We dwell countless hours in the blocky world of Minecraft to build our perfect world. The time we put in should also justify our experiences, so the visual experience needs to be top-notch while playing Minecraft.
That’s where shaders step in. Minecraft shaders are a simple way to modify the way Minecraft renders its lighting and shadows to create the desired effect. While base Minecraft’s rendering is pretty basic, adding a few shaders can completely revamp what you think about the game.
Before diving into the world of best Minecraft shaders, let’s take a look at how to install shaders on Minecraft.
Shaders aren’t technically mods but you need an add-on like Optifine to run shaders on your Minecraft.
Step 2 – Download A Shader Pack
There are plenty available on the internet and the best ones are available in the blog below. We have hand-picked the best of them below. Curse Forge is also a reliable source to download the best shaders for Minecraft.
Step 3 – Open the Shaders Folder
Now, the next step to install the shaders you need to create a folder file. Open Minecraft and head over to the ‘Optifine’ version. When you’re on the Minecraft main menu, click the ‘Options’ button> ‘Video Settings’, and on the next page, click ‘Shaders’. Then, click on the ‘Shaders Folder’ button in the bottom left which will prompt you to a folder window, where you can access your shader packs.
Step 4 – Install The Shaders Pack
Finally, navigate to the source pack of the shaders that you downloaded in step 2, which is probably situated in the downloads folder or the desktop folder of the C drive.
Once you’ve located it, move it into the ‘shaderpacks’ folder you just opened. After this procedure, close that folder as well as Minecraft and then restart Minecraft. After botting Minecraft again, redo step 3, up until the point of opening the ‘Shaders Folder’.
You should now be able to see all the installed shaders packs. Now you can jump back into your game and observe the jaw-dropping shaders.
After completing all this hassle, we are ready to install our favorite shaders. But how can you get to your favorite Minecraft shader?
Don’t worry! We got you covered. Here comes, the list “13 Best Minecraft shaders to try in 2021”.
Best Minecraft Shaders
1. SEUS (SONIC ETHER’S UNBELIEVABLE SHADERS)
Sonic ether’s unbelievable shaders i.e. SEUS is a really impressive shader pack. The pack adds a charming glare effect to the game. The sun gleams as the day passes on and reflects on the surface of in-game water bodies, akin to ultra-realistic AAA games.
Volumetric clouds glide across the sky and disappear once they’re past your render distance. Shadows are mirrored across the gloomy water surface, thanks to the incredible lighting system. Mountains rise beyond the horizon through the fog.
SEUS is a demanding shader pack hence requires a beefy computer that can supply the sheer horsepower required by SEUS to render the incredible lightning. If you want to get the most out of it, then make sure you’re packing a powerful CPU and GPU.
You can technically try turning the specs down on Minecraft with the SEUS shader and achieve a playable framerate, but SEUS was built for proper gaming machines and should be used on such.
Enjoy the picturesque landscape and the bright colors with shining rays on SEUS. Get it from the link above.
Chocapic 13 is a splendid shader which is the baseline for most of the other shaders that came after it. Chocapic 13 features a variety of lighting that is quite accurate and real. The shader pack provides a dynamic range of lighting at the correct times of a day cycle.
The shadows look authentic provided that it has variable penumbra size. The clouds, fog with its shadow looks really great. The water reflections are Definitely a thing to adore in Chocapic’s shader pack. The reflection and refraction of light are indicated very cleverly in by the sharp colors.
Chocapic’s shader pack captures the depth of the field fabulously. The contrasts are particularly fine in the pack. Its main function is to add dynamic shadows, a pleasing wind that slaps the leaves and makes them move gently a real sunshine, and, of course, realistically rendered water bodies.
Chocapic13’s Shaders have multiple different versions optimized for different sets of machines, yet all of them are more or less resource-intensive.
Sildur’s Vibrant shaders completely change the lighting system of Minecraft and add advanced effects like volumetric lighting, bloom, ambient occlusion, and reflections. In the same instance, you don’t have to compromise with the performance of the game either. Sildur delivers on its name and turns your Minecraft world into a vibrant, realistic painting with warm hues and inviting tones.
The shader bends the leaves and grass as the winds blow, complete with motion blur and lens flare on gleams of sun’s rays. The water not only looks realistic, but also reacts to wind to form waves and reflect the sun.
Sildur is one of the few popular shader packs that keep the nether world in mind. The shadows run very smoothly and are not too dark. The nether doesn’t look too dark yet manages to accurately reflect the light of lava.
Hopefully, the developers will optimize the nether world for GPUs with Ray Tracing to get the most out of the nether world.
Well, the people having a low-end PC are tired of trying out many shaders but nothing suits them better. Lagless shader is perfect for those who want to experience great quality graphics without compromising on the performance.
High praise should be given to its creator, Paolos who must have taken out time to ensure that it is addressing such a fundamental yet often ignored the issue. There is a high probability that your PC will slow down once you have a few shaders downloaded and installed. That’s when you know it’s time to install Lagless Shaders for your Minecraft.
The tool ensures that your PC is not overloaded as soon as a new shader pack is installed. There’s nothing much to talk about the shader pack is decent which is specially developed to help you have a much more efficient and better quality Minecraft playing experience.
Too Many Effects is one of the best shader packs that comes closest to realism with the help of its accurate shadows. Too Many Effects Shader brings a warm and welcoming feel with its warm colors and other shades.
True to its name, the pack drafts a number of effects into a single shader pack to render your blocky world with seemingly realistic effects.
The intensity of the sun rays has been cranked up way higher than usual and it reflects on water and blocks. Leaves and grasses are reactive to the wind, simulating a realistic feel. The water though realistic, doesn’t feature any crazy effect but is simply limited to plain old no reactive ripples.
However, the reflections on the water and reflections in general are an absolute piece of art. The fog basically reduces the rendered view distance, which helps in prioritizing the resources to render nearby objects with profound realism.
Too Many Effects by CrankerMan’s Shader is not about improving the frame rate or running the game smoothly. It’s about one simple thing, cramping in as many effects possible in one shader pack to achieve one of the best looks in Minecraft.
CYBOX Shaders is a truly realistic shader from CYBOX gaming. This shader can be considered the best for Minecraft 1.8 version. This shader gives you a unique atmosphere that you haven’t experienced before.
The bright flashes of lightning made by the sun, gleaming across the blocky landscape creates an incredible view that is forever embedded in your memories.
Shadow effects in CYBOX Shaders are one of the best you can find in any Minecraft shader pack. The shadows in this mod represent the spaces between the leaves when the sunlight shines through the foliage of the trees, an effect that’s rarely seen even on AAA titles.
The CYBOX shader is a year old but still, it is one of the best. You don’t need any external software such as Optifine to run CYBOX shaders, but we’d still recommend you to get it for easier access to mods and shader packs. Additionally, you’ll also get access to Better Skies and Better Glass with optifine.
Read our guide on How to Download, Install and Run Optifine here.
7. Naelego’s cel shader
Naelego’s cel shader is a very unique shader with bold delineation of the contours. It gives the Minecraft world a completely different species, which might not appeal for a prolonged session, but is certainly worth a try.
Naelego’s Cel shader will make textures in the game as sketches with a black border, bringing the graphics closer to the comic book style. The shaders render with cel-shading technology and add clear boundaries to each object, giving it the iconic cartoony effect.
Thanks to this, the picture always looks two-dimensional and as if drawn by pencils and pen. If you like graphics in games like Borderlands, Life is Strange or Legend of Zelda, then you can safely add these shaders to your collection!
The shader pack is unique on its own given the comic book style that it provides. This shader pack will not be a visually great experience for everyone but I’ll urge you to try if you love the comic book world or want to try something new.
The Oceano shader stands out due to its unique graphic effects and creates fog and special shadows for a very special atmosphere. True to its name, Oceano Shader is renowned for its wonderful water effects.
As we spoke earlier, this shader pack focuses on water effects where most of the shaders are happy to ignore it. On its own, Oceano is not the best shader as it focuses only on water.
But with the optimal resources, Oceano could be one of the most wholesome shaders. Oceano Shaders Mod 1.14.4/1.12.2 runs smoothly even on mediocre specs, as compared to other shaders who require a beast gaming PC. So, don’t worry about the specs.
Oceano Shaders are powerful enough shaders designed to make Minecraft’s reservoirs more realistic. They will change the water and the lighting system, add different realistic effects. So, if you want your water to glow differently go for this shader pack.
Project LUMA has many features to amaze you. ProjectProject LUMA is an outstanding shader pack that brings a completely unique yet pleasant Minecraft experience to the table.
Basically, LUMA changes Minecraft as you know it, form shadows to lighting, water animation, and the sun. It packs a high quality of reflection. There’s also a native motion blur. Project LUMA has amazing photorealistic skyboxes.
The basic goal of project LUMA is playing Minecraft without the effects distracting you from the gameplay and also most importantly, with low-performance cost with still decent graphics. The water animations are reminiscent of Witcher 3, but apart from that, there is a pleasant sunray effect and warm shadows. Minecraft sunsets are an absolutely magical sensation with the LUMA shaders.
Thanks to the fact that the developers have put in a hefty amount of work on almost every detail of the entertainment, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the reworked. An ordinary shader with such effects may take a toll on your spes and slow down your PC.
But LUMA is skillfully crafted and optimized for Minecraft. So instead of weighing down on your PC, LUMA actually increases the FPS on Minecraft by many times.
Continuum Graphics is a graphic company completely dedicated to making Minecraft shaders, and Continuum Shaders are their proud presentation. Continuum Shaders is built for playing Minecraft on high-performance machines with realistic cinematics.
The sunlight dazzles as you pan the camera, a sensation that never gets old. Ultra-realistic clouds that provide a solid contrast to the pungent colors can be spotted dozing above the head.
The shadows are just perfect and match the lighting effects. Everything is exactly where it needs to be. Continuum leaves no room for complaints.
The shader captures the scattering of light quite perfectly. There’s also a range of different shadows that give a high-quality look to basic things with a sense of realism.
The blocks are rendered in 3D and the water effects are really designed artistically. The lakes look authentic and give a calm, satisfying feel.
So, Consider the continuum shader for realism in the Minecraft world with great visuals.
Crankman’s TME shaders are basically a poor man’s Too Many Filters. The older version of an above-discussed shader is also helpful for many Minecraft players around the globe to this date.
Too Many Effects was a revolutionary shader at that time. Crankerman’s TME for Minecraft was a global add-on that allowed you to get a powerful surge of new emotions and gave a fresh environment back in those days. The modder tried to achieve the highest quality result considering the time it was developed.
If you had a high-end gaming PC, that wouldn’t really be an issue. But since Minecraft is such a low demanding game, a number of players on the servers aren’t playing on high-end performance beasts.
Hence, the newer version. There are no flaws or unchecked errors, so you wouldn’t face any unwarranted hiccups even if you’re on an average machine.
Robobo 1221 shader comes with a lot of innovations. Newly generated clouds, updated light vectors, and normal vectors of the vertices, lights refracted from the specs of grass, the volumetric fog that can interact with the sunlight, and much more.
Robobo’s shader adds very specific effects to Minecraft that are otherwise not seen. These rendering effects, though present, are often slipped out of notice in AAA titles, but they’re the small details that make a game great.
It’s a surreal effect to watch such realistic lighting and textures in a blocky world which is leagues apart from anything that resembles real life.
The water is crystal clear and you can observe the surface underneath it. The sun, though gleaming, is clearly circular and the sky around is pretty realistic.
A dynamic weather system, complete with volumetric clouds, dirty lens, sunlight, moonlight, and ambient lighting is what sets this shader apart from the competition.
The selling point of Beyond Belief Shaders is one of the best water effects. It’s crystal clear and reactive to not just light, but the elements of wind as well. The real-life sensation of water can be found here, with a sense of depth simply by looking at the water.
It changes colors based on its depth and at the part where it meets land. Water in Beyond Belief Shaders is an incredible sensation, but that’s just not it.
The day and night cycles feel more true to life thanks to a new range of motion. Fluffy clouds and a gleaming sun make the world pop into existence. For once, you’ll forget that you’re in a blocky world.
There are plenty of shaders and a handful of them are vastly popular among the community. The SEUS, Crankman’s TME, Sildur’s Vibrant shader, and Continuum are among the most popular list. But, Crankman’s TME slightly edges ahead of all the others.
Does Optifine 1.15 support shaders?
Yes, Optifine 1.15 supports shaders and other resource packs like texture packs. It also improves game performance and frame rate.
There are still many choices for you from Chocapic13 to Sildur’s Vibrant shaders and from SEUS to Continuum Shaders but Minecraft 1.15.2 is best compatible with BSL shaders. The BSL shaders find the perfect balance between visual experience & gaming performance in Minecraft 1.15.2
And that’s a wrap on the best Minecraft shaders to try in 2021. It’s worth keeping in mind the shaders you install may impact Mincecraft’s performance on your PC, based on the specs. Basically, most of the specs are more demanding than based on the base game, so your CPU and GPU are under a heavier load. The sole exception to this rule is the Lagless Shader that is built specifically to run on low specs machine. It’s the perfect shader to run if your system is below the minimum requirements for Minecraft or if you’re simply looking for a bump in frame rates.