Minecraft skins: how to add a new skin

Minecraft skins - Alex hangs with golems, villagers, and cats
(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)

Have you ever wanted to change up your Minecraft skins? While the default looks of Steve and Alex are fine, sometimes you want something new and unusual to better express yourself. 

The wonderful world of Minecraft is packed with creative opportunity. While you can craft yourself the castle of your dreams brick by brick – or diamond block by diamond block, if you want to flex – there are plenty of other avenues for expression too. You can customize your experience with a massive variety of Minecraft mods or you can start to explore the near endless variety of skins available to every player. The game has made it a lot easier for anybody to make skins now, since they use a simple PNG format sheet, so the barrier to entry is much lower nowadays.

Do you want to try on your favorite anime character? Or maybe you'd rather prank someone looking like a skeleton or creeper? I'm a big fan of sweet-looking wizards personally, but first you'll need to know how to add Minecraft skins. Here’s everything you need to get your head around to start dressing up however you want

Minecraft skins: how to change your skin

Minecraft Skins: How to change your skin in Java edition

Minecraft skins - A mysterious wizard hangs out with turtles on the beach

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)

 Minecraft Java edition is the most common version of the game, since it's what you'll usually play on both PC and Mac. It's also the most feature rich edition compared to Bedrock, and has the simplest process for swapping your skin out. Minecraft skins are available from many websites (like Skindex) in PNG format, or you can even make your own by hand in image editing software – the sky's the limit.

Here's how to start using them on Java Edition:

  • Open up the Minecraft Launcher and make sure Java Edition is selected.

Minecraft skins - the skins menu

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)
  • Select the Skins tab at the top.

Microsoft skins - skins menus

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)
  • From here you can choose classic or slim, enable or disable cloak, name the skin. 
  • Next, click Browse, and choose the PNG skin file you want to use.
  • When you're done, you can click Save or Save and Use if you want to use it right away.

Minecraft Skins: How to change your skin in Bedrock edition

With Minecraft's Bedrock Edition – which is the version you'll find on consoles and mobile – the process is a bit more complex, but you should be able to manage it. It also has the benefit of a character skin creator when you run it on your PC, which can be handy if you just want to whip a custom look up quickly.

Here's the details:

  • Open up the Minecraft Launcher and launch Bedrock Edition.

Minecraft skins - Bedrock edition main menu

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)
  • Click Dressing Room in the bottom right.

Minecraft skins - bedrock dressing room menu

(Image credit: Mojang/Microsoft)
  • From here you can click Edit Character or use the arrows to navigate to an empty slot and create a new character skin
  • You can also click the Classic Skins button on the left, which will allow you to buy skins others have created, or upload your own skin using the Choose New Skin button.

Now that you've got fancy new duds, it's time to take them for a spin. I like to sneak up on a friend in multiplayer and surprise them with the fancy new me, or maybe just build a new themed house for the new me – but like most things Minecraft, it's all up to you and your personal brand of creativity!

Philip Palmer
Senior Writer

Phil is a Senior Writer of TechRadar Gaming (TRG). With three previous years of experience writing freelance for PC Gamer, he's covered every genre imaginable. For 15 years he's done technical writing and IT documentation, and more recently traditional gaming content. He has a passion for the appeal of diversity, and the way different genres can be sandboxes for creativity and emergent storytelling. With thousands of hours in League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft, and countless survival, strategy, and RPG entries, he still finds time for offline hobbies in tabletop RPGs, wargaming, miniatures painting, and hockey.