CurseForge, among other things, allows you to host Minecraft mods, modpacks, resource packs and more. However, when it comes to sharing your content on CurseForge, you are subject to, in my opinion, a pretty stupid review process.
I understand the need to review content for the sake of platform appearances; from that perspective, I get it. You don't want crappy modpacks being featured in your app. However, I feel it was a massive oversight to not allow you to share content privately with friends. This is the reason why I am writing this article.
Note that you can set your content to Experimental, but it's not clear what the purpose of this is. Even when set to Experimental, you can't access your content through the CurseForge app until it's been reviewed and approved.
Technic Pack was the platform I used for the longest time with my modpacks. They don't require an approval process, so getting your modpacks live is much faster there. However, don't take this as an endorsement; their platform quality has dipped severely over the years. But the nail in the coffin (for me) is this:
The issue linked here is some quirk related to how the Technic Launcher is modifying the version JSON. There is a workaround, but the workaround will never work for the Technic Launcher in its current state. Here is a link to the workaround reported by Reddit user u/Tempak:
The reason this workaround doesn't work within the Technic Launcher is because some process in the Technic Launcher bootstrapping phase overwrites the workaround with the broken content each time you launch.
So, you can use Technic Pack, but only for versions of Minecraft below 1.17.1. However, be sure you have the Log4j fix implemented in those versions (
<1.7 are the only versions "safe" by default). See this post from Minecraft to learn more about which versions are affected by this.
Full disclosure, I am not a big fan of CurseForge for a number of reasons:
- They are extremely proprietary
- Their web UI is awful (more disclosure - I am a full-stack web developer, so I'm a bit more critical here)
- Required approval process for content such as modpacks
- Approval process is unusually stringent for a "fun" thing
If you don't want to read me complaining about CurseForge, skip down to the "good stuff" below. I'd simply like to air some grievances first, since I'm sure CurseForge support will do absolutely nothing about it aside from canned empathy.
Being proprietary isn't necessarily "bad". However, CurseForge takes this to an extreme that I just don't agree with. The main issue I have is with how they format their modpacks. It could very well just be a result of how they need modpacks to be structured in order to work, but it has the effect of obscuring the shape of a "normal" Forge modpack, which is generally structured like this:
But you wouldn't know this if you exported your modpack profile from the CurseForge app, which is the "recommended" way to export your modpack for uploading to the platform later. In fact, there isn't even a
mods folder exported with your modpack; just a manifest file that can only be understood by CurseForge by default.
Perhaps it's simply not their concern to educate people, but as someone who has built modpacks from scratch for years, I found this very frustrating. Especially when you're trying to reuse the exported modpack as the basis for the server version of your modpack.
I'm no longer going to bother getting my modpacks approved. I simply want a fun modpack for my friends and I to enjoy. I could not care less about it being publicly visible, aside from letting my friends access the modpack.
However, my latest modpack is being blocked from release because of the following reasons; these are direct quotes from the approval update in my dashboard on CurseForge:
The project description must contain these facts:
- Features offered by the project.
- How those features affect a user's experience.
I am at a loss for words as to how dumb I find these requirements.
First of all, what "features" does a modpack have aside from modded game content? If you have a ton of mods, how do you encapsulate all of the changes without writing a damn essay? Sure, there are plenty of modpacks out there that have gone through the approval process already. But this back-and-forth approval process is way too much overhead for those just looking to have some weekend fun with friends.
Not everyone wants to release a "production-level" modpack, whatever the hell that means.
It really wouldn't be fair of me to leave this article with a giant section of me basically shitting on CurseForge without also providing what I like about them.
As someone who has built many modpacks over the years, I am intimately familiar with the painful process adding correct-version mods to a new modpack from scratch. It's not a fun process and is usually the biggest hurdle to me wanting to create a new modpack. It simply sucks to find the right version of the mod for the version of Forge you are using.
I will say, however, that the process of manually-creating modpacks from scratch was made so much worse by the terrible web UI offered by CurseForge (even when I was using Technic Launcher, CurseForge was, and still is, the safest place to get Minecraft mods from).
This is, by far, the biggest argument for why you should use the CurseForge app. Even as someone who possesses a mild degree of hatred for CurseForge, I can recognize the value this tool is offering.
Building a modpack in CurseForge is so much faster than anything else I've used.
The process for building a modpack is literally as simple as:
- Add a new modpack > set the name and Forge version
- Shop for, and install mods
Step 2 was the hardest step in the past, but the CurseForge client removes all pain points. I can't recommend the app enough based solely on the fact that it makes adding mods as easy as clicking buttons. The CurseForge app handles all of the following for you when building your modpack:
- Limits listed mods to only those for...
- The selected modloader (Forge or Fabric)
- Your selected Forge version
- Automatically-adds dependency mods without a very annoying testing process
The fact that it automatically-adds dependencies is another massive selling point for the app. The "old way" of finding dependencies was pretty much either reading the docs and hope that the mod developer listed the dependencies (which almost never happens, except on the most-popular mods), or to launch the client over and over until you no longer have any missing dependency errors on launch.
In short, I don't think I will ever build another modpack outside of the CurseForge app - it saves so much time and is absolutely worth the download for that alone.
First, know that this "bypass" in this context doesn't actually mean we are breaking anything in CurseForge. This process simply shows how you can share a modpack you made through CurseForge to other friends without having to wait for the approval process, but parts of this process are manual.
While it would certainly be easier to just look for the modpack in the CurseForge app, until the modpack is reviewed and approved, that won't be possible.
Without further ado, here is the process to share your CurseForge modpack with friends:
- Create your modpack, if you haven't already
- Export the modpack profile (this will generate a ZIP file)
- Share the ZIP file with your friends
- Your friends will need to add a new modpack profile and click the "import" link
- Select the ZIP > import and enjoy!