While the Minecraft Bedrock Edition now includes ray tracing thanks to NVIDIA RTX, the PC-only Java Edition has benefited for years from community-made shader tweaks. Shaders give the game a gorgeous visual overhaul by adding new types of lighting, reflections, visual effects, and more — and while shaders aren’t quite as impressive as actual ray tracing, they’re also a lot less taxing on your hardware.
Best Minecraft shaders PC 2020
Because there are so many great shaders out there, we’ve chosen a diverse range of shaders for this roundup, each with a different balance of visual quality, performance, and unique style.
While it’s tough to label any Minecraft shader the greatest because of individual preferences, it’s difficult to argue with the excellent quality you receive with BSL Shaders for such a minimal performance hit. Soft, natural lighting with a hint of warmth, snappy godrays, lovely water effects, and simple animations that cause grass and leaves to wave in the wind are all included in these shaders.
The colors in these shaders are also quite neutral and not as saturated as many other options, giving them one of the finest possibilities for a completely natural look.
Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaders (SEUS)
If you like BSL Shaders but want your colors to pop a little more, Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaders are for you (SEUS for short). The lighting and effects in SEUS are the same as in BSL, except the colors are a little brighter and more saturated (rain makes blocks look glossy, too).
SEUS, like BSL, is generally performance-friendly, therefore it should operate on most machines. Keep a watch on Sonic Ether’s development progress on their website, since they’re working on a version of SEUS that mimics ray tracing.
Chocapic13’s Shaders are an excellent alternative if you’re looking for something performance-oriented. They have a look and feel that is quite similar to SEUS, except they are a touch darker and don’t have as many visual effects.
As a result, they have a lower performance impact, making the Chocapic13 Shaders a good choice for players with less powerful hardware. You can also choose from a variety of settings based on the power of your equipment.
In terms of general look, CYBOX is comparable to BSL, SEUS, and Chocapic13, but what sets it apart is how deep and distinct its shadows are. If you like dark shadows, you should certainly try the CYBOX Shaders. Just keep in mind that the lighting effects aren’t as complex as those seen in BSL or SEUS, but they still look fantastic.
Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders
What if you prefer saturated, colorful, and very bright lighting to natural lighting? We propose Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders, which adds magnificent rich sunshine to your Minecraft landscapes, along with other spectacular visual effects including godrays, waving vegetation, volumetric lighting, bloom, and more.
It’s far from realistic, but Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders are hard to top if you want to adopt a fantasy-style design. Just keep in mind that they take a toll on performance, so make sure you’ve got a suitable setup.
What if you prefer saturated, colorful, and very bright lighting to natural lighting? We propose Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders, which adds magnificent rich sunshine to your Minecraft landscapes, along with other spectacular visual effects including godrays, waving vegetation, volumetric lighting, bloom, and more. It’s far from realistic, but Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders are hard to top if you want to adopt a fantasy-style design. Just keep in mind that they take a toll on performance, so make sure you’ve got a suitable setup.
What if you’d rather have saturated, vivid, and bright illumination than natural light? Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders delivers amazing rich sunlight to your Minecraft landscapes, as well as other stunning visual effects like godrays, waving vegetation, volumetric lighting, bloom, and more. Although it is far from realistic, Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders are difficult to beat if you want to create a fantasy-style design. Just remember that they degrade performance, so make sure you’ve got the right setup.
Finally, the Nostalgia Shaders are recommended for players who want something simple and close to the appearance and feel of vanilla Minecraft. These shaders are designed to seem like the simple shaders that were available when OptiFine was originally published, and while they aren’t as complex as the other alternatives on this list, they have an unmistakable nostalgic appeal. They’re also high-performance, which is ideal if you’re working with an older or entry-level system.
What is your favorite shaderpack for Minecraft? Please let me know. Also, check out our guide on how to install and play with mods in Minecraft: Java Edition on PC for more information on Minecraft mods. Minecraft is already one of the best PC games, but adding some slick shaders and cool mods improves it even more.
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