Minecraft may have started out as a crafting and survival game, but it’s evolved into a wonderfully complex virtual environment. Now, a team from Sweden has turned it into an amazing tool for teaching about geology.

The basics were already there, of course. You could mine rock to fashion tools and weapons or build structures, turn iron ore into a suit of armor, and stockpile sand to make into glass. BetterGeo expands on what’s already there in a major way. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a mod that was developed by a group from the Geological Survey of Sweden. BetterGeo adds numerous minerals and metals, including aluminum, feldspar, garnet, titanium, tourmaline — and even lithium and rare earth elements (both useful for those of you who plan on manufacturing cell phones from scratch inside Minecraft).

What about rocks? BetterGeo has those, too. Igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary — they’re all accounted for. You can stockpile basalt, gneiss, limestone, and shale. And for any Minecraft players out there that share my dad’s penchant for combining geological puns and potty humor, you’ll be glad to know that BetterGeo will let you make a big pile of schist.


A kimberlite pipe with diamond deposits, just like the ones they work in Africa.

As for how they’re placed throughout the world, SGU tried to keep things authentic. “Ore deposits are limited to realistic geological sequences,” they say, “which increase(s) the thrill of exploration.” No true geek can argue with that logic!

The mod doesn’t stop there, though. There are a bunch of new items that you can craft, too. Don the fire proximity suit, mix metals in the alloy furnace, or whip up some rechargeable batteries and a charger that can supply power to your new defribillator. You can even build display cases to show off the rare specimens you mine.

What are you waiting for? Download BetterGeo now and install it to add its geological wonders to your Minecraft world.

BetterGeo turns Minecraft into an immersive tool for teaching geology