Minecraft's foreboding underbelly has always been a treacherous place. Ever since its caverns got a hellish overhaul in the 1.16 update last year, delving into The Nether's fiery pits is more perilous than ever before. This overhaul shocked players when it first released, its vibe was unlike anything else in Minecraft's universe. Its broody biomes, ashy air, rugged rocks, and bubbling lava pools were literally a world away from the builder's blue skies and green pastures. Not exactly the place for a jolly ol' jaunt.
I'm very into The Nether's malevolent look, but after meeting my demise there more times than I can count, I think it's time to declaw this beast. Minecraft texture packs (opens in new tab) can completely transform the game's blocky look into pretty much any style you want. There are hundreds of fan-made packs available online, from hyper-realistic to super cartoony, so if you want to make-over Minecraft with a certain aesthetic, there's almost definitely a texture pack for it.
After having a browse through Planet Minecraft (opens in new tab), I find the perfect texture packs to give The Nether a make-over. What better way to brighten those dark, ominous pits than with some glitter and sparkles?
There are hundreds of cute, pink, and pastel-themed packs but I settle for two. The first is aricrossingww's Minecraft but make it cute✿ pack, which is a bundle of their own textures plus some others from the community, and the second is Kawaii World! by mariicx. Both packs are overwhelmingly adorable and, put together, their ability to radiate cuteness is extremely powerful—more than enough to counter the sinister energy of The Nether.
With both packs downloaded and ready to go, I boot into Minecraft's overworld. Nothing seems overly out of the ordinary—a few of the surrounding trees had a pinkish hue—until I spot my oak house, which has is now bright pink. Looking in my inventory, my armour and tools are also bright pink, and my diamond sword looks like it's made out of rose quartz.
My magical girl transformation complete, I explore my house. Most appliances now have cute chibi faces on them, all the chests look like cookie monster's head, my bed has strawberry print sheets, and of course, everything is bright pink. The paintings on the wall are now a mish-mash of Sailor Moon, Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty, and Nyan Cat. Nothing escapes the kawaii take-over—even the roaming cows, horses, and squids have huge anime eyes.
After gathering some supplies and stepping through the Nether portal, I'm dropped into one of the Nether's biomes, all now transformed into pastel pink wonderlands. I appear right in the middle of a Crimson Forest, or maybe Cotton Candy forest is more accurate. Instead of blood-red foliage, trees now have baby pink leaves and the ground is powdered with white sugar and multi-colored sprinkles.
Candy canes and lollipops sprout from the ground and The Nether's lava has been replaced with hot chocolate, which can still burn you to a crisp so no change there. The Nether always had an alien-like appearance, and even with these new vibrant colours it weirdly doesn't lose that. Everything is very cute, but it still sits in a hazy fog and continues to be a desolate place. There's something uneasy about this new Nether, like its pleasantness is trying to make me feel at ease before devouring me.
The Nether's residents have also gotten a make-over. The Piglins now sport rainbow trousers, pop-tart armour, and, of course, have a huge pair of adorable eyes to complete the look. Hoglins and Striders have only minor adjustments—yet again receiving the same treatment in the eye department. I was excited to see what changes had been made to the Endermen, Minecraft's most deadly mob, but not even multiple super cute texture packs could save them—the only change is a hint of purple on their bodies.
One Nether resident who actually looks more sinister with the added texture packs is the Ghast, the square-shaped flying jellyfish. Ghasts have relatively minimalistic facial features, but the texture pack gives them a sort of cutesy puppy look, which, when they're looming threateningly over you, looks terrifying.
I think the makeover of the Nether was a huge success. It's actually a testament to its design that Minecraft's brooding underworld can still have a sinister vibe even through a sparkly pink overcoat. Both aricrossingww's Minecraft but make it cute✿ (opens in new tab) pack and mariicx's Kawaii World! (opens in new tab) pack can be downloaded from Planet Minecraft (opens in new tab), and if you're up for decorating your Minecraft world, check out our best Minecraft texture packs (opens in new tab) guide.