Learn the Basics

Twitch 101

Twitch is more than a live streaming service. It’s a place where creators like you can share the things you love with a community of millions and also carve out a tight-knit corner of the internet to call your own. Twitch is a place where your voice can be heard live, and your audience can too. The content on this site is designed to help you grow as a creator, develop a community, and earn a living doing what you love.

So let’s start with the basics. Like, what is a creator?

Anyone who creates content on Twitch is considered a creator and plays a part in making the greater Twitch community complete. Creators like you have the chance to grow your own communities, connect with an audience, and even earn money sharing what you love with the world.

As you grow as a streamer, Twitch provides new features, rewards, and ways to monetize your channel. Once you reach a level it’s up to you what unlocked features are right for you. Below you can see how you’ll progress from Streamer to Affiliate to Partner.

What are the streaming levels?


Anyone can stream, but if you’re under the age of eighteen, make sure you have the supervision of a parent or guardian before you go live. From the second you start streaming you’ll have access to lots of great features on Twitch like Chat, the ability for viewers to follow your channel, and analytics on your Dashboard. You can also start working towards Affiliate status. Achievements let you track your progress and once you reach the requirements, you’ll see a link on your dashboard inviting you to Affiliate onboarding.


Once you reach the Affiliate level you’ll have even more great tools at your disposal, including a subscription button for fans to support you and a custom emote. For many streamers, becoming an Affiliate is what they strive for. For others, it’s a step on the way to Partner status. If that’s what you’re shooting for, Achievements will once again help you keep track of your progress and let you apply to the Partner Program when you’ve reached certain benchmarks.


At the end of the Affiliate streaming journey lies an invitation to apply to become a Twitch Partner. It isn’t easy to achieve, but there are many additional benefits that come with Partnership including even more revenue opportunities and prioritized support.

Requirements Affiliate Partner*
Time streamed (last 30 days) 8
Unique days streamed (last 30 days) 7
Average viewers per stream 3
Followers reached 50+

*Meeting the requirements for Partner does not guarantee Partner status. Once you become eligible, you can submit a Partner application form through your dashboard.

Unlocked Features

  Streamer Affiliate Partner
Emote Slots   Few Many
Ad Revenue      
Custom Cheermotes      
Subscriber Badges   Few Many
Verified Badge      

Not quite sure what all these features are? No worries! We’ll cover them in more detail later, but below are some quick descriptions to get you up to speed:


Viewers who discover your channel can ‘Follow’ your account. Followers can be alerted to when you go online, depending on their notification settings.


A chat room comes standard on every Twitch channel (you can deactivate yours if you’d like). Chat gives viewers an easy way to communicate with you in real-time, meme it up, use emotes and cheer.


Once you reach Affiliate, viewers can ‘subscribe’ to your channel for a set price per month for additional perks defined by you. We’ll cover what those are a little later.


In addition to the vast library of global emotes usable on Twitch, Affiliates and partners can create custom emotes for their community to unlock and use.

Ad Revenue

Partners and Affiliates will also receive revenue from running ads on their channel.

Custom Cheermotes

Cheermotes are animated emotes viewers can use in chat to Cheer with Bits (more on those later).

Subscriber Badges

Subscribers to your channel can use a customized chat badge to rep their fandom.

Verified Badge

Similar to the verified check on Twitter, this allows anyone to quickly confirm that you are, in fact, who you say you are.

Sounds good, what should I stream?

Twitch is a home for a variety of content, from Gaming to Creative categories like Music, Art, and Food & Drink to Outdoor and Just Chatting. What’s most important is streaming something that you’re passionate about or something that you can’t resist sharing with the world.

If you were to check out the most popular content on Twitch right now, you’d probably find creators playing games, making art, playing music, cooking, developing new games & software, taking their viewers with them on IRL adventures, and much more. Whatever you’re thinking about streaming, make sure to read the Community Guidelines to make sure it’s allowed.

What’s required to stream on Twitch?

No matter what platform you feel most comfortable on, it’s easy to stream or upload to Twitch. Whether you prefer to stream from a PC, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, or your mobile phone, you’re just a few steps away from broadcasting yourself to the world. Here are some hardware and software recommendations you may need to get started.

PRO-TIP: To make sure viewers can find your stream, always make sure to set your category, tags, and stream title through the live page on your dashboard. You can also help drive more engagement with a custom go-live notification!