The Optifine mod for Minecraft doesn’t just freshen up those blocky visuals and get everything running silky smooth, it also delivers some impressive in-game customisation. Here’s how to download and install this game-changing mod.

Since its arrival, Optifine has set the Minecraft community buzzing. Finally you get some slick-looking high-definition textures, while the overall frame rate is much smoother. But even better than that, you can tweak and fiddle with a huge selection of game parameters. Weather effects like fog and rain can be toggled and edited, while you can even control the day/night cycle and play around with animation effects.

How do I download Optifine?

This mod is completely free to use. All you need to do is head to the Optifine download page and click the relevant link.

Note however that before you commence installation, you’ll want to update your copy of Minecraft to the very latest version. The game automatically installs updates, so just open the launcher and see if you need to download a patch. Otherwise, you’re good to go.

Of course, you’ll also need to decide which version of Optifine to plump for.

Which version of Optifine is best for me: Ultra, Standard or Light?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular choice here is the Ultra version. This contains the full selection of customisation options and performance-boosting features.

However, if you’re already using other Minecraft mods, you may be better off with the Standard edition. This has shown to be more stable when used with existing modifications, although you don’t get the full set of Optifine features.

Last up, the Light version is best if you’re playing on a basic laptop or seriously old desktop that struggles with everyday life.

How do I install Optifine?

First up, you need to figure out where your Minecraft files are stored on your PC’s hard drive. Fortunately this is super simple. Just open the launcher again and poke the Launch Options tab, then Latest Release. The ‘Game Directory’ tool will show you where those files are located.

Alternatively, you can simply search in Windows Explorer for Minecraft.

Now it’s time to install and setup Optifine, so follow these steps:

  • Double-click the setup file that you downloaded in the previous step. The installation window will pop into life and you’ll be prompted to enter a folder for the Optifine installation.
  • Click the button to the right of the default directory which has three dots on it, and then browse to the folder which contains your Minecraft installation. That’s where you want Optifine to go.
  • When you’re done, hit install and perhaps kick back with a cup of tea. Better drink it fast though, because this bit’s really quick.
  • Once Optifine is installed, just open the Minecraft launcher as normal and click the ‘Installations’ tab, then hit ‘New’. We recommend calling this installation ‘Optifine’ so there’s no confusion later – just stick that label in the Name box.
  • Next, click on the Version drop-down box and select the option with Optifine in its title.
  • Finally, hit the Create button and you’re ready to run the mod.

How do I get better performance in Minecraft using Optifine?

The good news is, this mod should work perfectly well without any further setup or customisation. You should immediately notice a difference in the visuals as well as the frame rate.

However, you can also play around with the graphics configuration by heading to the game’s Video Settings menu. There are plenty of settings in here to tweak, until you get the best balance of visual quality and performance.