Since the old sticky was a few years out-of-date, I'm creating this thread to relate the site's current custom avatar policies. This will be handled in form of a FAQ.

Q: Am I allowed to use a custom avatar?
A: No. Custom avatars are currently reserved for staff members and contest winners.

Q: Why aren't users allowed to have custom avatars?
A: There are three reasons. First, it simplifies the job of the moderators. Having a set of pre-approved avatars reduces the workload on the staff. Second, since this is a Phantasy Star fansite, we wanted to have a consistent theme for user avatars. All avatars are carefully reviewed to make sure they are related to a Phantasy Star or Sega game. Over the years, a gallery of over 1000 avatars has been built up. Third, custom avatars have always been a historical privilege. When the site was first created, the forum software did not support custom avatars and adding one required special attention by the administration. Since this was the case for a vast majority of the site's history, the site owners have not seen it fit to change the policy.

Q: I really want to use a specific avatar, what can I do?
A: If it is a Phantasy Star or Sega related picture, you can submit it for inclusion in the normal avatar gallery. Simply create a new thread in the Site Related forum and the staff will review your submission. Just make sure the avatar has 64 x 64 pixel dimensions and has a black frame. In addition, PSO-World holds several contests per year. If you win one of them, you could be eligible to receive your own custom avatar.

Remember PSO-World has over 1000 user-selectable avatars available. You should be able to find something that you like.