Skip to main content

Best Minecraft mods for new worlds, items, and beyond

best minecraft mods
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The best Minecraft mods can either improve the game in fun and new ways, enhance existing features, graphics, pictures and more, or completely change the game, adding new mobs, biomes, items, and gameplay twists. What about Minecraft in space, in the post-apocalypse, or as a fantasy RPG - er, more so? Whatever you're looking for, there's almost certainly a Minecraft mod out there to meet that demand - and probably more than one, considering how old and how popular Minecraft has been at this point.

Picking through them isn't easy though, so we've curated some of the best Minecraft mods out there to fill a variety of roles, whether you want to completely change up the game or just gently edit it with quality-of-life improvements! And yes, all of these are either up to date with the most recent Minecraft The Wild update, or are planned to be in the future! We've also included a basic tutorial on how to install Minecraft mods via Minecraft Forge, to help those who are still getting used to all these elements and modding Minecraft for the first time.

How to install Minecraft mods using Minecraft Forge

Minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft/Forstride)
Best Minecraft Servers

Minecraft servers

(Image credit: Mojang)

Check out the best Minecraft servers to hang out on - including worlds filled with Pixelmon!

Adding the best Minecraft mods to Minecraft is mostly simple, but it requires different steps depending on the platform you play on. If you're playing on the original Java version on Mac or PC then download Minecraft Forge (opens in new tab), an open source project that focuses on making different mods compatible, download a mod, add it to your Minecraft folder, and then launch the game as you normally would. That should do the trick. 

If you are playing on a platform like the Xbox One then mods are referred to as add-ons. Your choices will be more limited but all you need to do is go to the store page, click add-ons, and then choose the specific one you want to download. 

Now, I'm sure you're daydreaming about what kinds of mods are out in the wild, so here's a good list of some of the best and most fulfilling mods for you to enjoy. 

Optifine

Minecraft best mods optifine

(Image credit: Microsoft/sp614x)

Starting off with a basic improvement for the whole experience without totally turning it on its head, we have Optifine (opens in new tab) by sp614x. Optifine is a ground-up graphics, textures and visuals overhaul that makes the game far more beautiful without ever stopping it looking like Minecraft, and even comes with a lot of customisation options to dial those features back, or push them even further. It's a great mod for anybody who doesn't want to completely change the game, or wants a good starting point.

Quark

Minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft/Vazkii)

If you're looking for a Minecraft mod adding tons of small gameplay enhancements at once, then you should download Quark (opens in new tab) by Vazkii. You'll get many things that Minecraft normally lacks; such as auto-sorting, a search bar for items, a feeding trough for your animals, and an auto-walk option. Quark also adds plenty of fun new biomes, items, and mobs. You can pick and choose which of these Quark features you want; just click 'Q' in the main menu to turn them on or off.

Chisels & Bits

Minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft/AlgorithmX2)

How much can a chisel and a wench change your Minecraft experience? A lot, as it turns out. The Minecraft Chisels & Bits mod (opens in new tab) by AlgorithmX2 allows you to chip away at any block, creating endless customization opportunities. Different types of tools make it easy to quickly create the forms you want. Whether you aim to be Minecraft's next Michelangelo or you simply wish to smoothen the edges around your home a bit, this mod is a must-have. 

Camera Mod

Minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft/henkelmax)

The Minecraft mod by henkelmax is great for those who like to take screenshots during their Minecraft adventures. Not only does the Camera Mod (opens in new tab) give you a full view (same ratio as your screen), it also adds filters, zooming, and photo albums. The best thing about it though, is the option to display your pictures in-game. You can go out, shoot some gorgeous landscapes, and then decorate your Minecraft home with them!

Immersive portals

Minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft/Qouteall)

If you use Minecraft portals a lot, then the Immersive Portals mod (opens in new tab) by Qouteall is definitely going to improve your game experience. This mod reduces loading time and allows you to see right through the portal. Yes, you can see what's on the other side before going through! 

RLCraft

best minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The mods' creator, and many of those who've played it, call RLCraft (opens in new tab) the hardest mod pack you'll ever try. It's a mod pack that puts the emphasis on realism, otherwise known as anything that will make your in-game life more difficult. It has dragons, enemies that can easily kill you in one shot, and all sorts of random spawns. It's a ton of fun if high difficulty is the kind of thing you enjoy in your Minecraft experience.

The Twilight Forest

best minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Twilight Forest (opens in new tab) is basically a separate adventure game designed within Minecraft. It has unique dungeons, individual boss fights, collectible loot, and more. It sends you to another dimension, filled with purple hues and new quests, that's ripe for exploring. It's in ongoing development so more content, and constant updates, should be getting added with time. 

Conquest Reforged

best minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Ever want to get more serious with your in-game models of St. Paul's Cathedral, the pyramids, or any other historical landmark that comes to mind? Then Conquest Reforged (opens in new tab) is for you. This modpack comes with tons of unique textures that really help you reflect the age, style, and design choices behind some of these ancient buildings. It's perfect for the Minecraft obsessed architect, even if you're working on your own version of Winterfell and Hogwarts. 

Enigmatica 2

best minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Enigmatica 2 (opens in new tab) is a general mod pack with over 250 individual mods that turn vanilla Minecraft into a broader and more polished adventure. It's a good pack to start out with if you are new to the modding scene as it introduces a lot of mechanics and features that improve standard play. It does throw a lot at you at once and our best advice is for you to follow your quest book once you've jumped in. 

Decocraft

best minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Decorating my house/room/cave is always a significant part of any adventure game that gives me the ability to do it. Minecraft included. If you want to add more depth to the interior design of your mansion, then Decocraft (opens in new tab) may be for you. 

Decocraft gives more craftable items to furnish your digs with, including everything from silverware and bedside table lamps to glass walls for the shower and a seesaw for the playground. These additions will bring life to your Minecraft home renovation project. I recommend adding the bibliocraft (opens in new tab) mod too as it gives you more stylish ways to display your items on shelves and whatnot. 

Biomes O’Plenty

best minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Ever want to explore a more diverse set of environments in a Minecraft server? Then check out Biomes O'Plenty (opens in new tab). It introduces a ton of new biomes to the game, each with their own unique flowers, plants, building blocks, and the like. You'll get to explore and build in the alps, a tropical island, a cherry blossom grove and so much more. 

Galacticraft 

best minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Galacticraft (opens in new tab) goes boldly where no Minecraft has gone before: space. You'll get to explore new planets, collect resources and build energy sources, and survive in the far reaches of the galaxy. It's a wonderful adventure that's completely unique when compared to other mods. Other space mods have popped up, but none as simple and straightforward as Galacticraft. It focuses on linear progression, so you can see the final frontier in a more accessible way. 

The Lost Cities

best minecraft mods

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Lost Cities (opens in new tab) mod starts you off in a decrepit old city full of buildings, roads and highways instead of a normal Minecraft starting point. It's still has the expected dungeons, loot, biomes, mobs, and the like but they're found within subway tunnels, under freeways, and lost in an ocean of concrete. 

Just Enough Items (JEI)

Minecraft mods best just enough items

(Image credit: Microsoft/mezz)

If you've got a ton of mods installed, can't remember every recipe, or just like having information easily accessible, Just Enough Items (opens in new tab) (sometimes abbreviated to JEI) by mezz is for you. A UI twist, it lays out a basic interface addition to the inventory screen that helps you have any recipe clearly laid out in front of you. It's especially useful if you've added a bunch of mods and don't know how they all work yet, as it's a little helping manual you can draw upon at any time.

Minecraft cheats | Minecraft Realms | Best Minecraft seeds | Best Minecraft shaders | Best Minecraft skins | Best Minecraft texture packs | Play Minecraft for free | Minecraft Forge | Minecraft Allay | Minecraft frogs

Freelance Writer

Aron writes for Upcomer covering the video games and eSports industries in-depth. He was previously a freelancer whose work appeared in Wired, Rolling Stone, Washington Post, and GamesRadar, among others. 

With contributions from