Graphics Guide

Some people consider Minecraft ugly and clunky. With poor settings, I’d have to agree with them. However, the worlds we create are beautiful, so we owe it to ourselves to tweak Minecraft a bit to make it the best it can be. I’m not going to cover things like resource packs or shader mods. I know some people prefer those, and you may be one of those people, but I want to focus on making default Minecraft beautiful and fast. From there people can make those subjective choices.

Optifine

We’re far past the days where we had to edit the jar files to mod Minecraft. Optifine has an installer that makes it ridiculously simple to use. Go get the latest version for your version of Minecraft here. If you’re using other Forge mods, you may have to grab the 1.8.0 version (check the compatibility on your other mods), otherwise grab the latest 1.8.9 version.

Unless you wish to also install other Forge mods, simply double click the file and complete the installation. In your Minecraft launcher you will now have an “Optifine” profile. That’s it. Even if you do not change any of the many settings now available, your Minecraft will run much smoother when you use that profile.

Optional Settings

To get you started on configuring Optifine how you want, these are some settings I currently enjoy:

  • 9 View Distance + Fog: Fancy + Fog Start: 0.6 (Nvidia only)
  • Use VBOs: ON (better performance unless you’re low on VRAM)
  • Quality > Better Grass: FANCY
  • Details > Clouds: Fast (gives back about 5FPS, same as OFF if you prefer that instead)
  • Details > Rain & Snow: Fast (performance & visibility)
  • Performance > Fast Math: ON

Super-Sampling

This is by far my favorite image quality improvement I can make to Minecraft. It makes everything smoother and sharper simultaneously. It eliminates most of the pixel flickering that is apparent everywhere when moving around in Minecraft. It’s fairly intensive, though, so if you’re here for performance reasons, you can skip this section.

There are two ways to do this. The first is easy and only became possible recently. To get 2x supersampling, you can just go into Options > Video Settings > Shaders. Then change to (internal) and set the Render Quality to 2x. If you’re satisfied, you can skip the rest of this guide. You’re done.

To get 4x supersampling, you have to do it through your graphics card. It’s slightly better quality but annoying to do ever since MC’s “Super Secret Settings” mucked things up. First you have to disable that new post-processing implementation that interferes with it. Go to your .minecraft folder (eg. C:\Users\PseudoKnight\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft) and open the options.txt file. Change fboEnable to false. Or if that option doesn’t exist, create one and set it to false. Save and close the file.

Nvidia

Open up your Nvidia Control Panel. This can be found in the Control Panel or by right-clicking your desktop. From there, go to “Manage 3D Settings” on the left and then switch over to the “Program Settings” tab. Click the “Add” button. Select the Java executable that is running Minecraft. It should be listed as “Java(TM) Platform SE binary”.

Now that you have a profile for Java, you can “specify the settings for this program”. Go down to “Antialiasing – Mode” and select “Override any application setting”. Now go down to “Antialiasing – Transparency” and select “4x (supersample)”. Click “Apply” on the bottom right and restart Minecraft. Enjoy your sharp anti-aliased graphics.

AMD

Open up your AMD Catalyst Control Center. This can be found by right-clicking your desktop. From there, go to “Gaming > 3D Application Settings” on the left. Click the “Add” button. Select the Java executable that is running Minecraft. If you don’t know which exe, you can check your process list by hitting CTRL-SHIFT-ESC and going to the Processes tab. Right click the java executable using the most memory when running Minecraft (not the launcher) and look at the properties.

Now that you have a profile for Java, set Anti-Aliasing Mode to “Override application settings”, Anti-Aliasing Samples to “4x” and Anti-Aliasing Method to “Supersampling”. Click “Save” and restart Minecraft. Enjoy your sharp anti-aliased graphics.

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