Minecraft is a video game that allows its player to build constructions from textured cubes in a three-dimensional environment. The alpha version of the game was first released by Mojang, a Swedish company, in May of 2009. Another beta version was launched in December of 2010. Recently, Mojang released the latest version of Minecraft for iOS and Android platforms on November 18, 2011 during the MineCon 2011 trade show. However, not all Android-based gadgets support the game. To date, Minecraft is exclusively available only for Xperia Play.
Graphically, nothing is too impressive about Minecraft. The game is available in low-resolution imaging and you will not find any shades within the game graphics. However, with Minecraft Texture Packs or Mods, the shortcomings can be overcome a bit. The Minecraft Texture Packs and Mods do not only give you more options of various backgrounds in the Minecraft world. The Mods also improve the resolution of the images. Basically, aside from altering the graphics, there are no other uses for the Mods. However, various backgrounds may make your gaming experience more fun and less boring. Right now, these Mods or texture packs can only be used on Macs and Windows computers.
Many texture packs are available for you to download and use on your Minecraft game. One of them is Optifine. The Optifine mod is popular since this texture pack has improved performance as well as graphical qualities. Indeed, the alteration is not drastic. Nevertheless, the mod can smooth some effects in the game. Another example of a Minecraft mod is the Water Shade Alpha. You cannot use this mod with Optifine since they are not compatible with each other. Water Shade Alpha texture pack makes the water effects in the game look more realistic.
To install a texture pack on Windows, you need to follow these instructions:
1. Make sure you have an extractor application such as WinRar.
2. Open the start bar and click "run" option. If you use Windows XP, type "%appdata%.minecraftbin"; if you use Windows Vista or 7, you will need to type "C:Users*YourUserName*AppDataRoaming.minecraftbin".
3. After typing the information, you will notice that a folder will appear. Inside it, you will find a file named minecraft.jar.
4. Right click the file and click the "Open with..." option from the pop up menu and select "WinRar Archiver". This step will bring you to an open WinRar program that shows you some folders and files with a png extension.
5. Drag the files from the texture pack and drop them into WinRar directly. This will change the texture inside the game and your new textures will be ready to play.