The new Caves & Cliffs Update: Part 2 adds two new biomes that you can find in caves. They don’t look very nice if you don’t use mods. That’s why we’re going to show you the best Minecraft 1.18 shaders. However, there is always confusion and therefore once again the note that these shaders are not resource packs. Both are completely different things.
During the tests, we paid attention to the following features:
- Realistic water
- Compatibility with low-end PC
- Beautiful sky with a new moon and sun
In a small Q&A session on our Discord server, it was clear that these are the most important things for the players we asked. Basically, every Minecraft shader for 1.18 has these features, but some are only ultra-realistic and others have an FPS boost. Therefore, it is advisable to always read the system requirements so that your game doesn’t crash.
Best Minecraft Shaders for 1.18
In the past, these shaders were the most popular and had millions of downloads. They are perfect if you want to improve gameplay with new stuff. This includes realistic lighting, moving grass, and better leaves.
You can also choose a new texture pack that will further improve your landscape. Packs from the realism category fit best because they partly have PBR and POM textures that harmonize perfectly with the latest RTX shaders. However, you should have an extremely powerful graphics card if you decide to go for it.
Furthermore, you can also play on servers with all packs from the list. This is most fun with friends, and with our partner Apex, you can get a first-class Minecraft server for just a few dollars. It is always online and even protected against DDoS attacks.
How to install 1.18 Shaders
First, you need to download a program that allows you to install shaders on PC. There is no built-in function from Mojang for this. Over the last few years, Optifine 1.18 has been used by the majority of the community for this purpose. Alternatively, you can download Iris Shaders mod with Sodium if you prefer this modpack and want to play shaders without Optifine. Either download the installer file or use Fabric. Those are the only options, because the GLSL shader mod hasn’t been updated for a long time. But that’s not a problem, because it was only for Windows and didn’t support the Apple operating system macOS.
Now back to the Java Edition. Open the Optifine .jar file with a double click, if it has the Java file icon. If it doesn’t, then right-click and select “Java™ Platform SE binary”. If that doesn’t work either, then check if you have Java 17 installed on your computer. It is quite possible that this is not installed, because this version is supported by Minecraft for the first time.
The installation wizard will then open. Its design is extremely simple and easy to understand right away. Click on “Install” and a new Optifine installation will be created in the Minecraft launcher. By the way, these instructions work also with the new Minecraft launcher, which combines Windows Edition, Java Edition, and Dungeons.
Now open the game and go to the “Installations” tab. Here you will find the newly created profile. If the Caves & Cliffs update does not crash, then everything went well. At the bottom left of the start screen, you will now also see that you are playing with mods.
Add shaders in Minecraft 1.18
There are now many new settings in the options. However, you are only interested in the shaders feature that you can find in the video settings. This menu is similar to the resource packs menu and for installation, you also open a folder in the lower left corner. You can also open it manually on your PC like this: %appdata%.minecraft\shaderpacks.
Obviously, you move all the Minecraft 1.18 shaders you want into this folder. But before you can put one there, you have to choose one. It’s best to choose three from our list where you like the screenshots and video showcases. Also, we only list free projects, so you don’t have to worry about hidden costs.
All in all, a few tests are certainly necessary to find the best 1.18 shader for you. Always compare the FPS, because they are decisive for whether it lags, and the goal is always to get no lags. That’s it with this tutorial, and I hope you found everything you were looking for. Of course, there is also a similar article for the previous version, which shows the most popular shader packs for the first part of the Caves & Cliffs Update.