Does Procreate Only Work with the Apple Pencil?

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Are you on the hunt for the best tools to bring your visions to life? Then you’re in the right place! 🕵️‍♀️🕵️‍♂️

Today, we’re tackling a question that’s been buzzing around in the minds of many iPad artists: “Does Procreate only work with the Apple Pencil?” 🤔✏️🍏

Well, get ready to embark on an enlightening journey with me, as we delve into the heart of Procreate and Apple Pencil dynamics! 🚀🌟

Procreate is an incredible app that can transform your iPad into a digital canvas, but does it play nice only with Apple’s own stylus? 🎭 Or can it form a dream team with other third-party styluses, freeing you to express your creativity without constraints? 🧞‍♀️🧞‍♂️🎩

Join me as we brush away the misconceptions and sketch a clear picture of the Procreate-stylus relationship. So, hold on to your art berets, because this is going to be an interesting dive! 🎢🖌️🎨

A stylus is surely required to use Procreate, a raster graphics editing tool for graphic drawings and digital artwork that is compatible with the Apple Pencil. 

Check out our Comprehensive Blog   🌐Procreate for Beginners: How to Get Started with Digital Drawing and Painting with Procreate to Upgrade your Drawing abilities with Procreate

However, you can use your fingertips to draw on Procreate by Disabling the  Touch Actions button also under the  Smudge and Erase tabs in the Gesture Control Panel ” Touch” is turned off.

In any case, given that Apple pencil is the best suitable stylus to use on Procreate( If you want hassle-free artist life), this makes us wonder whether or not Procreate, which is now available exclusively for iOS devices and can be used with anything other than the Apple pencil.

According to Procreate support and their website, the Logitech Crayon & Adonit Note+  are the only 2 immediate alternative choices, and they can only be used with an iPad and an Apple pencil, making it a more limited option. 

Taking anything less than this is merely a band-aid solution that has limited effectiveness.

Many other affordable alternatives to the Apple Pencil that are ‘active’, but it is still crucial to remember that they lack in pressure sensitivity when compared to the Apple Pencil.

Why Not you use any stylus?

If you are trying to find the finest Procreate stylus for iPad Air/Pro, let me tell you many digital artists are unaware that the iPad’s Procreate applications function best with two kinds of stylus pens: active and passive.

The active stylus is often used by digital artists since it enables pressure sensitivity in your Procreate drawings and paintings. This implies that you may regulate the thickness of the brush strokes or lines when you apply pressure to the brush handle.

Even though Procreate doesn’t recognize all stylus pens, even those labeled as active, you can use any capacitive or magnetic field passive stylus with Procreate, without the need for a Bluetooth connection.

Having said this,  procreate does not leave you with many options when it comes to a stylus – As high-quality technology Digital pencils are necessary for professional-level digital art creation. 

There is a lot of time and money wasted ( those 3rd party styli are not very cheap either) in producing high-quality art or increasing drawing skills using inferior/substandard styluses; the results are typically unsatisfactory.  There is nothing wrong with that stylus, Just that the selected Stylus is not suitable to use with Procreate.

Like drawing with an inadequately sharp pencil tip, it would be impossible to use a stylus that does not fulfill the minimum hardware requirements, such as pressure sensitivity, smooth traction, tilt support, and so on.

If you can afford it, the best alternatives for the Apple Pencil are the Logitech Crayon & Adonit Note +, because as a Digital art professional you should be sure that the pen you pick is compatible with Procreate.

The latency, or lag, between the time the stylus is pressed down and the actual Procreate action, should be as little as possible.

To compensate for the errors made by a substandard stylus, you may establish a set of habits that may show up badly later on in your final artwork which may not be Complimenting.

As a rule, you should only use Procreate with styluses that the App itself has approved as being suitable for usage with it for a better-quality digital artwork.

It’s preferable to save your money for an Apple Pencil or  Logitech Crayon or Adonit Note + if you can since other third-party styluses are still hit or miss with the current version of Procreate. 

You’ll always run the risk of wasting money on an incompatible or partially compatible stylus

Which third-party styluses can I use with Procreate if my Apple device is not compatible with Apple pencil?

Most of the iPads are compatible with Apple pencils. However, few of them are not. 

For the iPads that are not compatible with Apple Pencil Like the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, and 5th generation iPad, Procreate may be used with the following active style if your device is not Apple Pencil compatible:

  • Adonit Note2 
  • STAEDTLER Noris digital jumbo
  • MEKO Universal Stylus
  • Logitech Crayon

It is possible to utilize any capacitive or magnetic field passive stylus with Procreate, without the requirement for Bluetooth connections( Source: Procreate)

Which is the best & perfect stylus to use with Procreate?

You Guessed it right! Apple Pencil it is.

Apple Pencil is compatible with many iPad models and is the only genuinely outstanding iPad stylus. It’s better to use the Apple Pencil with the iPad than any other stylus since the two are built to work together.

Why Apple pencil is the Best Option for Procreate

Tilting and pressing the Apple Pencil detects even the tiniest of changes. The way that Procreate brushes react is influenced by this input. As an example, you may use the Apple Pencil’s pressure sensor to control the brush size.  

Alternately, you may link opacity to brush tilt to get this effect. So when you hold your brush straight, you get a firm line, but as you tilt your pencil, that line progressively goes away.  And there’s so much more you can do.

Scattered light or color shift as a result of movement or pressure. In fact, based on the input from your Apple Pencil, you may even choose between two distinct brush textures. 

The combination of Procreate brushes with the Apple Pencil may produce a wide range of effects. With a plethora of options to choose from, the possibilities are endless. 

Since Apple didn’t intend the iPad to be used with a stylus, all third-party iPad styluses are just workarounds. 

Third-party styluses have a tough time with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 because of changes in the screen technology.

However, this does not imply that you will not be able to locate a stylus that works for you, but you’ll need to do some research before making a purchase.  

The Best Budget-Friendly Procreate Stylus

Meko Active: Best budget-Friendly stylus pen for Procreate on Apple iPad Air 2, 3 & iPad Pro

The best cheap iPad stylus for budget users Or even beginners. Remember: Instead of pressure sensitivity, cheaper alternatives employ tilt sensitivity to simulate it, which is not ideal for professional-level artwork, but all of the other characteristics perform fairly well as a Procreate pen.

Meko Active; Pressure levels: None| Item Dimensions: 8.4 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches| Compatibility : Not ok with iPads Before 2018 | Number of Battery:1 Lithium Metal batteries required

For Procreate, which doesn’t have Bluetooth pressure sensitivity, this is an excellent stylus this implies that while using Procreate, pressing harder will not result in larger or darker lines.

Unlike a traditional pencil, this one has pixel-perfect accuracy. Stylus development is the primary goal of the New Gen.

The 1.5 mm tip of the pen provides a precise writing and sketching experience, and it gives you a realistic drawing or painting experience.  The palm rejection feature also allows you to lay your hand on the screen.

In terms of shading, it has tilt sensitivity, but no pressure control. This pen is perfect for iPad Procreate projects if you’re alright with it.

When it comes to pressure sensitivity, the lower-cost pen may not work for many artists working with Procreate. Well, there are some promising of third-party styluses at your disposal, However, when it comes to Apple pencil there is no guesswork, or any frustration while using procreate for your artwork.


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Instead of pressure sensitivity, cheaper alternatives employ tilt sensitivity to simulate it, which is not ideal for professional-level artwork, but all of the other characteristics perform fairly well as a Procreate pen.

The Best 3rd party Stylus for Procreate just after the Apple pencil

1. The Best Procreate pen from Logitech Crayon

The 1st on the list is Logitech Crayon. This stylus can be used with Use with hundreds of Apple Pencil-compatible apps, which are downloadable in the App Store Including Procreate. 

Logitech Crayon is not pressure-sensitive, so there is no need to press down hard on the iPad. Just tilt for thicker or thinner lines.

Quick Tips to Use Logitech Crayon

Logitech Crayon is compatible with iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd gen), iPad Pro 11-inch, iPad Air (3rd gen), iPad mini (5th gen), or iPad (6th gen).

Make sure your iPad is running the latest version of iOS. Go to Settings – General – Software on your iPad to see what version of iOS you have.

Use the iPad’s Bluetooth settings to unpair any previously attached digital pencils, such as the Apple Pencil or any 3rd party Stylus before using Crayon. Turn off your Bluetooth before using Crayon if you don’t want to lose your other digital pencils.

2. Best Procreate Pen from Adonit Note + 

I must say this, the Adonit Note + is the only stylus I’ve discovered (After talking to many pro-Procreate Artists that I know) that is actually capable of competing with the sophisticated capabilities of the Apple pencil in Procreate.

The Adonit Note + includes genuine sensitivity pressure for most of the applications, but not for Procreate. It does, however, support a Bluetooth connection for exact pressure sensitivity in the majority of other iPad applications.

Many Professional artists do feel that competing with the Apple Pencil for iPad is very tough for any 3rd party stylus pens.

The Note + model is the greatest stylus for Procreate out of all the Adonit pens since it combines the following features:

Bluetooth sensitivity to pressure – works with other  iPad apps, but not very well with Procreate, Tilt support, shortcut buttons, Rejection of the palm option and  USB-C Rechargeable

Apart from the pressure sensitivity, the Adonit Note+ is the only pen that many pro artists I have spoken to have Recommended that can rival the greatest advanced stylus for Procreate.

Important to know.
The Apple Pencil is the only pen that presently supports real pressure sensitivity in the Procreate app. If you need pressure sensitivity to function effectively in Procreate, a cheap replacement may not be sufficient.

Summing Up:

nd there you have it, folks! 😎 Procreate isn’t just exclusive to the Apple Pencil. Nope, no siree! You can actually use a range of styluses with this bad boy of an app. 🎨🖌️

Sure, the Apple Pencil might be Procreate’s BFF, with its pressure sensitivity and tilt functionality, but other styluses can also come out to play. 🕺💃 You might not get the exact same range of features, but hey, they’ll get the job done.

But remember, friends, when it comes to art, your most important tool is your creativity. 🌈💡 No matter what stylus you’re rocking, Procreate is there to help you bring your artistic visions to life. 🌠✨

So go ahead, grab your iPad, pick up your stylus—be it Apple Pencil or otherwise—and let your imagination run wild! 🚀🎆 Happy creating! 🎉😄

About the Author:

Manny Acharya is the co-founder of Artmellows. Your go-to place for Design, Digital Art, Digital sculpting, Photography, Design Tools and gears Info, and Product Reviews. Manny is a Digital Artist, 3D Sculpt Designer, Ardent Photography, Drone flying Enthusiast, and tech Lover. He supercharges Digital Art and design by crafting memorable 3D sculptures & 2D Design and art. Learn more About Manny:

PS: Manny has created a Beginner Friedly ebook to Learn the Nomad 3D Sculpt App. Know More about the eBook. Know more about Manny

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