If you heard anything related to Minecraft mods, you probably heard about Forge as well, or the so-called CurseForge, but what is that, and what it has to do with mods? First, to break it down, Forge is a software used to load mods into Minecraft, it is like a glue between Minecraft and your mod, CurseForge is a website that allows users to upload mods, and people to visit and download the uploaded mods.
The way Forge acts like glue is that it provides an interface for the mod to interact with the game, as Minecraft changes versions a lot, you also need to update your Forge depending on the version you play.
How to download and install Forge
It is pretty quick to download Forge, it is safe and widely used by everyone in the Minecraft community and you don't have to worry about it compromising your data or your Minecraft account, you cannot get Minecraft banned by using Forge.
To download Forge, open its download website, you can download the latest version or a specific version if you have a reason to do so, it is possible to have multiple Forge versions on your computer.
After downloading, run the Forge executable file and you will be guided step through step in the installation, the defaults of the installer are fine so just go through it.
When the installer finishes, Forge will already be installed, to confirm this, just open your Minecraft Launcher, the Forge version you installed will now be listed to the left of the Play button, where it shows the current version, click on it, and change to Forge.
When you click Play with that version selected, you'll be playing with Forge.
How to install Minecraft mods
After you have Forge installed and running well, you can download any mod intended to work with Forge, CurseForge, the website we talked about is a great place to find Minecraft mods, but be aware that it is not the only place.
After accessing the Minecraft section of CurseForge you can browse mods you want to download, by default mods are filtered by popularity, it's a good filter to find new ideas coming out and mods that are getting hyped. It's not hard to browse CurseForge, on the left sidebar of the website you can filter by categories, and below "All Mods" in the middle, you can filter by version.
Below we have a brief explanation of the categories.
- World Gen: Everything related to the world generation process, for example, if you want a mod to add a new biome or something that changes the world, this is the best place to look at
- Technology: These mods will often include new systems in the game and change technical stuff, there is a lot of cool stuff introduced here
- Magic: There isn't a lot of magic in Minecraft, this is a nice place to add more things magic related, the title may make it seems like it will just add magic spells for example, but Magic mods can also add Dragons for example, like the popular mod Ice and Fire: Dragons, endless possibilities here
- Storage: Inventory-related mods, inventory management plays an important role in Minecraft and here you can find changes or improvements to the inventory system
- API and Library: This is very tech-related, as we said above that Forge is a glue between our mods and Minecraft, API and Library mods are enhancements to our glue, allowing more things to be done by the mods.
- Adventure and RPG: Adventure mods that can bring new things to explore, RPG mythological creatures, RPG systems, and more
- Map and Information: Mods about gameplay information available to the player, Map and Information mods for example can add a fully dynamic map in-game for you to locate yourself, or display more info regarding what is around you.
- Cosmetic: Mods that don't directly affect gameplay, for example, the connected textures mod, visual effects, more advancements mods, and so on
- Miscellaneous: Mods that don't fit in other categories
- Addons: Mods for mods! These will extend the functionality of another existent mod, they "add-on"
- Armor, Tools, and Weapons: Self-explanatory, these will add more content on this aspect, but the "Tools" part also accounts for a lot of creative stuff and systems
- Server Utility: Useful for multiplayer servers
- Food: All mods related to consumables, cooking, farming, and related
- Redstone: Redstone is something that someone can get in-depth in Minecraft and still learn something new about it occasionally, Redstone mods can either include fully new functionality or fix some quality of life detail needed for some contraptions.
- Twitch Integration: Not only Twitch but overall Minecraft integration on other platforms, for example showing more details about your current playthrough in your Discord, rather than just the game name
- Fabric: Fabric is a toolchain, it plays the same role as Forge, so its another kind of glue
- MCreator: Yet another kind of glue! MCreator takes an easier approach to create mods and can be a great way to get a basic overview of how mods work and learn many different things.
Steps to download a mod
- Find the mod page on CurseForge by either browsing through categories or directly searching the mod name, in this example we will download IndustrialCraft
- After opening the IndustrialCraft mod page, click on the Files tab and download the latest version
- Press the Windows key and R, type %appdata%\.minecraft\mods on the Run window that will appear, then press Enter
- The folder for Minecraft mods will appear, this is where you put the mods you want to use in-game, copy the mod file there, it can be either a .jar or a .zip file
- Back on Minecraft, if you go to the mods menu option you can see the list of installed mods, this will indicate that Forge can detect your mod.
macOS note: if you're on a mac, the easiest way to open the mods folder is to launch Minecraft, click on Options, Resource Packs, and then click on Open Resource Pack folder, there you can navigate up one folder and open the mods folder.
For OptiFine users: If you want to use OptiFine and Forge at the same time, download OptiFine as if it was a mod, drag and drop it on the mods folder instead of using it as a version in the launcher, and use the Forge launcher profile to play Minecraft. When downloading OptiFine, you can see what Forge version is expected for things to run smoothly, make sure both are for the same Minecraft version as well.
This is it for installing a mod! After everything is set up, installing a mod becomes a matter of dragging and dropping a file into a folder, but it is good to pay attention to another factor when download mods, checking if they need dependencies to work well.
Check if your mod has dependencies
A dependency is a mod that is required for the mod you want to install to work, but how this is possible? Some mods are focused on being an API or Library, and as explained above in the categories section, these mods only extend what other mods can do, rather than directly change the game. When a mod that you want to download uses one of these Library mods you also need to install them.
Fortunately, it is easy to know what dependency mods you have to install when adding a new mod, on CurseForge there is a Relations page on every mod page that will bring you the dependency list for a mod.
When a mod has dependencies, download its dependencies and install them normally by dropping them in the mods folder, when it has no dependencies, which is the case of IndustrialCraft, you're ready to go.
If you download mods outside of CurseForge, the dependencies should be on the download page, if any.
What is a modpack?
In short, a Modpack is a bunch of mods put together, to achieve a unique experience or different gameplay, for example, RLCraft is a modpack that makes the game harder by introducing mods that change certain mechanics and new creatures.
Browsing Modpacks is a great way to explore a new flavor of Minecraft without installing individual mods yourself, it also takes off the burden of managing multiple dependencies for different mods to avoid certain conflicts.
Everyone can create Modpacks and you don't have to be the creator of all mods inside a Modpack, most Modpacks are mods from the community put together but having one setting or two changed to better adapt the author's vision.
To download a modpack you can either follow the same steps used to install a single mod, but now with more mods, or use a launcher, CurseForge has its launcher which you can use to browse and install Minecraft with a single click, for more info check the CurseForge launcher website.
Enjoy your mods!
This is it for this mods article, if you believe that any information in this guide is outdated or could use more explanation, feel free to contact us through email or Twitter, you can find out how to reach us out on our contact page.