How To: Change your characters on Minecraft Pocket Edition without Jailbreaking
UPDATE: With iOS 6 Apple has locked down the app directory, and this will no longer work. iExplorer is working on a solution but for now ether stick with iOS 5 or ask Mojang to allow us to import skins.
For fans of Minecraft, the Pocket Edition for the iPhone is a mixed blessing. On the one hand you can play your favorite game anywhere you go… on the other, there are a ton of missing features. Luckily, most of these features seem to be gradually making their way into the game via a series of updates, however one feature that is still not available is the ability to change the way your character looks via custom skins.
Luckily, there IS a workaround, if you’re willing to do a little work, and it doesn’t even require jailbreaking! (Of course, there’s always the chance you might screw something up, so don’t blame me if you can’t follow directions and ruin your iPhone).
Here’s how to do it:
Step 01: Download and install iExplorer from Macroplant. It’s an awesome utility that allows you to explore and modify your iPhone/iPad’s contents, just like the Finder. It costs $34.99, but the demo version will let you do what you need to do if you are a cheapskate, but you can use it for so many things (like to view & Save Voicemails, Photos, videos, Address Book Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Text Messages, and so much more) you may want to buy it eventually.
Step 02: Search for and download a skin you’d like to use. I use the site minecraftskins.com, but there are others. Once you’ve found your skin, hit the DOWNLOAD TO YOUR COMPUTER button (not the big green DOWNLOAD button)
Step 03: If you have Minecraft running on your iPhone, quit it, then plug your iPhone in to your computer, and Launch iExplorer.
Step 04: In the left-hand column of iExplorer, you should see a list of items on your iPhone. Choose APPS, and then scroll down to find Minecraft PE.
Step 05: Now Open that folder, and look for the folder called “minecraftpe.app“.
Step 06: Inside that folder, you will find a file called “char.png”. This the the default Stevie skin. What you want to do is drag that file from the iExplorer window to your desktop to make a copy. Better yet, do what I did, and make a new folder on your hard drive somewhere called “MineCraft Skins“, and drag the file there. It’s always a good idea to have the original saved somewhere safe in case you miss the old skin.
Step 07: Now, rename that file to “char_orig.png” or any name you’ll remember. Next, drag the skin you downloaded from Minecraftskins.com (it might be in your downloads folder) into your new Minecraft Skins folder.
Step 08: OK, so now comes the only sort of scary part. What you want to do now is go back into iExplorer, select the “char.png” file, and hit COMMAND DELETE (or right click on it and choose “Delete”). You will be prompted that it’s a bad idea to delete files if you don’t know what you are doing.
Step 09: OK, so now you are missing the “char.png” file, and you will need to replace it. Simply go back to your Minecraft Skins folder on your desktop, select your new downloaded skin, and rename it “char.png” (all lowercase).
Step 10: Drag it back into the “minecraftpe.app” folder in iExplorer. This almost always works on the first try for me, but I have had occasions where the file did not look like it copied over, but it did indeed. So if it doesn’t show up, don’t panic. Try launching Minecraft, and see if your skin worked. If not, quit it (and force quit it from the iPhone tray), and just keep dragging in your new char.png file until it does.
So, that’s it. And now that you’ve done all that hard work, here are the things I should have mentioned at the top. First, unfortunately, this only changes the default skin on YOUR iPhone, so if you join a LAN game, your friends will still see you as Stevie, not your cool new Batman skin or whatever you downloaded. Likewise, since everyone in the game gets the Stevie skin by default, if you are playing a LAN game you will see everyone else as your new character, in addition to yourself. Thus, the multiple Iron Men and Finn’s seen above. Still, it’s pretty funny to watch these characters run around, fly, and get eaten by Zombies, and there are literally thousands of skins to choose from, and you can even take these skins into Photoshop and make your own! So get customizing!
(Oh, and I have no idea if your skins will stick through an app update, but once you’ve done this once it only takes about 2 minutes to do again).