The A-Z of Twitch Emotes- Types, Benefits, and How to Make Twitch Emotes

by on October 20, 2020

The live chat feature is an integral part of a Twitch stream. This element creates a sort of a live dialogue allowing fans to communicate with other viewers and the streamer during an incredible live stream.

Similar to chatting on a WhatsApp group, the Twitch chat participants can pass messages through texts or emotes. We are all familiar with texts, but what are Twitch emotes? Do you really need them for your Twitch channel? 

Consider this your comprehensive guide to Twitch emotes and their importance on your broadcast. 

What are Twitch Emotes?

Essentially, Twitch emotes are emojis or emoticons that participants pepper into a real-time chat. However, these pictorial glyphs are way more than the traditional smiley faces and hearts that you find in your phone’s messaging Apps.

The emotes on Twitch are mostly facial cut-outs of influential streamers- and they create a whole new level of silly fun. With some of the best Twitch emote makers online, it’s also possible to develop customized emoticons of your face or any other art that best suits your channel, as explained below.

Global and Custom Emotes- What’s the Difference?  

Global Twitch emotes are available for all chatters to use freely in any channel. On the other hand, custom emotes (a.k.a channel emotes) can only be unlocked by subscribing to a particular Twitch channel.

Custom emotes are an excellent way for viewers to support their favorite streamers actively. Additionally, chatters can use these emoticons on any other channel on Twitch. This makes the chatters even more expressive, and chat rooms get more fun and silly. Also, knowing how to use customized emotes when communicating with other fans gives the viewers a sense of belonging in a particular community.

How Streamers Get Custom Emotes

When you create a Twitch streaming account, your viewers will have access to global emotes that they can use on your channel without subscribing. However, once you get an Affiliate or Partner status, Twitch allows you to reward your subscribers with better custom-designed emotes.

Different Custom Emote Tiers

When your streaming account gets promoted to affiliate status, you’ll get one slot that you can add your customized emote. Partner streamers get 6 slots.

After this, getting additional slots for more emotes requires you to gain subscriber points. How many slots you get again will depend on the number of these points and the type of subscription tier. At the time of writing, the lowest tier (with zero subs) gets you 6 emotes. As your channel attracts more subscribers, you can unlock up to 60 emote slots once you hit 10,000 subscribers and above.

How Important are Twitch Emotes to Your Channel?

Keeps your fans engaged and interactive

Twitch emotes started as inside-jokes between the developers of Justin.tv (the former incarnation of Twitch). Unsurprisingly, they are still used to create a sense of humor in the community. For instance, when a viewer drops a Kappa, the all-time most popular emote in Twitch culture, he/she will most likely be conveying dry sarcasm or mocking or light-trolling other chatters. This goes a long way in keeping your audience more engaged and entertained.

Easiest way to get subscribers

Twitch emotes have become a unique language that only a particular community can understand. And viewers are always on the hunt for more emotes to add to their arsenal. While there are free basic emoticons that fans can use on any channel, the top emotes can only be unlocked by subscribing to respective Twitch Affiliate and Partner channels.

Believe it or not, there are lots of viewers who sub to channels for the sake of these emotes. Therefore, it’s not surprising that this is one of the easiest ways to get subscribers on your Twitch channel.

Viral branding

A custom-designed Twitch emote is a form of your identity on the Twitch gaming platform. As your subscribed loyal fans use your emotes on other relevant channels, they sort of run mini-advertisements for you. This has the potential to attract more viewers into your community and even convert some of them into subscribers.

How to make emotes for Twitch

After unlocking your slots, the next step is to design your custom emotes and upload them on your channel for your chatters to use.

You can choose to create the emotes yourself or hire a professional to do it. Whichever route you choose to take depends on your graphic design skills, overall knowledge in creating Twitch emotes, and budget.

Hiring a professional artist for your Twitch emotes

Twitch emotes are a critical component that users employ when conveying emotions and thoughts. So, you want to ensure that the idea behind them comes out clearly even when the chat is moving at breakneck speeds. For this reason, if you’re not inclined to graphic designing, hiring a talented artist on Upwork, Fiverr, or Behance might make more sense.

Make your own

If you know how to make Twitch emotes or just want to learn how to do it from scratch, there are many online emoticon makers that you can take advantage of. For beginners, Paint.net and GIMP are great places to start. Both of them are free and don’t require advanced graphic design skills. If you want the best quality possible for your Twitch emotes, we’d recommend Clip Studio Paint or PhotoShop. The latter will cost you a pretty penny, but the results are undeniable.

Importantly, whether you craft your emotes or outsource them, ensure that they are within Twitch’s guidelines before uploading them. Here is Twitch’s comprehensive guide on the Do’s and Don’ts when making emotes.


Twitch emotes offer your community an instrument to pass their message when no words can do it better. These emotes do a lot more besides communicating. Besides being community-building, Twitch emoticons are an advertising tool for your channel and may help pull more subscribers your way. So, make sure that your emotes count.