Most Twitch streamers have two things in common: A passion for gaming and dreams to play professionally. It’s safe to say that for many of us, getting paid to play video games is pretty much the equivalent of winning the lottery. But if you really want to make it big on Twitch, strategy outweighs luck.
Whether your future hope is to be a pilot or a professional gamer, every career comes with a toolkit for success. While carpenters require hammers and nails, gamers require tech-savviness to turn their hobby into a profession.
To help give you a headstart, we’re sharing 12 of our best tips for streamers on Twitch. No matter if you’re playing old-school Super Mario Smash Brothers or battling demons in World of Warcraft, these tools and strategies will take the quality of your entertainment to infinity and beyond.
Hands down, one of the most essential tools for Twitch streamers is a strong internet connection. Broadband, fiber optics, wireless—whatever type of connection you have, it has to be strong and reliable. No, it doesn’t need to be lightning-fast, but the last thing a streamer wants is a sudden blackout. Losing signal during a live stream isn’t cool and could result in viewers pressing “unsubscribe.”
With that said, experts recommend having a minimum internet speed of 3 to 6 megabits per second (Mbps) for the best quality streaming connection. Remember that Twitch as a platform uses kilobits per second (Kbps), so 1,000 Kbps would be 1 Mbps. Having the right bit rate guarantees:
So, before you start to play Apex Legends, you’ll want to test everything with an online internet speed test. This way, you can guarantee a strong signal to engage your audience.
Have you seen that meme of Tobey Maguire (the original Spiderman from 2002) wiping his glasses to see what’s in front of him? Well, that’s not what you want your Twitch viewers to do while watching your live streams. Make sure you have the correct lighting techniques by keeping these factors in mind:
Rim light: What a rim light does is come from above your head to create a halo effect. The effect will be a little glow to add some highlights to your streaming setup.
A quality webcam is on the same playing field as your internet connection and lighting. Even though some users prefer cameras and can still build a following, the majority of Twitch streamers go with webcams. Here we’re talking about having at least 720p for recording capability, but 1080p is preferable. Popular brands for Twitch webcams include:
A few other things to consider are high visibility in a potential low light, wide field of view, autofocus, and maybe even remote control ability. The better the webcam, the better viewers can see how your emotions and reactions unfold throughout the gameplay.
Some would argue that your audio quality is the most essential part of your Twitch streaming channel. Viewers may like what they see on the screen, but if your audio quality is lousy, peace out. Safe to say that no toolkit for successful Twitch streamers is complete without a microphone. Three of the most common microphones include:
Remember that you may not realize how bad your mic audio is while you’re streaming, meaning that this needs to be done before going live. The most important things to avoid here are static noises. Just remember that your followers want to hear what you have to say as much as they want to watch your gameplay.
Also, if you’re concerned about too much feedback from speakers, then use a pair of quality headphones or gaming headset for crisper quality.
Depending on your needs, getting your hands on the right operating software to get the ball rolling could truly set your channel apart from the others. Yet before you make it big on Twitch, you’ll need to secure the right streaming software in order to go live. All streaming software share these things in common:
Deck out your Twitch channel by using one of the most common platforms including OWN3D Pro, OBS, XSplit Broadcaster, and Gamecaster, among others. One of the most popular ones is OBS Studio since it allows you to record your screen directly from the webcam and microphone.
At least in the beginning, it may not be necessary to have a chatbot with only a handful of followers. But once you start picking up speed, not all of your Twitch subscribers want fun and games. Some would rather bring viruses and malware into your channel!
That’s why one of the best tools for streamers is a chatbot. You’ve probably seen Nightbot or Moobot in streams on guard, making sure nobody posts anything sketchy or dangerous. You know what they say: Safety first. Certain benefits of a chatbot include:
Leave the pick a card, any card stuff to the magicians and think like an entrepreneur. Make sure you pick the right game to play for your future Twitch success. That’s to say, streaming a game that people enjoy watching, but something not too common.
Let’s be real: New Twitch streamers are going to have a hard time making it big with titles like Counterstrike or Call of Duty: Warzone. Instead, think of lesser-known games with the viewership to boot. For example:
Of course, you’re going to have competitors, but the last thing you want is to be playing a popular game with so many similar players. This is what you call “saturation” and it’s something that happens often in games with popular titles like Starcraft or Minecraft. If you choose a semi-obscure game that still gets views, the odds of you getting noticed and standing out in the crowd will be higher.
Maybe you’ve seen the term “dead air” appear on Reddit. You know, that awkward silence when there’s no chit-chat or commentary going on. For some users, this inactivity negatively impacts their viewership because let’s face it, people are bored.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to start thinking aloud. You know, stream of consciousness sort of stuff. Talk about the gameplay, like how you’re totally kicking another team’s butt in a League of Legends tournament and how your opponents keep messing up. Filling in those gaps of potential silence is where your personality can shine.
One way to prevent this boredom from kicking in is with our app’s Soundboard feature, which provides custom sound effects for the most expressive of gamers. Our library of sounds is full of content for every occasion–think Halloween, Christmas, April Fools, and more.
Moderators are people to keep the chat organized and take the spam out like last night’s garbage. When you gain a large enough following on Twitch, you may need some help sorting through them. Forming a moderator team is an easy way to catch the red flags sooner than later. These may include:
So, instead of spending time cleaning up, Twitch streamers can get help from moderators. When you want to choose a moderator, you want to make sure they are trustworthy, experienced, and influential in the community. Whoever the moderator is in the chat will have a green sword icon next to their username.
Don’t forget that if you want to build a loyal fanbase of followers, your viewers need to know when you’re going to go live. If you want to reach 18.2 million subscribers like the top-performing Ninja, you simply must stick to a schedule.
Viewers themselves tend to trend viewing times, so you should too. More than just forming a reliable routine, consistency also means staying true to yourself and sticking to your personal brand. For example, if part of your online fame revolves around Marvel gaming, it wouldn’t make sense to start covering DC Comics. That could throw people a curveball!
Moral of the story: The more you build a routine and stay true to yourself, the more views you’ll gain.
Extensions for streamers are another powerful way to customize your Twitch channel and increase user engagement. But here’s the deal: Twitch streamers can only apply up to six extensions on their channel, so it’s best to choose them wisely. Within these six extensions, you can find two components, one overlay, and three-panel extensions. This is how it works:
Take the Voicemod Live Twitch extension, for example, which allows viewers to customize how they hear you speak over one of your panels. This definitely helps make your stream more interactive and fun from a user’s point of view. Allowing viewers to take control is a smart approach for audience engagement and modern entertainment.
On top of that, Twitch users can get their hands on some nifty apps over the website, whether for desktop, mobile, or TV. Some of the best apps for streamers include Soundtrack by Twitch which provides copyright-free music to include in content creations.
When all is said and done, these tools can be game-changers for Twitch users. But let’s remember that it’s 2022 and interaction is still key on practically every social media platform, especially Twitch.
When you’re trying to build a fanbase, even when you have all of the gadgets set in place, friendliness still goes a long way. That means personally greeting a new streamer each time they tune in. Being nice pays off, which means that you’re answering questions as much as you’re asking them. No arguments, just good vibes all around. If somebody starts to goof off, just mute them or leave it up to the moderator.
Internet connection, lighting, webcam, microphone, operating software, chatbots, moderators, gaming decisions, awkward silences, wow! Safe to say that there are a ton of moving pieces when it comes to streaming on Twitch. But let’s keep this in mind: While all of these gadgets and gizmos yield power, they mean nothing if you don’t know how to captivate viewers. Technology is helpful but not a one-stop solution. On the contrary, it’s how you use the tools for Twitch streamers to engage with your audience that will make a difference.
At the end of the day, the way in which you engage with viewers and build friendships is how you will cultivate an online Twitch community.