Everyone and their parents know about Minecraft, which remains one of the world’s most popular games today. A little newer, but still excellent, is Minecraft Dungeons, a game from Mojang Studios that takes place inside the expanding Minecraft universe. Instead of an open world with crafting and survival mechanics, Minecraft Dungeons is a classically-inspired, co-op focused ARPG with hordes of enemies, piles of loot, and tons of secrets to uncover.
Minecraft Dungeons has expanded rapidly since its initial launch with a ton of DLC expansions. Now we’re onto expansion number four with Flames of the Nether, which finally takes Minecraft Dungeons to the fiery dimension filled with new threats, new locations, and new adventures.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons.
When is the release date for the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons?
The Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons releases on Feb. 24, 2021 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, PCs, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch. There will also be a free update and free cosmetic items available to all players launching at the same time.
Minecraft Dungeons is also available through Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, but the Flames of the Nether DLC will not be included on those services. You’ll have to either purchase the expansion separately (pricing is still unknown) or pick up the Season Pass, which includes Howling Peaks, Flames of the Nether, and two more expansions that will go underwater and to the End.
Finally, Minecraft Dungeons is available through Xbox Cloud Gaming (Project xCloud), where it remains our top pick for Best Game on Xbox Cloud Gaming for its fantastic touch controls. The Flames of the Nether DLC will also be available there and only requires that you’ve purchased it or the Season Pass for Xbox consoles.
What is the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons?
Minecraft Dungeons is built on a solid foundation of fantastic and rewarding gameplay, but it was undeniably light on launch content. Fortunately, Mojang Studios and Double Eleven have been hard at work fixing this weakness with post-launch updates and expansions. Three expansions have already dropped for Minecraft Dungeons, including Jungle Awakens, Creeping Winter as part of Minecraft Dungeons: Hero Edition, and the Howling Peaks DLC, which is the first of four expansions included with the Minecraft Dungeons Season Pass.
Every expansion so far has also launched a free update, which has varied in importance and size with each DLC.
That brings us to the latest DLC: Flames of the Nether. Launching alongside the game’s largest free update yet, Flames of the Nether concludes months of speculation that began right after Minecraft Dungeons initially launched by bringing the ARPG to the Nether from Minecraft.
Rumors that Minecraft Dungeons would eventually come to the Nether began when players (including the Windows Central team) discovered a gently-hidden broken Nether Portal in the game’s Camp hub shortly after launch. The Nether Portal could only be accessed after beating the Arch-Illager for the first time but didn’t appear to have any other functions. Months later, our first official tease came during Minecraft Live.
What do I need to know about the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons?
Flames of the Nether is looking like one of the most significant and most ambitious expansions yet for Minecraft Dungeons. While we don’t know a ton of specifics, we can glean from announcements and official teasers that Flames of the Nether should be an exciting release for Minecraft Dungeons players. Almost more exciting, too, is the free update that drops alongside Flames of the Nether.
Levels and missions
Our first stop in our tour of the Flames of the Nether DLC is the locales. It’s already been confirmed that Mojang Studios will feature a staggering six new missions, which is considerably more than any previous expansion. It’s not certain precisely where those missions will be placed or how long they’ll be, but we can make some educated guesses.
Flames of the Nether takes place in the most recent version of the Nether introduced in the Nether Update, which means a ton more biomes for players to explore. In teaser images, we’ve already seen at least three biomes:
- Warped forests. These lively biomes are amongst the “safest” in the Nether and are filled with green-blue foliage and trees. Expect to find many ender men here if Minecraft Dungeons follows the rules set by Minecraft.
- Crimson forests. I expect crimson forests to be prevalent in Flames of the Nether. These locations are bright, aggressive, and filled with potential baddies like piglins and hoglins.
- Nether wastes. While this sounds like a fun name for a brand-new biome, this is the rebranded name for what the Nether used to be. Still, nether wastes will absolutely make an appearance in Flames of the Nether.
- Basalt deltas. Basalt deltas offer some of the most gorgeous vistas in all of the Nether in exchange for being covered in a thick blanket of ash, pools of lava, and hopping hoards of magma slime.
- Soulsand valleys. These are desolate fields of soul sand and soul soil. Beyond slowing you down and crippling your movement, they’re also filled with bones — both of the long-dead and the still-walking skeletons.
Beyond the biomes that have already been teased or revealed, there are still locations like bastion remnants (the home of vicious piglins), ruined portals (decrepit Nether portals filled with loot), and good ol’ Nether fortresses (home to wither skeletons, blaze, and more).
This gives Minecraft Dungeons plenty of ways to squeeze six full-sized missions from the Nether, complete with secrets and more. I expect Flames of the Nether to be one of the most visually stunning updates we’ve seen for Minecraft Dungeons so far.
Gear and items
As an ARPG, loot is the biggest draw of Minecraft Dungeons. The constant search for new, more powerful gear of all kinds of rarities by battling hordes of enemies draws players towards these kinds of games. Every expansion so far has added at least a handful of new loot to the expanding pool in Minecraft Dungeons, and Flames of the Nether will be no different.
We don’t have any specifics, but we can ascertain from teasers a ton of information. Just like with locations, the Nether provides tons of opportunities for Mojang Studios to introduce new gear. From flame-based enchantments and weapons, sturdy netherite gear and armor, and even new Unique gear, there’s a ton that can be done.
In teases so far, we’ve seen fiery swords, a massive stone sword, at least one new crossbow and bow, armor inspired by piglins, crimson forests, warped forests, and more. I expect at least two new weapons, ranged weapons, and armors, with Unique variants for at least half of them. However, with an increased number of missions and content, there can be even more.
Of course, there will also be new artifacts that give players special abilities. We don’t have any details on artifacts. Still, it stands to reason that there’s going to be at least one fire-based attack artifact (maybe a Ghast fireball?) and possibly other artifacts targeted towards support and defense-based characters.
Finally, we know that the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons will introduce all-new top-tier equipment with Gilded gear. It’s only obtainable from the endgame missions known as Ancient Hunts (more on those later), and it might be even more potent than Unique gear already is, providing another way for players to massively power-up their heroes.
Mobs and bosses
One of the most notable changes made in the Nether Update was the vast array of diverse mobs that exist in their fiery ecosystem. This gaggle of ghastly mobs (yes, and Ghasts) makes for the perfect enemies in the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons. While we can’t confirm every mob in the DLC, we can take a closer look at what’s already been shown off.
The mobs (and boss(es)?) we know about in the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons include:
- At least five piglin variants. In the Nether, the headlining mob is the piglin, a pseudo-civilization with mobs that have an unnerving fascination with gold and generally don’t like it when people touch their things. In teasers for Flames of the Nether, we’ve seen a basic piglin with a sword, an armored piglin, a piglin with a crossbow, and an ax-wielding piglin berserker. There’s also a mysterious purple-clad piglin that appears to be throwing something.
- Magma slime. These hoppy bois are very similar to the regular slime we’ve already seen in Minecraft Dungeons, but they’re also on fire.
- Wither skeletons. Wither skeletons are blackened skeletons with deadly swords that apply a “wither” effect upon hit. Whether or not the “wither” effect makes an appearance in Minecraft Dungeons is unknown, but I’d still expect these baddies to put up a deadly fight.
- Blaze. These are ranged enemies that rapid-fire blazing fireballs at their opponents while flying and are some of the more annoying mobs in Minecraft. Expect blaze to be just as fatal in Minecraft Dungeons and Flames of the Nether as in vanilla Minecraft.
- Ghast. Everyone’s favorite mob powered by cat noises, ghasts are ghost-like creatures that fire massive explosive fireballs. Ghasts could appear as stronger base mobs or could end up being a mini-boss with a health bar, like the ender man. I’d put my money on the latter.
Those are all the mobs we can safely identify in official teasers, but there are a few more things that could make an appearance. Will we see zombie piglins, regular skeletons, and ender men? Will hoglins, the aggressive pig-like creature that provides a food source in the Nether, take the place of cows, ocelots, polar bears, and goats as the neutral mob that can be killed for a chance at food? Unfortunately, we just don’t know right now.
That takes us to the subject of bosses. While the ghast is a likely candidate for a suitable mini-boss that breaks up levels and provides an additional challenge, what about the main boss? Without any further information, it would stand to reason that the brutal Wither will take up the mantle. The Wither is dangerous, has varied attack patterns, and, well, already exists.
However, the main teaser for Flames of the Nether may give us a sneak peek at what the real main boss could be. In the lower right-hand corner, we see something that looks like a combination between a mega-Ghast and a ghost-squid. Since key images for previous expansions also contained hints for the main boss, it stands to reason that this mysterious creature will represent the apex of the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons.
One of the biggest complaints levied against Minecraft Dungeons was the lack of meaningful endgame content. While the game was plenty fun, it quickly became repetitive as players burned through the limited amounts of content, hitting a max power level in less than 30 hours of playtime. Mojang Studios massively improved this situation with Apocalypse Plus mode, which added a further 20 difficulty levels and massively increased the power ceiling for characters. Despite this change, there were still weaknesses in Minecraft Dungeons’ endgame content.
Fortunately, the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons has a plan to fix this. It’s going to be adding procedurally-generated missions, which players have been pining for since launch. As part of the free update dropping alongside Flames of the Nether, Mojang Studios and Double Eleven are adding missions called Ancient Hunts. These missions are procedurally-generated, providing nearly endless content for players, and exist between the Overworld and the Nether.
Completing these intense and near-random missions will give players a chance at earning exclusive rewards for their efforts. Gilded gear represents the new top-tier of equipment over Unique gear and can only be obtained by clearing Ancient Hunts.
Furthermore, a new currency besides emeralds is being introduced with gold, which can also only be found by completing Ancient Hunts included in the free update. Gold can be turned around and spent at the brand-new piglin vendor, who joins other merchants in the Minecraft Dungeons camp like the Blacksmith vendor, Mystery Merchant vendor, and more. It’s not clear what precisely the piglin vendor will sell to players, but it’ll likely play into the new content added in Flames of the Nether and their fascination with gold.
Finally, Flames of the Nether promises to make more changes to how Apocalypse Plus mode works (also included in the free update), but we don’t have any details on these tweaks at this time. Hopefully, Mojang Studios will spill the beans soon.
We’ve gone over everything we know about the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons except for a handful of loose ends. Most updates for Minecraft Dungeons has included a handful of smaller changes or additions, like new cosmetics or skin options, and Flames of the Nether is no different.
The paid Flames of the Nether expansion will include two new skin choices for characters and a Baby Ghast cosmetic pet that joins the ranks of Baby Chicken, Arctic Fox, and Parrot.
On top of that, Minecraft Dungeons is celebrating 10 million players by dropping a free cape and Baby Pig cosmetic pet that’ll be available to everyone for free alongside the Flames of the Nether DLC.
Will there be a free update with the Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons?
The Flames of the Nether DLC for Minecraft Dungeons may come with a substantial free update, but the majority of content there will still need to be purchased. Mojang Studios hasn’t confirmed exact pricing information yet, but we can make some educated guesses about Flames of the Nether.
We know that Flames of the Nether is included in the Minecraft Dungeons Season Pass for $20, including Howling Peaks, Flames of the Nether, and the next two expansions for Minecraft Dungeons.
Flames of the Nether should also be available for purchase by itself, but we don’t have an exact price yet. Previous expansions cost exactly $6, but Flames of the Nether does appear to be much larger in scope and size than anything that came before it. Hopefully, it’ll continue the trend of only costing $6, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a small price increase here.
As always, anyone can access content from DLC expansions, including Flames of the Nether, by playing with a friend who has purchased it. If you play Minecraft Dungeons co-op with someone who owns the Season Pass, for example, you’ll be able to play all the levels and gain all the rewards by playing in their lobby.
Minecraft Dungeons is always better when played with a friend, but this is especially true when you’re venturing into the dangerous and wild Nether. Never miss a moment with one of the best headsets for Xbox Series X|S, which combines excellent in-game audio with superb built-in mics.