How to Install Minecraft Shaders

Create amazing lighting and shadow effects

Shaders are essentially skins for the Minecraft world that can not only change the weather or elements, but also the entire art style of the game itself. If you’ve ever seen a hyper-realistic Minecraft world online, odds are a player-made shader was used. Here’s what you need to know about where to download shaders and how to turn on shaders in Minecraft.

These instructions apply to the modern version of Minecraft for Windows 10. Also referred to as Minecraft for Windows 10 or the Minecraft Bedrock Edition, this version is the main one that supports crossplay between the console and mobile versions of the game.

How to Get Shaders in Minecraft

Shaders for Minecraft are created by other players and uploaded to websites as a free download. The Minecraft shaders contain all of the coding and visual elements needed to make the changes to a Minecraft world which are all compressed into a single MCPACK file.

Because Minecraft shaders aren’t tested or approved by Microsoft, it’s important to only download files from third-party websites that have earned a good reputation among players. You don’t want to infect your computer with malware or a virus.

One of the more-popular Minecraft shader download sites, and the one where we got the shader for this guide from, is mcpedl.com.

How to Install Shaders in Minecraft

Downloading and installing Minecraft shaders is relatively straightforward and doesn’t require any hacking or the installation of any third-party plugins or programs.

Here’s how to add shaders to Minecraft.

  1. On the same computer you have Minecraft installed on, open your preferred web browser, go to mcpedl.com, then find a shader that you want to install.

    Downloading a Minecraft shader from a website.

    For this example, we’ll use the WinterCraft shader which can be downloaded here.

  2. Click Download.

    Downloading a Minecraft shader from a website.

    The shader file should immediately begin to download, but sometimes a link could take you to an external file download site. If it does, don’t click any banners or ads. Only click the secondary download link.

  3. Once the file finishes downloading, click it.

    Downloading a Minecraft shader from a website.

    Many web browsers will display the downloaded file along the bottom of the screen. If yours doesn’t, you will need to find it in your browser’s designated Downloads folder.

  4. Minecraft will automatically open and begin the import process. This should only take a few seconds.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
     Microsoft

How to Turn on Shaders in Minecraft

Once a shader has been imported into your Minecraft game, it will remain available for you to use in any worlds you create.

You don’t need to import a MCPACK shader file more than once.

Ready to activate a Minecraft shader that you’ve downloaded? This is how to use shaders in Minecraft once you’ve installed them.

  1. With Minecraft open on your PC, click Play.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
     Microsoft
  2. Click Create New.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
    Microsoft
  3. Click Create New World.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
    Microsoft
  4. Click Resource Packs.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
    Microsoft
  5. Click My Packs, then click the name of the shader pack you want to add to your new world.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
    Microsoft
  6. Click Activate.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
    Microsoft
  7. Click Active to check that the Minecraft shader has been added to your world.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
    Microsoft
  8. Change any options you want to adjust, then click Create.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
    Microsoft
  9. Your new Minecraft world will now load with your shader enabled.

    Minecraft for Windows 10 video game.
    Microsoft