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You can now create Minecraft mods using Java in Visual Studio

During its BUILD developer conference, Microsoft announced that you can now create Minecraft mods in Visual Studio using Java, thanks to a new add-in.

The new add-in was demoed by 17-year-old Aidan Brady, a high school student best known for his popular Mekanism mod for Minecraft. With tweaks of a few lines of code, Brady was able to create bigger explosions for TNT items in the game. The modding tools are included in the Intellisense tool within Visual Studio, though the tool won’t replace the already-available Eclipse tool.

Related: Microsoft’s new free Visual Studio Code app makes coding easier

Since schools already use Minecraft as a programming teaching tool for students, the goal is for students to learn how to use Visual Studio and, as a side effect, learn how to create Minecraft mods. Because there is now a path between Visual Studio and Minecraft, Microsoft’s larger goal seems to be for young programmers to get interested in and comfortable with programming, especially when Microsoft is actively looking for new developers for Windows 10.

According to Microsoft’s Briana Roberts, this new tool will not only let you create your own Minecraft mods, but it will also allow you to use templates created by other modders and add onto them. If you’re one of those students, or you just like messing around with Minecraft, the Visual Studio add-in is currently available as a free download.

Today’s announcement goes in tandem with yesterday’s announcement of Visual Studio Code, a free tool for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux that allows developers to more easily work on modern Web applications built in JavaScript, TypeScript, ASP.NET 5, and other modern computer languages. Also announced during BUILD 2015, Visual Studio Code lets you work on these applications without the need to jump head-first into the full Visual Studio suite, which remains exclusive to Windows.