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How to install Minecraft Forge and gain access to thousands of new 'Minecraft' mods

Business Insider logo Business Insider 3/19/2021 insider@insider.com (Emma Witman)
a close up of a man in front of a computer screen: Installing "Minecraft" mods is easy with Minecraft Forge. Picture Alliance/Contributor/Getty Images © Picture Alliance/Contributor/Getty Images Installing "Minecraft" mods is easy with Minecraft Forge. Picture Alliance/Contributor/Getty Images
  • You can install Minecraft Forge from the Forge website, where it's free to download.
  • Minecraft Forge is an add-on for "Minecraft: Java Edition" that lets you install and enable mods.
  • Make sure that you download the version of Minecraft Forge that corresponds with your current "Minecraft" version.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

"Minecraft" is famous for how many mods it has, and how easy they are to install. These mods can be practical - like creating a new item - or they can add fun thematic elements to your game, such as new game modes.

To install these mods, you'll need to use a free add-on called Minecraft Forge. This will let you customize "Minecraft: Java Edition" with mods.

Quick tip: Minecraft Forge can't be used to add mods to "Minecraft: Bedrock Edition." You'll need to be playing the "Java" version.

Here's how to install Minecraft Forge, and use it to install mods.

How to download Minecraft Forge

  1. Go to the Minecraft Forge download page.

    Quick tip: Minecraft Forge requires Java, so install that before beginning the download.

  2. You'll see two download links: "Latest" and "Recommended." Pick "Recommended," as it has less bugs. Use the chart under "Minecraft Version" on the left to ensure you're downloading the version of Forge that corresponds with your current version of "Minecraft" and the mods you're running.

    graphical user interface, website: Go for the recommended download to avoid potential bugs in the latest version. Emma Witman/Insider © Emma Witman/Insider Go for the recommended download to avoid potential bugs in the latest version. Emma Witman/Insider
  3. Once you click the installer link, you'll be shown an ad. Wait a few seconds, and then click "Skip" in the top-right corner. Once you click it, the download will start.

    graphical user interface, website: Click "Skip" if you see an ad-sponsored loading screen when downloading Minecraft Forge. Emma Witman/Insider © Emma Witman/Insider Click "Skip" if you see an ad-sponsored loading screen when downloading Minecraft Forge. Emma Witman/Insider
  4. Open the Forge installer, and give the app the necessary privacy and access permissions when requested. If you're on a Mac, you might need to go into your computer's "Security & Privacy" settings to give it permission to open.
  5. In the window that appears, select "Install Client" and click "OK."

    graphical user interface, text, application: Click "OK" after agreeing to install the client. Emma Witman/Insider © Emma Witman/Insider Click "OK" after agreeing to install the client. Emma Witman/Insider
  6. Forge will connect to the internet and download all of its data. Once it's done, a pop-up message will indicate Minecraft Forge has been successfully installed. Click "OK" to continue.

    graphical user interface, text, application: Forge, and its version number, as seen in the Minecraft Launcher after installation. Emma Witman/Insider © Emma Witman/Insider Forge, and its version number, as seen in the Minecraft Launcher after installation. Emma Witman/Insider
  7. Open the Minecraft Launcher.
  8. Open the drop-down menu next to "Play," which lets you pick what version of "Minecraft" you want to open.
  9. In the options that appear, click and select "Forge."

    graphical user interface: Click the Forge icon in the bottom left of the launcher. Emma Witman/Insider © Emma Witman/Insider Click the Forge icon in the bottom left of the launcher. Emma Witman/Insider
  10. Now press "Play."

    Quick tip: A pop-up message may appear asking the user to accept that the version has been modified and may not support the latest player safety features. This is standard and you should approve it.

  11. After the game has loaded, check that the "Mods" option has appeared. This signals that you've installed Minecraft Forge successfully.

    graphical user interface, website: Click "Mods" to access your Mods menu. Emma Witman/Insider © Emma Witman/Insider Click "Mods" to access your Mods menu. Emma Witman/Insider

How to add a mod to Minecraft

Forge won't come with mods built into it, so you'll need to find them yourself. You can find all sorts of "Minecraft" mods through Google, and websites like minecraftmods.com.

graphical user interface, website: There are thousands of "Minecraft" mods, with new ones being added each day. minecraftmods.com © minecraftmods.com There are thousands of "Minecraft" mods, with new ones being added each day. minecraftmods.com

Once you've found one that's appealing, save the file to your newly-created Forge mods folder. The address on your PC will be: C:Users[your username]AppDataRoaming.minecraftmods

On a Mac, it'll be: [your computer's name] > Macintosh HD > Users > [your username] > Library > Application Support > minecraft > mods

In place of [your username], insert the name of the account you're using on your computer.

graphical user interface, text, application, email: You can search for "Mods" if you are having trouble locating your Minecraft Mods folder. Emma Witman/Insider © Emma Witman/Insider You can search for "Mods" if you are having trouble locating your Minecraft Mods folder. Emma Witman/Insider

Once you've done that, you can check that the mod is enabled by clicking the "Mods" tab on the "Minecraft" main menu (see above), then confirming that the mod is listed in the left column beneath the "Minecraft" version you're running.

text: The Zombie Extreme mod gives you "Minecraft," but with extra powerful zombies. Emma Witman/Insider © Emma Witman/Insider The Zombie Extreme mod gives you "Minecraft," but with extra powerful zombies. Emma Witman/Insider

For more details on installing mods, as well as a guide on how to install resource/texture packs (a different type of mod), check out our article, "How to install 'Minecraft' mods and resource packs to completely reinvent your game."

Quick tip: Like with any installation, you may need to restart your PC before seeing the mod's changes take effect.

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