Tipping, Cheering and Subs: What Is the Difference?

For the newly-arrived Twitch viewers, it can be difficult to see the difference between various rewarding options on Twitch. Tips, cheers, emotes, subs, what is it all about? In this post, we’ll shed some light on the issue.

Tipping on Twitch: When You Want to Say Thank You

Brief Info: Made via PayPal or other external services Usually is a one-time donation to say thank you Has an infinite range Is shown as a message Made at the moment Doesn’t give cuts to Twitch Tips are available for all streamers Twitch Tipping reflects the whole streaming concept: it is made at the moment as a genuine reaction, counter argument, surprise or congratulation to a streamer. It is instantaneous and unpredictable, just like streaming itself. These peculiarities make tipping an essential part of Twitch culture. Viewers donate when they want to show appreciation or become noticed by their favorite streamer. Tipping rules may vary depending on the channel popularity. For example, tipping can be the only way to send a message, link or repeat meme for some large streamers. For others, usually smaller channels, tipping is more about financial support. Small streams never limit the ability to send tips, as they need it as a drop of water. In some way, tipping is the source of money to sustain a stream. However, as it happens randomly, it is difficult to fully rely on these earnings. That is why, regardless the donations, streamers always push subscribing (this option is possible, only if you are Twitch partnered). Besides PayPal, you can use other paying services, such as Google Wallet, CashMe, Patreon (often used by Twitch Creative streamers), GameWisp. Be careful when choosing the service for accepting tips, as sometimes donations can be withdrawn, forcing the streamer to give money back by themselves.

Subscription on Twitch: When You Want to Support

Brief Info: Made via Twitch Can be one-time or repeated Limited range Spreads for some period of time Gives cuts to Twitch Only for partnered streamers Tipping has been the first and only rewarding method on Twitch for a long time. But, it hasn’t provided any revenue for Twitch company. To сhange this situation, Twitch offered a subscription option. Before the introduction of Prime Sub, there was only a monthly-based tariff plan, and users tended to jump from one channel to another every month. Twitch Prime enables viewers to show more support and dedication to a streamer. There are also some rules and limits: viewers can subscribe for a favored channel only once a month and there is no possibility to go above this amount. This measure helps avoid mystifications and false subscribers. Subscriptions are very important for every streamer, as they represent the most stable recurring income. However, the feature is available only to streamers who are partnered with Twitch (those who have a consistent viewership and provide regular streams). Streamers receive only 50% of the total subscription fee. Viewers that subscribe for a specific channel not only show their support to the streamer, but get several benefits unavailable for simple followers. Potential benefits can vary from streamer to streamer, here are some of them: emotes (custom-made emoticons that are unique and available only for subscribers of this specific channel), badges (icon that looks like a star by default or can be customized to reward the loyalty of subscriber), exclusive chatrooms (often used by large streamers that have thousands of followers), ad-free experience (when all pre-, mid- and post-roll ads are removed from a stream), exclusive events (special competitions or giveaways available only for subscribers), etc. There are several types of Twitch subscriptions: monthly (6,99$), 3-month sub (20,97$), 6-month sub (41,94$).

Cheering on Twitch: When You Want to Share Your Emotion

Brief Info: Made via Twitch Made at the moment Has unlimited range Looks like emote or icon Gives cuts to Twitch Only partnered streamers can receive From the first sight, cheering is very similar to tipping. However, cheering is more about the moment and emotion. Twitch wants to create the same feeling as a tip from a fan does: “So now, we are happy to introduce a new way for us to celebrate and support streamers together: Cheering.”  Cheers are sent in the chat message and look like animated Emoticons a viewer can buy with Bits. It is possible to send one Emoticon or all together. The more Cheers you send - the more support you give to a streamer. To send Emoticon, you just have to type the word “cheer” in the chat followed by desired number - “cheer 50”. The Bits pricing range is wide: 100 Bits cost $1.40; 500 Bits - $7;  25,000 Bits - $308. When a viewer sends cheers, he/she receives Cheer Chat Badges for a specific channel. However, not everything is so shiny. Besides an emotional aspect, cheering is another way for Twitch company to take some cut from a streamer’s payment. The problem with cheering is that some viewers want to give more money to a streamer and don’t want to support Twitch. When a viewer buys Bits, Twitch takes between 30% (if buy a few) to 26% (when buy a lot). Another downside of using cheers is that Bits can be currently bought only via Amazon, so for those who geographically can’t use Amazon services, Cheering option is unavailable. Moreover, for countries outside the USA, a viewer will have to pay an additional transaction fee when buying Bits. Twitch is going to expand the payment options in the future.


Twitch offers its fans a pretty wide choice of rewarding options. All of them have one thing in common: they are used to support a streamer you like and wish to see succeeded. Tips are primarily created for financial support. The value of Cheering is in a larger animation and sharing the moment. Subs are the most solid way to demonstrate loyalty. What do you think? Do you have favorite Twitch streamers you are supporting financially? Are Cheers a good addition to existing rewarding options or does it feel more like a poke for more money?