Minecraft users don’t like being told what they can and cannot build in their blocky, virtual sandbox sweeping the globe. With more than 10 million PC copies of the game sold and an upcoming Xbox One edition well on the way, it’s safe to say that the hit title isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s as quirky as it is addictive, with highly customizable gameplay and features that have paved the way for an onslaught of modifications that take the game’s performance and the player in any number of directions. WesterosCraft and the Starship Enterprise are only the beginning.
Fortunately, the benevolent Minecraft community has been churning out a fair share of mods since the game’s 2009 release, albiet with levels of increasing complexity and Lego-like adoration with every passing update. And with the new plugin API now up-and-running, it’s easier than ever for modders to share their creations with the world through a few simple game adjustments and software tweaks. It just takes moving some files and a quick relaunch of the software.
Here’s our guide on how to install Minecraft mods on Windows and Mac — whether you want to optimize the environmental effects or strive to relive Portal’s dimensional rifts in another title.
Choose your operating system:
- Installing on Windows
- Installing on Mac OS X
[Author's note: This is a general overview of how install Minecraft mods, not an all-encompassing guide. Installation can differ from mod to mod, so be sure to follow the download and installation instructions that can typically be found online alongside the download options.]
Installing Minecraft mods on Windows
Step 1: Download the mods. It’s difficult to install mods you don’t already have in your arsenal. Head over to the Minecraft forums or check out the Minecraft Mod List for a frequently updated list of the latest mod versions and download locations. Each one typically has its own set of installation instructions and requirements, so be aware of your desired mod’s specifications as many mods also require additional software such as ModLoader or Minecraft Forge in order to function properly.
Also, keep in mind that although some mods are frequently updated and easy to track down, others are discontinued and virtually impossible to find unless you do some serious digging. Once you’ve chosen the mod(s), select your save destination for the resulting zip file and continue.
Step 2: Download an archive utility. You’re going to need a simple archive utility in order to open and edit some of the various files and folders during the installation process. If you don’t have a program installed on your system already, we recommend downloading WinRAR, 7-Zip, PeaZip or a similar, free software program.
Step 3: Navigate to the minecraft.jar file. Assuming you have Minecraft installed and updated, open the client and click the Options button in the bottom right-hand corner of the window. Click the link following Game location on disk to open up the folder housing all of the game’s resources and individual sub folders. Next, select the bin folder and you should see the minecraft.jar file.
Step 4: Make a backup of the mincraft.jar file (optional). Making a backup copy of a critical file is never a bad idea just in case something goes wrong. Simply right click the minecraft. jar file and select Copy before pasting the newly resulting copy in the .bin folder alongside the original.
Step 5: Open the original minecraft.jar and the mod files using the archive utility. Right click both the minecraft.jar and mod files before selecting Open Archive using 7-Zip or a similar program. Alternatively, you can open the files directly in the archive utility.
Step 6: Replace the minecraft.jar files. Drag your cursor or press CTRL+A to select all of the files in the newly opened mod folder. Once highlighted, drag the files to the minecraft.jar folder, replacing the files and confirming the action when prompted.
Step 7: Delete the META-INF file. Although included by default, the META-INF file is one of Mojang’s verification folders, and is not necessary for the game to run properly. It does however, render some mods incompatible. Delete the folder and ignore any warning signs that may pop up.
Step 8: Enjoy your new customized world. Relaunch Minecraft and wait for the game to update. Assuming everything went swimmingly and the game didn’t crash, Minecraft should boot to the main menu with your new mod installed!
Next Page: Installing mods on Mac OS X