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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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:
- 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:
- Start with a blank canvas
- Add your picture or design
- Remove the background
- Download each emote size
- Upload to Twitch
Step 1: Start with a blank canvas
Next, on your right side, select ‘Custom Size’. Make your emote 28×28 pixels in size. Click ‘Done‘.
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
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.
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 https://www.remove.bg/. 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 28, 56 x 56, 112 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.