Minecraft Pi Edition — How to use the Nether Reactor Core!

Before the release of the Nether in Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.12.0, another way existed to get a taste of the Nether experience: the Nether Reactor Core. Minecraft Pi Edition unfortunately never saw any updates past 0.1.1 based on Minecraft PE 0.6.1, meaning it did not get the full Nether. Minecraft Pi Edition is a very locked down version of Minecraft optimised for a single board computer which at the time had 512MB RAM and an ARMv6 chip. It is so locked down to the point where one cannot even fire a bow and arrow, mobs do not spawn, and worlds can only be created in creative mode.

While Minecraft Pi Edition includes all the blocks needed to build a Nether Reactor structure in the creative mode inventory, to activate the Nether Reactor Core the player must be in survival mode. Minecraft Pi Edition in the code itself includes limited survival mode functionality. In Minecraft Pi Edition, this includes nighttime and the ability to activate the NRC. So kind of like a creative/survival combination. This limited survival experience does not include health points, ability to use crafting tables/furnaces/chests and still allows access to unlimited item supplies.

Change gamemode

First of all, you’ll need a Hex Editor. GHex is one such editor. Just run sudo apt install ghex in the terminal to install it.

Secondly, open Minecraft Pi through your Raspberry Pi’s application menu and create a new world, then exit and close the game. Now open up a file manager and navigate to /home/<USER>/.minecraft/games/com.mojang/minecraftWorlds and then open the folder of the world you just created.

Now, right click on the level.dat file and click open with other application, then select GHex. Find the string “GameType” and click on the first dot following the string. In the Hex panel it should say you have selected 01. Overwrite it with 00.

Before
Before
After

Now press CTRL + S to save and close GHex.

Build the Nether Reactor structure

Now it’s time to build the structure. Launch up Minecraft Pi and load your world. You’ll notice it says survival instead of creative.

Despite this, you are actually still in creative mode with access to unlimited items and no health bar etc. Find a nice spot and build your structure. If you do not know how to build the structure, here are some pictures that demonstrate.

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Once you’re done, get the iron sword in your hotbar and right click on the Nether Reactor Core. You should find yourself in a room full of Netherrack, and soon after Zombie Pigmen will spawn. They will act hostile towards you but won’t do any damage, but you can’t hit them back. After a minute or two, holes will appear in the room allowing you out, and it may have turned to night outside.

The Zombie Pigmen will act hostile to you but are unable to hurt you, but you are also unable to hit them.
The Netherrack building formed by the Nether Reactor Core. It becomes “nighttime” after you’ve activated the Nether Reactor Core but if the Pigmen wander outside the building, they will still burn.

I hope this post was helpful in unlocking the Nether Reactor experience in Minecraft Pi Edition. I will be doing more Minecraft Pi-related posts in the future.

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