What Is r/place? Guide To Reddit’s Pixel Art Experiment

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The internet is an amazing place full of creativity and collaboration. Every once in a while, something comes along that brings people together in a unique way. This year, that “something” is Reddit’s r/place.

r/place is a collaborative pixel art project hosted on Reddit that allows users from all over the world to come together and create art on a giant online canvas. It‘s a fascinating social experiment that showcases the power of crowd creativity.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about r/place, including:

  • What is r/place and how does it work?
  • The history of r/place
  • How to participate in r/place
  • Strategies and tips for creating art on r/place
  • Review of the final 2022 r/place canvas
  • Notable events, communities, and artworks from r/place 2022
  • What we can expect from r/place in the future

Whether you‘re a seasoned Redditor or completely new to the platform, this guide will help you understand the magic of r/place and how you can get involved in this unique collaborative art project. Let‘s dive in!

What Exactly is r/place?

r/place is a subreddit (or community) on Reddit that hosts a collaborative pixel art canvas. Every registered Reddit user can place a single colored tile on the canvas every 5-20 minutes. When thousands or even millions of users work together, they can create intricate artwork, messages, and designs.

The r/place canvasexperiment first debuted on Reddit on April Fools‘ Day in 2017 and ran for 72 hours. After a wildly successful first run, Reddit decided to bring it back again this year on April 1, 2022.

The goal of r/place is to allow Reddit users from all around the world to come together and create something collectively. It’s an interesting social experiment that demonstrates how internet communities can coordinate and create art or messaging on a massive scale.

r/place final 2022 canvas screenshot

A screenshot of the complete r/place 2022 canvas, via r/place

How Does r/place Work?

The mechanics of r/place are simple. The canvas itself is 1000×1000 pixels. Any registered Reddit user can visit r/place and click on a pixel to change its color. However, there are some limitations:

  • Users must have a verified email address attached to their Reddit account
  • There is a 5-20 minute cooldown time between placing pixels
  • Users can only place one pixel at a time

These rules ensure that no single person can dominate or vandalize the canvas. The cooldown timer also reduces coordinated bot attacks. With millions of Redditors working together under these limitations, the canvas slowly transforms as each user adds their pixel contribution.

Communities often coordinate off-site to plan their pixel art campaigns on the r/place canvas. Collaboration tools like Discord, Reddit chat rooms, live streams, overlays, and spreadsheets help groups strategize about which pixels to add and when.

To participate in r/place, simply head to the r/place subreddit on desktop or mobile, log into your Reddit account, and start placing tiles!

The History of r/place

r/place originally started as an April Fools‘ Day experiment on Reddit back in 2017. It was inspired by a similar collaborative art project called Reddit Place that ran in 2008.

On April 1, 2017, the r/place subreddit suddenly appeared. With no explanation, Reddit invited users to place tiles on a 1000×1000 pixel canvas. At first, it was chaos. But soon, various Reddit communities organized to create art, flags, symbols, and messages.

After 72 hours, r/place ended having created a canvas full of video game characters, intricate artworks, political statements, and lots of memes. It gave Redditors a creative outlet to come together across geographic and cultural boundaries.

Given how popular and successful the 2017 r/place was, Reddit decided to launch it again this year for April Fools’ 2022. This time, the canvas expanded to 2000×2000 pixels to allow even more artwork.

How To Participate in r/place

Participating in r/place is easy and accessible to all Reddit users. All you need is a free Reddit account and the desire to collaborate with others to create pixel art.

Here are simple step-by-step instructions for placing tiles on the r/place canvas:

  1. Make sure you are logged into your Reddit account, either on desktop or mobile

  2. Go to the r/place subreddit

  3. Find an area on the canvas where you want to contribute a pixel

  4. Click the “Place a tile” button to open the color palette

  5. Choose a tile color

  6. Click on your desired pixel square to place your colored tile

  7. Wait between 5-20 minutes before you can place another tile

Some tips for participating:

  • Join existing art projects rather than starting random pixels
  • Use overlay browser extensions to see pixel art plans
  • Join a Discord or Reddit community to coordinate
  • Defend existing art from griefers
  • Don’t place tiles too fast or you may be rate limited

With some planning and collaboration, even a single user can create something amazing on the canvas. The more you participate, the more rewarding the experience.

r/place Strategies and Tips

Placing random single pixels on r/place won’t get you very far. To actually create artwork and make an impact on the canvas, you need to strategize and collaborate with others.

Here are some strategies and tips to get the most out of your r/place experience:

Join an existing community – Your best bet is to join a subreddit, Discord, streamer community, or other group that is organizing a specific project on r/place. Coordination is key.

Use an overlay – Overlays show your pixel art plans transparently over the actual canvas to help you build in the right spot. Browser extensions like r/place Atlas and Overlay-Place are popular.

Defend your art – Assign group members to monitor and defend important areas of your pixel art from griefers trying to ruin it. Act quickly to fix vandalized areas.

Rotate out players – Don’t let one person place all the tiles. Rotate members in and out to prevent cooldowns. This maximizes your pixel placing speed.

Recruit more people – The more hands you have placing tiles, the faster your art will come together. Spread the word to recruit others to your cause.

Keep trying – If your first art gets destroyed, don’t get discouraged. Find a new spot and try again. Persistence pays off.

Plan ahead – Map out pixel art plans and make tile-by-tile blueprint spreadsheets so you know exactly which pixels to place.

By using careful planning, teamwork, and communication, your r/place art can go from idea to reality.

Review of the Final 2022 r/place Canvas

After 4 days, the massive 2,000 x 2,000 pixel r/place canvas filled up with a stunning array of artwork, memes, flags, communities, and random creativity. Here are some highlights of the final canvas:

  • Central flag area with nations like Turkey, UK, Mexico, US, Canada, India, Philippines and more

  • Mascots like the Windows XP wallpaper, Nintendo characters, Hollow Knight, Diglett, Mr. Worldwide

  • Pop culture like Star Wars logos, Avengers, Overwatch, League of Legends, Minecraft references

  • Stunning artistic pieces like Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Girl with a Pearl Earring recreations

  • Real world events like the Ukrainian flag, LGBTQ+ rainbow flag, Palestinian flag

  • A sizable blue corner which turned into an ocean scene

  • Tons of streamer fan art of xQc, Pokimane, Asmongold, Mizkif, and others

  • Memes featuring Heardle, Nyan Cat, Doge, Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley, and more

  • Mascots and logos of companies like Tesla, GitHub, Spotify, NBA, Formula 1, and universities

It’s amazing that millions of people placing single pixels could result in such detailed artwork. The final canvas will forever memorialize internet culture in April 2022.

Notable Events, Communities, and Artworks

r/place was filled with “wars” between factions, ambitious art projects, political statements, and lots of memes. Here were some of the most notable events, communities, and artworks that took place:

Big community artworks – Groups like Star Wars, Deltarune, Hollow Knight, League of Legends, and Team Fortress 2 rallied redditors to create huge video game-themed pixel art.

Flashing Ukrainian flag – The Ukrainian flag art pulsed on and off to demonstrate support amidst the ongoing war.

OSU! power struggle – The Ohio State University community fought hard to maintain their logo on the canvas despite constant griefing.

Blue Corner vs. XQC – The Blue Corner community tried desperately to stop the black and white void spread by xQc and his followers.

Trans flag expansion – The trans pride flag grew to an impressive size in a show of support for trans people.

French flag takeover – French streamer Kamet0 rallied users to create a massive French flag, sparking backlash.

Windows XP desktop – Internet nostalgia led to a perfect recreation of the iconic greens hills Windows XP desktop background.

Mona Lisa replicas – Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting was recreated in pixel art form multiple times.

Star Wars & pop culture art – Detailed pixel art of Darth Vader, Yoda, Mandalorian characters Baby Yoda, Marvel logos, Disney icons, and more showed Reddit‘s pop culture passion.

It was amazing seeing internet communities and culture immortalized through collaborative pixel art on r/place.

What to Expect from r/place in the Future

After two successful runs five years apart, it seems very likely that Reddit will bring back r/place again in the future. The next r/place could arrive as early as April 2023.

Here are some ways Reddit might evolve r/place for future iterations:

  • Larger canvas size – The canvas doubled from 1,000×1,000px in 2017 to 2,000×2,000px in 2022. We may see 5,000×5,000px or larger next time.

  • New customization options – Reddit could allow users to do more than just place colored tiles, like upload custom images or change pixel size.

  • Longer duration – Each r/place has run for 3-4 days. Reddit may extend it to a week or a full month at some point.

  • Mobile improvements – Better mobile experience with high resolution optimization, notifications, and easier pixel placing.

  • Moderation tools – Give communities moderator abilities to undo vandalism or ban griefer accounts more quickly.

  • NFT integrations – Reddit NFT avatars opened the door to other crypto and NFT integrations with future r/place experiments.

No matter what changes may come, the spirit of collective creativity and fun will surely remain at the heart of r/place. We can’t wait to see what Redditors can create the next time r/place returns!


r/place represents the internet at both its best and worst. Out of chaos and confusion, creativity and community emerge. Perfect strangers put aside differences to create something bigger than themselves, if only for a fleeting moment.

Hopefully this guide gave you a better understanding of the fascinating collaborative artwork that is Reddit’s r/place. Now that you know the history, how it works, strategies for participating, and what happened in 2022, you’ll be ready to dive in on the canvas when it eventually returns again.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.