7 ways to reduce lag in Minecraft

#1: Play on servers instead of singleplayer worlds

This may seem contradictory, because on servers, there are much more people. However, it’s not. Minecraft needs two programs to run: a server and a client. The server is the program that runs the world, makes mobs do what they do (the AI), makes redstone work et cetera. The client is the program you can control: you can walk, place blocks or attack mobs. What the client does is sent to the server so they can process that. The server sends the client the blocks and mobs in the world, so the client knows what to show to the user on the screen.

Now we know how this works, it starts to make more sense. In your singleplayer world, the server and the client are both run on your own computer, so that’s two programs to handle. When you play on a server, you merely have to run the client program and send data to the server, which is somewhere far away from you. The server can do all the difficult calculations for you.

#2: Download optifine

Optifine is a mod that is famous for reducing lag. It’s a mod, but almost all well-known minecraft servers allow you to use it. The installation is simple: you can download it from https://optifine.net/downloads. Download the version you’re playing on, and run the downloaded .jar file. It will automatically install optifine as a minecraft version.

Then, go to your minecraft launcher and click ‘add profile’, and change the version to the optifine version you just installed.

#3: Tweak your (optifine) settings

Optifine doesn’t only reduce lag in the first place, it also adds a lot of settings you can tweak. Head to your video settings: you’ll see lots of settings you’ve never seen before. I’ll mention a few that can really impact your FPS, some of them can be changed in your regular minecraft settings as well.

Graphics – you can set this to either fast or fancy. Fancy is more beautiful, but also slower. It adds transparent leaves for example.

Dynamic Lights + Smooth Lighting – the default of the dynamic lights setting is off, but I have to admit that the real-time option looks incredibly good. It’s much slower though. What it does: for example, if you’re holding a torch and walking, it lights up the place and updates the light in real-time.

Anti-aliasing – you can find this setting at Video Settings -> Quality Settings. This smooths out rough edges of blocks to make them look better. Tweaking this option has significant effect on your FPS (off = faster).

Mipmaps + Anisotropic filtering – you can find these settings at Quality Settings as well. Mipmaps make textures that are far away look less detailed (blurred). Some say mipmaps positively affect your performance, others say it’s bad for your FPS and others say it doesn’t affect your performance at all. So, see for yourself what effect it has on your game! Anisotropic filtering does negatively affect your FPS though, it is said to improve the quality of more distant textures, typically when seen at an angle, such as the ground. You can check the differences out in the pictures below:

#4: Allocate more RAM to Minecraft

If you’re experiencing lag, that may be because minecraft needs more memory than you’ve currently allocated. This is a very easy and quick way to possibly remove your lag issues. I’ve written a post that tells you exactly how to do it.

#5: Decrease render distance

This is probably the most straightforward way to reduce lag. The way it works is simple: you render less blocks, so minecraft needs less processing power.

#6: Get lower resolution texture packs

I get it, texture packs can look amazing. However, the more detailed they are, the laggier your world gets. The default minecraft textures use 16×16 (=256) pixels per block/item texture. Common resource packs like faithful use 32×32 (=1024) or 64×64 (=4096) pixels per texture. More pixels in the textures you use means more pixels to render for minecraft.

Some texture packs also use 3D-models and animations. Using these can really decrease your FPS!

#7: Close other programs

Closing running programs while you’re playing minecraft may significantly increase your performance. For example, close your browser or video recording software. Especially video recording can take its toll on your FPS. This method is guaranteed to work!

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