With the release of Minecraft 1.3.1, there now a small chance that a zombie pigman will spawn next to a nether portal in the overworld. This has already happened to me twice in the space of a few hours.

Is there any way to prevent this from happening?

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    I kinda like those guys coming over. Invited one in for tea and cookies, he had a look around our entire house while occasionally grunting at the furniture. Nice fellow.
    – Hex
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 15:48
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    Just be creative. Here's one of many possible solutions ~ i.imgur.com/DdxAW4L.png
    – arkon
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 19:39

5 Answers 5


So far the only way to prevent pigmen from spawning is to turn off your Nether portal. You can do that by dumping water on the inside of the portal frame using a bucket or dispenser with a full bucket inside. Lighting the portal doesn't stop the pigmen from spawning, because I have a very well lit portal and one still spawned nearby. According to this answer, zombie pigmen spawn inside the portal so you can't put a transparent block to prevent spawning either.

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    I finally witnessed one spawn last night and I can confirm that they do spawn inside the portal frame just like a player would, not "near" the portal as the wiki says.
    – Chris Nava
    Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 13:43
  • Yes, they're not spawing in the portal frame, guys. They're using the portal and teleporting from the Nether to the Overworld, which mobs can do. Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 23:23
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    @Wyatt That is incorrect. The Nether chunks aren't loaded into memory when the player is in the overworld, so nothing "happens" there. zombie pigmen therefore can't "use" the portal, because the game isn't running any zombie pigmen. It just occasionally spawns one in the frame. Of course, "using" the portal is the story, but it's not what actually happens. Try fencing off the Nether side: zombie pigmen will still spawn. Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 4:24
  • @WyattSpycher As SevenSideDie said, that's false. Looking at the source code proves as much. When the overworld chunk containing the portal is loaded and the portal block receives a tick, it rolls against a random value to determine if a pigman should spawn. That's all. (Even traditional checks like light aren't consulted.) Then it checks for headroom and solid footing. When successful, it will spawn the pigman with its feet inside the frame.
    – arkon
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 20:02
  • Both things are correct. When the Nether chunk on the other side hasn't been loaded yet, the pigmen can only spawn inside the portal frame in the Overworld. But if a pigman moves outside of the portal frame and back inside, it gets teleported to the Nether like any other entity. Any entity getting teleported then causes the chunk on the other side to get loaded for 15 seconds. So any entity that was already in that chunk of the Nether, or gets loaded in that 15 seconds, has up to 15 seconds to use the portal to the Overworld.
    – ATL
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 0:47

Surround portal with a fence, so they can't get far once they spawn.

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    A lava moat (with a user-controllable drawbridge) could work too.
    – Wikwocket
    Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 5:35

Well i just built a portal on a nice closed room with a cave over it, and the pigman spawned on the cave above.

I imagine that's because the cave was the closest valid position for the game to place a pigman in.

  • This answer is false. The pigmen spawn inside the portal frame, no exceptions.
    – arkon
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 20:05

What I did was set a kind of trap, I put a 1 block wide 2 blocks long trench directly in front of the portal that was about 5 blocks deep so that if they step off the portal they fall.

Next I placed signs inside the trench on the bottom of the portal (the signs will make the zombies think there is a block there they can stand on so they will walk off and without them the zombies will just stand on the portal frame crowding it to prevent falling which over time can cause issues since they dont go away on there own).

In the bottom of the trench I started digging a 4 block long 2 block wide hallway away from the portal going straight (so if you came out of the portal and fell down the trench the hallway would be directly in front of you). At the end of the hall I put a sign on the stone at the bottom left and right side (it was tone for me but could be any block really and I will explain why I did this later).

Next under the signs I dug a hole at least 3 blocks deep (so they cant jump out) and put lava in the bottom of the hole. After that I turned around going back to the spot they would have landed at and on the wall going in the same direction as the portal (so the wall I am looking at would be behind them if they fell off the portal).

I then removed the left and right blocks that were 1 block away from the ground putting 2 fence gates in there place. Next I removed the bottom left/right blocks under the fences and placed water there (I put 2 water sources 1 on each side but you probably only need 1). After that I took out the blocks above both water sources and the ones above those as well making a step up out of the water behind the gates.

Next I continued mining in that direction behind the fences to make another small hallway with a way back up to the portal room (so if I fall into my own trap I can get out easy). After that was finished I placed 2 pressure plates on the floor behind the gates so that after I fall then go through the gates I step on them and they will close the gates for me (optional).

In the end it made it so when you fall down the hole next to the portal the water will try to push you into a lava pit (the signs that were placed should stop the water at the block just before the lava pit and make the zombies think they have a place to stand so they wont try to swim forever). The fence gate will prevent any zombies from going up the back way while giving players a chance to get out if they ever fall down there but if you didn't use pressure plates like I did make sure you close the gates after you use them.

This is the best easy way I have found to keep your base pigman free.

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    Yep. That sure is a 5 times 7 inch solid block of text. You might want to break it down to smaller pieces, just for readability.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 7:11
  • I dont see how that would help at all. I can not really shorten it since its step by step instructions and I tried to make them detailed to prevent others from making mistakes. I could post a video tutorial but there is not any screen recording software on this pc and cant install anything on it. Numbering the steps out would be pointless and only make the post look bigger/longer. The only reason I can see that someone wouldn't be able to read it would be laziness and if they are to lazy to read it they obviously don't want/need help that bad. Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 7:42
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    DJ pirtu means that your chunk of text, as it is, is not encouraging to read. It absolutely needs more space : paragraphs, end of lines, etc... Check the site's help to see how to do so, and space that chunk of yours before a mod do. Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 8:06
  • Thank you for taking the time to break this into paragraphs. I guess I should have mentioned that you need two line breaks in the markdown to create the paragraph in the resulting text. Thankfuly the single linebreak can still be seen in the editor so they could be doubled with minimal effort.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 9:33

from what i've seen, you can place glass / transparent blocks around a portal to stop it spawning there. If the rumours are true, and they actually spawn WITHIN the portal frame, the only other way i know to stop it is to turn off your nether portal. You can place a block within it and the purple bit should be disturbed, (idk if that has been changed) or you can place water on it.

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