How to Use Twitch Chat

How to use Twitch Chat thumbnail. three chat bars, the first one is a command /emoteonly and the next two are emojis and Twitch emotes. There are question marks floating around the bars and text, the background is gradient black to purple.

The chat box is one of the most utilized features on Twitch, so knowing how to use Twitch chat features is a valuable skill for any Twitch streamer. 

You can think of Twitch Chat as a precious resource. As a place that not only allows viewers to engage with one another and the steamer, but also as a tool a streamer uses to control different parts of their stream, moderate their community and utilize a variety of features that increase interactions.

Twitch chat box bar. Channel points in bottom left. The highlight option, setting cog and 'chat' button are in the bottom right. The text box says "send a message" on the left, with the bit icon and emote icon on the right of the bar.

The Basics of Twitch Chat

To use the chat box, you simply type a message in the text box and then hit “Enter” on your keyboard or click the purple “chat” button beneath it. There are also some icons here that can bring up several different menus.

Here you can purchase bits, use emotes and use channel points by clicking on the icon in the bottom left corner. There is also a highlighter icon that brings up a menu for chat admin – this can apply to chats for channels you own or mod for. The cog will bring up chat settings, which lets you change font, color and even pop-out chat.

Does Twitch Have a Private Chat?

Your chat feed is always visible to the public and there’s no way to limit that, but Twitch has several different chat modes that limit who can chat and what can be said when they’re active. 

Follower-Only mode : /followers {# minutes/hours/days/weeks/months} Limits chat ability to users who follow your channel. This can be customized allowing you to choose from a few different time restrictions between 0 minutes and 3 months.

Subscriber-Only mode : /subscribers Limits chat ability to users who are currently subscribed to your channel. This is whether they are subscribed (with a free Twitch prime subscription, a gifted sub, or a plain sub), moderators, and VIPS. NOTE: If your channel is not Affiliate or Partners, only moderators and the broadcaster will be able to chat.

Emote-Only mode : /emoteonly Limits chat ability to just messages that are emotes. No other text is allowed but your community as a whole can still participate. Moderators can still chat like normal.

Unique Chat mode : /uniquechat Prevents messages from being spammed repeatedly.

Slow mode : /slow {# seconds} Restricts chatters from sending another message before the designated time frame is up. You can set this number from 3 to 120 seconds as you desire.

Using Twitch Chat for Viewer Engagement


What Are Twitch Chat Commands?

Outside of general use like sending messages and having conversations between streamer and viewers, there are several ways you can use chat to up your stream quality and keep you and your community safe. 

Twitch chat commands are essentially directions. When typed into the chat box, an action either on stream or off stream takes place. It’s handy to know what options and directions are available to you, so you get the best experience out of Twitch Chat features.

channel management commands. Includes /announce /announceblue /announcegreen /announceorange /announcepurple /ban /unban

Announcements & Pinned Messages

channel management commands, showing how to highlight chat announcements in specific colours. Includes /announce /announceblue /announcegreen /announceorange

Want to send a message in your chat that stands out? Maybe you need to share news or updates and make sure they catch your viewers attention. Using this command will highlight your message, visually separating it from the regular chat messages. 

If you type the name of the color after the “/announce” command, it’ll change the highlight color that frames your announcement message (ex: “/announce blue”turns your highlighted message blue).

text reads "pin this message" and there is a push pin icon to pin chat messages to the top of chat.

An extra step you can take is to pin your announcement afterwards. 

This will keep the message at top of chat until you either unpin it or the stream ends. Use this area to pin any important messages, reminders or news so your chat will always see it, even if they joined after the message was sent. You can do this by clicking the white pin button that appears in the upper right corner of a message when you hover over it. You can pin any message sent in your chat, including ones sent by others. 

Commands for Chat Engagement


Channel points are a fun way to interact and engage with a livestream. While viewers can earn them passively while watching your stream, collecting bonuses, participating in Hype Trains as well as joining raids, Predictions are an additional way for your viewers to earn points.

channel management commands /prediction "open a setup menu to create and manage a prediction."
Start a prediction menu. Creators and mods can create predictions. Viewers who guess the outcome correctly can win Channel Points. All predictions must follow our Terms of Service (See caption). Name the prediction, create possible outcomes and then choose a submission period with intervals from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.

Name the prediction, create possible outcomes and then choose a submission period with intervals from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.

Get your chat involved in the stream by hosting a prediction, allowing them to take a guess at the result and win channel points if they get it correct.


Viewers can use the channel points they earn to vote in Polls created by you and your mods. Polls are great for gauging community interest and opinions on stream content like what you’ll do on stream that day, what game you should buy next or what to name a character in game.

channel management commands /poll "open a setup menu to create and a poll."
Create a poll menu. NEW Channel Points Now Available in Polls. Give your viewers the ability to vote in Polls using their Channel Points by updating the settings below. Create a Question or topic to poll about. Then record a minimum of 2 responses to that question for viewers to choose from. Settings allow additional votes, which you can customize with a channel point amount per extra vote. Duration intervals range from 1 minute to 10 minutes.

Create a Question or topic to poll about. Then record a minimum of 2 responses to that question for viewers to choose from. Settings allow additional votes, which you can customize with a channel point amount per extra vote. Duration intervals range from 1 minute to 10 minutes.

Check out our guide on setting up and using channel points so you can try out polls and predictions on a future stream!

Polls & Predictions are limited to Affiliate and Partner channels.

Important Twitch Chat Commands for Streamers

In addition to what we’ve listed so far, here are some more important commands that we think every streamer should know about! 


  • /raid [channel name] : Sends your chat to another live streamers channel at the end of your stream. A great way to introduce your community to other streamers with similar content or whose channel you enjoy. 

Twitch Chat Stream Tool Commands

  • /marker [description]: creates a stream marker at your current point in time. A good tool that makes editing your streams down easier or mark memorable moments.
  • /commercial [length] : runs an ad break. You can set the duration in 30 second increments up to 150 seconds. 
  • /clear: clears the chat history for viewers except for moderators.

Moderation Commands For Twitch Chat

  • /mod {username} and /unmod {username}: To give or remove moderation roles.
  • /block {username} and /unblock {username}: To completely remove or restore a user’s access to your stream and your channel.
  • /ban {username} {reason}* and /unban {username}: To remove or return chat access to viewers. The user can still watch your stream but can no longer chat or view chat. You can set a ban duration that returns access to a user after the allotted time or issue a permanent ban that can only be overturned by you or a moderator.
  • /vip {username} and /unvip {username}: give and revoke VIP status to a user.
  • /timeout {username}{duration}{reason}*: temporarily bans a user from having access to the chat for an allotted period of time. 

* adding a reason is completely optional but is helpful if a user breaks a chat rule that way they know what exactly they did to incur a permaban or timeout.

Moderating your stream chat while streaming can be a difficult task the more active your chat becomes. It’s immensely helpful to have people there dedicated to the order and safety of your chat, allowing you to focus on streaming. If you don’t have anyone available to moderate for you and you’re looking for mods – take advice from TheOrderofDylan below!



Dylan is a Twitch Partner and family-friendly broadcaster with a passion for Star Wars and people. He's a member of the Knockout City Creator Crew and specializes in playing with viewers, whether they be veterans of the community or brand new to the channel. He's all about fun and creating a warm, inviting place for everyone of all ages to enjoy.

“Pay attention to your community… Pay attention to those who are there consistently. If you’re having trouble finding mods, put out a mod application and send that out to your community. You may not even know that they might be interested until you ask.”

Shield Mode 

Inputting one moderation command after another takes time and isn’t the most efficient when you’re already streaming. With Shield Mode, you can preset safety tools and settings to activate when the mode is toggled on. 

How Does Shield Mode Work on Twitch?

It can be used by you or your mods to take protective action quickly in the event of online harassment. It can also be used as a method of precaution if you’re streaming a new game or sensitive content. You are more likely to see waves of new chatters as a result.

Have a spot on the front page and have higher visibility on your channel?

Shield Mode also gives you a chance to catch your breath, slowing things down, while also keeping your chat safe. 

Channel Modes Menu. Shows the ability to toggle Shield Mode, Emotes-Only Chat, Subscribers-Only Chat, Follower-Only Chat, and Slow Mode.
Shield Mode Menu. Includes buttons for settings, terms and phrases and banned chatters. There is a widget at the top to quickly turn on Shield Mode.

When Shield Mode is no longer active, all moderation settings will revert back to your normal defaults.

If you have any questions about how to use Twitch Chat, head on over to our Discord or tweet at us @StreamerSquare! For monthly news, resources and opportunities – be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter by clicking the button below.

Oh hi creator 👋
It’s time to level up your streaming game 🚀

Sign up to receive streaming tips, exclusive opportunities, and more right to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


TeonaWrites, Senior Writer

Teona is part of the StreamerSqure staff as a writer and admin manager. They are a queer, disabled creator and social media influencer who loves writing, photography, beauty & fashion as well as video games. Tee started their content creator career as a freelance writer and blogger. Since then, have expanded to also include streaming variety content on Twitch. They use their platforms to share experiences with, and educate on, disability, chronic illness, neurodivergence and queerness as well as create spaces where we can be safe to explore ourselves.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest streaming news, tips, and exclusive opportunities

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.