How to stop Zombie Pigmen from spawning in Minecraft?

Updated to 1.20

Zombie Pigmen (aka Zombified Piglins) can spawn very easily in the Nether, regardless of the light level of the area. There are usually three reasons why players want to stop them from spawning:

  • they want to have a mobs-free area in the Nether
  • they want the area around Nether Portals in the Overworld to be mobs-free
  • they don’t want Zombie Pigmen to block their railways in the Nether

Let’s see how to solve these problems!

how to stop zombie pigmen from spawning

How to stop Zombie Pigmen from spawning in the Nether

If you built a base or any kind of structure in the Nether, maybe you don’t want Zombie Pigmen to spawn in it or its surroundings. You could make the area only 1 block tall, but then you would only be able to move around there by crawling. It’s doable, but it probably isn’t what you want.

The best way to spawn proof an area in the Nether (where you can’t stop mobs spawning with Torches or other light sources) is to cover the entire floor with spawn proof blocks. Stairs are one of these blocks (as we covered in Can mobs spawn on Stairs in Minecraft?, where you can also see how to use them properly for this purpose).

Other blocks that you can use for spawn proofing an area in the Nether are:

Choose the one that you prefer and cover the entire area with it.

spawn proof nether
area covered with Quartz Slabs

How to stop Zombie Pigmen from spawning in the Overworld

zombie pigman

Zombie Pigmen don’t exactly spawn in the Overworld: they come out of the Nether Portals. This means that spawn proofing the area around the Portal will not help.

The only way to prevent Zombie Pigmen to come out of a Portal is to switch off the Portal completely. To do so, you have to pour a Bucket of Lava on it (related: How to have infinite Lava in Minecraft?).

Check out the video below if you want to see how to build a simple switchable Nether Portal, that you can switch on and off by simply pressing a Button.

How to stop Zombie Pigmen from spawning on railways in the Nether

It’s very common to build railways in the Nether to link your main Portal to Fortresses or other structures (that you built or found). If a Zombie Pigman happens to be on your railways, it will stop your Minecart when you use it.

Since the 1.9 patch in 2016, mobs no longer spawn on top of Rails blocks of any kind. This is definitely an improvement and it makes our lives easier. But mobs can still spawn near the railways and then walk on them. If you want your railways in the Nether to be mobs-free, you just need to have them 1-block wide, without blocks where mobs could spawn around them. So you can either:

  • build 1 block wide railways tunnels
spawn proof railways tunnel
  • build 1 block elevated railways
spawn proof elevated railways
  • spawn proof the floor around the railways
spawn proof railways wide tunnel

Another way for not having Zombie Pigmen spawn close to the railways and then walk on top of them is to place Glass blocks on top of the railways.

spawn proof railways with glass

You will still be able to move on a Minecart. For some reason, transparent blocks don’t obstruct the top block of a Minecart. In other words, you don’t bash your head on them if you are riding a Minecart.

If you are playing an older version of Minecraft (pre 1.9), your only way to solve the problem of Pigmen spawning on top of Rails blocks is to place Glass blocks on top of the railways.


To prevent Zombie Pigmen from spawning you can either spawn proof the area, switch off the Nether Portal, or put transparent blocks on top of railways, depending on your situation. Thank you very much for reading the article till the very end and I hope I’ll see you again around here. See you and take care!