Minecraft: How to Install Datapacks

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MinecraftMinecraft GuidesMinecraft: How to Install Datapacks

Datapacks (or Data Packs) allow you to further customize Minecraft, without needing to download third-party clients like Forge or Fabric. They can do many features, like add new items, mechanics, mobs and more.

In this guide, we’re going to run you through the process of installing Datapacks, whether to a new world, or to an existing one. If you want to check out some Datapacks worth installing, then check out our playlist on the PwrDown YouTube Channel.

Install Datapacks to a New World

If you’re creating a new Minecraft World, installing Datapacks is a really simple process. With Minecraft open, go to the world creation screen. Instantly, you should see a Data Packs button, which you should press.

data pack button in minecraft
Data Packs Button

This takes you to the next screen, which shows 2 different columns. In the left column, you should drag and drop any Datapacks that you’ve downloaded. These could be of some different formats, like .ZIP files, or even just regular folders.

drag and drop datapacks
Datapack Installation Screen

On the image above, I’ve dragged the TreeCapitator Datapack and the Illager Fortresses Datapack into the Minecraft window. They should appear in the left column, which means they’re installed, but not activated.

To ensure that they’re activated in your Minecraft world, you need to hover over the Datapack, and press the arrow so that they move into the right column, labelled ‘Selected’.

When you’ve activated the Datapacks you want to install, just press the ‘Done’ button, and finish the world creation process. Your Datapacks will be installed and enabled when you join the world. You can test if they are by doing the /datapack list command.

Install Datapacks to an Existing World

If you already have an existing Minecraft world that you’re playing, then you can still install Datapacks without it being too much of a pain. Firstly, you can leave Minecraft running, but make sure you’re on the home screen, so that your world isn’t loaded.

Find Minecraft World Save

The first thing you need to do is find your Minecraft World Save. If you don’t know how to find it, the most common location is in your AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\saves folder. Here’s some methods of finding your Minecraft save folder:

  1. In your Windows Start Menu, type %AppData% into the search field, and press enter. Then go to .minecraft > saves.
  2. With Minecraft open, go to Options > Resource Packs and press the ‘Open Packs Folder’. This will open the ResourcePacks folder in your Minecraft directory, you just need to go up on level so that you’re in the .minecraft folder, and then go into the saves folder.
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When you finally reach the saves folder, look for your Minecraft world. The name might be recognizable. Otherwise, you can try sorting the folders by their ‘Date Modified’, which will show you the most recently edited world.

Install the Datapacks

Inside each world folder is a datapacks folder. If there isn’t (but there should be), try creating it. All you need to do is place any downloaded Datapacks into this folder.

Most Datapacks come as .ZIP folders, and these should be placed inside the datapacks folder. But a small amount do usually need to be opened, with the folder inside being extracted instead.

datapack list in world
Datapacks List In-Game

When you play in your world, the Datapack should be functional and working. You can do tests using commands like /datapack list to see which are enabled. If your pack is disabled, then use the /datapack enable command.

Where to Download Datapacks

One of the best places to download Datapacks would be on the PlanetMinecraft website. They have a lot of filters, which allow you to sort by Minecraft version, upload date, recently updated, number of downloads and more.

Datapacks Not Working

If your Datapacks aren’t working, there’s a few fixes worth trying. Firstly, you’re going to want to make sure that your Datapack is extracted correctly. Sometimes, a Datapack .ZIP file has another folder inside it, which needs to be placed in your Datapacks folder instead. So try that first.

You can check if a Datapack is loaded in the world by using the /datapack list command. It will show which Datapacks are installed, and which are enabled. If your Datapack is showing as disabled, then do the /datapack enable command instead.

A lot of Datapacks require Resource/Texture Packs too. Especially those which adds the likes of new items and mobs, and you can usually find them on the Datapacks download page. If you don’t have the texture pack installed, then the items may appear invisible, or incorrectly.

Some other problems arise if it’s not compatible with your version of Minecraft. Some Datapacks tend not to work in creative mode either, so give them a try in Survival instead.

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Phillip Anderson
Hey, I'm Phillip Anderson! After studying Video Game Design at University, I began writing articles at PwrDown in my free time. I currently play my games on PC, but also own a PS4 & Nintendo Switch. I'm also a VR enthusiast, owning an Oculus Rift S where you might find me playing Beat Saber or Skyrim VR!