Have you ever heard of a mod? Maybe you’ve seen YouTubers playing them, or maybe a friend has been enthuzing about a new one they’ve got. But how do you install them? Follow this handy guide so that you too can change Minecraft, for better or worse.
First, A Short Explanation
If you’ve stumbled upon this article without a clue in your grey matter what a “mod” is, then we can help!” The term “mod” is short for modification, and in the gaming community it usually means a peice of code that changes how the game works or adds new items for you to play with.
Mods can come in many different forms, and in Minecraft they always come in the form of JAR files. JAR stands for Java ARchive, and is a sort of zip file used by the Java programming language, which is what Minecraft is written in. Because Java can execute them, they are often considered unsafe by many operating systems, so won’t let you send them via email or generally transfer them in a way that may harm your or someone else’s computer. Don’t worry, all the files I will be asking you to open are completely safe and won’t harm your computer. Let’s begin!
Step 1: Download Java
Minecraft is programmed in the Java language, and as such needs the Java Runtime Environment (or JRE) to work. However, the JRE is often considered a security vulnrebility, so Minecraft runs its own JRE in an isolated (or “sandboxed”) state. Due to this, many Minecraft players will not have Java installed. The exception to this is Linux, because Mojang (the makers of Minecraft) haven’t completed the Java-free launcher just yet (although you can download a DEB file for the new launcher’s beta here and a .tar.gz here).
Since Minecraft mod’s can’t use Minecraft’s JRE, you will have to install another JRE for them to use. To do this, head over to java.com and click “Free Java Download”
I know it looks like a scam, but trust me, it’s not. Oracle is not very good at websites.
If you’re running Linux, the button won’t work. Instead, you’ll have to run the following script (Ubuntu and derivatives users only. If you use another OS there is an RPM file avalible.):
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
Run those commands one after the other and Java should be installed.
Step 2: Install Minecraft Forge
Minecraft Forge is a special mod that loads other mods, called a mod loader. You will need this to install any mods you wish to use, except for mods like OptiFine which are “client-side” and do not require Forge. However, if you aren’t sure whether or not your mod requires Forge, use Forge to be safe and avoid breaking Minecraft/Java/Windows.
To install Froge, you will first need to check what version of Minecraft your mod runs in. Most mods (especially the more popular ones) should be able to run in Minecraft 1.12, but some mod devs abandon their mods and so don’t make updates to them. As well as this, many mods created for Minecraft 1.7.10 don’t run in later versions because Minecraft 1.8 completely changed the way mods were written. As such, a lot of devs shrugged and continued developing their mods for 1.7.10, so they wouldn’t have to rewrite the entire thing. For demonstration purposes, I will be installing the Botania mod, which has a 1.12 version
Tip: An easy way to find what Minecraft verion a mod is compatible with is to search for it on Minecraft CurseForge. Almost all mods are hosted here and if you click the “Files” buton, the list of files will tell you which version a JAR file will run on.
To get started with Minecraft Forge, head over to files.minecraftforge.net and find the specific installer file for your version (i.e those with a 1.10.2 mod should download Forge for 1.10.2 and so on) Windows users should download the Windows Installer, while those running macOS and Linux should download the Universal JAR file. The installer link will redirect you to a site called adfoc.us. This is not a scam. Forge supports itself primarily by using this site to display ads. You will be asked to wait 5 seconds, and then you can click the download link.
I have an ad blocker, so I don’t get served an ad, but there will be one when you download.
Once the installer is downloaded, double-click to open it. Mac users may get a prompt saying that “forge.jar couldn’t be opened because it comes from an unidentified developer.” Don’t give up! In the name of user protection, macOS prohibits the opening of executable files that are signed by developers that aren’t registered with Apple. To circumvent this, go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Open Anyway > Open
Forge will ask you where to install the Forge Mod loader. If you don’t know what the answer should be, just leave it as is and click Install.
Great! Now that Forge is installed, we just need to install the mods. Go over to the mod’s page on Minecraft CurseForge, (If it doesn’t have one just Google the mod. Most mods have some presence somewhere online) click Files and click the download arrow next to the latest file for your version. (If you’ve followed this guide propely this should be the latest file anyway, but don’t worry if it isn’t).
Once the JAR file of the mod you want is downloaded, click on it and press Crtl+C (Cmd+C on a Mac). This will copy the file. Now, go the the following location by pressing Windows key+R on Windows, Shift+Cmd+G on a Mac and Fn+Alt+F2 on Linux and typing the following:
- Windows: %APPDATA%\.minecraft
- Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/minecraft
- Linux: ~/.minecraft
Now, press Shift+Crtl+N (Shift+Cmd+N on Mac) to create a new folder. Name this folder “mods” (minus quotes) and then open it. Paste the JAR file into the folder, then close Finder/Files. I’ve already got some mods installed, but for you the folder will be empty.
Great job! We’re now ready to start with the new mod! Open your Minecraft launcher. Where it says “Play,” click the up arrow and choose the profile called “Forge” (It should have a furnace icon.” Click Play, and after a few moments this screen should appear:
If it doesn’t, then the game has crashed, which usually means that your mod is the wrong version. Double-check it against your Forge version, and if it still doesn’t work, then it’s the dev’s fault, not mine. Congratulations!!!! You have now made Minecraft into a (possibly) better place!
Are you excited to change Minecraft? What mods will you install? Please let us know in the comments!