The 12 Best Minecraft texture packs
13th Jan 2012 | 15:13
Bored of Minecraft's default look? Then these texture packs will give your game a completely new visual style. They've all been hand-crafted by the dedicated and talented Minecraft community, and they're super easy to install. You won't believe how good they make the game look.
Before you get started
Some of the texture packs listed here are HD. To run them you'll have to patch your copy of Minecraft. Don't worry, this won't break anything - just download MCPatcher from this thread on the brilliant Minecraft Forum, copy it into the game's directory on your HDD, make sure HD textures are checked, and hit the patch button at the bottom of the window. Easy!
To actually install your texture packs, load up the game and click the Texture Packs button on the main menu. At the bottom of this screen you'll see a Open Texture Pack Folder button. Click this and drag your downloaded texture packs in (in .zip format) and they should appear in the menu. Just be sure you've installed MCPatcher before trying any HD ones.
JohnSmith Texture Pack V8 by JohnSmith
This is one of the most popular texture packs in the Minecraft community, and for good reason. It adds a layer of subtle realism to the world, while still retaining the game's trademark 8-bit charm. The latest versions have added animated textures (flames, torches etc.), improved rain and snow and a handsome new user interface.
Glittercraft by Dreckroulade
This one is probably a bit of an acquired taste, but it makes Minecraft look totally unique with vivid, unrealistic colours. There are a lot of these 'artistic' texture packs out there, but this one is our favourite. Give it a try and you might be surprised by how cool it makes the world look; especially natural formations like mountains.
BladeCraft by MrShortee
Now this is impressive. Not only has MrShortee created a beautiful texture pack inspired by seminal cyberpunk sci-fi Blade Runner, but he's created a whole chunk of futuristic Los Angeles to show it off. If you're a fan of the film you'll recognise locations like Deckard's apartment and the Yukon building. Play this one in the rain, at night, for maximum atmosphere.
Precisely Portal by Carlotta4th
This pack is inspired by Valve's puzzle classic Portal. It only really works for building interiors - the rest of the world, like grass and so on, remains unchanged - but if you've ever wanted to recreate the Aperture Science Testing Facility in Minecraft, this is the best way to do it. Comes complete with turrets, doors, cubes and other accessories.
Jolicraft by Andrejolicoeur
This is our personal favourite. It gives the game a complete overhaul - from textures and menus to tools and mobs - with a classy new art style, and a tastefully muted colour palette. It's reminiscent of a classic SNES-era RPG, like Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana, and gives Minecraft a fresh visual lift without changing its overall style too much.
RezFX by Soulscribe/FXStrato
Minecraft Forum user FXStrato took the Tron-inspired Rezcraft texture pack created by Soulscribe and updated it. Among other things he added a new ski for the Ghasts that makes them look like Recognizers and genius binary snow made up of 1s and 0s.
Okami Texture Pack by Postermahn
Dearly departed Japanese studio Clover created probably the most beautiful, artistically unique game of all time with their PS2 adventure, Okami. The visuals were influenced by traditional Japanese art, and Postermahn has brought some of that hand-painted magic to Minecraft. We especially like the stylised animated fire.
Minecraft 4Kids by Alree
Don't be put off by the name - this is a really cool-looking texture pack that gives the world a bright, colourful look, with thick black outlines. It's reminiscent of the once-fashionable 'cel-shading' graphics style. The textures are all brilliantly sharp and high-res too, even down to individual raindrops.
Animal Crafting by Dancrum
Nintendo's famous Animal Crossing series has a really distinct art style, which Dancrum has implemented in Minecraft to great effect. The bold primary colours suit the game perfectly, and the tree and water textures are especially beautiful. Some bespoke Animal Crossing paintings would be good for a future update, though.
Sonic Vintage by Affinite
Sonic's Green Hill Zone marries perfectly with Minecraft. That's vintage Sonic, not rubbish new Sonic. This pack adds new foliage, paintings and terrain textures in the style of Mega Drive-era Sonic (or Genesis if you're from the US), and it looks pretty awesome in-game. Textures are 32x32 too, so it's nice and sharp.
Ornate 5 by Sevenfour
Now this is a gorgeous texture pack. It has a historical - almost steampunk - feel, with decorative brass windows, classical paintings and dusty bookcases. Realistic grass and foliage somehow makes Minecraft's blocky world look weirdly realistic. It's a shame the creator seems to have stopped updating it.
SuperMarioCraft by Egon
Another texture pack based on retro games of old, this time Super Mario World, the best reason to own a SNES. Like the Sonic textures earlier, Miyamoto's colourful world suits Minecraft's blocky terrain of Minecraft nicely. The neatest touch, however, has to be the reskinned Creepers which now look like Bob-ombs.