Home » Midjourney Pixel Art Prompts – They’re Pixel-Perfect

Midjourney Pixel Art Prompts – They’re Pixel-Perfect

by Nick Smith
Published: Last Updated on
Phoenix Arizona Pixel Art - Midjourney

If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried running prompts before in Midjourney to create pixel art but fell flat on your face.

I feel you. Now get up and dust yourself off.

For whatever strange reason, trying to create pixel art in Midjourney with version 5 (v5) simply doesn’t work the way it should, or at least for now. The solution? Use version 4 (v4). Also, use the tips and prompts on this page. You’ll be wowed.

Anyway, Midjourney is awesome at recreating similar visual styles as retro video games. You can even make it look like an actual screenshot from a mock game. At first glance, you might even think it’s a real screenshot from a real retro video game. It’s not.

Midjourney is capable of generating pixel art assets suitable for direct use in games. I bet this will slowly be known as a sharp way to speed up the game development process.

So, if you like video games, especially retro video games, then you will love producing pixel art in MIdjourney.

Although some people might consider Run The Prompts a nerdy website, I don’t agree. So, I decided to amp it up a notch by adding retro video game-inspired pixel prompts. That makes it way less nerdy. Let’s get down to business.

Pixel Art Prompt Keywords to Experiment With

First up: here’s a list of keywords you can use in your Midjourney prompts to help you get to where you need to go. This way, you can experiment and see what works best for you.

Don’t worry, we’ll also provide you with a bunch of copy/paste prompts, along with sick screenshots. I know how much you guys want fast results.

Popular Retro Video Game Systems:

  • NES
  • SNES
  • Sega Genesis
  • PlayStation 2
  • N64

Retro Processors:

  • 8-bit pixel art
  • 16-bit pixel art
  • 24-bit pixel art
  • 32-bit pixel art

Classic Video Games:

  • Style of Castlevania 1986
  • Style of Metal Slug
  • Style of Resident Evil
  • Style of Goldeneye 007
  • Style of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

Got it? Good. Now, let’s move right along.

1. Phoenix Nightlife Pixel Art

(Copy/Paste Prompt into Midjourney)
32-bit pixel art, Phoenix Arizona night life, partying, drinking, neon lights, flashing lights, bars, clubs, cinematic –v 4

Phoenix, AZ Nightlife Pixel Art

As the sun hides after another long day in Phoenix, neon signs flicker to life, painting a vibrant scene straight out of an 80s arcade game.

Palm trees silhouette against a backdrop of pulsating lights and pixelated buildings. It’s a digital snapshot of nightlife, where every glowing pixel sucks you into a world that some people won’t remember tomorrow.

Try this prompt with other cities or areas of the world and see what happens, like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or Gary, Indiana.

2. Sega Genesis-Style Pixel Art: Action Game

(Copy/Paste Prompt into Midjourney)
Sega genesis graphics, 2d, mature action game, dystopian, eerie –v 4

Sega Genesis Pixel Art - Action Game - Midjourney

Let’s rewind to the 90s Sega Genesis magic, where our hero stands ready in armor. This scene is a pixel-powered showdown. Behind him, the world’s on fire, literally, with a boss monster glaring out from the flames, ready to ignite him.

Our warrior gives off that “it’s game time” vibe. In the classic days of gaming, every pixel in the scene was a piece of the adventure. It had to be. There were only so many of them.

3. PlayStation 2 Resident Evil-Style Pixel Art

(Copy/Paste Prompt into Midjourney)
Playstation 2 graphics, mature action game, sewer, macomb, in the style of resident evil –v 4

Playstation 2 Pixel Art - Resident Evil-Style - Midjourney

A flickering light casts grim shadows in this desolate underground nightmare. The stagnant water mirrors a scene where silence is the loudest sound.

Does it remind you of Resident Evil? It should. It’s right there in the prompt and the headline. Pay attention.

4. Mountainous Phoenix Pixel Art

(Copy/Paste Prompt into Midjourney)
8-bit pixel art, phoenix arizona view of houses and palm trees and cactuses with mountains in the background on a rainy day –ar 16:9 –v 5.2

Phoenix Arizona Pixel Art - Midjourney

In this pixel art, Phoenix rises amidst the desert colors, flanked by the bold silhouettes of cacti. The city’s outline melts with the rugged mountains, all under a vast, cloud-soaked sky, capturing the vibes between urban life and wild Arizona landscapes.

If you’ve been running the prompts with us for any amount of time, you may have connected the dots. I live in Phoenix. That’s why there is so much content related to Phoenix on this site. Change around the prompt to fit whatever location you’d like. I like Phoenix.

5. SNES Adventure Game Pixel Art

(Copy/Paste Prompt into Midjourney)
SNES screenshot, adventure through colorful hills and mountains –v 4

SNES Adventure Game Pixel Art - Midjourney

A lonely cyclist takes on the winding trails of a pixelated desert landscape, bathed in the warm glow of a setting sun. Majestic rock formations rise in the background, framing the scene. This image is a blend of motion and stillness, an invitation to explore the huge and colorful AI landscape.

Somehow, Midjourney managed to squeeze every ounce of 16-bit processing power into this art, adding as much color and interest as the tech would’ve allowed.

6. Neo Geo Metal Slug Pixel Art

(Copy/Paste Prompt into Midjourney)
clean pixel art, party on the beach of Pattaya Thailand, style of metal slug 1996 –ar 3:2 –v 4

Metal Slug Pixel Art - Pattaya, Thailand - Midjourney

Somewhere on pixel beach in Pattaya, Thailand, a group of rebel army soldiers take a break from their duty to soak up the sun.

This is the second (and last) example on this page of art that is inspired by a specific video game’s art style. If you’ve ever played Metal Slug (and I hope you have), you’ll know that this is spot-on accurate.

7. BONUS: Retro Video Game Box Art

(Copy/Paste Prompt into Midjourney)
Sega Genesis video game cover, mature action game, dystopian, eerie –v 4

Retro Video Game Box Art - Sega Genesis - Midjourney

(Copy/Paste Prompt into Midjourney)
NES video game cover, fast racing game through the snow –v 4

Retro Video Game Box Art - NES #1 - Midjourney
Retro Video Game Box Art - NES #2 - Midjourney

I bet you didn’t see this coming.

Midjourney can not only create pixel art…it can also create mock video game box art.

These are shockingly accurate, minus the gibberish text. You can always remove the gibberish text with Generative Fill in Photoshop and replace it with real text.

For whatever reason, I could only get NES and Sega Genesis box art to work when I experimented with different consoles, but your results may vary. Give it a try!

Wrapping it up


In the pursuit of creating the perfect pixel art, it’s clear that Midjourney’s version 4 (v4) can knock it out of the park. The ability to produce artwork that echoes the golden era of gaming not only stirs a sense of nostalgia but also presents a practical avenue for accelerating game creation.

Midjourney’s strength lies in its power to generate images so authentic, that they could be plucked straight from a SNES console hooked up to a tube TV.

So, dial up your creativity and experiment with the prompts and keywords that I provided you. It’s about leveraging the classic aesthetic to inspire and innovate. So whether you’re a gamer, a developer, or just a lover of pixel art, Midjourney offers a pixel-perfect palette to transform your digital dreams into a 16-bit reality.

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