Ironman, Stormtrooper and Templar of Righteousness are all examples of popular Minecraft skins. Examples of popular capes include Minecon 2011, Minecon 2012 and Minecon 2013.
A Minecraft skin can be created, edited or downloaded as a .png or .jpeg file. To change your character's skin, log on to Minecraft.net and upload the desired skin through your profile page. Many popular Minecraft skins revolve around video game characters, television personalities or superheroes.
Capes in Minecraft cannot be purposefully obtained without the use of an outside mod. Certain capes have been given to players as rewards for attending conventions or purchasing the millionth copy of Minecraft. Mods such as Minecraft Capes or MineCapes allow the creation and use of capes in Minecraft, but these capes are only visible while the mods are installed. Many cape mods for Minecraft are client mods that require the use of launchers, such as ModLoader or Minecraft Forge, to work.
As of July 2015, many of the most popular cape designs are made to resemble the official Minecraft capes given to convention attendees and moderators. Other popular designs are made to pair with popular skins, such as Batman, Thor or Darth Vader.
Capes and skins do not affect the game play of Minecraft and are used for appearances only.