I get a lot of emails from people looking for help with Minecraft, and easily the number one topic is mods - specifically Forge and the problems involved with installing it. So I'm going to run through some of the most common issues people seem to have, along with the solutions that work most of the time and suggestions for other stuff to try.
If you're not sure what I'm talking about... Forge is a Minecraft mod that helps you to install other mods. If you're looking for instructions for downloading and installing it, check the Parent's Guide To Installing Mods article first.
You don't know which version of Forge to get
1. Check which version of Minecraft your mods are made for.
2. Go to files.minecraftforge.net/
3. Look for that version under Minecraft Versions.
4. If this is your first time installing Forge, pick the one that says Recommended and the option called Installer.
HANDY TIP: If you want a direct download link that doesn't pass through AdFly first (for more info on that, see the note at the bottom of this article about malware), click Show All Downloads. You'll notice that next to each option there's an icon that looks like a little "i" - hover over that and you'll get a box with the direct download link to the file.
You downloaded Forge but it won't install
Double-click the file to open the installer - a box should pop up with the option to 'install client'. If that doesn't happen, or you click install client and it doesn't work, try another version from the downloads page (try Latest instead of Recommended, or the one that says Universal).
It says 'run version x manually at least once'
The version of Forge you're trying to install can't find the unmodded 'vanilla' game files for the version of Minecraft that it's made for, most likely because you've never played that version before or you've only played a modded version. You need to run this version at least once so the launcher can download the files it needs and set up all the folders correctly.
To run a version manually at least once:
- Start Minecraft.
- Go to the profile editor (next to the Play button) and click New Profile
- Give your new profile a name
- Under 'use version' select the version that Forge needs you to run
- Select that new profile you just made from the profiles list, and click Play
- Wait for the menu to load and then exit Minecraft
- Continue installing Forge
Forge installed but your mods don't work
This almost always means one of four things:
- Your mods aren't compatible with Forge
- Your mods aren't compatible with each other
- Your mods are for a different version of Minecraft than the Forge you installed
- Your mods are all made for different versions of Minecraft
Here's some stuff to try:
- Remove all mods except for one
- Check that it's compatible with Forge
- Check which version of Minecraft it's made for
- Make sure you installed that version of Forge
- Run Minecraft and see if the mod works
- If it works, add other mods one at a time making sure they're compatible with each other and the same version of Minecraft
- If it doesn't work, try the same steps with a different mod
- If you can't get any mods to work individually, check the error log for clues
Forge installed but Minecraft crashes/blank screen
This usually means that there's a conflict between the version of Forge you have and the version of Java that your computer is running (Java is the language that Minecraft is written in). If you don't know which version of Java you have, this website will tell you.
The solution for this one is either swap to a different version of Forge (sometimes there are bug fixes in the later versions) or install a different version of Java. The second option is a little trickier because you run the risk of making unmodded Minecraft crash too, and usually also need to tell Minecraft where to find the alternate version of Java you're using (which you can do by editing the profile and then typing in the Java path under Advanced Settings > Executables).
Minecraft can also crash when there's a compatibility issue with your video driver card, but if you're able to run unmodded Minecraft then it's unlikely to start being an issue with Forge (but it's something to look into if all your other investigations turn up nothing).
Forge installed but didn't create a mods folder
Sometimes this happens. If you're absolutely certain that Forge installed correctly (you can see Forge in your list of profiles), just go ahead and try manually creating a folder called mods.
You suspect you may have gotten a virus
If you downloaded Forge and a bunch of weird files came with it or your computer started acting strange after you installed it, then there's a strong chance you've downloaded malware. How could this happen? Probably one of two things: You didn't use the official Forge download page (files.minecraftforge.net) or you used the link that goes through AdFly and accidentally clicked on an ad or something masquerading as a download link.
Forge and other file download sites often make money by using an ad service such as AdFly. The way these work is that it will temporarily show you an intermediate screen with ads on it before it takes you to your download link. The original hosting site (Forge in this case) doesn't control what these ads will be, and some of them can be formatted to look like genuine download links. That can be confusing and even dangerous, because sometimes these lead to malware.
So you need to be super careful, and not click on anything other than the yellow SKIP AD button on the top right hand corner of the screen that will take you to the page with the download link. Always triple-check before you click on anything that looks like a download link, and NEVER download anything from the internet without running good virus protection on your device.
Also note that there is a direct download link available for each Forge version that doesn't go through AdFly (see the note under 'You don't know which Forge version to get' at the top of this article).
If you're struggling with all things Forge then hopefully you found something here that will help. If not and you're still having problems, check the Forge Forums for answers or feel free to contact me and I'll see if I can help you figure it out!