Do You Prefer Vanilla Item Icons or Not

So I have made a very large amount of item icons for myself, from the request of others and just because I wanted to. It really makes me happy when I see a project that uses my icons, but I wanted to ask the community what their opinion on custom item icons. What do you all think?

  • I prefer to use the vanilla icons.
  • I prefer to use custom icons.
  • I use whatever I have available.
  • I didn’t know I could use/didn’t know there were custom item icons.

0 voters

After being really disoriented by the chinese hacks that use really fancy custom icons (in addition to not being able to read the item name), I’ll have to concede that vanilla icons, at least for physical weapons, are preferable for me. They are not fancy, but they are easily distinguishable and generally do the job well.


I just make my own tbh, though I try to stay “stylistically similar” to vanilla as much as possible anyways.

I like to use custom icons since I like it when hacks look different from vanilla, but one unintentional benefit of using vanilla icons is that you can immediately recognize them on the MMB which can save you a lot of time.


Personally, my inclination is to use the vanilla GBAFE icons for anything that has one, with stylistically-matching custom icons for anything that doesn’t. I’ve never really had a problem with the way item icons look in Fire Emblem, honestly, unless you want to count my finding Fates and Three Houses boring for doing away with unique icons for each individual item. My feelings on the matter essentially boil down to…

A. I’m not a big fan of changing things like that purely for the sake of changing them, but moreso than that,

B. If I were to make that kind of change, I’d want to be absolutely comprehensive about it and create a unified new art style for every item icon in the game, which kind of feels like a bunch of wasted effort to me, since I actually rather like the art style the official GBAFE games use for item icons and I’d be using a pretty huge chunk of the vanilla items, anyway… which actually leads into

C. I don’t want to unnecessarily give the player new things they have to memorize. If I’m going to include a sword type that deals effective damage to armored units, I’m gonna call it an Armorslayer. If I’m including a lance type that has a high critical hit rate, I’m gonna call it a Killer Lance. It’s just easier to remember and immediately understand if it’s stuff the player is likely already familiar with. A Fire Emblem fan sees an Armorslayer, or a Killer Lance, or a Vulnerary, and they immediately know what that item is about and how it might factor into their strategy. Things just run smoother that way, I think.

tl;dr No need to reinvent the wheel, I say.

All that said, I don’t think custom icons are bad or anything. They’re a stylistic choice more than anything, and a totally valid and understandable one to make.


I don’t think I’ve ever really considered anything other than the vanilla icons, to me, they’re too ingrained in the style of GBA FE that I can’t imagine any other icon set being used, also, just a personal thing but if I have to make the item icons look different in order to make my hack feel unique then I have failed as a designer. For custom weapons? Yeah I’ll definitely use custom icons if nothing in the vanilla game does the job.

If I were to change the vanilla icons I feel like I wouldn’t go for any of the crazy unique icon sets like double-ended lances or anything, I’d probably use a set similar to what project ember uses, just a visual upgrade in the basic design, along with modern designs for things like the armorslayer. I just feel like the basic iron, steel, silver, brave, slim, reaver, and blade weapons don’t need to be fancy, you see them a lot so they shouldn’t be anything special with the exception maybe being the brave weapons depending on how they’re implemented.

On a personal sidenote I absolutely HATE the FE5 iron axe
it looks like a GBA silver axe, it has this weirdly expensive look to it that I just despise. You’re just an iron axe, you don’t need to be fancy!

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