Interesting information about shaders in Minecraft

What are shaders?

Shaders are an addon to Minecraft that changes many visual aspects of the game. It’s used to change the game’s shadows, lighting, reflections, and colors of your game. 

One of the main reasons a person might use shaders is to give the game a sense of realism by defining the features of their environment. Other reasons may include trying to change their game to look more pretty for pictures or to improve the game’s overall visuals. It will help the game feel more high-quality, which is not what every player wants, but it gives you the option.

Example of how shaders can impact your game

Shaders vs. Resource Packs

Both are quite different and impact your game quite differently, so it’s best to know which one you want, but you also have the option of using both.


They focus on the game’s lighting and tend to be the most resource-intensive. It also requires mods to install them, meaning you need an outside source compared to resource packs. But shaders give amazing visuals and can completely change the look of the game, which makes it worth the tradeoff for players with good computers.

Resource Packs

Resource packs, on the other hand, focus on the game’s textures and sounds. They can be resource-intensive but tend to be less intensive for your computer. Resource packs don’t require mods to be installed into your game, making them much simpler to add compared to shaders.


You can use both in your game, and when used together, you can make your game extremely beautiful, but this can make your game quite hard to run, so it’s best to check if your computer can handle the hardware requirements of using both together.

Requirements to use shaders

As previously mentioned, shaders require using mods to be able to use them in your game. These mods alter your game and enable them to be loaded into the Minecraft client. If you need additional instructions for downloading these, it’s best to check the websites for each, as they change depending on which you download. There are a few different options that you can select, so I’ll explain each one below.

(It should be noted that you should only ever use one of these options at once; never use multiple, or it could break your game.)


Optifine is one of the main choices for players when it comes to enhancing their game. The program focuses on adding many different settings to Minecraft to improve your game further. This includes new animations, lighting effects, video settings, and adjustments.

You can find the link to Optifine here:

Oculus and Rubidium

Oculus is an alternative to Optifine and comes with many of the same features that Optifine offers. Most users report that this also helps system and graphics card performance more than Optifine, so it’s best to keep that in mind. To get the full benefit, however, it’s best to install Oculus with the Rubidium mod, as both typically go hand in hand and work well together.

You can find the download link to both here: and

Iris + Sodium

Similarly to Oculus and Rubidium, these two mods come as a pair, especially when you’re looking for the optimal experience. However, the download link allows you to download both at the same time, which is quite helpful. It also has the best reputation out of the three listed due to having fewer bugs than Oculus and Rubidium and performing better than Optifine. Due to these facts, if I had to recommend you choose one, this would be the pick.

You can find the download link here:

Where can I find shaders?

Shaders exist on multiple sites and are relatively easy to search for, but I’ll provide some sites that are a great starting point for finding good ones to use for your game.

Shader Recommendations

There are a few great choices when it comes to some of the best and most used shaders. To help you get started, I’ll recommend a few of the best Minecraft shaders that will generally provide great performance and/or stunning visuals.

BSL Shaders

BSL Shaders mod is a shader pack that focuses on making the game bright, colorful, and distinct without altering the overall feel of the base game. It also includes custom clouds and water, motion blur, world curvature, volumetric lighting, and more!

This shader has been tested and works with Optifine and Iris+Sodium. You can find the download link to the shader pack here:

Complementary Shaders

Complementary Shaders is a Minecraft shader pack designed for the Java edition that focuses on performance and making the game a more visually beautiful landscape in a player’s Minecraft world.

It comes with two different versions that give the game a different feel, but both allow players with even less optimal computers to use the shaders. While Unbound gives the player a more realistic feel, the reimagined version focuses on keeping the essence of base Minecraft and subtly improving upon that.

This shader pack is tested and fully works with Optifine and Iris+Sodium. You can find the download links here: and

Super Duper Vanilla Shaders

This shader pack takes the canceled Super Duper Graphics pack and enhances it even further, giving it a fantasy-esque look. This pack focuses on visuals compared to optimization but has stunning visuals that are hard to compare. It will also give a feeling of nostalgia to players who played the super-duper graphics pack.

This shader has been tested and works with Optifine and Iris+Sodium. You can find the download link to the shader pack here:


While I could go more in-depth about more shader packs, it’s best to truly do your own research and see what type of shaderpack works best for you and your wants.

Some other recommendations I can give are Sora shaders, drdesten’s shaders, Seus renewed shaders, and continuum shaders.

How can I download Shaders?

Downloading them is a pretty simple process. First, you’ll need to download the shader pack from the site of your choosing and put it into a folder that you’ll easily be able to access, such as your download folder. 

Note: It’s important to check the version of the file you’re downloading, as not all shaders will be updated to the latest version of Minecraft.

Next, you’ll need to open your game and go to settings. Then in the video settings tab, you’ll have a new tab called Shaders. In this tab, you can manage and import your shaders right into your game; it usually won’t even require you to reload your game.

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