Skins are divided into areas that act as the surface area of the character (for example, the front head area, left leg area, etc.). A skin will only allow solid color; transparency is not allowed on the skin file except on the second layer, which is transparent by default; playing offline, pixels can be left free resulting in "holes" in the skin. If a skin with transparent pixels on the first layer is uploaded, the transparent pixels will render as black pixels in-game. The second layer can be used to give the character glasses, hats, or other accessories (even a bigger head).
There are currently 16 default skin types (with the exception of the skin packs), 8 of which are based on the Steve model and the other 8 based on the Alex model, wearing different outfits and skin colors. The skins are available to be chosen in the 'Change Skin' area of Help & Options. The Console Edition allows transparent skins, because the player cannot create their own skins. This prevents issues with completely transparent skin users "haunting" other players. The player can add custom skins to the console editions via hacking; however, this will void the warranty of the console, and the player risks a ban from either Xbox Live or PlayStation Network for an illicitly modded game or console.
Since Alpha 0.11.0, Players can choose one of the two default skins either Steve or Alex, and can apply their own custom skin. (Uses the same format as the PC edition). The player must select a valid skin image from their photo library, and will then be prompted to choose between the two main models. Players can also buy skin packs which cost $0.99 USD each. Those skin packs are as follows: FestiveMashup2016 skin pack, Campfire Tales, the Minecon skin pack, Villains, Biome Settlers Pack 2, Story Mode Skin Pack, Redstone Specialists, Journey To The West, Holiday Skin Pack 2015, Biome Settlers Pack 1, Halloween Costumes, City Folk, and Town Folk.
Skin Packs are available in the Console Edition and in the Pocket Edition as downloadable content. Skin Packs add additional skins that players may choose from along with the 16 default skins (2 in Pocket Edition) packaged with the game. They often feature characters from other video games, alongside original designs.
Many players want to have a new look, something which describes them. While you can always search the internet for a previously made skin, many players prefer to create their own.
A custom skin is a great way to personalize your player model and can be done either by using a variety of community-made skin editors, or by editing the "steve.png" file manually with an image editor like Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.net or similar image editors. The "steve.png" file can be downloaded from here and a playerskin can be downloaded from http://skins.minecraft.net/MinecraftSkins/USERNAME.png where "USERNAME" is replaced by the playername. When editing the "steve.png" file manually, be sure to keep the original image dimensions and make the background of the skin (the unused pixels) completely transparent. Otherwise, Minecraft may fail to recognize the skin as intended.
Alternatively, some people find it easier to use a program, either downloadable or in-browser, which will allow them to have a live view of their character on a three dimensional model as they are editing the skin. For example, a program called Skincraft will further assist players by providing them with a wide variety of pre-made selections (such as hats, boots, sweaters, etc.), to give the skin creator exactly what they want, even if the creator has little to no artistic skill.
After making a custom skin, either by using a skin editor or by editing the "steve.png" file directly, one will still need to upload the .png file at the Profile page of www.minecraft.net before the skin is applied. Once completed, start up Minecraft and enjoy your new skin! Other players in multiplayer will also be able to see your skin. Note that you will not be able to see your custom skin if you are not logged in or if playing offline.
1 8 texturemap redux.png
An adaptation of the previous template, color-coded to match the appropriate faces of the skin- front, back, left, right, top and bottom. The checked areas represent the secondary layer.
1 8 texturemap slim.png
An adaptation of the slimmer arms template, color-coded to match the appropriate faces of the skin- front, back, left, right, top and bottom. The checked areas represent the secondary layer.
Note: the 1.8 templates can be used for pre-1.8 skins on the skin server. Only the top half of the image is used, e.g. not the individual arms and legs on the bottom, and no overlay on any layer except the head. If the skins is in resource pack for 1.7, you must use the old system exactly.
There can be up to 3.06×1023,581 unique Minecraft skins.
|0.0.17a_02||Custom player skin test.|
|0.0.18a||Custom skins released.|
|1.2.2||Player skins can be modified.|
|1.6.6||The player skin originally had a beard that was commonly mistaken for a smile. The beard was removed in Beta 1.6.6.|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9-pre1||All "bottom" textures (including hand and foot) have been flipped 180 degrees. It's worth mentioning that the textures were specifically flipped and not rotated because an updated texture with the bottom surface rotated as opposed to flipped may display incorrectly depending on the intended alignment with relation to the rest of the skin.|
|April 1, 2014||On April 1st, all skins applied to players were changed to Villager skins as an April Fool's prank, and trying to edit or change the skin will not work. Capes were still shown, however, if the user had one.|
|1.8||14w03a||Skins have received an overhaul; right and left legs/arms can now be edited independently and the hat layer now counts for the whole body, meaning overlays can now be added on skins. This means there are now up to 3.06×1023,581 unique Minecraft skins instead of 2.29×1011,328 previously.|
|14w04a||Now displays the right arm's second layer in first person view.|
|pre1||Added a new player model with smaller arms, and a new player skin called Alex.|
|1.9||15w47a||Overlay layers (hat, jacket, sleeves, and pants) correctly render semitransparent pixels, instead of only fully opaque and fully transparent pixels.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.11.0||build 1||Added skins. Players can choose 'Steve' and 'Alex' models or their own custom skin (uses the same format as PC).|
|build 10||Added the first two skin packs: City Folk and Town Folk. Each skin pack has 5 free skins, and purchasing the skin pack will unlock the rest of the skins. Skin packs cost USD $0.99.|
|0.12.3||Added the Halloween Costumes skin pack.|
|0.13.0||build 5||Added the "Biome Settlers" skin pack.|
|0.13.1||Added the Holiday Festival 2015 skin pack.|
|0.13.2||Added the Journey to The West skin pack.|
|0.14.0||build 7||Added the Redstone Specialists skin pack.|
|0.14.1||Added Minecraft: Story Mode skins.|
|0.14.3||Added Biome Settlers 2 skin pack.|
|0.15.4||Added Villains skin pack.|
|TU3||CU1||1.0||Patch 1||The first skin pack is available as downloadable content.|
|TU24||CU12||1.16||8 'Alex' model skins added to default skin pack.|