How to Get Custom Emojis on Discord – Simple Guide

While nearly all websites and instant messengers offer emojis, Discord’s emoji feature is pretty unique – if you own a Discord server, you can create your own emojis from scratch.

Whilst it’s relatively easy to self assign roles on Discord, many newbies don’t know how to use emojis. Wondering how to use Discord’s emoji feature? Here’s a thorough explanation.

How to Get Custom Discord Emojis – Default, Custom

There are two kinds of Discord emojis – default and custom. The ability to make your own custom emojis is possible too, but it’ll take a bit more effort.

Making custom Discord emojis is completely free, but to get the most of it, we recommend getting a Nitro subscription. 

Though anyone can use default emojis, regardless of whether you have a Nitro subscription or not.

There are plenty of default emojis to choose from, from simple smiley faces to cute animals. However, a standard Discord emoji can be a little boring.

Custom emojis are emojis that you can create for a specific server. If you have a standard Discord account, you will only be able to use these in their designated server – and if they’re a GIF, you won’t be able to use them at all. 

If you have a Nitro subscription, however, you can use a server’s emojis anywhere you want. 

This is how you use animated emojis, which are only available with Discord Nitro.

If you want you create an animated custom emoji, you’ll have to sign up to the Nitro service.

There are two ways to use Discord emojis: scroll through the emoji list, or type in the emoji’s code. 

To browse emojis, locate the icon on the far right side of your message bar. It looks like a smiley face, and will change its expression when you hover your mouse over it. 

Once you click on the icon, it will open up a box. Scroll through and select the emoji you’d like to use, and it will pop up in your message box. 

Discord organizes their default emojis by category (people, animals, food) and the custom emojis by their servers, so finding the right one should be easy. 

Typing in the code is much quicker than browsing the emoji list, though — so once you’ve memorized the names of your favorites, you’ll want to use this method instead. 

The code for emojis is simply the emoji’s name between two colons. If you’d like to use the heart emoji, for instance, you will need to type “:heart:” in your message. 

Emojis with long or complex names may be hard to remember, though. To make things easier, you can type in the first few characters of the code — from there, a suggestion box will pop up and fill in the rest for you. 

Make Your Own Emojis on Desktop

Want some personalized emojis for your Discord server? You may look to use a Discord emoji maker to create personalized emotes.

If you don’t have any suitable images or GIFs to upload as emotes, or struggle to find any suitable images/GIFs, you can choose to make your own custom emote. You can create your own emojis on Discord fairly easily.

You can use any photo-manipulation/GIF-making program for this. You simply need to make sure that the file is under 256 KB in size when you download it.

Before uploading to your own Discord server, you need to create your emoji file. Here’s how you can do it. 

  1. Save or create the image you’d like to use as an emoji. It can be a still image or a GIF, but make sure it’s under 256kb. 
First things first; design your custom emoji.
  1. Go to your server and click on the name. Then, go to “Server Settings.” 
Go into your settings: you need to be the server owner to do this.
  1. Go to “Emojis”, and then click “Upload Emoji.” 
Upload custom emoji pretty easily within your settings.
  1. Upload the image you’d like to use as an emoji. You can also give it a custom code if you’d like. 
Use your Custom emoji!

After that, you’re all set to use your new emoji! You can have up to 50 emojis per server. Remember though – if it’s not your own server, you’ll likely need to be given permission.

You can do this by going to “Manage emoji permissions” in the server settings (obviously you’ll need to ask the admin to do that).

For Mobile

Adding Discord emotes on iOS and Android are quite similar in process. First, open the Discord app. Press the three lines in the top left to open the left side tab.

A list of your server icons should be there. Select the server you wish to add emotes to. Then, press the three dots next to the server’s name. This should open up another window.

Scroll all the way down, and press ‘upload emoji’. This will take you to the emoji settings. You can also access these settings by pressing the gear icon, and pressing ’emoji’.

Press ‘upload emoji’, and choose a location to upload images/GIFs from. The images/GIFs must be under 256 KB in size.

Make sure that you already have suitable images/GIFs to choose from before attempting this step. After choosing an image/GIF, a prompt will appear asking you to confirm the upload.

It will also give you an option to crop the file. To crop the file, press ‘crop’. Or, press ‘upload’ to add the emote.

Once you’ve added the emote, you can rename it by pressing on the emote in the emoji settings.

The name must be at least 2 characters, contain no spaces, and consist only of alphanumeric characters and underscores. You can only add a total of 50 static emotes and 50 animated emotes at any given time.

If you wish to delete the emote, press on the emote in the emoji settings, and press the three dots in the top right corner. Then, press ‘delete emoji’.

If you want to use the custom emotes, navigate to the relevant server, and press the emoji icon next to the message box.

Select the right server icon in the bottom tab. The custom emotes belonging to that server should be available near the top of the window.

Emoji Servers 

Do you want even more emojis that you can use anywhere on Discord? You’ll want to join some emoji-sharing servers. 

Once you join one of these servers, you’ll be able to use all of their emojis anywhere you want on Discord — as long as you have Nitro, that is. 

To find these servers, you can browse the emoji tag on Disboard. This is an easy way to get a ton of Discord emotes without having to upload Custom emoji yourself, however, you do need the Nitro or Nitro Classic subscription to be able to share these emojis across any server you desire.

Emoji Reactions 

One unique emoji use that’s become popular in recent years is “emoji reactions.” Facebook and Slack also have this feature, so even if you’re new to Discord, you may have seen emoji reactions at some point. 

To use an emoji reaction, hover your mouse over the message you’d like to react to. Four icons should show up in the top right corner. Choose the one on the far left — it will look like a smiley face with a plus sign over it. 

Once you click the icon, you can either type in the name of an emoji, or scroll through the options until you find the right one. 

What are emotes?

Emotes are essentially custom emojis you add to Discord. These can come in the form of images or GIFs. This means that some emotes can be animated.

Discord comes with its own set of default emojis, which mimic the standard emoji sets that come with a default keyboard. If you join a server with custom emojis, you’ll have free rein to make Discord emotes.

Emojis are often used to express certain emotions or words without having to type them out. They can be fun to play around with, and allow users to express themselves in a swift manner.


Overall, it’s pretty easy to get the hang of Discord emojis. Once you know how they work, you can use them to customize your messages, display name, and Discord status. 

Even if you don’t have Nitro, you use their default emojis anywhere. Or, you can use non-GIF emojis in their respective servers. 

You can add emotes to Discord on both Desktop and Mobile. You can add emotes for servers you’re a part of, using the emoji settings for that server.

You can add both static emotes, and animated emotes. Both images and GIFs can be turned into emotes as long as they’re under 256 KB.

And if you’d like to expand your options even further, you can get Nitro and create your own emojis or even join emoji sharing servers. 

Animated emojis are only of the coolest parts about Discord Nitro, and it’s one of many reasons why people sign up to the platform.

Discord server owners will be able to customize the channel to their own preferences. The options for Discord emojis are endless, so be sure to make the most of them! 


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Edward brings years of experience in a variety of different fields including online marketing & No-code app development, and he's been investing in stocks and cryptocurrency since 2016. Outside of work you'll usually find him watching movies at the local cinema or playing games in the Apple Arcade.

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