Midjourney Prompts for Pixel Art + Prompt Examples

The process of creating pixel art can take up a lot of time. But if you use Midjourney to create it, you can have an image ready in a minute.

Pixel art refers to a type of digital art made with graphical software where the only building blocks are pixels. Pixel art is mostly associated with old video games from a time when 8-bit and 16-bit computers were popular, as well as arcade consoles.

This was a time before people were able to create complex and realistic digital art. Although some consider the pixel art era to be over, it's still quite popular today. Many game studios and artists continue to make pixel art and use it primarily in video games.

Although pixel art is associated with video games, it doesn't have to be featured in a game for people to enjoy it. There are many digital artists today who use this art style to create beautiful art.

The process of creating pixel art is quite complex. You have to think carefully about where you decide to place each individual pixel. This can take up a lot of time. But if you use Midjourney to create art in this style, you can have an image ready in less than a minute.

I would encourage my readers who are interested in pixel art to use Midjourney as an infinite source of inspiration. With this text-to-image AI model, you can create a complex scene quickly. By doing this, you'll see what works and what doesn't without having to spend hours constructing a specific scene.

midjourney prompts for pixel art

How to Write Midjourney Prompts for Pixel Art

Pixel art got its start due to the extreme restrictions of early graphics. Designers had to be careful where they placed each pixel in order to create symbols users would recognize. It's been a long time since that era. Yet many people still appreciate this art form.

Ever since NFTs became popular, pixel art has started making a comeback in a big way. While I'm on this subject, I have a great article on how to write Midjourney prompts for NFT art. If you're into this technology, I suggest you read the article to pick up some great tips and tricks.

Writing prompts for pixel art is very similar to writing any other type of prompts in Midjourney. You have to carefully describe the scene you want to create in the most concise way possible. The soft cap in Midjourney is 60 words, so make sure you keep your prompts shorter.

The one thing you should pay attention to is what type of pixel art you want to create. Processors in old consoles can be 8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit. This is extremely relevant information as it gives a lot of context to the AI model.

Another thing you should consider mentioning in your prompts is an old video game console. This can also provide additional context to the AI model, as it will instruct it to create a work of art that resembles video games played on a specific console. Some of the consoles you can mention in your prompts include:

  • Atari ST
  • Commodore Amiga
  • Sega Genesis
  • SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
  • TurboGrafx 16
  • Sega Dreamcast
  • PlayStation

I've included only some consoles in this short list. You should take a few minutes to find other old video game consoles that were popular a few decades ago and see which one might be useful for your prompts.

You don't necessarily have to mention any of these consoles or the type of processor to create good pixel art in Midjourney. You can simply write the keyword 'pixel art' and the AI model will create something in this art style. Nevertheless, providing additional context is always useful when you're interacting with artificial intelligence models.

15 Midjourney Prompts for Pixel Art

I will be creating a variety of scenes in this article. I have quite an admiration for pixel art, so I'll try to do the art form justice by including showing only great images. Here are some of my favorite Midjourney prompts for pixel art.

/imagine pixel art, mighty templar knight entered an old underground dungeon where he meets his arch nemesis for the first time, his arch nemesis is an old demon that has been roaming the Earth since the beginning of time --v 5.2

knight rpg pixel art in midjourney

For my first prompt example in this article, I wanted to show you how you can create pixel art without having to mention a specific console or processor. Instead, I just used the keyword 'pixel art' at the beginning of my prompt then described the scene I wanted to see and Midjourney did the rest.

There is a high level of detail in this image, which I certainly appreciate. It would likely take a lot of time for a designer to create a scene like this. Although this is amazing, I want to show you other ways you can write prompts for pixel art.

/imagine SNES screenshot, friendly ghost glowing with a magic aura arrives at an ancient Japanese kingdom --v 5.2

snes midjourney pixel art prompt

This is an incredibly neat trick that you can use when you're making pixel art in Midjourney. See how I started the prompt with the words 'SNES screenshot'? That's the most efficient way to use the name of a console in your prompts.

You should aim to instruct the AI model to know what it should create in a concise way. The first two words in the prompt give it the instruction that the image it should generate needs to look like it's a screenshot taken on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System console.

/imagine pixel art style, 8 bit, an old samurai armed with a katana enters a burned forest to seek revenge on a group of bandits who destroyed his village --v 5.2

8 bit pixel art samurai midjourney prompt

In this prompt, I mentioned both the 8-bit processor and the pixel art style. This combination of keywords provides the text-to-image model with sufficient information to create a great image.

While I was writing this article, the animated TV show Samurai Jack randomly popped into my mind. I have no idea why, but as soon as I remembered it, I knew I had to create a samurai-themed image in a pixel art style.

/imagine Sega Genesis screenshot, pixel art, an anthropomorphic rabbit wearing a cloak is standing in the middle of a forest during autumn, waiting to have a secret meeting with its ally who is an anthropomorphic fox --v 5.2

sega genesis pixel art midjourney example

I love coming up with random scenes. I've made so many images in Midjourney so far that it kind of comes naturally. And honestly, I think that's the best way to approach prompting in general. It shouldn't feel forced, and you shouldn't take you too much time to come up with a single prompt.

My general approach is to simply write whatever comes to mind and see what Midjourney will generate from it. If I think it's not good enough, I'll make slight edits until I'm happy. If I see that several edits won't help, I simply move on to the next idea.

/imagine pixel art style, 16 bit, scene is set in a bar located in a futuristic neopunk city, a thief and a detective meet together in a bar to discuss their secret plans --v 5.2

16 bit pixel art neopunk city midjourney prompt

The combination of the pixel and neopunk art styles is timeless in my opinion. There is something about the combination of retro and futuristic aesthetics that sparks a very special feeling when I look at images like this.

This image alone inspired me for a brief moment to think about making an adventure game with the help of multiple AI tools. I might actually do something like that in the future.

/imagine pixel art, old arcade video game, US marine is fighting a huge monster in the middle of a desert --v 5.2

arcade video game midjourney prompt

My favorite arcade video game of all time is without a doubt Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. I'm not sure how many people remember this side-scrolling gem, but playing it will be forever engraved in my mind.

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs is the inspiration behind this prompt, even though it may not seem like it. The only reason why it's not super obvious it's the inspiration is that I didn't want to use dinosaurs (or cadillacs) in my prompt. Instead, I only wanted to create an image that has a similar aesthetic to the arcade game I love.

/imagine TurboGrafx 16 screenshot, pixel art, medieval prince embarks on a quest to defeat the possessed lion that has been attacking villagers --v 5.2

turbografx 16 pixel art midjourney prompt

I was tempted to write that the prince must save a princess from the lion, but that's too played out at this point. The description I wrote is pretty much played out as well, but it's so difficult to come up with an original idea. Especially when I want to teach people as I'm coming up with prompts.

/imagine pixel art style, 32 bit, a warrior is transported to the underworld where they'll encounter their biggest challenges yet, enemies are lurking --v 5.2

32 bit pixel art midjourney example

I first wrote this prompt without the 'enemies are lurking' part and the results were fine but when I was looking at the image I knew something was missing. I thought that if someone would be transported to the underworld, they would likely instantly encounter a bunch of enemies. That's at least what playing video games taught me.

With the addition of this simple phrase that consists of only three words, I was able to complete the image.

/imagine Sega Dreamcast screenshot, pixel art, a sorceress is casting a magic spell called the ice orb which can freeze enemies instantly --v 5.2

sega dreamcast pixel art in midjourney

I love magic spells in video games. I grew up playing Diablo 2 and I remember all of the spells you can cast with that character. I wanted to mimic a spell from the game with this prompt. The main difference is that the Sega Dreamcast era was a bit prior to Diablo 2, so it doesn't look as good in terms of graphics.

/imagine pixel art style, retro arcade video game style, bodybuilder street fighter enters a fight with the devil, who will be victorious? --v 5.2

street fighter pixel art midjourney prompt

The Street Fighter game series had such a huge global impact on the video game industry. It's one of the most iconic games ever made, right along with Mortal Kombat. In the days of arcade games, these two games were what everybody wanted to play. I wanted to pay homage to the Street Fighter series with this prompt.

/imagine Commodore Amiga screenshot, pixel art, an old scientist is trapped in a strange laboratory and can't find a way out, he must solve various puzzles to escape the lab --v 5.2

commodore amiga pixel art midjourney prompt

I've played a few puzzle video games back in the day. Nowadays, I need something more fast paced to keep me entertained. I used to love playing RPGs and taking my time with them, but I prefer first-person shooters now. Anyway, this was inspired by old puzzle video games.

/imagine Atari ST screenshot, pixel art video game, an assassin hired by a secret agency explores an ancient kingdom to find a prince in exile and steal his treasures --v 5.2

midjourney prompts for pixel art atari assassin

I love the fact that I can come up with a very random plot, type it in, and generate an image from it. I've been using Midjourney for several months and I'm still mind blown from time to time when I see how good the generated outputs are. This image is exactly how I envisioned the scene in my mind as I was writing the prompt.

/imagine pixel art style, 8 bit, a warrior is approaching an active volcano where the power of Earth's core can be used to imbue weapons with magical properties --v 5.2

volcano 8 bit pixel art example

Imagine going on a quest like this. You dip your sword into an active volcano and it gets imbued with magic powerful enough that you can slay a dragon with one swing of the blade. If magic was a real thing, I wouldn't even spend any time on my computer. I'd just roam the planet searching for beasts to slay.

/imagine SNES screenshot, pixel art, secret treasures are hidden at the center of the North Pole and only the bravest of souls can reach it --v 5.2

snes north pole pixel art midjourney prompt

This image is definitely bringing back some old-school video game vibes. You're in the middle of nowhere dealing with extreme conditions but you have no other option than to keep going and find the treasures you're looking for.

/imagine Sega Genesis screenshot, pixel art, dark forest where an ancient tribe is hiding in secret positions to catch any intruders --v 5.2

forest pixel art sega genesis midjourney example

Why can't you see the ancient tribe in this image? Because they are all hiding in secret positions. All jokes aside, I like the combination of colors featured in this image. The purple details especially stand out and give the scene a specific flair.

Final Thoughts

And that's how it's done. I never claim to be an expert in anything, but I can confidently say that I made some awesome pixel art today. But I'm sure you can do even better. If you're still learning how to use Midjourney, you should become better than me.

Take the time to explore different ideas to see what works and what doesn't. I showed you how I write prompts, but there are surely even better methods that you can discover by interacting with this AI model.

The technology is powerful but our ability to use it efficiently is still not at a high level. The only way to discover how you can write the best prompts possible is through endless experimentation.

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