How to Install Shaders in Minecraft

Completely change the way your Minecraft world looks!

Minecraft shaders completely alter the visuals of your Minecraft world. Usually, they allow for high customization of the way the game runs to suit your needs and proportionately balance between performance and quality. In the guide below, we explain how to install Shaders into your Minecraft files.

For this guide, we'll be using BSL Shaders. However, there are many great Minecraft shaders out there. You can use the list below to download the shader that you feel is best for you. When you have chosen which one you'd like to install, follow the remaining instructions.

The first thing that you need to do if you want to install this shader is to download and install OptiFine. OptiFine is currently the best way to mod Minecraft's visuals and allows better performance from your computer when rendering the look of the game. To see how to install OptiFine, use the following link: How to Install Minecraft OptiFine.

Once you have OptiFine installed, you're ready to install your selected Shader.

Step One: Download the Shaderpack

How to download BSL Shaders.

The links above lead to the direct download page for each individual shader. You can see an example of this in the image above, but not all download pages will look the same. If your web browser warns you against downloading files like this, that is normal. The web pages we've linked lead directly to the official download pages, so they are safe to download.

Step Two: Install the Shaderpack

Installing Shaderpacks is a straightforward process, and mostly just requires a quick drag and drop. This is a significant change from the old process where you had to manually manipulate the files. Continue with the instructions below to complete this step as easily as possible.

Find your .minecraft folder by going to your start/search bar on your desktop and type in %appdata%, and hit Enter. Once you do this, a folder will open. Right at the top of that folder will likely be the .minecraft folder. Double-click that folder to open it.

Related: Best Minecraft Shaders for 1.16+ (2021) - Pro Game Guides

In that folder you will see several Minecraft folders for your game Double-click the folder that says shaderpacks. Now that you have this folder open your Downloads folder (where you installed the shaderpack) in another window. Drag the zipped shaderpack file to the shaderpacks folder. This is essentially all you need to do to install it!

Step Three: Select the Shader

Now that it's installed, all that's left to do is to select it in the game. Open your Minecraft Launcher.

OptiFine selected in the Minecraft laucher.

On the bottom, make sure that the version you have selected to play says OptiFine like in the image shown above. This is a required step. Shaderpacks will not work properly if you use a different version. When you have set this to be the version you're using, click Play.

How to get the shaderpacks folder in Minecraft.

Once you have the main title screen for Minecraft open, use the following instructions to select your shaderpack.

  1. Select Options.
  2. Select Video Settings.
  3. Select Shaders.

You will now be in a window that allows you to choose from the shaders you have installed in the Shaderpacks folder. Select the version of the shaderpack that you have just installed. You can see an example of this in the image below.

Select BSL Shaders in the shaderpacks folder.

Now that you have done this, you have finished installing the Minecraft shader! You can now enjoy the massive improvement to visual quality.

Want to use your new shader on an Adventure Map? Check out our list of the Best Minecraft Adventure Maps for 1.16!

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About the Author

Freelance writer and jack-of-all-hobbyist-tech-development-trades (website, game, and program). My passion is to create content that entertains and makes people think critically.

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