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CarbonGhost's recommended OptiFine alternatives

CarbonGhost's OptiFine alternatives

This is my personal list of OptiFine replacements. Although other lists exist, this list aims to be an simple feature replacement list that aims not to overwhelm you.

This list was written with 1.18 and 1.17 in mind, but many mods should still be available for 1.16 and 1.15. The critiques of OptiFine aren't relevant to a specific version of the game.

Why ditch OptiFine?

OptiFine is a ubiquitous mod, and has been around for years. It's feature rich and, historically, has improved performance. However in recent years OptiFine's performance benefits have gotten smaller, and the mod now boasts list of bugs and drawbacks. OptiFine is known to replace large sections of vanilla code, and is now has years of technical debt, and this is all maintained by one person.

As stated above, OptiFine has a long list of issues, some of primary ones are:

  • The mod breaks vanilla mechanics
  • The mod updates slowly
  • The mod has poor compatibility

Going through these point by point. OptiFine breaks vanilla mechanics with a few bugs, sometimes breaking world generation with fast math, as well as increasing player reach, bot to mention any rendering or stability issues that aren't present in vanilla.

OptiFine updates slowly, and Forge updates even slower, if you want to use the mod on the latest update, or in conjunction with other mods, you're likely to be waiting for awhile.

OptiFine has poor compatibility, this is a bigger issue, and not really something the mod can address. Without getting too technical, OptiFine is closed source, making fixing issues with other mods opaque to the end user; And unfortunately, this issue cannot be solved because of the way that OptiFine was developed.

What about OptiFabric?

OptiFabric shares all of the same issues as OptiFine when run natively, along with a host of new incompatibilities and bugs. While this implementation of the mod is usable, I can't recommend that it be used.


This list goes by feature and offers a list of mods to replace it, all of these mods are tested and compatible unless otherwise stated. This list is specifically targeted at Fabric, which is a preferable modloader to Forge. If you still wish to use Forge there is a brief section about it here.

Shaders & rendering


Iris is a mod which intends to add full support for OptiFine shaders. This mod provides shader options and is compatible with Sodium.


Supported shaders [Out of date]

Fast rendering

Sodium is a mod which provides huge performance gains in rendering. This can be used on it's own, or together with Sodium.


More rendering features

Indium adds a selection of features to Iris and Sodium, this mod is required for connected textures and better grass.


Graphics features

Better grass & snow

LambdaBetterGrass adds a more detailed implementation of smooth grass as well as better snow and resource pack support Requires Indium


Connected textures

Continuity adds support for MCPatcher connected textures. Requires Indium


Fast leaves

Cull Leaves adds an option similar to OptiFine's fast leaves to improve performance.


Dynamic lighting

LambDynamicLights adds a better and more configurable implementation of dynamic lighting to the game.


Extended view distance

Bobby allows you to set your view distance higher than what is allowed on the server, by caching previously loaded chunks.


Animations, particles, fog, and more

Sodium Extra adds additional features to Iris and Sodium, like fog customization, toggleable animations, togglable particles, configurable cloud height, and more.


Resource pack features

Port OptiFIne packs to modern formats

MCPPP allows you to port some resource packs that use OptiFine's MCPatcher format to more modern formats.


More block features

More Block Predicates adds features that allow further customization of resource packs.


More GUI features

Custom GUI allows resource pack creators to further customize the GUI.


Custom entity models (CEM)

The Custom Entity Models mod adapts MCPatcher's CEM system to be able to be used with modern Fabric mods.


Animated textures port

Animatica allows you to use animated textures with the OptiFine format.




OK Zoomer adds a zoom hotkey with adjustable magnification levels and animations.


Hide armor

Armor Visibility allows you to hide yours or other's armor to see your skin more clearly.


Hide shields & totems when not in use

Shield Disrupter allows you to hide items (totems, and shields) in your offhand when not in use.



General game optimizations

Lithium is a complete game optimization mod that does not break any vanilla mechanics.


Lighting engine optimization

Starlight is a mod that optimizes the light engine to be faster while maintaining vanilla mechanics.


Faster load times

Lazy DFU is a simple mod that makes worlds and the game load faster by making some code execute only when needed.



Fully customizable capes

Fabric Capes allows you to fully customize your in-game cape for free.


Disable world view bob

No View Bob Screen Shake removes the lurching that can occur when view bobbing is enabled that may cause motion sickness.


Additional tooltips (shulker tooltips)

Inspectio is a fully featured tooltip extension mod, it adds bee hive info, shulker tooltips, and more.



Forge currently does not have a suitable OptiFine replacement, due to many incompatibilities with mods, I cannot recommend either OptiFine nor the Halogen mod (port of Sodium and Lithium).

Why does this have to be so hard?

If you have taken the time to read through the suggestions here, or have compiled this list of mods yourself, you may be wondering why this has to be so difficult, when OptiFine can be installed in about 3 clicks. The answer is that there is no reason for it.

It is my personal opinion that, if ever OptiFine were to fall out of use, the Fabric modding community needs to make an option that is as appealing and easy to use for the average person as OptiFine currently is. The mods exist to replace the majority of the mods features, with equivalent or better results, the last obstacle is widespread adoption, and making the alternatives easy to use.

Written by CarbonGhost

How and why you should run a Fabric server


Iris supported shaders list [Outdated, updating soon...]

This is a list of shaders that have been tested with Iris, and their quality in this mod. If you have something to add please leave a comment! Please note that I, nor this list, are associated with Iris development.

excellent Shader features work as intended great Shader features work with minor artifacts or performance issues. moderate Playable with issues. broken Some shader features work with major artifacts. unsupported Shader entirely fails to load or rendering doesn't work.

Shader Status Additional notes Shader versions GPU
Sildur's Enhanced Default excellent • Fog is broken in older versions of Iris 1.12.0 Nvidia
Complementary excellent 4.1.0 4.0.2 Nvidia
BSL excellent 8.0.0 Nvidia
Sildur's Vibrant excellent 1.29 Nvidia
Vanilla Bean excellent A9 Nvidia
Vanilla AA excellent A9 Nvidia
Ominous great • Hand model renders like vanilla Nvidia
Prismarine great • Overworld has issues with fog (looks pretty cool though) 3.0b Nvidia
Tea great • Performance issues Nvidia
Skylec Shader great • Underwater is weird (not sure if this is intentional)
• End portal rendering is broken
4.0 Nvidia
SEUS v11 great Nvidia
Astra Lex great Nvidia
Prismarine moderate • Issues with emissive textures
• Broken in nether
3.1b Nvidia
SEUS PTGI moderate • Reflections are broken. E12 Nvidia
Beyond Belief Legacy moderate • Cloud rendering is broken
• Shaders only work in the overworld
1.2.0 Nvidia
Exposa moderate • Clouds flicker
• Underwater rendering is broken
• Issues with stained glass
Sunflower moderate • Water is broken
• Overexposed (not sure if this is international)
0.4.1 Nvidia
Oceano moderate Nvidia
Voyager moderate 1.6.1 Nvidia
Continuum broken • Generally fine
• Rendering entirely broken in nether/end
• Issues with stained glass
2.0.4 Nvidia
Primarine broken • Doesn't work in nether/end
• Light shafts sometimes behave strangely
• Something about the night sky
2.1.3c Nvidia
ProjectLUMA broken • Generally works, sky and cloud rendering is broken. Nvidia
Window broken • Light shafts are very broken
• Lighting in end is broken
Stereo's Default broken • Sky entirely broken
• Does with in end/nether
2.3 Nvidia
Sora Shaders broken • End doesn't render
• Overworld sky rendering doesn't work
1.12 Nvidia
Potato Shaders broken Nvidia
Kappa unsupported Nvidia
Chronos unsupported Nvidia
Nostolgia unsupported Nvidia
NV unsupported Nvidia
UShader unsupported Nvidia
Simplicissimus unsupported Nvidia
Nostalgia unsupported Nvidia
VPlus unsupported Nvidia
RRe36 Shader unsupported Nvidia
Voyager unsupported 2.0.2 Nvidia
Pensa 73 Motion Blur unsupported 1.1 Nvidia
VanillaPlus unsupported 3.0.0 Nvidia
Ebin unsupported Nvidia
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update Added Animatica.

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interesting, keep going!

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this list goes hard

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Forge does not have a working alternative of Optifine? This list is super old, get a new one ^.

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Forge does not have a working alternative of Optifine? This list is super old, get a new one ^.

True! I'll work on updating it!

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SuperDuperVanilla shaders crash for me, may be unsupported? Unless it's just my pc

KUDA Legacy shaders seem to work though. most likely excellent but I haven't checked every feature so take my word with a grain of salt

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LoganTheAroAce commented Nov 10, 2023

Please Update This list. There are now a ton more Forge mods that replace parts of optifine (Mostly ports of Fabric Mods)

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gurnben commented Jan 29, 2024

Updated Partial List from an AMD User

Note: Please let me know if there is a shader pack that you would like to test or if you would like benchmarks on Linux.

Test System

Software Versions

OS: Windows 11 Pro 22H2
Graphics Driver: 23.40.02-240111a-399752C-AMD-Software-Adrenalin-Edition
AMD Windows Driver Version: 31.0.24002.92
Minecraft Version: 1.20.4
Fabric Version: 0.15.6
Sodium Version: 0.5.5
Iris Version: 1.6.14

Test System

CPU: Ryzen 9 7900X
Memory: 64GB DDR5-6000 CL36
GPU: Asrock Radeon 7900 XTX Taichi

Overall Notes

Optifine, my usual go-to, has been a no-go on AMD. Minecraft through Optifine on AMD was not detecting the load and properly clocking up the GPU. Some casual reading online seems to indicate its a common issue - but I've had no such issue on Sodium+Iris!

Every shader pack I have yet to try has run like a dream!


excellent Shader features work as intended
great Shader features work with minor artifacts or performance issues.
moderate Playable with issues.
broken Some shader features work with major artifacts.
unsupported Shader entirely fails to load or rendering doesn't work.

Shader Status Additional notes Shader versions GPU
Complementary Reimagined excellent 5.1.1 AMD
Complementary Unbound excellent 5.1.1 AMD
BSL excellent AMD
Sildur's Enhanced Default excellent v1.16 AMD
Sildur's Vibrant Shaders Extreme excellent v1.51 AMD
Sonic Ether's Unbelievable Shaders excellent v11.0 AMD
Sonic Ether's Unbelievable Shaders PTGI excellent E12 AMD
Sonic Ether's Unbelievable Shaders Renewed excellent v1.0.1 AMD

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gurnben commented Jan 29, 2024

@CarbonGhost what's the best place to engage with the Fabric/Sodium/Iris community to approach packing these together in an optifine-like stack? Do they typically live in Discord?

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