Date Published: 2016-01-27

Ten Rules of Cosplay Etiquette

Cosplay Group
Cosplay Group

By Adelia Ladson

Cosplay events can be exciting, fun and just a great way to spend a couple of days or so, whether you're a participant or guest. Sometimes all the excitement can be a little overwhelming, causing us to forget our manners and basic social behavior lessons. Here is just a little reminder.

Cosplay Crowd Wear plenty of deodorant. It's crowded.
Cosplay Crowd Wear plenty of deodorant. It's crowded.


First and foremost. Please wear plenty of deodorant. This may seem like a no brainer but it gets hot in packed convention halls and rooms and you don’t want to start smelling ripe. Especially, if you are wearing a heavy or thick material costume.

Photos and Video

Ask before you click or push that record button. Give the cosplayer a chance to say “no” if they don’t want to be filmed or photographed. Sneaking around taking pictures or video is just plain creepy. Most cosplayers are proud of their costumes and will pose for you but ask first. It’s polite!

Cosplay Hugging Ask before you hug or try to pose for a picture with someone.
Cosplay Hugging Ask before you hug or try to pose for a picture with someone.

Don’t Touch

I don’t care how big a fan you are of the character, don’t run up and just grab someone. There are real people underneath the character and costume. In essence, if you touch them without permission, it’s assault. Cosplayers don’t want to be pawed at. If you want a hug or a pose with your arm around them, politely ask their permission first.

Don’t Get Stupid

If you are a cosplayer, remember, you are representing a character that is cherished by fans. Don’t do or say anything stupid that will tarnish the representation of the character. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Drunk and obnoxious is not attractive in a cosplayer!

Cosplay Battle If you must battle, have plenty of room.
Cosplay Battle If you must battle, have plenty of room.


Don’t pick up a fellow cosplayer’s prop without their permission. People put a lot of work into their costumes and props, so, respect them. You wouldn’t want someone to accidentally or carelessly break your prop. Basically, if it’s not yours, don’t touch it!

Play Nice

Cosplay conventions are open to everyone, not just the people who have elaborate and expensive costumes. Everyone has the right to cosplay and not be harassed about the quality of their costume or whether or not it’s accurate to a character. You don’t know what kind of time and effort they put into their costume. Be kind.

Big Costume Don't be a menace in your big costume.
style="font-weight:bold; text-align: center;"> Don't be a menace in your big costume.

Large Costumes

If you’re wearing a rather large costume or one that has spikes or sharp points, don’t go barreling through the crowd haphazardly. The worst thing in the world would be to injure someone with your costume. You chose to wear the costume, so, you’re responsible for acting responsibly and cautiously. A certain amount of caution and warning when maneuvering through the crowd will assure that people will be amazed and impressed by your costume, not horrified and dismayed at your lack of concern for their welfare.

Don’t Creep

Don’t monopolize the guest artists’ time. Others want to have a meaningful experience, too. Have yours and then move on! Also, remember, don’t touch! Hanging around because you have crush on them is flat out creepy. Once again, move on and, if feel you must, just admire them from afar.

Big Weapon Don't swing your weapons carelessly.
Big Weapon Don't swing your weapons carelessly.


If you’re cosplay character carries a weapon, make sure it doesn’t violate convention rules. More importantly, though, you should be aware of where you are in relation to other people when you brandish it or swing it around. If you and a fellow cosplayer stage a battle, make sure it’s not in a crowded area of the convention hall. Use your common sense and no one will get hurt!


Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Especially, if you think you have the possibility of getting overheated in your costume. I understand your level of commitment to your character, but passing out in the middle of the convention does nothing for your character. Also, make sure you eat because an empty stomach makes people irritable and snappy. There are just too many people packed into an event center for you to come down with a case of “hangry”!

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