Soul sand is a block found naturally only in the Nether and ancient cities. Soul sand usually slows down the movement of mobs and players walking on it. It is also used for growing nether wart, for crafting soul-related blocks, for creating a bubble column, and for constructing a wither.
Soul sand is found below Y=34 in the nether wastes, generally in four-block-deep layers. It is also found naturally in nether wart rooms of nether fortresses.
Soul sand also generates in hoglin stables and housing unit bastion remnants.
Soul sand also generates in soul sand valleys as part of the surface terrain.
Soul sand can generate in the Nether in the form of blobs. Soul sand attempts to generate 12 times per chunk in blobs of size 0-23, from altitudes 0 to 31, in soul sand valleys. It can replace only netherrack.
Soul sand is also found in ancient cities, making it the only location to find soul sand in the Overworld.
Soul sand can be mined with any tool or by hand, but shovels are the quickest.
- ↑ Times are for unenchanted tools as wielded by players with no status effects, measured in seconds. For more information, see Breaking § Speed.
|Soul Sand||Bastion remnant||Hoglin stable chest||2–7||22.8%|
|Soul Sand||Bastion remnant||Hoglin stable chest||2–7||22.8%|
Piglins may barter 2–8 soul sand when given a gold ingot.
Movement on or just above soul sand is slowed down for any mob or player that is not wearing boots enchanted with Soul Speed by 50%, and standing on soul sand causes entities to sink 2 pixels into the block. A cover with solid blocks of any non-zero physical thickness prevents sinking, and any solid cover thicker than half a block eliminates the slowing effect, too.
The effect applies to sneaking, walking, sprinting, and crawling (but not gliding[needs testing]), and to both regular and sprint-swimming. It also applies to riding mounts. Traveling by boat is slowed down, too, although this requires water no more than 2/8 a block in depth for the boat to sit low enough to be affected. Furthermore, it does not matter whether the player or mob moves actively or is being moved, like by flowing water.
Most blocks that can be placed on full blocks can be placed on soul sand, with the notable exceptions of both types of fungi, both types of roots, and nether sprouts. In addition, a falling block that lands on soul sand turns into an item, which prevents gravel from replacing lava if soul sand is underneath.
A hopper underneath a soul sand block can collect items that are dropped on it.
Soul sand cannot be used in place of regular sand as a falling block because it is not affected by gravity.
Striders are slowed down by soul sand underneath a layer of lava.
|Soul Torch||Charcoal +
Growing nether wart
Soul sand is used for growing nether wart, a primary base ingredient for many varieties of potions. Nether warts can be placed on soul sand like seeds on farmland and over time they grow through four growth stages (placing the nether wart on soul sand grants the "A Seedy Place" advancement[Java Edition only]). Nether warts can grow in any dimension and do not have any light-level requirements. Nether warts can also be placed only in soul sand (and cannot even be placed in soul soil).
Four blocks of soul sand (or soul soil) are used in the construction of the wither. The four blocks are arranged in a "T"-like formation (similar to the summoning of an iron golem) and 3 wither skeleton skulls are placed in a row on top of the "T" to summon the wither.
Placing soul sand under source water blocks creates a lifting bubble column, which causes items, entities, players, and mobs inside the column to rise to the surface. The bubble column extends upward through any number of empty water source blocks (not waterlogged blocks).
A player can restore breath by entering a soul sand's bubble column.
Soul sand can be placed under note blocks to produce cowbell sounds.
Fire lit on soul sand becomes soul fire, which burns indefinitely.
Because soul sand is not as high as a full block, a player is set on fire if standing next to lava while on soul sand. Standing near water while on soul sand extinguishes the player.
|Sound||Subtitles||Source||Description||Resource location||Translation key||Volume||Pitch||Attenuation|
|Block broken||Blocks||Once the block has broken||1.0||0.8||16|
|Block placed||Blocks||When the block is placed||1.0||0.8||16|
|Block breaking||Blocks||While the block is in the process of being broken||0.1375||0.5||16|
|None[sound 1]||Entity-Dependent||Falling on the block with fall damage||None[sound 1]||0.5||0.75||16|
|Footsteps||Entity-Dependent||Walking on the block||0.15||1.0||16|
|Blocks||Once the block has broken||1.0||0.8-1.0|
|Blocks||When the block is placed||1.0||0.8-1.0|
|Blocks||While the block is in the process of being broken||0.21||0.5|
|Players||Falling on the block with fall damage||0.4||1.0|
|Players||Walking on the block||0.15||1.0|
|Players||Jumping from the block||0.12||1.0|
|Players||Falling on the block without fall damage||0.14||1.0|
|Name||Identifier||Form||Block tags||Item tags||Translation key|
|Soul Sand||Block & Item|
|Name||Identifier||Numeric ID||Form||Item ID[i 1]||Item tags (JE)||Translation key|
|Soul Sand||Block & Giveable Item[i 2]||Identical[i 3]|
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Actual requirements (if different)||Gamerscore earned||Trophy type (PS4)|
|The Beginning?||Spawn the Wither||Be within a 100.9×100.9×103.5 cuboid centered on the Wither when it is spawned.||20G||Bronze|
|Icon||Advancement||In-game description||Parent||Actual requirements (if different)||Resource location|
|Withering Heights||Summon the Wither||Spooky Scary Skeleton||—|
|Java Edition Alpha|
|October 8, 2010||Soul sand first appears on Notch's blog.|
|v1.2.0||preview||Added soul sand.|
|Soul sand generates in the newly added Nether dimension.|
|v1.2.0_01||Gravel now generates where soul sand should generate. Some soul sand can still generate.|
|v1.2.0_02||Soul sand now generates where some of the gravel would.|
|Java Edition Beta|
|1.6.6||The player can now get out of soul sand to another block while sneaking.|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9 Prerelease||Added nether warts, which can be grown on soul sand.|
|Beta 1.9 Prerelease 6||Shovels now mine soul sand faster.|
|1.4.2||12w36a||Wither skeleton skulls can now be placed on a formation of soul sand to create a wither.|
|12w38a||Soul sand now has new sounds when being walked on.|
|1.5||13w02a||In texture packs, soul sand now uses /textures/blocks/hellsand.png.|
|1.8||14w17a||Silverfish and endermites now take damage if they walk on soul sand.|
|14w32b||One-way doorways can no longer be made with soul sand.|
|1.13||17w47a||Prior to The Flattening, this block's numeral ID was 88.|
|18w07a||Soul sand now produces upward bubble columns when under water.|
|1.14||18w43a||The texture of soul sand has been changed.|
|18w46a||Soul sand has now lost the ability to support many blocks.|
|18w47b||Soul sand can now support many blocks they could not due to the above bug.|
|19w09a||Soul sand can now be used to play the cowbell, if they are under note blocks.|
|19w13a||Soul sand can no longer support such blocks.|
|19w14a||Soul sand and gravel now generate around lava sea level instead of between y level 60 and 65.|
|1.15||19w41a||Soul sand no longer has an increased slowing effect when placed above ice, packed ice, or slime blocks.|
|Pre-Release 2||Soul sand now suffocates mobs.|
|Pre-Release 3||Soul sand no longer suffocates mobs.|
|December 3, 2019||Maria Lemón confirms that fire set on soul sand does not become soul fire.|
|1.16||20w06a||Soul sand now generates in the soul sand valley biome.|
|New unique sounds have been added for soul sand.|
|20w07a||Soul sand now has a 10⁄109 (~9.17%) chance of being given by the new piglins when bartering, in a stack size of 1–4, making it renewable.|
|20w09a||Soul sand can no longer be obtained by bartering with piglins, making it no longer renewable.|
|20w10a||Soul sand now has a 40⁄411 (~9.74%) chance of being given by piglins when bartering, in a stack size of 4–16, making it renewable, once again.|
|20w11a||Soul sand can now support many blocks, once again.|
|20w12a||Fire lit on top of soul sand now becomes soul fire.|
|20w15a||Soul sand is now used to craft soul fire torches.|
|20w16a||Soul sand can now generate in bastion remnants or be found in its chests.|
|1.16.2||20w28a||Now sea pickles can be placed on soul sand.|
|Soul sand now has a 40⁄459 (~8.71%) chance of being given by piglins when bartering, in a stack size of 2–8.|
|1.19||Deep Dark Experimental Snapshot 1||Soul sand now generate as part of ancient city.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|v0.12.1||build 1||Added soul sand.|
|v0.16.0||build 4||Soul sand can now be used to spawn the wither.|
|1.5.0||beta 188.8.131.52||Soul sand now produces upward bubble columns when under water.|
|1.10.0||beta 184.108.40.206||The texture of soul sand has been changed.|
|1.13.0||beta 220.127.116.11||Soul sand can now be used to play the cowbell, if they are under note blocks.|
|1.16.0||beta 18.104.22.168||Soul sand now generates in the soul sand valley.|
|beta 22.214.171.124||Soul sand now has a 40⁄411 (~9.74%) chance of being given by piglins when bartering, in a stack size of 4–16, making it renewable.|
|Soul sand is now used to craft soul fire torches.|
|Soul sand can now generate in bastion remnants or be found in its chests.|
|Soul sand now generate as a blob in soul sand valley.|
|Soul sand now have their own unique sounds.|
|beta 126.96.36.199||Soul sand is now a full block. so it no longer sinks entities down into them slightly.|
|1.19.40||beta 188.8.131.52||Soul sand is no longer a full block. It sinks the entities down slightly again.|
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU1||CU1||1.0||Patch 1||1.0.1||Added soul sand.|
|TU19||CU7||1.12||Soul sand can now be used to build the wither.|
|TU69||1.76||Patch 38||Soul sand now produces upward bubble columns when under water.|
|PlayStation 4 Edition|
|1.90||The texture of soul sand has been changed.|
|New Nintendo 3DS Edition|
|0.1.0||Added soul sand.|
Issues relating to "Soul Sand" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.
- Soul sand has inner collision boxes every eighth of a block. However, these collision boxes have an effect only if entities are clipped into soul sand.
- If a water current is pushing the player diagonally against a wall and soul sand is the block adjacent to the player's head when the current ends, it causes the player to jump.
- Just like with other blocks of less than full height that can have (flowing) water above it, riding a boat on dry soul sand into an oncoming stream of flowing water leaves the boat itself on the sand while the player character is "carved" out of the boat by the water "blade".
- Before Village & Pillage, soul sand used to generate in iconic four-block-deep layers between y levels 60 and 65. It also occasionally generated on the floor of caverns and coasts of lava oceans below, only if it generated in the same column at Y=60 or above. Toward the end of Village & Pillage development, the generation range of soul sand was reduced so that it exists only below y level 34, close to the lava sea level. As a result, soul sand is much harder to find in Nethers that were generated in the 1.14 and 1.15 versions.
- Block of the Week: Soul Sand – Minecraft.net on November 24, 2016