Best Minecraft shaders and texture packs: How to download and add

Minecraft shadersMojang Studios

Minecraft shaders allow you to transform the game’s blocky biomes into breathtaking worlds filled with photorealistic graphics. From real-time shadows to volumetric lighting, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Minecraft may not be the prettiest game out there, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be. In fact, the Minecraft modding community is constantly finding ways to push Mojang Studios’ pixelated environments to new levels.

After all, Minecraft’s biomes offer plenty of diversity when it comes to creating the perfect world. 

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Of course, finding the very best Minecraft shaders can take a while, especially now that there are so many variations. Whether you’re tired of looking at Minecraft’s base graphics settings or just want to create more immersive biomes, then these 10 best Minecraft shaders have you covered. 


How to download Minecraft shaders

Downloading Minecraft shaders and texture packs is quite simple: just find the desired shader on a trusted website and follow the steps to download it.

However, you will also need to download Optifine in order to install and run those shaders. Once again, no major difficulties just download so you’ll be able to run those texture packs efficiently.

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How to install shaders for Minecraft

Once Optifine has been downloaded and installed, you are now free to install the texture packs themselves.

Open the Minecraft launcher and be sure that you are running the version that includes Optifine. On the main menu, click options > video settings > shaders. From this menu, you’ll be able to install all the the shaders you have.

Best Minecraft shaders to install

BSL Shaders

BSL Shaders Mojang Studios / capttatsu
BSL Shaders is the most popular Minecraft shader pack for a reason.

There’s a reason BSL Shaders is the most downloaded shader pack for Minecraft. Not only does BSL offer incredible amounts of customization, but it is also one of the most well-optimized options out there. This makes it a great option for those that want high fidelity without sacrificing performance. 

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BSL Shaders come packed with real-time shadows, volumetric light, ambient occlusion, bloom, customizable clouds and water, and built-in anti-aliasing. If that wasn’t enough, there are also additional options that enable you to adjust the game’s depth of field and cel-shading. With so many options available, you’re sure to find the best settings for your next adventure. 

Download link

Beyond Belief Shaders

Beyond Belief ShadersMojang Studios / unicornblood2468
It’s not hard to see why so many Minecraft players opt for this shader.

Beyond Belief Shaders started its creation back in 2015 and since then it has been updated for use with current Minecraft versions. The style on offer here is more akin to vanilla Minecraft, while the added visual clarity helps deliver a more crisp and natural look. 

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Download link

Complementary Shaders

Complementary ShadersMojang Studios / EminGTR
Performance and high graphical fidelity are offered with this shader pack.

As the name suggests, Complementary Shaders aim to bring you the best in both performance and graphical fidelity. The really great thing about this Shader Pack is that it supports all GPUs and drivers, while also being compatible with a variety of Minecraft mods. 

This makes it a great option for those who wish to mod their worlds and achieve great performance without sacrificing visual clarity.  

Download link

Chocapic13′ Shaders

Mojang Studios / Choca_13
Chocapic13′ Shaders is for those that have older GPUs, but still want great performance and visual quality.

Not everyone is blessed with the latest hardware, but that doesn’t mean older GPUs can’t enjoy great visuals and performance as well. In fact, this is what Chocapic13′ Shaders is all about. Whether you have an older 1060 card or an RX 570, you’ll be able to achieve a buttery smooth 80-100 FPS on higher presets. 

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Watching the fluffy clouds float by and seeing the gentle reflections shimmering on the water is a real treat for the eyes.

Download link

Nostalgia Shader

Nostalgia ShaderMojang Studios / RRe36
A trip to Minecraft’s shader pack past.

Do you ever want to go back to a time when the first Minecraft shaders first started popping up in the wild? If the answer is yes, then the Nostalgia Shader is a perfect choice. Not only does it both replicate the look and feel of “first-gen” shader packs, but it also adds a number of features that bring it up to speed with current high-resolution mods. 

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Aside from the usual dynamic shadows and volumetric fog, the Nostalgia Shader even comes packed with wind effects for foliage. 

Download link

Vanilla Plus Shader

Vanilla Plus ShaderMojang Studios / RRe36
Vanilla Plus is for those that want to keep the game’s original aesthetic.

Unlike the other shader packs on our list, Vanilla Plus aims to simply boost Minecraft’s original visuals. This is great if you just want to keep the vanilla experience without drastically altering the overall look of your world. 

Dynamic shadows and improved clouds are just a few of the minor things that have been tweaked, while selectable profiles enable you to mimic older shader packs. While it may not be as pretty as the high-fidelity shader packs, it does make vanilla Minecraft shine. 

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Download link 

Voyager Shader

Voyager ShaderMojang Studios / symbiome67
This shader pack brings touch of realism to Minecraft’s block-filled world.

The Voyager Shader is all about bringing realism to Minecraft’s blocky worlds. There are no whacky features or color on offer here, which makes it the perfect choice for those that wish to truly immerse themselves in their latest creations. 

The lighting and clouds are what make this specific shader pack shine, while the added darkness helps add a spooky feel to the game’s night-dwelling mobs.

Download link

Oceano Shaders 3.0

Oceano Shaders 3.0Mojang Studios / LittleRoofie
Soak up the sun with this beautiful shader pack.

This beautiful shader pack brings some much-needed tropical sunshine to your Minecraft world. If you’re tired of the dull and often overcast weather of vanilla Minecraft, then Oceano Shaders is what you’re looking for.

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Each environment really pops when this pretty pack is active, particularly in any areas with water and dense forests. There’s just so much color that it’s hard not to be taken aback by how good it all looks. 

Download link

ProjectLUMA Shaderpack

projectLUMA Shaderpack Mojang Studios / dedelner
A Minecraft shader without all the distractions.

While some Minecraft shader packs aim to dazzle players with bright lights and fancy graphics, projectLUMA aims to improve visuals without distracting you from the overall gameplay. ProjectLUMA may lack the detail of other shader packs, but it does make up for this with its smooth performance. 

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The dirty lens feature and realistic water waves certainly help to create a more immersive experience.

Download link 

AstraLex Shader (BSL Edit)

AstraLex Shader (BSL Edit)Mojang Studios / LexBoosT
There are so many options to choose from in the AstraLex Shader.

AstraLex Shader doesn’t just completely revamp how vanilla Minecraft looks, it also comes packed with some interesting additions. Everything from enemy eye brightness to realistic rain has been added. There’s even the option to add special effects to your weapons and enchanted items. 

The AstraLex Shader is more than just your everyday texture resolution pack, so give it a whirl if you want to manage every detail of your world. 

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Download link 

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