Since its launch in 2009, Minecraft has seen its modding community explode. There are thousands of Minecraft mods out there, and in this article I narrow down the top ten best Minecraft mods to extend your enjoyment of the game. These include graphical mods, gameplay mods, and more – take a look at the list below and get acquainted with the exciting world of third-party Minecraft mods!
10. Rei’s Minimap
Minecraft has included a player-crafted map item since Beta 1.6, but its functionality is extremely limited and leaves a great deal to be desired. There are numerous minimap mods, but I recommend Rei’s Minimap as it includes great graphical detail, longitude, latitude, and height coordinates, and up-to-date rendering on the fly. The map doesn’t intrude on gameplay and takes up only a small amount of space in the top right corner of the screen. You’ll never get lost in your Minecraft world again with this minimap mod.
9. TNT Mod
TNT is one of Minecraft’s staple items and it’s as much fun to blow up your world as it is to construct it. This mod expands on the simple TNT block that stock Minecraft includes with firebomb, napalm, and even nuclear weapon blocks. Installing this mod is a one way ticket to bringing destruction with a set of simple crafting recipes.
8. Water Shader
The basic textures of Minecraft leave a lot to be desired, and the water is no exception. This mod will add a water shader that’s up to par with modern games. No longer will your Minecraft water be a flat blue surface. This mod turns water into a highly realistic, reflective surface that’s sure to greatly increase your Minecraft immersion. Thanks to clever coding, your graphical performance shouldn’t even suffer much.
7. Weather & Tornadoes
One of my biggest problems with vanilla Minecraft is the lack of realistic weather. Notch has slowly added rain and snow, but it’s purely aesthetic and doesn’t impact gameplay at all. The Weather & Tornadoes mod adds a full range of destructive storms to your Minecraft worlds that can have a huge bearing on how you play. This mod includes water sprouts, tornadoes that uproot blocks and destroy villages, hurricanes with heavy winds, and more. Adds an element of challenge and sheer awe to any Minecraft experience.
6. Single Player Commands
Minecraft’s multiplayer is great fun for a variety of reasons, one of which is the ability to give yourself admin powers and become a literal Minecraft god. Unfortunately the stock single player lacks these commands. This mod adds multiplayer admin commands to single player mode. The possibilities are endless, and allow you to shape your Minecraft world any way you please without the use of bulky additional inventory editor programs.
5. Balkan’s Weapons
The amount and variety of weapons in Minecraft is quite limited, and if you don’t want to use a sword or a bow you’re out of luck. Balkan’s Weapons adds in a variety of melee weapons (battleaxe, halberd, spear, and warhammer) and two new ranged weapons: the javelin, a primitive throwing spear, and the musket, an advanced firearm that’s tricky to craft but the most powerful weapon in the game. There are many weapon mods for Minecraft, but this one is my favorite. The new weapons feel natural, balanced, and actually different from each other, and the musket is cool enough to warrant crafting but not overpowered like other gun mods.
4. Nature Overhaul
Minecraft’s ecosystems are rather basic and lack some obvious mechanics, among them self-replenishing trees and vegetation. This overhaul mod fixes this problem and allows trees and plants to spread saplings and seeds without player input, creating a more immersive world that grows and develops without direct player input. The mod is programmed to carefully determine whether or not new vegetation can grow on the land it spreads to, so your world will not become overgrown by forests but rather grow naturally and realistically.
3. Kaevator’s Slopes Mod
It took me a while of playing Minecraft basic to realize something important was missing – slopes! The blocks in unmodded Minecraft are all variations of 90 degree angles, which leads to some interesting aesthetic output and – let’s be frank – some ugly architecture that could be greatly improved by sloped blocks. Enter Kaevator’s mod, which increases the tool set of any Minecraft designer and opens up whole new possibilities for creative and eye-popping architecture. If you’ve ever felt that your Minecraft game is too flat, dull, and blocky, then this mod is for you.
2. Fossil Mod
I admit, I’m biased – I love dinosaurs, and any mod that offers a chance to expand the Minecraft biota to include dinosaurs is going to place highly on my list. This is a “Jurassic Park” style mod where you can dig up fossils of extinct creatures, analyze their DNA, and cultivate it to reproduce the monsters of old. Fossils in this mod include more than dinosaurs – you’ll find ancient ferns, nautiluses, and the ruins and artifacts of ancient civilizations. This mod adds a great deal of depth below the surface of any Minecraft world and comes highly recommended for the paleontology junkie.
If there’s one mod that “does it all”, it’s Adventurecraft. This mod takes one of the Minecraft player bases’ biggest complaints – the lack of any real goal or object – and fixes it by allowing for the creation of goal-oriented adventure maps. New features include musical triggers, block triggers, non-player characters, locked doors and keys, new weapons, controllable weather, and more. In adventure mode, creating and destroying blocks is turned off, and it’s up to the player to use the environment around them to solve the quests presented without directly manipulating the world. Adventurecraft has a large enough standalone community to ensure hours of fun for anyone interesting in turning Minecraft into a fully-featured adventure game.
I hope you enjoy these Minecraft mods as much as I have, and that they extend the lifespan of your game!