Best Minecraft texture packs for Java Edition

From Borderlands-like cartoons to realistically sunny vistas, here are the best texture upgrades to shape your playing experience

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Looking for the best Minecraft texture packs for the Java Edition? Minecraft’s low-fi charms were predictably the first thing modders took to ‘fixing’. The ruddy textures, while distinctive, are an obvious target for an upgrade, if you stare at them long enough. And while Mojang has been gradually revamping the aesthetic appeal of Minecraft, if you’re chasing a specific look then texture packs are your best bet.

We’ve included our favourite Minecraft texture packs – there’s nothing too crazy in here. Massive visual overhauls tend to be part of larger Minecraft mods that fundamentally change the game, and that’s another article entirely.

But what we do have here is a fantastic selection of textures that bring all sorts of style to the game, from the ultra-realistic to the cartoonish, to far out sci-fi and subtle makeovers. There’s even animated textures if you want a drastically different look. Not sure how to download and install one of these new texture packs? Don’t worry, we can help you with that, too. Click through to be delighted by the variety and vibrancy of Minecraft texture packs.

How to install Minecraft texture packs

In the many years since Minecraft first launched it’s become a lot easier to install Minecraft texture packs and get them running with minimal fuss. Here’s how to download and install texture packs for Minecraft:

  • Download the texture pack you want
  • Launch Minecraft
  • Select ‘Options’ from the main menu
  • Then navigate to the ‘Resource Packs’ section
  • Now click ‘Open Resource Packs’
  • Drag your newly downloaded texture pack across

Note that not all texture packs will work in the latest Minecraft Java Edition build, so check what the latest supported version is on the download page. If you want to use some of the best packs then you’ll need to revert your version of Minecraft to a previous version which you can do easily through the launcher. We tend to keep a couple of older Minecraft versions installed for heavily modded playthroughs.

Another thing to note is that this list of the best Minecraft texture packs is directed at the Java Edition of Minecraft, so if you’re using the newer Bedrock Edition you’re likely to run into some issues as they’re very different versions of the game.

The best Minecraft texture packs

Okay, now that’s out of the way. Let’s start with something big and bright. We’re going to change the world, or your world, at least.

Here are the best Minecraft texture packs:

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Jolicraft

A lot of Minecraft texture packs have a theme that they try and nail, but Joli’s is about personal expression: he made a texture pack, a sort of twee fantasy world that best reflected his own happy demeanour: the swirling sun is definitely a sight more cheerful than the default, squat square. Jolicraft feels like a warm summer day. But even more impressive are the customisation options: you can build your own texture pack at the site, choosing how the game represents everything from doors and shadows, to water drops and clouds. It’s a remarkable thing.

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JohnSmith

Johnsmith is one of the most popular Minecraft texture packs out there, in part we’re sure because it too is quite customisable. It also has some fantastically creepy-looking skeletons and it does a fine job with surfaces, be those rock, cobblestone, or even netherrack. Compared to Jolicraft, it’s a much more sombre pack, but Minecraft’s world looks surprisingly good with muted colours.

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Glimmar’s Steampunk 

And if sombre is your sort of thing, then we thoroughly recommend you give this pack a try. As well as its slightly faded walls, its glimmering starfield and its gorgeous moon, this steampunk pack also features some fantastic tools and skins. Just check out how the golems look above.

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Painterly Pack 

While we’re on the subject of customisation, you should also have a look at this pack, which is as much a tool as it is a way to revamp the look of your game. Not happy with the pack you just downloaded? Want to contribute your own ideas? Why not get started here, it’s not as difficult as you might think.

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Isabella 

If you’d prefer something a little more subtle, a little more muted, then Isabella’s gentle shading might be what you’re looking for. Its tones are softer, its wood warmer and its stone faded, all of which gives it a more natural feel. As natural as a world made from giant blocks can ever be, that is.

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Chroma Hills

Some of us, we’re sure, would just prefer the prettiest textures that they can find and Chroma Hills is certainly one of the best-looking texture packs for Minecraft out there, even if its beautiful stylings are slightly at odds with the blockiness of Minecraft’s world. To get the very best from it you’ll want to make sure you use some Minecraft shaders too, but even without those it’s still gorgeous.

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Creative One’s Medieval Texture Pack

Another lovely HD pack, the Medieval Texture Pack features a lot of subtle and yet very smart touches, such as the glow from an Ender chest (see the video above) or the woven texture in wool blocks. It also gives much of the game a very worn look, which, it turns out, suits Minecraft very well indeed.

Best Minecraft texture packs - Crypt's Better Tools

Crypt’s Better Tools

A clean, simple, and helpful texture pack that will make all weapons stand out. We love Crypt’s Better Tools, especially when it comes to decorating our Minecraft house with weapons and armour.

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Misa’s Realistic Texture Pack 

Realism is an odd term when you’re talking about a world made out of cubes, and yet it’s one of the most prevalent goals for the Minecraft modding community. If trying Isabella has made you want something grubbier, something with muddier ground and fluffier clouds then Misa’s pack brings all this to the game.

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If the real world was built out of cubes, it would look a bit like Misa’s interpretation. It’s not flashy, it’s for those looking for a grim feeling. And the pigs are terrifying.

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Summerfields 

This is our antidote to Misa’s grubby brown realism: if Misa’s Minecraft texture pack was Game of Thrones, then Summerfields is LotR before Frodo goes off on his quest. The browns here feel like they glow, radiating the heat of the summer day that beats down from the fuzzy, circular sun: even the skeletons feel a bit cheerful. We’re pretty sure the people who live in Misa’s end of the world would take a holiday in Summerfields.

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Sphax PureBDCraft 

The flipside of the inevitable realism packs was that someone would endeavour to convert Minecraft to a comic book style. The blocks demanded it. BDCraft’s is a gorgeous, and essentially reverential, upgrading of the base Minecraft graphics: switching between them is like putting on glasses and seeing everything clearly for the first time. Ore is full of clear gems, the new grass as chunky as an anime character’s head. It’s sharp, colourful, and a good upgrade that retains its flavour.

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Cartoon Default 

This Minecraft texture pack almost turns the game into the cel-shaded style of Borderlands, drawing bold black lines around Minecraft mobs and objects, but still keeping everything very recognisable and true to the original look of the game. With these textures, Minecraft becomes posterized, but also an awful lot clearer. While it might not be to everyone’s taste, or terribly easy on the eyes, you can’t deny that it has style.

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DEFAnimation 

Animated texture packs are still a rarity, partly because they’re a pain to make. That said, more and more people are trying those snapshots and we’d like to think that perhaps PCGamesN’s encouragement has had some part in this.

This pack adds some wonderful animations to the game, wonderful because they’re so subtle and a great example of the tiny but impressive changes that animated textures can make. Unmined ores sparkle in the darkness, weapons shine, and lava seethes.

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Bladecraft 

Who says Minecraft should only be about the pseudo-fantasy, pastoral theme? BladeCraft throws it into the near future and creates something… well, actually, something really quite impressive. Now enjoy what is by far the coolest of all the videos in this post.

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Faithful 

Maybe you’re not looking for a wholesale change, and want something that adds some sheen on what’s already there. If that’s the case, then the Faithful texture pack is what you’ll want to install. The changes you’ll notice here merely smooth out textures, and refine what’s already present.

And there you go, the best Minecraft texture packs. Whether you’re looking for a pack to turn your Minecraft world into a cartoon, or one to make it look more like the real world, you should find what you’re looking for here. Of course, to complete the overhaul we recommend you kit yourself out with a shiny new skin – see our guide to the best Minecraft skins.

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