Best Pixel Art Software for 2021

If your interested in making your own pixel art or games you'll need a pixel art program to get started. We have a list of the best pixel art software for creating pixel art for graphics as well as games. 

What is a Pixel Art Editor?

A pixel art editor is special type of software used by artists to create 2D pixel also known as sprites. Once created these pixel art images can be used for several purposes such as photos for social media and 2D sprites for video games.

Check our list of pixel art software below:

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a photo editing software actively developed by Adobe for creating and enhancing images. Because of its extensive tool set, it has become a very popular pixel art editor for creating sprites as well. It comes with all the tools you need to delete, edit, add and paint pixels. It also ships with great export options and resizing tools so that you can share your pixel art and use them in video games. Since the software is subscription based, you will also get periodic updates that include new features and bug fixes. The program can be used for personal and commercial projects.

Read more about the Adobe Photoshop

Features:
  • Full Featured Pixel Art Editor for Adding, Editing, Deleting and Painting Pixels
  • Can be used for Personal and Commercial Projects
  • Tools for resizing pixel art to different scales
  • Multiple Export Formats including .JPG and .PNG
  • Large Community of Pixel Artists For Support
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS
Price: Starts at $9.99/Month

Interested in learning Photoshop? Check out our free Pixel Art Tutorials!
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Aseprite

Aseprite

Aseprite is a powerful pixel editing software developed by Igara Studio for creating pixel art and animated sprites. Like Photoshop, it also supports tools for creating and editing pixel art images. However Aseprite was designed exclusively for pixel art so it does have some features in the software you won't find anywhere else, like a built in timeline tool for creating animated sprites. Some other huge features include the ability to create repeatable tiles for games like platformers and Shading tools to help give your pixel art a 3D asthetic. Because of these features and more, Aseprite has become a very attractive pixel art software for game developers. There is a free trial that comes with all the functionality that can be downloaded from there website. If you want to save the files however there is a one time fee.

Read more about the Aseprite

Features:
  • Full Fledged Pixel Art Editor with the ability to Add, Edit, Delete and Paint pixels
  • Built in Shading and Color Palette tools for designing professional pixel art images
  • Timeline Editor for creating Sprite Animations
  • Tiling tools for creating repeatable pattern and tile sprites
  • Great export options including sprite sheets for gaming
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS
Price: Free Trial (no save), $19.99

Interested in learning how to use Aseprite? Try out our free Pixel Art Tutorials!
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Paint.NET

Paint.NET

Paint.NET is an open source image and photo editing software for PCs that run Windows. Because of its large feature set, it makes it particulary fit for pixel art design. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. Because of its open-source nature it fosters a active and growing online community that provides help, tutorials, and plugins. Best of all its free to download and use.

Read more about the Paint.NET

Features:
  • Complete Pixel Art Editor for creating, editing and painting pixel art
  • Open Source and Free to Use for Personal and Commercial Projects
  • Large Community that provide tutorials, help and plugins
Supported Platforms: Windows
Price: Free

Ready to learn how to make pixel art with Paint.NET? Check out our free Pixel Art Tutorials!
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GIMP

GIMP

GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for macOS, Windows and Linux. Because it is free and open source it has become one of the community's favorite software for making pixel art. GIMP is a great choice for pixel art creation because it includes the common tools for adding, erasing and coloring pixels. And best of all it free to use for personal and commercial projects. Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, GIMP provides you with advanced tools to get your projects done. You can also customize GIMP thanks to many customization options and 3rd party plugins.

Read more about the GIMP

Features:
  • Full Fledged Pixel Art Software with the ability to Add, Edit, Delete and Paint pixels
  • Huge feature set including instance cloning and delinking, non destructive rotation, translation, flipping, object alignment and snapping
  • 256x256x256 Build Area
  • Apple Pencil support with pressure sensitivity
  • 240 Color swatches with individual alphas
  • 24-bit RGB color with 8-bit transparency
Supported Platforms: iOS, macOS (coming soon)
Price: Free

Want to learn how to make pixel art with GIMP? View our free Pixel Art Tutorials!
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Piskel

Piskel

Piskel is a free online editor for animated sprites & pixel art. Like Aseprite, Piskel was designed for pixel art and therefore makes it easy to pickup and all the tools you encounter in the editor are related to pixel art. One of its srong points is the animation editor, with live preview and animated GIF exports. And since the editor is based online, you can save your files online and access them anywhere you have access to a browser.

Read more about Piskel

Features:
  • Full Featured Pixel Art Software for creating pixel art images
  • Store images online for access anywhere
  • Run the editor on any browser
  • Free to Use
Supported Platforms: Browser Based (macOS, Windows, Linux)
Price (Desktop): Free

Want to learn how to create voxel art using Piskel? View our free Pixel Art Tutorials!
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