How to get Minecraft capes

Find out how to get Minecraft capes in either Java or Bedrock edition and make your avatar skin look even cooler than we're sure it already does

You want to know how to get Minecraft capes and how to equip them on your skin. You’ve heard rumours, whispers of a mythical piece of cloth that adorns the shoulders of the most elite Minecraft players. The legends speak of myriad Minecraft capes handed out to the lucky few over the years. Word on the block (sigh) is that capes also modify the appearance of Minecraft Elytra, the magical wings found in end ships, as they occupy the same space on a player’s back. Needless to say, Minecraft capes are highly coveted, but they haven’t been easy to get.

Those who ventured to any Minecon event before Minecon Earth 2017 each received Minecraft capes; each year, a different colour and design. Even rarer still are the personal capes gifted to lucky individuals in recognition of their achievements, such as Reddit user u/billyk_, who got a personal turtle cape for suggesting Mojang should add turtles to Minecraft.

Unless you can come up with a suggestion as good as turtles (unlikely) or can time travel back to Minecons past, it looks like you’re out of luck to obtain any of these Minecraft capes in the Java version. They’re a bit more common in the Bedrock version, as some skin packs in the Marketplace have them. If you want them for free, you can try on a cape with the help of Minecraft mods, though it’ll only be visible to you. There is one currently available Minecraft cape for the Java edition, though, so read on to find out how to get it.

Minecraft capes: the menu for equipping the capes in Minecraft Bedrock edition.

Get a Minecraft cape by migrating your account

In a blog post in 2020, Mojang announced that it is migrating all Minecraft Java edition accounts from Mojang to Microsoft. This is a mandatory change, so if you don’t switch your account over when the time comes, you eventually won’t be able to play Minecraft unless you use the launcher.

On the plus side, though, once you log in to Minecraft using your Microsoft account, you’ll unlock a shiny new cape – and maybe more, as Mojang hints at players receiving ‘more than one outfit to show off’. New Minecraft accounts are automatically set up with Microsoft instead of Mojang.

You can read up about how to do it by reading this official blog post from Mojang.

Minecraft capes: the launcher options for character editing, including the option to turn on capes.

How to equip Minecraft capes

If you have an official Minecraft cape, you can equip them before launching a game. However, your capes Bedrock capes are exclusive to that version. The same is true for any capes earned in Minecraft Java version.

For the Bedrock version, open the app and click the button to enter the Dressing Room from the main menu. Next, click the tab on the left of the screen with a red cape with the Mojang logo. This will show all of your available capes, so choose one and click equip.

For the Java version, you need to open the Launcher and click on Minecraft: Java Edition on the tabs to the left. This brings up some options at the top, including Skins. Click this option to bring up all of your current skins. From here, you can either create a new skin or edit an existing one. Under the option to choose a Skin File, you will see all your officially available capes.

Get a cape in Minecraft with mods

What if you desperately want your avatar to have a cape right now, and you’re not interested in the free migration cape? Luckily, with the power of mods, you can get your own cape to bellow behind you as you walk! You can obtain any of the coveted capes in the game – or even better, any cape you can conceive of – using mods like the Advanced Capes Mod.

There is a caveat: other players you meet on multiplayer Minecraft servers won’t be able to see your cape unless they also have the same mods installed. So the only way to get capes that everyone can see is by waiting for official capes to be gifted to you from Mojang as it migrates your account.

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That’s everything you need to know about getting yourself a cool Minecraft cape – if you’re looking to complete your ensemble, here are the best Minecraft skins we’ve found, or you could kit yourself out with a full suit of Minecraft Netherite armour. Check out our Minecraft The Wild guide for everything about the most recent 1.19 update.