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What is a Minecraft Skin?

Learn how you can change your in-game look with a Minecraft skin!

What is a “skin”? Why does everyone keep talking about it? And should we be worried?

Even though “Minecraft skin” may sound odd, all they do is change the appearance of your in-game character – in other words, how you look. Picking a skin is one of the first thing you do in Minecraft and it’s all up to you what you want to look like! Many players pick their own, custom appearances, but there’s also “default skins” such as Steve and Alex, that you can choose from. The important thing to know is that you can take the appearance of anything, really! 

A Minecraft skin is like a big pixel-painting that is wrapped around your character. It got its definitely-not-creepy name because, just like an animal skin, it's totally flat. Skins also come in different sizes. Steve's skin, for example, is mapped to the "classic" blocky character shape we all know and love, while Alex is on a "slim" model, which is basically the same, except that the arms are thinner and the shoulders slightly lower. Steve's arms are also four pixels wide, while Alex's arms are three pixels wide. It might not sound like much, but it makes a big difference visually. If you ever decide on creating your own skin, be sure to choose the arm thickness you prefer!

How to choose a Minecraft skin

If you want to play Minecraft using one of the baseline characters like Alex or Steve, then you can! If you want to craft a skin that's unique to you, then you can do that, too. Minecraft skins can show off your personality, your culture, your favorite movies, the achievements you've unlocked, and can help you identify people on a shared server. There are a few ways to equip a new skin on your character: You can buy skins, unlock them, and even collect a few from special events, like the skins released for Minecraft's first birthday in 2013! 

Changing your Minecraft skin is surprisingly easy and mostly depends on what platform you’re using, so let’s take a look at how you do it.

How to change your skin in Minecraft: Java Edition

To change a skin in Java Edition, open the Minecraft Launcher and chose “Minecraft: Java Edition” in the left-side menu. Click on the "Skins" tab at the top of the window, in between "Installations" and "Patch Notes". From here, you can either pick one of the nine different default skins, or import a skin. To do the latter, click on "New Skin". 

To import a skin, you need a flat “unwrapped” .png image of the skin you’d like to use. It might look a bit weird, but if aligned properly, the game will be able to turn it into a person-shaped skin. When you've found or made a skin you’d like to use, download it to your PC.

Give your skin a name, the pick either Classic/Wide or Slim in the menu. Select whichever one you saved your .png skin as, then click "browse". Find the skin you downloaded, click upload... and voila! You can now select "save and use" to have this skin appear on your character in-game. 

Creating a skin from scratch requires an image editor, and there are many resources out there that provide you with those tools, often allowing you to paint directly onto a model to get exactly the look you want. The same resources also often offer free, player-made skins for you to download.

How to change your skin in Minecraft: Bedrock Edition

When changing your character’s appearance in Bedrock Edition, start by selecting “Dressing Room" on the start screen, then “Create Character”. From here you’ll get two options: “Character” and “Classic Skin”.

In “Character” you build your skin item by item. It’s also here you’ll find the nine different default skins that are available to you. Pick one to use as your base model. You can now customize your character with hairstyles, eye colours, beards, wings, ears, tails, and more, as well as being able to buy or download new outfits or items from the Marketplace. You can also get a lot of these custom items by completing achievements in the game, so you might already have some unlocked! When you're ready to save your character, just back out of the Character Creator and that skin will appear in your Dressing Room.

You have a total of five character slots in Bedrock Edition, which gives you the ability to pick and choose from more than one. 

The Minecraft Marketplace has many free skins – and skins you can buy, too. Visit the Marketplace from the start screen. From there, find a skin that appeals to you and download it, and it'll be added to your wardrobe!

So there you have it! Everything you need to know about Minecraft skins. Hopefully, you now have the knowledge and confidence to go and find or make your own Minecraft skin. Want to show off your gorgeous creations, or maybe find inspiration? Pay a visit to our Discord server, or check out our Monthly Skins series here on!

Good luck with finding the perfect look for you!

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