Best Minecraft mods on Windows PC 2021

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If you love Minecraft but are getting a little bored of the vanilla experience, we highly recommend trying out some mods. There are tons of excellent Minecraft mods available since the game's modding community has been active for years, and each one of them adds to or changes the Minecraft gameplay experience in fun and creative ways. And the best part? Unlike mods for some other games, installing Minecraft mods is a breeze (check out our full guide on how to install and play with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition on PC for some help). Therefore, you should definitely give Minecraft mods a shot, as they make one of the best PC games ever made even better.

In this article, we've compiled a comprehensive list of all of the best Minecraft mods we recommend trying. Keep in mind that since Minecraft is a frequently patched game, some of these mods may take a while to get updated to the latest version. However, it's also important to remember that you can still play them by using the Minecraft Launcher to roll back to previous versions of the game that are compatible with the mods you want to play.

Best Minecraft mods: Utility mods

These mods don't add content to the game or alter gameplay mechanics, but they make the Minecraft experience smoother by improving performance and adding some valuable quality-of-life features to the game.


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Source: BITSLABLAB (Image credit: Source: BITSLABLAB)

Minecraft: Java Edition is notorious for being a bit less stable than its Bedrock counterpart, but installing OptiFine will make the game run better while also giving you plenty of new graphics options to tweak as well as the ability to use some of the best Minecraft shaders.

Just Enough Items (JEI)

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The vanilla recipe book in Minecraft is kind of useless since you can't view recipes until you've discovered them once, which forces a lot of players to check community-made wikis. Not anymore! With Just Enough Items (JEI), you can view the recipe for any item in the game (including items added by mods) whenever you want.

Here's What You're Looking At (HWYLA)

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Here's What You're Looking At (HWYLA) is a nifty little mod that allows you to check what the name of any block or entity you find in the world is, as well was what mod it came from. It's a useful tool to have during modded playthroughs if you want to make sure you can keep track of all the cool stuff you've added to your game with mods.

Best Minecraft mods: Gameplay mods

These mods directly impact the Minecraft gameplay experience by adding new biomes and dimensions, altering gameplay mechanics, implementing new features, and more.

Biomes O' Plenty

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Sick of the vanilla Minecraft biomes and want some diversity? Biomes O' Plenty adds in tons of new ones that will help your Minecraft world feel much more diverse and interesting.

The Aether II

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The Aether II adds in a brand-new heavenly dimension called The Aether that, in many ways, is the opposite of The Nether. With plenty of new mobs to encounter, structures to explore, building blocks to use, and loot to acquire, The Aether II is easily one of the best Minecraft mods ever made. The creator even got hired by Mojang!

Tough As Nails

Source: TheAdubbz (Image credit: Source: TheAdubbz)

Tough As Nails overhauls the Minecraft Survival Mode experience by adding in thirst and temperature mechanics. You'll need to stay hydrated to survive, and you'll also need to make sure that you don't get too hot or cold when exploring deserts, snowy regions, and other extreme biomes.

Serene Seasons

Source: TheAdubbz (Image credit: Source: TheAdubbz)

Serene Seasons adds seasons to Minecraft that come and go as time passes. Seasons impact which crops can grow when, what the weather is like, and what the temperature is (this mod pairs excellently with Tough As Nails). The seasons also bring some nice visual variety to the Minecraft experience.

Fossils and Archeology Revival

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What if Minecraft had dinosaurs? Fossils and Archeology Revival allows you to bring them into the game by discovering fossils, capturing DNA and creating eggs. The dinosaur models also fit right into the Minecraft art style, which is great. Just don't make them mad, or you might become their lunch.

Ice and Fire

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Ice and Fire is the best mob-focused mod for Minecraft overall, as it offers a variety of brand-new creatures to the game. These include trolls, pixies, hippogryphs, sirens, and more — with dragons being the most powerful and noticeable of the lot. You can find dragons flying around your worlds, and if you manage to take one down, you can make powerful weapons and armor out of its bones and scales. If you're also lucky enough to find and kill a dragon sleeping in an underground nest, you may just find a dragon egg that you can hatch for a dragon of your own!


Source: RazzleberryFox (Image credit: Source: RazzleberryFox)

Do you want to decorate your base, but you wish that you had more options beyond what vanilla has to offer? Decocraft has you covered with over 3,000 new decoration items. Everything from new pieces of exquisite furniture to small decorative trinkets are available in the mod.

Chisels & Bits

Source: AlgorithmX2 (Image credit: Source: AlgorithmX2)

Chisels & Bits allows you to whittle down Minecraft blocks pixel by pixel to create unique decorations and brand-new designs for objects like fences, tables, and more. It requires patience to achieve greatness with this mod, but some of the stuff you can make with it is nothing short of amazing.

Project Red

Source: MrTJP (Image credit: Source: MrTJP)

Minecraft Redstone is incredibly powerful and versatile, but its vanilla implementation requires a ton of free space. If you like working with Redstone and you want to size down your designs, check out Project Red. With new options for wiring, circuitry and more, this mod allows you to create advanced Redstone machines in a much smaller area.

Best Minecraft mods: Graphics mods

These mods will make Minecraft look more visually appealing by adding in new animations, lighting effects, textures, and more. We highly recommend trying them out if you've got a good PC.

Mo' Bends

Source: iwoplaza (Image credit: Source: iwoplaza)

Mo' Bends adds in new animations for all of Minecraft's mobs and (optionally) the player. Minecraft's vanilla animations are pretty stiff even though they are charming, so if you're looking for a change of pace, give this mod a try.

BSL Shaders

Source: BITSLABLAB (Image credit: Source: BITSLABLAB)

BSL Shaders offer the perfect balance between quality and performance, as they bring stunning and natural lighting, water effects, and wind effects to your game without grinding your FPS to a halt like some other shaders do.

Better Foliage

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Want to add more flora detail to Minecraft? Better Foliage adds extra detail to leaves to make trees feel fuller, and also covers grass blocks with short blades of grass to make them stand out more.


Source: SCtester (Image credit: Source: SCtester)

If you want to overhaul your Minecraft textures, we highly recommend using the Clarity mod. It adds in higher detail 32x32 textures to Minecraft heavily inspired by the game's original style. As a result, Clarity essentially makes Minecraft look much sharper without hitting performance too much or changing the game's art direction.

Your thoughts

What do you think of the mods we included in this list? Are there any that you think we missed? Let us know. Don't forget to use our guide on how to install and play with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition on PC if you need help installing these mods, and also make sure you check out our list of the best Minecraft shaders on Windows PC if you're not a fan of the BSL Shaders we recommended.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.