Get Deeper on the Alexa Skills Kit

Now that you’ve learned the broad strokes of the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), dive into the details. Explore voice design best practices and learn tips for creating engaging and habitual experiences. Understand the technical differences between the skill types. Browse our collection of Application APIs, tutorials, SDKs, tools, and latest features to help you build.

On this page:

Alexa Skill Types

Custom Skills

Create your own voice experience to deliver nearly any experience, including games, education, health and fitness, productivity, and shopping.

Smart Home Skills

Enable customers to use Alexa to control your cloud-connected lights, plugs, switches, thermostats, cameras, door locks, cooking appliances, and more.

Flash Briefing Skills

Provide customers with easy access to your news  headlines, RSS feeds, and other short audio and text content.

Music Skills

Enable customers to stream anything in your music catalog to their Alexa device simply by asking.

Video Skills

Enable customers to use their voices to control your video device and choose which content to watch.

Education Skills

Enable parents and students to request information about school work and assignments directly from Alexa.

Additional Use Cases

Application APIs

Request APIs

Use Request APIs to receive intents and directives from Alexa in your application logic.

Response APIs

Respond to customers using audio and visual elements including text-to-speech, images, and streamed audio and video.

Personalization APIs

Create a more personalized Alexa experience based on the person speaking to Alexa and context.

Account Linking APIs

Connect a user’s account on your service to their Alexa account.

System Function APIs

Expand your skill’s capabilities using additional Alexa features such as lists, event notifications, and skill connections.


Offer digital and real-world goods and services for customers to purchase.


SDKs & Additional Tools


Use our SDKs for Node.js, Python, and Java to reduce complexity in your code.

Development Tools

Use tools and APIs to help you create, manage, test, and publish skills.


Access metrics about your skill and how customers are using it.



Build an Engaging Alexa Skill

Start building quickly with our beginner tutorial. You'll get hands-on, step-by-step experience creating your first custom Alexa skill.

How to Design for In-Skill Purchasing

Learn best practices for selling premium content in your skill.

How to Build a Multimodal Skill

Learn how to build visually rich skills using the Alexa Presentation Language (APL).

Alexa Skill Building: video tutorials

Start building quickly with our video tutorials.

From ideation, to brainstorming concepts, to using situational design to map out the voice interaction, building engagement through sounds, through to creating a voice experience using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), learn by watching these on-demand videos.


Understanding the Skill Types

Before you start building an Alexa skill, you must choose the skill type. The skill type determines the interaction model, and, in some cases, the application APIs you use. You can only pick one skill type.

ASK Features by Skill Type

Skill Type Custom Skills Smart Home Skills Flash Briefing Skills Music Skills Video Skills Education Skills


Use Case

Create your own voice experience. Build voice-forward products for smart home and voice-enable them. Provide customers with news headlines. Enable customers to stream your music catalog. Enable customers to stream your video catalog. Enable parents and students to request information about school.


Interaction Model   

Custom (developer-defined) Pre-built (Amazon-defined) Pre-built (Amazon-defined) Pre-built (Amazon-defined) Pre-built (Amazon-defined) Pre-built (Amazon-defined)


Application Logic APIS

Request Custom (based on interaction model) Smart Home Skill API Flash Briefing Skill API Music Skill API Video Skill API Education Skill API
Response Text to speech, pre-recorded audio, multimodal display Device control RSS feed readout Music stream Video stream Student information
Account Linking
System Function
SDKs Python, Node.js, Java


Development Tools

Skill Management
Skill Testing
Interaction Model Testing

Looking for What's New?

Keep up with the latest feature updates, events, and news.