Are you looking to find the best Minecraft mods?
Good news! You can find a list of the best Java mods right here.
With a strong modding community, there are thousands of mods you can explore to improve your Minecraft experience significantly.
With how easy it is to set one up and play, you’re sorely missing out if you’re stubbornly sticking with just the vanilla game.
From performance-optimizing mods to mods that can build massive structures in mere minutes, installing Minecraft mods will serve you more than hundreds of hours of gameplay – if not more!
Free up your tab space; here are 30 of the best Minecraft mods in 2021.
Best Minecraft Mods
Listed below are our favorite Minecraft mods.
You’ll find mods that introduce hundreds of new mechanics and items, mods that’ll speed up the way you play, and exploratory mods. Heck, we even included a meme mod to give you and your friends a little chuckle.
Optifine is one of the most beloved performance-enhancing mods in the entire Minecraft community. It’s a mod that renders stunning graphical visualizations to the Overworld while also improving the FPS rates of most hardware by up to 200%.
Optifine has three editions: Ultra, Standard, and Light. OptiFine Ultra focuses on improving FPS; Standard is the preferred option if you’re running multiple mods at once, and Light is the better option if you have a low-specs laptop.
If you were to install just one mod off the list — Optifine would be one I’d pick in a heartbeat. From its HD textures, smooth lighting, and frame rate doubling, there are too many benefits you can get from this mod, making it one of my favorite Minecraft mods to date.
Mouse Tweaks is a simple Minecraft mod that speeds up crafting. In vanilla Minecraft, you’re often stuck clicking and dragging one block one at a time when crafting an item.
With this mod, however, you’ll get two new LMB dragging mechanics and the ability to use a scroll wheel to quickly move items. Another great perk is the ability to move items into another inventory by just holding your LMB.
Mouse Tweaks is a must-install for any Minecraft player. It’s essentially a QoL improvement that speeds up the process of getting your items from your inventory. You’ll have to do some slight configurations to get started, but it’s all easy to do and laid out in their mod install home page.
With over 130 million downloads in Curseforge, there’s much to love with this more popular Minecraft mods. JEI is a recipe and item viewing mod that allows you to easily sort through your items and recipes. This mod fixes the clunky interface that vanilla Minecraft has by showing hundreds of items at a time.
If you don’t have items in your inventory, JEI also shows you steps on how to obtain an item just by clicking on it. The best aspect of this Minecraft mod is that it’s compatible with other Minecraft mods, allowing you to view custom items and recipes in one convenient location.
If you often get lost in Minecraft, this map can be a great mod to have in your arsenal. It acts as an internal compass, allowing you to track the places you’ve been to as you chart the world in real-time through a map. This allows you to gain the confidence to explore far without the fear of never making it back to your home base.
If you get lost more times than you can count, this is one of the best Minecraft mods to own. You can access this modded map through a full screen or mini-screen in-game, or through a website instead.
If you find yourself running out of room in your chests and don’t have the room to create a new one, this Iron Chests mod is a huge help.
This is one of the most convenient Minecraft Java mods that essentially improves your chests, allowing you to hold more items than before. In addition, a new slew of chest types is also introduced in this new mod with varying capacities.
Some of these new chests include a Silver Chest (72 slots), a Diamond Chest (108 slots), and a blast-resistant Obsidian Chest (108 slots). You can also upgrade chests you already own by right-clicking on them with the upgrade material on hand.
WorldEdit turns hours of building into minutes with the right toolkit. It’s a comprehensive Minecraft map editor that enables Minecraft players to create structures and buildings with ease.
This mod uses scripts and commands to make buildings. You’ll have to familiarize yourself with the selection packs and schematics in this modpack at first. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be creating massive-scale structures and intricate designs in no time. It’s available in creative mode, but you can temporarily enable it in survival mode as well.
If you’ve journeyed across various Minecraft worlds and stepped into most of the common biomes, there’s nothing more satisfying than stepping foot into a brand new world.
This is where Biomes O Plenty comes in as a must-have mod for Minecraft players. This mod adds over 50 new biomes ranging from the Alps and Coniferous Forest to a land filled with Cherry Blossoms. And if you think new additions are limited to the Overworld — think again! The Nether has a brand new aesthetic rehaul too.
Ice and Fire: Dragons
We all love elephants and zebras as much as the next person, but did you know that there’s a mod that can bring a giant dragon into the game as well?
With an Ice and Fire: Dragons mod, you’ll enjoy (or cower in fear) the occasional elemental dragon that’ll fly overhead. As the title says, you’ll encounter dragon types available with this mod.
Fire dragons roam most of the habitable overworld, spewing fire around the land. If you find your way wading through the glaciers of freezing tundras, you may stumble upon Ice dragons — which can freeze you to death.
With a recent update, Lightning dragons also now exist, striking foes with dangerous lightning damage. Hardcore Minecraft gets even harder with this mod, and I’m all up for it.
If you feel your player’s mouth hurling at the mention of eating cooked pork chops again, you’re in for a treat.
Pam’s HarvestCraft modpack features farming and food updates that reward one’s culinary creativity with a revamped and retextured food crafting system. This modpack introduces a plethora of new items — namely, over 80 crops, 50 fruit-bearing trees, and 19 new fish.
In addition, there’s also a gorgeous-looking survival map that you can explore that’s based on Stardew Valley and the Harvest Moon series. You can meet and interact with villagers, put crops in a shipping bin in exchange for emeralds, and do other fun Minecraft shenanigans.
Having been around since Minecraft 1.5, the Crafting Dead mod has gone through its fair share of enhancements and tweaks over the years. With a solid fanbase, there’s much to love about the guns and zombies you can find in this mod as well.
For the uninitiated, the Crafting Dead mod is a survival zombie apocalypse Minecraft mod that’s based on H1Z1 and DayZ. One of the most recent updates is the addition of new minigames. These include a 1v1 game mode arena, a PVE arena called “Gun and Run”, and a Gun Maze where there’s loads of loot and places to sneak into.
The Twilight Forest
The Twilight Forest mod is another fantastic mod that enables players to transport into the twilight realm. There, you’ll find yourself in a heavily forested world with new dungeons, bosses, items, and mobs.
In this world, your clock is always frozen before sunset. Despite the dark and gloomy setting, most hostile mobs only spawn in dungeons and caves below the surface, and the Overworld is generally a safe place to explore.
However, if you want to get the best loot, you’ll have to venture right at the heart of danger. Are you up for the challenge?
Similar to the last mod, the LotsOMobs adds to the already extensive list of mobs you can come across while venturing the world in Minecraft. Specifically, 25 new mobs are added to your Minecraft world with this mod, including mammoths, snakes, lions, and even dinosaurs.
Besides the addition of new creatures roaming the Overworld, you’ll also get some cool unique drops from these roaming creatures. For example, you can get deer fur from killing wild deer, and then craft that deer fur into a new form of armor. Many of these mobs are mountable as well.
So if you’ve ever wanted to ride a pterosaurus or mammoth in Minecraft, this mod brings your dream to reality.
The Lost Cities
The Lost Cities mod spawns you in a dilapidated abandoned city instead of your typical biome. Here, you can venture through highways, traverse deteriorating bridges, and go through tunnel routes and subway systems teeming with many monsters and loot.
With heavy configuration settings, the Lost Cities mod is a fun way to play Minecraft in a whole new light.
The best part about this mod? You can play in combination with other mod types (such as Biomes O Plenty), which can grant you and your friends endless amounts of content and fun while exploring new lands!
The Pixelmon mod pays homage to the best-selling Pokemon series, adding mechanics and items from the series into one jam-packed mod. These additions include a variety of familiar items like Poke Balls and TMs. A Poke Mart can also be found around the map for you to shop in.
On top of that, this mod managed to capture Pokemon’s own mechanics as well! You can breed, train, and battle with the Pokemon that accompany you. You can come across various wild Pokemon in the Overworld and battle or catch them. While not the exact game, the resemblance is uncanny and definitely worth a try.
Roguelike Adventures and Dragons
Do you enjoy roleplay dungeon-crawling games like D&D? Do you like exploring natural structures and dungeons?
If so, you may enjoy the Roguelike Adventures and Dragons mod. This modpack generates enormous dungeons and quarries that are filled to the brim with loot and monsters. This modpack comes close to resembling a role-playing tabletop game with terrifying spellcasters and close-quarter combat sections.
While you can roleplay with your friends, time’s rarely by your side. There’s very little room to rest in this extreme mod, and you have to be on your toes at all times to mow down mobs and gain better equipment.
The beauty of Minecraft is the endless amount of things you can create. With this Create mod, you’ll be able to make much more things to tinker around with and automate. It enables players to engineer mechanisms and contraptions using a range of cogwheels and gears. If you’ve ever wondered how a circle item would work in Minecraft, the Create mod introduces them for players to enjoy.
Various other contraptions such as pulleys, conveyor belts, gearboxes, and levers also get introduced with this game mod — allowing you to develop weird and wacky new creations that would’ve otherwise been impossible to build.
Project E is one of the best Minecraft mods that introduces several new tools, devices, and items for modern and Java Minecraft editions. It’s a requirement mod for mods such as EnderZoo, WAILA, and Ender IO. But on its own, it boasts fascinating and unique features that have been never before seen in old Minecraft modes.
This mod allows you to destroy and transform items into EMC (Energy-Matter Covalence). This allows users to create brand new items that are exclusive to this mod only.
What it includes? Well… collectors, condensers, flying rings, transmutation tables, magic items. You name it.
Simple Voice Chat
If you haven’t set up your own Discord server yet, a Simple Voice Chat mod is available for Minecraft players to use. This mod is fairly self-explanatory; utilizing a push-to-talk feature to speak with your friends without using any external software.
One cool thing about this voice chat is the presence of proximity chat, which makes speaking more clearer the nearer you are to the person. In addition, you can create a group chat to circumvent proximity chat and talk to your friends no matter how far you are in-game. It’s a handy tool if you don’t have enough RAM to use Discord at the same time.
Better Dropped Items
If you like a dash of realism in your Minecraft game, you should give the Better Dropped Items mod a try.
It makes items left on the ground look, well, better. It makes them lie flat on the ground instead of spin, which makes the item look vastly more realistic. This is a 100% fabric mod, so it’s not going to take up too much RAM space or introduce much more than that.
But hey, if you’re in the market for a cool-looking mod, this one is a classy choice.
Do the concepts of natural magic and tech mods interest you? If yes, then Botania is a Minecraft mod that’ll beautify your Minecraft world in a snap. This Minecraft mod boasts over 100 different items that revolve around the creation of 16 new magical flowers and uniquely powered contraptions using the power of the earth, or Mana, as they call it.
Botania works best as a standalone mod, but it can handle working in conjunction with other mods as well. The items are themed to encourage automation and the creation of fun contraptions and breathtaking gardens, which is a heck of a lot of fun for new players and oldies alike.
Chances are, you already have a list of mods you’re itching to download by the time you get to the bottom of this list. While it’s fun to download all the fun mods willy nilly, there’s a mighty possibility that your hardware won’t perform up to speed with all the new installments.
That’s where performance mods in Minecraft like FastCraft come in. This mod improves server and client performance significantly without too many gameplay alterations. No matter what your PC specs are, this mod helps deliver better FPS and decreases lag spikes for you to enjoy Minecraft with fewer hitches.
HWYLA (Here’s What You’re Looking At) is a convenient utility Minecraft mod to add to your list of best Minecraft mods. It’s particularly well-suited for beginners, showing a tooltip with a block’s name or object that’s in your crosshairs.
This mod makes it easier to know what you’re looking at, which can be a great help if you find yourself in unfamiliar locations. With over 50 million downloads at Curseforge, there’s definitely a crowd who benefit from this contender of the most helpful Minecraft Java mods.
While some of us love installing the most game-changing mods, sometimes all you need is a few QoL improvements to make Minecraft fun.
The Vanilla Tweaks mod accomplishes just that, with a host of minor features that don’t detract too far from the base game.
Some features include the added ability to sit on Stairs and Slabs, an increased Enchantment level cap (Lvl 255), and the ability to see what creatures a Spawner generates from your inventory.
AppleSkin is an incredibly useful mod for Minecraft players, whether in a base game or a modded Minecraft game. This mod allows you to see your hunger and saturation levels, which can be helpful when you’re trying to ration food as you traverse through jungles and caves in your Minecraft world.
The way this Minecraft mod works is it visualizes how much hunger will get restored as you hold a food item. This removes the need for you to memorize the restoration figure of food items, which is immensely helpful in this game where scores of food items exist!
Want to return to Minecraft utility mods? Say hello to Useful Backpacks.
This mod adds three new items into the game, all classified by size.
To craft the small backpack, you will need four pieces of wool at the corners, four leather pieces, and one string in the center.
For the medium backpack, place the four wool and four leather pieces in the same place when crafting the small backpack, and add one small backpack in the center.
The Large backpack is similar to the Medium backpack, only this time you’ll need a medium backpack in the center.
Note: You’ll need to have the library mod U Team Core to get this mod to work.
Just like the Journey Map mod, the Antique Atlas mod allows you to create an immersive and navigable map. With the map, you’ll be able to zoom the scroll wheel, click, and drag icons as deemed fit. You can also include (or remove) pinpointable locations on the map.
If you want to feel like your map’s a part of the game rather than consult an external screen, the Antique Atlas mod can be preferred over the Journal Map mod.
Another great thing is that you can also export this map into an image file to show your Minecraft world to your friends and community.
If you were as devastated as I was upon realizing pig farming drops nothing, then this Pig Manure mod might reignite some of your hope.
This mod makes pigs spawn manure naturally. Aside from its humorous underpinnings, it gives players a practical reason to make pig farms.
The pig manure can be used as fertilizer (similar to Bone Meal) for crops, can be turned into brown dye, and can be smelted into brinks.
Baby pigs also don’t produce manure, which acts similar to how calves and chicks don’t produce their byproducts.
While not as fleshed out as other Minecraft Java mods in the list, it’s still a cool suggestion for niche players looking for something new.
Losing your stuff in Minecraft is a miserable, yet reasonable punishment. But what if a mod prevents you from losing your items after death by stashing them in a grave instead?
That’s exactly what you get when you install the Corail Tombstone mod. With it, you’ll be able to place decorative graves that can hold your stuff when you respawn back to the world after death.
Aside from that, other cool perks are available. Souls can haunt the grave and must wait to be freed from their eternal damnation. A Grave Guardian can also spawn by the decorative grave and attack hostile creatures and trade with players.
Fast Leaf Decay
Normally, it can take up to a minute or two to chop down a tree in vanilla Minecraft.
With the Fast Leaf Decay mod, chopping down one section of the tree bark causes the entire tree to fall and leave behind resources.
Chopping down trees is a fairly time-consuming task, especially if you have a lot of trees you have to clear out.
If you want to speed things up, this Fast Leaf Decay mod is a great mod to save you minutes and get you straight into building stuff.
And if you feel a bit dirty taking shortcuts, don’t worry. With over 52,000,000 downloads on Curse Forge, this mod is one that most players enjoy.
Sodium is an open-source Minecraft engine that enhances graphics, reduces stutters, and improves rendering in Minecraft. According to user submissions found on the CurseForge page, Sodium has also helped improve players’ frame rates by double to quintuple its initial readings.
For comparison, a player has claimed that their AMD Ryzen 2600 CPU computer had an average frame rate of 133 before, and a whopping 586 FPS after installing Sodium.
You may be wondering if this mod changes anything in regards to gameplay to achieve these results. The answer? Not much at all. The mod doesn’t compromise on the blocky textures of your modded and unmodded Minecraft versions, making it a must-install for players who have FPS problems.