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Part of what makes Minecraft such an excellent game is the community. It may have been years since the game’s initial release, but Minecraft’s replay value hasn’t dwindled at all. This is thanks to all the community-created content being produced by users.

We’ve talked about Minecraft mods before – specifically how to mod Minecraft and the best Minecraft mods for 2021 – and how beneficial they can be for gameplay, but there are other ways to alter the game to make it interesting. Texture packs, in particular, are extremely popular and highly sought-after.

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In this guide we discuss everything Minecraft texture related and provide a curated list of what we believe are the best Minecraft Texture Packs of 2021. We hope that you enjoy this article.

Table of Contents

  • What are Minecraft Texture Packs?
  • How to Install Minecraft Texture Packs
    • Minecraft Bedrock Editions
    • Minecraft Java
    • Minecraft Windows 10
  • Best Minecraft Texture Packs
    • Improved Default
    • Realistic Sky
    • Jolicraft
    • Retro NES
    • JohnSmith
    • Faithful
    • Isabella
    • Misa’s Realistic Texture Pack
    • Glimmar’s Steampunk
    • Dokucraft
  • Conclusion

What are Minecraft Texture Packs?

Minecraft Texture Packs are basically a collection of files used to change the textures of in-game elements, from blocks and items to full-on mobs and actual in-game environments.

Think of them as mods that are purely aesthetic. They’re created, distributed, and installed with the sole purpose of changing the game’s visuals.

(Still wondering; “what are Minecraft mods?” Don’t worry; we have a full 2020 guide for parents!)

Say you’re tired of the hyper-pixelated or blocky look of Minecraft’s Bedrock Edition. Use a texture pack to turn those square edges into something more sleek and realistic looking. Or use a different pack to keep the style of graphics but make them sharper, crisper, more HD. Or you could throw all that completely out the window and install a texture pack that turns Minecraft into a soft, pastel wonderland.

Whatever style you want, we can guarantee there’s a Minecraft texture pack for it.

How to Install Minecraft Texture Packs

Installing Minecraft texture packs can seem a little tricky at first – especially if you’ve never done it before. If your child has already tried different coding for kids courses online, then the jargon and procedures might not be too hard for them. However, there also isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to it. Different versions will have different requirements, so it’s best to do thorough research beforehand.

Minecraft Bedrock Editions

For this version, there’s a built-in store with free and paid texture packs ready to install. Users can simply select the ones they want. This is a great way to support Minecraft creators – especially with the paid options.

Minecraft Java

Minecraft Java thankfully depends on the tried-and-true drag-and-drop system. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download the texture pack you want. It should be a .ZIP file format
  2. Select the Mods and Texture Packs option
  3. Select the Open Texture Pack Folder option
  4. Drop the .ZIP file in
  5. Boot up Minecraft. There should be a new option in the Texture Pack menu.

Minecraft Windows 10

Make sure your texture pack is compatible with your edition of the game

  1. Download the .ZIP file
  2. Click on the Windows button and type %appdata%
  3. Select Local, then Packages/Microsft.MinecraftUWP/LocalState/games/com.mojang
  4. Select the folder titled ‘resource_packs’
  5. Drop the .ZIP file in
  6. Boot up Minecraft Windows 10 and select Global Resources in the settings

If you’re stuck or not sure if the pack you downloaded is compatible with your game edition, make sure to double-check the creator’s notes or the comment section. They’re usually very detailed about compatibility and supported versions. Many of them will even include patch notes.

Now let’s jump into the actual texture packs. As of 2020, these are some of the most creative, most downloaded, and most highly rated options available for Minecraft players.

Best Minecraft Texture Packs

1. Improved Default

minecraft texture pack

Let’s start with something simple.

“Improved Default 1.14 – V1.6” is considered a “vanilla plus pack” that simply enhances the game’s textures. This means that the default vanilla textures are intact; they just look a lot better.

Besides a few updated mob textures and better resolution, there are no other instantly obvious changes to the appearance. The most noticeable difference would be that some blocks now seamlessly blend with each other. The grass and stone blocks in particular no longer look like separate squares, which makes the overall world more natural and easier on the eyes.

If you love the vanilla textures, don’t want to do any drastic visual changes, or just want to upgrade your game’s graphics quickly and cleanly, we highly recommend you check out Improved Default.

2. Realistic Sky

minecraft texture pack

Continuing on the theme of small, subtle, and/or gradual visual changes, we have to mention Realistic Sky here. This resource pack (another name for texture pack) by Fire Eagle is an absolute stunner. It lets you play Minecraft with a realistic and gorgeous sky backdrop.

That’s not at all. The pack is programmed to synchronize with weather and time settings in the game. So depending on the time of day, you get treated with a sunrise, a sunset, a bright and clear noon backdrop or a beautiful night sky full of stars.

If you – or your Minecraft-counterpart – are a nature lover, you’ll absolutely fall in love with this pack. You can even combine this texture with other texture packs to create a realistic or hyper-realistic gaming experience.

3. Jolicraft

minecraft texture pack

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If you’re looking for a visual change that’s just a touch more dramatic, we highly recommend Jolicraft, a “whimsical texture pack” that is by far one of the most creative and unique options out there.

It was first released in 2011, but Jolicoeur, the author, has been incredibly dedicated to improving it and keeping it up-to-date. We’re not exaggerating when we say that this pack is an absolute treat for the eyes. It utterly transforms the Minecraft world as you know it, turning it from some straightforward survival game into a quirky, lo-fi world that’s cuter, calmer, and chiller.

Wolves’ mouths are lined with tiny teeth. The sun is a constant swirl of odd cheer. You get moody custom clouds. There’s a tic-tac-toe cake.

It’s just a straight-up whimsical wonderland that continues to delight hundreds of thousands of Minecraft players almost a decade after its release.

(Want to try making your own texture packs? It might not be as hard as you think! Check out our Minecraft Modding for Kids courses – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to create Minecraft mods!)

4. Retro NES

retroNes texture pack

Minecraft’s vanilla textures are already pretty nostalgic, what with it being so blocky and pixelated. Why not go the extra mile and turn it into a real 8-bit classic?

This Retro NES texture pack lets you relive your love for NES games, Minecraft-style. It pays tribute to one of the most important consoles in gaming history – one that singlehandedly released beloved pop culture icons like Mario, Kirby, and Donkey Kong. If you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, just know that the bright color palette and pixel-y graphics of old-school NES games suit the Minecraft game design to a T.

Seriously; the concept of this pack is so well-executed, it’s guaranteed to bring many an older player back to simpler times, when saving Princess Peach and navigating Bowser’s fortress were their biggest challenges.

5. JohnSmith

John Smith Texture Pack

Arguably one of the best fantasy texture packs available, JohnSmith is an insanely customizable resource that turns Minecraft’s colorful landscape into a mildly muted medieval masterpiece. Who knew Minecraft could look so good in quiet colors and somber neutrals? (JohnSmith, apparently.)

From imposing castles with sprawling courtyards to fantastically unnerving skeletons, this texture pack is as detailed as they come.

Personally speaking, this pack is best appreciated at night. Once in-game darkness falls, that’s when the change in the graphics truly shines (as ironic as that sounds). The dark cobblestones, grungy rocks, and deep worn wood structures of JohnSmith’s texture pack all look incredible in graphically generated shadows and indoor lights.

Another reason this pack is so cool? Customization. You literally get to pick and choose which parts of the pack you like and which ones you’d rather do without.

6. Faithful

Faithful Texture Pack

We’re taking a quick break from wholesale change packs to list a resource that also falls under the “small, subtle changes” category.

The Faithful texture pack – like Realistic Sky and Improved Default – simply adds a more polished, high-definition shine to Minecraft’s vanilla base game graphics. It’s marketed as the “most popular texture pack in Minecraft,” and the numbers it’s garnered sure seem to support that claim.

Most of Faithful’s charm lies in the fact that it remains “faithful” (we’re sure you get it) to the original textures, doing little more than blending out edges, smoothing out surfaces, and adding an overall refined sheen to the in-game experience. It changes the standard 16x resolution to 32x, which – as you can probably guess – does wonder for visuals.

The newer version even goes all the way up to a whopping 64x.

If you live for HD, definitely grab this texture pack.

7. Isabella

Isabella Texture Pack

Shiny, sheeny, and ultra-HD is all well and good, but sometimes you just want something warmer and more muted.

We get it. Nothing wrong with wanting something just a touch more natural in a world made of blocks and pixels. Hence, the Isabella texture pack – a truly gentle graphical resource that takes subtle to an art form.

Whereas Faithful focuses on edges and resolution, Isabella focuses on the colors, hues, tones, and saturations. Every element, from the wood blocks to the stone facades, looks warmer, quieter, and more faded.

It’s all very soft, quiet, and melancholic – words we never thought we’d associate with Minecraft, but here we are.

8. Misa’s Realistic Texture Pack

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Misa’s Realistic Texture Pack

Want the realism of Isabella with none of the proverbial rain clouds hanging over everyone’s heads? Then Misa’s Realistic Texture Pack might be more your speed.

It’s got the same sort of desaturated, understated feel to it with regards to the colors and hues. But the general vibe of it is less melancholy and more raw, real, and unfiltered. The ground may be muddier and the surfaces may be grubbier, but the clouds – in contrast – are much fluffier and the lights indoors are a lot brighter.

It’s perhaps the most realistic Minecraft can look, given the game’s unique design.

We also have it on good authority that the pigs are terrifying, so. Guess you’ll have to install it to find out.

(Did you know that you can find a Minecraft mod maker online? If you want to try your hand at making a texture pack like the ones we’ve listed here, you can always start with something like a mod maker – just to get a feel of what it’s like modding Minecraft.)

9. Glimmar’s Steampunk

Glimmar’s Steampunk Texture Pack

Now jumping back to packs that are practically graphic overhauls.

Glimmar’s Steampunk pack is another highly-downloaded resource that isn’t just for people who like steampunk. It introduces such a drastic change to Minecraft’s visuals, this texture pack makes it feel like an entirely different game.

If Jolicraft was too whimsical for you and JohnSmith’s pack wasn’t somber enough, Glimmar’s pack might be just the graphical variation you’re looking for. Enjoy the whole dark-Victorian-meets-SciFi feel as you stumble upon steam-powered trains and old-school, beat-up, steam-filled factories.

Honestly, a Minecraft drone mod would suit this texture perfectly.

It’s so detailed, so incredibly immersive, and it makes for some truly exhilarating gameplay. It also adds some new textures for robot factory workers and mechanical horses.

Yep, you read that right.

10. Dokucraft

best minecraft texture pack

Dokucraft, a 32x texture pack made by doku, has established quite the community. For over eight years, hundreds of programmers and designers have contributed to keeping this resource alive and updated for all versions of Minecraft. It’s almost impressive just how coordinated this entire project is. And as far as we know, it’s still ongoing.

You can definitely check out their official About page to know more, but here’s a quick summary. Dokucraft is a medieval/fantasy-themed texture pack that offers 32×32 resolution. There are three different types of Dokucraft packs: Dark, Light, and High.

As you might expect, the names are very indicative of the visuals. Dokucraft Dark has a grittier, grayer, desaturated feel. Dokucraft Light is the brightest of the three, with highly saturated colors and defined contrasts.

Dokucraft High is a good balance of the two; deeper emeralds and crystal blues complemented with muted, darker undertones.

Basically, it follows the style you’d expect from typical fantasy RPG games, which is why it’s so popular. Recent versions even come with custom sounds and additional mini resource packs – a perfect godsend for gamers that love finding useful things to build in Minecraft.


Minecraft texture packs (or resource packs) are a particularly exciting type of community-created content.

Here is a recap of what we covered:

Table of Contents

  • What are Minecraft Texture Packs?
  • How to Install Minecraft Texture Packs
    • Minecraft Bedrock Editions
    • Minecraft Java
    • Minecraft Windows 10
  • Best Minecraft Texture Packs
    • Improved Default
    • Realistic Sky
    • Jolicraft
    • Retro NES
    • JohnSmith
    • Faithful
    • Isabella
    • Misa’s Realistic Texture Pack
    • Glimmar’s Steampunk
    • Dokucraft
  • Conclusion

Because they only alter the visual and graphical aspects of the game, they’re not as complicated, risky, or resource-heavy as some mods tend to be. You can even experiment with different skins, switching one out for the other depending on your mood. It’ll be like having a completely new game every time. This is especially great for players who need visual stimulation to stay engaged.

Did we miss any texture packs that you think deserve to be on our list? We love hearing from you, so please send comments below.

And if you are interested in checking out what we do and might want to learn how to create your own mods for Minecraft using the Java programming language, join our CodaKid 14-day free trial today!

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