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NPC Skins

Custom NPC skins are something that many server admins have asked for ever since Citizens was first released. In recent Minecraft versions it has become possible to control an NPC's skin via the new player packet system. By default an NPC will have the default Steve or Alex skin. You can set an NPC's skin by using the /npc skin [NAME] command. For example, /npc skin mcmonkey4eva

What's the best way to set a custom skin?

If you want to set a custom skin (one that isn't already on a player), use the script provided in #Helpful Tools which lets you set a skin from a URL. If you don't want to or can't do that, the backup option is: Set your own player skin to the desired skin. Go to your NPC and type /npc skin <your name>. Change your skin to the next skin for the next NPC and repeat the process.

Other Options

You can use /npc skin [NAME] -l (a lowercase L) to always use the latest skin for the player (updating if the player changes their skin). If this is not set, the current skin (at time of using the command) will be retained.

You can use /npc skin -t [uuid] [data] [signature] from the console (or any large-input command sender) to set a very specific full skin blob from Mojang. If you don't know exactly what that is, just don't use it. It's a developer tool.

Note that some sites like let you generate values for the -t option.

Common Issues

Many issues can cause the skin system to fail. If you are experiencing issues, please ensure the following:

  • You are running a fully up to date Spigot server acquired from running a supported recent version of Minecraft. You can use /version to check the version of your server.
  • You are running the latest dev version of Citizens2 from Please verify the specific build number (NOT the file version name) You can use /version citizens to check this build number.
  • You have a dedicated server (not a shared hosting service!)
  • You own your server's IP entirely (no other ports on the server are used by other minecraft servers! (Unless they're your own servers as well.))
  • You are running your server in ONLINE MODE (offline mode servers won't work!)
  • There are no errors ANYWHERE in your current log file (logs/latest.log). Any errors, even if seemingly unrelated, must be fixed!
  • You are not being rate limited by Mojang. This can occur if you've loaded too many skins recently (from player head skull items, or from the npc skin command). This can be cured by waiting a while without loading more skins in, to allow Mojang to drop the rate limit.

If you have confirmed you meet all of these requirements, but are still having trouble, feel free to post an issue to with as much information as possible (At the very least, pastebin your current log file and Citizens saves.yml file)

Please DO NOT lie about any of these when requesting help. They are not to "catch you" or anything like that: these are listed because these requirements WILL cause issues if not met, and if you say you meet them but don't actually, you'll just be wasting everyone's time (including your own!)

Helpful Tools

There's a Denizen script available to automatically load skins onto an NPC from any valid skin image URL (even just from imgur / any other direct-link image host). Get that script here.