Mod Spotlight: Mods I didn't Know I Needed

August is nearly over, and with it goes Summer. School is back in session, and work is starting that ‘why can’t it be holiday season yet?’ fall slump. As everything goes back to business, it makes sense to seek out mods that make your relaxation time more efficient. That way, you have more time to actually play. Some of these mods might seem familiar to you, while others are downright unappreciated. Either way, you have no idea how much these mods could help you while you play. Let’s fix that. 

 Scott’s Tweaks


Scott’s Tweaks does a ton of things to enhance regular gameplay. It fixes boats, makes endermen drop the item they are carrying upon death, forces plants to plant themselves, controls the rate that squid and bats spawn, generates clay at roughly the water level, and makes chickens drop feathers without having to kill them. As someone who frequently has a base with an open ceiling to the ocean, that squid spawn rate adjustment has saved many gardens from destruction, and the boat tweaks are a plus. 


 Torch Tools


Simply put: this mod allows you to place torches while you’re carrying a tool. There are a few other mods with this functionality, but they usually limit it to specific tools, rather than the whole lot of them. As long as your tool doesn’t have a right-click function, you will be able to place torches. It makes mining much easier and saves you just a little bit of time while caving.



 Shut The F#$% Up


This mod has a single use, and there’s no gray area of whether or not you need it. It changes the volume of Minecraft’s music to a toggle of OFF and ON, with OFF automatically selected. To change it, you go straight into the mod’s config—nothing you do to the music volume in the game will affect whether music plays. This is pretty useful for Let’s Players, since you have to check the music setting every time you log in before you record. If the functionality was extended to include things like getting rid of Moody lighting or other video settings, I could easily see it becoming a useful tool for everyone.


 Passthrough Signs


This mod does just what its title claims. You can place signs on things like chests, furnaces, and crafting tables and then click through the signs to access them. Although it’s not terribly difficult to click around a sign in the first place, who knows when you’ll be frantically running from zombies or dumping all your items into a chest? In those few moments, it would be useful to ignore the signs completely. This mod helps with that.




Possibly the most famous of this list, Obsidiplates is incredibly useful despite its inclusion of just four items. It adds two pressure plates and two silent versions of those pressure plates. The first is the titular Obsidian Plate, which allows players to activate plates, but not NPCs. Gone are the days when zombies could just waltz up to your door and open it by stepping on it! It ensures that only players can go in and out of your home. The Mossy Plate does the inverse—it is activated by NPCs only, and if a player steps on it, nothing happens. The silent versions have the same functionality, but they don’t make a click when they are activated. 

Not Enough Resources


Everyone who uses NEI should really include Not Enough Resources, an extension to the mod that allows you to check the optimum mining depths and locations of different ores and mob drops. It helps a ton with resource grinding. In example, if you need iron, it will tell NEI that Zombies have a 0.8% chance of dropping an iron bar when killed by a player, as well as what light level they spawn at, biomes they spawn in, and experience they drop. NEI then relays all that information to you. It also lists Dungeon Chest spawn rates, with iron bars clocking in at a 41.1% drop rate in both deserts and mineshafts. Yes, you could probably just mine for some iron, but that’s not the point. The point is that if you’re looking for some strange mob drop from an obscure mod, this mod will tell you exactly where and how to get it.




It’s impossible to sleep when there are Zombies nearby trying to kill you. Even if you are safe in your underground post-apocalypse bunker made of iron, if a zombie happens to be dancing on the roof, it’s a no-go. If you attempt to sleep while a monster is nearby, this mod will tell you exactly what coordinates that monster is occupying, allowing you to either switch beds or swiftly destroy the intruder.




This mod definitely has more application in modded Minecraft, but it may also be useful for map makers. The keyboard has a limited number of keys, and after 60 or so mods, those keys will be mixed and matched and entirely occupied. This mod aims to prevent that, giving you a bunch of quick key bindings that can be easily accessed. It can also do other things, like select a slot in your inventory or give a quick command.


Just What I Needed 


When testing this mod, the most recent version didn’t work, but older versions seem to function just fine. It adds a few useful features while doing its best to reduce its load on the server. You can tell all animals to sit while right clicking, where they will stay until you tell them to stand or breed. It certainly makes farms a bit more tidy without all those fences around! Sticks, wrenches, and crowbars can rotate wood logs, with plans to extend that to other blocks, such as chisel blocks, in the future. This mod somewhat invalidates NearbyMobFinder, since it allows you to sleep even if there are zombies on your roof. As long as enemies can’t path to you, they won’t prevent you from sleeping.




The smallest and most simple mod on this list, Ding has a special place in the hearts of those with slower computers and modders testing compatibility issues. This mod lets out an experience ding to tell you when your game has finished loading all the mods and is ready to play. Unless you’re the type to stare at the screen for five minutes while you wait for your behemoth of a modpack to load, this mod will be useful for you.


So as you’re sitting at your desk thinking that it’s September next month—and October after that, which means Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas!—don’t forget that modded Minecraft is waiting for you, and it’s a better way to spend the last days of Summer than wondering where all the time went. These mods will help make your gameplay more efficient and help you squeeze out as many hours as possible out of these last few days of Summer.


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