The mega-popular sandbox game “Minecraft” has been captivating gamers for over a decade. So naturally, the game has seen its share of updates and patches – its most recent as of this writing being version 1.16.5, released in January 2021.
Minor updates keep “Minecraft” safe and bug-free, while major updates that add new content are even more exciting for players. Like most apps and devices, you should try to keep “Minecraft” updated whenever you can.
Here’s what you need to know about Minecraft updates, including how to install them, and the minor risks that updates can pose to mods.
How to update ‘Minecraft: Bedrock Edition’
How exactly you update “Bedrock Edition” will depend on what system you use to play the game.
On a PC
If you play Bedrock on a computer, which is available for PC players who run Windows 10, Minecraft should be updating automatically.
However, if you need to do a manual update, here’s how:
1. Open the Microsoft Store app, then select the three dots in the top-right corner. Select “Downloads and updates.”
2. Select “Get updates.” All your installed applications, including “Minecraft,” should update.
Players who have “Minecraft” on a console – whether that be the Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, or DS – should receive any updates automatically. Your console just needs to be connected to the internet.
If an update has dropped that you don’t think you have, you can check for updates manually. The exact steps for this will differ based on console, but will usually involve selecting “Minecraft” and opening its settings page.
On phones and tablets
If you’re playing “Minecraft” on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, it’ll update just like any other app. In other words, it’ll probably update automatically as well.
You can easily keep your copy of “Minecraft: Java Edition” up to date via the Minecraft Launcher app. This is the app you open and press “Play” in to start the game.
Just like the other versions of the game, the Launcher app should keep “Minecraft” updated automatically. Whenever you open the launcher while connected to the internet, it’ll check for updates, and install them before you play the game.
However, you can always check which version of “Minecraft” you have. Here’s how:
1. Open the Minecraft Launcher.
2. In the drop-down menu next to “Play,” click the “Latest release” option.
3. Compare the number underneath it to whatever the latest version of “Minecraft” is. You can find this with a quick Google search.
If updates aren’t installing, make sure you have enough space on your computer.
“Minecraft” – and in particular the original, mod-friendly “Java” edition – is a game that offers its players near limitless creativity. No two worlds are alike, and starting a new one can sometimes seem like a daunting task.
Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch. Thanks to a benevolent community eager to show off their masterpieces, you can download an expert-level Minecraft map and start playing right away.
And these downloadable maps are often more than mere templates: They can offer adventurous puzzles, jump-scare horror experiences, scavenger hunts, multiplayer games, and more. As long as the map you download is compatible with the version of Minecraft you run, just about every theme and type of map imaginable is at your fingertips.
Here’s where you can find amazing custom maps, and how you can add them to your slate of playable Minecraft worlds.
How to download a ‘Minecraft’ map and add it to your game
1. When you find a map you want to download that’s compatible with the version of Java you run, download, unzip and drag the file to your desktop (or any location on your computer that you can find again quickly).
2. Next, you’ll find and open your Minecraft folder. If your Minecraft folder is saved in the default location for your device, then you can find it by:
Windows: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run menu. In the text field, enter “%appdata%.minecraft” and press Enter.
Mac: Open a Finder window and click “Go” at the top of the screen, and then “Go to Folder.” In the pop-up that appears, enter “~/Library/ApplicationSupport/minecraft” and press “Go.”
Linux: In your Home directory, Minecraft can be found in “/home/YOURNAME/.minecraft/.”
3. In your Minecraft folder, find the “saves” folder. When you open it, you’ll see the names of all your existing worlds.
4. Grab the map you downloaded and drag and drop the file into the Minecraft “saves” folder. Make sure to drag the entire folder for the map download file, and not just contents within the folder.
5. Open the Minecraft Launcher and start “Minecraft.”
6. Select “Singleplayer,” find your new map, and click “Play Selected World.”
From here, brace yourself for the exquisitely cultivated world you’re about to be loaded into – just be sure to give credit to the world’s actual creator when your multiplayer friends compliment your world.
OptiFine is a versatile program that many “Minecraft” players can’t imagine going without, particularly when playing on a less capable computer. It’s a “Minecraft: Java Edition” optimizer, allowing computers with less memory and less powerful graphics cards to run the game more smoothly.
OptiFine also gives you access to tons of new texture packs and HD shaders to make your game look as good as possible, as well a few useful new gameplay mechanics, including the famous “OptiFine Zoom.”
It’s different from mods in how it’s installed and runs, but is similar in that it changes how the game looks and works.
Here are two ways to install and use OptiFine, depending on whether or not you want to use it with other mods.
How to install and run OptiFine in ‘Minecraft’ without mods
1. In a web browser of your choice, navigate to the OptiFine downloads page. If you aren’t running the most current version of “Minecraft,” click “Show all versions” to find and select your version.
2. Click “Download” next to the version of OptiFine that you want. Click “Skip” in the top-right corner after a brief countdown if you’re taken to an ad break page.
3. Click “Download” when you’re redirected to the OptiFine download, and save it anywhere you can find it. You may see a warning about your download from your browser and/or computer, which you can safely disregard.
4. Navigate to the downloaded OptiFine file, which will be an executable .jar file. Double-click the file to open the installer and click “Install.” You should then see a message saying OptiFine has been successfully installed.
5. Open your Minecraft Launcher, and in the drop-down menu to the left of the “Play” button, make sure that “OptiFine” is selected. Once it is, click “Play.”
6. When “Minecraft” loads, select “Options…” from the main menu, then “Video Settings.” You’ll know that the OptiFine download was successful if you see added options like “Shaders,” “Details,” and “Animations.”
How to install and run OptiFine to work with ‘Minecraft’ mods
1. Follow the first three steps to download OptiFine as shown above. If you haven’t already, download Minecraft Forge as well. You can follow our guide here.
2. Open the Minecraft Launcher app.
3. In the drop-down menu near the green play button, select “forge” then click “Play” to launch.
4. You’ll see the “Mods” option in the Minecraft main menu. Click it, then select “Open mods folder.” Java will automatically open the mods folder created by Forge.
5. Drag and drop the .jar OptiFine file that you downloaded into this mods folder.
6. Close “Minecraft” and relaunch it, again running the Forge installation version. This time on the load screen, you should see the message “Found 2 modfiles to load” pass by, indicating that OptiFine has been incorporated into Forge.
7. You can check that it’s been installed correctly the same way as before: By going into the main menu and selecting “Options…” then “Video Settings.” If there are additional options like “Shaders,” “Details,” and “Animations,” then OptiFine is installed.
How to get started using OptiFine
OptiFine adds a lot of new options and settings to your game, so it can be a bit confusing to jump right in. Here’s some of the basic features, explained.
“Minecraft” is famous for how many mods it has, and how easy they are to install. These mods can be practical – like creating a new item – or they can add fun thematic elements to your game, such as new game modes.
To install these mods, you’ll need to use a free add-on called Minecraft Forge. This will let you customize “Minecraft: Java Edition” with mods.
Here’s how to install Minecraft Forge, and use it to install mods.
How to add a mod to Minecraft
Forge won’t come with mods built into it, so you’ll need to find them yourself. You can find all sorts of “Minecraft” mods through Google, and websites like minecraftmods.com.
Once you’ve found one that’s appealing, save the file to your newly-created Forge mods folder. The address on your PC will be: C:Users[your username]AppDataRoaming.minecraftmods
On a Mac, it’ll be: [your computer’s name] > Macintosh HD > Users > [your username] > Library > Application Support > minecraft > mods
In place of [your username], insert the name of the account you’re using on your computer.
Once you’ve done that, you can check that the mod is enabled by clicking the “Mods” tab on the “Minecraft” main menu (see above), then confirming that the mod is listed in the left column beneath the “Minecraft” version you’re running.