Forge is one of two mod loaders currently available, with the other being Fabric. Forge is the most popular, as it’s been around longer. Although it tends to update a bit slower than Fabric when new versions of Minecraft are released.
Forge VS Fabric
You might be wondering what the differences are between Forge and Fabric, and what the pros and cons are. Forge and Fabric are both mod loaders, and are used with Minecraft Java Edition.
However, you can only use one of these in-game. It’s possible to have both Forge and Fabric installed to the launcher, but running Fabric and Forge mods together is currently possible. Although integration between the two is expected in the future.
Forge has been around a lot longer than Fabric, so has more name recognition. It’s easily got 10x the amount of mods available too, although it’s starting to become more equal in newer Minecraft versions.
Fabric was only released during Minecraft 1.14, so popular Minecraft versions such as 1.12.2 are restricted to Forge. Fabric tends to rely on more dependencies too, which means having to install secondary mods, like the Fabric API.
But there’s a lot of trade-offs. Fabric offers better performance, freeing up more frames and reducing lag. Whichever loader you decide to choose, there’s tons of great mods available.
The only requirements for installing Forge is Minecraft Java Edition. Forge isn’t compatible with the likes of Pocket Edition or Bedrock Edition, it’s purely for Java.
You’ll also need a real Minecraft account, that you’ve purchased and have access too. Though you won’t need to login during the installation process.
How to Install Forge
Follow these steps for downloading and installing Forge. If you prefer a quick guide without images, scroll past this section.
Firstly, go to the official website for Forge, which can be found here. Or you can just type files.minecraftforge.net into a browser window. On the left-hand side, you can see a list of Minecraft versions currently released.
If you’re on the latest version of Minecraft, there’s a small chance it might not be shown here. Forge can take a few days to update after the release of a new version, in some rare cases, a few weeks. Join the Forge Discord, or check the website again soon to see if a new version has been released.
From the panel on the left, select your version of Minecraft that you want to mod. You don’t have to play the latest version, just because it’s available. Some of the best mods are still sitting on Minecraft 1.12.2, which came out a few years ago.
All you want to do is select the ‘Installer’ button. If the ‘Recommended’ option is there, choose that. Otherwise, you can just select ‘Latest’. The Forge website might redirect to an advertisement. After a few seconds, you can press the ‘Skip’ button in the top right corner.
The Forge installer file will begin to download. It’s just a few megabytes in size, and should only take a few seconds. You might notice it’s a .JAR file. If you’re unfamiliar with these files, they’re Java files.
Once the installer .JAR has downloaded, click it to open it up. Hopefully, it should open right away. If it doesn’t open, or a program needs to be selected to open it with, make sure you have Java installed.
When the installer opens successfully, you’ll see a screen like the image below. It shows an ‘install client’ and ‘install server’ option. For now, we just need to ensure the ‘install client’ option is selected. To create a server with friends, you’ll also need to do the ‘install server’ option, and change the directory to a new folder. But we’ve covered that in a separate guide.
Before continuing, make sure the Minecraft Launcher, and Minecraft is closed. Otherwise, the installation process wont work. With the ‘install client’ option checked, simply press the ‘Ok’ button. After a few seconds, Forge will install, and can be played with.
Select the Launcher Profile
Open up the Minecraft Launcher, and don’t press the play button. Instead, look for the dropdown in the bottom left corner. In here, the Forge option should now be visible, you need to select it.
If the Forge profile isn’t there, then the installation process didn’t work. Ensure that Minecraft and the Launcher are closed, and try installing it again. You can also check that your Minecraft directory is correct, although it should be by default.
Now that Forge is selected, you can press the Play button. After a few seconds, Minecraft will open as normal, and it might not look too different. There’s a few things you can check to prove that it’s working. In the bottom left corner of the main screen, it might show that Forge is installed, or there could be a Mods button now available.
Forge is successfully installed, and you can begin to add mods to Minecraft.
Fast Guide to Install Forge
Follow these steps to install Forge with Minecraft:
- Go to the Forge website, and download the Installer file for your version of Minecraft.
- Once downloaded, open the Installer with Java. A small window should pop up.
- Make sure the ‘Install client’ option is selected, and that your Minecraft directory is correct. Then press OK.
- Once the installation has complete, open the Minecraft Launcher. Select Forge in the dropdown menu, found in the bottom left corner of the Launcher.
- Press play, and Forge is successfully installed!
How to Install Mods
Firstly, you need to get to your mods folder. After installing Forge and running Minecraft at least once, this will be created in your games main directory. There’s a few ways to reach that folder:
- Type %appdata% into the Windows start menu and press enter. This brings you to the Roaming folder of your computer. Open the .minecraft folder.
- In Minecraft, go to the Resource Pack selection screen. Then select the ‘Open Resource Packs folder’, or similar button. This brings you to the Resource/Texture Packs folder of your Minecraft directory. You just need to go up one level, so you’re just in .minecraft
- Mac users can find the Minecraft installation at ~/Library/Application Support/minecraft
As previously stated, there should be a mods folder in here. If there isn’t you can go ahead and create it yourself. Each time you download a Minecraft mod, it will come as a .JAR file. You don’t need to open it like you did with the Forge installer. Instead, just place it inside the mods folder.
Once it’s inside the mods folder, open up the Minecraft Launcher again. Make sure Forge is still selected in the dropdown menu and press Play. When you enter a world, the mod should be active and working.
Mods can be found at websites like CurseForge and PlanetMinecraft. Whereas here at Minecraft-Guides.com, we’ve got our own Minecraft Mods section, which allows you to sort by Genre, Forge as well as your Minecraft Version.
The Forge installer isn’t opening?
If the Forge installer doesn’t open, then it’s likely that you don’t have Java installed. Install the latest version, and try again. You might also need to right click the installer, select ‘Open with’ and manually select Java.
There’s no Forge option in the Minecraft Launcher?
Even though the Forge installer says it was successfully installed, sometimes it doesn’t appear in the Launcher. This usually happens when you have the Launcher open while going through the installation process. You need to make sure that both Minecraft and its Launcher is closed. Also check in Task Manager.
Minecraft crashes with Forge?
When Minecraft crashes, it means there’s an error with your mods. Some mods have dependencies, meaning they rely on other mods. You have to read a mods description to see what it requires, or press the ‘Relations’ tab in CurseForge. Try deleting mods one by one until it doesn’t crash.
Can I install Fabric too?
It’s possible to install Fabric, or additional Forge versions while Forge is already installed. They’ll just become separate profiles in the launcher and can be selected in the bottom left corner. Just make sure to swap out your mods folder, or change the directory.