Minecraft just launched add-ons, which are mods, not to be confused with the previous add-ons that were also mods, and won’t replace mods for Minecraft Java

It’s no secret that Minecraft’s enduring success has been in part thanks to the dedication of its modding community. All this time though, mods have largely been the territory of Minecraft Java, the version of the game available only on PC. As of today, the cross-platform version Minecraft Bedrock has launched “add-ons” through its in-game marketplace which, yes, are essentially also mods, free and paid.

If you’re doing a double-take because you thought Minecraft already had “add-ons,” you’re not wrong. That’s how it had been referring to community-made additions for Bedrock already. It seems the term is now being reserved for add-ons which can be added to existing worlds, and which can be combined or removed at will, rather than being tied to a world pre-made for the mod in the way of past Bedrock add-ons. This isn’t the first time that Minecraft nomenclature has been confusing—looking at you, Minecraft for Windows (Bedrock).

“Add-ons let you add new blocks, mobs, items, recipes, and other content to both your existing worlds and new ones,” Mojang says in today’s announcement, so they’re pretty similar to some of the things Minecraft Java mods have been doing for years. They can also be used in multiplayer Minecraft Realms.

(Image credit: Mojang, modded by Spark Universe)

The launch catalog of add-ons includes things like craft-able furniture, pets, and computers, all popular concepts for Minecraft mods over the years. There’s a Gravestone add-on too, a long-popular mod that retains all your inventory in a loot-able grave when you die instead of dumping it on the ground. For the occasion, Mojang is giving away a handful of add-ons for free: Spark Pets, Another Furniture Add-On, All The Wool, Hiker’s Friend, Gravestone, and More TNT.

Other add-ons are paid for with Minecoins, the premium currency on the Minecraft Marketplace. In case you’d missed it, there’s long been a sort of cottage industry on the Minecraft Marketplace where creators can sell (or give away) Bedrock versions of their popular Minecraft texture packs, character skins, and minigames like parkour maps—you know, the ones you see taking up half the screen on random AITA TikTok videos like some kind of internet hypnotism.

“You don’t have to be tech savvy to install them—you just download the content from Minecraft Marketplace,” Mojang says. Installing modpacks for Minecraft Java has certainly gotten easier since the early years with launchers like CurseForge to help, but it’s true that Minecraft Bedrock is still definitely the “it just works” version of the game that doesn’t need an understanding of patches and compatibility in order to play.

“In addition, we want to emphasize that players can continue installing non-Marketplace mods—We have no plans to remove the ability to sideload mods from popular third-party websites or mobile apps that are compliant with the Minecraft End-User License Agreement (EULA),” Mojang also adds, and that today’s launch is sort of a “snapshot” to preview the add-on system and gather more feedback.

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