8 BEST Minecraft Launchers in 2021

    Every Minecraft player, at some point, has decided to dip their toes into the insanely creative and vast ocean of mods available for the game. However, there comes a point where installing mods manually and relying on Mojang’s default launcher won’t be enough. However, there’s no need to despair– alternative Minecraft launchers are an invaluable tool for managing the version and mod pack you’re using. It makes the process of playing Minecraft a breeze, especially when you want to download as many mods as your computer can handle and place some shaders on top. We have compiled our top 8 best Minecraft Launchers, each with unique perks that will accommodate your needs.



    Best Minecraft Launcher TLauncher Forge Fabric

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    TLauncher is one of the first of its kind to appear in the Minecraft ecosystem in 2013 and has prevailed through the test of time with outstanding performance as the best Minecraft launcher out there. What makes it one of the first choices for many players comes from its intuitive interface and highly customizable settings. You can access current and previous releases easily and it includes its mod builds where you can install them directly from the launcher rather than go to each website and drag them into a file. Another great perk from TLauncher is their skin configuration system, where you can set cloaks and HD skins for your character.

    The nice thing about this launcher is that you can select whether your login requires authorization from or, meaning that you can still access your paid account with all of its perks. It’s a straightforward launcher that doesn’t require much space allocated in your disk and even has a version for smartphones to play Pocket Version. We highly regard it as the best Minecraft mod launcher available, so if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to manage your modded instances, feel free to download it and see for yourself!



    MultiMC Minecraft Alternative Mod Launcher

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    MultiMC is another excellent option for players looking for an alternative way to play Minecraft. This open-sourced Minecraft launcher released back in 2013 offers all the information you may need in a single place. You won’t encounter any start-up menus since it’s a portable application, which gives you the freedom to place it anywhere on your computer. 

    Like other launchers featured in this list, with MultiMC, you can have separate instances of Minecraft and manage them with ease through their modern-looking interface. We highly recommend it as one of the best Minecraft mod launchers since it allows you to install Forge, Fabric and LiteLoader directly from the launcher. If you’re ever in need of sharing logs when troubleshooting, MultiMC has your back– its game logs are nicely colour-coded and include additional information to help diagnose any problem. You can also select the Development version to unlock its full features by selecting it at the Update Settings. 

    Unfortunately, it still doesn’t have Microsoft Account support yet. You can only export modpacks with their own extension, deterring some players from using it as their preferred Minecraft alternative launcher. You cannot install mods directly either– you need to copy the instance, install the new version and copy over your settings if you want to update them. Otherwise, it’s a small and efficient launcher with many perks, and it’s highly regarded inside the community for this exact reason. 



    Minecraft Modpack Launcher Manager GDLauncher

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    GDLauncher is one of the most recent Minecraft no-premium launchers out there. However, what may lack in history certainly makes it up in terms of user experience and customization compared to others. It offers full support and compatibility for Linux, macOS, and Windows and features a clean, intuitive interface that immediately showcases all the information you need. In contrast to our previous contender, this launcher does support Microsoft Accounts but only in the beta version once you set that channel through their settings. 

    GDLauncher can install Forge and Fabric directly from the interface when creating a new instance. When looking into their instance manager, you can browse CurseForge and directly install their mods. You can also use it to export and import in CurseForge format, so you can upload them to the site if you want to. This Minecraft launcher has excellent attention to detail, showing the number of hours played in each instance and customizing the icon for each installation.

    Some players may dislike GDLauncher’s performance since it uses a Chrome-type web browser and uses several Java processes while running. Size-wise, expect around 200 MB of disk space required– with other options available for the average Minecraft player weighing much less, this launcher comes at a disadvantage. We still think it’s a strong contender so don’t be afraid of testing it by yourself!

    Also: Are you team Fabric? Check out our 20 Best Minecraft Fabric Mods list so you don’t miss the essentials when modding your game!



    ATLauncher Best Minecraft Launcher Mod Manager

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    Next, we have ATLauncher as a great alternative for players looking to install server packs for their local servers. Just like MultiMC, it’s a portable launcher with a self-contained that allows you to have different Minecraft versions separately. According to their site, the launcher offers 138 modpacks to download and install directly into your instance. Unlike other Minecraft launchers in this list, it strictly requires you to have a paid Minecraft account to use the launcher and download their mod packs. 

    While the interface is less modern, it’s one of the best options out there to install and test server packs– if you want to set up a local server with mods or prepare server packs for deployment, ATLauncher would be your best choice. It supports Forge and Fabric packs and can also handle CurseForge packs in case you want to upload them there or export them in their extension. 

    While it only occupies 13.5 MB in your disk, keep in mind that it’s a Java app that may require much more memory usage than other alternatives. You cannot install the Classic or snapshot versions either.



    Minecraft SKLauncher No-Premium Launcher for Java

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    If you’re looking for a Minecraft launcher that doesn’t steer too much from Mojang’s default, maybe SKLauncher can cater to your needs, available for Linux, macOS, and Windows. You can use your official account and access the No-Premium version by clicking the “Offline” option once you start the program. It offers a straightforward experience with the launch log and news from the developers as their main tabs. With their latest update, they’ve introduced a clean and simple interface that includes a dark theme– a highly appreciated feature in any app for when you’re using your computer at night.

    Their settings are fairly straightforward, allowing you to change the launcher’s language, modify the Java Executable, arguments and choose the max RAM usage. You can set profiles with historical builds (Alpha/Beta) and snapshots alongside the official releases. It also offers small improvements in contrast to the default launcher, such as enabling fullscreen without having to do so while playing.

    While you can customize your character’s skin through SKLauncher, keep in mind that you have to create an account and use their website to do so. Compared to other launchers in this list, SKLauncher doesn’t offer significant advantages since you still need to install Fabric and Forge you will have to do it manually and place mods inside the mods file. Before running the launcher, check that you already have Java 8 with JavaFX installed!

    Also: Are you always running out of storage in your base? Check out our 10 Best Minecraft Storage Mods list and say goodbye to messy chests!


    Launcher Fénix

    Spanish Minecraft Launcher Fenix No Premium

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    For some Minecraft players, Launcher Fénix might not be a familiar name at all. However, the Spanish-speaking community highly regards this Minecraft launcher as one of the best alternatives available in their language. 

    With Launcher Fénix you get three different ways to access the game by choosing Premium access if you have an official account, LauncherFénix to log in with their site’s account, or No-Premium where you can start playing by only inputting your username. Having an account on their site unlocks their skin customization, including capes and Elytras. 

    This Minecraft launcher allows you to play all releases, snapshots and Alpha/Beta versions of the game. You just need to select them from a dropdown menu and the program will automatically install them when you press “Start Game”. While we understand that not everyone knows the language and won’t try this launcher, its popularity and highly customizable settings make it the best Minecraft launcher for Spanish-speaking players in Latin America and Spain.

    Related: If you want to manually install Optifine to enhance your game’s graphics, check out our guide on How to Install Optifine In Minecraft!


    CurseForge Launcher

    CurseForge Best Minecraft Launcher Manage Mods

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    CurseForge has a rich ecosystem of mods and resource packs available for the Minecraft community, and you can actually use their launcher to manage your addons and mods for several games at once. The interface is minimalistic and easy to understand, and players can access the free version with ads or pay a monthly subscription to level up your account and remove ads.

    What’s interesting about this Minecraft launcher is that mod authors get 70% of all revenues when they upload to the CurseForge platform, so it’s an excellent way to show support to your favorite mod authors while you enjoy their creations. You can browse their immense modpack library where you can choose different versions and just double-click to open your game. Keep in mind that this launcher will only work if you already have an original Mojang account and uses Minecraft’s default launcher to work. 


    Technic Launcher

    Technic Launcher Minecraft Mod Manager Modpacks

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    If you already have your official account and want to search for more servers and modpacks, Technic Launcher’s main focus is on offering a hassle-free way to modify Minecraft instances for Windows, Linux and macOS. It’s also a self-contained program and fairly easy to install and set up. Once you log in to your account, the main interface will present you all the available modpacks and you can choose to your heart’s content.

    While Technic Launcher doesn’t offer further features compared to other Minecraft launchers showcased here, it’s still an excellent choice to browse and discover new and exciting modpacks. You can modify the amount of RAM allocated to each modpack at the settings menu, and once you’re ready to play it’s only a matter of double-clicking to open your Minecraft game!

    If you’re just starting to deal with alternative Minecraft launchers to manage different versions and modpacks, you may be wondering a few things about them. We’ll address some of the most common questions related to these 

    Why do we need a Launcher to play Minecraft?

    While it may seem obvious that you need a launcher to play Minecraft, it’s also the best way to keep your game updated to the latest version and verify your user. It’s also the best way to manage different instances of your game, whether you decide to go with a vanilla release or add mods to your Minecraft game. Some launchers also offer exclusive modpacks, plugins and others.

    What is a No-Premium Launcher?

    When developers refer to their launchers as “No-Premium” it means that you can still access and play the game even if you don’t have a Mojang or Microsoft account. However, note that it can be a contentious subject among the Minecraft community. By using a No-Premium launcher without actually owning an original copy, it could be catalogued as an endorsement of piracy and a violation of their terms and conditions. That’s why most of the launchers showcased in this list require you to log in to Mojang servers to allow you to play Minecraft or connect to servers that have enabled “online-mode”.

    What are the disadvantages of using a No-Premium Launcher?

    If you choose to play No-Premium with launchers that offer that option, you won’t be able to access officially endorsed Minecraft servers (think Hypixel, Pixelmon…) because they verify your online status. Besides, each launcher can offer different customizable settings that won’t be visible to other players accessing the game through a different launcher.

    My virus protection won’t allow me to install the launcher!

    First, make sure to only download your preferred launcher from the creator’s official site to avoid any potential malware. All of these Minecraft launchers are virus-free if you obtain them through their official channels. However, in some cases, your computer may flag them if they haven’t updated their licenses. In that case, it’s best to deactivate your antivirus temporarily and try again.

    Paulina Rodriguez
    Spanish-speaking gamer with too many hours logged into Minecraft, The Binding of Isaac, Elder Scrolls Online and AC:NH.

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