Modding Minecraft can be an intimidating process, but it’s rather simple when you break it into steps. In this guide, I’ll be covering each of these steps, while elaborating as much as possible. It’s my goal to give enough instruction that the task can be completed without any problems.
Choosing a Modloader
The first step to modding Minecraft is to figure out which modloader you want to use. The two primary modloaders are Forge and Fabric. They cannot be used together, and mods for one cannot be loaded on the other. While some mods have versions for either modloader, most can only be used on one. Additionally, Fabric only exists for Minecraft 1.14 and later, and was made to handle more lightweight mods. In the end, it all depends on which mods you want to use.
Install Minecraft Forge
To use Minecraft Forge, you must first download the installer for the version you wish to mod. These installers can be found here:
The “Installer” option is the easiest way to go. Before you run this, though, you need to verify that your Minecraft launcher has the base version installed (e.g. if you’re modding 1.12.2, create AND RUN a profile for that version in the Minecraft launcher FIRST). After checking for this, you can open the installer. Install client needs to be selected, and the bar at the bottom needs to be set to your .minecraft folder. Unless you’ve manually changed the location of this, it should already be set to the correct folder.
Install Minecraft Fabric
To install Minecraft Fabric, you must first download the installer. There’s only one download, which can be used for any version that Fabric exists for (1.14 and later). It can be found here:
The home of the Fabric mod development toolchain.
The .jar installer works best, but you can download the .exe version if you’re on Windows, if you so wish. Just like the process for installing Forge, Fabric also requires that the base version is installed in your Minecraft launcher. After verifying this, open the installer. Stay in the client tab, select your Minecraft and loader versions (it’s best to stick with the latest loader version, since it gives the best compatibility with mods), then check that the install location is set to your .minecraft directory. After doing all this, click the “Install” button.
Now that the modloader has been successfully installed, it’s time to download the mods you want. Be careful where you retrieve these, as going to the wrong place might lead to you putting a virus on your computer. I’ve found that the best place to download Minecraft mods is here:
On CurseForge, you can filter by version and modloader. There’s also a search bar, mod categories, and premade modpacks to pick from. This portion of the guide will be based on this website. When you navigate to the mod’s page, the game version at the top isn’t necessarily the only version it can be found on. It’s just the latest full release. To view all available downloads, click on the “Files” tab. After clicking on “View All”, you have the ability to filter by version. Find the correct download and put it in your “mods” folder in your Minecraft directory.
Some mods might have dependencies that they can’t run without. To figure out if the mod you downloaded has any, check the description first for any notes on if it requires dependencies. Then, go to the “Relations” tab and look at the dependencies list. Luckily, if you’re missing a library mod or dependency, Minecraft will usually tell you what’s missing upon start-up.
Now that you’ve downloaded all the mods you want, it’s time to run the game. Look for the modloader in your Minecraft launcher and hit the play button. It might take a while to load depending on how many mods you’ve installed and the processing power of your computer. If the game opens to the main title screen, there’s nothing else you need to do (besides configure any controls or mods), and you’re ready to play!
If Minecraft crashes, there’s still some work to be done. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy process. You can gather some information by checking the crash report (found inside “crash-reports” in the Minecraft directory), but it’s difficult to read most of the time. I’ve found that a good way to troubleshoot the game is by testing the game without each mod individually. If you have a low number of mods, you can just do it one-by-one. If you have many mods, you can break them into groups of at least 4, then test the game without each group. Once you’ve determined which group is the problem, remove those one at a time.
After figuring out which mod is causing the problem, you can check the mod website and the filename to determine the exact cause. Here are some possibilities:
The mod is for a different version of Minecraft.
The mod is for a different modlo