15 Best Piskel Alternatives 2024

Piskel is an application that helps artists interested in pixel art to create either still or animated pixel images. The software is free to use and comes in two versions.

You can either use the web version or download the application to use offline. The app is beginner-friendly and offers a lot of features like image edit, live preview, the ability to export in different formats including GIFs or PNG, and the freedom to create your private gallery.

In as much as Piskel is free and easy to use, the application has some limitations. For starters, you have to sign in with your Google account to create and save your work.

This means that whatever happens to your Google account affects your Piskel account. If you lose your Google account and you’re unable to recover it, you can no longer access your Piskel account.

Also, the app’s resizing tool presents limited usage. You can’t resize specific parts of your image, you can only resize the whole image.

Since Piskel is an open-source application, you will find it difficult to customize it to suit your needs if you’re not a tech expert. In addition, you may face device compatibility and security issues.

Thankfully, other applications have been designed to help in your creative journey. We have rounded up the best Piskel alternatives that are worth checking out.

Best Piskel Alternatives

1. Pixen

Pixen is a professional pixel art and animator editor. The software is compatible with all iOS devices.

All the tools you need as a pixel artist to create works that you will be proud of are at your fingertips. The app has a document library where you can manage all your work in one place.

You can import and export files in different formats either from your gallery, files app, or clipboard. In addition, you are not restricted to the color palettes the app provides.

You can always import yours even from the Adobe color table, JASC palette, Microsoft palette, and GIMP palette formats. Pixen comes with robust tools that are all adaptable with Apple Pencil on iPad.

You can always use the double-tap gesture tool to switch quickly to your last tool. Pixen’s grid tools guide users to place their pixels just where they want them.

Also, if they are not comfortable navigating the workspace with their mouse, they can always use keyboard shortcuts. Like Piskel, Pixen allows users to import and export animations as GIFs.

But that’s not all! Pixen’s onion skinning feature allows you to preview your work even while editing. In the end, you can share your works through any social channel. It can be via AirDrop, e-mail, or even messages.

2. Pyxel Edit

Pyxel Edit is the perfect application if you are working with tilesets. You can easily import tilesets, edit, preview them, and finally export the tileset and load them into your game.

Aside from tileset, Pyxel edit allows you to create animations and export them either as animated GIFs or sprite sheets. The best part is that you are free to use the onion skinning technique to align your designs between frames.

Like Piskel, Pyxel Edit has an intuitive interface that makes it really easy to learn and navigate. That means, even though you are a beginner, you will get a hang of the application in no time.

If you ever encounter any difficulty, you can always check out the platform’s learning forum. Pyxel Edit’s founder, Daniel Kvarfordt has tons of YouTube videos offering guidelines on how to use the platform.

Finally, Pyxel Edit allows users to export their canvas tailmap either in XML, JSON, or plain text format. The app is built in Adobe Air and is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux.

3. Krita

Krita is another best alternative for Piskel. It’s a free and professional application created by artists to ensure art tools are easily accessible and affordable.

There are no trials and subscriptions with Krita. The app has quality tools designed to unleash your creativity.

First, you have over 100 beautiful and professional brushes to choose from when designing your image or animation. Also, if you have shaky hands, you can always add a stabilizer to smoothen your design.

There are also over nine brush engines that allow you to customize your brushes. Each engine is designed to serve a specific need like color smudging and adding filters.

The best part is that Krita comes with built-in vector tools that will assist you in creating comic panels. You can always highlight a section of your design to work on.

If you need any extra help while drawing circles or straight lines, Krita’s drawing assistant will give you all the help you need. The tool comes with nine assistants such as an ellipse, perspective, ruler, spline, vanishing point, and fisheye point.

It’s amazing how Krita’s intuitive interface allows you to move and customize dockets and panels to suit your workflow. When you are done setting up, you can save it as your workspace and create your own shortcuts for frequently used tools.

Unlike Piskel, Krita offers PSD support. This means that you can open PSD files even those that photoshop can’t open.

Explore the best alternatives to Krita.

4. Pixelmator Pro

Unlike Piskel which allows you to create only pixel art, Pixelmator caters to different art forms. You can use it to edit your photos, create illustrations, and also pixel art.

Pixelmator Pro’s image editing tools can be used to retouch photos, create graphic designs, paint, draw vector graphics, and even add awesome effects. You also have everything you need to tweak the colors in your pictures to suit your preferences.

The vector tools are powerful and come with an array of pre-designed smart shapes. You can also open SVG files and edit and export them while saving their vector data.

Whether you want to design a poster, webpage, or app, you will find everything you need on Pixelmator Pro. Your paintings can also be created with ease.

There are over 100 handcrafted paintbrushes, graphics tablets, and pixel tools. Also, if you’d prefer to have a fully customized workspace, Pixelmator Pro allows that.

You can freely move your frequently used tools and place them wherever you want for easy access. Alternatively, you can choose from the built-in presets already created for photographers, painters, illustrators, and designers.

Unlike Piskel, Pixelmator pro is AI-programmed. The software uses machine learning to ensure more accurate and awesome designs.

5. PixiEditor

PixiEditor is a lightweight pixel art creator that can be used in place of Piskel. The app presents an eye-catching dark theme that can be tweaked to your suit your preferences.

The well-built color tools help to adjust the theme to either become darker or lighter. You can easily create, edit and organize layers, to achieve perfect pixel art.

Like Piskel, PixiEditor is free and can be used to design commercial projects. It’s also an open-source application and works well on Windows.

6. Pixly

If you are a game developer desirous to create pixel art and animations then Pixly is a perfect choice. The best part is that you can create your designs simply with your Andriod device.

The software works well with touch screens. So, instead of dragging your mouse or using keyboard shortcuts, you can easily pick and drag your tools.

Mistakes are easily corrected. The app is designed such that every change you make goes through the memento system and so, you can undo and redo your work with ease.

Like Piskel, Pixly is free to use and is an open-source app. You also have four-color systems to help you choose the best colors for your design.

Also, since most of your work will be done on the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), it will be smooth and fast. Finally, working with a smartphone or tablet affords you an opportunity to share your photos and GIFs with your friends.

7. GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

GIMP is another affordable and great Piskel alternative. The software serves graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, and even scientists.

Whichever category you fall under, the software provides advanced tools to help you get your job done. Like Piskel, GIMP comes at zero cost with a user-friendly and customizable interface.

This app takes photo retouching to an advanced level which is quite beneficial if you are a photographer. You can easily remove unwanted details with the clone tool or use the healing tool to brush up on other minor details.

Like Piskel, you can import and export several file formats including JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, and many more. You can equally compress your files and save them.

GIMP is free to use and you can change the source code to your preference. Unlike Piskel, you don’t need to sign in with your Google account to use the software.

The app works well in operating systems like Linux, macOS, and Windows.

Check out the best alternatives to GIMP.

8. Sumopixel

Sumopixel is an offshoot of Sumo, a powerful suite created to handle all creative projects including designing and editing pixels. With this app, you can easily import images from your device and pixelate them.

In addition, you can upload pictures and animate them. When creating your pixel, you can either draw with the pastel palette or choose colors from the color tool.

Sumopixel has the best symmetry tool that ensures that your symmetric pieces are well done. Just like Piskel, you can export your works in whatever format to your device.

If you are a Mac user, you can also upload them to the cloud. It’s a good way to keep your work safe and secure.

But that’s not all! You can go ahead and share your designs and animations with your family and friends on social media.

In addition, users can release remix rights to allow other Sumopixel users to create their versions of your work. To crown it all, the software comes in two versions – the web version and a desktop app.

This means that it works on all modern smart devices. You don’t need any plugins to get started.

Also Read: Krita vs GIMP

9. Cosmigo Pro Motion NG

If you are an advanced artist working on detailed graphics for smartphones or video game devices, Cosmigo is your ideal choice. Even though you want to create simple and lightweight graphics for the web, this app suits your choice.

Like Piskel, Cosmigo is a free desktop and offline app. With over 200 customizable keyboard shortcuts, Cosmigo helps you to easily create pixel images, sprites, tiles, animations as well as level maps used in games.

You also have more than 25 different paint modes to choose from. If none of the paint modes work for you, you are free to create yours with the built-in formula editor or simply import color palettes from your image files.

Unlike Piskel, Cosmigo has an unlimited undo history. To reduce eye strain, you can switch to the dark user interface. And when you are done with your work, it’s easy to zoom and preview before exporting.

10. DragonBones

DragonBones is a Piskel alternative primarily used to create 2D game animation. The app comes with advanced features to help designers like yourself create an extra vivid and smooth animation effect at a lower cost.

The good thing about DragonBones is that even as a beginner, you can easily navigate the interface. Or you can take advantage of the video tutorials posted on the website.

To ensure that your work comes out smoothly, DragonBones comes with a curve editor that can be used to adjust your subject’s motion. There is also the “onion skin” feature that enables you to see several frames at once.

That way, you can decide on the adjustment required for each image. For more efficient rendering, you can easily pack the images into a texture atlas and export the same.

Also, the fact that you get to preview your animation in a real environment before exporting and publishing it is incredible. You won’t run into any unpleasant surprises after working as what you see is what you get.

Lastly, just like Piskel, DragonBones is an open-source application and free to use.

11. GraphicsGale

GraphicsGale is another powerful yet user-friendly tool for pixel art and spriting. The software comes with a lot of features to enable you to create your work as quickly and easily as possible.

Would you prefer to create your work from scratch? GraphicGale’s TWAIN imaging support will help you get going.

You can easily import images from your camera, gallery, or even your scanner. In addition, the app gives you multiple layers to draw and edit your work.

The finest part is that you get to preview your art in real-time while working on it. That means you don’t need to pause working to watch your animation.

You can as well see both your previous and next frames while you are drawing, thanks to the onion skinning feature.

Just like Piskel, GraphicsGale is free to download and supports a lot of file formats including .png, .jpeg, .gif, .avi, and many more.

12. Pixelorama

Pixelorama is a product of Godot Engine and another good alternative to Piskel. Both applications are free and open-source pixel art editors.

If you are an animator, you will enjoy working with Pixelorama. The software has an in-built animation timeline that supports onion skinning, cel linking, motion drawing, as well as frame grouping with tags.

In addition, Pixelorama has 16 different drawing tools which you can easily control with your mouse buttons. Other features include custom palettes and brushes, pattern filing, rulers and guides, and pixel-perfect mode.

There is no need to panic if the software mistakenly crashes. The autosave support will help you recover your work.

Your projects can always be exported as PNG, GIF files, or even sprite sheets.

13. Tilesetter

If you are a game designer, this tool will come in handy. It is designed to make tileset design easy as pie.

One of the ways it does this is to fix tiles for you while you’re drawing. This makes this process straightforward and fast.

In addition, smart tilesets, including composites, are automatically updated from time to time. This allows you to focus on what matters, which is to design an awesome tile set.

Unlike Piskel, Tilesetter is not an open-source software and you don’t need to sign in with your Google account. All you need to do is to download the app from the website, install it on your computer, and start using it.

If you need assistance navigating the platform, you will get all the help you need from their Discord community. Alternatively, you can go through the user manual available on the website.

14. Pixel Studio

Pixel Studio is a simple, fast, and portable pixel art editor designed for artists and game developers. Because the interface is intuitive and user-friendly, newbies and professionals can easily use the software.

Unlike Piskel which can only work on computers, Pixel Studio works on both mobile and desktop. This means that you are free to create pixel art from anywhere you are.

Some of the amazing tools available on this platform include unlimited canvas size, gradient tool, built-in brushes, multithreaded image processing, and onion skin if you are working on more advanced projects. You can also customize the toolbar, carefully positioning the frequently used tools.

The software also allows you to sync your work between different devices and platforms using Google Drive. It’s compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 10 with a minimum of 2GB.

Like Piskel, users can save their words and export them as GIFs or sprite sheets. It also makes sense that you get to share your works with friends including the Pixel Network community.

This is an opportunity to receive feedback on your work. Also, you are never at risk of losing your work.

Thanks to the software’s automatic autosave and backup feature. Your lost files can be recovered with just a click.

15. Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate is a very powerful animation tool that can be used in place of Piskel. Advanced users go as far as designing interactive animations for games, websites, and even TV shows.

It does not stop there. The application enables you to make your eLearning content highly engaging with infographics and animations.

Unlike Piskel where you are only limited to GIFs, Animate allows you to create and bring your characters to life. Adobe Fresco live brushes help you achieve this with ease.

The tool helps you to sketch better expressive characters. You can make them talk, blink, laugh, walk, and any other expression you can think of.

If you are working on web ads, Animate helps you to make them more interactive. The same happens when you are building game environments.

The best part about using Adobe Animate is that you can export your works in any format and publish them wherever you want to. You can now share your works with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms.

It’s an opportunity to get either positive feedback on your work or learn areas where you need to improve.

Wrapping It Up: What Is The Best Piskel Alternative?

The best Piskel alternative is Krita. The application is not only free and easy to use, but it also comes with advanced tools and features to ensure that your works look professional.

Krita’s interface is user-friendly and intuitive. You can even customize dockets and panels to suit your workflow and then save it as your workspace.

For beginners who find it difficult to draw circles and straighter lines, Krita allows you to add a stabilizer to smoothen your design. You also have over 100 beautiful and professional brushes to choose from when designing your image or animation.

If you need extra help with the software, there are tutorials and resources available on their website to guide you. In addition to that, Krita’s shop is filled with more training and design materials for a more efficient job.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.