Few games have seen as much success as Minecraft over the past few years. A small wilderness exploration game from a no-name studio in Sweden has gone from indie darling to massive success. People everywhere love Minecraft, TechNorms writers included. I’ve spent way too many hours building the perfect fortress in that game.
One of the cool parts about the game is the texture pack feature. I looked once before at a few good texture packs and showed you how to install them. That was many versions back, though, and things have changed since then. I’ve taken another look at some of the best texture packs available today and picked five of my favorites.
LB Photo Realism
This pack was my favorite last time, and it keeps its crown this time too. LB Photo Realism is hands-down the best texture pack I’ve used.
It takes the basic graphics of Minecraft, which were never great, and redoes them with a gorgeous set of high-resolution textures. Notch’s world has never looked so good as it does with this pack.
Even better, you can use LB Photo Realism without messing around with MC Patcher. Just download the pack, copy it to your resourcepack directory, and play. Simple.
If you want to see the best visuals Minecraft has to offer (and have the PC horsepower to do so), get LB Photo Realism. It’s amazing.
The Clean Craft
On the other end of the spectrum, we have The Clean Craft. It severely compresses textures within Minecraft down to basic colors and simple shapes.
The idea is that it’ll help the game run on low-end machines that might otherwise have trouble playing it. If you don’t mind the simple aesthetic and need the extra performance, Clean Craftworks.
I liked SilverMines a lot. It’s one of the most complete texture packs I’ve used. SilverMines renders the world of Minecraft in nice cartoony tones with creative textures.
The dirt blocks look especially good. Everything is smooth and bright and appealing. The pack has strong aesthetics.
SilverMines also does a great job with the UI, something that most packs forget. The simple outlines make everything look fresh.
Overall, SilverMines offers a great look that stands out from the stock graphics.
The 8-bit Texture Pack
This one’s truth in advertising. The 8-bit Texture Pack smooths out Minecraft into a less complex shapes that look rendered by, well, an 8-bit processor.
While the outside world looks good, the pack mishandles the UI. Icons have been changed to blocky, pixelated versions of their former selves and can be difficult to read.
If you don’t mind the user interface, the 8-bit Texture Pack is a cool way to play Minecraft.
ShockCraft mashes together Bioshock and Minecraft. In my mind, this is definitely a plus because Bioshock games have great graphics.
The texture pack sticks close to stock Minecraft graphics, opting to leave most of the exterior elements unchanged.
Instead, ShockCraft adds Bioshock-themed icons to the menus. For example, brewing is now represented by a Little Sister’s needle.
If you’re interested in a subtle pack that adds some nifty Bioshock icons, ShockCraft is what you’re looking for.
While LB Photo Realism is still my favorite texture pack in terms of aesthetics, SilverMines looked really good and required much less performance. Definitely, check both of those out.
Have a tip or story idea? Send me an email at kyle (at) technorms dot com.