There are already nearly unlimited possibilities within the essentially magic world of Minecraft, but those of you who are looking for more can make Minecraft even bigger with mods. Mods are additions and expansions (usually built by third-parties) that can do everything from completely altering a game's core mechanics to simple things like making all of the cats blue. They can be a lot of fun, and help breathe new life into a game that some people have been playing for almost a decade now.

However, they can also be a fair bit of work to safely manage and can only work on the Java Edition of Minecraft on PC. It's alright, though, because we've got the complete guide for you right here.

PC Gaming

Minecraft: Java Edition

Modest but epic

This is the original version of Minecraft, and to this day it manages to be bigger, grander, and more customizable than its more modern Bedrock brethren with mods.

How to prepare for mods in Minecraft

Before you jump headfirst into modding your game, there's a few things you'll need to do first. Mods are a ton of fun, but they do exert your computer more than just the base game would, and require a little bit of know-how to safely work with. Follow these simple steps before getting started:

  1. Make sure your computer can handle mods. If you have a laptop or desktop computer that can handle medium to high graphics on most modern games, you should be just fine.
  2. Double-check your PC's storage. Like everything else, mods take up additional space on your computer.
  3. I'd rate the difficulty for using mods as medium. Make sure you're comfortable changing file names and downloading external programs on your computer.
  4. This guide requires Minecraft: Java Edition. Full mods won't work with the Bedrock version of Minecraft, so you'll need to have the original behemoth installed on your computer to make mods work. If you don't already have it on your computer, you can grab it straight from Mojang for $27. You'll need to create an account with Mojang.

How to install Minecraft: Java Edition

If you're reading this, you're likely preparing to install Minecraft: Java Edition onto your Windows PC in order to enjoy the fun of mods. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. If you've already purchased the Java Edition of Minecraft, you now need to install it. Go to Mojang's website and click on the "Download" button in the upper righthand corner.

    __alt__

  2. Hit Download for Windows.

  3. Navigate to the Downloads folder on your PC and find the file labeled "MinecraftInstaller." Double-click this file to begin the installation process.

  4. Click on Next in the new window.

  5. The next screen will allow you to select the destination for the Minecraft Launcher. The default is perfect, but you can change it if you need to here.

  6. Click the install. Windows may ask you to confirm that you're okay with the Minecraft Launcher making changes to your system. You'll want to give it that confirmation.

  7. Installing mods requires that Minecraft has run at least once on your computer to finish installing the necessary files. If the Minecraft Launcher didn't start automatically, find it in your Apps list from the Start Menu and open it.

  8. After the client updates, click Play.

  9. Now that you're certain everything is working properly, back out of the game and close it out. It's time to move on to installing Forge, which is the program that you'll use to manage your mods.

How to install Java

The Forge program for Minecraft: Java Edition is understandably built off of Java. In order to install it, you'll first have to install Java. Follow these simple steps to do so:

  1. Download Java.

  2. Execute the downloaded installer. Windows will likely ask if you're okay with Java making changes to your computer. Since you've made it this far, you'll probably want to click yes.

  3. Click install. Java will begin the process and set everything up on your computer automatically. If you want to change the destination folder for Java as well, you can do so from this initial screen.

  4. Java will tidy itself up on its own, but it's always a good idea to restart your computer. Sometimes Java needs a computer restart to get to 100%. Now you're all set for Forge!

How to setup the Forge mod installer

In this section, we'll be going over how to install Forge, which is the program you'll use to integrate mods into Minecraft. Once Forge is setup, things are relatively straightforward. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Download Forge. (Make sure you download the version closest to the version of Minecraft: Java Edition on your computer. Some versions of Forge may not work with the latest version of Minecraft.)

  2. Wait for the download to complete. Once it has, navigate to your Downloads folder on your PC. You'll find it inside the File Explorer. Locate the ".jar" file and double-click it to start the process.

  3. This will open up a box called "Mod System Installer." Check the Install Client button.
  4. Click OK.

  5. Open Minecraft: Java Edition and make sure to select Forge as your profile. (f you have multiple versions of Minecraft or Forge installed, make sure to only select the Forge that coincides with the version of Minecraft you're playing.)

How to begin playing with mods

Congratulations, you have now installed Forge for Minecraft: Java Edition. Forge by itself doesn't do a whole lot for you, however, so in order to begin playing with mods go ahead and follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Curse Forge to begin browsing mods. There are powerful search tools as well so you can pinpoint exactly what kind of mod you want.
  2. Once you find the mod that you want, go ahead and click Download. Like with everything else in this guide, you can either download the mod to your Downloads folder and move it to your mods folder manually, or you can choose where to download it.

  3. Now it's time to move the mods into your mods folder. The mods folder is located inside of your .minecraft folder. You can find it by navigating to the C:\ drive on your computer (often called Local Disc) and looking for Users. Once inside, you'll want to look for your profile name. From there you look for AppData, then Roaming, then .minecraft. Alternatively, you can just type "C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming.minecraft" into the File Explorer's addresss bar. Just replace "yourname" with whatever your Windows account is.

  4. If the mods folder isn't inside your .minecraft folder, you can simply create a new folder and name it "mods." Any mods you download will need to be moved to this new folder.

  5. Once the mods are in your mods folder, simply launch Minecraft with that version of Forge loaded as your profile. Enjoy your mods!

Alternative method to Forge

If using Forge isn't in your calling, there is an alternative method using Twitch. If you're interested, I've laid out a basic tutorial in these simple steps:

  1. Download and Install the full Twitch client.

  2. Go to the Downloads folder and double-click TwitchSetup.

  3. Click install on the window that pops up.

  4. Make sure you log-in with your Twitch account or create a new one if necessary.

  5. Find the "Mods" section in the navbar located at the top of the screen. Find Minecraft and select it.

  6. Find the version you want to play and create a new profile for it.

  7. Click on one of the tabs to begin browsing for the mods you want. Fun fact: you can use the Curse Forge website to find mods for Twitch too.

  8. Go to My Games and select Minecraft to automatically open Minecraft and begin playing.

Things to keep in mind

There are a few things you should definitely keep in mind whenever you're using mods. To make sure you're always the epitome of smooth sailing, follow these simple steps:

  • You can have multiple mods loaded at once. There's absolutely nothing wrong with mixing and matching different types of mods.
  • If you're having issues with your game while having multiple mods installed, try disabling mods one at a time. Mods can somtimes have compatibility issues with other mods. This helps narrow the issue down.
  • If you want to disable a certain mod, navigate to the mods folder and add ".disabled" to the end of the mod's filename. You don't have to uninstall all the mods you just want to turn off for a little while.
  • If you have different versions of Forge installed, make sure there are only mods in the Forge version you want to use. If multiple versions of Forge all have mods installed, your game might not behave properly.
  • The Twitch alternative to playing with mods is easier to set up, but Forge gives you more power and control. If you're interested in playing with mods long-term, I recommend taking the time to set up Forge and do it properly.
  • Most mods do not allow multiplayer. If you're thinking about installing mods and flexing on your friends or in servers with them, beware.

Is there anything else?

Absolutely not! If you diligently followed the steps outlined in this tutorial, you're well on your way to discovering a whole new segment of Minecraft. Mods greatly expand the already gargantuan breadth of Minecraft, and responsibly modding your game can lead to a couple thousand more hours invested into the game (as if you needed the convincing.)

Awesome Minecraft merch

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Minecraft Guide Book Collection ($25 at Amazon)

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