How to make Twitch emotes: the easiest guide! (100% free guaranteed!)

How to make twitch emotes for free

The most comprehensive guide you’ll need to understand how Twitch emotes work and be able to make Twitch emotes free. From ideation to execution, we got you covered.

The fun on Twitch chat is synonymous with Emotes! It’s the best way of interacting with the audience and being able to express yourself. Emotes have become a kind of language of their own, helping community members to pull inside jokes and be more active. This article is an Emotes 101 tutorial, covering all you need to know about Emotes.

What exactly are Emotes?

Simply put, emotes are just another name for emoticons or emojis: tiny picture-based graphics that users can send to Twitch chat. Unlike the normal emoji on your phone or messaging app, Twitch emotes are native to the platform and come in a wide array of shapes with different moods.

What are the benefits of Twitch emotes?

Feeling short for words? Emotes are here to save the day! Emotes boost a stream dynamic by giving fans a unique way to celebrate epics wins, poke fun at ridiculous plays, or just spread love to one another.


Since most emotes are unique to Affiliates and Partners, it’s a great way to enhance the streamer’s identity. When viewers subscribe to a channel, they can use the emotes anywhere, making an excellent way to promote a channel on other streams.

What are some types of emotes?

Twitch emotes can be classified into four main categories:

  • The robot emotes: These vintage-looking robots are the Twitch-version of the traditional emoticons. Everyone on Twitch can use these emotes.
Twitch robot emotes
  • The Global emotes: These hilarious emotes consists of faces/icons associated with internet culture or popular Twitch staff/streamers. Each has a name (e.g. Kappa). Global emotes can be used by anyone.
Twitch global emotes
  • The Partner/Affiliate emotes: Unlike the two previous siblings, this group of emotes is only available to subscribers of a Partner or Affiliate who has created their own set of emotes. These symbols usually feature photos of the streamer or artwork relating to their channel.
Twitch emotes
  • The Subscription service emotes: Users who subscribe to a monthly service (Twitch Turbo/Twitch Prime) would gain access to multiple emote sets that are basically alternate styles for the conventional emotes.
Twitch turbo

How many emotes can I get?

Depending on the concurrent subscriber count, Affiliates can get up to 5 custom emotes while Partners can increase their slots up to 50.


Once an emote slot is unlocked, it’s going to stay permanently so even if viewers unsubscribe, you don’t need to worry about losing emotes.

What makes a good emote?

It’s not exaggerated to say emotes are part of your channel DNA. Because viewers will most likely use your emotes in your streams and in others’ streams, you will want to spend some time creating funny, useable emotes. A successful emote must have two characteristics:

  • It should be able to convey the general concept of the streamer
  • There has to be a good reason for someone to use it

We would advise you to ask yourself 3 questions before jumping on the design:

(1) What does my community like? As your viewers will be the ones who use your emotes, it makes sense to know what they like. Letting your viewers participate in the creation process is a smart way to show your appreciation towards your community while gathering ample ideas.

(2) What is my branding? Make sure your channel emotes well reflect the identity of your channel. A few cues for you: Are there any catchphrases in your stream? What’s the nickname for your viewers? What kind of mood do you want to convey in your channel? What genre of games do you play? Any color code?

(3) What are the situations to use the emotes? Consider the situations your emotes will be used. For example: welcome, celebrating, LOL, hype/happy, RIP/panic/uh-oh/rage/sad, etc.

Should I create my emotes by myself or hire someone to do it?

There are tons of visual artists/designers you can hire to create a custom set of emotes for you, with prices ranging from $30 to $50 per emote on average. Some artists can charge more depending on the demand (Twitch streamers usually update their stream look during Halloween and Christmas). Spending a couple of bucks on hiring a professional is not a waste of money. Think of it this way: that little image is essentially the incentive for people to subscribe to you and make you money. It’s gonna pay off.


However, as a content creator, you might want to create emotes of your own, add some personal touch to it, so people ask about the emote “Where did you get them?”, you get to brag “I made them myself”. It’s much cooler, right? The good news is you don’t need to be a pro at Photoshop to make great emotes yourself. Keep reading for some nifty DYI tips and tricks.

How to make Twitch emotes?

Emotes guidelines by Twitch

You should only create emotes that adhere to Twitch’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. Examples of content prohibited include, but are not limited to the following: Hateful conduct, Threats of violence, nudity, sexual depictions, illegal drugs, harassment, politics, and vulgarity.


In addition, you should only create emotes for which you have all the necessary rights. It’s a violation of Twitch’s policies to develop emotes that include unauthorized uses of another person’s content, brand, image, or other rights.

Technical specifications

Emotes must also follow the technical rules set out by Twitch. Important things to remember when creating your emotes:

  • The image must be in a .png format with a fully transparent background.
  • Depending on whether you wish to use the Simple or Advanced upload, you will either need a single square image between 112 x 112px and 4096 x 4096px, or three image sizes: 28 x 28px, 56 x 56px and 112 x 112px. For example:
Wutface emote


  • The file size cannot exceed 1MB.
  • Ensure all the lines are clear and sharp. If words are included, the letters are correct and easy to read.

Make Twitch emotes for FREE 🚀

Don’t waste time browsing through all the websites out there just to be confused. Most of the time, “Free” is their clickbait and you’ll end up being asked to pay $30 or so. To save yourself the headache, use Kapwing. No installation needed! You can thank us later 😉


Follow this 5-step process:

  1. Start with a blank canvas
  2. Add your picture or design
  3. Remove the background
  4. Download each emote size
  5. Upload to Twitch
Step 1: Start with a blank canvas

First, open Kapwing Studio then hit ‘Start with a blank canvas’.

How to make twitch emotes free

Next, on your right side, select ‘Custom Size’. Make your emote 28×28 pixels in size. Click ‘Done‘.

Twitch emote-size-28x28

Very important, to adds transparency to the background and ensures your image saved as a PNG file, navigate to ‘Background Color’ and choose the last circle (it’s transparent with a red slash mark).

Step 2: Add your picture or design

Now you have 2 options: upload an image or create a new one. For simplicity, we’ll go with option 1 (if you want to design a new artwork, you can totally do so on Kapwing).

This picture used was modeled after the global ‘PogChamp’ emote. Twitch is changing the PogChamp emote every 24 hours, but you can make your own as well.


Click ‘Upload’ from the top left corner and add the image from your storage.

Align your image by using the options listed under ‘Rotate’ on the right side.

Step 3: Remove the background

As part of Twitch’s guidelines, you must remove the background from the emote.


To do so, click your image, look to the right under ‘Image’ and choose the Erase tool. If you’re unsure how to erase, read their tutorial here: ‘Remove Background from Image’.


Since the image has a complex background, we will use the erase tool over the magic wand (learn about the difference here). Here’s a look at the before and after:


Quick note: If you have difficulties erasing background on Kapwing, try 2 clicks and you’ll have the perfect PNG 😁


When taking a picture of yourself, opt for a simple background so it wouldn’t confuse the tool.

Step 4: Download each emote size

Another requirement of Twitch is that each emote needs to be uploaded in three sizes: 28 x 2856 x 56112 x 112.


Since previously you’ve set the size to 28×28, go ahead and download the first variation by clicking ‘Publish’ in the top right.


Click ‘Download’, store and name your file.


While still on the download page, click ‘Edit’ to open the Studio where you can resize your image. Simply repeat the process from step 1 to create the ‘56 x 56’ and ‘112 x 112’ variations and download each one.


NB: Sign into a Kapwing account using Facebook or Google to remove the watermark in the lower right corner.

Step 5: Upload to Twitch

Go to Twitch and open your ‘Creator Dashboard’.


Next, click the menu in the top left corner, open ‘Preferences’ and choose ‘Affiliate’ or ‘Partner’ depending on your status.


Under ‘Subscriptions’, choose ‘Emotes‘, scroll down and start uploading your images.


When you’re done, enter a ‘Unique Code’ to describe your emote.


Click ‘Save Changes’ and voila! Enjoy your new Twitch emote.

Other free tools to make custom emotes

Besides Kapwing, there are a few other free tools for you to create custom emotes.

  • Canva offers a similar service as Kapwing with a wide variety of icons, shapes, effects, etc. The free version should be enough, but if you want to go a bit extra, opt for a Pro trial (1 month). With Pro, you’ll unlock more visual elements & effects (e.g. remove background).
  • GIMP is a free graphics editor used for image manip, image editing, free-form drawing, and more. Learn how to make emotes with this tutorial.
  • Paint.NET is an image editing software for PCs that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial to create emotes with this tool.

There you have it, free and easy ways to create a unique Twitch emote of your own. When you’re done with your 1st emote, how about letting us know on Twitter? We’d be happy to celebrate it with you! 🍻

Hungry for more tutorial content? Go check out Stream 101 article here.

Further Reading

Best extensions for Twitch streamers

Best extensions for Twitch streamers (2021 update)

Read More
Make money playing Apex Legends

How to make money playing Apex Legends?

Read More
Gimbl predictions

Gimbl 2.0 Release Note: It’s time to reward streaming viewers!

Read More
How to make twitch emotes for free

How to make Twitch emotes: the easiest guide! (100% free guaranteed!)

Read More
Twitch brand safety score implications for streamers

All we know and speculate about Twitch Brand Safety Score

Read More
gaming room setup

How to Create the Ideal Gaming Room Setup at Home

Read More

BangTheWall – Twitch streamer & TikTok expert

Read More

Inspirations from the success of YouTubers on Twitch (Ryan Higa, Squeezie, Gotaga)

Read More

How to start streaming on Twitch

Read More

Twitch chargeback protection and other donation issues

Read More
Lowkii joins Gimbl

Welcome LoWkii to Gimbl

Read More

How to set up donations on Twitch

Read More
Grow twitch with TikTok

How to grow your Twitch channel with TikTok?

Read More
10 tools to make money on twitch

How to make money streaming games, watching games and playing games? 10 best tools

Read More

8 ways to make money on Twitch (2021 update)

Read More

Trinity: From horror games streaming to broadcasting her world tour

Read More

Engage, Earn & Redeem with Gimbl Bounty program

Read More

3 tips to Twitch streamers from French TV-Show host

Read More

TeufeurS: From banking suspension to the million euro

Read More

Gimbl release 16/12/2020: PUBG, TFT ADDED & MORE

Read More

Valorant Patch Note 1.14

Read More
Game Fist

Inside Game Fist – a multi-time champion esports team

Read More
GImbl release notes

Gimbl release 26/11/2020: Greetings to Gimblbot, custom challenges and we welcome Australian streamers!

Read More
Twitch streamer interview

luntaxE on playing professionally, being the team captain and streaming

Read More

Growing a Twitch channel from 0 to 36k followers in 2 years: an interview with WettDesert

Read More
Gimbl Valorant Cup

Gimbl Valorant Cup: Extra fun for all

Read More
Networking tips for Twitch streamers

Networking tips for Twitch streamers: the Dos and Don’ts

Read More
Gimbl Ambassador Program

Becoming a Gimbl Ambassador

Read More

Gimbl release 2/10/2020: Overwatch & Apex Legends added, more robust challenges coming!

Read More

5 tips to create great stream titles to attract Twitch viewers

Read More
How to differentiate yourself on Twitch?

Streamer tips: How to stand out on Twitch?

Read More
how to talk to 0 viewers?

The anti-boring guide for new streamers: how to be entertaining when nobody is watching?

Read More
Shroud has received some massive individual donations in the past.

Why do people donate to streamers? The psychological motivations

Read More

BadBunny’s “5 dollars a month” and the dilemma of streamers

Read More
How To: Get Started as a Streamer

How To: Get Started as a Streamer

Read More
Top 10 Players of the Fortnite World Cup

Top 10 Fortnite World Cup 2019 Players

Read More
Streaming Equipment Setup

Streaming Equipment: Budget stream setups for new streamers

Read More
MSI 2019 - League of Legends 2019 Mid-Season Invitational

How LoL’s MSI 2019 ended in a NA versus EU face-off

Read More

Top 10 LCS Players July 2019

Read More

eSports today and in the future: Streamers Assemble!

Read More

From Geeks to Gods: How eSports became what it is today

Read More

The ulitimate monetization tool for streamers!