The best Minecraft mods

Minecraft mods

What are the best Minecraft mods? It's a question that's been asked for generations, since a young Plato attempted to tweak his game at the knee of Socrates. Or something. And having been steadily flowing out since the first public release, there are a whole heap to choose from. That's where we come in.

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The following list compiles some of the best Minecraft mods out there right now. They're divided up into sections, depending on what you want to do with the game - from simple changes to deep, intricate mods that you can get lost in for months.

How do I install Minecraft mods?

Every mod on this list comes with its own installation instructions that you should follow closely, and you'll likely also need to downgrade your Minecraft version for many of them - in most cases, version 1.7.10 works best. To help with that, you can try MultiMC - a useful bit of software that lets you manage multiple Minecraft installs.

Alternatively, if faffing around in obscure folders isn't really your cup of tea, then grab a modpack instead - which comes with everything preinstalled and preconfigured. We recommend either Feed The Beast's Direwolf20 1.7.10 pack (which comes with a YouTube series that'll teach you how to use many of the included mods), the Tekkit Pack, or making your own modpack with Curse Voice. If you have trouble with any of them, Google is probably a good bet.

Shall we dig in?

Minecraft interface mods

When you've got lots of mods installed, Minecraft's default UI just doesn't cut it anymore. The following downloads make playing modded Minecraft a more pleasant experience.

Optifine / Fastcraft

optifine minecraft mod

Got a beefy computer? Make Minecraft look incredible with Optifine, which adds support for HD textures, and much more control over graphical options. Alternatively, if you're playing on a potato, grab Fastcraft - it significantly improves performance on lower-end machines, particularly with lots of mods installed.

Journeymap

journeymap best minecraft mods

Everyone likes to know where they're going. Journeymap maps your world as you explore, lets you mark waypoints of interest, and can even warn when mobs are sneaking up behind you. View the resulting map in-game as a minimap or in full screen, or even in an external web browser.

Not Enough Items

minecraft mod not enough items

If alt-tabbing to a wiki all the time is a pain, Not Enough Items (or NEI) is the antidote to that pain. It lets you look up the recipe for any item from any installed mod through a nifty interface on Minecraft's inventory screen.

WAILA

waila minecraft mod

WAILA stands for "What Am I Looking At", and it's a godsend when you've got loads of mods installed. Simply point your crosshair at a block, and it'll tell you what it is and which mod it comes from. With newer mods, it can also tell you about the state of that block - how full a tank of water is, for example, or the charge level on a battery. You'll need NEI to run it.

Inventory Tweaks

inventory tweaks

Install Inventory Tweaks and you'll soon wonder how you lived without it. Tools that run out of durability are automatically replaced in your hotbar, stacks of blocks are automatically refilled, and a simple middle-click will sort your chests and inventory. It's also endlessly customisable. 

Creative Minecraft mods

For many people, crafting awe-inspiring structures is what Minecraft is all about. The following mods will dramatically expand your creative options, from new types of wood to proper furniture.

Chisel 2

chisel 2

Minecraft only has one cobblestone texture. Chisel has 24. In fact, it adds alternative textures to a huge number of the game's default blocks as well as blocks that come with other mods in this list - letting you create any decor you desire in your in-game constructions.

Carpenter's Blocks

carpenters block

Cubes are great and all, but occasionally you want a slope. Carpenter's blocks delivers those slopes, alongside beds, buttons, doors, flowerpots, torches and more that can be customised with the texture of any other block. Ever wanted a netherrack ladder? This is the mod that'll do it.

Decocraft

decocraft

If you'd like a bit more variety when it comes to decorating your world, Decocraft is the mod for you. It adds craftable chairs, tables, bowls, bottles, lamps, stuffed toys, beer kegs and even a kitchen sink. The full list is almost endless, so dive in to the Wiki to see the full range of options.

Bibliocraft

minecraft mods bibliocraft

Bibliocraft also offers a bunch of aesthetically-pleasing blocks, but these ones come with their own functionality. Display cases and shelves let you show off your trophies, while a printing press lets you copy in-game books. It even adds a monocle, for the distinguished gentlemen amongst you.

Pam's HarvestCraft

pam's harvestcraft minecraft mod

Bring some serious variation to your Minecraft diet with this produce-laden mod that adds over 1,100 new foods and items, including 60 crops, 17 types of fish, tofu for vegetarian and vegan dishes, and 36 fruit- or item-bearing trees. The end result is a Minecraft diet that’s equal parts lavish and balanced. If you want to make this a necessity rather than just a fun extension to vanilla Minecraft, use it alongside Hunger Overhaul and The Spice of Life, which both punish your poor eating habits.

Minecraft exploration mods

Some people prefer the life of a nomad to that of a builder. The following mods either spice up world generation, add new worlds to explore, or give you the tools you'll need to explore them. To the Far Lands, and beyond!

Biomes O'Plenty

biomesoplenty minecraft mod

Let's start with the Overworld. Biomes O'Plenty adds a ridiculous 80 new biomes, and 12 sub-biomes to Minecraft - from Alps to Wasteland. It also adds a little more variance to tools, armour, food, colour and a few extra blocks to build with. 

Tinker's Construct

Tinkers construct

New world? You'll need new tools. Tinker's Construct includes a fantastic selection of easily-repairable early- and late-game swords, picks, axes and more. Most modpackers consider this one essential.

Aether II

aether II

What's the opposite of the Nether? The Aether. Aether II is a huge mod that adds a portal to a dimension of floating islands in the sky. It adds new ores, items and dungeons packed with fearsome challenges. Just don't fall off.

Twilight Forest

twilight forest

Alternatively, visit the spooky Twilight Forest - its hollow hills, hedge mazes and lich towers are the perfect fit for wannabe adventurers. Just steer clear of the pitch-black Dark Forest if you want to make it out alive.

Mystcraft

mystcraft

If none of those worlds sound like what you're looking for, then build your own. Like the early 90s videogame Myst, Mystcraft revolves around creating Linking Books to travel to new dimensions - some of which might be hazardous or unstable. Be warned.

Minecraft automation mods

There's nothing like a good factory setup in your Minecraft base - automatically mining and producing resources so you never run out. The following mods offer everything you need to fully automate almost every aspect of modded MInecraft, and work best in conjunction with some of the deeper mods in the final section.

EnderIO

EnderIO

Getting stuff from point A to point B - be it items, liquids or power, is the cornerstone of EnderIO. Its conduits are modular and expandable, and it also includes a few processing and energy tools. The Travel Anchor is a particularly useful tool for zipping around a large base.

Project Red

Project Red

Efficient automation often requires the use of redstone, and Project Red vastly increases your options for redstone circuitry - adding a bunch of wires and logic gates that turn huge chunks of redstone craziness into a single block. Endlessly useful.

Progressive Automation

progressive automation

This mod adds basic automated devices for everything from farming to forestry and everything inbetween. The best bit about Progressive Automation is that each machine can be upgraded as the players progresses, meaning fewer enormous rebuilds further down the line.

Applied Energistics 2

applied energistics 2

After a while in a large base, storage starts to become an issue. Applied Energistics lets you turn matter into energy, storing items on hard drives that can be accessed wirelessly from anywhere in your base. It's fantastically useful, especially for the hoarders amongst you.

Big Reactors

Minecraft mod big reactors

Ever wanted to be a nuclear engineer without learning about physics and going through multiple years of higher education? Then Big Reactors is the mod for you! This allows you to build massive, fully configurable reactors in order to cope with the power demands of all those other industrial mods you’ve been tinkering with. Better still, it’s designed to interface with ComputerCraft, meaning you can monitor, regulate, and program your power station to your heart’s content.

ComputerCraft and RFTools

computercraft

Finally, we'd be remiss not to mention ComputerCraft - which adds fully-programmable computers and assorted peripherals into the Minecraft world - and RFTools, which lets you monitor and maintain a complex power network. Both are vital tools for any kind of automated base.

Expansive Minecraft mods

That just leaves the largest mods - the ones that reward a significant time investment with substantial changes to vanilla Minecraft. We'd recommend tackling just one or two of these at a time, even if they're bundled together in a modpack, for your sanity more than anything else. By the time you reach their endgame, you'll be the master of all you survey.

Thaumcraft

thaumcraft

Being a wizard is pretty awesome, and that's no different in the world of Minecraft. Thaumcraft lets you manipulate the magic energies found in every in-game item to create powerful wands, golems to do your bidding, and essence-infused items and tools. It hooks beautifully into several other mods. 

Simply Jetpacks

simply jetpacks minecraft mod

Jetpacks make everything better. Everything. That’s why this humble mod isn’t looking to burden you with countless new systems and recipes to remember, it’s just trying to give ordinary Minecrafters the gift of instantaneous flight. Soar into the skies powered by Redstone Flux, letting you avoid hazards and move around the map much quicker. Higher level jetpacks will also act as armour and even negate fall damage, so there’s plenty of reason to invest a little time into this nifty add on.

Blood Magic

Blood magic minecraft mod

Occasionally Minecraft is all a little too cute and fluffy. That’s where modders come in, introducing some ritualistic dark arts to give the vanilla game some edge. Blood Magic - that most heinous of all magics - introduces a few new systems and mechanics based around drawing power from the blood of mobs. Once you’ve harvested enough life essence, you can use it at a Blood Altar in order to craft new items like a Dagger of Sacrifice.

Minefactory Reloaded

minefactory reloaded

Some might have picked Buildcraft or IndustrialCraft 2 to fill this spot, but for our (lack of) money the best all-round technology mod is Minefactory Reloaded. It adds heaps of machines and devices that allow you to automate almost everything - from breeding cows to playing in-game records. Works particularly well with many of the mods in the previous section.

BuildCraft

buildcraft

Mining by hand is a thing of the past, and everyone knows it. That's why there's BuildCraft, a hugely expansive mod that essentially allows you to put vanilla Minecraft through its own industrial revolution. From automated quarries to autocrafting tables that will pump out any desired crafted item with the right ingredients on tap, this mod let's you go full scale with your production lines.

Hats

hats minecraft mod

From the ridiculous to the sublime, this cosmetic mod adds over 100 hats to Minecraft, ensuring you’ve always got some way of surprising and, in some cases, shocking your friends. You’ll have to spend some time hunting the hats down though as they’re programmed to randomly spawn on mobs around the world - expect to see a squid with a phone booth on its head or a creeper sporting a sombrero.

PneumaticCraft

pneumaticcraft mod

PneumaticCraft swaps out power for pressurized air making for a mod that’s both highly volatile and incredibly rewarding. Whether it’s air cannons, programmable drones or a range of assembly machines, this mod adds a host of mechanical and automated options to Minecraft.

What do you make of our list? Have we missed off your favourite mod? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Want more? Here's our Minecraft review.

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<TL>Can you even Flickshot m9 avatarlonereaper321 avatarhuldu avatarKevinJuanRizkyHutomo avatarneo606 avatarcolinvella avatar+1
Minecraft Review

Minecraft Review


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5 reviewers answered 7 questions

lonereaper321 Avatar
2
1 Year ago

where is pixelmon

2
huldu Avatar
165
11 Months ago

Some of these are quite outdated and you really shouldn't use optifine with mods, it can cause a lot of graphic glitches. In more modern versions of minecraft, 1.6(1.7 for sure) you will barely notice any fps increase. The map addon is severely outdated, you should be using one of these two: Journeymap or Voxelmap. I personally use both because they're good at different things. Journeymap has an amazing, scrollable large map, while voxelmap has a great minimap and a good large scream map that allows you to move while looking at it.

2
KevinJuanRizkyHutomo Avatar
1
9 Months ago

What is the seed of the first image?

1
neo606 Avatar
91
3 Months ago

Minecraft has the WORST mod support for users I've ever seen in any game that supports mods... gotta install a billion things, that only work for one crappy version and it's just a shit shit user experience. 4 billion dollars later, this game feels like it gets updated by 1 half homeless dude in the basement that spends his time playing spin the bottle with him and the wall. Honestly shittiest company ever. Notch should be beat up with baseball bats.

1
colinvella Avatar
1
3 Months ago

I'll just drop this here :) Fancy Fish Mod!

http://fancyfishmod.weebly.com/

1
Basher101 Avatar
1
3 Weeks ago

I was hoping for more mods like Aether, and Pixelmon should probly be in here, but I know pkmn isn't for everyone (or really every other one) cause it is hugely powerful... but pretty damn good list :)

1