What is Minecraft Shaders?
Minecraft shaders are graphical upgrades to Minecraft’s otherwise soulless block world.
Minecraft already boasts and pulls off features like infinite replayability, varied gameplay, and a constantly improving online game, Minecraft shaders takes that up a notch by making it more visually appealing.
Minecraft shaders make the game more realistic and in my opinion, the right shader gives the game a little bit of soul even though you sometimes have to choose between a faster, smoother game and a visually appealing one.
How to install Minecraft shaders
It is quite easy to get one of the Minecraft shaders up and running in your game. To start though, you must first have the latest version of Optifine installed.
Optifine is an optimization and appearance tool that helps your game look nicer and run better. It supports all types of configurations including texture packs and just installing it in your ‘mods’ folder makes your game visually appealing even without shaders.
Once you download your Optifine folder which comes with a “.jar” extension, install Optifine by running the program. If you cannot open the “.jar” folder, you might need to get a Java Runtime Environment.
After installing Optifine, you can download any of your preferred shaders from their websites or via download links. The shadders are usually in a zip file and all you would have to do is, navigate to “:C\Users\[Your AccountName]\ApppData\Roaming\.minecraft\shaderpack” and then copy and paste your Minecraft shader into the “shaderpack” folder.
When you have pasted the shader into the shaderpack folder, open up your Minecraft game, navigate to video settings and then click on shaders to bring up the shaders selection screen which allows you to customize and optimize some of the shaders qualities.
Some of the shaders show a little more flexibility in performance and optimization than others and below is a list of some of the best Minecraft shaders and their features.
Sildur’s Vibrant Shaders –
The Slidur’s vibrant shaders have a lot of points in its favour, it comes in six versions ranging from Lite through to Extreme, and so can be customized to run on old or slow computers. It is regarded as the most customizable and flexible shader.
It is actively updated and has a community around it.
The yellow light it gives off is clean and uplifting and the sun as vibrant as it is, while escaping through leaves cause the leaves to look more life-like.
Continuum Shaders –
This has to be one of the best-looking Minecraft Shaders out there. With a lot of emphasis on its lightning, the day time looks glorious. The snowfall and the rainfall with this shader look so dynamic and realistic and you can tell when the trees swish in the wind.
Unfortunately, this shader puts a lot of emphasis on light and although it is certainly one of the best-looking Minecraft shaders out there, it fails woefully in terms of optimization.
Chocapic13 Shaders –
This looks like a cross between the Sildur’s vibrant shaders and the Continuum shaders. Like the Sildur, it has versions ranging from Lite to Extreme and like the Continuum, it has vibrant relaxing colours. Like, it looks good and somehow, it still runs well. It has an amazing night-time feel and has a relaxing ambience about it.
Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaders (SEUS)-
Just like the name suggests, SEUS is unbelievable. It strikes the perfect balance between changing the game’s look to make it better and making the game look flashy, as it still looks like Minecraft but with a little bit of flair.
This yellow-tinted shader is one of the best night-time shader packs. It shows off bold skies, soft rain and sharp shadows and looks even better indoors with light streaming in through the windows.
Unfortunately, SEUS is not as customizable as Sildur and is so resource-intensive that is could slow your PC down to a maddening crawl.
Beyond Belief Shaders (BSL) –
The BSL shaders boast of depth, impressive water body, and crisp lightning. It runs faster than SEUS but not as smoothly as Sildur. It has a professional look about it and as a plus, a functional and updated website.
See Also: How To Optimize Windows 10 For Gaming
I particularly like the Kuda shader because it is not overly flashy although it has a range of optimization options and at it’s best, has an almost cinematic look and feel to it. It excels best in low light, just as the sun is about to set and its landscape look is like no other in the extensive world of Minecraft shaders.
While this list is by no means extensive, it is a good place to start.