Why Minecraft has Bad Graphics

Minecraft has established itself as a household name for sandbox games, thanks to the millions who play the game for hours on end. However, when you take a look at Minecraft, you can say that it does not boast the best look among games. Why does Minecraft have bad graphics?

Minecraft has bad graphics because of an intentional design choice inspired by a specific aesthetic. The unflattering block system is also integral to the game mechanics, where all interactions revolve around blocks. The block’s textures, which are the great offenders to the game’s graphics, can be improved with shaders.

Why is Minecraft Blocky or Pixelated?

Markus “Notch” Persson started to work Minecraft alone before Mojang.

Part of the reason that Minecraft sports a retro pixelated look is that it started off as a single developer’s work. Markus “Notch” Persson developed Minecraft on his own, taking inspiration from Infiniminer, a game whose visuals fathered those of Minecraft.

During the early development stages of Minecraft, “Notch” did find the early designs of Minecraft ugly. However, upon stumbling upon Infiniminer, he realized that he could implement a similar design to the game, hence the current blocky look of Minecraft.

Infiniminer inspired the visuals and game mechanics of Minecraft. You can tell…

Infiniminer also inspired the entire block system of Minecraft, which is also built upon the same mechanics. Since the entire world of Minecraft is made up of these blocks, the game’s overall graphics retain a tinge of a retro aesthetic, on top of the 16×16 textures that are reminiscent of 90s games.

The low-resolution textures of the blocks could also be attributed to Notch working on the game all alone during the early development stages. With no dedicated graphics designer and Notch primarily being a programmer, he must have been stuck with his current resources of pixelated textures.

Additionally, since the early builds of Minecraft, players seemed to enjoy the game despite its graphics, so there was no need to change it. Until now, Minecraft’s popularity was never about its graphics, so changing the graphics was not necessary.

Minecraft literally runs on blocks.

The block system is also integral to the game, as most interactable items in the game are blocks. This system makes the game simple to play and easy to pick up. The mechanics are intuitive enough for even younger players, while allowing a lot of flexibility and creativity to show.

Other Good Reasons why Minecraft has Bad Graphics

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is the version of Minecraft that runs on many platforms.

The simple block design is very light on computer resources, allowing less powerful machines to be able to run the game. This can be also why Minecraft can be ported to many platforms, having a version to play in Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch (among others).

However, the current block design of Minecraft has become its brand identity. Ever since the early releases of the game, the game has been applauded for the simple gameplay that revolutionized the introduction of RPG elements in an open-world setting. 

Minecraft’s graphics are akin to that of retro games, like Super Mario.

The graphics of the game that pays homage to retro game design is also iconic to the populace. To many players and even non-players, Minecraft is that game with pixelated, blocky graphics that lets you create anything that you put your mind into.

Although it is quite unlikely, Minecraft’s graphics have inspired people to design structures, and even whole worlds, given the blocky and pixelated constraints of the game. Translating real-life buildings into the Lego-like cubes of Minecraft has been a challenge that most players take while playing the game.

Will Minecraft Ever Get Better Graphics?

Undertale and Minecraft fall into the category of games where graphics come second to the gameplay.

Although a lot of games are defined and played because of their visual design, there are also those games whose unflattering game graphics are secondary to the gameplay. Minecraft falls into the latter category. The game systems are intuitive and straightforward, yet they allow so much creative potential to be unleashed.

If the team changed up the game’s graphics at any point, they would be giving up the identity that Minecraft holds over other games. The distinctive pixelated design has been central to the many unique creations of the playerbase, and changing the design would affect those creations. 

Minecraft has seen great architectural designs such as these.

The game’s “bad graphics” are not often seen by players as a downside. Rather, the pixelated design lets the game stand out among its contemporaries. It is obvious that pursuing such a design has been part of the success that the game is experiencing right now, and many players might not want to have it any other way.

However, there are ways to improve the graphics of Minecraft…

How to Get Better Graphics on Minecraft

Resource packs can actually change the aesthetic of the game.

If you are playing on the Java Edition of Minecraft, there are possible ways to improve the textures and the way they are rendered in-game. There are texture packs that can change the current game textures into higher resolution or simply better-looking ones. Texture packs can even change the entire aesthetic of the game into what you might prefer.

However, the go-to for most players when talking about getting better graphics on Minecraft are shaders. Shaders are mods in Minecraft that introduce new graphical settings and features on top of Minecraft’s current aesthetic. Although they don’t overhaul the block system of the game, they improve the textures and their rendering.

Shaders allow water in Minecraft as gorgeous as this.

Most shaders allow Minecraft to have a realistic look despite the blocky design. Most of them also make realistic water and light interactions, which can significantly improve the look of Minecraft. However, in exchange for better visuals, shaders will use up more resources from your PC, so you need to make sure yours can handle it.

If you are pressed to change Minecraft “bad graphics,” shaders are the best way to go. However, if you get past the low-resolution textures and the block system, you might just get to embrace the iconic look of Minecraft.


Related topics:

Five Reasons Why Is Minecraft Offline
Why Minecraft Sucks
Slime Spawner