Let me guess, you have achieved a decent following on Twitch and are planning for that exponential growth. Yes, you should definitely consider doing a Subathon!
Here is the ultimate guide to help you suceed in your Subathon journey and guide you on how to do a Subathon on Twitch with 36 sub goal ideas.
But first lets understand what is a Subathon.
What is a Subathon?
Subathon is a long, and sometimes unending stream. It can be time capped, or have a specific goal or target, or can even be uncapped without any time limit or constraints.
Time capped Subathon – In cases where limited time is available or the streamer has other jobs or duties. Those streamers define a time for their subathon streams. Usually they are 24hrs or 48 hrs long subathons. They are time capped and end after the defined time limit.
Goal defined Subathon – In these streams, duration is not defined. Usually, the stream comes to an end when an objective or the main goal of the stream is met. For example, Ludwig decided to stream continuously till he finished “Elden Ring” the game. It took him 5 straight days to finish the entire game.
Uncapped Subathon – These streams are up to the audience to end. The audience can add time to the stream by donating or subscribing to the channel. These can sometimes go out of hand and can even run into days, or months. For example, emilycc has been streaming for 800 days continuously, and is still streaming (as on Jan 16, 2024)!
Subathon is a cool way to engage with your community. It generates hype and subsequently subs for your channel. Your community will know how serious you are with streaming which can result in a lot of subs for your channel in a short period of time.
Planning and doing a Subathon is tough. It can run for days or even months, and can get very intense and taxing for the streamer. You have to maintain your energy levels up for days at a stretch. It is no easy feat and those who have succeeded have only confirmed the toll on their mental health.
In the long run though, a Subathon is more rewarding than countless normal streams. Now let us see how to do a Subathon on Twitch.
How to do a Subathon on Twitch?
To do a Subathon on Twitch, you need to ideally start planning and talking about it with your audience well in advance. This will help create hype well before the subathon and prepare both you and your audience mentally for the stream. You can in parallel start planning your subathon by following the steps below.
Let’s break down each of the steps and see how to do a Subathon on Twitch.
- Decide your stream duration
- Pick a format for your stream
- Pick your subathon goals (+36 Sub Goal ideas)
- Pick incentives for subscribers
- Decide logistics and environment for your stream
- Decide break time in your stream
- Decide on meals and snacks between streams
- Pick moderators and decide your schedule (Optional)
- Add a marathon timer widget that increases time with new subs, bits, or donations
- Create Subathon panels and commands for rules
- Announce your Subathon to your audience
1. Decide your stream duration
Keeping in mind your personal life, you can decide to time your stream, keep it undecided or link the stream time to an objective. Subathons are usually long, so you have to be aware of any personal commitments that might hinder your stream.
In case you decide to stream for an undefined period of time, make sure you have some backups or mods in place to run your stream when you are not present.
2. Pick a format for your stream
Once you decide the allotted time for your stream, you can then pick your stream format.
Are you going to have sub-goals or any fixed objective like an AMA (ask me anything) session? These are some important questions that you would need to decide.
Some common Subathon formats are:
- Ask me anything, chat with your audience
- Play specific games
- Vlog in your stream
- General chit chat and games
Once you decide on the content type that you are aiming to cover during the allotted time, you can begin to do the necessary preparations.
3. Pick your Subathon goals (+36 Sub Goal Ideas)
To keep your audience engaged, you need to have sub goals for when you reach a specific subscription or donation count. For every milestone achieved, you will need to pick or do something which is either interesting, weird, or an audience choice.
The subathon goals are usually displayed on the stream or in a panel so that the audience is aware of the next milestone and is encouraged to subscribe or donate for you to perform those things.
Below is a list of some Sub Goal Ideas. These Subathon goal ideas are made for a small streamer with less than 1000 subscribers. For a bigger streamer, you should change the sub count, or number of new subscribers, to a higher count.
36 Subathon Goal Ideas (Sub Goal Ideas)
|Sub Goal Ideas
|Play favorite game for 1 hour
|Draw an emote chosen by the chat
|Eat spicy noodles
|Dance on a tik-tok song
|No swearing for 1 hour
|Take 2 shots of pickle juice
|Any horror game picked by chat
|Read a weird/ spooky short story
|Cut your hair on stream
|Wax your arm/legs
|Pour cold water on yourself, like ice bucket challenge
|Sing a pop song or song chosen by your chat
|Play your favorite game for 1 hour with inverted control
|Do a cosplay of your favorite character
|Eat a raw egg or any other weird food item
|Play a game where chat chooses the weapon
|Write a word on your forehead that chat chooses
|Do karaoke for 1 hour
|Create origami of an animal that chat chooses
|Play Pictionary with chat
|1-1 video call session with top gift subber
|Reveal 1 embarrassing fact about yourself
|Do an ASMR stream while playing a horror game
|Attempt a headstand for 30 seconds
|Give a house or room tour
|Show your streaming setup
|Show any talent like any instrument/singing etc.
|Do 50 spins in a row and try to walk a straight line
|Chat makes a Tweet that you have to post
|Chat decides a new stream alert sound
|Never have I ever – Answer 10 questions
|Play a community game like Jackbox, etc.
|Giveaway channel merch
|Watch a movie with chat
|Squats till failure
|Call your crush on stream
4. Pick Incentives for top subscribers
Give incentives to your viewers who sub or donate the most and are dedicated followers. Make sure to make it a bit personal or give them some kind of higher status.
Some examples of incentives for your top subscribers or donors can be as below:
- Mod position in your Twitch channel
- 1-1 video call interaction
- Handwritten gifted postcard
- Supporter Discord role and 1-1 video call interaction
5. Decide logistics and environment for your stream
Depending on your stream format, you will have to decide on your logistics. This includes streaming equipment, lighting, and effects that you want in your stream. Some streamers also decide to take the stream outside of their usual setup of table and chair.
You will need to decide if you want to switch devices or locations midstream. You can do that by having a video call between your streaming PC and your other device. Capture the feed in a separate screen in OBS. There are other ways too, where you can carry your laptops or device to another location.
You will have to figure out the logistics in advance so that there is seamless switching and you are not trying to figure this out midstream.
6. Decide break time in your stream
Usually during Subathons, you are bound to take breaks be it to the bathroom or to sleep. You need to have all these things in mind before streaming.
Some streamers also decide to sleep during their subathons. It is allowed by Twitch to sleep while streaming as long as there is no objectionable content shown during that time.
Be aware of what might go wrong and prepare your stream or setup in advance. Some show only their face and others cover themselves with a blanket while sleeping.
7. Decide on meals and snacks between streams
You will have to eat during your subathons. Plan your meals if you are not a fan of restaurant food. Keep some snacks and food items at a reachable distance at all times, so that you don’t have to run to the kitchen and be away from your audience every time you want to snack.
8. Pick moderators and decide your schedule (Optional)
Not many beginner streamers will have the luxury of having mods. If you can manage to get mods with the help of your friends, family, or fans, it can help a lot during breaks or even when you are sleeping.
Decide on people who can help you and decide on a schedule with them on who will take over during what time.
9. Add a marathon timer widget that increases time with new subs, bits, or donations
Setup a subathon timer on your Twitch stream that can add time, based on the number of subscriptions or donations you receive during the Livestream. The timer decides the end of your stream and can be increased by your viewers if they subscribe to your channel.
Here is the link for the marathon timer which you can log in with your Twitch account and show on your stream. You can set up the amount of time to add, based on each subscriber gained.
Refer to the section below which explains “How to set up a Subathon timer on Twitch?”
Tip: If you have a low subscriber count make sure to add more time for each subscriber so that your stream does not end quickly. If you have a high subscriber count, make it tough for your viewers by adding less time, else you can end up streaming for days.
Below is an example of how you can increase your subathon timer based on subs and donations:
Time Extention chart based on new subscription
|1 Tier-1 Sub
|1 Tier-2 Sub
|1 Tier-3 Sub
Time Extention chart based on donation
|100 Bits/ $1
|+ 12 seconds
|500 Bits/ $5
|+ 1 minute
|1000 Bits/ $10
|+ 2 minutes
|1500 Bits/ $15
|+ 3 minutes
|2000 Bits / $20
|+ 4 minutes
10. Create Subathon panels and commands for rules
Show your Subathon goals/ incentives in the panels so that the viewers have all the necessary information about the Subathon and do not need to find that in the chat or in the stream. You can set up commands in your bot to help your viewers get information or participate during the stream.
11. Announce your Subathon to your audience
Once you are ready to do your Subathon, make sure to create hype around the same. Display your Subathon incentives and show how fun, hard or weird they are. Create hype around milestones and ask your viewers to sub if they want you to do those things.
How to set up a Subathon timer on Twitch?
You will need to add a time on stream which will increase based on your Twitch subscription and donations.
Here is how to set up a Subathon timer on Twitch.
- Go to https://marathontimer.herokuapp.com/
- Login with your Twitch account.
- Go to “Connect Streamlabs” and enter your Streamlabs credentials to activate donations and increase time based on the amount of donation.
- Now go to “Time Settings” to add time, based on Donations, Bits, and Subscriptions.
- You can keep the same amount of added time for the Tips and Bits section based on 1 dollar or 100 bits donated.
- For subscriptions, enter the time you decided to add during the planning phase. You can keep the same time for new subs and resubs. Make sure you tick the “Include Gifted Subs” checkbox so that gifted subs also count in adding time to your timer.
- Go to “Set Timer”, to add initial time to your stream. Here you can also specify the maximum time your stream would run in case you are running a capped Subathon.
- For a 24 hours capped stream, you can start with 15 hours and your chat can add extra 9 hours by giving subs, donations, and bits. You can change the timing as per your preference. In case you are doing an uncapped stream, leave the maximum amount of time that can be added by Subs/Tips/Bits blank.
- Set the font of your timer in the “Font Settings” section. Choose a font and a color that can easily be seen in the stream.
- Go to “Timer Widget”, here you will get the browser link which you can use in OBS or Streamlabs to show in your stream. Click on the blue bar to unhide your link. You should keep this link private and not show it on stream.
- Open OBS or Streamlabs, Add a browser source in your scene.
- Paste the link to display the timer on your stream.
- Voila, Now your timer can be seen on your stream.
This is how to set up a Subathon timer on Twitch.
What is the longest Subathon on Twitch?
The record for the longest Subathon on Twitch is held by EMILYCC at 800 days at the time of writing this article. Believe it or not, the stream is still ongoing with 16 days remaining on the Subathon timer, as of Jan 16, 2024.
She has already streamed for more than 2 years. It’s an astounding feat to stream for so long.
Here is the list of longest Subathons run till now.
|9th Nov 2021
|27th Dec, 2022
|1st Jan, 2023
|8th Jan 2024
|4th Apr, 2023
|6th Apr, 2023
|25th Dec 2021
|19th Apr 2022
|8th Dec 2021
|30th Mar 2022
|31st Dec 2021
|19th Mar 2022
|5th Aug 2021
|20th Oct 2021
|12th Dec 2021
|19th Feb 2022
Top Subathon FAQs
Do streamers sleep during Subathon?
It is allowed for a streamer to sleep during a Subathon, however it is the streamers responsibility to have no objectionable content shown during that time.
It is also necessary to categorize and add your stream to the “I am only Sleeping” or the “Sleep” category.
What is the purpose of a Subathon?
For a Streamer, the purpose of doing a Subathon is to gain popularity, subscribers, gain traction and ofcourse earn money in a short period of time.
On average the streamer can 2x or even 10x their growth if they do a subathon for a longer period of time. Though how good it sounds, it is very difficult to pull such a long subathon.
What is an uncapped Subathon?
These streams are up to the audience to end. The audience can add time to the stream by donating or subscribing to the channel. The streamer sets how much time is added to the stream per Subs, Bits and Tips.
Who invented the Subathon?
BoxBox claims that he did the first Subathon in 2015. He made a custom bot in Twitch which added time per Subscription or donation received.
He called it the “Subscriber Marathon” and ran it for 30 hours. The idea then got popular and copied many times. you can find the clip of Boxbox claiming he invented Subathon here.
How long was Ludwig’s Subathon?
Ludwig’s famous Subathon ran for 31 days which started on 14th Mar 2021. His total subscriber count at the end of the Subathon was more than 282,000 beating Ninja’s then all time subscribers record of 269,154 before he defected to Mixer.