Which Version Is It Anyway is your guide for dealing with the version disparity in the current modding scene. Frequent mod-breaking updates have torn the scene apart with mods opting to update for 1.7.2, while others go further to 1.7.5 or 1.7.10. Read on for the details…
If you're an avid Minecraft modder you know that awful week after a new official update comes out when all the mods are getting slowly updated and you can't play with all of your favorite mods right away. That awful week has now turned into more than a month as Mojang continues to release new versions with sweeping changes to the innerworkings of the game (hopefully in preparation for the Modding API That Was Promised). One look at the Mods forum shows you how bad it's gotten. 1.7.2, 1.7.5 or 1.7.10?! Which Version Is It Anyway?
The answer is 1.6.4. Well, it's my answer. If you, like me, simply cannot play without your favorite mods, you need to stay on 1.6.4 for maximum compatibility. While a lot of mods have updated to some form of 1.7.x, it's very hard to get a comprehensive pack working on any of the versions, and these updated mods always have the old 1.6.4 version available. In conclusion, your best option for hassle-free modding is to stay put.
However, my answer may not be yours, and you may want some of the upgrades 1.7.x provides. In that case, you'll have to fiddle around and make compromises to get a nice mod build going. I recommend 1.7.2, since that's where most of the mods seems to have settled at. There are official, semi-official, and even secret beta updates available for 1.7.2. If you look around and have time to fiddle with it, you can setup a very nice mod build on that version.
Then there's the third option, 1.7.10 aka the newest version. While not a lot of mods are available for it, you can get a barebones pack running. You may wonder why compromise with barebones packs if you could go big on an earlier version, and the answer is simple - dealing with the newest version is, in general, a smoother experience. Forge is stable enough and there are SOME mods that support it fine.
In the end, the choice is yours. I've laid out the best options in short, and it's on you to pick what is best for you. If you're a comprehensive modder, go with 1.6.4. If you want some of that sweet 1.7 goodness but still want most of your mods to work, go with 1.7.2, and if you want the latest in vanilla Minecraft, even at the expense of some of your modding setup, go with 1.7.10.
The last tip I leave you with is to not believe the thread prefix on the forums. It might say “1.7.5”, but it probably has 1.7.2 or maybe even 1.7.10 in there (lookin' at you, shader mod). For mod installation help, head to our big Mod Installation Guide (just don't forget to get the appropriate version of Forge).
That's it for this time. If this guide has not helped you, feel free to ask in the comments below. I respond to almost every comment posted and try to help as best I can.