Image showing an example of pixel artwork

9 Best Free and Open Source Pixel Art Editors

Pixel art (also known as dot art) is a form of digital art drawn with graphical software where images are built using pixels as the only building block. This type of art is often linked with the low-resolution graphics from 8-bit and 16-bit era computers and arcade video game consoles from the 1980s and 1990s.

Pixel art is sometimes associated with sprites. They are the images in 2D games that represent the various objects in a game like your player character, monsters, items, etc.

Nowadays, pixel art is still popular in games and as an artform in and of itself, despite realistic 3D graphics. The barrier to entry for pixel art is less steep than painted or 3D graphics, making it a welcome option for indie game developers.

This article recommends our favourite pixel art editors. We’re focusing on software dedicated to this form of artwork. Naturally, other image editors can also be used to create and edit pixel art.

Ratings chart for free and open source pixel art editors

Let’s explore the pixel art editors in detail. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources.

Pixel Art Editors
Pixelorama2D sprite editor, made with the Godot Engine
cspriteTiny pixel art tool
LibreSpriteCreate 2D animations for videogames
PiskelSimple web-based tool for spriting and pixel art
PikoPixelDraw and edit pixel art images
mtPaintPainting program to create pixel art and manipulate digital photos
GrafX2Billed as the ultimate 256-color bitmap paint program
rxModern and extensible pixel editor implemented in Rust
SlateQt-based pixel art editor
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

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