Best Pixel Art Softwares & Programs for Designers and Developers

beautiful pixelated cartoon landscape

AI pixel art painting generated by Fotor

Pixel art didn't die out in the nineties, it even started to regain popularity. Today, there are many game developers or graphic designers and artists who are getting into this digital art to create extraordinary works of pixel art nowadays.

With the popularity of pixel art and the increase in design needs, there is an endless stream of digital pixel art software and tools on the market, so choosing the right pixel art production tool can be a challenge.

But don't worry, we've compiled a list of the best pixel art softwares & programs for you to let you know more about these programs, and create cool pixel art designs for your games or animations. Whether you're just starting out or looking to expand your skills, this list will help you find the best pixel art software that meets your needs.

What is Pixel Art?

Before we get start, let's get to know what pixel art is.

Pixel art is a form of digital art drawn with graphics software in which color is applied to individual pixels to create an image. Standard digital artwork or low-resolution photographs are also composed of pixels, but they are only considered pixel art if individual pixels are placed with artistic intent, even if the pixels are clearly visible or stand out. Most people come into contact with and know pixel art from arcade games in the 80s and 90s.

Source: Wikipedia

Pixel Mario

Character Mario from the Nintendo video game 'Super Mario'. (Image Credit: Deviantart)

Best Pixel Art Softwares & Programs

1. AI Pixel Art Maker from Fotor

Fotor web tool

Powerful AI-driven editing tools like background remover, AI enlarger, AI image generator, object remover, one-tab skin retouch, AI art effects, etc.

Over 100,000+ ready-to-use templates and creative content for graphic design and photo collages.

Millions of HD stock photos for personal and commercial use.

Create Pixel Art Now
Fotor's AI image generator
  • Price: $8.99/month

Fotor AI pixel art maker is one of the best pixel art programs. If you have used Fotor to edit or design pictures online, you may be familiar with Fotor's powerful editing tools and AI effects. As a well-received print-related brand in the market, its advanced artificial intelligence algorithm has won Fotor millions of fans.

This online pixel art maker makes it easy to convert text into images. Just enter as detailed text as possible into the program, and you can get an AI image you want. Fotor is a beginner-friendly program, even if you have no graphic design experience, you can easily create amazing works. And it lets you create many different types of AI generated images, including but not limited to Japanese anime, 3D, cyberpunk, psychedelic pop, and pixel art images are no exception. Fotor offers a variety of easy and fun ways to turn your vision into reality. It was never easier to create AI pixel art online!

generate pixel art with Fotor's AI image generator

In addition, Fotor's rich resources and templates provide you with a steady stream of ideas, and you can freely apply design resources and design templates to your pixel art to make it more unique.

2. Photoshop

  • Price: $9.99/month

Adobe Photoshop is a well known graphics editing and digital painting software, and it is also one of the best software for pixel art making. While it's not known for creating pixel art, its professionalism still attracts many pixel artists, and includes all the professional tools you need to create high-quality pixel art and animations, and more.

If you're into game development or graphic design, it's worth noting that Photoshop is the industry standard. Proficiency in using the software will go a long way in getting gigs in the studio.

But one thing to note, if you are a beginner in editing, it can be a challenge to master Photoshop proficiently because of its wide range of functions. But once you know how to use Photoshop, you will discover a new world.

Here's a tutorial about how to do pixel art in Photoshop:

3. Aseprite

Do pixel art in
  • Price: $19.99

Asperite is dedicated to creating pixel art and is one of the most powerful pixel art making tools on the market. If you are looking for a solution that only focuses on pixel art, Asperite is your best choice. The tool is easy to use, and even if you have no previous experience with pixel art, you'll pick it up in no time.

The most notable thing about Aseprite is the onion skinning feature. Onion skinning allows you to overlay different frames in the canvas, which makes it easier for designers to create realistic and coherent movements for characters. In addition, Aseprite can also support the automatic conversion of fonts to pixel art, so this program is very suitable for game developers and animation studios.


GIMP homepage
  • Price: Free

GIMP is a free graphic design tool that stands out for its image editing features. Similar to Photoshop, it comes with many powerful tools and features needed to create cool pixel art designs, including a built-in timeline and animation player. While it's as difficult for beginners as Photoshop, it's an excellent choice for you if you're on a tight budget. At the same time, it has a highly customizable user-friendly interface to meet your workflow needs.

5. Pixilart

  • Price: Free

If you're on a budget and prefer a simple pixel art program, check out Pixilart. It provides a variety of basic functions needed to create pixel art as well as some advanced tools, including pixel drawing, dithering, frame animation, frame design, full screen mode, and more. In addition, Pixilart also provides a strong community for users and holds competitions from time to time, which means that you can share and discuss pixel art with other pixel artists around the world.

Pixlart is a great option if you're just starting out. It's perfect for beginners, and you'll find plenty of great tutorials and resources on how to use the software in the community. Don't miss it!

6. Pyxel Edit

Pyxel Edit
  • Price: $9

Pyxel Edit is one of the best pixel art softwares out there. It comes with a completely free version for developers to use, and to take full advantage of all its features and tools you need to pay $9, which is not too expensive for those on a budget.

One of the great aspects of Pyxel Edit is that it has a user-friendly interface, and it includes the basic functions needed to design pixel animations, even including an onion skinning tool. This tool makes it very easy to create natural-looking frame-by-frame animations for your games.

7. Krita

  • Price: Free

Krita is a 100% free pixel art software. In addition to pixel art, it can also be used for cartoons, illustrations, digital arts, and more.

Although Krita's built-in tools are not as rich as photoshop and GIMP, you can still use it to create amazing arts. If you're looking for a program that can handle pixel art as well as professional illustrations and even animations, Krita might be a good choice.

With its user-friendly layout, free price, and neat tools, beginners can use Krita to create high-quality free pixel art and animation online without any stress.

8. Piskel

  • Price: Free

On a budget and want a software focused on pixel art making? Piskel has you covered! You can do almost anything with Piskel. It's fully online, which means you don't need to download anything to take up space on your computer's storage.

The pixel art tool is very easy-to-use and very streamlined without a bunch of bells and whistles. With Piskel, you can export sprite sheets or even animated GIFs, and it makes creating animated pixel art and sprite animations easy. If you are a person who loves minimalism, then Piskel will be your best choice.


There you have it, a list of the best pixel art softwares and programs. The programs in the above list are available for most operating systems. If you need a professional pixel animation tool, there are many options here, and if you just want to learn or understand pixel art, you can choose from the free and easy-to-use programs from above.

In any case, the process of making pixel art is fun, and you can choose the one that suits you best according to your actual needs to create unique pixel art.

Thanks for reading!