How to install 'Minecraft' mods and resource packs to completely reinvent your game

·6 min read
kid playing minecraft on mac
Mods and resource packs can completely remix your copy of "Minecraft." Picture Alliance/Contributor/Getty Images
  • You can install mods in "Minecraft" by playing the "Java Edition" and using the third-party Minecraft Forge app.

  • Minecraft Forge will give you a folder to put your mods in, and help you enable them in "Minecraft."

  • You can also install resource packs, which change the game's graphics, without using Minecraft Forge.

  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you like "Minecraft," but are getting tired of the game, you might want to check out mods.

Mods, short for "modifications," are pieces of software that can change how "Minecraft" works. Some mods alter the rules of the time-space continuum. Some can change enemies into immensely powerful zombies. Combine a few mods, like introducing flags and custom weapons, and you can transform your game into a heated match of Capture the Flag with friends.

There are also resource packs (also known as texture packs), which change textures - the visual designs of every item in the game. These are great for making the game look different, but keeping the same gameplay.

Just note that mods and resource packs only work with the "Java Edition" of "Minecraft," available for Mac, Windows, and Linux computers.

How to install 'Minecraft' mods

To use mods in Minecraft, you need to install Minecraft Forge, find the mods you want online, add your mods to "Minecraft," and troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Here's how to do it all.

Install Minecraft Forge

Before you can install "Minecraft" mods, you'll need to install a free app called Minecraft Forge. Forge is a third-party program that lets you manage, install, enable, and delete any mod.

You can download Minecraft Forge from the official website. Try to download the "Recommended" version, and make sure that the number in the left sidebar corresponds with the version of "Minecraft" that you have.

After you've downloaded and installed Forge, restart your computer, and open the Minecraft Launcher. You should see a new options menu - pick "Forge" from this menu and then press "Play."

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You can launch "Java" with Forge enabled. Emma Witman/Insider

This will launch "Minecraft" with Forge enabled. If you've done it right, you'll see a new menu titled "Mods" in the main menu.

Find the 'Minecraft' mods that you want

There are dozens of sites that offer "Minecraft" mods for free. Two of the most popular are minecraftmods.com and curseforge.com. If you can't find the mods you want there, you can always try searching for them on Google.

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You can search for newer mods, search by popularity, or use a keyword if you're searching for something specific. Emma Witman/Insider

However, whatever source you use, do some research. Like all third-party downloads, you'll want to dig a little to be sure the mod download is safe and won't cripple your game with bugs - or do worse, like install malware.

Also make sure that any mod you download is compatible with the specific version of "Minecraft" that you're running.

Both these sites have search features and comment sections, which let users report any issues they've had from a mod download.

Curseforge also lets you sort by and opt for mods that already have millions of downloads.

Add your mod to 'Minecraft'

  1. To see your mod in action, download the mod file you want, and then place it in a folder created by Forge called "mods." If you can't find this folder, save your downloaded mod file anywhere else that you can find it.

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    You'll want to save your files in the specific "Mods" folder. Emma Witman/Business Insider
  2. Open "Minecraft" while running Forge and click the "Mods" option from the main menu.

  3. Click "Open mods folder." This will open Forge's folder for installing mods.

  4. From there, use your Window's File Explorer or Mac's Finder to find the mod file you downloaded, and then drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste the file into the proper Forge mods folder.

  5. Restart your computer to be sure the mods are installed, then launch "Java" with Forge selected. Open the "Mods" menu, and you should see the mod you installed listed.

    6_ _How_to_install_Minecraft_mods
    You can check that the mod is running in the Mods section, as it will be listed in the left column, like the "Zombie Extreme" mod shown here. Emma Witman/Insider

Troubleshooting

If "Minecraft" has an issue loading after one or more mods are installed, don't freak out. Bugs and other problems will come with the territory, and usually for simple reasons.

Make sure that you copied over the right files, and that the mod you downloaded can work with your version of "Minecraft."

"Minecraft" will show you an error log if it fails to load, which you can inspect to find which mod is causing the game to crash. Once you've found it, open the mods folder and remove the culprit mod, then restart and launch again.

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You sometimes won't be able to launch "Minecraft" if a mod is bugged, and an error log like this one will appear instead. Emma Witman/Insider

How to install 'Minecraft' resource packs

You can also install resource packs to mix up your Minecraft universe. They won't alter gameplay, but can change how blocks and buildings look, as well as add fun cosmetics, unique sounds, and alternative languages to the game.

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A resource pack changing the design of the main menu. Emma Witman/Business Insider

You can find resource packs at familiar sources like curseforge.com, or other sites, like resourcepack.net. Here's how to install one in your game:

  1. Download the desired resource pack, which you should get in the form of a .zip file, and copy the file. Don't unzip the file, but copy it zipped.

  2. Open "Minecraft: Java Edition," and click "Options," then "Resource Packs."

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    The resource pack menu is in the "Options" list. Emma Witman/Business Insider
  3. Select "Open Pack Folder" and copy-and-paste or drag-and-drop the zip file into the folder. If you don't see the resource pack listed right away under "Available," go ahead and restart "Minecraft." It should appear.

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    Move the .zip files as they are, without opening them. Emma Witman/Insider
  4. Move the resource pack from "Available" to "Selected."

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    Drag the mod from the "Available" box to the "Selected" box. Emma Witman/Insider


    You're all set. Depending on the resource pack, you might see changes right away.

How to turn resource packs on and off while playing

If you start playing and find the new resource pack distracting, or if you want to compare the altered textures to the originals, you can turn your resource packs on and off while playing.

  1. Press Esc to open the menu, then click "Options."

  2. Click "Resource packs..."

  3. This will open the same resource pack folder you opened through the game's main menu. Here, you can enable or disable resource packs, and open your computer's resource pack folder.

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