The best Minecraft mods (2021)

From decor to realism mods, we have it all.

Mods make a game fit your needs by customizing the experience, making for ideal game sessions. Mods can change the game’s core, making it harder; they can add additional animals to tame or add some minor quality of life changes. Minecraft has one of the largest modding communities on the internet, rivaling that of some Bethesda games. There is a mod for just about anything you can think of. Here is a list of our favorite Minecraft mods, along with their latest version available. Not all of the mods are up to date with the latest version of Minecraft.

Please note that there is not a Forge version available for 1.17 yet, so aside from Optifine, all of the 1.17 mods on this list are only available for Fabric. Please also note that the vast majority of Fabric mods also require the Fabric API to be installed in your mods folder.

Optifine – 1.17

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Optifine is a core mod that boosts performance, adds HD textures, improves frames, and more. It is essential to any modpack and is a favorite even among vanilla players. The mod also has minimaps, although we still prefer VoxelMap. It also works with shaders to create a beautiful graphical experience.

Origins – 1.17

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Origins has been gaining popularity among YouTubers and their followers. This mod allows players to choose a unique class when first joining the game. These immersive classes give players unique abilities such as water breathing, fire immunity, and teleportation. There are also add-ons for this mod to add even more classes and powers for players to use. Origins is an excellent mod for any Fabric server. There have also been several modpacks made with this mod as the core concept.

Tech Reborn – 1.17

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Tech Reborn is a great mod for any technical Minecraft player out there. If you like Redstone in general or want to build giant machines to do all of your work for you, this mod has you covered. The mod allows players to build new machines that help harvest resources and automate common tasks. Building large and fully automated redstone machines like farms and super smelters is fairly easy so long as you provide enough energy.

VoxelMap – 1.17

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Minecraft is a vast, procedurally-generated map; no two worlds are the same. The procedurally generated world keeps the game alive and makes it incredibly difficult to explore. While this may be part of the challenge for some, it’s a struggle for others. Voxel Map adds a minimap on the screen, so players have some idea of where they are headed. It can be customized to show mobs before you approach. It also allows players to place waypoints and teleport to placed waypoints. It features both a minimap and a full-size world map. The world map will only display the currently explored world.

Croptopia – 1.17

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Croptopia is a good mod for anyone that feels like the normal carrots and potatoes are a bit underwhelming. The mod adds 58 new crops, 26 fruits that can be harvested from trees, and over 200 new food items. New trees and plants appear in almost every vanilla biome and can appear in biomes added by mods like Biomes You’ll Go or Biomes O’ Plenty. The items added by this mod create a more immersive experience for foodies and foragers alike.

Biomes O’ Plenty – 1.16.5

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Biomes O’ Plenty may feel redundant after the Caves and Cliffs update, but it adds additional surface world biomes to explore. Not only does it add biomes, but it also has recipes based on those biomes. If you want a cute pink door, there’s a biome with pink trees that will help you build your ideal multicolored homes. Biomes O’ Plenty will pair well with the new biomes brought by recent updates. There’s a slight overlap with colors, but that overlap will let players have multiple shades and variations through their homes.

Oh the Biomes You’ll Go – 1.16.5

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A beautiful rival and addon for Biomes o Plenty, BYG adds many beautiful new biomes to the game. Each of the 80 new biomes features unique items, including 40 new trees, 28 wood types, new ores, and new armors. The mod is available for both Fabric and Forge and changes every dimension in some way or another. If you use this mod along with Biomes o Plenty, it will also use some of the BOP biomes along with its own.

Hwyla – 1.16.5

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Hwyla is an acronym for “Here’s what you’re looking at.” The mod is a non-invasive tooltip addition. When you hover over an item, it will give you more information in the description. For instance, it will also tell you which mod it came from. It’s a small addition, but it helps when you have many mods. If you’re building something from Biomes O’ Plenty, for example, knowing that the door is from the mod means you need material from that mod as well.

Just Enough Items (JEI) – 1.12.2

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Just like Optifine, JEI has become an essential mod for most 1.12.2 modpacks. It is a quality of life mod meant to help you navigate through all of the new items added by other mods. JEI gives you a new GUI when you open your inventory or any crafting menu. You can browse through all of the items available in the game. You can click on any item to view how to craft it, what it can be used to craft, and the various tools you can use it with. It is much more expansive than the vanilla crafting book and can make your life a lot easier when dealing with large mods like industrial craft.

CFM – 1.12.2

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Where would we be without a decor mod? CFM, or the Mr.Crayfish Furniture Mod, adds multiple furniture items that function like blocks. There are over 80 pieces of furniture, 40 of which are unique pieces. If your house needs a modern room and computer, then this is the mod for you. It adds items for gardens, living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and more. 

Useful Backpacks – 1.16.5

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Useful Backpacks is an inventory expansion mod that adds three different types of craftable backpacks. There’s a small, medium, and large backpack, and inventory expands depending on the size of the backpack. The backpack goes in the inventory, and items can be added to it. If you die, your items and your backpack can be lost. While it might be convenient to carry more things, the risk to your items is greater.

Honorable Mention: RLCraft

Image via RLCraft wiki

RLCraft is a total rework of Minecraft that turns it into a survival adventure RPG. The mod adds new requirements such as thirst and ailments, new craftables at every stage of the game, and mythical threats like dragons and griffins. Those threats want to kill you, and they will. You will die a lot. RLCraft has companion mods that add more layers to the game, like Reskillable that turns crafting into a skill tree.