If you have started to gain some traction on your Twitch channel you may have heard about a Subathon. Maybe your audience has even been asking you to do a subathon. It can be a great way to bring in a large influx of revenue to your stream. Generally, streamers will make much more money during a subathon, than they would normally.

At this point you are probably what is a Subathon on Twitch? Let’s jump in and find out a little more.

What is A Subathon On Twitch?

A Subathon is a special event streamers hold on Twitch where each Sub they receive extends the length of the Stream. It is a Subscription Marathon where the streamers streams until they stop receiving subs.

The streamer will set up a Subathon timer that increases in different increments for each Tier of Sub. For example, the stream may get extended by 1 Min for a Tier 1, 5 Mins for a Tier 2 etc. These streams can last for days or even over a month in the most extreme cases. When the timer runs out the stream ends.

For a smaller streamer a Subathon will usually fade out around the 24 hour mark however big streamers with passionate audiences can keep the stream going for weeks.

Due to the nature of a Subathon they can make the streamer a lot of money in a short space of time. The audience usually wants to see how long they can keep a streamer on stream so continue to provide subs to extend the timer.

Large streamers with lots of potential subs can set their timer to 30 Seconds and have subs come in fast enough to keep the stream going. If you are smaller you can set your timer to add 5 – 15 Mins for each sub. This way you can still get the fun of having a long stream, even with a smaller fan base.

How To Do A Subathon On Twitch

When it comes to doing a Subathon on Stream you shouldn’t just wake up one day and start one. There are a few things you should do before starting your first Subathon.

Inform Your Audience

You want your audience to be prepared and excited for the Subathon. You should build hype up for the big day. I would recommend starting to build hype for your Subathon around 2 weeks from the start date. Remind your viewers multiple times each stream that it is going to be happening. Have them excited to join the stream on the start date. You will likely see more than your average viewership on Day 1 of your Subathon as people are ready for the big event.

Prepare Content and Sleeping Arrangements

If you are planning on doing an uncapped Subathon are you prepared for the content that will be on Stream while you are sleeping? Will you show yourself on stream? Will others take over the stream while you sleep? Have a plan in place for content during these hours.

Most Subathons last around the 24 hour mark or just over it. Most people can do this without needing any sleep but it can take a lot out of you. During this time you are going to need food and drinks. It’s best to have something prepared in advance so you can spend as much time as possible on camera.

Add A Panel To Your Channel

People watching the Subathon will want to know exactly what they get for their subs or bits. You should create a panel in your channel description outlining exactly what each sub is worth in terms of time added. You can also add a command to display this information.

How To Set Up A Subathon Timer

Setting up a Subathon on Twitch is pretty simple. The only extra thing you will need to add to your stream is a Subathon timer. In this tutorial I will be using the Subathon timer built into Steam Elements however there are other options out there such as streamtimer.io.

  1. Login to your Stream Elements Dashboard or create an account (It’s free)
  2. In the left hand menu navigate to Streaming Tools –> Overlays Gallery –> Widgets –> Stream Marathon Timer –> Create
Stream Marathon Timer – Subathon Stream Elements
  1. Click on “Create New Overlay” –> Continue –> Give your timer a name –> Create My Overlay. You will now see a browser source link you can copy and add to Streamlabs or OBS. Copy this link.
  1. Open Streamlabs or OBS and add your timer as a browser source. You won’t see the timer until you start it in Streamelements.
  2. Head back to Streamelements and navigate to Streaming Tools –> My Overlays –> Edit the Marathon Timer we just created. Here we will be able to edit the timer.
  3. On the edit page click on the Marathon widget in the top left then click on settings for the menu.
  1. Here you can edit your marathon timer settings.

Timer Settings

Initial Marathon Duration – This is the initial start time for your Subathon. How long the stream would run if nobody subbed.

Maximum Marathon Duration – This is the maximum time your marathon time will go to.

Start/Reset Timer – This is where you start the timer when you go live.

Add 60s – This will add time to your timer

The other settings can be left as default.

Event Time Settings

Here you can choose how much time each event on your stream adds to the timer. In a normal Subathon only subs will add to the timer. However, with the Streamlabs timer, you can customize this.

You can add time for subs, followers, bits, tips and even viewers from a raid.

If you do not want time added for a certain event, just set it to zero.

  1. Once you have set the timer settings to your liking your timer is now ready to go for your stream. When you click on Start Timer, you will see it appear in your stream.

Ideas For An Entertaining Subathon

Below are some ideas to keep your Subathon entertaining throughout the stream.


You should set sub goals for a certain number of Subscribers or bits donated during the stream. Once these goals are hit there should be rewarded for viewers. This might be something as simple as a giveaway or you may want to do some kind of forfeit.

Mix Up Your Content

As Subathons last for long periods of time, it gives you more room to switch up the content that you play during it. We would recommend playing multiple different games that your audience is interested in as well as adding in some Just chatting or reactions sections to the stream. This keeps things fresh.

Set Challenges

It’s much more fun to watch someone take on a challenge in a game rather than watch them just play it. For example, if you stream warzone, during your stream you could take class setup suggestions from your audience and see if you can get a win with their weird class setup. This makes the content more interesting.

What is The Longest Subathon On Twitch?

The longest Subathon on Twitch is currently held by EmilyCC. As of writing this article she has been live for 114 Days and is still going. This is currently the longest uncapped Subathon on Twitch. No doubt when she finishes, her record will be beaten again.

What is A Capped Subathon?

A capped Subathon is when there is a limit to how long the stream will last. This means there is a limit to how long the stream can last, whereas an uncapped Subathon can go on endlessly.

Who Did The First Subathon On Twitch?

According to the Reddit thread below a streamer named Boxbox held the first Subathon on Twitch. At the time he gained over 3000 subs which was a lot back in 2015.

Ludwigs Subathon

We couldn’t finish this article in good faith without mention of Ludwigs Subathon. This is probably the most notorious Subathon on Twitch. Ludwig live-streamed every part of his life in a 31-Day Subathon. During that period he broke the record for most subscribers in a month pulling in over $1.4 Million across the month.

Ludwig suggests he kept around 25% of the money with 25% going to taxes, 25% going to his mods and 25% going to Charity. On the final day of the Subathon, all proceeds were donated to charity.

While this isn’t the longest-running Subathon it is the most popular as he broke the most subbed record during the Stream with more than 282,000 Subscribers.

Wrapping Up

Now you know all there is to know about Subathons and can set your own up. Subathons are a great way to make an inflow of cash on your stream. Just make sure that you are prepared for the long hours and can entertain your stream for a long period of time. Make sure to prepare beforehand and let your followers know that it will be happening.

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James is a marketer by day and gamer by night. He loves sharing his Marketing background in the world of streaming. When he's not working on campaigns he's likely to be spotted in Verdansk.