So, you've finally decided to give modded Minecraft a try! Where do you begin? What mods should you install? What version is the best to play on?
I'll be answering all these questions, in this post.
First, let's talk about the most important part of playing modded minecraft, the modpacks. The modded minecraft community offers tons of modpacks, ranging from beginner friendly modpacks like FTB Academy, to more complex ones, like Enigmatica 2: Expert. But the question remains, what modpack is the best for you to play? As a beginner, FTB Academy is always recommended, as it uses beginner mods that ease your transition from vanilla Minecraft into modded Minecraft without changing too much at once. Another recommended modpack is Enigmatica 2 (not expert), it has a quest system built in that explains the ins and outs of a lot of its mods.
Second, we will discuss the best Minecraft version to play modded on. At the time of writing this, the most recent Minecraft version is version 1.16.1. The modding community is usually pretty fast when it comes to catching up and creating mods/modpacks for the newest version of the game, but ultimately, most mod creators take a little while to get their mods onto the newest version. For this reason some modpacks take months after the release of the newest version to transition, and some don't transition at all. With all that said, currently Minecraft version 1.12.2 is the version most Minecraft mods/modpacks have migrated to, and this version also has the most support for mods, currently. So I would recommend installing mods on 1.12.2 or lower.
Finally, let's get into modded content.
Modpacks are Minecraft versions that have multiple mods (Often reaching as many as 100+ mods!). Most modpacks use a fundamental set of mods that are so universal by now, most players view them as a standard part of modded Minecraft. Therefore, most modpacks generally have the same principles.
Most, if not all, modpacks have some sort of energy mod that can transfer energy from generators to any other block. Most mods try to adapt to an energy unit given by one of the few major tech mods. For example, RF (Short for Redstone Flux) or EU (Short for Energy Unit) work well with most mods, although most mods have their own energy units that automatically convert with those, generally 1 to 1.
The 2 main mod types I want to focus on: tech mods and magic mods. Tech mods, are a collection of machines to make your minecraft builds easier to automate, generate you resources, and use energy. One of the popular ones is the mod Industrial Foregoing, which adds a lot of machines from tree fluid extractors up to laser drills. The goal of these machines is to help you acquire items from the same mod, vanilla, or sometimes other mods. Luckily, Industrial Foregoing comes with a guidebook item that explains the purpose and use of each machine thoroughly.
As mentioned above, magic is another mod type that is very common among modpacks. Magic mods are very spread out in terms of what they do. Some use the power of stars and constellations, some use the arcane arts. An example of a magic mod would be the famous Botania mod.
JEI stands for Just Enough Items and its purpose is stated by its creators as :
JEI is an item and recipe viewing mod for Minecraft, built from the ground up for stability and performance.
That means that you can see almost any block or recipe in your modpack in the JEI Interface. JEI is one of the most crucial mods in every single modpack, as it helps the player navigate through the enormous amounts of newly added blocks, items and recipes.
Most modpacks use a questing system to guide you through each mod in them or a storyline intended for the modpack.
This is all you need to start off your modded adventure! It will take some time to get used to such a rich and densely packed form of Minecraft, so don't stress out if you can't understand everything at once.
To sum up this post, getting into modded Minecraft will require some time to adjust to all the new features. As mentioned above, a beginner modpack is recommended, and personally I would recommend a more tech based modpack, rather than a magic one, because it can be simpler and more intuitive.