We recently ran an actual, honest-to-goodness study about emojis, and if we may summarize our findings: people like ‘em

Emojis on Discord are even more special. Thanks to the mystical power of PNGs, you can make a little picture out of almost any symbol, in-joke, or bizarre late-night inspiration. Got a story about how your friend chugged too much 9 million Scoville hot sauce? Hot sauce skull emoji. Need a unique way to welcome your friends and/or terrify them the second they message you? Create an emoji of yourself waving hello! Spilled soda on your keyboard? You guessed it: replace the non-functioning letters with cunningly-camouflaged emojis. The possibilities are truly endless.

We’re so keen on the darn things, we decided to make a blog post answering all the most frequently-asked questions about them on one easily-referenced page. So break out the ✏️and 📜 and let’s dive in!

What IS a custom Discord emoji?

Emoji are tiny lil’ pictures you can drop into your messages. You can also add a Reaction to display the emoji next to messages in a text channel, summing up your feelings in a handful of pixels.

Discord has plenty of default emojis, but also lets communities create, upload, and use their own. You can use them just like you would ✨normal emojis ✨, injecting a little bit of extra personality, emotion, and fun into your messages.

A conversation between two friends. One of them sent an animated emoji of a robot hamster wiping sweat off its forehead out of stress.

Where do I upload a custom emoji?

Head to a server that allows you to upload custom emojis. Then head into Server Settings > Emoji.

Do keep in mind that when you upload custom emojis, you’re adding them to a specific server, to be used by that specific community. To use those emojis in a different server, you’ll need to either upload them to each server you want to use them in or subscribe to Nitro.

What are the file requirements to upload an emoji? 

Any emoji uploaded to your server must meet the following requirements:

  • File type: Use either a JPEG, PNG, or GIF image. 
  • File size: 256 KB. If your emoji’s a bit bigger, we’ll go ahead and compress it.
  • Dimensions: 128x128 is best. Bigger or smaller will work, but 128x128 is just right.
  • Name: Every emoji gets a short name of at least 2 characters, which you’ll type out when you want to use it. Like :joy:, or :GiantHead:, or :SliceOfPeepza:

If you ever lose this bookmark, don’t fret: these requirements are provided right where you’ll go to upload your work, Server Settings > Emoji.

Do I need to do anything special to upload animated emojis versus static emojis? 

Nope! Same deal. It’ll just end up in the special “Animated Emoji” section instead of the “Emoji” section.

Is there a limit to what kinds of emojis I can make?

The only limit is your imagination! Also, our Community Guidelines. Those are actually extremely important limits.

One wrinkle that’s worth calling out: emojis can’t be age-restricted. That means that if you’d normally have to put something behind an Age Restricted gate for it to be allowed on Discord, you aren’t allowed to make it into an emoji. For example: no graphic violence, no adult content.

I’ve seen some people post bigger Discord emojis. How do they do that? 

They’re wizards.

Just kidding. The secret is that if your message contains only emojis, they’ll show up bigger than normal once you post. Compare and contrast these two messages:

A user sending a normal emoji within a message. They then send a message with only emojis, causing them to get larger.

You can post up to 27 emojis in a single message and as long as you don’t include any regular text, they’ll all turn into big emojis —or jumbojis, as we like to call them, but which spellcheck has flagged for some reason. Post more than 27? Small again. 

Hope that helps. Congratulations on graduating wizard academy!

How many emojis can one server have? 

Your standard Discord server can have up to fifty ordinary custom emojis, plus fifty more animated custom emojis. That’s for everyone – so if Angie uploads 49 animated emojis and Bobert uploads 1, nobody else can add more.

Where it gets interesting if your server’s been Boosted. Raising your Boost Level raises the emoji limits: Level 1 servers can hold up to 100 standard and 100 animated emoji, going up to 150 at Level 2 and 250 at Level 3. So if you want an emoji for every moon in the solar system, good news: you just gotta do some Boosting first. 

A screenshot of all three levels of Server Boosting perks offered.

Discord keeps changing my text to emojis! How can I disable that?

We hear you: you didn’t mean 😀, you meant :), and there is most certainly a difference.

If you’d prefer to keep your text smileys just the way you wrote them, head into User Settings > Text & Images. There you’ll find a toggle for “Automatically convert emoticons in your messages to emoji.” Switch it off if you want control over what’s a :) and what’s a 🙂.

I tried to use a custom emoji in a Discord server, but it’s all grayed out! Why can’t I use it?

A screenshot of the emoji selector. Some emojis are greyed out due to the server’s moderation settings.

There are a few reasons why a custom emoji you’re trying to use might be grayed out:

  • You don’t have Nitro, and therefore can’t use emojis from an outside community
  • The server has chosen not to allow members to use emojis from outside communities, even if they do have Nitro
  • The server lost some custom emojis when it went down a Server Boost tier (but once it’s boosted back where it was, the emoji will unlock again) 

If none of those things are true, check in with support.

What’s an “emoji server?”

It’s not really a formal category. Basically, they’re community-run servers that get boosted up to the maximum so they can hold a who-o-o-le lot of emojis. Like any community, they’ve come together for a shared purpose, which in this case happens to be collecting small pictures.

A conversation between two users: One says “omg nice emoji” with an emoji of a dog making an excited face. The other replies “thanks!! I made it!” with an emoji of a cat making a flustered expression.

If you’ve got Nitro, these servers offer a convenient way to load up on hundreds of quality emojis to use in other servers. Either way, you can make friends with fellow emoji enthusiasts! That sounds nice.   

We hope this clears up some of the myths and mysteries about our precious natural resource, the emoji. Did we miss an important question? Send us a tweet and let us know.