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)

Looking for all the best Minecraft mods for your next playthrough? While vanilla Minecraft is still a blast, now and again you still just want to spice up the normal Minecraft experience and customize things. Thankfully for everyone that loves variety, the best Minecraft mods are available to take you to a whole new world on their cubic carpet, no genies required. 

Best of Minecraft

Minecraf 1.18 key art

(Image credit: Mojang)

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With the full range of options from basic quality of life through full on overhauls of your game, mods can take the Minecraft horizon further and further past its already expansive sandbox. Picking a perfect mod can let you relive favorite Mario memories, or just jump in and play with enormous numbers of other players.

Minecraft 1.20 is marching towards release, with a bunch of snapshots out—including a new best pal in the Minecraft camel—so we'll get to see it before much longer. So make sure you're ready to hurry up and wait, since most mod creators are still hard at work in the mines perfecting compatibility updates for older Minecraft versions, let alone upcoming ones, so you'll probably need to wait for your favorite mods to get fine tuned. Thankfully, you can spend your time with one of the countless mods that are practically a new game on their own for older versions of Minecraft, since they're just waiting for you to pick up.

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 modpacks

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. 

 SkyFactory 4

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.12.2
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or SkyFactory 4 (opens in new tab)

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.

FTB Revelation

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.12
Play it on:
Feed The Beast Launcher

An enormous kitchen sink style pack, Revelation has a bottomless well of mods of all kinds. If you want to sort through a near-endless pile of options for your experience, Revelation brings in everything from magic mods like Botania and Thaumcraft to technology in Immersive Engineering and EnderIO, and combines them with quality of life and other mods both obscure and popular. In total, Revelation is the largest pack on the Feed the Beast launcher, and you can easily get lost in it.

Engineers Life 2

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.16.5
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or Engineer's Life 2 (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab)

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. 

Pixelmon

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft version: 1.16.5
Play it on:
CurseForge Launcher or Pixelmon (opens in new tab)

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

Minecolonies

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

Minecraft version: 1.19 | Download: MineColonies (opens in new tab)

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: 1.19 | Download: Biomes O'Plenty (opens in new tab)

Since the 'Update That Changed The World (opens in new tab)' 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 1.19, 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.

Journeymap

Minecraft version: 1.19 | Download: JourneyMap (opens in new tab)

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 1.19, then this mod is a must if you're planning a lengthy journey to find a new mangrove swamp to make your own.

Twilight Forest

Minecraft version: 1.19 | Download: The Twilight Forest (opens in new tab)

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: 1.18.2 | Download: Pams HarvestCraft 2 (opens in new tab)

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. 

Fire and Ice: Dragons

(Image credit: Raptorfarian and Alexthe666)

Minecraft version: 1.16.5 | Download: Ice and Fire: Dragons (opens in new tab)

Raptorfarian and Alexthe666's Ice and Fire: Dragons is a mod that adds a whole load of fantasy creatures (opens in new tab) into the base game. The list is huge, including the likes of hippogryphs, gorgons, dread liches, sea serpents, hydras, pixies, cyclopes, trolls, death worms, and ghosts. Dragons are the highlight of the mod though, letting you train, ride, and hunt the mythical beasts. You can craft dragon equipment, find dragon eggs, and explore dragon caverns where special loot lies.

Create

(Image credit: Create)

Minecraft version: 1.19 | Download: Create (opens in new tab)

Create focuses on automation and takes Minecraft mechanisms to the next level (opens in new tab). 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.

Botania

(Image credit: Vazkii)

Minecraft version: 1.19 | Download: Botania (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab)

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: 1.19 | Download: Nature's Compass (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab)

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: 1.19 | Download: Additional Structures (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab)

Survive the coming skeleton war. Embrace the DOOT.

Minecraft Utility mods

(Image credit: Mojang (modded by Mezz))

Optifine 

Minecraft version: 1.7.2 - 1.19.2 | Download: OptiFine (opens in new tab)
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: 1.19 | Download: Just Enough Items (JEI) (opens in new tab)
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.

Jade

Minecraft version 1.17 - 1.19 | Download: Jade (opens in new tab)
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.

GraveStone 

Minecraft version: 1.19| Download: GraveStone (opens in new tab)
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: 1.19 | Download: Storage Drawers (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab), which is required for many other mods alongside Fabric API (opens in new tab). 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

MultiMC (opens in new tab)
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. 

CurseForge (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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. 

Philip Palmer

Phil is a contributor for PC Gamer, formerly of TechRadar Gaming. With four years of experience writing freelance for several publications, he's covered every genre imaginable. For 15 years he's done technical writing and IT documentation, and more recently traditional gaming content. He has a passion for the appeal of diversity, and the way different genres can be sandboxes for creativity and emergent storytelling. With thousands of hours in League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft, and countless survival, strategy, and RPG entries, he still finds time for offline hobbies in tabletop RPGs, wargaming, miniatures painting, and hockey.