What Are Mods in Video Games? – MakeUseOf

“Mods” is short for modifications, but what exactly are mods when it comes to gaming, and aren’t they just another form of DLC?

A person playing Minecraft on PC

Mods are an important part of gaming, allowing players to contribute to games they love. At the best of times, with mods, you get a near-endless supply of content in almost any area you can think of.

So, what exactly are mods? Let’s find out.

Mods in Video Games

A “mod”—short for “modification”—is new in-game content that players create as opposed to the developers. You’ll find mods predominantly in PC games, though a few sneak into console games here and there—Skyrim, for example—and mainly in role-playing games (RPGs).

As the name suggests, players create mods by modifying existing in-game content. This isn’t as limiting as it sounds: mods can range from quality-of-life fixes to whole new areas, animations, gameplay systems, improved graphics, and much, much more. The scope of mods is essentially limited to any idea you or any other players might have.

The quality of mods can vary as anyone with the know-how can make and share one. But, if you’re making a mod for a game because you like it so much and want to contribute to it, that’s not a bad thing. And mods are a great way for aspiring developers to hone their skills whilst creating a portfolio.


So, not only can mods fix problems in a game, but they can add also add an unlimited amount of content to it. And almost always for free. Incredible.

Related: How to Download and Install Minecraft Mods

But Aren’t Mods Just DLC?

You might be reading this and thinking “ah, so mods are basically just DLC”. Technically, you’re right—you download and install mods, which can add new content to your game.

However, when people talk about DLC in video games, they’re usually talking about original, official content that comes from the video game developer, publisher, or an affiliate. Mods are player-created and aren’t official additions to a game, regardless of their scope or attention to detail.

Enjoy Both Mods and DLC in Your Game

So, that’s what mods are. Passionate player-made additions to a game that can add virtually anything the modder wants.

Though it’s similar to DLC, mods are their own thing, and you should celebrate them as such. So, the next time you’re PC gaming and feel like your game could use a little something, perhaps take a look at mods and DLC alike.

a person gaming with a white PS4 controller
What Is a Gameplay Loop in Gaming?

Gameplay loops define most of your hands-on gaming experience, though you mightn’t realize. Let’s explain this design mechanic.

Read Next

About The Author


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.