Contents

Authentication

Twitch APIs use OAuth 2.0 access tokens to access resources. If you’re not already familiar with the specification, reading it may help you better understand how to get access tokens to use with the Twitch API.

The Twitch APIs use two types of access tokens: user access tokens and app access tokens. The reference content for each API identifies the type of access token you must use to access its resource. Some APIs require a user access token, others require a user access token or an app access token, and a few like the EventSub APIs require app access tokens.

IMPORTANT Treat access tokens, refresh tokens, and client secrets like a password and safeguard them.

User access tokens

APIs that require the user’s permission to access resources use user access tokens. Twitch uses scopes to identify the resources, or the fields within a resource, that your app needs permission to access. For example, you don’t need permission to get a user’s User resource but you do need their permission to include their email address with the resource.

The following example shows the dialog that Twitch displays to the user to get their permission for your app to create a Poll, stop a Poll, or get a list of their Polls. If the user clicks Authorize, Twitch gives your app an access token that lets it perform those actions.

Screenshot of authorization dialog

Based on the type of app you’re building, you’ll use one of the following OAuth flows to get a user access token.

Flow Description
Implicit grant flow Use this flow if your app does not use a server. For example, use this flow if your app is a client-side JavaScript app or mobile app. For details about getting a user access token using this flow, see Getting a user access token using the implicit grant flow.
Authorization code grant flow Use this flow if your app uses a server, can securely store a client secret, and can make server-to-server requests to the Twitch API. For details about getting a user access token using this flow, see Getting a user access token using the authorization code grant flow.

App access tokens

APIs that don’t require the user’s permission to access resources use app access tokens. For example, you can get a list of videos without the user’s permission.

You should get an app access token, if your app only calls APIs that don’t require the user’s permission to access the resource. But if your app also calls APIs that require a user access token, you should just get a user access token because in most cases you can use the user access token to call APIs that accept app access tokens. The exception is if you call the EventSub APIs (for example, Create EventSub Subscription). If you call the EventSub APIs, you must also get an app access token because the calls fail if you try to use a user access token.

To get an app access token, use the client credentials grant flow. For details, see Getting an app access token using the client credentials grant flow.

Authentication flows

The following table summarizes the flows you can use and the type of access token it returns.

Procedure User Access Token ID Token App Access Token
OIDC Implicit Code Flow  
OAuth Implicit Code Flow    
OIDC Authorization Code Flow  
OAuth Authorization Code Grant Flow    
OAuth Client Credentials Flow    

NOTE An ID token or identity token encodes the user’s identity in a JSON Web Token (JWT). It’s used in OpenID Connect client apps to sign in users. You cannot use the ID token in place of a user or app access token when calling the Twitch API. Read more about ID tokens.

Passing the access token to the API

After getting an access token using one of the above authentication flows, use it to set an API request’s Authorization header.

Authorization: Bearer <access token goes here>

For an API request that shows using the header, see Get channel information.

Tokens don’t last forever

Access and refresh tokens can become invalid for the following reasons:

If a token becomes invalid, your API requests return HTTP status code 401 Unauthorized. When this happens, you’ll need to get a new access token using the appropriate flow for your app.

Validating tokens for 3rd-party apps

Third-party apps that call the Twitch APIs and maintain an OAuth session must call the /validate endpoint to verify that the access token is still valid. Read more

Next steps

Before you can get an access token you need to register your app. For details, see Registering your app.

Check out these code samples that show how to get access tokens: