Minecraft Looks Good, But Let's Make It Look Better

After years of being available as both alpha and beta, Minecraft is finally available as a finished (though never truly finished) product.

Yet for all the fanfare, I haven't played the game in over a year. Talking to lots of other people, I hear the same thing. They dabbled in it in 2009 or 2010, appreciated it, then moved onto something else. The release of v1.0, however, gives us all a chance to check back in with the game.

For the next few days, then, I'll be doing just that. And today, we're looking at the multitude of ways that have been developed in the past year or so to get the game looking better.

Don't get me wrong, I like how Minecraft looks. There's a rustic charm to its blocks and textures. But just as the game itself is built around carving your own experience to suit your tastes, so too has the Minecraft community built itself a myriad of ways to help you get the game looking just how you want it to look.

You can't change the block-based nature of the worlds, but you can change just about everything else via texture packs, a form of modification that's built into the game menu itself. Below you'll find some of my favourite packs, along with what you need to install them.

MCPatcher HD - First things first! Minecraft texture packs come in all shapes and sizes. To make using them easier, as well as for allowing you to switch them on the fly, you should install MCPatcher HD. Indeed, some of the texture packs I'm about to recommend require you to have it, so before you go any further, get it installed.

Tronic Revamped - Probably my favourite visual overhaul of the game. Tronic turns the muddy, low-res textures of the game into sharp, clean cubes. It's not for everybody, as in many instances it can make the game look even more unnatural, but I like the effect enough to look past that.

The Painterly Pack - Less of a single pack and more of a massive collection of them, TPP is a long-time favourite of Minecraft fans, and it's not hard to see why. While keeping the overall aesthetic of the vanilla game, Painterly lets users choose from a range of slightly-improved textures, many of them looking adorably 16-bit in comparison to the originals. Definitely worth a look for those who want to keep things samey, only a little better.

LB Photo Realism - And, this one's for those who want to go in the opposite direction. Scuttles' wildly popular pack adds realistic, highly-detailed textures to the game world to stop everything looking like a plastic toy and more like the real world. If the real world was made out of blocks.

Ovo's Rustic - Adds a clean, cartoony sheen to the game world, that while now rendered in a much higher resolution, still has a ton of rustic charm. Hence the name! Perfect for people who wish Minecraft looked more like Dragon Quest, or a Studio Ghibli cartoon.

Jolicraft - I love Jolicraft. While keeping things low-res, and for the most part not looking that different to the vanilla game, it's only when you start to look a little harder you see the scale of the changes here. Everything looks a little more homely, a little more worn, and the colour changes it makes to the game make everything feel warmer.

Well be looking at Minecraft a little more in the days to come, ahead of, believe it or not, an actual review of the game. These are crazy days we live in.


    have tried a couple of these in the past... its amazing how much better it can look

    So with the release of 1.0 is matchmaking a lot more user-friendly for online or LAN games?

    i (used to) run with 64x Misa Texture Pack + Water Shader Mod.
    water shader mod makes the game look so much better by itself, add in a high res texture pack and it makes it look awesome!

    Screenies of mine below... (steam cloud images, shortened because links were long)
    1. My secret Tree House base (water reflections) http://goo.gl/EV8ic
    2. Inside Tree House http://goo.gl/jJlLB
    3. More water reflections... I wonder if the flying octopus' have been fixed http://goo.gl/FH8Li

    Ovo's Rustic looks amazing. I'm going to give that a shot tonight!

    I'm currently using the "Misa Realistic Texture Pack" found here (http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/69354-64x10-misas-realistic-texture-pack-updated-18nov/) which I've used since 1.6 I think, but I really love the look of that Ovo's Rustic pack, and I'll be installing it when I get home to give it a shot.

    Hi! I am the maintainer of Tronic Revamped, I'm happy you like it!

    I feel compelled to give credit to the original creator of Tronic, who is a mysterious and nameless dude who never answered my emails. You can find the original Tronic over at http://evilmousestudios.com/tronic/. Neither his nor my pack are updated for the new Minecraft version yet, but I'll update Revamped this weekend.

    I gotta say that in my opinion none of these beat the default. The colours almost always seem wrong to me, and the textures dont beat the original.

    The John Smith texture pack has been my favourite for the longest time.


    this is SUCH old information, anybody who plays minecraft knows about texture packs but nonetheless ima download these, i like to have as many as possible xD

    Playing Minecraft with the updated shaders made it insane for me. Depth of field, motion blur and a nice texture pack can make it look really awesome.

    Only trouble is every patch your game is broken for a week or two.

    I still haven't updated, mainly because it'll mean I have to remod my copy of the game. Mmmm, Lonely Angels.

    wow, that Jolicraft actually does look more inviting... that's the first texture pack that I've seen that I think I want to give a go. :)

    I love the Photorealism HD one, I think it's the LB one I was using (haven't repatched my 1.0 with the HD textures yet).. it's not that it makes the game photorealistic as such.. it just adds a bit of hi-fidelity and definition to the tiles which exist in a decidedly low-def world. I love the contrast of it and when you take in the panaroma from the top of a hill/mountain, it really looks awesome. Add to this a decent reflective water mod and the world really comes to life.

    I installed the Ovo's Rustic Pack last night, and it's awesome, it's just like the original, but cleaner, and brighter somehow, I really like it!

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