On the surface, choosing a Minecraft resource pack seems like it should be a no brainer. In fact, picking a pack of pickled… er… pixels… feels like such a simple action that you tell yourself, “Hey, I’ll just randomly pick one of the nice ones on the various resource pack sites.” Well, sure, you can tell yourself that, and maybe it’d even be true… if there weren’t thousands of resource packs out there and if most of them didn’t appear as though they may have had their pixel art designed by drunken lab rats on an acid trip when they mistook a centrifuge for a hamster wheel.
As you sift through the endless pile of resource packs, you begin to ask yourself if it’s even worth it? Maybe you begin to think of it as a fruitless effort, a waste of time, a meaningless flair that you can do without.
Well, there’s a good chance you’re correct – it probably really is a waste of time to go hunting for resource packs for Minecraft. There are, however, exceptions to any rule. In the case of whether to use a resource pack or not, the exception to the rule depends on what you intend to do with the game. Some players want a more immersive experience or a friendly looking environment. Some want to build intricate replicas of fantasy villages. Some just want to watch the world burn, to bask in the heat of villages lit ablaze, forests lighting up the night sky as they’re ritualistically converted into a massive sacrificial stove burner upon which the entirety of the inhabitants are offered up to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, may his noodly appendage touch us all.
What? Oh. Er… resource packs, right.
A resource pack will certainly give you the first two things on that list, and if you pick one with a higher resolution than your computer can handle, you may even nail the third. Even so, there’s a massive problem with looking for resource packs: while there are texture packs for the console versions of the game, a good portion of players go for the free packs on PC that people develop for fun and this is where the biggest issues stem from.
Because resource pack developers often make no money doing this, most later abandon the project and don’t update it, or never finish in the first place, which, of course, leaves us with gorgeous, intricately detailed packs that have been left unfinished, in turn leaving fan communities to try to finish the work themselves.
Even with the knowledge that many of these packs will be a fleeting experience, it’s still worth it to check out some of the amazing work that people have done to improve Minecraft’s visual presentation as a whole.
Picking the right pack for you, however, can still be an overwhelming task. As such, here are a few tips to help guide you toward finding the packs that are right for you.
Tip 1: Detail isn’t the most important thing
A lot of people just want to grab the most detailed pack they can run on their computer, but most of the time that’s not your ideal choice. Some packs are harder on the eyes than others, making you more prone to eye strain. Simple, well designed, medium or low resolution packs are almost always the best choice for long hours of play. There’s also no point in choosing a higher resolution if the graphics are so intense that you’re system can’t take it to the point of coughing up a video card. A lot of hyper realistic HD packs look terrible close up, while some of the simpler ones, like Pamplemousse, are clean and efficient, which leads to a higher overall quality level, even on those up-close and personal views.
Tip 2: Consider what styles you want and the purpose of the pack
If you’re planning an involved project that demands a certain aesthetic, you’ll need a pack that reflects such. If you want something for regular play, it’s probably going to be a different story. It’s often in your best interests to try out several packs, even if most end up looking downright terrible.
Tip 3: Using a program like MCpatcher’s HD Texture fix or Optifine can improve certain packs
Some packs, like Willpack, actually require fix programs to work properly at all. In fact, there are some packs with hidden features and randomly generated skins for mobs. Some features, such as “better glass”, can be used to create large glass panes seen in the more modern house designs, or to provide other pleasing aesthetic designs.
Tip 4: Use the search features on larger resource pack host sites
The larger sites often have a huge variety of packs to choose from, and typically these sites will also have better search features to sort through such a large database of options. If a site has functions like “top rated” or “most views”, these will usually be your best bet at finding packs that are functional and well-liked by communities. Note, however, that the “top rated” and “most views” options only show those packs which garner the most attention – if you’re looking for hidden gems, with high quality but low views, that search may take a little more time and effort on your part, yet can often be well worth both in the end.
Tip 5: Have fun
The best packs work seamlessly in minecraft and don’t distract from the experience by being so flashy that they steal the show. A well-designed resource pack is like a well-designed website; it enhances the experience, framing the content nicely without leaving the picture frame more interesting than the picture it houses. Yes, I mixed metaphors, because I can do that kind of thing. Regardless, the point is, in the end, what you build in Minecraft should be the star of the show, not the resource pack you built it with.
Now that you know how to look for the resource pack(s) that is(are) right for you, go forth… go forth and build! BUILD MY MINIONS!
Ahem. That is to say…
Take care and happy crafting!
Yeah, that’s totally what I meant to say.
*Senior Editor’s note: Suggested sites are endorsed by the author, not by Twenty.oz as a whole. Twenty.oz receives no funding, freebies, or Halloween candy from any of these sites. Which is a real shame, when you think about it. Durn you impartiality and journalistic integrity!