Light is pretty important. It provides plants with the means of photosynthesis from which the energy to feed the entirety of any ecological system is derived. It is the single, naturally occurring means of catalyzing vitamin D from cholesterol on our skin. It helps us navigate our world, illuminating obstacles and dangers in our environment that might do us harm and let us live to see the light of another day.
But, most importantly, it prevents hostile mobs from spawning in Minecraft.
Yeah, light is pretty important, and with the new Nether Update, apart from just Soul Soil and Soul Speed, we got a new source of it in Minecraft with Soul Fire, Soul Torches, and Soul Lanterns. Yup. The Nether Update is nothing but soul.
What is Soul Fire?
Soul fire is a variant of fire that emerges when setting the new Soul Soil blocks alight. Aside from looking awesome, one of the interesting features of Soul Fire is that, like a regular fire atop a netherrack block, it never goes out. Indeed, Soul Fire is like a creepy Olympic flame and even has a few other functional uses we’ll get into with Soul Torches and Soul Lanterns.
What are Soul Torches?
Soul Torches are simply a variant of traditional torches in the same way Soul Fire is of normal fire. They emit the same signature blue flames, but — and this is important — they provide slightly less light than a normal torch at around 12 compared to a regular torch’s 14.
Soul Torch Recipe
The Soul Torch Recipe is pretty much a no-brainer. You need only the usual torch ingredients plus some soul soil or soul sand.
- Soul Soil or Soul Sand
- Charcoal or Coal
What are Soul Lanterns?
Soul Lanterns are to normal Lanterns what Soul Fire and Soul Torches are to their warmer-colored counterparts. One thing to note is that the reduction in luminosity from a normal lantern to a Soul Lantern is much more significant than that of the other two, with Soul Lanterns dropping down to a light level of 10 as opposed to a normal lantern’s 15. Otherwise, they operate and behave exactly the same as a normal lantern.
Soul Lantern Recipe
Soul Lanterns are, as expected, crafted the way one would craft a normal lantern but in place of a torch at the center is a humble Soul Torch. This means crafting yourself a Soul Lantern will set you back a single Soul Torch and 8 iron ingots. Open up the crafting grid, plop a soul torch in the middle, surround it with iron ingots, and Voilah! You have a creepy and comparatively dim Soul Lantern.
Okay… but seriously, how are any of these useful?
At first glance, it might be hard to argue for the utility of a series of new lighting implements that are simultaneously dimmer yet more expensive than their traditional counterparts. But, the thing is, all of the Soul Fire-powered instruments (including Soul Fire itself) have two key differences that really make them shine:
Soul Fire scares away Piglins
Yes! Soul Fire, along with Soul Torches and Soul Lanterns send the piglins scattering like the big bad wolf just showed up with an apron and a pig-sized cookpot. Any of the Soul Fire instruments will keep them at a distance of at least seven blocks, making it useful for crowd-control and even, in case you accidentally aggroed a few too many piglins, a way to cover your retreat.
Soul Fire doesn’t melt ice or snow.
This is probably the more universally useful aspect of Soul Torches and Soul Lanterns. Unlike anything having to do with normal fire, they do not melt snow or ice blocks in their vicinity. Thus, anyone looking to illuminate an igloo base or other construction made of ice or snow can safely brighten the place up with a few creepy soul torches. Plus, Soul Soil blocks never go out! Making them excellent ever-burning light sources. That said, they are just as capable as spreading fire to other flammable material so keep planks and anything else vulnerable to combustion away.
And that’s it! That’s all there is to it when it comes to crafting and using the new Soul Fire lighting equipment. There’s some neat stuff you can do besides humbling those gold-flaunting Piglins.