Minecraft brings official mod support to ALL platforms — And the first free add-ons are already here

Image of Minecraft 1.20 "Trails & Tales."
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • One of the biggest missing pieces separating the two Minecraft versions is now falling into place.
  • Mojang Studios has announced add-ons, which are essentially officially supported and recognized mods for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition.
  • These add-ons, created by Minecraft partners and released through the Minecraft Marketplace, can fundamentally change Minecraft or add all-new content.
  • Not only are add-ons available on all Minecraft: Bedrock Edition platforms, the first examples are already available (and some of them are free!)

Minecraft is infamously divided into two versions: the modern and universal Bedrock Edition and the legacy Java Edition. The former is available on essentially all major gaming platforms with a flexible, secure foundation, while the former is exclusive to Windows PC (and macOS and Linux) but offers more powerful features like easy mod support. Well, that particular massive difference is about to become a lot less relevant.

On Tuesday, Mojang Studios announced a feature that Minecraft players have been requesting for years: official mod support for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on all platforms. The mods come in the form of "add-ons" that will be built by official Minecraft partners and creators, vetted by Mojang Studios to ensure safety and quality, and offered through the cross-platform Minecraft Marketplace. It's a monumental step forward for the oddly maligned (but absolutely necessary) Bedrock Edition of Minecraft.

What are Minecraft: Bedrock Edition add-ons?

There are already some pretty awesome Minecraft DLCs, but add-ons will let you create your own epic adventures (even in worlds you've already created). (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Add-ons are for all intents and purposes mods, but will be as easy to install and manage as all other Minecraft Marketplace content, sync to your Microsoft Account, be compatible with all existing worlds, and work seamlessly across Windows PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. Even better, add-ons will work with multiplayer worlds and Minecraft Realms, and only the host or Realm owner needs to have the mods.

So, what can add-ons do? Well, essentially anything mods can do already, but I can provide some examples. Using add-ons, you'll be able to safely add new content to and even totally manipulate your Minecraft experience, including adding custom blocks and mobs, introducing new mechanics like fast travel portals, furnishing your homes with boutique furniture and appliances, and even (finally) keeping proper pets. The possibilities are only limited by the imagination and skill of Minecraft developers.

There's also another benefit to add-ons: the talented creators behind the best Minecraft mods will be able to monetize their creations, if they decide to. Many modders voluntarily create wonderful mods for the best PC games, but oftentimes are simply unable to sell their mods in an official capacity. The Minecraft Marketplace changes that — and I'm all for supporting creators. To celebrate the momentous launch, though, Mojang Studios is offering everyone a bundle of free add-ons to try out (just navigate to the "Add-ons" tab)!

What about sideloading mods to the Bedrock Edition?

The more informed among you may seek to correct me that Minecraft: Bedrock Edition does, in fact, support mods already; that's true, but only in a limited capacity. The significantly less impressive mod library for the Bedrock Edition only works on Windows PC, Xbox, and mobile devices, and both requires more work and provides less control than Minecraft: Java Edition mods. Regardless, Mojang Studios has assured players that sideloading Minecraft: Bedrock Edition mods isn't changing in the slightest — that option will still be available, as long as mod creators continue to follow Minecraft's terms and conditions.

When are the first Minecraft add-ons releasing?

This actually isn't a mod, it's the Bogged, a new mob coming to Minecraft later this year. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)

Oh, now! The first batch of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition add-ons is already available from Feb. 20, 2024 for the purpose of testing this brand-new feature and collecting feedback from the community. As Mojang matures the add-ons tools and creators acclimate to this fresh paradigm, more and more add-ons will be made available through the Minecraft Marketplace. The Minecraft studio promises that there's a lot more to come this year.

As I mentioned above, too, Mojang is offering any and all Minecraft players a free bundle featuring some of the first add-ons being brough to the Minecraft Marketplace. There are 11 add-ons in total in the very first batch, and six of them are free! Here's a list:

  • GravestoneFree! Buries you're freshly deceased corpse along with all of your items, making it easy to return to the site of your death whenever you can to pick up all your lost gear. No more worrying about losing valuable loot to time, lava, explosions, or anything else.
  • Another Furniture Add-on Free! Adds over 20 new furniture items to Minecraft, all of which can be crafted in Survival, are compatible with any world, and actually add new utility to the game.
  • Hiker's Friend Free! Adds a collection of camping-focused gear and tools to help you survive in the Minecraft wilderness, including sleeping bags, functioning lanterns, camping chairs, and even a handy climbing pick for scaling mountains.
  • Spark Pets Add-on (Lite) — Free! Adds ten adorable pets that you can adopt in Minecraft. Even better, you can pet them, feed them treats, and teach them tricks. You can also craft or trade with the new Pet Trader for some special pet-specific items.
  • More TNT! Add-on Free! Adds over 15 new types of TNT to Minecraft with unique, overpowered, or goofy explosion types.
  • ALL THE WOOL Add-on Free! Love wool? Like, really love wool? Then this is the add-on for you, with literally hundreds of new wool variants, colors, crafting items, and furniture.
  • Decocraft in Minecraft 990 Minecoins. Make every building unique with over 1,000 new decorations and furniture items, including fully functional and animated furniture options.
  • Spark Portals Add-on 660 Minecoins. Make traveling in any Minecraft world a whole lot easier with the ability to create interconnected portals. Customize their colors and connect up to 160 ports in one world!
  • Techna Add-on 990 Minecoins. Bring modern technology into Minecraft with this add-on, which features a ton of new features like a tech-focused skill tree, a new resource, and lots of craftable items like generators, pipes, conveyor belts, machines, and everything you need to create your own Minecraft factory.
  • MUTANTS! Add-on 660 Minecoins. Brings a ton of hostile mutant mobs into the Overworld to give you a true challenge, alongside a bunch of unique crafting items and even a brand-new boss fight to truly put your skills to the test.
  • Computers Add-on 660 Minecoins. Get meta and put a computer in your Minecraft home, complete with the ability to track player stats, play computer games, and leave emails for your in-game friends (even when they're not online).

As if that wasn't enough, Mojang recently dropped another exciting announcement: another new mob is coming in the Minecraft 1.21 update, and it's mind-boggling (forgive the pun).

A dream come true

A great day for Minecraft players. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

As long as Mojang Studios works with Minecraft developers to bring a healthy, accessible, and interesting library of mods and add-ons to the Minecraft Marketplace, this will truly be a dream come true for Bedrock Edition players. One of the largest discrepancies between Minecraft versions is finally being addressed, and I couldn't be happier. I'm excited to see how add-ons evolve for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, and whether it'll breathe fresh life into Minecraft's well-known formula.

Are you excited for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition add-ons? What do you want to see made possible in the universal version of Minecraft? Let us know in the comments.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

  • Zachary Boddy
    It's heeeeere. Now this just needs to include cross-platform shaders and we'll be golden.

    Of course, I'd still like to see Java Edition's updated combat and ray tracing, but I'll take this for now.