How to Make Obsidian in Minecraft using Lava and Water

As an experienced Minecraft player and self-proclaimed obsidian fanatic, I‘ve developed efficient techniques for obtaining this rare and valuable material. With the right approach, you can acquire stacks of obsidian for all your building and crafting needs!

In this comprehensive 4-part guide, I‘ll teach you expert methods for:

  1. Gathering the necessary tools and materials
  2. Transforming lava pools into fresh obsidian
  3. Constructing renewable obsidian generators
  4. Storing and utilizing your obsidian yields

Let‘s get started!

An Introduction to Obsidian

Obsidian is a dark purple volcanic glass formed when lava source blocks make contact with water source blocks. This reaction produces the obsidian blocks we know and love.

With a blast resistance of 6,000 (3x higher than iron blocks), obsidian is extremely explosion-proof. Its durable nature makes obsidian a popular choice for structures exposed to potential griefing like blast chambers.

Fun fact: On average, large buildings require between 64-192 obsidian blocks for blast protection.

Obsidian also has key uses in crafting beacons, enchantment tables, ender chests, and nether portals – items essential for progressing in survival Minecraft.

However, obsidian does NOT generate naturally in abundance. The rarity is what makes obsidian so coveted. Typically, you‘ll find 1-4 block clusters in the Overworld near lava pools or underground ravines. With such limited deposits, manufacturing your own obsidian is the best approach for acquiring this precious substance at scale.

And that‘s where this comprehensive guide comes in! Let‘s get into the details…

Step 1 – Gathering Materials and Tools

Before starting any major Minecraft farm or generator build, we need to ensure we have all required materials on hand.

Here‘s what you‘ll need in your inventory before beginning obsidian production:

  • Iron or Diamond Pickaxe – For mining finished obsidian blocks. I recommend diamond with Efficiency V to speed up the harvesting process. Never silk touch obsidian!
  • Empty Buckets (6-10) – Bring extra buckets to transport lava and water.
  • Water Source Block – Place an infinite water spring adjacent to your worksite.
  • Lava Pool – Locate nearest surface lava for conversion. A large pool with 100+ blocks is ideal.
  • Fire Resistance Potions (optional) – Provides immunity to lava damage.
  • Additional Recommended Gear
    • Diamond boots with Fire Protection IV
    • Golden apples
    • Stack of cobblestone to pillar
    • Chest to safely store valuables
  • Patience! Mining obsidian is notoriously slow, even with a diamond pickaxe. Expect each block to take 4+ seconds.

With our base equipment set, it‘s time to start generating some sweet obsidian!

Step 2 – Creating Obsidian from Lava Pools

Now that you‘ve geared up, it‘s time for the fun part – transforming vibrant lava pools into stacks of precious obsidian.

When water meets lava, magic happens! Follow these steps closely for maximum obsidian yields:

Set up:

  1. Locate surface lava pool
    • Navigator to nearest lava pool in the Overworld
    • Ideally > 100 source blocks
  2. Construct an infinite water source
    • Place two water bucket source blocks adjacent to pool
  3. Prepare scaffolding (optional)
    • Build temporary cobble towers to safely access lava
  4. Equip diamond pickaxe + fire resistance potion
    • Have pickaxe ready in hand slot

Obsidian Conversion Process:

  1. Transport 1-2 water buckets up scaffolding
  2. Pour water buckets over edges of lava pool
    • Flowing water will convert source lava blocks below into obsidian
  3. Carefully mine newly created obsidian blocks
    • Requires diamond or iron pickaxe
    • Take care not to fall into any remaining lava!
  4. Refill empty water buckets as needed at infinite water source
  5. Repeat water placement & obsidian mining cycle
    • Continue steadily converting entire lava pool

Pro Tip: For maximum efficiency, use multiple water placement points around edges of pool

Follow proper safety precautions, and this process will provide you with stacks of easy obsidian! Time to put it all to good use.

Step 3 – Building Renewable Obsidian Generators

Manually converting lava pools can be time-consuming. For large-scale obsidian production, constructing an automatic obsidian farm is the way to go!

Powered by redstone technology, these farms generate endless obsidian. I‘ll outline 2 designs – with and without game rule tweaks.

Gamerule Change Design

This farm alters the lava spread rule to create renewable lava source blocks.

Here‘s an overview of the setup:

Resources Needed:

  • 2 Lava Buckets
  • 1 Water Bucket
  • Redstone Components
    • Lever
    • Redstone Dust
    • Repeaters
    • Blocks like stairs


  1. Change gamerule with command:
    • /gamerule lava_source_conversion true
  2. Construct 1-wide staircase frame (about 10 blocks high)
  3. Place lava source block waterfall flowing from top
  4. Pour water source over lava flow 1 block down
  5. Power with lever to dispense lava
  6. Harvest obsidian at collection point below
[Schematic here]

With this generator running, you can collect a stack of obsidian in just 10-15 minutes – provided you have enough storage and mining speed. It automates the hard work, allowing you to steadily accumulate obsidian over time even while away doing other tasks!

Downsides are having to tweak the gamerule and lower rates compared to pool method (~15 blocks/minute vs ~40 blocks/minute). But the hands-off automation is worth the tradeoff!

Let‘s check out an alternative approach…

Cauldron + Dripstone Design

For pure vanilla survival servers, modifying game rules like lava spread will not work. So what‘s the solution? Cauldrons and pointed dripstone!

Follow this arrangement:

Resources Needed:

  • 1 Lava Bucket
  • 1 Water Bucket
  • 1 Cauldron
  • 1 Pointed Dripstone Block
  • Hopper Minecarts + Chests (for collection)


  1. Place cauldron above pointed dripstone
  2. Fill cauldron with lava bucket
  3. Dripstone will continually refill source lava block
  4. Transport lava to flow into water
  5. Collect obsidian where lava meets water
[Schematic here]

The renewable lava source flows slowly – around 1 block every 45 seconds. But stacking multiples cauldrons compounds your supply, producing over a stack per hour. Fully AFK!

Tradeoffs are the slower speed and difficulty scaling up the size. But for vanilla servers, this simple build gets the job done!

Now let‘s prep storage for mass obsidian yields…

Step 4 – Storing and Using Your Obsidian Treasury

After all that hard work sourcing and producing obsidian blocks, it‘s finally time to reap the rewards! This rare material has unlimited building applications – let‘s put it to good use.

First priority is safely storing your obsidian abundance for future projects.

Storage Tips:

  • Sort into shulker boxes – 1 shulker carries 27 stacks!
  • Construct organized obsidian room lined with chests
  • Link storage with ender chest for remote accessibility

Now let‘s have some fun constructing with these durable dark bricks!

Building Ideas:

  • Obsidian megabases!
  • Blast-proof bunkers
  • Impenetrable obsidian cubes

For optimal utility, also craft essential items which require obsidian:

Obsidian Crafting Recipes:

Item Obsidian Required Use
Nether Portal 14 blocks Fast transport
Enchantment Table 4 blocks Powerful enchants
Ender Chest 8 blocks Remote storage
Beacon 5 blocks + glass + metals Potent buffs

Let your imagination run wild! An abundant obsidian supply means unlimited potential.

In Summary

With the techniques outlined in this guide, you are now an obsidian expert – sourcing AND producing at scale.

Lava + water = pure awesomeness. Our 4-step masterplan:

  1. Gear up with essential tools
  2. Transform bountiful lava pools
  3. Construct automated obsidian generators
  4. Store and craft to your heart‘s content!

You‘re fully prepared to make obsidian a centerpiece of your Minecraft builds. The power is in your hands!

Now get out there, have fun, and show the world what obsidian can do. Just be sure not to fall in any lava in the process!