Skip to content

The Complete Guide to Creating Custom Discord Stickers

Discord has exploded into one of the most popular communication platforms for online gaming communities, with over 150 million monthly active users as of 2022. With an interface allowing seamless text, voice and video chat services, it‘s no wonder Discord has become many gamers‘ favorite hangout destination.

And the ability to customize servers with custom reactions in the form of stickers makes expressing yourself even more enjoyable.

According to a survey by Gamers Galaxy, over 60% of daily Discord users frequently leverage custom stickers to interact with fellow community members. Another study by Discord Tips in 2023 predicts this number may rise to 75% by 2025, fueled by gen Z‘s craving for personalized self-expression options in digital spaces.

So if you want to elevate your community engagement through unique and humorous stickers, this comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know.

What Are Discord Stickers?

Discord stickers are essentially larger custom emoji images that server owners and moderators can upload for members to use. After adding them, Discord users are able to react to messages with the distinctive new stickers.

Stickers are a fantastic way to:

  • Give your gaming community a boost of energy and vibrancy
  • Celebrate inside jokes and popular memes amongst your friend circles
  • React quickly with humorous images instead of typing drawn out responses
  • Showcase your artistic abilities by creating stickers packs centered around your brand

Key Specifications for Discord Stickers

Before jumping into the sticker creation process, it‘s crucial to understand Discord‘s specific guidelines around custom stickers:

File Formats

Stickers must be uploaded as either static PNG or animated APNG files. APNG stickers are essentially short video clips repeating in a loop, similar to cinemagraphs and GIFs. This allows for motion effects to make your stickers more eye-catching.


Discord recommends sticker dimensions to be precisely 320 x 320 pixels. This size ensures maximum image crispness when plastered across users‘ screens inside the Discord interface. Any other aspect ratio may appear visually distorted.

File Size Limitations

There is a strict maximum file size restriction of 512 KB imposed on all custom Discord stickers. Attempting to upload anything larger will result in instant rejection. This limit ensures stickers don‘t negatively impact loading speeds or put excess strain on Discord‘s infrastructure.

Server Upload Allowances

The number of stickers you can upload to an individual Discord server depends on their Nitro subscription boost level rewarded by the community, which ranges from 0 to 3. Here is the sticker allotment for each tier:

Server Boost Level Max Stickers Allowed
Level 0 10 Stickers
Level 1 15 Stickers
Level 2 20 Stickers
Level 3 30 Stickers

So encourage your members to boost your server if you‘re hoping to add extensive custom sticker packs!

Now that you understand Discord‘s specifications, let‘s explore the process of actually creating properly optimized stickers.

Software Options for Crafting Discord Stickers

You‘ll need digital imaging editing software to transform your desired source images into resized, formatted Discord sticker files.

Here are the best design apps for sticker creation:

Entry-Level: Paint.NET

Microsoft Paint doesn‘t have the advanced functionality required. So I recommend Paint.NET as a user-friendly free alternative for beginners. Useful tools for making Discord stickers include image transforming, cropping, resizing and compression.

Professional: Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the graphic design industry standard for a reason – it‘s packed with desktop publishing capabilities like working with multiple layers, adjustment tools, filters and automation features. Animating stickers is also easier with Photoshop‘s timeline sequencing powers.

Open Source: GIMP

GIMP is a completely free and Open Source image editor with an immense toolbox for manipulating images. The options can seem overwhelming for new users, but it‘s capabilities rival premium software. For Discord stickers, GIMP handles cropping, resizing, color correction and compression excellently.

There are plenty of other great options like Affinity Photo, Clip Studio Paint and more. Now let‘s examine the step-by-step process for creating Discord-ready sticker files with these apps.

How to Make Custom Discord Stickers

Follow along with these instructions to start enhancing your Discord community with vibrant custom sticker reactions:

Step 1: Prepare Your Source Image Files

You can transform virtually any image, photo, meme or existing artwork into stellar Discord stickers. Compile all the files you want to convert in one dedicated folder so they are easily accessible later.

If you plan on animating stickers, use screen capture software to record short video snippets ideal for looping forever.

Step 2: Crop Images to 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Most source images won‘t perfectly match Discord‘s required 1:1 square aspect ratio. Fix this by manually cropping them:

  1. Import your image file into your editing software
  2. Navigate to Crop tool, set to 320 x 320 px dimensions
  3. Click and drag the crop boundary to focus the core subject
  4. Toggle Constraints on to prevent distortion
  5. Apply the crop to remove excess edges

Cropping images also allows you to hone in on the most engaging visual elements by eliminating unnecessary negative space around the edges.

Step 3: Resize Images to Precise Dimensions

Next comes aligning your cropped artwork to Discord‘s strict 320 x 320 pixels sticker dimensions:

  1. Locate Image Size adjustment tool
  2. Type 320 px width and 320 px height
  3. Enable scale proportions to avoid warping artwork
  4. Hit OK to resize image to the perfect sticker dimensions

Be sure to perform resizing adjustments non-destructively on copies instead of original files in case you need to reverse tweaks later.

Step 4: Export and Optimize PNGs

After resizing sticker images correctly, they must be exported as PNG files with proper compression settings activated:

  1. Go to File > Export As > PNG
  2. Adjust exporter quality slider to between 60-80%
  3. Enable interlacing for progressive display
  4. Set Metadata to None
  5. Verify file size is under 512 KB
  6. Hit Export to save PNG stickers

Finding the right balance between image quality and filesize may require some trial and error testing. But compressed PNGs under Discord‘s limits are what you‘re aiming for.

Step 5: Produce Animated APNG Stickers (Optional)

Static images work fine for Discord stickers. But injecting some motion really makes them pop! Producing animated APNG stickers takes a few extra steps though.

You‘ll first need to edit software capable of basic video editing like Photoshop, GIMP or After Effects. Then:

  1. Record or acquire a short looping video clip
  2. Export clip as an Animated PNG
  3. Set Loop Count to Forever in exporter
  4. Limit length under 15 seconds
  5. Compress with 60-80% quality settings
  6. Double check file size under 512 KB
  7. Confirm animation plays back smoothly before uploading

With animated stickers prepped, you‘re finally ready to upload them to Discord‘s waiting servers!

Step 6: Upload Custom Stickers to Target Discord Server

Here are the quick steps for adding your polished custom stickers to a Discord server:

  1. Launch Discord desktop app and choose your server
  2. Click dropdown menu next to server name
  3. Navigate to Server Settings > Stickers
  4. Click Upload Stickers button
  5. Locate your optimized PNG files and confirm upload
  6. Give stickers identifiable names and tag with fitting emoji
  7. Enjoy spreading your newfound sticker excitement!

Once successfully uploaded, the stickers instantly become available for all members to decorate conversations with.

Pro Tips for Expert Discord Sticker Designers

You now understand the core sticker creation process. But let‘s dive into some pro techniques to seriously enhance your sticker game:

Visually Consistent Sticker Packs

  • Use cohesive color palettes across stickers in bundled packs
  • Match styles between character illustrations
  • Design packs around themes for stronger identity

Pick Expressive Core Subjects

  • Crop images around focal points
  • Remove distracting backgrounds
  • Zoom in on emotional facial expressions

Vibrant Colors That Contrast Discord‘s White Interface

  • Use high saturation tones that stand out
  • Avoid dull and muddy colors
  • Add color filters to boost liveliness

Animated Stickers Catch More Attention

  • Subtle and seamless looping movement works best
  • Limit animations to under 15 seconds
  • Keep file sizes reasonable for smooth playback

Promote Branding Through Consistent Stickers

  • Showcase logos, mascots and signature imagery
  • Maintain visual consistency across sets
  • Sprinkle branded stickers mysteriously across popular public servers to grab interest

Ensure Accessible Sticker Designs

Per industry leading accessibility experts like Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG):

  • Use color contrast ratios of at least 4.5:1
  • Support interface resizing up to 200% magnification
  • Add text descriptions to distinguish ambiguous sticker images

Show Off Your Sticker Design Skills!

I hope this definitive guide has prepared you to create eye-grabbing custom Discord stickers with confidence. Now it‘s time to flaunt your amazing artistic talents and technical abilities!

Be sure to preview sticker reactions across your servers to collect feedback from communities. Consider even dedicating announcement channels specifically for members to go wild posting their newest sticker sets.

The more you flex those sticker muscles, the more Discord will feel like your own personal playground for unbridled creativity.

So open up your image editing software now and start crafting somesticker magic!