In this Minecraft guide, we’re going to show you how to make Optifine work alongside Forge. This works for any version of Minecraft, from 1.12, all the way up to 1.15 and 1.16 (and beyond for any future Minecraft updates).
There’s a big difference between Forge & Optifine. Forge is a mod-loader, where as Optifine is a mod. Although it can seem a little difficult to get them to work together as both take up a preset in the Minecraft Launcher instead of working together.
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Step 1: Install Forge
Forge is what we’ll use as a core, and we’ll turn Optifine into a Forge compatible mod. If you already have Forge installed on your system, skip this section and move onto Step 2.
To start, head to the Forge website and download the version you want. You can choose your Minecraft version on the left hand side. For the sake of this article, I’ll choose Minecraft 1.12.2. Select the Installer button, shown on the image below.
Open the file that downloads, which should be a .JAR file. There are two options, which are install Client and install Server. Firstly, choose the Client option and install it. If you want to play Forge with Multiplayer, you’ll have to choose that option and choose an empty folder to install the files too.
Forge will now be installed, and can be accessed through the Minecraft launcher. You should run Minecraft with Forge at least once so that it created the mods folder in your Minecraft Directory.
Step 2: Install Optifine
Now that we have Forge installed, it’s time to install Optifine. Head to the Optifine website, and find your version of Minecraft. It’s important that your Optifine version is the same as the Forge version (1.12.2 in my case).
Choose a Download link, ideally one that’s in bold. If you’re using a newer version of Minecraft such as 1.15 or 1.16, you will need to click the ‘Preview Versions’ link found at the top of the page.
You’ll receive another JAR file, this time for Optifine. Open the file, but don’t hit install. Instead, you want to hit ‘Extract’. In the window that pops up, choose a location to save the new file in, Desktop will do.
Now, navigate to your Minecraft folder, and then the mods folder. This can be found by opening the start menu and typing %AppData% and hitting enter. Choose the .minecraft folder, then the mods folder. The actual directory is: C:\Users\YOU\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\mods
Place the new file we just extracted from the installer before, into the mods folder. Open up Minecraft with Forge, and Optifine will be installed and working. You may need to restart Minecraft for the changes to take effect.