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Subscriber Emoticon Guide for Partners

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2018 12:53PM PDT
This article explains how Partners can get their own Subscriber emoticons in their channel, and offers tips and tricks to get great looking emoticons.

Subscriber Emoticon Guide for Partners

This article explains how Partners can get their own Subscriber emoticons in their channel, and offers tips and tricks to get great looking emoticons.

Notice an error or have feedback for this article? Let us know!

Subscriber Emoticon Tiers

Custom Subscriber emoticons are part of the Subscription benefits under the Twitch Partnership program. You can find out more about requirements for Twitch Partnership eligibility here. If you are already a Partner, here is a guide on emoticon tiers and the number of Subscriber points required to unlock them:

  Emote Slots Subscriber Points   Emote Slots Subscriber Points  
1 0 26 1,200
2 0 27 1,400
3 10 28 1,600
4 20 29 1,800
5 35 30 2,000
6 50 31 2,200
7 65 32 2,400
8 80 33 2,600
9 100 34 2,800
10 125 35 3,000
11 150 36 3,200
12 175 37 3,400
13 200 38 3,600
14 225 39 3,800
15 250 40 4,000
16 300 41 4,200
17 350 42 4,400
18 400 43 4,600
19 450 44 4,800
20 500 45 5,000
21 600 46 5,400
22 700 47 5,800
23 800 48 6,200
24 900 49 6,600
25 1,000 50 7,000
60 10,000+

NOTE: You must also create your Subscription prefix before you can upload any emoticons. To learn how to make your prefix, follow this guide.

Subscriber Badge and Emoticon Guidelines

Custom Subscriber emoticons are part of the Subscription benefits under the Twitch Partnership program. More information on the requirements and eligibility for Twitch Partnership Program can be found here. If you are already a Partner, below are specific instructions about how to create and manage your emoticons and subscriber badge.

Subscriber Badge and Emoticon Guidelines

When making your badge, emoticon, or other Partners content, the following requirements apply, please read carefully.

Adhere to Twitch Community Guidelines and Terms of Service

This means, for instance, do not create an emoticon that would violate these policies. As a reminder, Twitch prohibits the following categories of content:

  • Harassment, including targeted insults, defamation, intimidation, and threats of any nature
  • Hate speech, including offensive slang, symbols, stereotypes, and imagery
  • Extreme or divisive political phrases, symbols, and figures
  • Vulgarity, including explicit words, phrases, and gestures
  • Depictions or references to drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Depictions or references to violence, including self-inflicted and against others
  • Depictions of sex and sexual arousal, gestures, aids, or attire
  • Depictions of nude torsos, buttocks, and genitals

Respect the Rights of Others

Use good judgement to avoid unauthorized uses of another person’s content and intellectual property. Failing to do so, may expose you to legal liability and likely will result in the removal of that material from Twitch. We suggest you avoid:

  • Content that you do not own, do not have the rights to, or are otherwise not authorized to use from games, movies, TV shows, and other media, including assets from other Twitch channels.
  • Another organization’s name, logo, and other identifying marks.
  • Content that appears to violate the rights of others as well as content that may include the likeness of another person (such as the face of a celebrity or athlete).

Keep in mind, Twitch applies a repeat infringer policy; multiple copyright strikes on your account will lead to a permanent suspension of your account.

Additional Restrictions

  • No animations.
  • No images of single letters or characters, unless it’s a key element of an established logo or branding.
  • No violations of Twitch Brand Assets Guidelines
  • No emoticons based on Twitch Global Emoticons. The only exceptions to this are Kappa and VoHiYo derivatives, which are allowed with certain restrictions.
    • Max of two Kappa derivatives per channel.
    • VoHiYo derivatives may not use or appear to use original assets.
    • Kappa and VoHiYo derivatives are not exempt from any other policies.

For further information on enforcement of these guidelines, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

How to Create Your Subscriber Emoticon

Some Partners create their own emoticon, while others hire an artist. No matter who makes the emoticon, there are some important things to remember:

  • Make sure the image is in a .png format.
  • There are three sizes per emoticon which are required for submission: 28px x 28px, 56px x 56px, and 112px x 112px. For example:
  • The file size cannot exceed 25kb.
  • When you upload the emoticon, you will choose a unique code that will be capitalized and appended after your emoticon prefix. The maximum number of characters that this code can have is 20, and must be alphanumeric (a-z and 0-9).
  • Please submit your emoticon with a fully transparent background. If you do not know how to make images transparent, please read this.
  • Ensure you are viewing the emoticon at 100% resolution to check that your art has clear lines and, if you are including words, that the letters are correct and easy to read. Make sure that lines are sharp (no unnecessary blurring or feathering).
  • To make it easier to see a dark emoticon clearly for those that use dark backgrounds such as via Theater Mode, you could create a thin 1 pixel line of off-white (#F1F1F1 is the correct color code) around the edge of the emoticon shape. The reason for this specific suggestion is that this is the default background color of Twitch chat, so the outline will not be noticeable outside of any dark mode. This is not always necessary though, so use your own judgment and test it on a dark background to ensure quality.


To make quality emoticons, you will need a program like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP (free; open-source); MS Paint is not recommended because it does not allow for transparent backgrounds.

How to Manage Your Subscriber Emoticon

This section breaks down the emoticon dashboard into its constituent parts.

  1. Partner Settings: Navigate to this tab in order to view the Chat Emoticon dashboard
  2. Current emoticons: This is a display of all the emoticons currently offered via your channel
  3. Edit button: Click this to activate the edit options for emoticons. You can delete emoticons and upload emoticons by toggling this mode.
  4. Emoticon slot count: The total number of slots currently in use, over the total number of slots available. If you have empty slots available, then you may upload more emoticons. If you have no slots available or a negative count of slots available, your active subscriber total will need to increase before you can upload more emoticons. Negative slots can happen by the total subscriber count dropping below the tier for that amount of emoticon slots. When this happens, Partners do not lose emoticons, but cannot edit their emoticons.
  5. Current Mission: This shows the next tier to reach in your subscriber count in order to unlock more emoticon slots.
  6. Reward progress bar: This bar shows the current progress towards the next unlock tier, and explains what the reward will be once the progress bar is filled!

To upload an emoticon:

  1. Go to your Dashboard
  2. Go to the Affiliate / Partner Settings tab
  3. Click Emotes, and upload your emoticon in the sizes specified for each tier
  4. Click Save Changes

To delete an emoticon:

  1. Click Edit and select the emoticon for deletion
  2. Click Save Changes

To swap an emoticon for a new one:

  1. Click Edit and select the emoticon you wish to remove
  2. Upload a new emoticon in the sizes specified
  3. Click Save Changes

NOTE: If you have fallen under the Subscriber Count tier for the number of emoticons you have, then removing emoticons will not result in freeing a slot for a new emoticon to be uploaded.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Will my emoticons be available for my Subscribers to use immediately?
    • A. Twitch Partners that are in good standing will have their emoticons automatically approved. If your account is not in good standing your emoticons will require manual review and approval.
  • Q. What do you mean by ‘in good standing’?
    • A. Partners are considered to be in “good standing” if they have not had a conduct infraction within the last 90 days. A conduct infraction is defined as any behaviour that breaks the Terms of Service or Community Guidelines (warranting at minimum a warning).
  • Q. My emoticons require manual review and approval, how can I get back into good standing for automatic approvals?
    • A. When 90 days pass without an infraction, you will be back in good standing and return to the automatic approval process.
  • Q. What are sub points?
    • A. Sub points are how many points you have towards unlocking more emotes. It is a separate number because tiered subs count as more than one. So on your dashboard, you will see three numbers: the current number of individual subscribers you have, the current number of sub points you have, and the amount of sub points needed to unlock more emotes.
  • Q. How long does the manual review process take?
    • A. Review of emoticon, badge, and chat prefix submissions are generally done within 48 business hours. This process cannot be expedited (attempting to do so may, in reality, slow the process down). Events and holidays may extend the approval process, so please be patient while waiting for review.
  • Q. My emoticon was denied. Now what?
    • A. You should have received an email regarding the reason why your emoticon was not approved (check your spam filter). If you did not, simply write into to inquire. Remember that all emoticons and their suffixes (the emoticon code you create during the submission process) must comply with the emoticon guidelines. You may alter the emoticon so that it does not violate any of these rules or submit a different emoticon altogether.
  • Q. My emoticon was approved before but is now removed. What happened?
    • A. Twitch reserves the right to review all emoticons and Subscriber badges and to remove content that violates the rules at any time, including as the rules are updated. If your emoticon was removed, you should have received an email regarding the reason why. If you did not, simply write into to inquire.
  • Q. I think an emoticon violates Twitch’s rules. How do I report it?
    • A. If you find an emoticon you believe violates the Subscriber Badge and Emoticon Guidelines, please report it via the User Report tool.

      In order to report a subscriber badge or emote, select a reason appropriate for the violation in question and specify the content you wish to report in the description, such as the emote prefix and code for subscriber emotes.

      If you wish to report violations that pertain to intellectual property, please refer to our DMCA Notifications Guidelines and Terms of Service for more information.

  • Q. I am bothered by an emoticon showing up in my channel but it does not violate Twitch’s rules. How can I avoid seeing it?
    • A. If you do not like seeing an emoticon in your chatroom on your channel, but it does not violate any of our guidelines, you can still hide it from appearing in your channel by adding it to your Channel Banned Words filter. Words - including emoticon codes - added to this filter box will appear in your chat as ***.
  • Q. Will my emoticon slots ever be taken away?
    • A. Partners are able to unlock emotes slots permanently when they surpass their active subscriber count requirement. Assuming no fraud, if they happen to drop their active subscriber count in the future, the emote slots are still theirs to do as they wish.

Additional Tips

Here are some general tips to maximize the experience of using emoticons on your channel:

  • If your emoticon is based on a photo, ensure that the image has good lighting. A perfectly good emoticon slot is wasted with a photo of your face that was taken in such poor lighting that you have blue skin and no one can make out your expression.
  • Link your emoticons (even vaguely) together by style, color, or have them all done by the same artist. This creates a streamlined, professional look and adds to your overall brand appeal.
  • Consider that a simple image can often be the most pleasing to the eye since you only have 28px to work with and too much detail or too many words can clutter the emoticon, making it look messy and hard to understand.
  • If you want memes, base your emoticons on memes generated by your own community. Be original! Be YOU. This will cause your emote to have staying power beyond the short lifespan of most general internet memes, because it is based on your channel and your community can feel closer to the source of the meme.
  • That said, monitor the popularity of your emoticons as time goes on. Are most of your emoticons getting used about the same, but perhaps a couple of them are rarely used? Consider replacing them with something new!
  • Try running emoticon ideas and samples by your community so you do not miss an opportunity for feedback prior to upload. Ask them what they would love to see and what they would not use much. You have your very own focus group at your fingertips, so utilize that!