Search StreamScheme


Stream Scheme

How to Make Discord Emotes

calendar1 Last Updated

Custom emoji on your Discord channel will help you and your community bond through shared interests and memes. Whether you personally design unique images in photoshop or hire a freelancer to create custom Discord emojis for you, you will be able to make your own Discord server a unique place to hang out.

Your own custom emojis can be used by your Discord account regardless if you are using the mobile app or accessing your server on a desktop. Once you upload them, you can select server settings to determine how they are used in each channel.

This simple guide will teach you how to make Discord emotes to impress your friends and followers with a brand new range of custom discord emojis. Whether you make your own or hire an artist, you will be able to fill your Discord server with unique characters.

Discord Emote Size 

Your Discord emotes will be resized to 32×32, though you can upload a larger image. It is recommended that you create an emote at 128 by 128 for the best results. For best results, use thicker lines around the emote to help it stand out. Try to use a GIF, JPG, or a PNG as your emoji file type.

If you want to make the image background transparent, you can import it into Adobe Photoshop and use the lasso tool or the magic wand tool on the left sidebar to remove it. Alternatively, you can use an online tool like remove.bg to create a transparent background on both a static Discord emoji and animated emotes.

How to Make a Discord Emote in Five Steps

There are only a few steps you need when learning how to make Discord emotes. From a starting point of coming up with a good concept for your custom Discord emotes to uploading the images to your Discord server, after reading this post, we hope you are inspired to add custom emojis to all your projects on the platform.

  1. Step 1: Come Up with a Concept

    Design a concept for your custom Discord emoji based on your branding, game, or your server’s community. Talk to your friends or Discord community to brainstorm ideas on how to improve the overall design. They may be able to input an idea that elevates the emote. 

  2. Step 2: Draw, Design, or Take Photos of Expressions

    Whether or not you will design your custom emoji or will have an artist design custom emotes in the future, roughly sketch it out in 3-4 different ways to solidify any important details in your mind. If you are basing the emote off of yourself or off of a specific expression, take selfies of yourself to use as a reference point.

    When creating animated emoji, it is easiest to take a video and edit it. Unless you are an artist or are happy to pay one to design an animated emoji for you, it can be a bit tricky to come up with something unique.

  3. Step 3: Choose a Digital Design Platform

    Skip ahead if you are planning to have your emotes designed professionally. If you want to design them yourself, you can look at the following options:

    • Gimp – Gimp is a free image editor with design capabilities. Many people have used it to create basic graphics for an assortment of projects. If you are just getting started there are many online tutorials to point you in the right direction.
    • Adobe Photoshop – the Adobe Suite has been known for decades as the software that professionals use to create and design graphics. If you want to take design seriously and push your creativity to the limit, look into it. 
    • MS Paint – MS Paint (Microsoft Paint) is standard software that has been a part of Microsoft software from the beginning. If you want a basic program to get your feet wet in design, try this one

    If you are better at drawing with a pen and paper than working with a mouse or with design tools, get a graphics tablet to create your Discord emoji. These allow you to draw in a much more organic way similar to how you would draw on a sketch pad. Many artists who struggle with digital design have used these tools to help bridge the gap. 

    While you will still need to understand some digital design elements, these are far easier to learn in the long run when you are using a product you enjoy. 

    • VEIKK A15 Graphics Drawing Tablet – this tablet has a large work area but stays thin so that you can easily pack it with you when you are on the go. It has 12 express keys that you can customize depending on the functions you use and rely upon the most. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems.
    • XP-Pen StarG640 – this tablet will be ready to go the instant you plug it in. It is the perfect product for people who are just getting started with design or have a very limited workspace. There are two buttons on the side of the pen that replace the left/right mouse keys and you can actually do more than just draw with it. In fact, some people have used it for gameplay. 
    • UGEE M708 Graphics Tablet – this tablet has a 10×6 inch surface and offers a perfect creation experience with no lag. It comes with 8 customizable express keys that you can set up as quick hotkeys on the features you use the most. The texture on the tablet makes it feel as though you are writing with a pen and paper and the harder you press with the pen, the thicker each line will be. 

    Although these tablets take a little practice to get used to, many artists have found that they can quickly create a project while using tools that make them feel more comfortable. Make sure to save your progress frequently so that you don’t accidentally lose it.

  4. Step 4: Export to PNG or JPG

    Once you have finished creating your emote, you will need to export it as a PNG or JPG. You can create an emote at up to 128 by 128 pixels but it will be resized to 32 by 32 pixels. 

  5. Step 5: Upload the Emote to Discord 

    At that point, you can upload custom emoji to your Discord server. After you open Discord, you can follow our step-by-step guide on how to add emotes to Discord. Make sure to choose clever emoji names as many of your Discord members will use them in their day-to-day activities.

How to Make Animated Discord Emotes

If you have Discord Nitro, you will be able to upload animated emojis and avatars. You will need to create the emoji in a program that allows you to export in gif format. You would upload them in the same way to Discord as you would a normal emote. 

Emote Examples

For inspiration, visit different Discord servers and look at their custom emoji examples. While you shouldn’t steal someone else’s artwork, you may be able to get some ideas on what you should create surrounding your community’s culture. 

You can also look at other platforms for inspiration. Look at the top Twitch emotes to see what people enjoy using. Use these same concepts when designing your own emoji. Twitch emotes have made their stamp on the gaming community, many of whom use Discord. While you can’t (and shouldn’t) use their emotes in your own Discord server, you can be inspired by them.

You should also know that if you are a streamer, you can adjust your server settings after linking it to Twitch so that your subs can use your custom Twitch emotes for your channel in your Discord server. This is a great perk for those who want to support you.

Where to Buy Discord Emotes

In the market for buying emotes? You can commission someone to custom design exactly what you want or use a Discord emoji maker. Here are a few places you can look:

  1. OWN3D

    If you want some professionally designed emotes in a variety of styles, check out what the designers at OWN3D.tv have created. While these have been created as Twitch sub emotes, you can easily repurpose them for your Discord server, and purchasing them as a bundle allows you to get several at a good price per emote.

  2. Fiverr

    If you want custom-designed emotes on the cheap, check out Fiverr. Once you find an artist who appeals to you, reach out to them and let them know what you want. 

  3. Artists

    Look for artists online in Facebook groups, the Twitch creative section, or in creative Discord servers. 

How to Write an Emote Brief for an Artist

  1. Step 1

    Introduce yourself and link to any of your existing branding. Alternatively, you can explain the overall culture of your Discord server and what your community may expect.

  2. Step 2

    Describe the custom Discord emoji you want to have designed giving as much detail as possible.

  3. Step 3

    Attach examples of 3-5 custom emojis you like the look of and explain why they appeal to you. You can also share some old custom emotes with them so that they can have a good understanding of what you want.

  4. Step 4

    Ask for a quote for the image cost and determine if any revisions are included. 

How to Choose an Emote Artist

The best way to pick an Artist is to browse platforms and review the previous work of top-rated artists to find a style that appeals to you. Alternatively, you can post looking for an emote designer in facebook streaming groups or Reddit’s Twitch subthreads.  

About the Author


Luci is a novelist, freelance writer, and active blogger. A journalist at heart, she loves nothing more than interviewing the outliers of the gaming community who are blazing a trail with entertaining original content. When she’s not penning an article, coffee in hand, she can be found gearing her shieldmaiden or playing with her son at the beach.

Back to top