Avatars were originaly human by default, although as of 2014 users can now create an account with an animal avatar called a Paw. For humans, a masculine and feminine body type are available upon registration, while Paws are gender neutral. They are based on the Japanese caricature style of Chibi / Super deform. The masculine avatar appears more bulky and muscular while the feminine is more slim and curvy. The notable characteristics on the masculine avatar are the clinched fist and a foot that points facing the viewer, while the feminine avatar has relaxed hands with visible fingers and both feet facing at an angle.
Everything on the avatar can be customized according to the user. This includes hair, eyes, skin tone, and apparel.
Before the following update, a user was given the option of changing their gender by Account Settings. The first 2 changes were free, while 10,000 gold was compounded for every extra change. These rising prices were an attempt to discourage 'spur-of-the-moment' gender changes as they were taxing on the site's servers. At one point a user could also change the gender by deleting the avatar and re-creating it, this glitch was patched in 2009. When this glitch was exploited, any special skins or hair that were on the avatar would be lost due to the deletion, but could be regained by going back to the shops that held the skin and hair the avatar originally had. This is noted due to many hairstyles still being exclusive to one gender.
On July 8, 2010 a new potion (Gender Bender Potion) arrived in Skin Tyte that would allow the user to change genders with a cost of 50,000 Gold. The long request of a fixed price was granted, as the cost of the potion stays at 50K regardless of how many times it is purchased. This made it an it an effective Gold Sink with more Gaians willing to pay rather then being discouraged by the rising increment of the old system.
With the arrival of the new style of changing ones gender, the old method (link to the gender change from profile settings) was to be removed. However, the Developers instead made it so that if a Gaian had never changed their gender in the past they'd be eligible for two free Gender Bender potions, but if they had changed gender once, they would be able to get only one free potion. The free potions are soulbound, so they can't be available for shop sellback, trade and marketplace sales. Also the potion renders a user back to the default human avatar, meaning that someone who was a different species would have to re-buy the potion that changed them in the first place.
- With the old avatar system, if a user wanted both avatar types they would have to either create a mule account or quest for gold in order to pay the fee to change the type.
- With the release of the Achievements feature, there is a badge to earn by changing the avatars body type.