Twitch emotes have a wide variety of meanings and uses.
William Antonelli/Insider
  • Twitch emotes are small emoji-like icons that you can use in any Twitch streamer's chat room.
  • Twitch streamers with enough viewers can upload their own custom emotes for subscribers to use.
  • If you download the third-party extension BetterTTV, you can access dozens of new Twitch emotes for free.
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To the untrained eye, reading a Twitch chat can feel like interpreting hieroglyphic code. That's because Twitch chats are packed with the streaming social media site's popular "emotes."

Fortunately, we're here to help get you up to speed on Twitch emotes: Which ones are the most popular and what they mean, where to click and what to type to send emotes in Twitch chat, and how you can create your own signature emotes.

Twitch emotes, explained

Twitch emotes are tiny pictures that, just like emoji, each have their own meaning and connotation. And although some have an obvious use, most of them are pretty obscure. You can send an emote on Twitch to quickly convey to a streamer and fellow chatters your emotional reaction or opinion; whatever your mood, there's probably a suitable emote.

A few dozen emotes are available to everyone on the site; these are called "global" emotes. Once a channel gains a certain amount of subscribers, they gain the ability to add their own exclusive emotes that only subscribers can use.

Some emotes are only available to users who have Amazon Prime or donate "bits," and others require you to install an extension called BetterTTV (which we'll discuss below).

Chatters flood popular Twitch streamer “xQc” with various emotes in chat.
Emma Witman/Insider

Using emotes

To send an emote, simply type the name of the emote. For instance, to send the Kappa emote, you'd type out "Kappa" and hit send.

You can also type a colon, start writing the name of your emote, and then select the emote from a drop-down list that will appear as you type.

You can type an emote's name out, or search for it.
Emma Witman/Insider

Failing that, you can click the smiley face icon in the chat box to get a list of every available emote. Just click one to add it to your chat message.

However, some of the most popular emotes require you use to use a browser extension called Better TwitchTV, or just BetterTTV for short.

How to get more Twitch emotes with BetterTTV

To use BetterTTV and get access to more Twitch emotes, you need to download the BetterTTV extension for your web browser, Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Once you've downloaded it:

1. Head to any Twitch chat and select the "Chat Settings" gear icon in the bottom-right corner, by the stream chat window.

2. Select "BetterTTV Settings" from the Chat Settings menu.

Open the BetterTTV settings menu.
William Antonelli/Insider

3. In the BetterTTV settings, make sure the "BetterTTV Emote Menu," "BetterTTV Emotes," and "BetterTTV GIF Emotes," and "FrankerFaceZ Emotes" are all set to "On."

Turn on all the extra BetterTTV emotes.
Emma Witman/Insider

You'll now be able to use new BetterTTV and FrankerFaceZ "Global" emotes on every channel. Every Twitch streamer can also add up to 15 "Channel" emotes that anyone with BetterTTV can use in their chat.

How to make your own Twitch emotes

Along with global and BetterTTV emotes, every Twitch channel can submit their own custom emotes for subscribers to use. They're one of the unique ways that viewers can show their love for the channel.

However, to upload custom emotes, your Twitch channel needs to reach "partner" or "affiliate" status. Once there, you can take advantage of the tools provided in the Twitch Creator Dashboard to upload unique emotes.

  • Twitch affiliates can have one emote for all subscribers, and two emotes each for $9.99 (R139.86) $24.99 (R349,86) for tier subscribers.
  • Twitch partners start with six emote slots, but that number can increase up to 60 as they earn more subscribers. Once you've unlocked an emote slot, you get to keep it forever, even if you lose subscribers.
A selection of example custom emotes.
Twitch

Your emotes will have to meet a few parameters. To use Twitch's auto-resize feature, your file will need to be a square image between 112x112 and 4096x4096 pixels, and be a maximum of 1MB in size. Alternatively, you can use the manual mode by uploading the file in three sizes (28x28, 56x56, 112x112 pixels) that are 100kb in size or less.

Emotes also have to follow content rules; that means no depictions of hate, violence, sex, or targeted harassment are allowed.

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