The Ultimate Guide to Twitch Channel Points

Twitch’s Channel Points program allows streamers to offer special perks and rewards to loyal members of their communities. Think of it as a free digital currency — you earn points as a viewer that you can spend on cool, channel-specific stuff.

Viewers earn Twitch Channel Points by participating in a streamer’s community. Participation could be as simple as watching a stream or taking part in Channel Raids. Viewers can spend their Channel Points on various perks, such as temporary access to exclusive emotes or the ability to send messages in Sub Only Mode.

The Channel Points program helps streamers become closer to their audience, maximize engagement, and increase viewer retention. There’s a ton of fun and creative ways you can set up your Twitch Channel Points on the streamer side of things. After all, every viewer matters — even if they can’t afford a monthly subscription or donation.

How Do I Earn Channel Points?

Not all channels support Channel Points. The streamer must activate the feature manually. The way viewers earn Points is also not the same for all channels and is up to the streamer to decide.

Here’s a list of the different default actions that will earn you Channel Points. Twitch is constantly tweaking and modifying their systems, so these rates aren’t set in stone and may change in the future.

For subscribers, a Multiplier Bonus is applied to all Watching rewards (Watching and Active Watching): 1.2x for Tier 11.4x for Tier 2; and 2x for Tier 3.

Twitch Channel Points
ActionDescriptionPoints
WatchingPoints received for every 5 minutes of live viewing for non-subscribers. Subscribers gain a multiplier bonus depending on their subscription tier.10
Active watchingPoints received for every 15 minutes of live viewing for non-subscribers. Subscribers gain a multiplier bonus depending on their subscription tier.50
Take part in a RaidPoints received for taking part in a Twitch Raid.250
FollowPoints received upon first following a channel. This is only obtained once.300
Watch Streak 2Points earned for tuning into 2 consecutive streams of the same channel. Each of the streams must be at least 10 minutes long and begin at least 30 minutes after the last stream.300
Watch Streak 3Points earned for tuning into 3 consecutive streams of the same channel. Each of the streams must be at least 10 minutes long and begin at least 30 minutes after the last stream.350
Watch Streak 4Points earned for tuning into 4 consecutive streams of the same channel. Each of the streams must be at least 10 minutes long and begin at least 30 minutes after the last stream.400
Watch Streak 5+Points earned for tuning into at least 5 consecutive streams of the same channel. Each of the streams must be at least 10 minutes long and begin at least 30 minutes after the last stream.450
First CheerPoints received for your first Cheer. This can only be obtained once per channel every 30 days. Points are not rewarded for Anonymous Cheers.350
First Subscription GiftPoints received for your first Subscription Gift. This can only be obtained once per channel every 30 days. Points are not rewarded for Anonymous Sub Gifting.500

Can I Buy Twitch Channel Points?

Twitch’s official stance is that Channel Points shall hold no monetary worth and cannot be purchased, traded, or sold.

While there’s technically no way to directly purchase Channel Points, there are a few ways that you can spend money to earn them.

  • Gift a Subscription — Gifting subs rewards you with 500 Channel Points. This only works once every 30 days, so you can’t keep gifting to horde Points.
  • Cheering — Your first Cheer in a channel will net you 350 Channel Points. Just like with Sub Gifts, you can only be rewarded for a Cheer once every 30 days.
  • Subscribing to a Channel — Subscribing doesn’t reward you with any Channel Points, but it does give you a multiplier boost to your Watching rewards. The higher your Subscription Tier, the greater the multiplier.
  • Become a Twitch Prime member — Join Twitch Prime and earn some Channel Points.

How Do I Use My Channel Points?

how to use twitch channel points

You can see how many Channel Points you’ve collected at the bottom left of your chatbox. Just click on the icon to view the different Rewards the streamer has made available on their channel.

see twitch channel points progress

A pop-up will appear with a list of all the Rewards you can redeem. Click on the Reward you want and confirm that you want to spend your Points. Your points will only be deducted after you’ve redeemed the Reward.

Can Points Be Transferred to Other Channels?

Simply put: No. Each channel has its own Channel Points counter. Points are only usable on the channel where you earn them.

Can Channel Points Expire?

According to Twitch.tv’s Channel Points Acceptable Use Policy: “Points will expire if not used by a date specified by Twitch. Users may view current earned Points and their expiration date by logging onto their account.”

As of the time of writing, unused Points will expire if not redeemed after 12 months. Twitch is constantly modifying and updating their policy, so this may change in the future.

Streamers Guide: Getting the Most Out of Your Channel Points

Just like Subs and Bits, Channel Points are a way to allow your viewers to participate in your stream. While the default rewards are a great starting point, any serious streamer should consider customizing their rewards to cater to their audience. Designing the perfect reward scheme for your community will take a bit of experimenting, but you’ll find it’s worth it in the end.

Give Your Points a Name That’s Uniquely You

You can change the name of your Channel Points into something more fitting for your channel. When I was in charge of the stream for a local tournament, Luna Nova, we called our Channel Points “Moon-la” to match the event’s lunar theme. Think of something your viewers will like that’s also in tune with your identity and brand.

Make Your Points Display Personal

Whenever a viewer completes an action that earns them Channel Points, a small popup will appear on their screen. Streamers can — and should — customize this for their stream. It’s a small thing that adds a nice, personalized touch to the viewing experience.

Move Away from Default -- Design Custom Rewards for Your Viewers

We’ve gone over the various default rewards that viewers can purchase with their Channel Points, but to really own the program, you need to start making your own. While the default Rewards are built into the Twitch platform and are handled automatically, Custom Rewards are rewards you fulfill yourself. These rewards can be anything from a shoutout to letting viewers choose the next song on your playlist.

Custom Rewards are infinitely flexible, and the right reward will keep viewers coming back to every stream. Get creative with your Rewards but make sure they’re in line with your channel’s focus. You could set up viewer polls, let viewers choose your next hero, or offer special, Subscriber-exclusive perks for a short period of time. If you’re looking for some awesome ideas for Custom Rewards, we’ve got a special section just for that below.

Keep in mind that it’s entirely up to you to stay on top of fulfilling any Custom Rewards your viewers redeem. We’ll get into this in detail later, but just remember that failing to give your audience the rewards they’ve spent Points on could be disastrous for your stream.

Experiment With Your Rewards Costs

Twitch already comes with some handy Default Rewards set up for you, but it might be a good idea to adjust the prices for your audience. You can also turn on Smart Costs and Twitch will automatically set your Rewards Costs to match the size and popularity of your Rewards. Smart Costs only work for Default Rewards, though; you’ll have to manually set your Rewards Costs for any Custom Rewards you have set up on your stream.

There’s no point in offering Rewards if none of your viewers can afford to redeem them. Pay attention to how often your viewers redeem your Rewards. Regularly ask for feedback from your audience about your Rewards Costs so that your viewers can enjoy them.

Keep Track of the Rewards Your Viewers are Redeeming

Default Rewards are handled automatically by Twitch, but you’re in charge of fulfilling any Custom Rewards.

You can view any redeemed Custom Rewards in the Activity Feed in your Live Dashboard. From here you can view all the queue of all Custom Rewards redeemed by your viewers. Remember to regularly check your Rewards queue so you don’t miss any unfulfilled Custom Rewards.

What Mods Can Do to Help Manage Rewards

As your stream grows, the number of people redeeming Custom Rewards will quickly become difficult for you to manage by yourself. Mods can help you manage your Custom Rewards by marking them as complete, rejecting them, refunding points, or pause rewards for your channel.

Mods can manage your Custom Rewards from the Rewards Queue which is accessible from three places:

  1. Click on the Channel Points icon (bottom-left of the Chat Box)
  2. Type /requests in the chat
  3. Click on the Rewards Queue in Chat Settings under Tasks

A Few Creative Ideas for Custom Rewards

If you’re looking for a few ideas to inspire your Custom Rewards, here’s a list of some great ones:

  • Play with your soundboard — Allow viewers to spend Channel Points to play audio cues and alerts from your soundboard.
  • Modify how you play — This could be something as simple as choosing your next hero, or hilariously game-ruining, like drawing figure eights with your sword in the middle of a boss fight.
  • Nothing at all — Let your most faithful viewers flex on stream by offering expensive Custom Rewards that give them nothing at all.
  • Activate voice changer — Give your viewers the ability to switch between different options in your voice changer software.
  • Do a little jig — Here’s a simple one: just dance a little sidestep when someone redeems a reward.
  • Shut someone else up — If you don’t mind a little drama in your chat, you can give people the option to timeout chat for another viewer.
  • Switch up your look — Maybe you put on a silly hat. Maybe you shave an eyebrow.

Custom Rewards Restrictions

You’re free to create your own Custom Rewards so long as they adhere to Twitch’s Channel Points Acceptable Use Policy. Pay attention to the following guidelines; violating any of these could result in a suspension or full-on ban.

  • Do not create Rewards that constitute gambling.
  • Do not create Rewards relating to tobacco, pharmaceutical products, forged currency, baby food, banking, or fuel.
  • Do not offer to sell, trade, barter, or transfer Points in exchange for Bits or money.
  • Do note promote Rewards that have expired or are have been claimed and are thus unavailable.
  • Do not use Points for anything relating to illegal activity.
  • Always stay within Twitch’s Terms of Service, Terms of Sale, Community Guidelines, and Developer Services Agreement.

This may sound like a lot, but it’s mostly common sense for any streamer. There’s plenty of room for streamers to use the Channel Points program in healthy, creative ways without breaking any of Twitch’s terms or guidelines.

Dan Alder
Dan Alder
Dan's logged far too many hours in CS 1.6 and reminisces about LAN parties back in the good ol' days. He's also an engineer that's interested in anything to do with tech.
Dan Alder
Dan Alder
Dan's logged far too many hours in CS 1.6 and reminisces about LAN parties back in the good ol' days. He's also an engineer that's interested in anything to do with tech.

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