Modding 101: A Guide for Parents

eclipse screenshotTo many parents, Minecraft can seem like a whole new world. And it is! With its blocky graphics and never-ending gameplay format, Minecraft sticks out in today’s landscape of realistic and futuristic-looking games. If you aren’t familiar with the game, check out these five things every parent should know about Minecraft.

For more advanced Minecraft players, though, the real fun begins when they get into more advanced gameplay like creating and playing mods. But what is a mod, and why are kids obsessed with them?

We’ve compiled a handy guide to modding for parents that starts at the very beginning, so even if you don’t know much about Minecraft, you’ll learn what your kids are doing with mods and how to keep them safe while they play.

What is modding?

The word “modding” comes from the word modify, and is typically defined as the act of making modifications to software (or hardware) to make it do something it originally wasn’t designed to do. It can also apply to non-computer objects like cars or pens, but it’s most often used to describe modifications to technology.

In the case of Minecraft, modding refers to making modifications to the code that Minecraft is made out of. Mods are a fun but non-essential part of the game. There are literally thousands of mods out there, and these mods can change all aspects of the game, including how the Minecraft world appears, how players can interact with the world, or even how the game is played. For example, one mod may give the player new abilities, while another may change the Minecraft landscape to look like an ancient world.

There are two types of Minecraft mods: client-based and server-based. Client-based mods modify the actual game files (minecraft.jar), while server-based mods are modifications to the official Minecraft server software. There are also mod packs, which is a group of mods designed to work together, often around a central theme like a quest or magic.

Lastly, it’s important to note that mods only work on the computer version of Minecraft (Mac or PC), not consoles or Pocket Edition.

Is it safe?

The most important thing parents should know about mods is that they are created by other players and makers, not Mojang or Microsoft, so they are not an official part of the game. This also means that mods are not rated, and many are not necessarily created with kids in mind. It’s extremely important to monitor what mods your kid downloads, for their own safety as well as the safety of the computer, as malicious mods can contain viruses or corrupt game files.

Before downloading and installing any mods, you should always make sure that your Minecraft files are backed up so that, in case something goes wrong, you can always start again from your original files.

If you’re ready to download mods, always use a reputable source like The Minecraft Forum to find them. Look for older, popular mods with positive reviews for the best possible experience, and avoid new, untested mods. At first, you can review all mods with your kid before allowing them to download them on their own. The Mine Mum has some great safety tips on what to look for in a mod, as well as a helpful guide to installing mods.

How can my kid learn to mod?

Since making mods involves modifying code, learning to mod on your own can be tough, especially for younger kids. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials out there, but one of the best and safest ways to learn to mod is through an online course. A course will provide a self-paced, interactive learning experience that ensures your student learns to create mods that are stable, safe, and fun. In our online course, Mod Design 1, kids learn the skills to create any mod they can imagine, including swords, tools, blocks, biomes, mobs and more!

The Bottom Line

Not only is modding a fun way to enhance your kid’s Minecraft experience, it’s also a great entryway into the world of coding for kids.With a little practice and research, your tech-savvy Minecraft fan can play– and even create!– mods as an outlet their creativity and imagination.

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