In the days of ancient Egypt, hieroglyphics conveyed stories, emotions, and the day-to-day lives of its people. Today, thousands of years later, humanity has once again used pictographic languages to convey complex emotions in a singular form.

Er, maybe that’s a little bit too deep of a cut for Twitch emotes.

Twitch emotes are one of the most integral parts of Twitch’s culture. They help define the culture of a channel on an individual basis. You’ll see them everywhere, whether watching a CLS match or filling your friend’s channel with their newest emotes.

No matter what, they reflect the channel, the culture, and so much more. So you need to nail down your emote ideas so your subscribers will be spamming the chat as much as possible.  Because a good emote could be the thing that takes your channel to that next level.

Best Emote Ideas for Twitch

Viewers will subscribe to a channel for a single emote if it’s good. They’re going to spam them on other channels.

And that kick-ass emote that you have will catch people’s attention. They’ll click on that emote to your channel, and they’ll see you. Twitch emotes can be a subtle form of advertising.

Let’s look at the different types of emotes you could be using for your channel.

1. Streamer Personality & Inside Jokes

This is the most important one. The streamer personality/inside joke emote is the cornerstone for any Twitch channel.  This is your way to show people what you’re about. What your channel is going to have a lot of.

Do you rage a lot? Include a rage emote like xQcRage:

Perhaps you sing a lot on stream, so you’ll include an emote like ladymfSING:

Do you suck at games? (like the writer of this article) Trashcan Emotes babyyyy.

2. Pets

Do your pets represent the highlight of every stream?  Does chat worship your cat like an Egyptian god?  Then you should probably feature them in your emote list.

Anytime they show up on stream will be easy for the chat to spam with the comment section filling up with your pet’s face or a cut out of your entire pet.

Heck, Brotatoe’s emote list is filled with his cats:

KawaiiGrin has a service dog who’s become a much-loved mascot:

3. Adapt Existing Popular Emotes

Hey bro, can I copy your homework? Usually, that will get you in trouble, but it’s expected on Twitch. Because Twitch has its own culture, you’ll be sharing in on these site-wide jokes. I’ll spare you the cringe and show you some more popular streamers.

Well, he might be cringe too. But c’mon, it’s Ninja.

Sykkuno combines forces with the last one by using his pets AND adapting a popular emote:

Having your own versions of popular emotes like PogChamp, OMEGALUL, MonkaS, etc. is a great start to your Twitch channels emote catalog.

4. Streamer Staples

If you’re running out of ideas for what to do, you really can’t go wrong with the following examples: Hype, REKT, GG, RIP, Love, etc.  These represent the kind of events that will pop up naturally with any gaming channel.

If something crazy happens in Shroud’s game, you hit him with a . If it’s game over and you got the dub, time to spam for Summit1g.

And if you just got rekt, well, you can either a spam wall of the rekt emotes or RIP like Diction: . Also, hearts are easy, so it’s always good to show some love with  on Pokimane’s channel (just don’t call someone a simp).

5. Game Themed

Whether you decide to be a variety streamer or someone who focuses on a particular game, you’ll probably have your favorites at some point. It could be the flavor of the month; it could be what your entire channel is dedicated to.

And if that’s the case, you definitely want to have game-specific emotes, because they’re coming to see that specific game on your specific channel.

So let them reference the game with your emotes, you dingus. Okay, maybe you’re not a dingus, but you get the idea.

Yes, we’ve already done a Ninja emote, but he and Fortnite go together like… look it’s just the easy example:

Twitch Emote Art Styles

Okay, cool, you’ve got your emotes selected. Now you just need to figure out how they’ll look.

Wait, you don’t know how it’s supposed to look? We will give you some ideas on different styles to think about for your custom Twitch emotes.

1. Chibi / Anime

Whether it’s Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, or one of the literal hundreds of shows that come out today,  everyone knows at least a couple of anime. And anime has a considerable influence in the gaming world, especially on Twitch.

So one of the Styles you might want to go with is a cute chibi style or something referencing one of your favorite anime.

ShannonJaws decided to fit her cozy stream vibes with chibi art style:

Tyler1 figured he should let chat go Super Saiyan with him:

2. Pixel

Perhaps, you’ll try out a retro look and go for some pixel art emojis. This is a great way to show that you enjoy retro gaming or are just old. It’s okay, I’m old too.

Hellsusan’s entire emote list features pixel art:

3. Cartoony

Now you might say that this is the same as the anime category, and I’m not going to fight you on that. Because this is an article and not a live form of communication, I have decided that cartoon style is its own thing. So observe the examples:

Hvntxr cartoonified himself for most of his emotes:

Even when he’s shilling GamerSupps, Sweatcicle stays on brand: 

4. Realism

This one’s gotten really popular, where people just use actual pictures of themselves for the emotes.  I mean, it makes sense. The channel’s about you, so why not have literally you in the emotes? You can even go with some modified versions that include other elements.

90% of xQc’s emotes are some weird amalgamation of himself edited over:  (THIS IS CURSED AF)

Myth uses a lot of emotes featuring himself as well: 

5. Retro

Nostalgia, bro; it’s a big hit with the kids. So maybe consider having some retro-style emotes to add to your repertoire.

This could be some of your favorite games, it could be a reference to yesteryear, just something that will scratch that nostalgia itch.

TheMexicanRunner references the classic (and super challenging) Battletoads in one of his:

6. Caricature

You know what streamers LOVE doing? A buncha weird crap with their face for emotes. Whether it’s adapting the 5head emote to themselves, or contorting themselves into some eldritch abomination like the Among Us xQc emote from earlier, streamers have a lot of room for creativity.

I don’t know what HeelMike was on when he made this, but it was something: 

It’s so awful I had to show it again:






Animated Twitch Emotes (GIFs)

Have you noticed all the crazy new types of emotes? The ones that are moving around? The ones that change color? How about the ones jittering in place like a kid trying coffee for the first time?

Last year Twitch finally added the option to natively add animated emotes, and streamers have quickly gobbled up the opportunity to get ANIMATED in chat.

Sometimes you just wanna dance like Gomigoblin and her avatar:

Other times you want to show you’re REALLY angry like Luna_Lupi:

Or maybe… you just need a cat with rainbow shades like Occamsraven:

Tips for Coming Up With Twitch Emote Ideas

There are so many different ways you can take your channel and your emotes, so consider all the possibilities when you’re getting ready to make them. If you’re having trouble, you might also want to consider a few special types:

Circumstantial Emotes

Suppose there are recurring events, situations, etc., that consistently pop up during your stream. You might want to call it out with a specialized emote to let the people spam when it happens.

Streamer Swagg has a thing for good game lobbies, which chat will spam with

And Bob Ross (Yes, that Bob Ross) loves his cabins, so guess what you see on stream when he starts painting them? That’s right:

Keep It Simple

Remember, you’re gonna lose a LOT of detail when it gets shrunk down to fit inside of chat. So you don’t want tooooo much detail. Just enough to be clear when it’s time to shrink the image down.

Hiko literally decided to go straight out of 2006 and hit chat with the ol’ 

Just Ask Your Viewers 4Head

If you’re still stuck on what to add to chat, how about you do something revolutionary? That’s right, something almost unheard of: Just ask chat.

Ask your viewers for emote ideas since you know… they’re the ones that will be using them. Make an event out of it while you’re at it! Really pump up that engagement by making them vote, setting up polls, or even having a designer contest.

You’ll get ideas for your emotes, and you’ll be building a more cohesive and involved community. Two birds, one stone, and all that.


You can do a lot with your channel and with your emote list. The more subscribers, bits, and followers you get, the more channel points you’ll get. And as you unlock more emotes, you’ll be able to try out different ideas hone your craft, and show off what your channel is all about.

So what’s your favorite emote to spam? Do you have any ideas for the latest and greatest emote to add to your channel? Are you going to design them yourself? Perhaps hire an artist on Fiverr? Let us know in the comments!

Tanner Banks


About the Author

Tanner's been covering the gaming industry for five years and loves covering independent developers and content creators.

View Articles