Having the right graphics in a game is incredibly important yet it’s not always possible to get custom artwork created for all aspects of your game. Sometimes budget constraints or time can make it difficult yet where can you go to find the right tilesets, textures, sprites etc. for your game?
Well if I’m honest, I wouldn’t know where the best place is! I’m just a composer (see my homepage) and so my specialty is music, however, I do work with many indie game developers (see my credits) and on other various projects that require great artwork. I often get asked if I know where one would go for these types of assets. So, to hopefully help you move in the right direction, I’ve compiled a list of resources that I think are definitely worth knowing about.
Some I’ve browsed myself, others have been recommended and I know are used by other game developers, so see what you make of them…
This is one of the most popular sites for free 2D and 3D art and graphics for game developers. Everything is categorised and there’s also an active forum on the site which is often worth browsing too.
I’ve mentioned this site before in another blog as it also has free sound effects (see 12 Great Places to Find SFX for your Game).
Their slogan is ‘helping indie game devs make a splash’ and indeed they do! The site was created by Vicki Wenderlich to give game developers on a tight budget the opportunity find free and inexpensive art for their games. There are loads of free art assets on the site and those that you have to pay for are mostly between $5-20, so are very affordable.
Most of the assets available to download from Open Game Graphics are under Creative Commons Attribution or Creative Commons Zero licenses. So, most are free to use and can be used in commercial projects, but some may require a credit. The ‘Collections’ are great as they contain pretty much everything you need for a full game.
There are many free game assets available on Itch, as well as being a great platform for finding, playing and publishing indie games. Use the search filter options to narrow down your search and to find what you need.
(Also see 11 Places to Publish Your Game)
Similarly to Itch.io, this is a digital marketplace where people can put up various assets for a fixed price but many people do make assets available for free as well. The search options let you filter by ‘paid’ or ‘free’ options and so play around with that to see what’s available, however, the paid assets are very much affordable and so it’s a great site to browse through generally.
If you’re making a mobile game, this site is a great resource for you. It’s full royalty free graphics/sprites you can use for your games or apps, and there are also a range of tutorial videos, games to play and a SpriteMaker you can play around with too.
7. Game Art 2D
This site has a ‘freebies’ section, which includes some free sprites, tilesets, GUIs and more. There aren’t a huge number available but they are complete sets which include scrolling backgrounds, objects, decorations, multiple file formats etc and so it’s worth a look. The paid art bundles are fairly reasonably priced as well so good to browse.
Similarly to Game Art 2D, you can buy cheap 2D art assets here or explore their freebie section. This online graphic store was set up by designer and developer Debug Design (Aka Ian Garstang). There’s a blog and they also take requests, and so if you want something that you can’t find there, you could ask for it!
9. Craft Pix
Craftpix offers both free and premium 2D assets for games. You’ll find most of the main categories available: icons, sprites, tilesets, GUI, characters, backgrounds, game kits etc. All can be used in commercial projects and integrated easily into most game engines i.e. Unity / Unreal Engine and many others. Most assets are either free or below $10.
10. Unlucky Studio
This site is run by Sujit Kumar Yadav, the author of Game Maker for Beginners. It’s basically a blog with various informative tutorials and game art assets all available to download for free. You can offer a donation via the site but otherwise everything is presented in the form of giveaways.
You can download a free game art assets bundle via their site. If you sign up to their newsletter you get a discount off the paid bundles and a range of other goodies. It’s one to take a look at and be aware of for sure!
12. Glitch The Game
Glitch was a collaborative, web-based massively multiplayer game which was opened to the public in 2010 but then shut down in 2012. The whole library of art assets from the game are now freely available in the public domain and so this site is definitely worth checking out. There are over 10,000 assets available including location art, spritesheets etc etc. and they’re all really high quality.
This site was created by Brent Anderson, a freelance game designer and developer. He’s made a lot of artwork available to use for free and it’s easy to download as zip files. The only catch is that you need to include a credit somewhere in your game.
Here you’ll find a collection of over 300 files all available under creative commons. It’s basically one 28MB zip file with lots in there to play with. The 8 bit city resource files are the ones to note and you just need to credit Crateboy in your game or ‘pay what you like’.
SpriteLib is a collection of static and animated graphic objects (sprites) available for hobbyist game developers to download in one big file. If you need sprites, this could be worth a look. It’s not a biggest pack ever but there are some great landscapes and characters in there, which are easy to download and use in any 2D game. These are available under Common Public License.
There are over 40,000 free images, audio files and 3D models all available to use for free on this site. They’re all in the public domain and are easy to download. There’s also a paid section where you can get bundles and premium assets which is also worth a little look.
17. Reiners Tilesets
This site was created by a hobby game developer when they couldn’t find any graphics and decided to create their own! The site now contains lots of tilesets, sprites, textured low poly meshes, sound effects, tutorials and more. Whether you’re creating a 2D or 3D game, there might be something here for you.
So there you have it! 17 amazing resources for your game. Unfortunately this is all I can really help you with from the art side of your project, but if you happen to need help with any music, I can certainly do much more! Drop me a line if you’d like to explore this further. I’m on Twitter if you want to DM me there or just pop me a message and I’ll be in touch very soon!
About the author:Ninichiis a freelance game music composer and film music composer. She creates music for indie games, films, podcasts, tv shows, commercials and more.
She is an incredibly diverse composer with an extensive credit list to her name. If you'd like help with music for any project, feel free to contact her now.
Follow her @ninichimusic