Interleukin 20 (IL-20) is a pleotropic IL-10 family cytokine that protects epithelial surfaces from pathogens. However, dysregulated IL-20 signaling is implicated in several human pathologies including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis. IL-20, and related cytokines IL-19 and IL-24, designated IL-20 subfamily cytokines (IL-20SFCs), induce cellular responses through an IL-20R1/IL-20R2 (type I) receptor heterodimer, whereas IL-20 and IL-24 also signal through the IL-22R1/IL-20R2 (type II) receptor complex. The crystal structure of the IL-20/IL-20R1/IL-20R2 complex reveals how type I and II complexes discriminate cognate from noncognate ligands. The structure also defines how the receptor-cytokine interfaces are affinity tuned to allow distinct signaling through a receptor complex shared by three different ligands. Our results provide unique insights into the complexity of IL-20SFC signaling that may be critical in the design of mechanistic-based inhibitors of IL-20SFC-mediated inflammatory disease.