How to Get Custom Discord Emojis – 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. And if you join a server with custom emojis, you’ll have free rein of those as well! 

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 

Want some personalized emojis for your Discord server? You can create your own emojis on Discord fairly easily.

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).

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. 


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. 

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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