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Pixel Art Software List

This is a list to help you decide what software to use for creating pixel art. It currently contains all the most popular desktop applications. If something is wrong or missing, let us know in the lospec subreddit.

Lospec Pixel Editor

Lospec Pixel Editor Screenshot

A basic web-based editor made to be simple and intuitive. Can use any palette from our Palette List.

Complexity: Beginner

Price: Free

Platforms: Web

https://lospec.com/pixel-editor

Aseprite

Aseprite Screenshot

A popular actively developed editor. Has a pixel art interface.

Features: Layers, animation, custom brushes

Complexity: Intermediate

Price: $15, Free limited trial

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac

https://www.aseprite.org/

PyxelEdit

PyxelEdit Screenshot

A smaller pixel art program most focused on tile editing.

Features: Layers, animation, tiles

Complexity: Intermediate

Price: $10, Free older version

Platforms: Windows, Mac

http://pyxeledit.com/

Graphics Gale

Graphics Gale Screenshot

A japanese pixel art tool created in 2005 but still being updated. Recently made freeware. Excels at animation with features such as onion skinning.

Features: Layers, animation

Complexity: Advanced

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows

https://graphicsgale.com/us/

Photoshop

Photoshop Screenshot

A big multi-purpose image editing app, which if tweaked to the right settings can easily be used for pixel art. Some features like animation can be tricky to use, but the flexibility of the program allows you to mimic advanced tools such as index painting and palette manipulation.

Features: Layers, animation, custom brushes

Complexity: Advanced

Price: $10/month, Free 30-day trial

Platforms: Windows, Mac

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.html

Pro Motion

Pro Motion Screenshot

Professional tool inspired by Amiga Deluxe Paint (DPaint). Has a detached window interface.

Features: Layers, animation, tiles, palette manipulation

Complexity: Advanced

Price: $39, Free limited trial

Platforms: Windows

https://www.cosmigo.com/

Paint.NET

Paint.NET Screenshot

A free image editing program for windows, originally intended as a replacement for MSPaint.

Features: Layers, animation, custom brushes

Complexity: Intermediate

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows

https://www.getpaint.net/

MSPaint

MSPaint Screenshot

A simple painting program included on Windows XP. Later versions of the program do not support pixel art.

Complexity: Beginner

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows

https://archive.org/details/MSPaintWinXP

GrafX2

GrafX2 Screenshot

Originally created for DOS and has since been ported to Windows. Inspired by Amiga programs Deluxe Paint and Brilliance. Has some tools no other program does, but has an antiquated interface.

Features: Palette manipulation, custom brushes, layers, animation

Complexity: Advanced

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, Android

http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2

Gimp

Gimp Screenshot

A multi-purpose image editor, designed to be a free replacement for photoshop. Can be configured to use for pixel art. Uses a floating window interface.

Features: Layers, custom brushes

Complexity: Advanced

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac

https://www.gimp.org/

Krita

Krita Screenshot

A free, open source program that's been in development since 1999. It is intended for digital painting but can be set up for pixel art.

Features: Layers, animation

Complexity: Advanced

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac

https://krita.org/en/

Piskel

Piskel Screenshot

An online open source pixel art editor with a user gallery.

Features: Layers, animation

Complexity: Intermediate

Price: Free

Platforms: Web, Windows, Linux, Mac

https://www.piskelapp.com/

PikoPixel

 PikoPixel Screenshot

An open source pixel art editor.

Features: Layers

Complexity: Beginner

Price: Free

Platforms: Mac

http://twilightedge.com/mac/pikopixel/