How to get a Minecraft cape

Previously reserved for the Minecraft elite, Mojang now brings capes to the masses, so everyone can wear a free Minecraft cape

How can you get hold of a Minecraft cape, you ask? You may have 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 a MINECON event prior to Minecon Earth 2017 each received a cape; each year a different colour and design. Even rarer still are the personal capes gifted to lucky individuals in recognition of their achievements, like Reddit user u/billyk_ who was given a personal turtle cape for suggesting that turtles be added 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 when it comes to obtaining any of the Minecraft capes that are currently flapping around out there. You can try on a cape with the help of Minecraft mods, though it’ll only be visible to you – or if you own Minecraft Bedrock edition, you can get access to capes through skin packs. There is a way to get your hands on a cape for Minecraft Java edition, though – read on to find out how.

Get a Minecraft cape by migrating your account

In a blog post in 2020, Mojang announced that all Minecraft Java edition accounts will be migrated 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 any more. Boo.

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’. The voluntary migration period is currently live, but if you can’t see the option to transfer in the Minecraft launcher, keep an eye on your inbox for the email letting you know it’s time to make the switch and earn your cape – or is that ‘capes’? New Minecraft accounts are automatically set up with Microsoft instead of Mojang.

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

Get a cape with Minecraft 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 though: other players you meet on multiplayer Minecraft servers won’t be able to see your cape unless they also have the same mods installed. 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.

Related: how to manage your mods with Minecraft Forge

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. If you want to know what’s coming in the 1.19 update, check out our Minecraft The Wild guide.