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Nether_portal#Portal_creation
    – Timmy Jim
    May 24 at 19:55
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    @DialFrost more or less, your answer wasn't mentioning any source (before the latest edit), so I thought to add one
    – pinckerman
    May 24 at 23:42
  • Does this happen on java too?
    – Ari
    May 29 at 7:19
  • @Ari yes, as you can see lots of the duplicate bugs linked are tagged as Java edition
    – pinckerman
    May 29 at 17:36
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This frequently happens to a lot of people. Think of it like this:

You build a nether portal, you enter it

Nether portal spawns in nearest cave/opening

However, when the coordinates are calculated from nether portal back to overworld, it cannot find your orginal portal, and therefore makes a new one where the portal is supposed to be (based on portal nether coordinates).

Try building your overworld portal closer to where the nether portal kept spawning in. It should link up.

This answer does not contain how nether portals really work so as to keep it simple.

This issue has been addressed here:

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