Best Minecraft shader for low end system

If you are a Minecraft player, you might have come across a video on YouTube or social media where graphics of Minecraft looks way better than the vanilla(default, unmodified) version. Most common way of making it happen is to use shader-packs. But Minecraft isn't really famous for its graphics, it is known to run on potato PC(a slang for non-gaming PC that struggles to run 3D games). Most shaders don't show the same mercy to a potato PC. 

So why should you read my post instead of watching many famous YouTubers who specifically review shaders, mods and resource packs? Because, unlike them, I actually have played Minecraft on a true potato PC. I'm not saying all the YouTubers were fortunate enough to have a decent PC when they started out, I'm saying they usually test the shaders on their current system capable enough of running shaders and recording the content for YouTube, on top of that, most of them don't even show FPS impact in their videos. And trust me when I tell you, any shader, no matter how lightweight, will decrease at least 30-50% of your current FPS. I will keep the FPS impact transparent. 

Before moving forward, I'd like to clearly point out that

If you cannot get 60 FPS in vanilla Minecraft at default graphics settings then don't try to play with shaders, specifically the laptop users. I have a fairly decent laptop that provides 150+ FPS at all time with Fancy graphics and 12 render distance, yet when I use certain shaders my FPS drops below 60FPS. There's no point of using shaders if you have to set your render distance to 2 chunks just to get playable frame-rates.

Before we begin here's a screenshot of my current survival world without shaders for reference. Some features cannot be captured with screenshots but luckily these shader packs are really small in download size so you can try them out yourself. I'm shortlisting them based on performance. 

Vanilla Minecraft, Fancy graphics, 12 chunks render distance, average FPS: 210-220

Absolute Potato PC gang: 40-50FPS at 8 chunks, Fast graphics

1. Tea Shader : Best shader for potato PC, Period

If you see the screenshot below, you will get why I gave it the title. Textures are pretty much the same as vanilla(you will believe it if I say I just changed the brightness 😆), improved lighting, waving plants and water, etc. All this without loosing any performance. 

Tea Shader, Average performance impact: 10-15%

If you are on such a potato PC where losing any more than 10-15FPS will turn the game unplayable, definitely check it out: Tea Shaders

Decent Potato Gang: 60+ FPS at 8 or more Chunks, can dare to go Fancy graphics

2. Sildur's Enchanced Defaults

I'm starting with this shader because even though I enjoy shaders, I prefer vanilla Minecraft experience when playing survival. This shader keeps the vanilla textures and adds minor but noticeable changes like reflections, shadows, God rays, waving grass and leaves, water, etc. It is without doubt one of lightest shaders to run and even my previous potato laptop was able to provide around 30FPS, which is really playable for singleplayer. On top of it, it is always up do date with each release.

Sildur's Enhanced Defaults, Avg Performance impact: more than 50%

You can download the latest version from here: Download Sildur's Shaders

3. Chocapic13 High Performance Toaster edition

A lot of people swear by Chocapic13 Toaster edition shaders. I see the appeal, stays true to the original textures yet brings visible changes. It does give more FPS than Sildur's but it sacrifices waving plants and water. It is too dark for my liking and I think vanilla Minecraft water looks better. 

Chocapic13 Toaster, Avg performance impact: around 50%

If you like the look, you can download here: Chocapic13 HighPerformance

Honourable Mentions

4. Chocapic13 V9 Low

It is basically improved toaster shader. All the things that I said were missing in toaster edition are included in this one. But clouds seem to be glitching in that one. I recommend turning clouds off if you are using it. 

Chocapic13 V9 Low, Avg performance impact: around 60%

If you like this shader, download here: Chocapic13 V9

5. Sildur's Vibrant Lite

Sildur's set of shaders are my favourite. Like I mentioned, they're always up to date and they offer multiple packs according to system requirement. This one offers more vibrant colours, custom sky and rounded sun and moon. 

Sildur's Vibrant Lite, Avg Performance impact: around 60%

If you like this shader, download here: Download Sildur's Shaders

6. Nostalgia Shader

Definitely not the best performer of the bunch but there is something about this shader pack that appeals to me(clouds maybe?). It does offer all the good tweaks like other shaders do in the list. So you might be interested in trying it out.

Nostalgia, Avg Performance impact: around 60%

If you like this shader, download here: Nostalgia Shaders

7. BSL Shader 

Arguably the best looking shader pack for cinematic videos. Highly recommended if you have an entry level gaming PC and want to start a Minecraft YouTube channel showcasing your builds. 

BSL Shader, Avg Performance impact: around 60%

If you like this shader, download here: BSL Shaders

If you would like to see the aforementioned shaders at different locations/environments, watch the video below:

NOTE: All these shaders are tested on laptops with Minecraft Version 1.16.5, which are already the worst case scenario for running shaders. If you are using a desktop, you might not see such drastic FPS drops. Also some great shaders did not made to list because they are outdated and throwing errors. 


Post a Comment


  1. BSL works really good in low end PCs but cannot get 60 fps :(
    installing other shaders gives error (shader error or invalid program g buffers/composite) :(

    1. All the Shaders were tested with Minecraft Version 1.16.5, these were the only ones that didn't throw any errors in my case. And about the FPS, my laptop may not be a high end one but it is still very capable when it comes to Minecraft(Ryzen 5 4600H, GTX 1650), so if you can't get 60FPS then either your PC is not powerful enough or you are using really high render distance.

  2. i tried sildrus lite on my potato pc it crash but second time it worked with 59 fps but sometime i get 90 fps

    1. That FPS imparity may be caused by the direction you're looking(looking up towards sky or down towards ground bumps up the FPS) or the number entities in the loaded chunks.
      Anyways, I wouldn't call your PC potato(for Minecraft atleast) if you are getting 60FPS with shaders.