AR Emoji waving.

Emoji are everywhere and there are plenty to choose from. Apple took them to the next level with animated (Animoji) and personalized (Memoji) emoji. Samsung’s version of this called “AR Emoji.” We’ll show you how to use them.

Apple introduced Animoji on the iPhone X in 2017. In typical Samsung fashion, the Galaxy S9 series launched with AR Emoji the following year. There are a lot of similarities between the two, but Samsung does have a few unique features.

RELATED: How to Create and Use Memoji and Animoji on an iPhone

What is AR Emoji on Samsung Galaxy Phones?

AR Emoji on phone.
Karlis Dambrans/Shutterstock.com

In basic terms, Samsung’s AR Emoji are simply animated avatars of yourself. You can use these avatars to make custom emoji, stickers, GIFs, and then send share them with people. They’re fun and more personal than the standard emoji and stickers you might use.

As you may have guessed, the “AR” in “AR Emoji” stands for “augmented reality.” That’s also part of the experience. You can do things like view your avatar in the real world through your camera and animate them with your facial expressions in real-time.

AR Emoji aren’t only avatars of yourself, either. You can wear “masks” of other characters and animate them with your facial expressions. It’s all just a fun way to infuse some personality into your conversations.

How to Make AR Emoji

To use AR Emoji, we’ll start by opening the “AR Zone” app on your Samsung Galaxy device. If your device supports AR Emoji, the app will be pre-installed.

Open "AR Zone."

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The first thing to do is create your AR emoji. Tap “AR Emoji Studio.”

Tap "AR Emoji Studio."

You can create an AR emoji from the camera or an existing image. We’ll use an image in this example.

Select "Create From Image."

Open a photo of yourself and use the circle tool to select your face. Tap “Done” when you’re ready.

Tap "Done."

Next, you’ll select your body type and tap “Next.”

Tap "Next."

Here’s the AR emoji created based on your photo. You will probably want to tweak it a bit, which you can do here on the “Looks” tab. Everything from face shape to eyebrows can be customized.

Customize your look.

Next, switch over to the “Style” tab and pick out some clothes to wear.

Customize your style.

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When you’re done customizing, tap “Next” in the top right.

Tap "Next" when done.

The next screen will say “Your stickers are ready to share,” tap “All Done” to proceed.

Tap "All Done."

How to Use AR Emoji

Now we can put the AR Emoji to use. Go back to the AR Zone home screen and select “AR Emoji Stickers.”

Select "AR Emoji Stickers."

Here is where we can make stickers and GIFs with your AR Emoji. There are a few pre-made reactions at the top that you can use. Select one and you’ll be able to download it, add it to the Always On Display, set it as your contact profile pic, or share it with Messages.

Choose a reaction to share.

You’ll also notice a “+” button in the top section. This is where you can make your own custom stickers with different reactions and backgrounds. These can be saved and shared just like above.

Create your own custom reaction.

Under the top section are more sticker expression packs that you can download.

Download new reaction packs.

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That’s all there is to stickers. Next, we’ll go back to the AR Zone home screen and check out “AR Emoji Camera.”

Open "AR Emoji Camera."

This is where you can put on an AR “mask” of your custom emoji and see your facial movements in real-time. Select an AR emoji and then tap the shutter button to snap a photo.

Use AR Emoji to act out.

In the bottom row, there are options for “Scene,” which adds a background, “Mirror” to see the emoji mimic your movements, and “Play” to drop the AR emoji into the real world.

Different camera modes.

That’s pretty much the basics of AR Emoji. You can have a lot of fun with these things. Maybe a boring yellow emoji blowing a kiss isn’t personal enough. You can show yourself blowing a kiss without actually sending a real photo. Like Samsung phones themselves, there’s a world of possibilities with AR Emoji.

RELATED: Why You Should Use "Good Lock" on Your Samsung Galaxy Phone

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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