Not for nothing is Minecraft one of the best-selling games ever made. Out of the box, it’s a fantastic Lego-like playset of building, mining, and exploration, ready for players to tame. But there’s more. Installing fan-made modifications — or “mods” — can take your Minecraft game far beyond the vanilla experience. Fire up your PC — no mods for console or portable versions of the game, we’re sorry to say — and get ready to expand your world’s horizons.
Any Minecraft player will have wondered why their favorite animal isn’t in Minecraft. (Unless their favorite animal is a pig, chicken, cow, or one of the handful of animals that is in Minecraft.) So the Mo Creatures mod comes with enough animals to populate an entire zoo (plus a reptile house, an aquarium, and a low-rent fantasy novel or two). Horses, dolphins, werewolves, mice, ducks, bears, and ogres all feature, together with enough other critters to push the total well over 40. Many are tameable, rideable, breedable, or yield special resources when killed.
Vanilla Minecraft comes equipped to create simple circuits with a material called “redstone.” But making anything more complex than a light switch or pressure-plate-activated plunger is difficult and error-prone. This fantastic mod adds a slew of realistic electrical components — like batteries, cables, resistors, and capacitors — and all kinds of ways to put your circuits to work. Want to build a solar-powered, rechargable mining drill? You might have to brush up on your DC circuit theory, but that’s all part of the fun.
As Minecraft is to Lego, BuildCraft is to an Erector Set. A huge mod that massively extends Minecraft’s machine-building capabilities, BuildCraft will have you making pipes, gears, engines and wires — before assembling them into whatever Rube Goldberg contraptions you can possibly come up with. If you’ve reached the limits of Minecraft’s regular machinery options, look no further.
Minecraft is a game all about digging huge holes and finding awesome stuff. But it has no fossils. Fix this egregious oversight with this fantastic mod, which not only adds fossils and historic artifacts, but also lets you clone your own dinosaurs from DNA you find. All the fun of Jurassic Park — and no crazy-eyed Jeff Goldblum. How can you go wrong with that?
Minecraft’s creative mode — which lets players build without danger or restriction — is perfect for exploring, experimenting, or world-crafting. The game’s interface, though, is considerably more limiting. TooManyItems goes a long way towards fixing its issues, thankfully: install it, and you can spawn all kinds of extra-powerful items, load and save the contents of your inventory, and flip in and out of the game’s more dangerous survival mode at the touch of a button. It’s an essential tool for serious builders.
Maybe, though, you’re the type who wants it all. Without having to work too hard for it. Installing too many Minecraft mods at once can be a recipe for conflicts, crashes, and other associated craziness. AMCO bundles together about 150 popular mods in one tried-and-tested package that’s nigh-guaranteed to work without a hitch. Whether you want your Minecraft world to have extra monsters, bonus items, better machines, or watermelons, you’ll find what you need right here — and with a minimum of hassle.
Where to get started:
Most Minecraft mods work best with a management program called Minecraft Forge. Install that first. Youtube user Delta249er has a great video walkthrough if you’re having problems. From there, refer to the mod’s installation instructions, or this generic walkthrough.
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