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|This article is about the Minecraft Forge API. You may be looking for the Tinkers' Construct Tool Forge or Soul Shards Soul Forge.|
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Minecraft Forge is a modding API designed to allow almost maximum compatibility between mods. It contains hooks into the base Minecraft files that allows modders to make their mods more advanced without editing base classes.
Forge used to be based on Forge Mod Loader (FML), technically a separate mod, but distributed together with Forge. Up to and including Minecraft 1.6, Forge Mod Loader used the same mod format as Risugami's ModLoader and thus supported loading mods designed for that mod loader. This support has been dropped due to RML not being updated past Minecraft 1.6.2.
As of version 188.8.131.525 for Minecraft 1.8, Forge Mod Loader has been merged into the Minecraft Forge codebase. The main reasons for the merge were that the two mods could be developed and maintained more easily as a single project, and that it was not worth keeping FML as a separate mod due to it being rarely ever used without Forge.