Chatbots & IRC Guide


Twitch offers an IRC interface to our chat functionality. This allows you to, for instance:

While our IRC server generally follows RFC1459, there are several cases where it behaves slightly differently than other IRC servers. As described in this document, there are many Twitch-specific IRC capabilities. The differences are necessary to accommodate:

Syntax Notes

All references to <channel> and <user> are references to channel and user logins and not IDs. Always enter the channel login (<channel>) in lowercase. The examples in the following table use these syntax conventions:

Lines prefixed with: Are sent from: To:
< client server
> server connecting client

Connecting to Twitch IRC

To connect:

 WebSocket ClientsIRC Clients

To authenticate, your password (pass) should be an OAuth token authorized through our API and should use both the chat:read scope (to read messages) and the chat:edit scope (to send messages).

Your nickname (nick) must be your Twitch username (login name) in lowercase.

A successful connection session looks like the following example:

< PASS oauth:<Twitch OAuth token>
< NICK <user>
> 001 <user> :Welcome, GLHF!
> 002 <user> :Your host is
> 003 <user> :This server is rather new
> 004 <user> :-
> 375 <user> :-
> 372 <user> :You are in a maze of twisty passages.
> 376 <user> :>

About once every five minutes, the server will send you a PING To ensure that your connection to the server is not prematurely terminated, reply with PONG

If your connection fails for any reason, you will be disconnected from the server. Common reasons for failed connections are:

Re-Connecting to Twitch IRC

To re-connect to Twitch, follow the same process. Best practice suggests trying again with exponential backoff (immediate, 1s, 2s, 4s, 8s).

Verified Bots

As the popularity of a chatbot grows, there is a possibility that it may approach or exceed the typical rate limits provided for a Twitch account. Chatbots that enhance the Twitch user experience and have reached these limits may apply for the verified bot status. This status provides elevated rate limits should a request be approved. Verified status is granted rarely.

Verified bots:

Requesting Verified Bot Status

If a chatbot has reached the rate limits for messages, authentications, or joins; a developer may request the verified bot status. To make this request, fill out the IRC Command and Message Rate form. Once a request has been reviewed, developers can expect a response via email.

Rate Limits

There are limits to the number of IRC commands or messages a developer can send to the server, the number of authentication and joins that can be attempted, and the number of Whispers (i.e. private messages) that can be sent.

Command and message rate limits

If command and message rate limits are exceeded, an application cannot send chat messages or commands for 30 minutes.

Limit Applies to
20 per 30 seconds Users sending commands or messages to channels in which they are not the broadcaster and do not have Moderator status
100 per 30 seconds Users sending commands or messages to channels in which they are the broadcaster or have Moderator status
7500 per 30 seconds site-wide Verified bots. The channel limits above also apply. In other words, one of the two limits above will also be applied depending on whether the verified bot is the broadcaster or has Moderator status.

Authentication and join rate limits

Limit Applies to
20 authenticate attempts per 10 seconds per user Regular Twitch account
20 join attempts per 10 seconds per user Regular Twitch account
200 authenticate attempts per 10 seconds per user Verified bot
2000 join attempts per 10 seconds per user Verified bot

Whispers rate limits

If the Whisper rate limits are exceeded, an application cannot send Whispers for 24 hours.

Limit Applies to
3 per second, up to 100 per minute, for 40 accounts per day All Twitch accounts

Invalid IRC Commands

If you send an invalid command, you will get a 421 message back:

< WHO #<channel>
> 421 <user> WHO :Unknown command

Generic IRC Commands

The Twitch API does not support WHO, part of the IRC specification. Please note that the channel login must be in lowercase, per the Syntax Notes.

Capability Description
JOIN Join a channel.
PART Leave a channel.
PRIVMSG Send a message to a channel.


Join a channel.

< JOIN #<channel>
> :<user>!<user>@<user> JOIN #<channel>
> :<user> 353 <user> = #<channel> :<user>
> :<user> 366 <user> #<channel> :End of /NAMES list

To receive commands related to the users in the channel (JOIN, MODE, NAMES, and PART) after a successful JOIN, you must request the Twitch-specific Membership capability.

If you try to join a suspended or deleted channel, you will get a msg_channel_suspended NOTICE. If you try to join a nonexistent channel, the JOIN is quietly dropped.

If you try to join channels in excess of your rate limit, the JOIN is first quietly dropped. If your rate is greatly exceeded, the connection will be terminated.


Leave a channel.

< PART #<channel>
> :<user>!<user>@<user> PART #<channel>


Send a message to a channel.

< PRIVMSG #<channel> :This is a sample message
> :<user>!<user>@<user> PRIVMSG #<channel> :This is a sample message

Scopes for IRC Commands

Twitch slash commands are sent via PRIVMSG. The following table lists these commands and required scopes.

CommandRequired Scope

/ban, /unban


/emoteonly, /emoteonlyoff


/followers, /followersoff


/host, /unhost


/mod, /unmod


/r9kbeta, /r9kbetaoff


/raid, /unraid


/slow, /slowoff


/subscribers, /subscribersoff


/timeout, /untimeout

/vip, /unvipchannel:moderate

Twitch IRC Capabilities

Using IRC v3 capability registration, you can register for Twitch-specific capabilities, to access Twitch-specific commands, data, etc.

Due to caching, events are not sent to a channel immediately; instead, they are batched and sent every 10 seconds.

All elevated users are given operator privileges. To determine a user’s actual elevation level, request the tags capability and parse the user-type tag.

There are several Twitch-specific capabilities: