The best Minecraft shaders to make your world look better

The best Minecraft shaders will change the look of your blocky world, often with advanced lighting and shading, and perhaps some post-processing effects to boost colors. All together, good shaders make Minecraft look more realistic with superior light and shadow, but sometimes you can also achieve more stylized looks, whether it’s oppressive shadows for something spooky or saturated colors to make it crisp and vibrant.

However, keep in mind that shaders are completely different from the best Minecraft texture packs that change the look and texture of existing blocks and items in your world. Here’s how to install Minecraft shaders and apply them to your game, as well as our picks for Minecraft’s best shaders, all up to date with the current versions of the game.

  1. Install Minecraft Forge. This makes adding and installing mods much easier.
  2. download Optifine (opens in new tab). This makes Minecraft look better and run faster (and it’s so useful as a Mod that it has made it into our list of the best Minecraft mods), and it also supports all kinds of configurations.
  3. After downloading the Optifine.JAR file, move it to your mods folder, which you will find in your Minecraft file.
  4. Some shaders also GLSL Shader Mode (opens in new tab)so it might be worth downloading it and dropping it in your mods folder as well.
  5. Download the shader pack you want and put the zip.file in your Minecraft shaderspack folder.
  6. Open Minecraft, go to options and then video settings you should see shaders tab. Click this to set the shader you want to add to the world.

Sildur’s Shaders

Sildur’s Shaders (opens in new tab) If you’re into the world of shaders this is a great place to start. It is an extension of the GLSL Shaders Mod (also part of Optifine) and enhances the Minecraft lighting system to add reflections, better shading, and more to your world. It also stays up to date with the latest version of Minecraft and has configurations for those running older versions. The pack is specially designed to run on any graphics card and computer, so anyone can enhance their Minecraft world with beautiful lighting. With volumetric rays of light streaming through the trees, bright reflections from the rivers, the sun is much more vibrant – it gives Minecraft a colorful makeover that makes everything so much more beautiful.

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BSL Shaders

This BSL Shaders (opens in new tab) pack is a higher performance shader that adds lots of colors and lighting effects that will elevate your Minecraft world. With reflective realistic water and a richer, more saturated color palette, everything looks more polished. Much like Sildur’s Shaders, this pack includes improvements such as volumetric light and ambient shielding, but also comes with customizable clouds and water. It truly brings the world to life in a beautiful, picturesque way. Fluffy clouds look almost like our own sky, but in the Minecraft environment and indoor areas such as houses you build or caves you dig appear sharper.

AstraLex Shaders

Based on the previous BSL Shader pack, AstraLex Shaders builds on it to create a more unique shader pack for your Minecraft world. Live sky boxes include new rain effects, including especially beautiful star-filled night skies, visual rendering effects such as chromatic aberration and film grain, and even options for rain splashes on your character. Many of these options are also fully customizable, so you can more or less cover exactly what you want and what you don’t want with this shader.

Chocapic13’s Shaders

If you’re after something with more ambiance and ambient lighting, you can’t go wrong. Chocapic13’s Shader (opens in new tab). It also revealed many great shaders that others have created, as it lets you tweak your own tweaks. It adds some cool effects like fog to enhance the atmosphere of your world and also brings more shadows and lights in landscapes that really work their magic. The shader looks especially good at night.

Continuous Shader

This Continuity 2.0 Shader (opens in new tab) It adds an impressive amount of lighting and detail with configurable color grading to boot. From the clouds to the shimmering rippling waters to the light filtering through the trees, everything looks very professional. Definitely in terms of top performance, but if you have the specs to take it, this shader really enhances the look and feel of the game. Snowfall and rain also look more dynamic and trees will sway in the wind.

Sonic Ether’s Amazing Shaders (SEUS)

Another high performance shader, Sonic Ether’s Incredible Shaders (opens in new tab) pack adds really impressive shadows and lighting to the world. It looks especially great indoors, with light leaking through windows or peaking above a cave. The textures of the grass and sand look very attractive and the sky looks incredibly realistic.

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KUDA Shader

This KUDA shader (opens in new tab) It is another great choice that brings more details and provides a richer Minecraft experience. With bright water, more shadows, beams of light, and yet more fluffy clouds in the sky, everything looks brighter and more refined. A very solid shader that will smoothly change the world without going overboard. It may not be as show-stopping as some other shaders, but it still gets the world moving with some very attractive features.

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