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In these tough times, we band together.

We’re offering premium online learning experiences right now, with pricing designed to stretch your family’s budget. Ages 7-19.

What are Minecraft mods?

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Minecraft mod (short for Minecraft modification) describes the output or process of adding custom items and blocks to Minecraft. Modding allows users to expand the open-ended game, incorporating new tools, blocks, mobs, and more.

How can you create Minecraft mods?

Java is a powerful multi-platform programming language, and one of the better options when it comes to kids coding languages. It's used for many professional and commercial applications, including the game Minecraft, Android applications, and even the Android operating system itself.

Java code makes adding modded flair to Minecraft possible!

Mod examples

Modding allows players to go beyond playing fundamentals and introduces them to production-level Java coding with Minecraft. 

Plus, harnessing the power of Java offers learners the opportunity to build critical problem-solving skills for future careers and personal projects. Here are some things that can be added.

Custom tools
Tools are items that the player can use to perform actions, like mining. Certain tools also make actions easier, or make the player able to gather items not obtainable by hand.

Custom food
Foods are consumable items that restore hunger points when eaten. Players have two different food statistics, only one of which is visible: the (visible) hunger level and the (invisible) saturation level.

Custom armor
Armor is a category of items that provide a player with varying levels of protection from common damage types, and appear graphically on the wearer.

These items include several different classes of helmets, chest plates, leggings, and boots, which can each be placed in designated armor slots of a player's inventory for activation.

Entities and mobs
Entities encompass all dynamic, moving objects throughout the Minecraft world. 

Entities include chickens and cows. In the vanilla Minecraft game, any living creature is a mob. 

However, in Minecraft's code, mobs are only considered entities that are hostile to the player and extend the "EntityMob" class. Mobs include zombies, creepers, and spiders.

Java coding basics

In addition to modding Minecraft, Java can be used to make a wide range of games and programs for millions of people! Here are a few basics and definitions to start getting familiar with.

All Java code is contained within class files. Java uses Pascal case, which is a subset of camel case convention for naming classes. The class should start with a capital letter and each word in the name should also be capitalized. For example: "MyClassName" and "AdventureGame."

Printing in a programming language refers to putting text into a console.

Before code is run, a main function must first be created. A main function is where most of the code will run.

A variable stores information about a program while it's running. For example, in Minecraft, the names of the items and blocks are stored in variables.

A string is used to store text; for example, "carrot," "apple pie," "pear," and "orange juice" are all strings. A string can be declared in Java by typing "string" followed by the variable name.

Operators allow coders to perform calculations while the program is running. When a character in Minecraft earns experience, it needs to be added to their total. If an arrow hits an enemy, the damage the enemy takes needs to be subtracted.

An if statement allows coders to execute code if some condition is met. When a player attacks a monster in Minecraft, code is executed to see if it's been defeated.

Process example

Using custom food as mentioned above, the basic process of adding to Minecraft can include:

Food texture: Creating a custom texture for food is the first step. The picture above is an example of a custom texture for an apple.

Custom food class: Next, coders create a class for their Custom Food item. 

Filling in the Constructor: Once the class is created, some things need to be added to the constructor so, for example, the player can eat the food even if they aren't hungry.

Adding potion effect: To make food more interesting, a potion effect for when the player eats the food can be added!

Getting started

With this, kids can expect to gain experience in using variables, functions, and control structures. Beyond that, logical thinking and problem-solving are both tested as modders learn the ins and outs of coding with Java and creating Minecraft mods.

Those wanting to jump in can do so right now! iD Tech offers a number of online coding classes for kids and Virtual Tech Camps, with a handful that focus on Minecraft modding, including: 

Minecraft Modding with Java Coding (ages 10-12)
Minecraft Modding in Java (ages 13-19)

A photo of Ryan

Ryan manages blog content at iD Tech, starting with the company in 2008. He earned his MBA from Santa Clara University after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. Connect on LinkedIn!

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