The customizable online realms of Minecraft had 55 million active players worldwide in February 2017. That same month, sales of the game hit 122 million units across all platforms. Minecraft's massive international appeal lies in its encouragement of creativity; while you're free to explore its blocky environments, you're also free to create vast pixelated worlds of your own and share them with people across the planet. Because Minecraft has sparked the imagination of creators and tinkerers across all age ranges, it's only natural that some gamers want even more customization options. Enter mods, the fan-made software that expands or alters the game's content.
About Minecraft Mods
Minecraft mods can improve the game's graphics, tweak its user interface, add dinosaurs to its worlds and lots more. Although versions of Minecraft are available for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo platforms, only the PC and Mac versions can be modded.
Although modding a game you own is legal, the Microsoft-owned Minecraft developers warn that "Mods are not created, reviewed or endorsed by Mojang, and the same precautions should be taken when installing these mods as you would with any other piece of independently developed software." Developer Mojang goes on to state, "Modding can be complex and may cause your game to no longer be playable," and encourages users to visit the official Minecraft Forums to discuss mods with other players.
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Minecraft Mods for PC
For most gamers, the third-party software Forge offers the most straightforward way to install Minecraft mods. It's available as a free download at files.minecraftforge.net, but before you install it, you should back up your Minecraft saved data by copying it to another folder. You can find it on your PC by typing "%appdata%" into your file explorer and then going to the folders "Roaming," ".minecraft" and "saves."
When installing Forge, choose the "Install client" option and follow the on-screen instructions. When Forge is installed, launch Minecraft, choose "Forge" as your profile and select the "Play" button to launch the game and play with mods.
Download mods you want in the JAR, RAR and ZIP formats from sites such as PlanetMinecraft or ResourcePack. After you download a mod, open the Run window on your PC by pressing the Windows button and "R" simultaneously and then enter "%AppData%." Click on the "Roaming" folder, then ".minecraft," then "mods," and copy the mod files you downloaded into the "mods" folder. The next time you open Minecraft with Forge, you can enable or disable the mods you installed on the "Mods" menu, which is available on the game's starting screen.
Minecraft Mods for Mac
Mac users can install Forge too. As on a PC, you use the "Install client" option after downloading the software and choose "Forge" as your profile from the version list when booting up Minecraft. Sites like PlanetMinecraft offer mods for Macs too.
The process of copying the mods is a little different on Macs, though. After you download your mods, click "Go" on Mac's menu, select "Go to Folder" and enter "~/Library/Application Support/minecraft." From there, you can drag your mods into the "Mods" folder. When you launch Minecraft with the Forge profile, you can turn your mods on and off in the "Mods" menu.
Like mods, add-ons change the way Minecraft looks and behaves, but unlike mods, add-ons are officially endorsed by Mojang and available on a wider variety of platforms, including Windows 10, Minecraft Pocket Edition and virtual reality platforms. The Minecraft Forums are a good starting point for finding the latest add-ons, which are in the .McWorld and .McPack formats.
Compared to mods, add-ons are simpler to use. On iOS and Android mobile devices, Windows 10 and Oculus Rift, downloaded add-ons automatically launch in Minecraft when you open them on your device.