Update - 10/12/2021
I have recently regained access to my CurseForge account, and the latest downloads for Minecraft 1.16 & 1.17 have been added to this page. Hopefully, in the future, this should not happen again.
Frame rate comparison between vanilla Minecraft and Sodium 0.1 (initial release) at a render distance of 32 chunks. Additional performance improvements have been made since release. You can find a world download with this exact scene here for your own comparison against this reference. Mileage may vary depending on how powerful your hardware is.
Sodium is a free and open-source rendering engine replacement for the Minecraft client that greatly improves frame rates, reduces micro-stutter, and fixes graphical issues in Minecraft. It boasts wide compatibility with the Fabric mod ecosystem when compared to other mods and doesn't compromise on how the game looks, giving you that authentic block game feel.
If you're coming from OptiFine, you can generally expect a significant improvement to performance over it, especially when combined with our other optimization mods. The Fabric community has also built many alternative mods which implement popular features from OptiFine, such as "Connected Textures".
Curious what you can expect? You can find some comparisons for all kinds of different hardware below. (Though these are now mostly out-of-date, as they show the older initial release of Sodium. Many improvements have been made since.)
- Intel i5-7200U @ 2.5GHz / Intel HD 620 (37 -> 69 fps)
- Intel i7-3770 @ 4.0GHz / GTX 970 (user-submitted) (27 -> 152 fps)
- Intel i3-6100 / GTX 750 Ti (user-submitted) (10 -> 102 fps)
- Intel i7-8700K @ 5.0GHz / RTX 2080 Ti (user-submitted) (87 -> 368 fps)
- AMD Ryzen 5 2600 / RX 580 (user-submitted) (133 -> 586 fps)
- Raspberry Pi 4B / 4GB Variant (user-submitted) (17 -> 36 fps)
- AMD Athlon X2 QL-45 / ATI Radeon 4530 (user-submitted) (18 -> 49 fps)
Note: Sodium is mostly stable at this point, but it does not yet contain support for the Fabric Rendering API, which a small number of mods currently use. If you try to use these mods with Sodium, your game may crash or behave unexpectedly.
- A modern OpenGL rendering pipeline for chunk rendering that takes advantage of multi-draw techniques, allowing for a significant reduction in CPU overhead (~90%) when rendering the world. This can make a huge difference to frame rates for most computers that are not bottle-necked by the GPU or other components. Even if your GPU can't keep up, you'll experience much more stable frame times thanks to the CPU being able to work on other rendering tasks while it waits.
- Vertex data for rendered chunks is made much more compact, allowing for video memory and bandwidth requirements to be cut by almost 40%.
- Nearby block updates now take advantage of multi-threading, greatly reducing lag spikes caused by chunks needing to be updated. (before, after)
- Chunk faces which are not visible (or facing away from the camera) are culled very early in the rendering process, eliminating a ton of geometry that would have to be processed on the GPU only to be immediately discarded. For integrated GPUs, this can greatly reduce memory bandwidth requirements and provide a modest speedup even when GPU-bound.
- Plentiful optimizations for chunk loading and block rendering, making chunk loading significantly faster and less damaging to frame rates. (before, after)
- Many optimizations for vertex building and matrix transformations, speeding up block entity, mob, and item rendering significantly for when you get carried away placing too many chests in one room.
- Many improvements to how the game manages memory and allocates objects, which in turn reduces memory consumption and lag spikes caused by garbage collector activity.
- Many graphical fixes for smooth lighting effects, making the game run better while still applying a healthy amount of optimization. For example, take this before and after of a white concrete room in vanilla, or this comparison while underwater.
- Smooth lighting for fluids and other special blocks. (comparison)
- Smooth biome blending for blocks and fluids, providing greatly improved graphical quality that is significantly less computationally intensive. (comparison)
- Animated textures which are not visible in the world are not updated, speeding up texture updating on most hardware (especially AMD cards.)
... and much more, this list is still being written after the initial release.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have a FAQ page on our Wiki with some of the most commonly asked questions.
Make sure you have the latest version of Fabric Loader installed. Afterwards, all you need to do is simply drop the mod into your mods folder. No other mods (not even the Fabric API!) are required in order to use Sodium. You do not need to create new worlds in order to take advantage of the mod.
Sodium replaces the video settings screen with a new and improved user interface that contains all the bells and whistles for configuring Sodium. Out of the box, Sodium will enable all optimizations which are supported on your system. There is no need to change any settings in the "Advanced" section unless you are experiencing problems as the best options are already selected.
This is a free and open-source project on CurseForge, and as such-- of course you can include it in your modpack! While not required, it's much appreciated if you link back to Sodium's project page in your mods list or credits page.
Please use the issue tracker linked at the top of the page to report bugs, crashes, and other issues. The Curseforge comments section is not the place to report these kinds of problems and will likely result in you being asked to forward it along.