4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Twitch Stream
These days, everyone wants to make it big as a livestreamer.
Dazzling adoring fans with your skill while also making some cash seems like a dream job. Because of that, the competition is fierce. There are just thousands upon thousands of people who are chasing that exact same dream.
Thankfully, getting good at the basics can go a long way. Here are four easy ways to improve your Twitch game.
1. Get a decent setup
At the end of 2019, the Just Chatting category logged more viewing hours than any other on Twitch.
This was a watershed moment, because Just Chatting streamers don’t always play games. They mostly interact with their audience.
Twitch has always been homebase for game streaming, but the most recent numbers suggest that gaming isn’t the only thing viewers are interested in. People come to Twitch to watch games, but they also do so to interact with charismatic streamers — perhaps even more so than to watch talented gamers.
Here’s what that means for you: if you want to make it big on Twitch, you need to be on camera. To do that, you need to have a decent audio and visual set up.
First, invest in a good mic, because sound is more important than visuals. That sentence might sound ridiculous, but it’s true. If no one can hear what you’re saying, it doesn’t matter how sharp your screen is.
Second, get a solid camera. It doesn’t have to be something top of the line, but anything above a laptop’s built-in camera will work. On Twitch, a little production value goes a long way.
Finally, think about investing in some streaming software. This will help you customize what your viewers see when they drop in to your stream. Adjusting the aesthetics of your channel will make you look more professional — and therefore more appealing — even if you’re just starting out.
2. Always be interacting
We’ve already established people come to Twitch to interact with streamers, not just watch them play. So to build an audience, you’ve got to get good at interacting with them.
There’s a couple of ways to approach this. Perhaps the most important thing is to keep talking.
Even if no one is there, just keep talking. (Yes, it’s difficult and awkward at first, but it’s something that viewers expect.)
That will get you into the habit of vocalizing your thoughts, which gives your audience more opportunities to interact with you. For example, if you’re playing a first person shooter, and you’re doing a play by play of your strategy, your audience is more likely to engage than if you sit there silently.
Another technique is to ask your audience questions. These can range from questions about the game you’re playing to queries about how each person’s day has been. It almost doesn’t matter; just ask people some questions to create some back and forth.
Let people give you feedback on everything from the games you’re playing to the way your channel is set up. We’ve living in the age of digital intimacy, so getting people to weigh in on anything and everything about your channel will make them feel more connected. And entice them to return.
It’s easier to interact with every person that shows up to your channel when you’re just starting out. But as your audience grows, you may want to consider adding some moderators or installing a moderator bot that can answer simple questions in the chat.
3. Add some music
Ambiance is everything on Twitch. The more comfortable people feel, the more likely they are to interact with you. That’s the main reason you’ll be talking your head off for your entire stream: to eliminate any awkward silences.
Adding music is another excellent way to do that. Ideally, you’ll play something that matches the mood of your game. Cinematic music might fit well with a fantasy RPG like Skyrim, while intense music jives better with fast-paced first person shooters or fighting games.
Another option is to add some sound effects to your channel. For example, when someone enters the chat, leaves the chat, or subscribes, there could be a sound that gives significance to those actions. It’s not something that will be front and center, but it’s an opportunity to add more interest to your channel.
4. Rewatch your (and other people’s) streams
Like a pro athlete watching themselves on film, you’ll learn a lot from reviewing your old streams.
You’ll learn what you like and what you don’t like about your commentary or narration. You’ll spot moments when you could have been sharper in your interaction with audience members.
You’ll get a better sense of how you want to approach the entire process, from the screen layout to your background music.
But you shouldn’t limit yourself to just playbacking your own work. You also need to be constantly tuning in to other people’s channels — particularly streamers you admire. By carefully watching what more experienced players do, you can skip the trial and error and immediately apply some pro-level techniques to your own channel.
None of these techniques may be earth shattering, but that’s also the point. Every famous Twitch personality started somewhere. And each and every one of them do the four things listed above flawlessly.
Why? Because they matter. If you want to grow your audience and reach for a bit of that rarified air reserved for Twitch celebrities, you should start with a good setup, constant interaction, and quality music.