Minecraft is perhaps one of the biggest and best survival games out there. Since launching in 2011, the Mojang title has had over a decade of improvements, spin-offs, and ever-popular SMP servers. In this time, adding mods to Minecraft has become the norm too, especially given that it's now easier to mod your Minecraft experience than ever before.
In this guide, we walk you through how to mod Minecraft and share the best mods to install.
Before You Install Any Mods...
Before installing any mods for Minecraft, there are a handful of tools you will need to actually make your mods work.
Previously, adding mods to Minecraft was a bit of a chore. Fortunately, we now have Curse Forge to do all the hard work for us. By installing the Curse Forge app, you can browse and install mods directly and have them enabled for your game automatically.
Not every mod is supported by Curse Forge, and some will need to be installed manually. This is where MultiMC can be handy. MultiMC is a mod manager for Minecraft that can help you keep track of what mods require updating and which mods aren't compatible with your version of Minecraft.
Fabric & Fabric API
To put it simply, a lot of Minecraft mods also require Fabric and Fabric API to work properly. Fabric's APIs help to keep things running smoothly and will aid your mods with working on various versions of the game, as well as snapshots, if that's what you're trying to do.
Mods For Gameplay & Interface
These Minecraft mods will help with generally improving how the game runs and how you navigate your new world.
Minecraft is just one of those games that doesn't optimise too well to the device you might be playing on. This is where Optifine steps in to help. The mod helps Minecraft run faster on your rig and can even double your FPS while running various texture packs and additional mods.
Just Enough Items (JEI)
The Just Enough Items mod replaces the older, Not Enough Items mod. This particular download will let you search for materials and the recipes that can be crafted with them. Ultimately, if you're a Minecraft veteran you may not need this, but for those still trying to learn various crafting recipes, this is a must-have.
Here's What You're Looking At (HWYLA)
Here's What You're Looking At replaces prior mod, What Am I Looking At. HWYLA is continually being updated, and shows you the name of whatever block your cursor is positioned on. This is particularly useful for helping you identify materials, especially if you have other mods installed that impact how everything looks.
Journeymap removes the need to carry around a piece of paper with you and inevitably lose it. The mod will map the world you're in as you explore and lets you mark various points of interest, such as mobs, villagers, and animals. This is extremely useful if you need to find food, resources, or simply avoid being attacked.
The Controlling mod adds the ability for you to optimise your keybinds to the max. The mod lets you search through all of your keybinds with ease using their name, will show any conflicts, and will let you rebind keys and fix any issues.
Mods For Automation
The following Minecraft mods help with automating tedious activities that can often take hours, and prevent you from manually crafting many common items.
The Caterpillar mod is a resourceful tool that will automate digging for you. Ultimately, it can be used to start mineshafts, and the tool can be used with attachments that automatically gather resources for you or place various blocks while it digs.
This mod adds a single block to Minecraft: the Crafting Automat. Essentially, you will place the materials for your recipe into the automat, and then apply a redstone pulse to craft the item. The process can then be repeated to automatically craft items rather than manually doing so.
The Progressive Automation mod is a very basic one that can have a big impact on your Minecraft experience. The mod adds low tech automation tools that can be used for common tasks, with the tools being upgradable as you make progress. Some examples include a tool that chops trees for you, one that plants and harvests crops, and even a killing machine that defends you from mobs and other threats.
Inventory Tweaks is a game-changer, but in a small way. The Minecraft mod will automatically replace any tools in your inventory that run out of durability. It also automatically refills stacks of various blocks, and a single click can automatically sort out your inventory and chests.
Rope Bridge Mod
When it comes to exploring biomes in Minecraft and getting around, navigating hilly terrains or trying to manually build bridges can be a pain. The Rope Bridge Mod removes this issue by automatically building bridges across large chasms solely using a grappling hook.
Mods For Graphics & Visuals
Minecraft is a game renowned for its blocks, and these mods attempt to transform how traditional Minecraft looks in one way or another.
This Minecraft mod is named Faithful because, well, it's completely faithful to vanilla Minecraft. All that the mod does is tweak the textures of blocks ever so slightly, changing blocks from a 16x16 to a 64x64 resolution.
The Default 3D mod doesn't change Minecraft too much, but it does make things look more interesting. The mod removes the flatness of items and blocks around your world and gives them 3D elements. Default 3D also consists of four different resource packs to choose from - Low, Medium, High, and Snapshot - so you can install a pack that is suited to your specs.
This Minecraft mod isn't hard to imagine. The Realistic Sky mod ups the visuals of your adventure by employing a hyper-realistic sky in the game. Clouds are no longer white blocks, but look just as fluffy as the ones you might see outside. It's not a major change, but it can make those Minecraft sunsets look even more picturesque.
The Modern HD mod is a resource pack that will update every block in Minecraft, as well as items, textures, mobs, and the game's font. As you can guess from its name, this pack makes everything look a lot more modern, so you can build that fancy penthouse you may have been dreaming of.
Technically, Dokucraft is not a singular mod, but a project full of mod packs that can entirely transform how Minecraft looks. The basic packs, such as Dokucraft High and Light, are modest texture packs that adorn blocks with embellisments and other fancy designs.
There are further Dokucraft mods, such as Dokucraft Dwarven which adds Dwarven embellisments to blocks, or DokuStash which transforms the textures of your items. If you want your Minecraft adventure to have a medieval touch, Dokucraft is for you.
Mods For Exploration & Expansion
Minecraft is all about exploration, and these mods add further layers to that by providing even more for you to explore, and new environments or blocks to play around with.
The Biomes O'Plenty mod makes the exploration aspect of Minecraft even more vast by adding 75 more biomes to the game. The biomes feature field of lavendar, coral reefs, and even wastelands to get lost in.
The Lotsomobs mod works similarly to Biomes O'Plenty, but adds up to 25 more mobs for you to face rather than biomes. Teamed up with those additional biomes, your Minecraft adventure suddenly becomes a whole lot bigger when there are narwhals and giraffes to find.
While Minecraft mainly features you on land, or underneath it mining away, the Galacticraft mod has you colonise a solar system instead. The mod lets you build your own moonbase and fight mobs on Mars, provided that you manage to make it off of Earth first!
The vanilla Minecraft portals can be a tad troublesome at times. The BetterPortals mod improves on Minecraft's original portals by letting you see exactly what world you might be stepping into before you even step into it. These portals also remove loading screens, and support flat or arbitrarily shaped portals too.
When it comes to technology in Minecraft, Minefactory Reloaded is one of the best mods to have installed. The mod removes anything mundane from Minecraft by adding various support blocks and machines that can automate labour-intensive tasks for you. Thus, saving you valuable time that could be spent exploring.
Mods For Fun & Creativity
Finally, Minecraft revolves around having fun and being creative, so we've suggested some mods that will help you with extravagant and unusual builds or adventures.
The Decocraft mod simply adds features that the most creative of players have always dreamed of... like chairs. The mod actually adds over 3000 different decorative items, many of which are functional, too. If you want your Minecraft builds to be as realistic as possible, use Decocraft to add lamps, books, and more.
If farming is your thing, the Pam's Harvestcraft mod allows you too live out your Minecraft adventure as a farmer of sorts. Think of if Minecraft met Stardew Valley. The mod adds over 1000 food items, including new crops, fish, and trees. The mod was specifically developed to encourage players to survive of something other than pork chops. Nice.
If you want to make your Minecraft experience feel that little bit creepier, the Silent Hill mod will be sure to add an eery touch to your biomes. This mod is a texture pack that gives the game further atmosphere and a horror touch by making the setting much moodier.
The Mine Wars mod is regularly being updated, and aims to transform your Minecraft experience into something George Lucas might be appreciative of. The mod creates a Minecraft Galaxy that attempts to be as close as possible to the Star Wars galaxy.
Super Mario Craft
Last but not least, have you considered getting your Super Mario fix while playing Minecraft? The Super Mario Craft mod allows for this by implementing textures and music that will make you feel like you've stepped right into the world of Mario, taking inspiration from nearly every mainline Mario game.
There you have it! Those are all the top mods you need to make the most of your experience of Minecraft, or simply to mess around with it. For more, check out more Minecraft games rumoured to be in development.