Best Minecraft mods for 1.16.5 in 2021: UI, Recipe & Crafting - Dexerto

Best Minecraft mods to download: Recipes, Biomes, Crafting & UI

Published: 12/May/2021 16:55 Updated: 26/May/2021 12:35

by James Busby


Minecraft continues to be a popular pick amongst players of all ages, offering huge amounts of freedom and experimentation when it comes to creating the perfect world. And on top of that, Minecraft mods can make the game even better. 

From ultra-realistic graphics to fan-made biomes, the game world of Minecraft is filled with never-ending possibilities. Whether you’re looking to recreate your favorite video game locations or just wanting to spice up your current world, there are plenty of mods that will enable you to do just that. 

Of course, knowing which Minecraft mods to download and install can be a little tricky, especially when there are so many.


Fortunately, we’ve done the hard part and found five of the very best Minecraft mods you should download and play right now. Not only do these mods drastically improve upon the game’s vanilla experience, but they also help keep the game feeling fresh.  


Just Enough Items (JEI)

Minecraft item mod
Mojang Studios
You can finally close all those Minecraft wiki tabs.


If you’re a new Minecraft player or a seasoned crafter, you’ll want to add the Just Enough Items mod to your list. This handy tool allows you to instantly search for in-game recipes, show individual item uses, and toggle the game’s list of materials. While it may not be an overly fancy mod, it does help to decrease the amount of time spent scrolling endlessly through the Minecraft wiki page.



OptiFine Mincraft mod
Mojang Studios
This mod does more than just ad HD textures.


While Minecraft’s blocky world may look charming enough, there are times when the game’s textures can look a little rough around the edges. Not only does OptiFine enable Minecraft to run much smoother, but it also comes packed with HD texture support.

Everything from improved weather effects, dynamic lighting, detailed environments, and configurable animations have been added. Mahjong’s masterpiece certainly looks better than ever with this mod. 

Biomes O’ Plenty

Minecraft Biomes mod
Mojang Studios
These new biomes certainly add a unique twist to exploration.


One of the reasons behind Minecraft’s worldwide success is its huge replayability factor. After all, combining huge procedurally-generated worlds with the player’s own imagination makes for a highly freeing experience. The Biomes O’ Plenty mod adds to the overworld exploration even further, giving Minecraft fans even more unique worlds, new plants, flowers, trees, building blocks, and more to discover. 


Pam’s HarvestCraft

Harvest Minecraft mod
Mojang Studios
Fans of Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley will want to download this mod.


As the name suggests, Pam’s HarvestCraft is all about crop tending. This ever-growing mod adds a whopping 1400+ new items and foods to Minecraft, giving your character a healthier diet than ever before. Highlights from the mod include 80 new crops (including cotton for string), 50 fruit or item bearing trees, beekeeping, six harvestable bushes, 19 new fish. 

If that wasn’t enough, many of the mod’s resources can then be processed via the presser block to make them into various commodities. All these new resources can be sold via the shipping block, which enables you to acquire a decent amount of money. If you’re a fan of  Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley, then you’ll feel right at home with this mod.  


Other goodies packaged with this mod are:

  • Re-balanced Vanilla foods.
  • Placeable cake blocks introduced for all of the new cakes.
  • A Market block, allowing you to buy things like bonemeal, farming animal spawn eggs, seeds and saplings in exchange for emeralds.
  • A Shipping block, allowing you to sell beekeeping items, crops, fish, and meat in exchange for emeralds.
  • Tofu, working as a meat replacement for vegetarian/vegan recipe options.

Wawla – What Are We Looking At

Wawla Minecraft mod
Mojang Studios
Wawla ensures you’ll never misplace an item again.


Are you struggling to keep track of where you put a particular item? When installed, Wawla’s UI mod will display all the contents of a chest without the need to actually open it. This is particularly useful if you’re cultivating crops from Pam’s HarvestCraft, collecting various resources, or doing dungeon raids. 

To make matters even better, Wawla also showcases animal breeding and animal growing timers. There are even progress bars for block breaking, armor points, block blast resistance, horse speed, and player head usernames. Once you’ve seen how useful this UI mod is, you’ll never want to go back to Minecraft’s original HUD. 



AppleSkin mod showcased in Minecraft
Mojang Studios / YouTube: iPodMail
AppleSkin’s real-time hunger HUD is a must-have.


This mod is a must-have if you’re utilizing other mods that aim to deepen the food and crafting mechanics present in-game.

Visually displaying all you need to know about food, whether it’s regarding what particular items can be eaten, or how long particular those foods and items you’re holding will satiate you (displayed above in the HUD), AppleSkin is a must-have addition to any Minecraft player’s game.

While these mechanics have always been there, they’re hidden by default, and as such, this mod does not modify any game files – just visualizes them for you!


Waystones mod in Minecraft
Mojang Studios / YouTube: Vortac
This handy mod will allow you to link, and teleport between, waystones.


No Minecraft mods list would be complete without Waystones. This mod is a necessity for those that like to build, explore, and return to areas across their map. Adding blocks that the player is able to come back to through other Waystones placed throughout the land or with Warp Stones and Warp Scrolls, will aid any adventurer’s need out in the wild.

As a bonus, the mod can be used in Adventure Maps, Survival Mode, and multiplayer servers (instead of using previous /home and /warp commands). If you’re feeling extra chill, you can even add an option to the inventory tab that allows you to teleport around at will!


JourneyMap mod in Minecraft
Mojang Studios / YouTube: Ayesel
JourneyMap includes both a world and mini-map in its features.


The JourneyMap is an incredibly useful Minecraft mod for many reasons. Firstly, the mod comes packaged with both a mini and world map, taking out the requirement for multiple downloads. You’ll also be able to channel your inner cartographer, as it lets you mark things down on your map that can also be seen in-world with beacons, should you need to return there.

As you explore through your world, the mod will mark out the map for you as you traverse around and explore the biomes. Pressing the J button in-game provides you with a lot of information, too! From viewing those marked waypoints and turning their visibility on or off, you can also change the color of these waypoints and name them, too!

Other features included are:

  • Teleportation (with cheats enabled).
  • Topographic data, allowing you to see the elevation of your world. These can be fine-tuned and customized to your liking, also.
  • Optional maps in your browser, and/or IOS and Android devices.
  • Day and night map modes.

So, there you have it, eight of the best Minecraft mods you can download. For more, check out our Smooth Stone, concrete, and grindstone guides!