The 15 Best Minecraft Mods

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Minecraft works just fine right out of the box, but tweaking and extending the game with mods can radically change the experience. Some mods are great for brand new players and seasoned veterans alike, while others are aimed squarely at breathing new life into the game after you have already seen everything that the basic game has to offer.

Whether you're brand new to Minecraft, or you're just new to modding, we've put together a list of the 15 best Minecraft mods that improve graphics or performance, add useful functionality, and open up brand new worlds to explore.

These mods work regardless of the platform you're using, so you can safely grab them whether you're playing on Windows, OS X/mac OS, or Linux. However, they only work with Minecraft: Java Edition. If you're playing a version of the game like Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition, or any console or mobile version, you have to buy skins, modpacks, and other content from the in-game store.

Important: Installing Minecraft mods is pretty easy, but mods aren't always compatible with each other, and individual mods aren't always compatible with the latest version of the game.

If you want a seamless mod experience, consider checking out a curated Minecraft modpack like Regrowth or All The Mods, or a custom launcher like Feed the Beast or Technic.

01
of 15

OptiFine: Better Performance and Graphics

optifine minecraft mod
Better graphics and performance on a wide variety of hardware. Pixabay / CC0

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, OptiFine.net

What it does
OptiFine is a behind-the-scenes mod that improves and optimizes the graphics of Minecraft so that the game runs as smoothly, and looks as great, as it possibly can on your computer.

This is the best mod to grab, and the first one you should download, if you care about visuals and smooth gameplay.

02
of 15

Journeymap: Awesome Automatic Maps

journemap best minecraft map mod
Journeymap includes a great minimap (right) and allows you to open a detailed map as well (left). Screenshos

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
Journeymap implements a beautiful world map that is generated automatically as you play. It includes a minimap that shows up in the upper right corner of the screen while you're playing, but you can also open up a full screen map to view the entire world that you have explored up to that point.

Since the built-in mapping feature that Minecraft includes by default is so basic, and requires you to craft a bunch of stuff, Journeymap is a must-have mod for anyone who likes to explore.

03
of 15

Chest Transporter: Essential Utility for Packrats

chest transported minecraft mod
Finally, you can pick up and move chests without removing the contents. Screen capture

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
Chest Transporter is a mod that lets you pick up and move chests, even if they're full of items. This is pretty basic in comparison to a lot of the other mods on this list, but it's also tremendously useful.

Without the help of a mod, moving a chest even one block in any direction is a tedious, multi-step process that looks something like:

  1. Remove everything from the chest.
  2. Place everything in a different chest or drop it on the floor.
  3. Destroy the empty chest.
  4. Pick up the empty chest.
  5. Place the chest in its new location.
  6. Pick up the previous contents of the chest and put everything back inside.

With this mod, you can collapse all of that down to the two step process of picking up the chest and then placing it wherever you want it.

04
of 15

Just Enough Items: Vital Crafting Information

just enough items minecraft mod
No more searching for recipes online. Screenshot

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
Just Enough Items allows you to immediately pull up some vital information about any crafting material or crafted item in the game. With this mod, you can instantly find out how to craft anything you see, or find out what can be crafted out of anything you see.

The biggest benefit of this mod is that you no longer have to experiment with random combinations, or search the internet, to figure out how to craft anything. However, it's also useful in creative mode, since it makes it easier to locate and place new items in the world.

05
of 15

Here's What You're Looking At: Easy Information Access

here's what you're looking at minecraft mod
Easily see exactly what you're looking at and pull up vital information without entering submenus. Screen capture

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
Here's What You're Looking At is another mod that pulls out some vital information and sticks it front and center. This mod allows you to look at anything in the game, including blocks, crafted items, and even creatures, and instantly see what it's called.

In addition to the name of the item, the mod can also show information like the contents of a chest, the progress of items being processed in a furnace, and more.

If you have Just Enough Items installed, this mod also allows you to look up recipes by looking at items and blocks.

06
of 15

Minecraft Comes Alive: No More Boring Villages

minecraft comes alive minecraft mod
Meet and interact with hundreds of different villagers. Screenshot

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
Minecraft Comes Alive is a mod that overhauls villagers, replacing them with a huge mixture of NPCs that you can interact with in a variety of ways.

The basic functionality of Minecraft villagers is retained, in that you can still trade with them. However, there are additional dialog options and a complex relationship system that even allows you to marry a villager and have your very own Minecraft baby.

If you're getting tired of the droves of identical villagers you run into in game after game, this is a great mod to install.

07
of 15

Chisel: Essential Aesthetics for Builders

chisel minecraft mod
Chisel allows builders to really stretch their creativity. Screen capture

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
This is a must-have mod for dedicated builders, but it's equally useful if you're new to the game and just want more customization options.

The mod adds a ton of new blocks and patterns, but it also allows you to craft a chisel that lets you change the appearance of blocks by smacking them.

08
of 15

Pam's HarvestCraft: Better Farming and Food Variety

pam's harvestcraft minecraft mod
Tired of punching pigs for pork chops? Pam's HarvestCraft has you covered. Screenshot

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
Pam's HarvestCraft adds a ton of food and farming options, which makes it the perfect mod to grab if you're bored of pork chops and watermelon slices.

In addition to new foods and plants, the mod also includes a beekeeping system, which adds even more new gameplay.

09
of 15

Biomes O'Plenty: Exciting New Biomes

biomes o'plenty minecraft mod
Explore tremendous biome diversity.

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
Biomes O' Plenty adds a ton of brand new biomes when generating a new world.

This mod was introduced when MineCraft only included a handful of default biomes, but it's still if you're tired of the standard biomes or just want to generate a world with a whole lot more diversity.

This mod retains all of the default biomes, but it adds dozens more, including a mystic grove populated by pixies.

10
of 15

The Lost Cities: Generate Fantastic Worlds

lost cities minecraft mod
Explore randomly generated crumbling cities. Screen capture

Where to get it
The Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
The Lost Cities is a mod that lets you create a world populated by hauntingly crumbling cities.

This is a great mod to grab if you're getting tired of the same old Minecraft biomes, or you just want a different type of survival experience.

11
of 15

Aroma1997's Dimensional World: New Dimension for Mining

aroma1997's dimension world minecraft mod
Aroma1997's Dimension World creates a specialized mining dimension. Screen capture

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
This mod adds a brand new dimension to Minecraft, literally, in the form of a flat expanse made just for mining. If you're a serious builder working in survival mode, and you don't want to ugly up your world with massive strip mines, you absolutely need to grab this mod.

The way Aroma1997's Dimensional World works is that you craft a portal, similar to a Nether portal, out of a new kind of brick that the mod introduces. Activate the portal with a tool that the mod also introduces, and you're whisked away to a specialized mining dimension.

12
of 15

Draconic Evolution: Endgame Gear and Progression

draconic evolution minecraft mod
Draconic Evolution adds some much-needed endgame progression.

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
Draconic Evolution adds some much needed endgame progression and gear for players who have already plumbed the depths of the Nether, ventured to the End, knocked out the Wither and the Ender Dragon, and come up wondering what to do next.

This mod adds a ton of new gear, items, blocks, and a boss that can even kill you in creative mode.

13
of 15

The Twilight Forest: Fun and Expansive New Dimension

the twilight forest minecraft mod
The Twilight Forest adds a new dimension, enemies, and progression. Screen capture

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
The Twilight Forest adds a new dimension filled with a ton of new blocks, items, creatures, and a progression system. If you're looking for a fresh, new Minecraft experience set in a brand new world, this is a great mod to grab.

Since The Twilight Forest is set in a separate dimension that you access by jumping into an enchanted pool, you can run it alongside a lot of other mods without disturbing anything.

14
of 15

Advanced Rocketry: Adventure and Exploration in Space

advanced rocketry minecraft mod
Advanced Rocketry lets you launch rockets into space and explore new worlds. Screenshot

Where to get it
Minecraft Forum, CurseForge

What it does
Advanced Rocketry is another mod aimed at seasoned players who have already seen everything that Minecraft has to offer. Instead of adding a new dimension, it offers up a deep new crafting system that allows you to build and launch rockets.

The progression doesn't end there, though. Once you've launched a rocket, you can also build space stations and even explore new worlds.

15
of 15

ViveCraft: Minecraft in Virtual Reality

vivecraft minecraft mod
ViveCraft brings Minecraft into virtual reality. Pixabay / CC0

Where to get it
Github, Vivecraft.org

What it does
ViveCraft adds virtual reality (VR) support to the Java version of Minecraft, which allows you to play the game with an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or any other compatible VR headset.

While the Windows 10 Edition of Minecraft includes built-in VR support, the Java Edition doesn't support VR natively. ViveCraft adds that functionality, and it actually does a better job than the official implementation in the Windows 10 Edition.

If you've ever wanted to play Minecraft in roomscale VR, and physically walk around inside your creations, then this is one mod that you absolutely have to check out.

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