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I am trying to determine whether I can use (server-side) mods on Realms for Minecraft Java Edition, and have found several conflicting opinions. For example, this article from Beebom says I can:

While Bedrock realms are only limited to the add-ons that the Minecraft developers provide, you are free to fully mod Minecraft Realms in the Java edition.

But the official Realms FAQ says not, although the wording is not entirely clear, and appears to be partially discussing Realms for Bedrock:

The Realms: Java Edition has support for a growing number of minigames and custom maps made by the community. Realms servers on mobile, console, and Windows 10 (and above) support Add-Ons and Marketplace maps, textures, and skins, however, full modding support is not available.

And this article from Apex hosting services doesn't really seem to answer the question I'm asking (and anyway they have good reason to advertise their own product).

Can anyone give me a definitive answer on this before I purchase a Realms subscriptions?

Edit: I went ahead and subscribed to Apex Hosting, because it gives you more control over the server; but an answer to the above may still help other gamers.

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  • Folks, if you're just going to edit my question without providing anything useful, don't bother. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 11:27

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This might open a can of worms, but here is the TLDR:

NO, you can not add mods to a realm!

Now, what do I mean by the can of worms? Well, because the term "mod" is somewhat disputed in the minecraft community. So let me be clear on what I mean when I say you cannot use mods:

  • You can use anything that you could use in a default/vanilla installation of the game in singleplayer in the latest release version. That includes things like commandblocks and the server side datapacks (as well as add-ons for Bedrock). The exception to this is things that are considered "experimental" or in beta, so for example upcoming features from snapshots or at the time of writing custom world generation through datapacks.
  • You cannot use anything that would require you use a non-vanilla server file such as plugins through spigot/paper/etc or mods through forge/fabric/etc.

Resource packs and other client side only modifications (like optifine) can be used on realms no problem, but they are on the user side, not the server side.

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