The best Minecraft mods for glorious new worlds

Minecraft mods - Minecolonies artistic screenshot showing a large town of stone and wood buildings at sunset.
(Image credit: Mojang, modded by Let's Dev Together)

Hunting down the best Minecraft mods to build the foundation for a brand new world? Vanilla Minecraft's bountiful double-chest of blocks is wonderful, but even the finest of toys get old if you don't make playdates for anything else. With mods you can get an entirely new Minecraft experience—or just tweak some features to customize them to you. If you're a budding blocketeer driven to modify and personalize your gameplay, you'll want only the very best Minecraft mods to fill out your planning for a brand new world.

Best of Minecraft

Minecraf 1.18 key art

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft update: What's new?
Minecraft skins: New looks
Minecraft mods:  Beyond vanilla
Minecraft shaders: Spotlight
Minecraft seeds: Fresh new worlds
Minecraft texture packs: Pixelated
Minecraft servers: Online worlds
Minecraft commands: All cheats

With a treasure room stockpiled high with double chests bursting with choices, all the different mod categories are overflowing with mods ranging from basic quality of life to complete overhauls. Mods can remodel your game with block variety, or just simplify your Minecraft life. But discovering the perfect mod will allow you to relive your favorite Mario memories, or even visit worlds with enormous numbers of other players.

Minecraft 1.20 has settled at last, with all its new additions—including a pair of new friendly fellas in the Minecraft camel and community voted Minecraft sniffer—and we can dig into the new content at our leisure. But for mod creators it's another story, with many mod authors still digging out from under past updates in the mod-mines. You should prepare for the update forecast to be cloudy, with waits likely for your favorite mods being brought up to date latest official release. Thankfully, you aren't stuck twiddling your thumbs, since you can dive into one of the countless mods that reshape Minecraft into practically a brand new game—since many are set up for older versions of Minecraft, and they're ready for you to pick them up and explore anytime.

We've selected all the best mods to will make your next world more accessible, more mystical, or just way more complex—regardless of what your preference is.

This list of the best Minecraft mods has been updated for 2023, with all the best modpacks and standalone mods you can play right now.

Best Minecraft mod packs

If you want to overhaul your Minecraft experience with super deep tech trees or quests or even Pokémon, modpacks can do that. Instead of making your own mods list and checking for compatibility and version updates, modpacks give you a whole new suite of selections that have already been curated. All of these packs can be played through the launcher specified, which means it's super quick and breezy to install and get playing. 

Better MC

Minecraft mods - an amethyst golem protects ancient ruins in the Better MC modpack

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.19
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or Better MC

Focused on expanding the vanilla Minecraft experience, Better MC brings in biome superstars like Oh The Biomes You'll Go and combines them with dimension altering mods like BetterNether and BetterEnd to really step up the world. If you've ever sort of wondered what a hypothetical or alternate world 'Minecraft 2' would be like, Better MC is a view through the magic lens into that other possible world.

 SkyFactory 4

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.12.2
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or SkyFactory 4

As pretty much the ultimate evolution of the skyblock style of modpack/map, SkyFactory 4 gives some serious quality of life improvements to the experience. No longer will you toil for Minecraft-years on some parts of resource gathering, like sieving. SkyFactory 4 also automatically tracks what you’ve accomplished in an advancement system (without locking you into following it), and adds a new "Prestige" system that lets you unlock new mods and tech in an open progression system that ports across your different worlds.

MC Eternal

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.12
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or MC Eternal

As a kitchen sink styled pack, MC Eternal gives a chest of mod wonders to explore. Bringing together hundreds of quests with mods like Tinker's Construct and Applied Energistics 2, you can do everything from RPG-styled quests to managing your very own town with MineColonies. MC Eternal has something for everyone, and is the perfect pick for puttering around on your own or setting up a server for your friends who can never agree on a single theme.

Engineers Life 2

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.16.5
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or Engineer's Life 2

Focused on using fewer mods with more impact, Engineer’s Life 2 centers around the excellent Immersive Engineering mod (which you’ll find out more about in our individual mods). It adds a variety of quality of life improvements, quests, things to explore for, and revolves around creating interesting looking technology-focused builds at your own pace. It also contains some additions for the explorer that lives in us all, with refinements on underground dungeons and mob spawners and quest-based progression.

Roguelike Adventures and Dungeons

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.12.2
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or Roguelike Adventures and Dungeons

Do you prefer to live life dangerously, seeking the next horizon or chest full of loot? Roguelike Adventures and Dungeons is focused on getting you out and exploring and risking your blocky neck instead of trapped in your dirt hovel browsing complicated recipes. With multiple mods introducing other dimensions like Twilight Forest, Aether, and Betweenlands, and others adding new structures and dungeons to the overworld, you’ll never be without new sights to see. Thankfully, whatever you find there, you can also carry with you thanks to Improved Backpacks, before finding just the right biome for your trophy room with Nature’s Compass.

SevTech Ages

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.12.2
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or SevTech Ages

Similar to the ages of a game like Civilization, SevTech Ages drops you into the world with barely the ability to bang rocks together. As you begin to figure out the basics, SevTech lets you progress through massive tech trees of achievements, gradually unlocking more and more useful features and recipes (and the diverse mods they draw from) as you master each set of tools or blocks. It’s a wonderful slow burn pack to tackle with friends or alone, as long as you enjoy progression at a slower pace. 


(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.20
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or Pixelmon

Pokémon has reached down to the Minecraft world in the form of the Pixelmon mod, and the Pixelmon modpack optimizes it with a few select additions. Here, you can search the world for rare and unusual Pokémon, capture them with pokéballs that you purchase in towns or make yourself, breed Pokémon to optimize them, and battle against other players, NPC trainers, or boss/mega evolved Pokémon in the wild. Supremely open ended and the perfect playground to create a multiplayer server (or just mess around living your best trainer life) Pixelmon is a supremely unique experience that captures some of the best of the Pokémon games.

Best Minecraft Mods


(Image credit: Mojang, modded by Let's Dev Together)

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: MineColonies

Minecolonies is a huge mod that essentially turns Minecraft into a town management simulation. If you're more about exploring than building, but still want to feel like you've really left your mark, maybe become the caretaker of a Minecraft colony. You'll manage NPC village workers, plan the location on structures, and direct security against monsters. It even works in multiplayer, so you can set this one up on a server with your friends.

Biomes O'Plenty

(Image credit: Forstride)

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: Biomes O'Plenty

Since the 'Update That Changed The World' in late 2013, there's been a bit more diversity in Minecraft worlds. But Biomes O'Plenty adds vastly more—75 to be exact—from brushland and coral reefs, through lavender fields and ominous woods, to tundra and wasteland. Freshly updated for 1.20, Biomes O'Plenty is still adding new regions to wander on your next trek. You'll need to create a new world to use it (make sure to select the 'Biomes O'Plenty' world generation option), but it's worth it to see corners of Minecraft that you've never seen before.


Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: JourneyMap

Maps are great for trying to keep a rough idea of where you are or where you’re heading. That said, there’s always room for improvement.

Imagine Google Maps, only for Minecraft and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what this mod does. Specifically, it lets folk view a more real-time map in-game, and on the mini-map, as well as being able to view the map online via a web browser. Already compatible with 1.20, then this mod is a must if you're planning a lengthy journey to bring home some Sniffer eggs.

Twilight Forest

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: The Twilight Forest

Love adventuring? This mod adds a new, densely-forested dimension shrouded in perpetual twilight that hides both valuable treasures and dangerous monsters. Throw a diamond into a pool of water surrounded by flowers to create a portal there, then spend a while roaming around. You'll find hedge mazes, hollow hills, enchanted groves, glaciers, lich towers and more with rich rewards for those that delve the deepest.

Pam's HarvestCraft 2

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: Pams HarvestCraft 2

Pam’s HarvestCraft 2 is the sequel to the extremely popular original, and it’s split itself into four separate—but directly related—mods. Above all else, Pam's HarvestCraft succeeds at making your Minecraft world feel more vibrant and alive. It introduces countless new foods you can find or create, new crops to grow, and dozens of new types of fruiting trees to the landscape. Minecraft with Pam's HarvestCraft sketches your world in shades of Stardew Valley and lets you become an expert chef making everything from mac & cheese to jelly donuts. 

Alex's Mobs

Minecraft mods - a group of kangaroos from Alexs Mobs

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: Alex's Mobs

Loads of new biomes are wonderful, but what about the existing ones in Minecraft? Wandering through everything from badlands to forests can sometimes feel a bit lonely, and Alex's Mobs seeks to change that with 89+ new critters of all kinds. From kangaroos to rattlesnakes and more, you'll find an entire zoo's worth of new pals (and not-so-pals, in the case of nightmare fuel cave centipedes). But better than just animal wallpaper, all the new mobs have a variety of item drops and useful new features associated with them.


(Image credit: Create)

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: Create

Create focuses on automation and takes Minecraft mechanisms to the next level. It's all based on rotational power and kinetics so a range of gears and cogwheels have been introduced and are waiting for you to experiment with. Of course, gearboxes, chain drives, conveyor belts, clutches, pulleys, and levers are also there to help bring your weird and wonderful creations to life.


(Image credit: Vazkii)

Minecraft version: 1.19 | Download: Botania

Some Minecraft mods add powerful magical items. Others add intricate machinery. Botania just adds flowers—but wow, what flowers. Flowers that heal you. Flowers that feed animals. Flowers that turn hostile mobs against each other. Flowers that eat cake. Oh, and did I mention that you've can also use flowers to create a magical portal to a world of elves? If you want to try something wildly different from most other mods, Botania is it.

Astral Sorcery

(Image credit: Mojang)
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Minecraft version: 1.16.5 | Download: Astral Sorcery

Whether you’re really into astrology or just like staring at the night sky, Astral Sorcery has you covered with an incredible suite of magical options. Based around stars and constellations—with all of its major constructions and rituals happening at night—this adds much needed depth to Minecraft’s dangerous dark hours. Astral Sorcery’s structures are also some of the prettiest in Minecraft, with beautiful marble fountains and ritual platforms, plus it lets you set up a stellar travel network to move between locations instantly: an amazing boon for multiplayer servers. 

Nature's Compass

(Image credit: Mojang, modded by Chaosyr)

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: Nature's Compass

Nature's Compass solves a classic Minecraft adventuring problem: you desperately want to explore a specific biome, but you don't want to have to wander across miles of procedurally-generated ground to find it. With Nature's Compass, you can craft a compass that'll orient itself towards a biome type of your choosing—and it's compatible with modded biomes, too.

Witchcraft & Wizardry

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.16.5 | Download: Witchcraft & Wizardry

While Witchcraft & Wizardry is actually an incredibly impressive custom map and not a mod, it sure does feel like one. The entire thing recreates the Harry Potter world with such precision and creativity that it’s an amazing choice to play through, either alone or with some friends. It feels like a genuine RPG with quests, puzzles, and your own story of becoming a Hogwarts student.

Additional Structures

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: Additional Structures

Additional Structures functions as a much-needed cosmetic toolbox for Minecraft, adding everything from simple logs, rocks, and bushes to ruined builds, dungeons with traps and treasure, and much more. All told, 155+ new structures spawn in your world with Additional Structures, and really diversify the landscape—even in 1.19's revamped swamps. Best of all, it plays really well with Traverse, Biomes O' Plenty, and Biome Bundle, which are all excellent mods that add more biomes to explore in your worlds. 

Immersive Engineering

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.19 | Download: Immersive Engineering

Most tech mods in Minecraft seem somewhere between sci-fi futuristic and black box technology, with red pipes and single blocks that spit out resources or control vast functions. Immersive Engineering takes a totally different approach, basing its methods in a more realistic look and process. Power is carried by wires you string, can light up your bases and power your new machines, help you break down ores to get more resources or dig up new ones, mass produce items, and also happens to look amazing with its windmills and power lines. 

Trumpet Skeleton

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.16.1 | Download: Trumpet Skeleton: ReDooted

Survive the coming skeleton war. Embrace the DOOT.

Minecraft Utility mods

(Image credit: Mojang (modded by Mezz))


Minecraft version: 1.7.2 - 1.20 | Download: OptiFine
Minecraft doesn't scale too well to the power of fast or slow machines. It runs surprisingly poorly on low-end laptops, and a high-end rig can't do much with its extra oomph. Enter Optifine—a mod that not only makes Minecraft run faster but also look far better. It supports HD textures, smooth lighting, and more, and framerate doubling is not uncommon. It's one of the first things we usually add when installing Minecraft.

Just Enough Items (JEI)

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: Just Enough Items (JEI)
Just Enough Items is the successor of the older NotEnoughItems mod that lets you search for materials in-game and see all of its recipes. It's often included in modpacks, helping you learn the recipes for new items you're not yet familiar with.


Minecraft version 1.17 - 1.20 | Download: Jade
Jade is a fork of the discontinued mod HWYLA, which itself was a fork from the old popular utility What Am I Looking At. Among other things, it shows a tooltip with the name of the block or object your cursor is pointing at. This is another utility that's often included in modpacks, and we'd recommend including it in your own mod collection if you're constantly scratching your head wondering what that block you've never seen before is.


Minecraft version: 1.20| Download: GraveStone
Death happens in Minecraft’s survival mode, whether you slipped off a mountainside while exploring, got cornered in a cave, or simply got distracted. It can be devastating to lose the entire contents of your inventory simply because you couldn’t find your chalk outline fast enough. With GraveStone, you’ll drop a grave block when you die—labelled with your name—that you can break to get your stuff any time you’d like. Life after death!

Storage Drawers

Minecraft version: 1.20 | Download: Storage Drawers
Do you have untamed chests? Is your storage system more of a storage disaster? Nothing will ever compare to the feeling of having all your item storage perfectly sorted and tidy. In vanilla Minecraft, this is an uphill task, and often one where it feels like you’re pushing a boulder. Storage Drawers eliminates all of the worst parts of the hassle, and does it with style. You can make quartered, halved, or full sets of drawers in a variety of wood types, and it even displays the contents and capacity on the front. Neat freaks and the messy types can finally coexist with ease.

How to install Minecraft mods

How to install Minecraft mods

We’ve thankfully moved away from the days when mods required complex rituals to install. Modpack launchers have made trying out new collections easier than ever. Of course, if you’d like a more custom experience, you can still install mods manually, you’ll just need to be mindful of version compatibility with your Minecraft install. Many older mods don’t get updated, or have passed on to new keepers to update, mod managers like MultiMC are a huge help.

Alongside this is Fabric, which is required for many other mods alongside Fabric API. In fact, some of the mods below will require them. And be aware, you may have to go back to older versions of Forge to run some mods, as they may not run on the newest version of Minecraft. If you need help, this guide for how to install mods on older versions of Minecraft should be useful. 

Minecraft mod managers

For the best level of control over your Minecraft mods and instances, MultiMC is the way to go. You can keep different groups of mods separate from one another, for instance, if you have a few different configurations you enjoy playing. It's also an umbrella launcher that gives you easy access to installing modpacks from CurseForge, Feed The Beast, Technic, and more. 

If you just want to play some of the best modpacks on this list, or quickly join a server that's using one, the CurseForge launcher will let you do so. It's an easy to use mod launcher that handles mods for lots of other games, so you may already be using it. There are tons of modpacks for all versions of Minecraft on CurseForge, so you can find just about anything you're looking to try.  

Feed The Beast
Feed The Beast is another platform full of great modpacks and using its own launcher is the way to go if you're only interested in loading up something like FTB Revelation or FTB Infinity. New modpacks get added to FTB pretty regularly, so it's a handy way to try out new ways to play without managing your own mods list. 

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor and Chief Minecraft Liker in 2021. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, multiplayer cryptids, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.