Best Minecraft Server Mods [Top 6 + Full Guide]

The best Minecraft server mods can breathe new life into this excellent sandbox game, and they’re even better when enjoyed on a server.

However, it can be difficult to choose. You’re in the right place if you’re a seasoned Minecraft player starting their video game modding journey.

I have prepared this guide to briefly describe some of the greatest Minecraft server mods you can download and how to set them up.

best minecraft server mods

Understanding Minecraft Server Mods

Minecraft is fun whether played solo or with others. Each server is unique to every world generated around them and can be shared with others.

However, the best Minecraft mods are meant to enhance the base game by improving certain aspects or providing something new.

For instance, some great modpacks include Forge and Fabric, which “trick” the base code into allowing other modifications to change or add entities, items, or environments.

What are Minecraft Server Mods?

A Minecraft server mod is a modification that changes the base game of Minecraft with user-created content. The base code of Minecraft only allows this with third-party programs.

These projects are independent of the main developer, Mojang Studios, and are supported by separate client codes to run modded servers.

Minecraft mods range from a simple mod like the Gravestone mod to mark dead players to expansion packs that add more content to explore.

Others, such as Immersive portals, have you go through portals without loading time or screens getting in your way for seamless transitions as you enter a warp scroll.

Importance of Server Mods in Minecraft

A server mod produces a unique identity for your server. Although vanilla Minecraft is already fun, some veteran players may want more.

Veteran players are likely familiar with all the exploits and tricks to make the most of vanilla Minecraft while waiting for the next patch. The best Minecraft mods can add new challenges and experiences for newbies and veterans.

They add more life to the game by allowing players to customize their gaming experience. Whether you play on multiplayer servers or single-player worlds, you can enjoy more content with modpacks.

Selection Criteria for Best Minecraft Server Mods

A well-modded Minecraft world must be consistent, without issues, while balancing your desired experience, especially when other players join.

Remember these factors when selecting the best mod for your own Minecraft server to save yourself from maintenance headaches.

You can also use these criteria and our catalog when choosing a top-tier Minecraft host to join.

Gaming Experience Enhancement

Minecraft already has a popular reputation for being fun, with constant updates and active development. So, a truly excellent Minecraft mod needs to do one of two things: build up or expand.

Building up refers to quality-of-life improvements that can be added to your current session. These can range from quicker loading screens to more tools and equipment, like armor and weapons.

Expanding refers to adding more content not available in the base version of Minecraft. These can be in the form of new biomes, gameplay modes, and enemies.

The best experiences can weave several different mods together seamlessly without lag or immersion breaking.

If you are playing Minecraft with others, ensure everyone has the mod and is running it. This will ensure everyone can play through the same thing across the board.

Server Performance and Stability

Depending on the size of the mod, it may take lots of resources to run properly. A poorly designed mod can separate your server from active functioning or cause constant crashing.

The server host is responsible for balancing their Minecraft world and ensuring its stability, both to handle the mod itself and the number of players.

Mod oversaturation can cause lags and even crashes on your server — this also affects other players with the same mod list as you.

User Ratings and Reviews

User reviews help reflect the game’s state and the mod developers’ behavior.

Reviews help verify if people consistently have fun while pointing out flaws or bugs that are still prevalent. The latter verifies if the mod is likely to glitch out, especially if you plan on installing other mods.

Developers may interact with or answer these reviews, whether in patch notes with every update or direct replies.

Up-to-Date and Active Development

It would be easier to keep track of a mod by forming a community around it to get updates and give feedback. Not all Minecraft mods are compatible with the latest update.

To ensure the mod packs you’re downloading are up-to-date, it’s best to check if they have a dedicated discussion group for the mod.

Some players create communities like Discord servers to provide feedback to the developers and discuss the mod. If you find one of these groups, check for recent posts and developer responses.

Note that developers work on mods for free and in their spare time, so some delays between mod updates and responses are expected. However, a more recently updated mod is more likely to be compatible with the most recent Minecraft patch.

Compatibility with Minecraft Updates

Not all mods from different developers can work well together. Some still need to be updated as developers update their modifications with every new patch.

There’s no guarantee that your 1.18-era mod can pair up with a more consistently updated one — and this incompatibility can introduce more bugs or errors into your Minecraft game.

I recommend finding a mod that’s compatible with the most recent vanilla patch.

Best Minecraft Server Mods

Some mods can completely change how your modded Minecraft server looks or how you play the game.

The following mods are some of the best Minecraft mods available for you to use.

You may also want more recommended server plugins for Minecraft for more ways to enhance your servers.

Optifine: Improving Graphics and Gameplay Performance

  • Compatible with: Forge
  • Latest update: 1.20.1
  • Category: Optimization

Optifine is a popular Minecraft mod available as an optimization plug-in for your game. I consider it an essential mod since it provides an FPS boost, making gameplay smoother.

This FPS boost increases framerate while the vertical sync (Vsync) synchronizes the game’s frame rate with your monitor’s refresh rate for more fluidity.

This mod comes with more graphics and rendering options, allowing you to change the appearance of your environment. I love how it also lets users run Minecraft shaders, HD textures, and more color palettes.

It also improves and configures animations of environmental effects in your Minecraft worlds, such as water, flame, smoke, and rain.

Optifine is the best option against a Lag Spike or “Lag Spike of Death”. Optifine avoids this by configuring the in-game auto-saving feature.

Forge: An Essential Tool for Modded Minecraft

  • Compatible with: N/A
  • Latest update: 1.20.1
  • Category: Client API

Forge is one of my most essential mods since it lets you form your modded Minecraft server. 

It’s a Java edition application programming interface(API) that provides a layer of code between your server and the vanilla Minecraft game.

Normally, you can’t insert your items and other changes since vanilla Minecraft won’t allow that. However, the Forge interface allows your commands to be recognized by Minecraft.

Not only will Forge allow you to install mods onto the base video game, but it will also allow you to organize, store, and launch them at your leisure. 

I can add everything from texture and shader packs to gaming overhauls like Alex’s Mobs.

Forge Minecraft mods are quite common alongside Fabric Minecraft mods. There are plenty available for both API interfaces.

You can install the Forge API with the following steps:

  1. Download the official most recent installer from their website.
  2. Open the installer and go through the installation process. Confirm “Install Client” by clicking “OK.”
  3. Open the Minecraft Launcher and change the profile to Forge.
  4. If you’re faced with an error for “missing profile,” rerun the installer and specify the directory used by your vanilla Minecraft server. Proceed with installation.
  5. Whenever Minecraft loads, the program will now always provide a “Mods” menu.

Just Enough Items (JEI): Improving Inventory Management

  • Compatible with: Forge, Fabric
  • Latest update: 1.20.1
  • Category: Map and information, API and Library

The Just Enough Items(JEI) is a stripped-down Minecraft inventory mod for better item and recipe viewing. The mod was built from the ground up for stability and performance.

The mod is similar to the Not Enough Items mod for better organization and viewing of the recipe book — but I prefer JEI since it has more tools.

Keeping track of all your tools and recipes can take lots of work due to the number of menus you’ll typically need to scroll through. Minecraft now has an in-game recipe book with 25 items per page to help you navigate that.

However, JEI is a great mod that lets you organize and track your items and how to find and make them.

Users can view and search through hundreds of items or order them by source and function through the mod. Whenever you click on an item, the screen will show how to obtain it.

Tinkers’ Construct: Customizing Tools and Weapons

  • Compatible with: Forge
  • Latest update: 1.18.2
  • Category: Equipment, Mobs, Technology

The Tinkers’ Construct adds more layers to how tools are made within Minecraft — specifically, how to make your tools from scratch, adding more customization options with each one.

The mod comes with a Part Builder, so you can use different materials to construct your tools. The tools never disappear and can even be named.

I love how this process leads to more personalized crafting recipes as you prepare different patterns and modules of materials. You can even create and automate your smeltery for tool parts.

The mod brings a handy construction tool for a more organic experience in crafting, making tool-crating a more rewarding challenge.

Biomes O’Plenty: Expanding Environmental Variety

  • Compatible with: Forge
  • Latest update: 1.20.1
  • Category: World Gen, Biomes

Biomes O’ Plenty is a very popular Minecraft mod since it adds new biomes, plants, and building blocks, among others.

In fact, I love that this Minecraft mod includes around 90 biomes to explore and immerse yourself in.

These new biomes are not only for the overworld but also for the Nether, and include unique flowers, trees, and other vegetation. You’ll only need supporting texture packs for further immersion.

This mod’s world generation focuses on adding more realism to the new biomes provided. This includes dense coniferous trees in temperate forests and even fitting plants for “desert forests.”

The Biomes O’ Plenty also includes a Visceral Heap biome to the Nether, to make it more interesting and unnerving.

Twilight Forest

  • Compatible with: Forge
  • Latest update: 1.20.1
  • Category: Adventure, Biomes, Dimensions

The Twilight Forest mod adds a new portal to an entirely new dimension to enhance your Minecraft experience. There are whole new dungeons for you to explore — and I highly recommend this if you’re starting to find the Nether or the Ender Dragon too predictable.

The mod adds more hostile mobs, passive ones, and boss battles for you to discover and overcome. 

These boss creatures can be found in their own structures, unique to Twilight Forest. Every boss that you clear allows you to unlock and explore a new section of the forest.

The mod gives you new treasure and loot to craft from all the new available mobs and bosses. This new loot also comes with unique traits.

The Twilight Forest emphasizes adventure and exploration by adding classic RPG elements to your game, plus the bosses are great sources of xp orbs!

FAQ on Best Minecraft Server Mods

You’re now more familiar with the best Minecraft mods around, but there might be some questions you would still want answered.

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions.

What Is an SMP Mod in Minecraft?

SMP stands for “Survival Multiplayer,” wherein multiple players join the same server to play together. They can explore, create, or even fight together as they play online in one Minecraft world

Below, I’ve listed some of the common types of servers available.

  • Vanilla – The base single-player game experience but shared with friends.
  • Modded – So many mods can change and customize the game that whole servers are dedicated to them.
  • Anarchy – These new worlds are characterized by a lack of rules, modded or unmodded.
  • Factions – These servers emphasize players grouping against each other for land and resources.
  • Hardcore – Minecraft with permanent death as an added challenge.

How Do I Install Server Mods on My Minecraft Server?

Installing mods onto your server is simple — you only need the ‘mods’ folder in the install directory or launcher. The mods come in a ‘.jar’ file and can be moved into the right folder.

The folder is located within the .minecraft folder, the full path being: Users/{Windows-Name}/Appdata/Roaming/.minecraft.

Download your choice of API (either Forge or Fabric) and follow their respective installation processes. Be sure to download Minecraft mods that match your game’s current patch.

Here are the following steps for setting up mods on your server for beginners:

  1. Open your Vanilla Minecraft installer’s ‘mods’ folder. If it’s missing, create your folder and name it as such.
  2. Copy and paste your downloaded mods into your Minecraft server installation directory folder.
  3. Once within the folder, the mod should be able to start. You can activate any mod by pressing ‘forge’ from the dropdown menus under the opening title.
  4. Hit the ‘mods’ button to see all the working add-ons on the left sidebar of the screen.

Here are the steps to set up a modded server of your choosing:

  1. Follow the usual process for equipping Minecraft with a proper launcher and gather your choice of Minecraft mod selections to be downloaded.
  2. Before you can launch your server, create a new folder called Server Launcher to set this code for nogul onto or true, java -Xmx2048M -Xms2048M -jar forge-1.12.2-
  3. The server should be set up now with more RAM to work with.

A modpack is a term for several Minecraft mod programs that are compiled in a single download, to save players the hassle of downloading each individually. 

A popular example of a modpack for Minecrafter servers would be Roguelike Dungeons and Adventures.

This modpack adds more roguelike RPG elements from more adventure maps to explore — so you have more monsters to fight, quests to finish, and equipment to use.

The modpack even contains the Twilight Forest Mod. It also brings new biomes with mods like Atum for a desert environment and Tropicraft for a jungle themed biome.

Roguelike Dungeons and Adventures provides you with more options to create a more difficult but rewarding fantasy adventure in Minecraft.

Which Are the Best Mods for Minecraft Survival Servers?

I recommend the following Minecraft mods to enhance your game in survival mode;

  • JourneyMap JourneyMap creates a map based on real-time mapping of your current game for your web browser or mini-map.
  • Extended Caves – The Extended Caves mod adds more blocks, biomes, and structures to the cave systems.
  • Dark UtilitiesDark Utilities, an expansive mod, adds mob filters, vector plates, sleep charms, player damage plates, and material randomizers to your game.
  • Pam’sHarvest Craft 2Pam’s HarvestCraft 2 adds more variety to the crops available for growing and eating, such as pumpkin patches. It makes Minecraft similar to Harvest Moon.
  • Survive – The Survive mod makes the game’s mechanics more difficult and adds more meters to manage, such as thirst, nutrition, and sleep. This mod is designed to make survival more difficult.

Will Using Mods Affect My Minecraft Server’s Performance?

When running a Minecraft mod, the mod inserts more assets into the game by altering the main code. This process uses many digital resources, potentially causing lag on your server.

This resource usage will be more apparent when using a more powerful mod like Biomes O’ Plenty or Alex’s Mobs. With every Minecraft mod you add, the more strain your server experiences.

Having many players on the server simultaneously can significantly affect your server’s performance too, causing further lag on top of using many mods.

Sometimes not all Minecraft mods run smoothly together, such as Forge Minecraft mods not running well within Fabric. 

Plus, all of your modifications also need to be compatible with the latest version of the game.

The most common crash a Minecraft mod can cause is the Ticking Entity Crash, wherein a modded asset like a mob or an animal causes a crash. It could be anything, from skins for hungry zombies to simple fox skins.

Whenever the server loads this entity, the corrupted data causes it to crash every time it is loaded.


Now that I’ve covered some of the best Minecraft mods, hopefully, you can spice up your server. However, remember to double-check your server’s stability before launching the game with these new modpacks!

Mods take a great deal of work from their developers to execute a fun idea and ensure the mod works and remains up-to-date with every patch.

To ensure you only download the very best mods available, ensure you have a clear idea of what you want from Minecraft modding and your server’s capabilities.