The best realistic texture packs for Minecraft

Here's how to turn blocky into beautiful.

Image via Mojang

Despite—or because of—its blocky visuals, Minecraft has an undeniable low-poly charm. The allure of the game and its endless explorable world proves games don’t necessarily need to have hyper-realistic ray-traced graphics to be successful. Ask anyone who’s ever watched a Minecraft sunset or viewed a vista from the top of one of its mountains and we guarantee they’ll describe it as “beautiful.”

That being said, some players want to add a little more visual pizzazz to their worlds. Whether you’re trying to take gorgeous screenshots of your creative mode creations or you simply want to max out the capabilities of your console or PC, there are plenty of good reasons to get a visual upgrade. The wide world of Minecraft texture packs and mods provides plenty of ways to make your server look a little more real—and a little more snazzy.

Here are the best realistic texture packs for Minecraft.

Note: To run several of these packs, you’ll need additional shaders and a relatively powerful PC or console.

Stratum

A screenshot of Minecraft using the realistic Stratum pack.
Screengrab via Continuum Graphics

Stratum is one of the most beautiful realistic texture packs available for Minecraft. Though it’s still in early access and requires a paid subscription, its jaw-dropping use of light and shadow, high-resolution textures, and fine-tuned details makes it a great option for those who wish their world looked like it could be somewhere on Earth. More details about the pack, including development updates, can be found on developer Continuum Graphics’ website.

LUNA HD

Ultra-realistic sunflowers in the LUNA HD resource pack.
Screengrab via LUNA HD

LUNA HD’s impressive textures and stunning photorealism become even more impressive when you learn that the pack is being made by a solo 3D artist. On their Patreon page, the creator states that they enjoy creating new experiences in Minecraft and sharing them with other players, which is what encouraged them to develop the huge LUNA HD resource pack. Interested players can subscribe to the developer’s Patreon to receive the pack and monthly updates on new features.

Realistico

A Minecraft city incorporating the Realistico textures.
Screengrab via Matteo Rizzo

Developer Matteo Rizzo describes Realistico as “faithful and hyper-realistic textures blended into extremely simple, pixel-perfect surfaces.” The pack, which is designed to work best with shaders (including Continuum Graphics’ Continuum shader packs), gives players the opportunity to see unparalleled detail in their Minecraft blocks. While the blocks stay true to vanilla Minecraft textures, they’re also really, really high-resolution. Realistico is still in development but offers formal releases for players to download.

Ultimate Immersion

A traffic light stands before a modern house in the Ultimate Immersion resource pack.
Screengrab via Ultimate Immersion

If you want your Minecraft world to look a little less rural and a little more urban, Ultimate Immersion is the resource pack for you. This modern mod allows players to build houses, buildings, roads, parking garages, and all the trappings of cities you can image. It also includes lots of tiny details, like traffic lights that actually cycle and fully-functional walk signs. Check out the developer’s website for screenshots and videos of the pack in action.

Hera Ultra

A screenshot of a Minecraft house and lake with ultra-realistic water textures.
Screengrab via CemreK

Some players might not want to turn their Minecraft world into a perfect mirror of the real world; instead, they might want to jazz up some aspects while still keeping things recognizably blocky. This pack by developer CemreK focuses on the details, ensuring players will still be finding new surprises long after they download the pack. Hera Ultra tweaks many of the game’s textures and resolutions to make it look its very best, but it doesn’t entirely get rid of the charm that players have come to know and love. Fans can download it here.