Shaders are an essential part of Minecraft modding. There are a bunch of shaders that you can download to enhance the experience of Minecraft. The water textures will look different, and beautiful sunlight and moonlight will change the way you play the game. This is how to download and install shaders in Minecraft.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Download and Install OptiFine
Shaders aren’t exactly mods; they are a form of a texture pack. But if you know how to download and install mods for Minecraft, this will be as easy. Firstly, you will OptiFine to enable the game to use shaders. Some mods may require the GLSL Shaders Mod, but it’s not relevant anymore and you have to use OptiFine.
You can install OptiFine for a Minecraft installation with Forge or without Forge. It all depends on whether you will be installing more mods or just OptiFine for shaders.
To download and install OptiFine without Forge:
Go to the OptiFine website and download the one for your Minecraft version.
Launch the .jar file you downloaded and install OptiFine (you must have Java installed on your PC)
To download and install OptiFine with Forge:
Make sure you have Forge installed and working
Go to the OptiFine website and download the one for the same Minecraft version.
Drop the .jar file into the “mods” folder (C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\mods)
Once you install everything, launch the OptiFine/Forge installation (that will be added automatically to your launcher) so the game loads and configures any necessary resources it may need.
Step 2: Download a Shaderpack of Your Choice
Download shaderpacks that you want to try out. Here is our list of a few great ones that have been updated recently. There are thousands of shaderpacks, so whenever you download one, just leave it in your download folder for the time being.
If you want more shaderpacks, here are a few good sites to look for them:
Installing shaders has almost the same process as when you install Minecraft mods, just a different folder. Once you downloaded the archive (it’s always a .zip archive) with the shader you want you can just drag and drop it to the shaderpacks folder in .minecraft.
To do that:
Open your Minecraft folder (C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming.minecraft)
Find the “shaderpacks” folder. Create one if there’s none
Drag and drop the .zip file to that folder
You can throw multiple shaderpacks to that folder without worrying that your game will break. Because you will have to manually enable them in the game itself.
Step 4: Enable Shaders in Minecraft
Finally, you will have to enable shaders in the game itself. Launch the OptiFine/Forge installation that was created back in Step 1 and navigate to the game’s settings to enable the shaderpack.
Go to Options > Video Settings > Shaders. There you will find all the available shaders and some extra settings to play with. Select the shaderpack you want and you are good to go.
You can enable, disable, change, and install shaders while in Minecraft to see how they look without the need to exit the world. But remember that shaders are quite resource-heavy and will affect the game’s performance. If you have a low-end PC, you’d be best with installing light shaders or playing without them at all.
Nate is a student at DePaul University in Chicago IL, studying Communication and Technology. He first watched MLG Anaheim 2013 and has been hooked on esports ever since, primarily with FPS games. A proud proponent of the correct spelling of "esports" (never eSports or e-sports).