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The best Minecraft mods: get more mobs, visit new worlds and try completely different experiences

best minecraft mods
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The best Minecraft mods can turn the game into anything. You can change your experience into a hardcore survival challenge with more enemies and new mechanics. You can build the ultimate shop manager with Harvest Moon-style food, farming, and decoration mods. You can also have a straight up Lord of the Rings styled fantasy adventure or even try one which adds a lot of animal poop to the game because... anyway. That last one aside the world is your oyster and Minecraft mods are the pearl inside. 

Minecraft, while a beautiful game all it's own, has proven to be a wonderful canvas for all sorts of modders to paint on. There are a ton of fan-made projects that have been built on Minecraft's simple premise and there are so many options to mold Minecraft into the exact game you want it to be. All it takes is a copy of Minecraft and some of these mods. 

How to install the best Minecraft mods

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, 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. 

RLCraft

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The mods' creator, and many of those who've played it, call RLCraft 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

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The Twilight Forest 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

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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 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

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Enigmatica 2 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

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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 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 mod too as it gives you more stylish ways to display your items on shelves and whatnot. 

Biomes O’Plenty

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Ever want to explore a more diverse set of environments in a Minecraft server? Then check out Biomes O'Plenty. 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. 

LotsOMobs

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LotsOMobs adds 25 new mobs to Minecraft including lions, mammoths, dinosaurs, and much more. It's the perfect add-on for the wannabe John Hammond. If you're aching for a better survival, management, or adventure style mod pack for Minecraft then you will want to include this. It brings so much life to a simple walk through the forest. 

Galacticraft 

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Galacticraft 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. 

Ancient Warfare 2

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Ancient Warfare 2 is another well rounded pack with a ton of improvements to the base game. You can build automated systems for mining, fishing and other tasks with their very own power sources. You can design your own templates and recruit NPCs for combat and other tasks. 

The Lost Cities

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The Lost Cities 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.