Best Tools to Create Pixel Art for 2021

Do you want to start making your own pixel art? If you want to begin creating your own pixel perfect artwork you'll need the right pixel art tools to get started. We have a list of the best pixel art tools for creating pixel art for graphics as well as games. 

What Pixel Art Tools are available?

A pixel art tool is specific type of program or software used to help digital artists create 2D pixel art commonly known as sprites. These tools can be used for different tasks such as creating pixel art and exporting it to the right scale for various projects.

Check out our list of pixel art tools below:

Piskel

Piskel

Piskel is a free online tool for creating animated sprites & pixel art. Like other pixel programs, Piskel was designed specifically for drawing pixel art. Because of this it's super easy to pickup and all the tools you run into only have to do with pixel art. One of the most helpful tools you'll run into is the animation editor, with live preview and animated GIF exports. Most other softwares don't have this, so that is definitely a plus. And since the editor is online, you can save your files to the web and access them anywhere you have access to a browser.
Supported Platforms: Browser Based (macOS, Windows, Linux)
Price (Desktop): Free
Get Piskel: Download Piskel

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

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a photo editing software by Adobe that has become a favorite amongst digital artists for creating pixel art. Because of its extensive tool set, it has become a very popular pixel art editor for making sprites and exporting them to game engines. It comes with all the common tools you would expect form making pixel art including the tools to delete, edit, add and paint pixels. It also ships with virtually every export option including JPG and PNG and offers resizing tools so that you can use your pixel art in video games. Because the software is a subscription, you will automatically get free updates that include new tools and bug fixes.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS
Price: Starts at $9.99/Month
Get Photoshop: Download Adobe Photoshop

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

Aseprite

Aseprite is a dedicated pixel editing software developed by Igara Studio for making pixel art images and animated sprites. It supports a variety of tools for creating and editing pixel art images. Aseprite does have some tools you won't find anywhere else like a built in timeline tool for creating animated sprites and onion skinning. Some other helpful tools include functionality to create repeating tiles for platformer games. It also comes with a unique shading tool to help give your pixel art a 3D look and feel. Because of these tools, Aseprite has become a very attractive pixel art software for artists and developers alike.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS
Price: Free Trial (no save), $19.99
Get Aseprite: Download Aseprite

Interested in learning how to use Aseprite? Try out our free Pixel Art Tutorials!
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Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor actively developed by Adobe for macOS, Windows and Linux. Even though this software was originally designed to make vector art graphics, Illustrator has started to be used more and more to create pixel art. Specifically, pixel artists love the ability to scale pixel art up and down with out loosing the sharp edges. Once artists make their pixel art they can take advantage of the tons of tools Illustrator comes pre-built with. Illustrator is also video game friendly with  multiple export formats to meet the needs for a variety of projects.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS
Price: Starts at $9.99/month
Get Illustrator: Download Adobe Illustrator

Want to learn how to make pixel art with Illustrator? View our free Illustrator Pixel Art Tutorials!
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Pro Motion

Pro Motion

Pro Motion is a pixel drawing and animation tool created by Cosmigo for drawing pixel art images. Like some of the other tools we mentioned, Pro Motion was created only for pixel art so all the tools and features are related to pixel art. This makes it much simpler for  artists and developers who don't want to deal with tools that don't help create pixel art. Having said that, Pro Motion does comes with some amazing tools including animation layers, tile map engine and tile drawing tools.
Supported Platforms: Windows
Price: Free (Limited Features), $39.00 (Full Features)
Get Pro Motion: Download Pro Motion

Ready to learn how to create pixel art with Pro Motion? Check out our free Pixel Art Tutorials!
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Krita

Krita

Krita is an open source painting program by the Krita Foundation. Similar to other photo editors, Krita also ships with a wide selection of tools. Because of this Krita has become a notable option for making and exporting pixel art sprites. In addition to the common tools you would expect, Krita also comes with the tools to animate pixel art sprites making it a suitable choice for artists who need to export their art to a game engine like Game Maker or Unity. Best of all, Krita is an open source software which means bug fixes and feature requests are added in regularly.
Supported Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
Price: Free
Get Krita: Download Krita

Want to learn how to create pixel art using Krita? View our free Pixel Art Tutorials!
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Pixilart

Pixilart

Pixilart is an open source painting program by the Krita Foundation. Similar to other photo editors, Krita also ships with a wide selection of tools. Because of this Krita has become a notable option for making and exporting pixel art sprites. In addition to the common tools you would expect, Krita also comes with the tools to animate pixel art sprites making it a suitable choice for artists who need to export their art to a game engine like Game Maker or Unity. Best of all, Krita is an open source software which means bug fixes and feature requests are added in regularly.
Supported Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux
Price: Free
Get Krita: Download Krita

Want to learn how to create pixel art using Krita? View our free Pixel Art Tutorials!
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GIMP

GIMP

GIMP is a cross-platform image editing software for macOS, Windows and Linux. Since it is free it has become one of the community's favorite software for making pixel art. GIMP is a good option for creating pixel art because it includes the necessary 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 so you can complete any pixel art project. 
Supported Platforms: iOS, macOS (coming soon)
Price: Free
Get GIMP: Download GIMP

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

Paint.NET

Paint.NET is another open source image and photo editing software for PCs that run on the Windows operating system. Paint.NET has a ton of tools that come with the software out of the box, making it a great option 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.
Supported Platforms: Windows
Price: Free
Get Paint.NET: Download Paint.NET

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