How to Use Free to Use Twitch Emotes

By Fletcher ยท April 15, 2024

One of the ways in which you can enhance a Twitch chat experience is through emotes. Emotes are the equivalent of emojis on other social media sites. These small images appear in a Twitch chat and are used instead of words. As a unique language created for the platform, it keeps on evolving. This guide will discuss emotes and show you how to get free-to-use emotes.

Examples of Twitch Emotes

To help you understand Twitch emotes, here are a few examples of their images and meanings.

Emote NameImageMeaning
KapaWry humor or sarcasm. This is considered to be the Twitch signature emotes.
LulAn equivalent of LOL
Hey GuysRepresents a casual greeting








How to Get Free to Use Emotes

If you are searching for emotes for Twitch chat, there are multiple ways to get them. Some of the common types of emotes on Twitch are:

  • Global Emotes. These are emotes that all Twitch users have access to.
  • Custom Emotes. Also known as follower emotes, these are customized to your specific channel. To unlock them, you need to subscribe to a specific channel. Viewers will see a call to action in the chat when follower emotes are added.
  • Subscriber Emotes. Subscriber emotes can be a good way of rewarding your subscribers. To access these emotes, subscribe to a partner or affiliate channel. If a viewer has an active subscription to their channel, they will see the custom emotes. You can use the subscriber emotes across different Twitch channels.
  • Event Emotes. To unlock event emotes, subscribe or participate in an event on a channel like Hype Train. Some Twitch events where emotes can be earned include  Glitch Emote Drops from the GlitchCon 2020. It's worth noting that some event emotes are temporary, while others can be used across different channels. While some don't require payment, they may require participation in an event to earn them.
  • Bits Tier Emotes. To unlock these emotes, you should cheer some bit amounts in the partner and affiliate channels that are already bit-enabled.

A Guide on Using Emotes on Twitch

Using emotes should be easy whether you use a desktop or mobile device. Here are the steps to follow when using emotes on Twitch:

  • Selecting Emotes. To install emotes, click the Twitch chat's smiley face icon. This will open the emotes picker to show the emotes in your selection. 
  • After finding your desired emote, tap or click to use it in the chat. You can use it alone or with some words.
  • Using Emotes Codes. Perhaps you don't want to use the emotes picker to choose your emotes. If this is the case, you don't have to worry; you can use the emotes code. To start using it, type: in the chat box followed by the name of the emotes you want to use. You will see a list of emotes matching your search words.
  • You can choose your preferred emotes and use it alone or with text.

How to Manage Emotes

You can manage emotes from the dashboard. On the sidebar, click on viewer rewards followed by emotes. On the emotes page, you will first see the subscriber remotes. Under this section, you can see a list of your current emotes. These are usually grouped in tiers and your current emote prefixes. You will also see the progress you have made in unlocking your emotes. One of the tier 1 benefits for partners is the access to animated emotes.

Uploading Emotes

You should click on the + button to upload an emote. After it has been successfully uploaded, it is added to the slot and can be saved to the library. Therefore, if you want to remove it for later use, you will still find it.

But if you want to upload it directly to the library without adding it to the slot first, it will be possible by clicking on Upload New. The emotes you upload to your library only become active after they have been assigned an open slot.

Requirements for Creating Animated Emotes

You can upload your free-to-use animated emotes. However, you will need to follow the following guidelines.

  • Ensure the uploaded image is sized as a GIF to be automatically resized. 
  • GIF images should have a square shape.
  • To enable auto-resizing, the file should be 1 MB. If you use manual mode, this should not exceed 512KB.
  • The animated emotes thumbnail will automatically default to the first GIF frame.
  • The GIF should have a maximum frame of 60.
  • Shouldn't flicker or flash for more than three seconds within one second period.

The auto-resize mode refers to the default upload experience for uploading animated emotes. The emote should be a GIF of a size ranging from 112x112px to 4096x4096px. Use the auto-resize feature to convert it to your desired size.

How to Upload Animated Emotes

Go to the field labeled, Enter Emote Name, and select a name for the emote. Use the emote prefix and code as its full code. After uploading the files and choosing the code, click on Upload. Follow the process we outlined above for uploading other types of emotes.

Where to Get Free Emotes

You can find free emotes for your Twitch streaming in different places. These include:

The Twitch free emotes

We have already discussed these emotes in detail. However, they are still worth mentioning as these are the default places for finding emotes. You can use one of the 120 Twitch subscriber emotes.

To find them, visit their subscriber emotes page. Twitch also allows you to use these emotes as your sub badge. However, the downside of using them is that only 120 exist. The fact that they are available to other streamers also means they will not be unique.

Find unique giveaways

Many Twitch streaming professionals in the creative space also give emotes to their subscribers as a way of thanking them for following them. To find these emotes, you should follow creative streamers on Twitch. 

After that, you should be active on their streams and do what they ask. If big streamers already have a discord, you should join it, as most streamers announce giveaways on their social media pages. Even if you don't get free emotes through this, you can open new opportunities for future collaborations.

Trade for free emotes

Perhaps you have a special skill that you can sell. You should consider trading the skill for custom emotes. To implement this approach, you should begin by finding a creator who can benefit from your skills and reach out to them. Some of the skills you can offer in exchange for free emotes include:

  • Writing. You can help them create posts for their social media profiles or other platforms.
  • Editing. There is a chance that some designers also create YouTube videos. If you have great editing skills, you can contact them and offer to edit for them in exchange for free emotes.
  • Website design. If you are a web designer, it can be relatively easy to create a new site. You can, therefore, offer to build them a quick site where they can showcase products with potential clients.
  • Promotions. Assuming you have a considerable following, you may ask to trade in promotion services for free emotes.

Discord channels

You can also create a channel for the discord server services you are searching for and invite followers. While you aren't entitled to free services, someone who may want to support you can do that in a non-financial way. Some viewers see sense in supporting a streamer through services instead of cash.

DIY emote creating tools

Another option for getting free emotes is creating them yourself using the DIY emote creation tools. There are lots of software to help you do that, such as Canva, Adobe Photoshop, and GIMP. When creating your emotes, follow the Twitch guidelines for emotes we outlined above.

You should also consider several factors, such as the branding and choice of styles. You should then communicate these in your emotes.

FAQs on Free-to-Use Emotes

Here are some of the frequently asked questions:

Am I allowed to use copyrighted emotes on Twitch?

No. This is against Twitch rules and guidelines, which prohibit the unauthorized use of someone else's image, brand, content, or other rights.

Where are the best places to buy Twitch emotes?

If you want to pay someone to create an emote for you,you can use freelancing websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer. There are also some emote marketplaces where you can purchase a pre-made emote.

How can I unlock Twitch emotes?

For every subscription a creator gets, they earn some subpoints. These subpoints are visible on your channel analytics. Once you reach a certain milestone, the corresponding emote is unlocked permanently.

Final Thoughts

One of the things you need to understand when mastering the art of Twitch streaming is the use of emotes. These are great ways to enhance your Twitch chat. If you are on a budget, you may seek free-to-use Twitch emotes. By using our guide, it should be easy to get free Twitch emotes.