Ice and Fire: Dragons by alex1the1666Source: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

There are already nearly unlimited possibilities within the magical world of Minecraft, but you can make Minecraft even grander with mods. Mods are additions and expansions (usually built by third parties) that can do practically anything you could imagine, from completely altering a game's core mechanics to simple things like making everything blue. Mods in Minecraft: Java Edition can be a ton of fun and help breathe new life into a game that some people have been playing for over a decade.

Installing and playing with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition can be a daunting task for the uninitiated. That's why we've put together the ultimate guide to installing and playing with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition:

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How do I prepare for mods in Minecraft: Java Edition?

Ice and Fire: Dragons by alex1the1666Source: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

Mods in Minecraft: Java Edition can massively expand the possibilities of play. You can even create your own mods for Minecraft: Java Edition if you're so inclined. Before you can begin installing and playing with mods, though, there are a few things for which you'll need to prepare.

  • Make sure your computer can handle mods. Many mods are small and have negligible effects on performance, but a lot of them can put strain on your computer. If your computer already struggles to run Minecraft: Java Edition without mods, you may have difficulty finding a good experience with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition. You can find the minimum and recommended specs to run Minecraft: Java Edition down below.
  • Make sure you have enough available storage. An extension of performance is storage. Just like with everything else you install and run on your computer, mods take up additional storage. Keep this in mind with mods that you install, and be mindful of storage restraints.
  • Make sure you're comfortable using mods. It's not too difficult to begin using mods in Minecraft: Java Edition, but you do have to be comfortable installing files and programs, accessing computer folders and editing files, and more. If you're not confident, follow our guide one step at a time and take it slow.
  • Make sure you're using Minecraft: Java Edition. Finally, you need to be using Minecraft: Java Edition. Unfortunately, Minecraft: Bedrock Edition does not support mods. To enjoy mods in Minecraft, you'll need to be running the legacy Java Edition (this also means no mods on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, or mobile devices).

Before we begin, let's go over the minimum and recommended specs to run Minecraft: Java Edition. The minimum and recommended specs for Minecraft: Java Edition include:

  • Minimum:

    • CPU: Intel Core i3-3210 3.2 GHz, AMD A8-7600 APU 3.1 GHz, or equivalent
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce 400 Series, AMD Radeon HD 7000 series with OpenGL 4.4, or equivalent
    • RAM: 4GB
    • Storage: At least 1GB for game core, maps, and other files
  • Recommended:

    • CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5GHz, AMD A10-7800 APU 3.5 GHz, or equivalent
    • GPU: GeForce 700 Series, AMD Radeon Rx 200 Series (excluding integrated chipsets) with OpenGL 4.5, or equivalent
    • RAM: 8GB
    • Storage: 4GB (SSD is recommended)

How do I use mods in Minecraft: Java Edition?

Ice and Fire: Dragons by alex1the1666Source: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

Now that you've adequately prepared yourself for mods in Minecraft: Java Edition, you can follow these steps to become a modding professional. In order, you'll need to:

  1. Purchase and install Minecraft: Java Edition.
  2. Install Java.
  3. Install the Forge mod installer.
  4. Install and play with your mods.

You can use the menu to the left to quickly navigate to the sections you need if you've already completed one or more of these steps.

How do I install the Minecraft Launcher for Minecraft: Java Edition mods?

Your first step to installing and playing with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition is, of course, to actually have Minecraft: Java Edition. In this portion of our Minecraft: Java Edition mods guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about how to purchase, install, and setup the Minecraft Launcher for Minecraft: Java Edition.

The Minecraft Launcher is not just for playing Minecraft: Java Edition with mods, either. You can participate in the latest Minecraft: Java Edition snapshot tests, play Minecraft Dungeons, and even go back to previous versions of Minecraft if you want.

If you want to purchase Minecraft: Java Edition, you can go straight to the Minecraft: Java Edition store page.

Installing the Minecraft Launcher

If you're already familiar with downloading and installing the Minecraft Launcher for Minecraft: Java Edition, you can go straight to the Minecraft: Java Edition download page.

Now that you own Minecraft: Java Edition, follow these steps to install it on your computer:

  1. On your computer, navigate to Mojang Studios' website.
  2. If you're not logged in with the account you purchased Minecraft: Java Edition on, click the "Log in" button in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  3. Sign-in with your Microsoft Account or Mojang Account. If you purchased Minecraft: Java Edition after December 2020, you'll need to sign-in with a Microsoft Account.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  4. Once you're logged in, return to the Mojang Studios' website.
  5. Click on the large "Get Minecraft" button near the center of the screen.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  6. Select the PC platform from the list of choices.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  7. Choose Minecraft: Java Edition from the two versions available.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  8. Click on the large "Download" button near the center of the screen.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  9. On the Minecraft: Java Edition download page, click on the large "Download for Windows" button near the top of the screen. Players on MacOS or Linux can find links farther down the page.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  10. Once you hit the "Download for Windows" button, click on the Save As prompt near the bottom of your screen.
  11. To make it easy to find, make sure to save the "MinecraftInstaller" file to the "Downloads" folder on your computer.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  12. Once you've downloaded "MinecraftInstaller" on your computer, navigate to the "Downloads" folder.
  13. Double-click on the "MinecraftInstaller" file to begin installing the Minecraft Launcher.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  14. Once you've opened the Minecraft Launcher Setup Wizard, click the "Next" button to progress to the next step.
  15. Choose the install destination folder for the Minecraft Launcher. The default should be fine for most users, but you can change it here if you need to.
  16. Click Next.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideMinecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  17. On the next screen, click the "Install" button to begin the installation process.

    • Note: Depending on your security settings, you may need to allow access to the Minecraft Launcher Setup Wizard at this point.
  18. Once the Minecraft Launcher is finished installing, click Finish to exit the Minecraft Launcher Setup Wizard. You can choose if you want to launch the Minecraft Launcher immediately.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideMinecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

Setting up the Minecraft Launcher

Once you've installed the Minecraft Launcher, follow these steps to set it up:

  1. On your computer, find and open the Minecraft Launcher so it can automatically check for and install updates.
  2. Once the Minecraft Launcher has updated and opened, sign-in with your Mojang or Microsoft Account.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  3. Once you've logged in to your Mojang or Microsoft Account, verify that you're can play Minecraft: Java Edition by looking for the large "Play" button.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  4. To test that Minecraft: Java Edition runs on your computer, click the large "Play" button to start Minecraft: Java Edition. The Minecraft Launcher will download everything else it needs to run Minecraft: Java Edition.

How do I install Java for mods in Minecraft: Java Edition?

Having Minecraft: Java Edition installed on your computer is only the first step to playing with mods in Minecraft. The next step is to install Java, which is a necessary component for utilizing the Forge mod installer that we'll go over in the next section. Java isn't used for much anymore, so there's a very good chance it won't already be installed on your computer.

To install Java on your computer for Minecraft: Java Edition mods, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Java website.
  2. Once you're on the Java website, look for and click the "Agree and start free download" button near the center of the screen.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  3. Click the Agree and start free download button.
  4. Click Save As near the bottom of the screen.
  5. To make it easy to find, save the "JavaSetup" file in the "Downloads" folder on your computer.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  6. Once you've downloaded the "JavaSetup" file, navigate to the "Downloads" folder.
  7. Inside the Downloads folder, find and double-click the "JavaSetup" file. It may have additional numbers at letters at the end of its name.

    • Note: In order to open the "JavaSetup" file and begin installing Java, you may have to allow access on your computer.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  8. Once the Java Setup application opens, click the Install button to progress to the next step. You can also change the destination folder from this screen if necessary.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  9. The Java Setup application will install Java. Don't restart your computer or interrupt this process.
  10. Once Java has been installed, click the "Close" button when you get the confirmation message.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  11. While it's not necessary, you may want to restart your computer to ensure Java fully installed and there are no issues.

How do I install Forge for mods in Minecraft: Java Edition?

Now that you've installed Java, you're ready to install Forge. For the unaware, Forge is the most powerful, comprehensive way of installing mods for Minecraft: Java Edition. With a vast community of creators and constant support, Forge is always ready to modify your Minecraft experience in new and exciting ways.

To install the Forge mod installer for Minecraft: Java Edition mods, follow these steps:

  1. On your computer, navigate to the Forge website to download the Forge mod installer.
  2. Look for the Forge version you want to install. Forge is regularly updated to support the latest version of Minecraft.

    • Note: For the vast majority of people, the best idea is to install the recommended version, which is often the one that supports the latest Minecraft release.
  3. Once you've located the version of Forge you want to install, click on the large Installer button located underneath the Forge version.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  4. Click the Save As button near the bottom of the screen.
  5. To make it easy to find, make sure and save the "forge-installer" file in the "Downloads" folder on your computer.

    • Note: Because of the type of file the Forge mod installer is, your computer may attempt to block the download. You'll have to allow access.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  6. Once you've downloaded the "forge-installer" file, navigate to the "Downloads" folder.
  7. Inside, find and double-click the "forge-installer" file. It may have additional numbers in the title.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  8. Once the Mod System Installer is open, make sure Install client is selected, and not "Install server" or "Extract."
  9. Once the "Install client" option is selected, clikc OK to proceed. You can also change the destination folder from this screen if necessary.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  10. The Mod System Installer will install the Forge mod installer on your computer. Do not restart your computer or interrupt this process.
  11. Once the Forge mod installer has been installed, click OK when you get the confirmation screen.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  12. To ensure that the Forge mod installer was correctly installed, find and open the Minecraft Launcher on your computer.
  13. Once the Minecraft Launcher is opened, look for the Minecraft version dropdown menu to the left of the large "Play" button.

    • Note: The Minecraft version dropdown menu lets you switch between all currently installed versions of Minecraft like the latest release, snapshots, and (in this case) the Forge mod installer.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  14. Open it to make sure that the version of Forge you installed is selected.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

How do I install and play with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition?

It's been a long road, but you're now ready to install and play with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition. Well, there's a little bit more you'll have to learn first, but all the groundwork has already been laid. To install and play with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition, you'll have to learn how to take advantage of CurseForge, which is the largest library of Minecraft mods you're going to find anywhere. Creators worldwide have built high-quality mods for Minecraft: Java Edition, and CurseForge is where you can go to download new mods to enjoy.

Before you rush off to CurseForge and start downloading the mods of your dreams, there are a few things we need to do first. Mainly, you need to know how to locate (or create) the "mods" folder on your computer. Then you can master installing and playing with mods in our Minecraft: Java Edition mods guide.

To install and play with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition, follow these steps:

Finding or creating the "mods" folder

If you're already familiar with navigating your computer and don't need the step-by-step, the exact address for the "mods" folder is: C:\Users\"username"\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft

To find or create the "mods" folder for Minecraft: Java Edition mods, follow these steps:

  1. On your computer, navigate to and open the File Explorer application to find the mods folder.
  2. Open the View tab in the upper left-hand corner of File Explorer.
  3. Inside, make sure Hidden Items is selected.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  4. Now, navigate to Your PC in File Explorer.
  5. Open Local Disc (C:).

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  6. Find and open Users folder.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  7. Open your user folder. Mine is boddy.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  8. Open the AppData folder.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  9. Find and open the Roaming folder.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  10. Find and open the .minecraft folder.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  11. Look for the mods folder.
  12. If the mods folder is not present, right-click with your mouse, highlight the "New" menu, and click the "Folder" option.
  13. Once the new folder is created, name it "mods" without the quotation marks.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

Installing and playing with mods

Once you've learned where to find the "mods" folder, follow these steps to install and get playing.

  1. On your computer, navigate to the CurseForge website to browse and download mods.
  2. Once you're on the CurseForge website, look for the mod(s) that you want to install on your computer.

    • Note: CurseForge has thousands of mods across different categories. Take advantage of CurseForge's various tools like filtering, search, categories, and more to find the exact mod for which you're looking!

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  3. Once you've found the mod that you want, click on the mod to open up its page instead of clicking Download right away.

    • Note: Many mods may require other mods to work properly or have disclaimers about how they work. The "Download" button on the front page should only be used if you're already familiar with the mod.
  4. Once you've looked at the mod overview, click the small Download button near the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  5. Once you've clicked the Download, CurseForge will automatically download the mod after a few seconds on a new page.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  6. Once the mod is downloaded, you'll need to click the Save As button near the bottom of the screen.
  7. To make it easy to find, save the mod file to the Downloads folder on your computer.

    • Note: Because of the type of file mods, your computer may attempt to block the download. You'll need to allow access to download the mods.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  8. Once you've downloaded the mods, navigate to the Downloads folder on your computer.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  9. Inside, highlight and right-click on the mods you want to install.
  10. Select Copy. (Don't select Cut.)

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  11. Now, navigate to the mods folder on your computer. You can find the steps above if you need them.
  12. Right-click inside the folder to open up a new menu.
  13. Select Paste to copy the mods over.

    • Note: If you're confident and familiar with this process, you can also download mods directly in the "mods" folder on your computer from CurseForge.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  14. Once the mods are in your "mods" folder, find and open the Minecraft Launcher.
  15. Verify that the Forge mod installer is selected as your Minecraft version.
  16. If the Forge mod installer is selected as your Minecraft version, click the large Play button near the center of the screen.

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

  17. Because mods have been installed in Minecraft, the Minecraft Launcher will warn you that certain safety features may not work.
  18. To play with mods, click the small "Play" button in the lower right-hand corner of the message.

    • Note: If you don't want the Minecraft Launcher to warn you again, you can select the "I understand the risks. Don't warn me again about this installation." option before clicking "Play."

    Minecraft Java Edition Mods GuideSource: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

Is there anything else to know about mods in Minecraft: Java Edition?

Ice and Fire: Dragons by alex1the1666Source: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy

Now that you're an expert at installing and playing with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition, there are a few other things you need to always keep in mind. Fortunately, we're here with our Minecraft: Java Edition mods guide to give you all the information you need to be the epitome of smooth sailing with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition.

  • Many mods may not allow online multiplayer. Playing with friends is a huge part of Minecraft, but mods are usually not allowed in online multiplayer for many reasons. This is especially true with servers, where Mojang Studios wants to make sure the game is reliable and is both fun and fair for all participants.
  • You can have multiple mods running at the same time. Nothing is stopping you from installing and playing with multiple mods at the same time. This can even lead to fantastic (sometimes quirky) combinations that you'd never be able to obtain with a single mod. Just bear in mind that multiple mods may further decrease performance or reliability, so I recommend adding one mod at a time and testing.
  • You can disable individual mods. If you're having issues with a specific mod or you just want to turn a mod off, you don't have to uninstall it completely! You can disable individual mods installed through Forge by adding ".disabled" to the end of that mod's file name.
    • If you're having any issues with Minecraft: Java Edition while running mods, try disabling mods one at a time. Some mods may have compatibility issues with other mods and won't work well together. Disabling individual mods helps you isolate where the issue originates.
  • You can install multiple Forge versions at a time. The Forge website archives all of its older versions, and users are able to install any of them at any time. If you want to ensure compatibility with older versions of Minecraft (because of certain features or specific mods), you can install the version of Forge that will work best with that version of Minecraft!
  • Only install mods in one Forge version at a time. If you're running multiple versions of the Forge mod installer in Minecraft: Java Edition, make sure you're only installing mods in one version of Forge at a time. Having mods installed in several versions of Forge can cause collisions and other issues, even if you're using the correct Forge profile in the Minecraft: Java Edition launcher.
  • You can install the CurseForge desktop app. It's still relatively new (and is in Beta at time of writing), but CurseForge does have a desktop app that allows you to browse, download, and manage mods and add-ons in a dedicated application. If you're going all-in on mods and want the complete setup, consider installing the CurseForge desktop app from the CurseForge website.
  • Twitch provides a decent alternative to Forge. While Forge is certainly the most powerful and comprehensive method for mods in Minecraft: Java Edition, you can alternatively use Twitch. Twitch does have modding capabilities for games, including Minecraft, in the Twitch desktop application. If you don't need the full Forge experience, and already use Twitch, you can install the Twitch desktop app from the Twitch website.

With or without mods, Minecraft still deserves your love. Check out our list of Best Merch, Toys, and Gifts for Minecraft and pick out something amazing for yourself or a fellow Minecrafter. You can also get the most out of Minecraft: Java Edition and mods with one of the Best Gaming Keyboards for PC, which offer best-in-class features and performance.

PC gaming

Minecraft: Java Edition

Anything but modest.

The original PC version of Minecraft exists alongside the more modern and universal Bedrock Edition, but differentiates itself with the infinite customizability of mods. If you want to get the most out of Minecraft, mastering Java Edition and its mods is essential.