In May of 2009, game developers Mojang released a sandbox video game titled “Minecraft.” It was a predominantly survival-themed game with a pseudo-open world feel to it with 3D pixelated characters.
No one could have predicted how huge and influential it would grow to be, but eleven years and several notable awards later, Minecraft is still considered one of the best-selling and most influential games of all time.
What’s more, people are still releasing mods for it.
As parents, we always want to make sure the content our child is looking at is fun, safe and beneficial. Researching games such as Minecraft can be time-consuming for parents, which is why we here at CodaKid provided you with the most commonly asked questions by parents.
As always be sure to check out our Minecraft coding courses that will take your child’s Minecraft experience to the next level.
Follow this link for a free trial to access Minecraft coding courses and hundreds of others. Be sure to act quickly! Seating fills up fast.
What are Minecraft Mods?
Minecraft “mods” (short for “modifications”) are changes or modifications made to the game to alter the original gameplay. These can be as simple as updating the lighting and colors or as complex as introducing completely new and functional elements to the game—like new characters or new collectible items.
But more on that later.
Mods for Minecraft are enjoyed by both players and programmers. Avid gamers looking for a way to spice up their Minecraft experience are known for downloading, installing, and playing around with dozens of mods at a time.
On the other side of the screen, hobbyists, engineers, students, and aspiring programmers enjoy creating mods—for themselves or for their fellow players—by accessing Minecraft’s source code and making those changes.
What do Minecraft Mods do?
Minecraft mods take a variety of shapes and forms. Mods can:
- Add new blocks, items, and mobs (animals and other creatures)
- Change the way blocks, items or mobs appear during gameplay
- Grant players new powers and special abilities
- Alter or add new landscapes and terrain
- Allow for changes to player speed
- Change Minecraft’s graphics
- Add incredible machines and other devices to the game
Why are Minecraft Mods so Popular (and why are they allowed)?
The beauty of Minecraft mods is that they add free replay value to the video game. In the 80s and 90s, many gamers were openly vocal about their dissatisfaction for video games that had little to no replay value.
The general format for video games back then was a linear, one-path progression story that had a clear beginning and end—not to mention a predictable rewards system. This quickly became repetitive, and most people started to avoid games that only allowed one style of play and no hope of new discoveries outside of sequels or additional content.
The discovery and introduction of modding—specifically crowd-sourced modding for Minecraft—literally changed the game. Talented programmers would put out new Minecraft modpacks for their fellow Minecraft players to download and enjoy. They, in turn, would gain experience and recognition which they could use to further boost their careers.
With new official content being released every so often plus the thousands—if not hundreds of thousands—of new free mods being released every year, Minecraft’s replay value is virtually unlimited. Players can simply download and install new content whenever they start to feel bored with their current gameplay.
Basically, mods for Minecraft add spice and variety to the game. They keep loyal veterans interested and invested while simultaneously enticing fresh, new players to give the world of Minecraft a try.
And thanks to the positive feedback, the Minecraft modding community only continues to grow.
What are some popular Minecraft mods?
The Planet Minecraft downloads stats page is a great place to keep tabs on the most popular mods. If you want to become a hero in your household, helping your child download these mods will give your child a ton of enjoyment and provide you both with a great bonding experience.
Here are a few mods that we think are a ton of fun:
The Jurrasicraft mod allows you to create baby dinosaurs by extracting DNA from fossils and amber. You can also add fully grown dinosaurs, prehistoric plants, machinery, vehicles, and fossils. Who doesn’t want to see a T-Rex running around the Minecraft world?
The Minecraft Helicopter and Plane Mod allows the player to fly helicopter, fighter jets, jump out and glide to earth in parachutes, fire stinger missiles, and more.
This mod is one of our favorites. It allows you to travel throughout the solar system, create and customize your very own spaceship, terraform uninhabited worlds, and drive cool Moon Buggies. What is there not to like?
This modpack provides an alternate style for another existing mod, MineColonies. Minecolonies basically lets you create thriving, populous towns within the Minecraft world. They’re populated with NPC workers (Builders, Crafters, Fishermen, Miners, Bakers, etc.) and depict realistic everyday-life scenarios. As fun as the original mod already is, the Medieval Minecolonies modpack gives the player the chance to create a fantasy-rich colony with old oakwood textures, cobblestones, big, towering medieval-style buildings, and more.
For the happy hack-and-slasher, this mod adds a bunch of cool new 3D swords to the game. A particularly interesting, eye-catching one is the bamboo sword.
As fun and expansive as Minecraft can be, it doesn’t have a lot of options for decorating homes and making them look truly livable. MrCrayfish’s mod adds over 40 new, unique, and usable pieces of furniture to turn your standard Minecraft house into a home. Decorate your bedroom, kitchen, living room, and even garden!
Enjoy more than 80,000 new and functional structures to build huge, bustling cities in no time! This mod eliminates a lot of the groundwork and tedious song-and-dance routine to build structures, noticeably speeding up the process. You can create whole cities in under an hour with this mod—perfect if you aren’t much of a builder but wholly enjoy both survival and creative modes.
A nice, wholesome mod for the true outdoor adventurer, this camping mod allows you to explore the Minecraft world with all the conveniences of having actual camping gear. That’s right; instead of digging a hole to survive the night, you can just whip out your comfy tent and create a nice, warm campfire to cook marshmallows!
How can I teach my child how to download and install Minecraft Mods safely on our computer?
We created a very popular YouTube tutorial that you can use to locate safe mods without viruses, download them, and install them. Here is the version for PC.
For the Mac version please click here.
Why does my child spend hours watching YouTube personalities playing Minecraft?
Are you worried that your child is spending hours of unproductive time on YouTube, watching other people play Minecraft instead of playing it themselves? Don’t be.
The video format known as “Let’s Play!” (referred to, casually, as “let’s play videos” or simply “let’s plays”) has risen in popularity due to all the new and exciting games being released. Minecraft YouTubers and influencers capitalize on people’s curiosity by playing, reviewing mods, or experimenting with mods that their audience wants to know about.
These YouTube personalities are highly amusing for the younger generation, and they have mastered the art of narration as they take their characters through fun Minecraft mods, exciting adventure maps, and over the top multiplayer challenges. DanTDM (16M followers) signed a movie deal with YouTube Red, and makes millions of dollars a year in YouTube royalties, product promotions, and special appearances.
This excitement can consequently inspire them to try the mods—or even try recreating the mods—themselves.
How can I make my child’s love for Minecraft Mods a productive endeavor?
What was intended as an open-world sandbox game has become one of the biggest and most effective tools to teach children programming—and, by extension, other valuable skills.
Minecraft is already used in tens of thousands of schools and educators and parents alike have reported that Minecraft promotes project-based learning, team-work, and problem-solving. For an interesting article on ways in which Minecraft can be used to teach a variety of academic subjects please visit our post and infographic here. Feel free to repost (we just ask that you attribute the design to us)
Minecraft is also used to teach computer programming using the Java programming language. Online courses such as CodaKid’s Mod Creation series (Minecraft Modding with Java) teach kids coding fundamentals such as methods, conditionals, loops, variables, parameters, and arrays, while allowing kids to create their own custom Minecraft mods with Java. It is suitable for absolute beginners and has reasonable monthly subscriptions for $25 per month and a free trial.
From a technical perspective – are there different categories of mods?
Yes, here are generally three categories of Minecraft mods: 1. Client-based mods 2. Server-based mods 3. Mod Packs
Client-based mods are modifications to the game files on your local computer. These types of mods are primarily what we teach kids to make at CodaKid and involve modification of the Minecraft .jar file.
Server-based mods are typically modifications to the official Minecraft server software which allows kids to play multiplayer games online with one another. They are commonly designed to make administration of servers easier by setting up special administrative privileges for commands (such as banning players).
BONUS: Check out our free guide on How to make Your own Minecraft Server for free.
Mod packs consist of collections of Minecraft mods that have been designed and configured so that the mods all work together. Mod packs will typically revolve around a common theme and are very popular. For more technical information on mods, mod types, and more, we suggest you visit the Minecraft Wiki here.
We hope that you enjoyed our guide: What are Minecraft Mods? A Quick Guide for Parents.
Here is a quick recap of what was covered in this guide:
- What are Minecraft Mods?
- What do Minecraft Mods do?
- Why are Minecraft Mods so Popular (and why are they allowed)?
- What are some popular Minecraft Mods?
- How can I teach my child how to download and install Minecraft Mods safely on our computer?
- Why does my child spend hours watching YouTube personalities playing Minecraft?
- How can I make my child’s love for Minecraft Mods a productive endeavor?
- From a technical perspective – are there different categories of mods?
If you have any questions or comments we’d love to hear from you!
Please leave your feedback below!