Minecraft is a game with simple graphics and a block-like appearance. Aside from the gameplay arguing with physics Minecraft also has a very unrealistic look. This style is very popular and many gamers love it! However, it’s not for everyone. Since Minecraft is highly moddable, there exist many different types of texture packs that can alter how your game looks while you play.

In 1-week Minecraft coding camps, we explore coding in Minecraft with Redstone, an element used for mechanical and electrical programming. Kids and teens can build their own game to add texture packs to. Eventually, you can even code your own texture packs.

What are Minecraft texture packs?

Minecraft texture packs are a collection of files that change the visuals of blocks in Minecraft. These blocks range from building materials, items, mobs, and anything else that you can see in your game. Without getting too technical, by default, Minecraft has a native resolution of 16×16 pixels. Texture packs can increase them up to 1024×1024, which has 4,906 times the number of pixels as native!

Note: you may hear the term resource pack in place of texture packs. While resource packs provide new textures for your gameplay, they also provide other game features such as music, sound effects, particle effects, and text. Resource packs are only available in Java Edition 1.6.1 and higher. In this article, anytime you see the words “texture pack”, you can safely replace them with “resource pack”.

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Minecraft shaders and texture packs

Now that you know what texture packs are, you may feel like your game may benefit from using them and it’s all you need to have a better gaming experience. And you may be right! Or, if you’re like many other gamers, you still want more after adding the upgraded graphics. While texture packs are great at giving your entire gameplay a new and improved look, shaders can increase the aesthetics even further. Many gamers opt to add texture packs and shaders to their game.

Unlike texture packs, shaders focus on the lighting of your game. The use of shaders can create a very realistic atmosphere and sky, dramatic shadows, and water that looks like you could jump right in. Similar to texture packs, shaders can be CPU intensive so you may need to try out a handful to get the best ones that work on your machine.

While shaders and texture packs can both be used by themselves, it’s highly recommended that you download Optifine to take advantage of all the features that some packs have to offer. 

Minecraft texture packs boy

Where to download Minecraft texture packs?

Now that you’re ready to try out texture packs, where can you get them? Like most things with Minecraft, it depends on the version of Minecraft you are using. If you’re using Minecraft Java Edition or Windows 10 Edition on a computer, you will need to go to the developer’s website that created the texture pack and download it directly.

If you are using one of the legacy console editions, such as Minecraft: PS4 Edition, Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, or Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition then you will need to purchase texture packs directly from the respective stores on the console. 

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How much are Minecraft texture packs?

The price of texture packs is also dependent on the edition. If you are using one of the legacy console editions, then texture packs are usually around $2.99 U.S. dollars. However, if you download the texture packs yourself, such as in the case of Minecraft Java Edition, then texture packs are free!

How to make your own texture packs

While installing texture packs that have been created by someone else is great, sometimes they lack the exact look you’re searching for. If that’s the case, you may be interested in creating your own texture packs. Creating your own texture packs is beyond the scope of this article, but if you’re interested we highly suggest going to Gampedia and reading up on it. 

It does take a bit more technical skills than purely installing texture packs, but if you’re familiar with text editors and simple design using Photoshop or equivalent then you should be able to learn to create your own textures fairly quickly. Once you are finished creating your texture asset files, you can compress them into their own zip file and drop them in the resourcepacks folder of your game. 

Top 5 Minecraft texture packs

There are too many texture packs for you to try all by yourself. While having a plethora of options isn’t a terrible thing, it can be difficult to choose a great texture pack. We created a list of the top 5 most downloaded texture packs from Planet Minecraft.

1. LB Photo Realism Pack 256×256 Version 10.0.0 

LB Photo Realism is a texture pack that’s nearly as old as Minecraft itself so it’s no surprise that it will have the most downloads. Currently, at over 2.5 million downloads from Planet Minecraft alone, LB Photo Realism aims to make Minecraft more realistic, as if the name didn’t give it away. There are many resolutions of this texture pack so you can find one that your computer can easily run. Adding the right shaders and the Wild Grass mod can also give biomes their own unique plants that are realistic and help give your environment that extra spark.

2. Sphax PureBDCraft x128

Another decade old texture pack is Sphax PureBDCraft. Unlike LB Photo Realism, Sphax PureBDCraft aims to give Minecraft a comic-like look. This is preferable to many gamers since even with realism texture packs, it’s nearly impossible to give Minecraft a very realistic look. Even though it’s a cartoony texture pack, there are resolutions from 16×16 to 512×512 that all give you high-definition textures. This pack also has many optional add-ons such as multiple 3D items and blocks, an advanced tech add-on to give your redstone technology a new look, an add-on to connect blocks for smoother transitions, and even an add-on to allow you to customize your own textures for specific blocks. 

3. oCd Texture Pack

If you have obsessive compulsive disorder then the oCd Texture Pack should be the first texture pack that you download. Even if you don’t have OCD, it’s worth trying out since it’s a beautiful pack that provides a clean and minimalist look. This ordered pack lacks extra noise and harsh colors with all textures having an even spacing. It’s a great resource pack as well for someone who doesn’t have a high-end machine that can run high-resolution texture packs without lag. Even though there is only a 16×16 resolution offered at this time you won’t feel the need for more pixels.

4. Default 3D

Another pack with over 2 million downloads from Planet Minecraft, Default 3D is easily rising up the charts. It’s a few years older than both LB Photo Realism and Sphax PurecBDCraft, yet has nearly as many downloads. This pack is great because there are different versions based on the specifications of your machine. If you have a lower-end machine you may opt for the Default 3D Low. These texture’s give you smooth edges with connecting faces of models that appear seamless. If you have a higher-end machine you’d want to go with Default 3D High. It includes all block and item modifications with eye-pleasing texture without leaving out specific blocks like it’s Low version does. If you’re looking for something in between, you can try out the Default 3D Medium.

5. Modern HD Pack

If you’re a fan of the modern look, then the Modern HD Pack should fit your needs. This pack gives every block in the game a new look while also adding new items, mobs, and font. If you’re trying to build cities, schools, and skyscrapers then this pack provides you with all the tools you need. There are also updates to underwater that can add corals and kelp to make swimming a bit more of an experience. With a resolution of 64×64 most computers should be able to run this pack without trouble.

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The Best Minecraft Texture Packs

Now that you know how to install texture packs which ones should you go for? There is an endless supply that you can find online, and we are positive that you can find something that fits your style. However, we have a handful of options that we recommend you give a try.

X-ray Minecraft texture pack

The X-Ray Ultimate Resource Pack has a very unique style. In fact, after everything we’ve explained to you about texture packs enhancing the visual aspects of your game, the X-Ray Ultimate Resource Pack does the opposite! 

When you first install it, you may think it looks terrible and broken, however, understanding what it does is where it really shines. It makes most blocks transparent so you can’t see them, but it highlights important blocks for you. You can easily see lava, mobs, and ores exactly where they are in the world. This can help your mining and resource collection while staying safe. This is a great pack to have in your resource folder that you can toggle off and on when you feel a need for it.

HD Minecraft texture packs

HD texture packs come in all shapes and sizes from cartoony to realism but offer a “high-definition” set of textures. In fact, the HD stands for high-definition. 

Unlike the X-Ray Ultimate Resource Pack, HD texture packs are often elegant, charming, and pleasing to look at. They allow players to build creative structures and large cities where each building or block has its own character. You can easily build a castle down the street from a modern hospital if you so choose. One really popular HD pack the Serene HD Resource Pack

Realistic Minecraft texture packs 

As the name implies, realistic texture packs focus on making each block in Minecraft looking more realistic. If you’re not a fan of cartoony texture packs then realism is the way to go. 

Each block has a high level of detail with a lower color palette to help represent the real world. Realism texture packs benefit dramatically with a higher resolution, so it’s recommended you have impressive hardware to help your game run smoothly. A highly recommended realism texture pack is CMR Extreme Realistic Resource Pack

3D Minecraft texture pack

Minecraft is definitely a 3-dimensional game. However, if you look at each block closely, you’ll notice that most of them do not have any 3D effects. Each block consists of six-sides of 2D textures. 3D texture packs try to alleviate this issue. 

In 3D texture packs, blocks are created with attractive textures that give a depth-effect. This can give your game an authentic feel to make you think twice about where you take your next step in the game. A great pack that achieves this very well (although, it’s not complete yet) is Slight Depth Resource Pack.

4096×4096 Minecraft texture pack

While 4k texture packs are not common at the moment, it’s something many Minecraft players are waiting for. There are a few people who have made some of these packs for the novelty, but they will take an extremely high-end computer to run that most people do not have. It can also be very difficult to find these packs that can run on the newest version of Minecraft. Although these very high-definition resource and texture packs are not viable at the time of this writing, they are something we are all looking forward to in the future. With the way technology grows every day we don’t believe we are that far away from everyone having their own opportunity of running Minecraft in 4k.

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Enjoy your textured Minecraft experience!

You now have the skills to edit how your own Minecraft game looks. Adding new textures to your game can really help Minecraft feel like a brand new game again. If you want to go straight medieval then, there is a texture pack for it. If you want to act like you’re playing the old NES, then there is a texture pack for it. If you want a frightening atmosphere then, you guessed it, there is a texture pack for it.

You can also read our article on how to install Minecraft mods to add even more features.

Kids and teens can also join a Minecraft coding camp this summer to learn about programming with Redstone. It’s a fun and engaging way to personalize your Minecraft experience while gaining a valuable life skill.