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Best Minecraft mods: The most jaw-dropping Minecraft mods for 1.20.4

Change Minecraft forever with the best mods for 1.20.4

Looking for the best Minecraft mods for 1.20.4? Minecraft mods have never been easier to use, and they're a phenomenal way to breathe new life into your latest Survival or Creative world. It's truly breathtaking just how many mods have been created over the past decade, but with Minecraft constantly updating, it's often a struggle to figure out which mods are compatible with the newest edition of the game, and which require an older version of Minecraft.

Luckily, we've spent weeks scouring CurseForge and experimenting with dozens upon dozens of different game-changing mods and modpacks. This list contains 40 of our favourite mods, the majority of which are compatible with Minecraft 1.20.4. Have a look and see which of these fantastic mods pique your interest!

Cover image for YouTube videoOur favourite biomes in Minecraft's Biomes O' Plenty mod

Best Minecraft mods

Below is a list of 40 of the very best Minecraft mods. Because everyone's looking for something different, we've ordered the mods below into loose categories, from simple quality of life mods to huge world generation mods, amazing building mods, and more. In instances where these mods aren't compatible with Minecraft 1.20.4, we've listed the required version of the game that you'll need.

If you want to know more about using these or other mods, check out our step-by-step guide on how to install Minecraft mods!


Optifine

The sun rises over a hilly Minecraft forest.

Download: Optifine
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

Optifine is the most popular Minecraft mod in existence. It drastically increases the number of customisation options for Minecraft's graphics and rendering, making Mojang's notoriously un-optimised behemoth of a game surprisingly performant. It also lets you run your various Minecraft shaders - though don't expect that to increase your FPS. Quite the reverse.


Sodium

One of the Minecraft settings screens overhauled by the Sodium performance mod.

Download: Sodium
Compatible with: Fabric

Sodium is a direct competitor to Optifine, and the performance-enhancing mod that I actually prefer to use. Sodium is built for use with Fabric, and offers a great many extra options for customising the look of your Minecraft world and toning down or disabling the more performance-expensive aspects of vanilla Minecraft's graphics rendering.


Iris Shaders

A Minecraft screenshot of a landscape with BSL Shaders enabled.

Download: Iris Shaders
Compatible with: Fabric

Iris Shaders is an easy way to test a wide variety of Minecraft shaders without any fuss. You'll be able to quickly switch between shader packs on the fly via a lovely user interface that lets you control each shader pack's settings and run them as efficiently as possible. Considering how many incredible Minecraft shaders are out there, a mod like this is an absolute necessity.


Distant Horizons

A sunset in Minecraft, captured using the Distant Horizons mod to extend the render distance far futher than usual.

Download: Distant Horizons
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Minecraft 1.20.2

While not yet compatible with shaders, the incredible Distant Horizons mod gives you another reason to make your jaw drop while looking out at the world that your choice of Minecraft seed has generated for you. Distant Horizons adds LODs (Levels Of Detail) to Minecraft, allowing the game to render even incredibly far off bits of terrain at a lower level of detail. This means you can extend your view distance to unimaginably great amounts without sacrificing performance.


Clumps

A clump of XP orbs in Minecraft.

Download: Clumps
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Minecraft 1.20.3

Unlike Sodium and Optifine, Clumps isn't a great big FPS-increasing overhaul of Minecraft. Instead it solves a single problem: the lag caused by lots of XP orbs floating around at once. If you've noticed your FPS tanks while using your latest XP farm for your Minecraft enchanting needs, then Clumps helps you out by clumping together all nearby XP orbs into a single orb entity.


Jade

The Jade mod for Minecraft shows the player exactly what type of block they are currently looking at.

Download: Jade
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

A fork of the now defunct HWYLA, Jade is the new gold standard in helpful tooltips for items and blocks. Whenever you hover over anything in the world, Jake will tell you exactly what it is and where it comes from. It's lightweight, easy to use, and makes Minecraft easier to learn. Why isn't this part of vanilla Minecraft by now?


AppleSkin

A Minecraft player in Creative Mode hovers over a cooked porkchop in their inventory, and sees detailed hunger stats thanks to the Appleskin mod.

Download: AppleSkin
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

Can you say with any certainty that you 100% understand the saturation mechanic in Minecraft? I can now, and it's all thanks to AppleSkin. Not only does this super-useful little mod tell you how much hunger a food item will replenish when you hover over it, but it'll also give you the saturation level of each item too - a stat which Minecraft hides by default.


ItemSwapper

The ItemSwapper menu in the centre of the screen in Minecraft, added with the ItemSwapper mod.

Download: ItemSwapper
Compatible with: Fabric
Requires: Fabric API, Minecraft 1.20.2

ItemSwapper is an excellent and elegant quality of life mod that's great for builders in particular. Pressing a hotkey while holding an item or block brings up a new panel which allows you to quickly switch between different variants of that item or block. Oak Planks can suddenly became Oak Stairs or Fences or Signs. White Dye can become any other colour of Dye. Minecraft Potions can be exchanged for one another. It's a wonderful little mod.


Mouse Wheelie

A Minecraft player in Creative Mode uses the Mouse Wheelie mod to easily fill their hotbar with Spruce Planks.

Download: Mouse Wheelie
Compatible with: Fabric

Mouse Wheelie cuts down on the amount of clicking you need to do while sorting out your storage and inventory. Hover over an item in your inventory and scroll to send them up or down a slot. If you have a chest open, scrolling will move items in a stack from one inventory to the other, one item at a time. It's a great way to introduce intuitive fine control to moving around objects in your Minecraft inventory.


InvMove

A Minecraft player runs along while the inventory is open, using the InvMove mod.

Download: InvMove
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Cloth Config, Fabric API (for Fabric), Minecraft 1.20.1

A very simple but welcome quality of life Minecraft mod, this one. InvMove allows you to continue moving around in the world even while your inventory is open. Of course you won't be able to use your mouse to look around, but you can at least walk, run, and strafe to ensure that you're not wasting time standing still while sorting out your inventory.


Explorer's Compass

The Explorer's Compass mod in Minecraft

Download: Explorer's Compass
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

While it's fun to explore the world of Minecraft on your own, sometimes, you just need to know the exact coordinates of the nearest village - or even better, the closest Buried Treasure! Explorer's Compass is a wonderfully handy mod for this very purpose. Equip it, right click, and choose from the list of structures to get coordinates that'll be by your side whether you want to teleport instantly to that location or trek it on foot. This mod pairs well with our guide to the best Minecraft seeds for 1.20.4, especially if you want to personally check out all of the coordinates we've listed.


Nature's Compass

The Nature's Compass mod in Minecraft

Download: Nature's Compass
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

Finding structures might be fine and dandy, but what if you want to find exactly how far you are from a biome, either to gauge where precious resources are located or simply to measure walking distance? Nature's Compass helps you do just that. Similar to Explorer's Compass, right-clicking opens a biome selection menu. Choose the one you're looking for and the coordinates and distance will pop up on your screen. Nature's Compass is compatible with all vanilla Minecraft biomes as well as modded ones, and with this handy set of handheld directions on your side, you'll be sure to find 1.20.4's pretty Cherry Groves in no time.


Biomes O' Plenty

A Minecraft screenshot of multiple biomes added by the Biomes O' Plenty mod.

Download: Biomes O' Plenty
Compatible with: Forge
Requires: TerraBlender

There's a reason for Biomes O' Plenty finding its way onto all the best Minecraft mods lists online: it's damn good at what it does. This expansive mod adds a great many new biome types to Minecraft's world generation, along with dozens of new block types, new foliage, and much more. This is an essential mod for injecting renewed life and interest into your Minecraft worlds, and giving you a reason to explore the Overworld again.


Terralith

A bird's eye view of a volcano biome in Minecraft, added with the Terralith mod.

Download: Terralith
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

Terralith is another incredible mod that fundamentally changes and enhances Minecraft's vanilla world generation. Terralith adds over 100 new biomes to Minecraft worlds, from Highlands to Volcanoes and the Moonlight Grove - but the most impressive part is that, unlike Biomes O' Plenty, Terralith adds all these new biomes using just vanilla blocks! If you're struggling to figure out which mod you'd prefer, you're in luck - they're both compatible with each other, so no need to choose!


Regions Unexplored

The Mycotoxic Undergrowth biome in Minecraft, added with the Regions Unexplored mod.

Download: Regions Unexplored
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: TerraBlender, Forge Config API Port (for Fabric), Fabric API (for Fabric), Minecraft 1.20.2

Regions Unexplored is a new and impressive rival to the other two world generation mods on this list. At the time of writing it has just 30,000-odd downloads, but it offers over 70 new biome types, from real-life examples like Maple Forests and Redwoods to the more mystical Prismachasm and Mycotoxic Undergrowth. If you're getting a bit familiar with the Biomes Of Plenty or Terralith biomes, Regions Unexplored is one to check out.


When Dungeons Arise

When Dungeons Arise Minecraft mod

Download: When Dungeons Arise
Compatible with: Forge

When Dungeons Arise is a neat mod that scatters intricate dungeon structures all across your world, challenging you to plunder the dark depths and defeat any mobs lying within. If you like combat alongside a bit of randomly generated dungeon crawling in your Minecraft world, then this is the mod for you, and it's quite a thrill to wander the vistas of your map only to discover a breathtaking temple or palace right around the corner.


Wilder Wild

A Minecraft biome of tall birch trees added with the Wilder Wild mod.

Download: Wilder Wild
Compatible with: Fabric
Requires: Cloth Config, Fabric API

Created by a devoted group of modders, Wilder Wild looks to overhaul the terrain and biome additions of Minecraft's Wild Update, adding various new biomes such as the Cypress Wetlands, Mixed Forest, and more. It also reimagines Minecraft mobs such as Fireflies and Jellyfish, and adds a variety of interesting new blocks, items, and even new musical tracks to enjoy.


BetterCombat

A Warden attacking a player in the Deep Dark biome in Minecraft.

Download: BetterCombat
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Cloth Config, Player Animator, Minecraft 1.20.2

BetterCombat does what its name suggests: enhances Minecraft's combat system in almost every way. Rather than adding lots of new weapons like other combat mods, BetterCombat focuses on changing animations, allowing dual wielding of different weapons, and using accurate collision detection on each blade to make the feel of every blow much more natural and intuitive.


Alex's Mobs

A bald eagle catches a fish on the coast in a Minecraft world with the Alex's Mobs mod enabled.

Download: Alex's Mobs
Compatible with: Forge
Requires: Citadel, Minecraft 1.20.1

If you want to populate Minecraft's vast worlds with some more interesting wildlife, the go-to choice is Alex's Mobs. This mod adds nearly 90 new mobs to the game, most of them real life creatures such as elephants, tigers, skunks, and more - but some of which are fantastical creatures like the Skelewag, Tusklin, and Enderiophage. Alex's Mobs breathes new life into Minecraft in a way that few other mods achieve.


Aquaculture 2

A player in Minecraft fishes in a lake. Between the bobber and the player, a v-shaped set of particles indicates the presence of a fish.

Download: Aquaculture 2
Compatible with: Forge

A great many players enjoy fishing in Minecraft. It might not be your favourite activity, but one thing we can all agree on is how it's a little disappointing that each body of water contains all the same fish as every other. Aquaculture 2 is a lovely fishing mod which adds over 30 new biome-specific fish to Minecraft, encouraging exploration if you want to become a true fisherman.


Brutal Bosses

Corvin The Rotten, a Minecraft zombie boss added with the Brutal Bosses mod.

Download: Brutal Bosses
Compatible with: Forge
Requires: Minecraft 1.20.1

Brutal Bosses gives you a variety of more challenging enemies in the form of named bosses which inhabit dungeons and other structures in Minecraft worlds. These bosses are modelled after ordinary mobs, but they're far more powerful and have access to unique abilities, like Arag The Lurker - a Cave Spider who spits cobwewbs and spawns more spiders to help it fight.


Nyf's Spiders

Several spiders clinging to the side of a Minecraft birch tree using the Nyf's Spiders mod.

Download: Nyf's Spiders
Compatible with: Fabric
Requires: Minecraft 1.20.1

Speaking of spiders - if you're an arachnophobe you might want to steer clear of Nyf's Spiders, a horrifying but ingenious mod which allows Minecraft's spiders to attach to any surface, even walls and ceilings. When you see an army of spiders crawling towards you upside down along the ceiling, you might question why you installed this mod, but there's no denying Nyf's Spiders is one of the best mob-focused mods out there at the moment.


WorldEdit

A modern house in Minecraft, built by YouTuber JINTUBE.
Image credit: JINTUBE on YouTube

Download: WorldEdit
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

WorldEdit is the ultimate building and construction tool for Minecraft, full stop. With a tremendously powerful series of different commands and tools available to you in Creative Mode, WorldEdit is all but necessary for the timely creation of vast Minecraft builds, from adventure maps to colossal structures and landscapes. Using custom Minecraft commands you can create, copy, and paste different blueprints, fill areas, and much more.


Effortless Building

A radial build menu in Minecraft added with the Effortless Building mod.

Download: Effortless Building
Compatible with: Forge
Requires: Minecraft 1.20.1

If having to uses the command console puts you off using WorldEdit, then Effortless Building is a fantastic option. Using intuitive new UI wheels and other buttons, this mod gives you access to various other ways to build, like drawing diagonal lines, spheres, cubes, and more just by dragging and releasing the mouse button. It even comes with a mirror mode for symmetrical builds.


Chisels and Bits

A fountain creation in Minecraft made using the Chisels And Bits mod.

Download: Chisels and Bits (Forge), Chisels and Bits (Fabric)
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Fabric API (for Fabric), Minecraft 1.20.1

Chisels and Bits is a powerful mod which gives players access to various chisel tools, with which you can carve individual blocks down, pixel by pixel, into any shape your heart desires. There's no end to what you can accomplish with the Chisel tool, from decorative statues and blocks for your castle to physically etched signs and much more. It's the perfect way to add new challenge and possibility into your latest Minecraft house ideas.


Macaw's Bridges

A bridge over a ravine in Minecraft, made using the Macaw's Bridges mod.

Download: Macaw's Bridges
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

Macaw's Bridges is a simple but still impressive mod which adds a lot of options for creating new bridges in Minecraft, which makes it a perfect companion for large Minecraft tower builds and the like. It's also just one of a dozen or so excellent mods by the same owner, Macaw, which add everything from paths to roofs, windows to paintings, and much more.


JourneyMap

A top-down map view of a Minecraft world, rendered using the JourneyMap mod.

Download: JourneyMap
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

Available only for Forge, JourneyMap is a frankly astounding Minecraft map mod which lets you map your world in real-time and then view your map either in full-screen or as a minimap in-game; or, best of all, in a web browser window while you play! Nothing quite beats playing Minecraft on one screen and then on another screen seeing a map of your world update in real-time beside you.


Immersive Portals

A Minecraft player looks through a portal in the Overworld and sees the Nether through it, thanks to the Immersive Portals mod.

Download: Immersive Portals (Forge), Immersive Portals (Fabric)
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Fabric API (for Fabric), Minecraft 1.19.3 (for Forge)

Immersive Portals is a simple idea, brilliantly and impressively executed. Instead of having to go through a loading screen when travelling from the Overworld to the Nether and vice versa, the moment you light a Nether portal you can see through to the other side, and step through seamlessly. It's an incredible accomplishment when you think about it, and certainly adds to the immersion while exploring new dimensions in Minecraft.


Incendium

One of the Nether biomes in Minecraft added by the Incendium mod.

Download: Incendium
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

Incendium completely revamps the Nether in Minecraft, adding 8 new Nether-specific biomes and 9 new Nether structures - and it also populates them with a vast array of new mob types and items to encourage exploration in one of the most dangerous environments in the game. It does all this with a fairly light touch; all the new biomes are made using just vanilla blocks, just like in Terralith.


BetterEnd

One of the End biomes in Minecraft added by the BetterEnd mod.

Download: BetterEnd
Compatible with: Fabric
Requires: BCLib, Fabric API

Considering it's meant to be one of the final frontiers for late-game Minecraft players, the vanilla End dimension isn't particularly interesting. It's just a home for the Dragon. But with BetterEnd, it most definitely becomes a place worth exploring, with over 20 new biomes, various new mobs and blocks, and whole new systems like Infusion Rituals, which can summon powerful and unique enchanted books into the world.


The Twilight Forest

A rainbow tree forest at night from the Twilight Forest mod in Minecraft.

Download: The Twilight Forest
Compatible with: Forge
Requires: Minecraft 1.20.2

The Twilight Forest is a very popular and impressive mod which adds an entirely new dimension: the titular Twilight Forest. Once you craft the required portal out of flowers and diamond, you can jump through into a brand new fantastical world filled with dozens of new biomes, structures, mobs both passive and hostile, and much more. It's truly breathtaking - though it doesn't play nice with Optifine, so you'll have to pick one or the other.


Physics Mod

A Minecraft pig in a desert, upside down with the ragdoll effects from the Physics Mod enabled.

Download: Physics Mod
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Fabric API (for Fabric)

Sometimes Minecraft mods just look like April Fools' jokes. I mean, how can you have proper physics in Minecraft? How can you have blocks which break into pieces, Minecraft mobs with accurate rogdolls, and caves which collapse naturally? But that's exactly what the Physics Mod does, and the effects are quite spectacular.


Applied Energistics 2

A meteorite from Minecraft's Applied Energistics 2 mod, superimposed over a Minecraft jungle landscape.

Download: Applied Energistics 2
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric

Applied Energistics 2 is a massive Minecraft overhaul mod which introduces a dizzying amount of new content, mechanics, blocks, items, and things to do. The focus is primarily on utilising a new resource - energy - and using it to power a great many new activities which can help automate things like crafting, as well as introducing new opportunities for exploration and combat.


Dragon Enchants

A Minecraft player uses one of the enchantments added with the Dragon Enchants mod to smite some spiders.

Download: Dragon Enchants
Compatible with: Forge
Requires: Minecraft 1.19.3

Dragon Enchants overhauls the vanilla enchantments of Minecraft, offering 17 new fantasy-themed enchantments for weapons, armour, and tools. Use Chain Lightning to deal damage to groups, or Detonate to make your arrows explode on contact. You can even save yourself from a would-be-fatal hit with the Eternal enchantment, as long as you have enough food in reserve to keep yourself alive. The vanilla enchantments really do feel uninspired in comparison.


Trainguy's Animation Overhaul

A Minecraft player with their back to the camera waves their diamond sword over their head.

Download: Trainguy's Animation Overhaul
Compatible with: Fabric
Requires: Fabric API, Minecraft 1.19.3

Trainguy's Animation Overhaul can't be found on CurseForge, but don't let that put you off. This clever mod competely replaces most of the animations in Minecraft, with a particular focus on the player's first-person and third-person animations. Everything from running and jumping to swimming and swinging weapons has had its animations enhanced in subtle but meaningful ways.


Sound Physics Remastered

The interior of a hollow mountain in Minecraft, filled with stalactites and Lush Caves flora.

Download: Sound Physics Remastered
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Cloth Config, ModMenu (for Fabric)

This excellent mod cranks Minecraft's audio realism up a notch by adding realistic reverb and soundwave absorption simulation. This means if you're in a cave, things will echo realistically, adding a startling amount of immersion to your spelunking while you search for Diamonds in Minecraft.


Presence Footsteps

A wolf stands next to a body of water and looks up at the player in Minecraft.

Download: Presence Footsteps (Forge), Presence Footsteps (Fabric)
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Minecraft 1.20.1

Presence Footsteps is another audio mod which adds a great many new footstep sounds to Minecraft which play depending on the exact surface you're walking or running across at the time. This again adds a degree of immersion that we've never experienced before in vanilla Minecraft. Tall grass rustles as you push through it; walking over sandstone clops, and trodding over dirt or sand makes a more subtle dusty splashing noise. It's awesome.


ImmersiveMC

A Minecraft player crafts a diamond hoe on top of a crafting table using the ImmersiveMC mod.

Download: ImmersiveMC
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Architectury API, Forge Config API Port (for Fabric), Fabric API (for Fabric), Minecraft 1.20.2

ImmersiveMC is a very unique idea for a mod, one which removes the need for UI windows in many scenarios by allowing you to do things like craft items directly in-game on top of a Crafting Table by placing each item atop the Crafting Table block in a grid. You can also open chests and see, in-game, exactly what's inside. It's a little bit finnicky, but it's a wonderfully immersive experience.


GraveStone Mod

Two gravestones in Minecraft side-by-side on some grassland, as part of the Gravestone Mod.

Download: GraveStone Mod
Compatible with: Forge

There have been lots of variations of the tombstone mod idea in Minecraft, but GraveStone Mod does it best, I think. This simple mod plants a grave at your position whenever you die, which holds all the items in your inventory instead of having them spill out everywhere and potentially despawn or be destroyed by lava or creeper explosions. Break the grave to retrieve your items safely. You can even interact with graves to find out information about when and how the player died, which is pretty neat.


Waystones

A teleporting waystone in Minecraft, made possible using the Waystones mod.

Download: Waystones (Forge), Waystones (Fabric)
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Balm (for Forge), Balm (for Fabric)

If you've been playing Valheim recently and lament the fact that vanilla Minecraft doesn't give you the ability to instantly teleport to different areas, then Waystones is the mod for you. This elegant and stylish mod allows you to craft Waystones and give them tags, then teleport to them either with one-use scrolls or a Warpstone, or by interacting with another Waystone elsewhere.


Comforts

An orange hammock strung between two trees in Minecraft, made using the Comforts mod.

Download: Comforts
Compatible with: Forge or Fabric
Requires: Minecraft 1.20.2

Comforts gives you a couple of additional options when it comes to sleeping in Minecraft. With this mod you can craft Sleeping Bags and Hammocks out of Wool, Sticks, and String, and use them to sleep without resetting your spawn point. Hammocks also act like an "inverse bed" by allowing you to sleep in them during the day, and fast-forwarding the time to night.


And with that, I think we'll wrap up this Minecraft mods discussion. That's quite a hefty array of mods to be getting on with anyway - some of which quite significantly change the game, but most of which simply make Minecraft a little easier and more pleasant to get along with. If you want to change the look of your Minecraft game more than the way it plays, then take a look at our list of the best Minecraft texture packs or our guide to the best Minecraft shaders.

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Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

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