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How to install Minecraft Forge

Minecraft forge
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Understanding how to install Minecraft Forge is a vital step if you want enjoy mods in Minecraft. Forge is the bridge between the main game and some of the best Minecraft mods out there, and if you want to see what sort of visual enhancements, gameplay changes or more you can access with mods, you need Minecraft Forge. 

So, with that goal in mind, let's take a look at how to download and install Minecraft forge and get it running quick and easily. 

How to install Minecraft Forge

(Image: © Microsoft)

If you want to install Minecraft Forge then you need to be playing the Java version of Minecraft on PC or Mac. If you want mods on any other platforms you won't use Forge and will have to look at add-ons, which will let you access a limited range of mods directly. Minecraft Forge is a PC / Mac only deal. 

To get it, head to Minecraft Forge where you'll be able to download Forge and get started. Let's run through the full steps in more detail. 

Choose your Minecraft Forge download

The main Minecraft Forge download page will have these two options at the top: 

Minecraft Forge

(Image credit: Microsoft)

It's probably best to pick the 'Recommended' box on the right. It might look older than the 'Latest' option but it will be the most stable thing to use. The Latest version will probably be fine but will be less tested and could cause errors and problems. 

Once you've clicked on your choice you'll then get an ad page with this message at the top: 

"The content below is an advertisement. After the count-down, click Skip to begin your Forge download" 

When the timer runs down you'll see a big red 'Skip'  button appear next to the 'Create Forge Server' button. Click Skip and your download will start. You might get a message that the file could harm your computer, but assuming you're downloading the official Forge file from the website you can ignore that warning. If you are downloading it from somewhere else... don't. 

Download Java if you need it

If you already have Java installed then your Minecraft Forge download will have a Java icon and install when you double click on it, in which case you can skip ahead. 

If not, and your Forge download looks like a blank or broken icon, then download Java and install it. It's probably best to restart your machine once you have, just to make sure everything's settled in. Once Java is installed, your Forge download should have an icon and you'll be able to click on it and install it. 

Choose the Forge installation in Minecraft 

Minecraft Forge

(Image credit: Epic)

Once you've installed Minecraft Forge you'll be able to choose it as an installation. To do that open up the the Minecraft Launcher, choose Installations and you should see the Minecraft Forge option you downloaded and installed. Select it to start playing. You'll be taken to a page with a button that says 'Open Mods Folder'. This will open up the folder where you place any mods you want to play with, and going via this route is probably the quickest and easiest way to find it. Obviously Minecraft Forge alone won't do anything so check the link to our favorite Minecraft mods at the top of the page to find some options you can then download and add to the mods folder. 

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I'm currently GamesRadar's guides coordinator, which means I've had a hand in producing or writing all of the guide and tips content on the site. I also write reviews, previews and features, and do video. I'm a big fan of open world games, horror, and narrative adventures. Previously I worked for Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine UK.