How To Get Shaders In Minecraft? 2022 Updated Guide

How To Get Shaders In Minecraft? 2022 Updated Guide

Image by Alexander Divos from Pixabay 

It’s been over a decade since Minecraft was released to the public, and it’s still very much considered one of the best games ever created. One of its best features is customization—and shaders are the perfect way to customize your gameplay experience. If you’re wondering how to get shaders in Minecraft, this guide is for you.

We’ll try to simplify the process for each platform, but keep in mind that the basic idea is pretty much the same. 

What Are Shaders?

Before we go on to the topic of installing them, we’d like to define shaders more clearly. In simple terms, shaders are a type modification to the gaming experience in Minecraft known as texture packs. The graphics of the game change when you install a shader, allowing you to play the game with completely different aesthetics.

You’ve probably seen screenshots online of Minecraft that look drastically different from yours. They may be more pixelated, more detailed, or you can just say they’re better looking. That’s a shader being used. 

The diverse array of shaders available only continues to grow, and there are more and more being created everyday. If you haven’t found one you like, look again—you’re bound to find something that suits your taste. 

How To Get Shaders In Minecraft

Installing shaders in minecraft is not a complex process, but we’ll walk you through it. If you already know how to install mods on Minecraft, this should be relatively simple. The best tool to use for the task is Optifine. If you’re already using Forge (another tool used for installing mods) that’s not a problem. Optifine will work whether or not you have Forge installed.

Naturally, the first step is to download Optifine, which you can do through the official website. Then, you will need to install the latest version of Minecraft to the launcher. You will then be able to run a modified version of Mincraft—that is, Optifine Minecraft. 

Once you have Optifine Minecraft, you simply need to download the shaders you like and adding it to the folder names “Shaderpacks” in your Optifine Minecraft. It’s typically found in the video settings. 

How To Get Shaders In Minecraft Without Optifine

Image by allinonemovie from Pixabay 

There are many reasons why you would not want to use Optifine to install shaders, even if it is the most widespread method. For most people, it’s because they are using mods that are based on Satin API, which does not work with Optifine.

Don’t worry, and don’t believe the internet trolls that tell you Optifine is the only way to use shaders. However, the process is a little more complicated as you will need to use another mod. Here’s one way we know that you can get shaders without Optifine:

  • Install Iris Shaders. This is a mod that will allow you to use shaders without Optifine, and it is compatible with most Fabric mods. Make sure you are downloading and installing the latest version.
  • Locate your mods folder. Generally speaking, you can find this folder where you installed Minecraft. Using the file manager in Windows, click on users>UserName>Appdata>Roaming>.minecraft
  • Note:create a folder and name it “mods” if there isn’t one already.
  • Delete Sodium Fabric. This is a fabric mod that is built into Iris Shader. If you try to use any shaders with sodium still installed, Minecraft will crash. Find the file named sodium fabric within the Iris Shader mod folder and delete it.
  • Load a new world. Do this as usual.
  • Add your shaders. By going through the video settings, you'll find a new tab named " Shader Packs". After clicking it, you should click the button to "Open Shader Packs Folder". From here you can add your preferred shaders by using the drag-and-drop function.
  • Note: only install shaders that are compatible with the Minecraft version you're running.
  • Refresh. In order to access the shaders you've installed, you'll need to press the "Refresh Shaders Packs" button. This should show you a list of all the shaders you've added. 
  • Use your preferred shader. Now you can click on the shader you want to use and continue using it. You can change between shaders easily from here. 

We’ve solved the problem of getting shaders without Optifine by using Iris Shaders. Other mods you may want to try are: Continuum and Sildurs. We haven’t tried these methods, and thus can’t comment on how well they work. 

Get Shaders On Different Editions

The instructions we’ve given above are for those who want to get shaders on Minecraft using Windows, because that’s the most popular platform being used at the moment. Can you get shaders on Minecraft on platforms other than Windows? Of course you can. Here are all the instructions you’ll need. 

How To Get Shaders In Minecraft On Xbox

The process here isn’t as complex as many make it out to be. Here is a step by step guide:

  • Download MC Addons manager. You can find this app easily through the search bar (press Y using your controller). 
  • Download shaders. To find shaders that are compatible with Xbox One, visit mcdlspot.com, where you can use the search term “console shaders” to get compatible versions. Follow up on the instructions until you reach the download page in mediafire. 
  • Shader Installation. Use the MC Addons manager to import the shaders you have downloaded. This is a simple task as there is an import button clearly at the top right. 
  • Launch the shader. It’s recommended that you restart Minecraft to allow the shaders to be installed correctly. Through the global resources settings, you can turn on the shader of your choice. 

How To Get Shaders In Minecraft On PS4

The method of downloading shaders in Minecraft on PS4 is very similar to the process we’ve illustrated for Xbox One. In other words, using the MC Addons Manager, you can download shaders that will work on your PS4 edition on Minecraft with no issues. 

How To Get Shaders In Minecraft On Java

To get shaders on the Java edition of Minecraft, you can use Optifine. This may feel slightly different from the method used for Windows, but it is essentially the same idea. After downloading Optifine from the official source, you will want to install it in the same directory where Minecraft is installed—that’s “Roaming” by default. 

After that, you need to find shaders for your device (make sure your device can handle the processing power required), and install them using Optifine. You’ll need to launch the modified version of Minecraft. Here’s how:

  • From the Minecraft Launcher, click Latest Release. 
  • Find Optifine, and click PLAY.
  • Accept the warning message, and continue using the modified (Optifine) version of Minecraft. 

From here on, you can follow the same steps we mentioned above for installing shaders on the Optifine version of Minecraft. 

How To Get Shaders In Minecraft On Bedrock

Bedrock is the Windows 10 version of Minecraft, and it is generally easier on your computer setup than other versions. You probably want to use this version if you don’t have a very powerful processor, graphics card, or RAM. 

Using the Bedrock version means compromising—you’ll need to let go of some features. Fortunately, you can still get shaders in the Bedrock version of Minecraft. To find the best compatible shaders, visit mcpedl.com

Make sure to download the .mcpack format of your chosen shader—that’s the type compatible with Bedrock.

After you’ve successfully downloaded your chosen shader, follow these steps:

  • Double click on the downloaded shader file. Unless you have changed the destination for downloaded files, you can usually find the file in your Downloads folder. This step will open up Minecraft and start the import process. Be patient while waiting for the “Import Started” screen to turn into “Success”
  • Activate the shader. This is not usually necessary because most shaders will automatically activate. In any case, to do it manually you can click the “Global Resources” tab from the setting page.
  • Click My Packs>Activate.

You should now have an activated shader, and your Minecraft world will already have changed aesthetically. 

Where To Download Minecraft Shaders

Image by Manddi from Pixabay 

We’ve already mentioned a few websites you can use to download shaders. The problem with most websites you will find using a simple Google search is that many of them are full of malware or malfunctioning shaders because any amateur developer can create a shader if they set their mind to it. 

If you already have a favorite website to download Minecraft mods, you are likely to find shaders there as well. In any case, these are more of our favorite sources for the best Minecraft shaders:

  • Reddit: You can visit the r/Minecraft forum on reddit to find community suggestions for the best shaders and where to download them. We prefer this method because you’re getting recommendations from people who have already tried the shader packs. 
  • Optifine: If you’re already running Optifine, then you might as well use it to download the shaders you want. There is a download page where you will find all the compatible versions. 
  • Forge: It is a popular fabric mod that many Minecraft players use, and you can also find great Minecraft shaders in their download page.

Our Favorite Shaders

Don't know what to download? There are so many options available right now that it's only normal to feel overwhelmed. Below are some of the best shaders we have found on the market.


No one does sun rays better than KUDA shader. The developer clearly has a knack for making Minecraft more realistic by changing the lighting and other visual aspects like depth of field. All that without taxing your system too much.


This has an old school vibe with new-age tricks. The best features of Nostalgia are the astounding use of fog and clouds for a closer resemblance to reality.


For the best water effect and graphics that are out of this world, this is the shader you need to choose. There are several versions available, depending on your setup you can choose more demanding or less processor-heavy shaders. 


Reflections, better surfaces and more. There's so much going on for this shader pack that we don't recommend downloading it if you don't have a high-end setup already. TME probably offers the most features when compared to other shaders, and they're all worth it. 


For those who don't have the option of upgrading their setup, there is no reason to forgo using shaders. Lagless is an option for you if you fall into this category. The changes are noticeable but not drastic, mostly by changing textures and colors. The lighting isn't so bad either.


Warm lighting, great atmospheric changes, and reasonably realistic water are things you can expect from this shader pack. It's not too taxing, so most rigs can handle it. The changes are an improvement that are well worth it, though. We think it's the most realistic all-rounder for low-level rigs. 


If you’re still fond of the blocky look of Minecraft but want some form of realism, this is the shader pack for you. There’s a lot of play with lighting and shadows to add a realistic touch to the standard Volux look. 

It’s Easy To Get Shaders On Minecraft in 2022

As you can see, getting shaders on Minecraft is pretty simple in 2022. If you follow our guide, you should have no problem downloading and installing the best shaders available to customize your experience in Minecraft. 

You may need to research quite a bit, and experiment more—but it’s all worth it to change your experience on Minecraft. Sooner than you know it, you’ll have the perfect aesthetic to improve your gaming experience and take the best screenshots—better than the ones you've been envying all along. 

Mathew W.

Mathew W. is a contributor to our news feed here at Servers-Minecraft and is passionate about all things Minecraft!