Changing Skins in Minecraft: Instructions and Hints

  • Jessie Thomas
  • 2019-18-Nov

Changing a skin in Minecraft doesn’t seen easy. The matter is that Minecraft is one of the most ubiquitous games, present on consoles, desktop, mobile devices, and even exotic platforms like Tesla cars or Raspberry Pi microcomputers. So even the simplest operations may look completely different on different platforms.

But it becomes much easier when you understand its inner logic. Minecraft, of course, has some, otherwise, it wouldn’t join the most influential games of our century. It is mostly about creating objects, building houses, changing the terrain according to its physical laws, and enjoying the result. So the way your buildings, villages, and towns look do matter, and you change it.

But how does one change oneself? Though you mostly play from the first-person perspective, the way your characters look matter too. There is a special editor to give your Minecrafter ego the appearance you want right in the game. But still, it is easier to take a ready-made skin and just upload it. There are always some because this game is all about creativity.

So here comes the instruction on how to change the skin in Minecraft on various platforms. We cover desktop platforms (namely PC, but it’s about the same in Mac version), mobile (iOS, though Android offers similar logic) and Xbox One. PlayStation 4 makes a sad exception, and we’ll talk about it in the epilogue.

How to Change the Skin in Minecraft on PC

Though you cannot change or edit skins directly in Minecraft application on PC, there are ways to do it through the cloud. Your profile can be edited on the official site. To use custom skins, you need to:

  1. Get the skin you want. If you have some artistic skill, you can create it yourself (though it’s a separate topic to discuss). If not, you can download your Minecraft skins from third-party sites. On these sites, you can usually preview the skin on various backgrounds to check whether it’s the one you need.
  2. Remember the location of the skin. If you download it, it will probably be in your Downloads folder. If you draw it yourself, it can be wherever you save it. But you still better put it on your Desktop or to another easily accessible folder.
  3. Go to Minecraft.net. Click Menu and then select Profile. When prompted, enter the site with your current login and password.
  4. Click “Browse”. When the Windows Explorer opens, use the browser to locate the skin file you have downloaded or created.
  5. Select the file and click “Open” in Windows Explorer
  6. Click “Save”/ Your skin will be uploaded and applied. After that, the game will connect the server on launch and check the updates. It will detect your new skin and apply it. So, here comes your new appearance.

How to Change the Skin in Minecraft PE on Mobile Devices

Though Minecraft PE is, in fact, a cut version of the “bigger” Minecraft, you still can change your skin here without modifying the original app or disassembling and editing it manually. There are official ways to apply custom skins, and this is how it works.

  1. Download the skin you want from a third-party site (like Skindex). In 2019, both Android and iOS can save images to the gallery. As a Minecraft skin is, in fact, a layout for a 3D model stored as a .PNG file, it can be saved like a regular image from a website.
  2. Open Minecraft PE app.
  3. When it launches, tap the skin icon. It looks like a coat hanger and can be found in the right lower corner of the display.
  4. When the section opens, tap the blank skin icon. It can be found in the left lower corner of the display.
  5. Tap “Choose New Skin” and then the gallery or the file explorer (depending on your OS)
  6. Select the image you downloaded earlier
  7. View the skin and then confirm whether it’s the right one you need. If not (for example, if you have downloaded multiple skins and now try to choose between them), go back and select a different skin.
  8. When you have found the one you want, tap “Confirm” to apply it.

So, the skin you have selected and uploaded will be your default one.

How to Change the Skin in Minecraft on Consoles

As you see, mobile and desktop versions of Minecraft offered mostly the same logic. Download the skin, save it, open your profile, upload the skin, confirm. It’s a bit different on consoles, first of all because consoles are not made for handling files like this. They are optimized to run games. So the process of changing skin in Minecraft on, say, PS4 will seriously differ from those above.

The most serious difference, as you see, is that one does not simply save files on consoles. The current generation is resistant to hacking attempts, so getting access to the file system of your PS4 or Xbox isn’t that easily available. So you will have to stick to the skins already offered by Minecraft, free or paid.

So the way to change skins is the following:

  1. Launch Minecraft and see the main menu
  2. Select the menu on the left
  3. Select a skin pack from there
  4. Choose the skin you want on your character
  5. If it’s paid, you will proceed to the Store of your platform to make a payment. If it’s free, this step is skipped.

After that, the skin you select will be the default one.

How to Install Skins from Minecraft Marketplace

Yet another reason why we love Minecraft is its Marketplace. There you can purchase locations, objects, and, of course, skins. There are even complex packs based on various cult games, movies, and cartoons, including Star Wars, Marvel Universe, Mass Effect, Super Mario, Duck Tales, Toy Story, and others. These packs usually include locations with various objects and skin packs.
Maybe it makes sense for you to purchase a whole pack, with its complete and perfectly fitting style. The skins from the pack are included to your library, and you can switch between them.

You use Marketplace just like any mobile or desktop app or content store. That is, you simply run it from within the game, select the content you want to buy for MineCoins, and then apply it. One of the biggest advantages is that your purchases are all stored in your account, so you will not lose them if you reinstall the game.

And yes, if you master the art of creating skins from scratch, you can as well put your works on Minecraft Marketplace. Make them attractive enough to be bought, and you’ll be rewarded. Still, we’ll talk about it later. So far we wish you good luck with finding and installing skins reflecting yourself.

P.S. Minecraft and the Sony Phenomenon

There is only one popular device with Minecraft and no Marketplace yet, and it’s… Sony PlayStation 4! No wonder Microsoft (that owns Mojang, the developer of Minecraft) want to provide some advantage to its customers. On Xbox, Windows 10, or even mobile platforms there is a Marketplace. Even Nintendo Switch, existing in its own world, has Marketplace in its edition of Minecraft. Sony seems the only platform deprived. That seems rather a policy than a misunderstanding: two years ago Sony remained the only company that didn’t support cross-platform multiplayer on its devices.

No wonder that changing skins in Minecraft on Sony PS4 is the hardest of all. Players will have to select from the skins originally offered. Maybe one day the Japanese giant will change its mind, but so far PlayStation users will only have the choice of skins offered by the publisher.

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