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Minecraft Skins — Customize your Java Edition avatar

Choose between some creative, ready-made skins - or make your own!

Updated: Apr 27, 2022 3:39 pm
Minecraft Skins — Customize your Java Edition avatar

If you’re looking to separate yourself from every other Tom, Dick and, well, Steve in Minecraft, then look no further. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about custom Minecraft skins.

Thanks to Minecraft skin editors, it’s never been easier to make your own Minecraft Skin. However, this guide only applies to Java Edition – the PC-exclusive version of Minecraft. If you’re playing Bedrock, be it on PC, console or an android or iOS mobile device, then you’ll need our guide to Minecraft Bedrock skin customization. The difference with Java Edition is that your skin is simply a .png image, so you can practically put anything you like onto a skin template.

Minecraft Skindex Chewbacca
Chewbacca skin by Melviniscool on Skindex

Download a Minecraft skin

The easiest way to get a custom skin on Minecraft is by simply downloading one of the thousands of ready-made Minecraft skin files available online. As always, make sure you’re downloading from a trusted source, so you don’t end up with any nasties on your precious gaming PC. This is the best method if you’re perhaps looking for a specific character or style, such as a superhero or an emo look, as many before you will have created them already. Below, you’ll find a bit more information about two of the most well-known and trusted skin resources out there.

Download from Skindex

Skindex is by far the most well-known and utilized Minecraft skin library the internet has to offer. However, this one comes with a warning. It does appear that there is a copycat, and we’re not sure how trustworthy it is, so make sure you are visiting minecraftskins.com and not “skindex.pro”. It could be fine, and it might even be the same people behind it, but as we’re not sure, we don’t want to encourage you to download anything from the wrong one. Another way to tell you’re on the right one is that you should be able to login/sign up on the original Skindex, and the Editor and Skin Grabber tabs will be live and you will be able to click on them.

Anyway, once you’ve made sure you’re on the correct site, Skindex will give you countless skins to choose from, all uploaded by the community. Use the search function at the top to narrow down your choices, or simply browse the Top or Latest sections to see what’s hot right now.

Minecraft skins Skindex Top
A selection of “Top” skins on Skindex

Choose from Planet Minecraft

You might have already heard of Planet Minecraft, too, as they are the go-to site for downloadable maps, texture packs and more. However, what you might not know is that Planet Minecraft also has their own library of downloadable Minecraft skins, just like Skindex. Simply hit the Player Skins tab to see what’s new, recently updated, or top rated.

Minecraft Skins Planet Minecraft Player Skins
Some of the “Trending” skins on Planet Minecraft

Our top 5 Minecraft Skindex picks

While there are thousands upon thousands of skins to choose from, including anything from Star Wars to Shrek, Masterchief to Mario, we’ve (somehow) whittled them down to our five top picks. Sort of. There’s a few other notable mentions in there too. It was hard to choose, OK?

Damaged Iron Man

You can’t go wrong with a classic Marvel superhero skin, living out your wildest childhood fantasies – especially once you’ve got that Elytra and can start flying around the map. Pretty much any Marvel or DC superhero you can think of will have been created on Skindex or Planet Minecraft. And somehow that Thor one in the above screenshot is even quite hot. No, just me? *red-faced*

Anyway, we love this Iron Man/Tony Stark skin from Skindex, made by FrozenFire5. They’ve utilized the multiple layers to make his broken suit stand out, as Tony’s face peeks out from inside the 3D helmet.

Minecraft Skindex skins Iron Man Damaged

Minecraft Dream skin

One of the most-popular Minecraft Youtubers of all time, and creator of DreamSMP, Dream is a much-wanted Minecraft skin as fans wish to resemble their favorite content creator. Dream is also a frequently-made skin, as well, with hundreds of Dream Team variations to choose from. We love different-colored Dreams, Dream’s Girlfriend, and particularly this incredibly clever skin by TheGoofyCoconut featuring the the Dream Team’s Dream, George, Sapnap, BadBoyHalo, Quackity and Ranboo all in one. However, we’ve chosen to show you this simple-yet-effective variant of Dream’s original skin, made by MoyiStudios.

Minecraft Skindex skins Dream

Axolotl mob skin

Another hot search term for Minecraft skins is “Axolotl”, possibly because it’s quite hard to do well on account of an axolotl’s external gills. However, we like Y0urpal’s adorable, pastel-colored Axolotl Onesie skin, complete with 2D gills on the side of the hood, and a cleverly-designed tail on the back. I really want this onesie irl, if anyone can hook me up…

Minecraft Skindex Axolotl skin

Minecraft Zombie skin

Even when it’s not Halloween, we still love a spoopy skin. And, with Zombies being a year-round Minecraft mob anyway, there’s plenty of room for adopting the terrifying look of the undead and scaring your server friends silly. We were tempted to go with one of mochhi’s amazingly-detailed Zombie and Herobrine skins, but we’ve rounded our selection out with another of their skins, instead. We also love this brilliantly executed What If?-inspired Zombie Captain America, as well as this crazy rainbow-effect Zombie, but we’ve kept it simple with this cute and cosy Zombie in a hoodie by indigulu.

Minecraft Skindex Skins Zombie

Adventurer Steve

Finally, we just had had to include this gorgeous version of the OG, Steve. Mochhi’s Adventurer Steve is hugely detailed, and it’s muted colors just add to its rugged, dishevelled adventurer look. Of course, there are loads of variations of Steve, Alex and other Minecraft characters and mobs, but this one just really stood out.

Minecraft Skindex Skins Adventurer Steve

Create your own Minecraft skin

If you’re looking for something even more unique, though, perhaps based on your own look, style or hair color, then you can make your own Minecraft skin from scratch. Skindex and Planet Minecraft are great for this, too, as they each have their own Minecraft Skin Editors. This means that, pixel by pixel, you can color and create your very own, completely unique Minecraft skin. If you need a little help, you can even edit an existing skin, perfect for when you just can’t get that hair or skin color quite right.

Firstly, it’s worth knowing that there are two sizes of Minecraft skin. Essentially, this is Steve and Alex, known as Classic and Slim, respectively. The classic model is one pixel wider on each arm, so you’ll need to choose before you start editing.

There are two layers in a Java Edition Minecraft skin, which is how some of our top picks above are given that extra depth – take Tony Stark’s damaged armor, for example. Use this to your advantage by giving your custom skin texturized hair or jewelry, or make a pair of boots stand out from your avatar’s legs. Bear in mind that any blocks that are not filled in are invisible on the final skin, which you can use on both the top layer or the main base.

Don’t forget to fill in any sneaky areas, such as inside your arms and legs, or under your head. You can access these by de-selecting body parts. If you forget these areas, you might find they look a little weird when moving around in-game.

Minecraft Skin Editor Skindex
The inside of the arms, head and legs are visible when de-selecting the central body part

Another really important tool on Skindex is the Darken and Lighten color buttons. Once you’ve found the perfect colour for your hair, skin or clothes, you can add shading by darkening or lightening the color by just one shade at a time.

WePC’s custom Minecraft skin attempt

This is my skin, made long ago on Skindex. Even better, I’ve made myself a “naked” version as well, i.e. just the face, hair and skin, so that I can easily make new outfits as when I need them… like for that time I went to an in-game wedding on a multiplayer server and needed a little black dress. As you can see, though, I haven’t nailed the texturized skin color yet, with just a very slight shadow on the inside arms.

Minecraft Skins Skindex Editor SteeleRose Red
Danielle’s Minecraft skin, from back when she had pink hair in real life, too.

How to download and install your Minecraft skin

Once you’ve chosen a ready-made skin or got your own just right, then download the .png file. Again, make sure you’ve selected the right size first – either Classic (4px) or Slim (3px) – as this will make a difference to the downloaded file.

From there, open the Minecraft Launcher and click on the Skins Tab in the top menu. You’ll see your Alex and Steve skins in your skin library, and this is where any uploaded skins will be available. To upload your new skin:

  • Click Add Skin
  • Name your skin anything you want
  • Select the correct player model size; Classic or Slim
  • Click “Browse” under Skin File, and locate your downloaded .png file
  • Hit “Save”, or “Save and Use” if you want to start using your skin right away
Minecraft Skin library

You might also notice that there is a Cape option here, too. This is where you can choose from any Capes you may have received from Mojang Studios, as they are given out for attending events or during special campaigns. You might have the Migrator Cape given out to players who migrated their Minecraft login from a Mojang account to Microsoft, or one of the Minecraft Live skins for attending the annual event.

Minecraft skin cape

And there you have it! You’ve got all the tools needed to dress up your Java Edition Minecraft avatar any way you wish. Let us know in the comments if you’ve come across any particularly amazing skins you want to shout out or if you’ve made one you’re super proud of. We’re all pretty sure you’ll do a better job than I did…

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