Starting out on Twitch: Tips for new Twitch streamers
If you’re a bit of a gamer, then streaming on Twitch has probably crossed your mind at some point. I mean, if you’re going to be gaming all day, why not make some money and a few friends along the way? But the reality is it’s hard to know where to start. How do you set it all up? What should you play? What would you talk about!? Well, to help get your streaming dreams off the ground, we’ve got a few tips for new streamers who are thinking of starting out on Twitch.
Check your setup
As a new Twitch streamer, it’s best not to overcomplicate your setup. Basically, you’ll need to think about what software and devices you’ll be using to record your screen, yourself, and your audio. If you’re on Xbox or PlayStation it can be as simple as connecting a mic and webcam and clicking broadcast. However, if you’re looking to move beyond that, then keep reading.
If you’re imagining your stream with all the customisations and features you see on most channels, then you’re going to need some software. It can look a little daunting, but when you start using it, you’ll find it’s really not that complicated. In fact, there’s a lot of free software out there that make it easy for new Twitch streamers to set up and get going.
Some of the popular ones to look into are Streamlabs, Stream Elements, OBS and Twitch Studio. These will have everything from themes and overlays that you can use to make your stream look professional, to analytics that will help you grow your channel.
Get your audio right first time
Starting out on Twitch with a good microphone is key. No one wants to stick around to watch a stream if they can’t hear what you’re saying or are distracted by weird crackly noises. Good mics don’t have to cost a lot but you do have to do your research.
Also, getting the balance right between your mic, music and game audio is important. So, make sure to do a few tests or ask someone to look at your stream and tell you if anything is sounding off.
Good internet connection
Good internet is a must if you want to keep lag out of your game as well as your stream. You’ll want to make sure your ping is well under 150 ms – with 50 ms and below being the optimum for streaming.
A wired connection is also recommended over wifi as it will reduce the chance of interruptions. However, if your internet still isn’t cutting it, you can learn more about what the best broadband for gamers is here.
Customising your channel
While it’s probably not the first thing you’ll do when you’re just starting out on Twitch, customising and defining your channel image is important. It enables people to get a feel for who you are and helps you stand out from other streamers.
Start simple with your profile photo, bio, channel banner, and webcam border. Try to keep them all within the same look, something that links back to who you are and what you like. From there you can start thinking about pop-up notifications, emotes and loyalty badges to encourage people to interact with your channel. Most of the software mentioned above will have free templates to help you get started.
It’s important not to get too bogged down in the details, though. Chances are you’re not going to nail your channel image first time. You’ll constantly be changing and tweaking and updating it as your channel develops. The important thing is to just get yourself out there.
Avoid that awkward silence
If you’re new to Twitch streaming, then it’s important to know that it takes time to build up viewers. For a while it will just be you and the game and that can be a little… quiet. Having music in the background is a great way to avoid that awkward silence and keep viewers interested when they do stumble across your stream. Copyrighted music isn’t allowed but there are plenty of copyright free playlists on the top streaming services like YouTube, Spotify and SoundCloud.
Chatting and interacting with viewers
When people actually start coming onto your stream, it can be a little intimidating. But the fact is, people want to hear what you have to say. They watch your streams more for the commentary and your personality than for what game you’re playing.
The best thing to do (even if no one is watching) is to talk aloud to yourself – about the game, what you’re doing at the weekend, anything you want! You can even call a friend or play a co-op game with someone to kick the conversation off. The more you talk, the more you’ll find people will naturally join in on the chat.
Also, don’t underestimate how much people like hearing their Twitch name – it makes them feel like they’re part of the stream. So, when you start seeing more people popping up, or even following, make sure to call them out and welcome them in.
If your chat starts to get a little busy, it’s always good to have some mods on hand. These will stop people spamming the chat with any annoying or offensive messages. The most popular mods are Nightbot and Moobot, but you can also give a friend mod privileges as they’ll know you best.
Choosing what game to stream
A good way to get noticed as a new Twitch streamer is playing games that are a bit more niche but still attract a fair number of viewers. This way you’re not going to be competing with the thousands of channels streaming the most popular games and you have a better chance of appearing on the front pages. However, it’s important that you still play games that you’re interested in as it creates better energy on stream and will be better content overall.
Make a streaming schedule
Consistency is key when it comes to building up viewers. Make sure you’re streaming on the same days around the same time to ensure people keep coming back. It’s also good to let viewers know what you’re going to be playing over the next week, so they know to check it out.
Want to game without interruptions?
When you’re gaming, the last thing you need is lag and disconnections. Especially if you’ve got people watching you on stream. Download, game and stream seamlessly with hyperfast, reliable broadband.