Minecraft ultra-realistic mods turn the game into a photorealistic paradise

Can your PC run Minecraft?

Image from Mojang Studios

Vanilla Minecraft can run on almost anything these days, but the modding community has always pushed the boundaries of what the game can be visually. And now, finally, there’s a graphics card that can make the most demanding Minecraft visual overhauls somewhat playable. A video released by YouTuber hodilton showcases one of the craziest upgrades to Minecraft imaginable: turning the pixel blocks into a literal Mediterranean paradise, complete with a modern house with all the trimmings.

Everything about the mods installed boggles the mind. The attention to detail is astounding. Every leaf has individual veins, the water and reflection simulation is near-picture perfect, and the furniture and accouterments in the house all have a photo-realistic quality all but unmatched by some of the biggest AAA titles.

All these graphics-intensive updates require a beefy-as-hell PC to run, of course. Hodilton is using the latest in Intel processors and Nvidia graphics: an i9 13900k overclocked to 5.8Ghz, 32 gigabytes of RAM, and an RTX 4090. And still, with all that going for them, Minecraft barely reaches 30 FPS in most sequences, dipping into the low 20s in the most taxing scenes.

Is there some optimization to be done on the mods’ end? Maybe. Minecraft is probably not built for this level of detail, which could be why hodilton’s 4090 never exceeds 40 degrees Celcius or draws much more than 250 watts. The card can easily reach more than 60 degrees at a heavy load, and its maximum power draw is a whopping 600 watts, so something is holding the card back.

While it’s unlikely Minecraft will ever get patches to make it runnable with mods like these active, the mods themselves are getting consistent work done. Three mods are at play here: sonicether’s shader pack and the Ultimate Immersion Texture and Mod pack. You’ll need to fork up $10 and $8, respectively, on each modder’s Patreon for access to the mod files, and the Immersion mod comes with different texture resolutions depending on how crazy you want to go. If money is no object, and you have the PC to run these insane mods, a little bit more each month for consistent support is undoubtedly worth the small additional cost.