an letter to kids who want to mod minecraft

A smart gamer kid recently emailed me:

> i forgot to say in my last email that it would be epic if you could show me how to make a mod for minecraft!!!

Here’s a public reply, for that kid and all the world of kids like him.


Are you a kid who wants to learn how to mod minecraft?

First: IF YOU CAN MOD GAMES, YOU ARE SERIOUSLY AMAZING!   Modding teaches you really important skills: how to program, create art, and work with the biggest, baddest kind of program ever: video games are hardcore.   So, it’s fun to make them, but it could be more than just fun. It could be a big deal if you take it seriously and stick with it.

The bad news is: it’s not easy!  Minecraft wasn’t designed for modding, so the code is confusing and complicated.  I love Minecraft too, but I would NOT suggest learning to mod on it.  Mod some other games first!  I know some way easier games to mod. Here’s 3:

  • If you can build lego, you can mod games with By playing this game, you’ll learn to mod, and build your own, simple games – WITHOUT having to learn anything hard at all!  You just drag and drop little guys and blocks and click “play”.  SUPER easy.  What you learn here will help you mod harder games.
  • Once you’ve beaten GameStar Mechanic, you will probably want more controls than just a gravity slider and whatever.  You need a “game engine”.  Here’s two: Construct ( and GameMaker ( No coding needed, and you can build some seriously fun games, or just mod the ones it comes with.  (but to build more complex games in GameMaker, you can also write code.
  • If you want 3D games, one really powerful game engine with lots of good tutorials is Unity ( You can build most kinds of games with Unity.

…but I bet some of you will ignore that list because YOU just want to mod MINECRAFT.  I would have said that when I was 12.  OK, OK!

The tutorial below assumes you know how to program (I call programming “coding”).   So, to learn to code enough to mod Minecraft, do this tutorial:   It’s free, fun and easy – no installs or downloads – just watch the videos and code right in the browser.   There’s another site called which is also great.

OK, so you know how to code a bit.  Here’s how to mod minecraft.

1. install something called MCP (instructions here).

2. do this tutorial. It’s step 4 of a longer tutorial. I skip steps 1-3 because they mainly teach some advanced coding ideas, which are confusing for beginners. In step 4, you make a new kind of dirt block, and see how Minecraft really works.

3. Keep going. There’s lots more tutorials here.  Or, you can continue with the “lightdirt” tutorial:

Don’t give up.  Search around for other mod tutorials if you don’t like this one.  Try youtube “mod minecraft tutorial”

Take your time.  If you can do this tutorial, even if you don’t understand it all, you are seriously amazing.  This is like a full university!

You can do this, as long as you don’t give up.  I learned how to program on my own when I was 12 because i was SO KEEN to mod my favorite game, I NEVER gave up. Even when it was frustrating, I just WANTED to mod SO BADLY – I just kept struggling till one day, it worked! I was awesome.

If you get frustrated with modding Minecraft, don’t feel bad!  Modding can be quick, simple, and really fun (not modding Minecraft! it’s hard, complex, and really fun 🙂 ).  Try GameStar Mechanic.  Try Construct.  WAY easier.

When I was 12, I started with WAY easier games than Minecraft.  I probably would have been too frustrated with Minecraft to finish.  My first games were more like Pac-man.  I did really dumb mods of games (and I didn’t try hard games like Minecraft! I started with easy ones first).  Then I did cooler games.  From there, no one could stop me – and now I get paid to design games – awesome!

Also.  There’s two kinds of mods:  art mods, and real mods.  Art mods (skins, levels) is fun, because you can just click around or paint in Photoshop, but for a game like Minecraft, art mods can’t change how the game WORKS.  If you want to really control the game, you’ll need to code.

I would be so impressed if you learned to program properly.  Programming is the real thing.  If you can write a game, you can write code that controls everything – robots, cars, airplanes, figher jets. You can earn good money.  If you want to really control the world, learn to program.  And, it’s really fun!