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Start streaming on Twitch – 7 Tips

In just over one and a half years of streaming on Twitch, I’ve gained nearly 20,000 followers (Which you can check here on my channel). I wanted to outline what I believe are the most important things you should be doing to maximize your potential when you start streaming on Twitch. Getting people to your stream is hard enough, keeping them there is even harder.

I have spent many hours reading and learning about streaming and the Twitch platform. I have also learned from personal experiences and the experience of others. I run followtrain.tv and I run a Twitch community where we discuss Twitch related topics. It would be fair to say I know a thing or two about streaming.

Here are 7 things to keep in mind when you are just start streaming on Twitch.

1. Make sure your internet connection is solid

You don’t need to run out and buy a dedicated T1 line when you start streaming on Twitch, but you definitely need to have a decent cable broadband or fibre optic connection. The number one thing you need to do is be able to stream and with a bad internet connection you will end up with a totally black screen or a laggy viewing experience. I already outlined in another post what the best settings to use when streaming, so make sure you check that out.

2. Get a decent microphone

People visit Twitch to watch and listen to people playing games. If your commentary is inaudible due to a low-quality microphone, you won’t get many followers or viewers. You don’t need a recording studio quality mic but you do need to be sure that your voice is clear and louder than your music or in-game sound, with little to no static or hum.

Try and get a microphone with built in noise reduction in case something is going on behind you, perhaps you live near a busy road and the windows are open because of the heat outside. These small sounds will be heard on your stream as just background noise which can really irritate people. I keep an updated list of what I consider to be the Best Hardware for Twitch.

3. Get some custom graphics and a decent overlay

Your channel and brand is important for people to remember you, starting at just $5 you can get custom graphic design service. You will create your HUD (Heads up Display) in your streaming software, something like OBS or xSplit. Personally, I do mine with OBS. The idea is to make sure that your stream looks good and is viewer friendly. There are a ton of streamers out there, so the viewer experience is going to be what sets you apart.

For example you could create a border around your webcam that tells something about your personality or your favorite game. It is also important that pop up notifications give praise where it is due. When someone gives you a donation or follows you you should have a pop up or something cool happening.

When viewers see a celebration over even the smallest of donations, they are more likely to donate a few dollars as well. Make an even bigger celebration for your top donors. Remember, people are throwing money at you for doing something you would probably be doing anyway, so make sure they know how grateful you are.

4. A HD webcam is a must

Okay, so maybe Lirik doesn’t use a webcam… but you are not Lirik and you didn’t start streaming nearly five years ago when he did. Do yourself a favour and buy a decent webcam. There are plenty of streamers who don’t use a webcam, this is true, they also they don’t have many followers or viewers. If you want to be one of them random unknown faces then be my guest but it wont help you grow on Twitch.

People like to see faces, even if you think you are the ugliest person on earth I promise you beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s just nice to have a face to go with the voice and the username, so don’t be shy.

I was simply amazed how much people did not troll me when I first used a webcam. Most people are genuinely friendly. We all got bullied a little school for one thing or another and that fear is still with us but in my experience on Twitch it’s not an issue. Really you should try it once or twice and I promise you wont regret it, in fact you will enjoy streaming even more. Yes it feels awkward at first and maybe you need to get comfortable with speaking before turning on the camera but sooner or later you need a webcam.

You want to be able to stream and record in high definition a 720p camera is the minimum, but a 1080p is always preferred. Many viewers, when looking for a new channel to watch, won’t even click on one unless they see a picture-in-picture cam. Read more about what I think is the best webcam for Twitch.

5. Interact with your viewers

There is only so much that hardware and software can do for you, and there are a ton of great players out there. After that, your persona has to carry you. You will truly begin to stand apart from the crowd and gain a following when people see your personality, and that means interacting. Gaining followers and regular viewers is really about being entertaining.

Once you have hundreds or thousands of followers, you may not be able to greet everyone by name, but at least when you are starting out, don’t let people slip in and out of your channel without even being acknowledged. Say something like, “Hi [username], welcome to the stream!” Try to answer questions that viewers ask, and even ask some of your own and check out the responses. Yes, you need to pay attention to the game too, but the game isn’t following you or making donations, so put your viewers first.

Don’t argue in the chat box. If someone is really being obnoxious, mute them quickly and move on. Do not waste time or energy with trolls, insta-ban them and forget about it, they will move on to someone else who will entertain their trolling efforts.

6. Get a chat bot for your stream

I’m not talking about view bots—those are a good way to get your channel banned. If you are a regular Twitch viewer, you probably already know what a chat bot is. Chat bots basically serve one purpose—they keep the chat box safe for you and your followers and provide additional interaction functionality.

They can ban people for saying certain words, they can tell users what music you are currently playing and they can even help you run giveaways and answer common questions for you. You can also give certain moderators the ability to add commands to some bots to further reduce the amount of work you have to do when streaming.

My personal favorite is DeepBot. DeepBot is not free and can be overwhelming at first, start with something like Moobot or Nightbot and consider DeepBot later on.

7. Be consistent and persistent

When you first start streaming on Twitch, setting up a schedule for streaming is in my opinion the single most important thing you can do if you want to build regular viewers. How do you expect to get regular viewers if you cant even be regular yourself?

Being consistent allows you to get repeat viewers rather than just competing for whoever happens to be on when you decide to stream. Don’t give up if your stream doesn’t take off straight away. Sometimes it takes a while for people to get to know you and decide that your channel is more fun or exciting than the other channels that are currently open.

Keep learning and striving to become a better streamer, watch other peoples streams and figure out why they have so many viewers. What are they doing differently and ask yourself how can you be more like them?

In my personal experience, last year when I had a three day a week schedule, I was able to build my viewers up to an average of around 70-80 people per stream. I took six months off in the Autumn of 2015 and when I returned I struggled to get just 10 viewers. At the time of writing this article I am now back averaging 30 viewers per stream but I only commit to one day per week, with an occasional impromptu stream on other days depending what is going on in my real life.

Sure, things can go wrong when you first start streaming on Twitch. Your Internet or power may go out during a stream. Someone could be trolling chat looking to pick a fight or harass other users. Hardware fails and software breaks, life issues and unexpected social happenings like friends and family turning up at your house. All of these things can effect your stream and your passion for streaming but don’t let setbacks get you down. The most successful channels are the ones that deal with all that adversity but continue pushing forward and making their followers glad to be there.

The Final Word

Hard work, research and commitment is what makes a top streamer. I hope you take the time to read more of my articles on this blog and I hope you can gain some insight into streaming on Twitch.

I spend a lot of time helping new streamers and I can show you how to get more followers, but it takes some hard work. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions or topics you would like to know more about and I will reply or blog about it in the future.


Custom Twitch Design Service for just $5

What if I told you that you could get a professional custom Twitch design service for your Twitch channel for just $5. I was blown away with this idea when I came across it last week. Just $5 to start building your brand on Twitch. Building your brand is a must for any new streamer because it will help people remember you and your stream.

When we talk about branding your stream all we really mean is some nice matching graphics to help relay your identity to your viewers to quickly help them understand who you are and what you are about. Perhaps your stream is something they can get behind and start supporting, hopefully they love what they see straight away and immediately hit that big purple follow button.

Start with the Basics!

The first graphics you should invest in after your logo should be your offline stream graphic and your channel info panel headers. You can get 12 info panels and 1 offline stream image for just $5. This is a tiny investment to make for your stream.

Custom Twitch Design Service

Custom Twitch Design Service – 12 info panels and 1 offline stream image for $5

But I don’t even have a logo!

This is an important point. You really need a logo before you start your brand and there literally hundreds of graphic designers waiting for your order on Fiverr. Again starting at just $5 you can get a professionally designed logo for your stream. You will need to think about the style that you want and the colours that you like for your logo an then once you have your logo, colors and style sorted you will be ready to start branding the rest of your stream.

Thinking about yourself as a brand

I really think that building your identity online is something you will need to work on whether your brand new to Twitch or a veteran streamer. You have to compete with the masses and with social media and content sharing sites like YouTube you will want to start building your a brand for yourself as a streamer and online gamer so that when people come across your content online they instantly recognise it as something you created. You first started your brand when you created your Twitch username that was the starting point for your Twitch identity. If you are not 100% happy with your Twitch username and you only have a few followers then now is the time to change it. Don’t worry if you took a long time to get those few followers because I can teach you how I got over 10k followers in my first 6 months of streaming.

The Final Word!

If you just started streaming and you don’t yet have a logo or any custom graphics then today is the day to get that fixed and for just $5 what are you waiting for?

The key to all successful brands is a strong identity that makes you (the product) stand out from the other millions of streamers out there. One of the best way to do this on Twitch is to have custom graphics designed for your stream.

It’s awesome to think that for just $5 you can start to build your identity online, you can get a custom Twitch Design starting at $5, you can better relay what your stream is all about so that your viewers can get behind the idea and you can start to build yourself as a big name on Twitch. Later on will come t-shirt designs, bumper stickers and all kinds of other products to sell to your growing viewer base and having a graphic designer who already knows your brand will be very useful tool to have in the future.


The Division will be one of the most popular games on Twitch in 2016

I am going to go out on a limb here and make a bold prediction, I think that The Division will be one of the most popular games on Twitch in 2016.

I love the idea of games like DayZ, Ark and H1Z1 but all three titles have left me disappointed. Now I am left constantly searching for a new title which fills a similar idea and I hope that The Division with the second expansion pack “Survival” will bring some elements of survival to the game. That’s one of the reasons why I pre-purchased The Division before it’s release date with all of the DLC packs included, fingers crossed my hopes will be realised later this year.

So let’s look at the reasons why I think The Division will be one of the most popular games on Twitch in 2016.

1. It’s an MMO, kinda…

Sure, The Division isn’t really listed as being an MMO by Ubisoft but the game is pretty much an MMO. The Division allows for many players to be in the same instance as they explore and fight for survival in New York City. It may be a shooter style based game but it certainly has MMO style elements, even if there’s not hundreds of players in the same instance.

The Dark Zone currently allows up to 24 players in a single instance and players can form clans with each other. Clans or guilds are typical of MMO’s and rumours suggest that they may add official clan support in game, but nothing has been confirmed yet. You can still find people to play with easily and join a Division clan here: http://divisionclans.com/clan/listing

There is a character progression system, a large number of players in a single instance, NPCs to grind in and out of the the Dark Zone, a PvP area, the ability to play as a clan and a large world to explore. Sounds a lot like an MMO to me. All of the above means people will invest many hours into this game.

2. More content is on the way

Ubisoft has already announced some of their expansion plans for The Division. With free updates adding more game content and features and also paid expansion packs coming later in the year. Plus many people have already pre-purchased these expansion packs, myself included. I expect that the new expansions will also allow players to continue to level up their characters allowing players to have a charter more powerful than the current max level of 30. The names of the first three major expansion packs for the game have been revealed along with some very limited details about them:

Expansion I: Underground (June 2016)
In the first major purchasable expansion Ubisoft will be adding a new territory to the game where squads of four players can explore and complete missions in a huge underground network of tunnels under New York City. Players will be going up against brand new NPC characters, grabbing new loot items and continuing the campaign story mode.

Expansion II: Survival (Summer 2016)

I really really hope this expansion will bring some survival elements from games like DayZ and H1Z1 into The Division. Not much information has been released yet. People are speculating all kinds of ideas. The Division website says:

“Available this summer, this expansion will challenge players to survive as long as possible by gathering essential supplies in a very hostile environment.”

Expansion III: Last Stand (Winter 2016)
Again not much is known about this update, people are claiming zombies will be added to the game probably because of the following sentence found in the official trailer:

“A new threat is rising in the third expansion Last Stand. You and your squad must prepare to defend against a relentless foe.”

The game already has that zombie apocalypse feel and the artwork contains a skull as the face of The Statue of Liberty which makes people belive that the iconic statue may appear in a new playable area of the game. It’s many months away and only time will tell.

Smaller free DLC updates
Smaller free DLC updates will be released throughout the games lifespan to enhance the campaign mode and also the PvP Dark Zone area. The next free update will be coming out on the 12th of April which will add new features such as loot trading.

3. It is like Destiny but better

Destiny was one of the most played and viewed games last year on Twitch placing it in the top 10. Destiny is an unrealistic first person shooter set in the future where the last humans fight to protect the dwindling human population; it allows for clans to work together in the campaign mode and go to war in the PvP zones, you level up your character and find rare loot. Sounds a lot like The Division, right?

The Division meanwhile is set in a gritty, realistic world in the aftermath of a devastating plague which has wiped out the majority of New York City. The world is dark and provides a level of realism most shooter fans will recognise however unlike Destiny, The Division is a third person shooter where as Destiny is a first person shooter.

Between the two of them, in my opinion The Division has the stronger PvP area which is organic, evolving and tense. Players are forced to make uncertain alliances with other players to survive against the powerful NPC characters or to counter attacks from other enemy players. This is much like the Battle Royal mode (Now called H1Z1: King of the Kill) found in H1Z1 which was another top 10 game on Twitch last year.

The Division has a lot of potential for streamers; the PvP area will evolve constantly and in my opinion the differences between this and and Destiny will give it a small edge.

4. Its really well made and polished

The Division looks fantastic, there is no doubt about it. The streets of New York City are an almost exact replica of the real city. It’s a dark and gritty world mixed in with the bright lights of Christmas themed decorations which were still left in place after the plague hit the city.

There are plenty of options to look at and experiment with to get a decent level of performance vs perfect graphics for enjoying the environment and it will run on most modern computers; streaming can be CPU intensive so it’s a must for streamers to get good performance when streaming.

Besides the amazing graphics, the game runs smoothly with few bugs and great gameplay flow. The controls for the game work well and the response from the input is extremely fast which is great for those looking to play it ‘seriously’ with their squad. It feels great, it looks great and the game play is fun which leads me on to my next point.

5. The Dark Zone is fun

There’s a lot of features in The Division to try out, utilize and explore with to make you stronger as a solo player in the campaign and provides an edge in the Dark Zone. Players can pick up strong items in the campaign solo world and there are rare items which can be found in the Dark Zone.

Items in the Dark Zone are contaminated and have to be extracted before the player can actually use them; once the item is extracted it’s then safe for the player to die, if they die before the items are extracted then any contaminated items will be dropped. They need to be extracted at extraction zones in the Dark Zone, naturally there could be players there looking to kill other players and steal their loot before they extract it so they can have it for themselves.

The Division uses a proximity voice chat and text chat system which makes the Dark Zone even more tense; players can communicate with each other without needing to accept a friends request for voice chat. It makes the Dark Zone incredibly tense when using a microphone and a lot more entertaining as teams need to sometimes avoid communication altogether or risk being overheard by the enemy.

6. Its on all the major platforms

The Divisions is easy to access. Players can buy versions for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One or for the PC which all have streaming capabilities with or without additional hardware. It does force players to use the Ubisoft game platform Uplay, which is not well loved by gamers but at least it provides achievements and special game-based rewards. Some games are not big on Twitch simply because they are not on all the major platforms so they are unable to complete with games that are.

7. The Division had the biggest first week ever for a new game franchise

That’s right! The Division launch smashed it and not only is it Ubisoft’s best-selling game straight out of the gate but it also had the biggest first week ever for a new game franchise and generated over $330 million globally in its first five days. The game was reported to of have 1.2 million peak concurrent users over the first weekend, and over 100 million hours played in the first week. These kind of numbers begin to give you an idea of how many people enjoyed the beta and wanted to jump straight into the initial release.

The Final Word!

The Division has been in the top 10 games since it was released at the start of March. It’s still highly popular right now for both streamers and viewers; with the upcoming new content which will be released throughout the year, it looks like The Division should stay in the top 10 most watched games for quite some time. People will invest any hours in to the game and I think it will replace similar older titles such as Destiny to become one of the most watched games on Twitch in 2016.

The Division


New Twitch Feature: Twitch Channel Feed

Last week Twitch released an exciting new beta feature called Channel Feed. The Twitch Channel Feed in many ways is the exact same as the basic functionality of any social media platform like Twitter or Facebook. A simple way to update the people that follow you. I think this is a very nice addition to the channel page, it will allow streamers to update people about interesting news and things that are happening on the stream without having to use a traditional Twitch channel info panel. It’s much quicker and easier than creating an info panel for this kind of information plus for content like news and updates it makes much more sense.

Twitch said:

We know how important it is for broadcasters to communicate with their viewers, and Channel Feed will make it easier than ever. Your Channel Feed is a customizable space on your Channel Page where you can easily share important news, announcements, and anything else you think is relevant to your community. Channel Feed posts fully support emotes, have a generous character limit, and are easily shared to any linked social media accounts.

Should you use the Twitch Channel Feed?

I always turn on new Twitch features when they arrive and at least play with them to see if they bring any value. Personally I love this new feature. Some of the other features they have added recently in my opinion have not been so useful but I think that this is one of the best additions Twitch has made in the last 12 months.

How to enable the Twitch Channel Feed?

If you are one of the lucky few who have been given access to the new feature you should see a new area on your channel page where you will see “Channel Feed Beta” and a small on/off switch. If you do not see this on your channel page then you have not been included in the beta test.

Typically when Twitch rolls out a new feature not everybody is given access straight away. This is to limit risk on the platform and allow them to test and monitor how people are using the new feature.

In the future

I can imagine that the channel feed will see some very heavy development over the coming months. I would like to see the ability to tag other Twitch streamers for example by using @FiveManDown in a message I would like to see that text create a link to my channel. This makes shouting out and teaming up with other streamers even easier and more fun!

Currently the channel feed only supports sharing to Twitter but I can imagine the plan is to allow streamers to share content to all of their connected accounts. Currently you can can connect Twitch to Blizzard, Steam, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

I wonder if they will create a more open platform where you can find popular channel updates, right now people who visit your channel page can “like” a channel update in much the same way you can “like” a Facebook status update.

Twitch Channel Feed Updates

The Final Word!

The new Twitch Channel Feed is really cool and you should be using it as soon as you have access to it. I expect it to evolve over the coming months and I am excited to see what they do with it. On another note I will be starting to stream on a regular basis again and you can read more about that on my first channel feed update. Pretty cool huh?


Twitch Streamers Community

If you are looking for a community of Twitch streamers to hang out with then come and join the FollowTrain.tv Twitch streamers community. We currently use Discord to host our chat room plus free voice comms and every one is welcome to join.

What is Discord?

Discord is essentially a communication platform designed specifically for gamers. It’s like a modern day IRC client with a TeamSpeak server bundled with it! It’s awesome and it’s free!

“It’s time to ditch Skype and TeamSpeak. Discord is here. All-in-one voice and text chat for gamers that’s free, secure, and works on both your desktop and phone. Stop paying for TeamSpeak servers and hassling with Skype. Simplify your life. You’ll never go back.”

Discord IOS and Androids Apps

You can even join us using the mobile app and chat when you are not streaming or when your on the move, pop in and say “hi”, keep up to date with the latest Twitch trends and gain knowledge from other experienced streamers and Twitch partners.

How to join us on Discord

First thing you will need to do is create your free account then you can download the Discord desktop client and then you simply choose which device you use either Discord for IOS or Discord for Android.

Twitch Streamers Community on Discord

My plans for the FollowTrainTV Twitch Streamers Community Discord!

I really hope this group can grow and grow and that all streamers can learn and share new ideas in a friendly and open place. Streaming can be difficult and lonely at first, talking to yourself for hours on end with no response. Why not join us and get some support from our community of Twitch streamers!

The Final Word!

I tend to leave a final word summary at the end of every blog post I write. All I can say now is come and join us on Discord, don’t be shy everybody is welcome!


Top 10 most popular games on Twitch

Your probably wondering “What are the most popular games on Twitch?”, Well I have the definitive answer for you! You can easily see what the most popular games are on Twitch at at given moment. You simply visit the main games page and you will see in real time what games are currently the most popular. But this only shows you a small snippet of the story and often when a game is new lots of people will be playing it!

At the end of each Year Twitch release a retrospective and for the purpose of this article I feel this is the best place to check for the real data on such a question. Below is a list of the 10 most popular games on Twitch for the entire year of 2015. The list is in order and represents the games which streamed the most minutes on the platform. Without further hesitation lets get in to the list!

1. League of Legends

League of Legends

League of Legends (LoL) is an online battle arena game that takes place in real-time. League is one of the world’s largest esports games and was developed by Riot Games. As of 2014, the game had 67 million monthly players and over 27 million daily players. At any given time, upwards of 7.5 million people are playing at once. A standard game consists of two teams of 5 champions competing to destroy the other team’s nexus while leveling up in an RPG style. The action is fast, furious and intense making this the perfect spectator eSport. League of Legeds wins the number one spot on the most popular games on Twitch list.

2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)

Next up another massive eSports game that needs no introduction. CS:GO is the 4th iteration in the Counter-Strike series. It is a 5 on 5 team-based online FPS (first-person shooter) game that takes place in real-time. Rated mature, this game pits terrorists (Ts) versus counter-terrorists (CTs) in a realistic shootout involving various options for gameplay. Typically you will see people playing in a game that will last around 90 minutes where the first team to get 16 rounds will take the victory. A friend of mine once said that “CS:GO was the best $7 he ever spent!” and I really cant argue with that. It draws in thousands of viewers on Twitch every single day and shows no sign of going away soon.

3. Dota 2

Dota 2

Dota 2 is another battle style arena game involving multiple combatants in real-time play and in many ways is similar to League of Legends. Developed by the Valve Corporation the same company that made CS:GO, Dota 2 is free-to-play and boasts over 1 million simultaneous users. Characters have unique abilities and scale during each battle — collecting gold, experience, and items throughout the game. In 2015 a prize pool of $18 million at the game’s main annual tournament set an all-time high for the eSports scene and remains one of the most likely ways to make money from gaming online.

4. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Next up we have Hearthstone the card-based strategy game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Head-to-head Arena play allows players to face off against each other using pre selected decks of cards. There are now more than 40 million Hearthstone players around the globe. Ranked battles allow players to gain monthly prizes and strive to become legendary ranked. The top 100 legendary ranked players at the end of each month receive world championship points (WCPs) that can help them to qualify for the annual championship competition. The game is free but t allows users to purchase card packs in order to rapidly increase players card collections for developing gameplay decks. Single player modes can also be unlocked to help players earn cards that are not available in some of the purchasable packs. Again I think one of the things that draws viewers on with this game is the high level of competition involved.

5. Minecraft

Minecraft

Minecraft allows users to build and create in a 3D block environment. Players explore the world they are helping to create, they gather resources, craft new tools, and even engage in combat. Various game modes exist that allow players to outlast each other in a multiplayer survival game or enjoy a creative mode which provides unlimited resources for users to design anything they can imagine. An award winning game, Microsoft purchased the intellectual property from Mojang in 2014 for the sum of 2.5 billion USD.

6. H1Z1

H1Z1

The point of H1Z1 is to survive the zombie apocalypse—a popular theme in modern entertainment. It takes place in a future dystopia where zombies have resulted from a mutated virus called H1Z1. The game is a massively multiplayer game, meaning that all users exist in the same world. Cooperation is encouraged, creating a sense of community among many users. Teamwork and trading are vital aspects of survival when encountering everything from zombies to wild animals. Most people on Twitch play in the Battle Royal mode which is a huge fight to the death and only ends when there is one play left.

7. Destiny

Destiny

Destiny is an FPS (first-person shooter) brought to you by Bungle and Activision, the same guys that made the massively successful Halo series. Destiny is a sci-fi game in which users share a world and team up. There are player-versus-player options besides the team objective modes. The game takes place on a future Earth, ridden with aliens, as well as on various worlds where the player is charged to wipe out the alien nemesis before reinforcements can reach the Earth. The launch of the game in 2014 set retail records with more than half a billion USD in retail sales on the release day.

8. World of Tanks

World of Tanks

World of Tanks is a free-to-play online game that takes place in a multiplayer format. There are also premium game features available for a fee. PvP gameplay is the focus, and users compete against each other in various types of tanks. There are more than 400 different kinds, each based on a real type of tank developed during the 20th century. Users can choose their favorite tank from their home country or select a type of tank produced anywhere in the world. This game entered the world of eSports at the 2012 World Cyber Games. This game draws some pretty big numbers on the Twitch platform.

9. World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

WoW, World of Warcraft is an MMORPG from Blizzard Entertainment, and is the oldest of today’s favorite games having been released in 1704. The world of WoW takes place four years after the events of Blizzard’s previous iteration of the game, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Six expansions have been released over the past decade. There are more than 5.5 million subscribers, making WoW the world’s top MMORPG. It is also the highest-grossing game in history. A World of Warcraft movie will be released in June of 2016 under the title Warcraft and will no doubt increase interest in the game, adding to the number of players and spectators on Twitch.

10. FIFA 15

FIFA 15

FIFA 15 is the ultimate football/soccer simulator. Electronic Arts released the game in 2014, and it received great reviews from game critics. Thanks to the global popularity of football/soccer, this has become the most popular sports game for online play and viewing. Each year, EA releases a new version of the popular game with upgraded AI and updated team rosters, meeting with immediate success from fans of the franchise. No other sports simulation game attains the same eSports attention as FIFA.

The Final Word!

So there we have it the 10 most popular games on Twitch in 2015 according to Twitch! One of the key things that I take away from this list is that each of these games has a huge esports potential they are all massively competitive and have a massive online multiplayer style of play. Each of these games offer something unique that simply draws us to play them which then draws people to watch others play.


Twitch Streamers Forum

If you are a Twitch Streamer and you are looking for a Twitch streamers forum then look no further. Head over to TwitchStart.com and join the community there.

If you use Twitter then you probably already know the guys that run this forum. The forum is run by @twitchraid who is one of the biggest Twitter retweet services for Twitch Streamers.

TwitchStart.com - Twitch streamers forum

TwitchStart.com – Twitch streamers forum

I personally hang out and check posts on TwitchStart.com and you can find me there under the username FollowTrainTV.

How many people use the TwitchStart streamers forum?

They just celebrated their 600th member. They have been online around 6 months at the time of writing this article.

Things you can do at TwitchStart.com

Get some feedback about your stream.
Advertise your stream.
Ask Twitch veterans for all kinds of questions.
Discover new software and ideas connected to streaming.
Get hosted and host others.
Just hang out and make friends.

The Final Word!

If you are looking for a Twitch streamers forum then I would start with TwitchStart.com the streamer’s community. Go and create an account today and remember to introduce yourself and complete your profile page.


A look back at the Twitch numbers in 2015

The Twitch official blog posted a rather nice look back retrospective for 2015. I wanted to highlight some of the Twitch numbers that I found interesting around the numbers that Twitch boasts.

How many people watch Twitch?

Twitch reported that there is an average of more than half a million concurrent viewers on Twitch. That’s right more than 550,000 people are probably watching Twitch right now while you read this article. Streamers broadcasted 241,441,823,059 total minutes last year. The infrastructure behind Twitch is impressive to say the least! They had a peek of 2,098,529 viewers on August the 23rd during a single weekend when both ESL One: Cologne 2015 and the League of Legends NA LCS Finals both took place.

How many people broadcast on Twitch?

With an average of 1.7 million broadcasters streaming every month that is a huge amount of gamers streaming on the Twitch platform they had a concurrent peek of 35,610 broadcasters all streaming at once in November 2015.

How many partners does Twitch have?

Twitch reported that they have in total 13,476 partners, these are Streamers with that magic sub button.

How do people watch Twitch?

Most people watch Twitch on a laptop or desktop computer around 56% of their viewers with mobile at 35% leaving consoles lagging behind at just 7%. Twitch mobile and tablet app’s reported having over 1,000,000 downloads last year.

How many messages per minute does Twitch handle?

There was a total of 9,169,726,092 messages sent in 2015 that’s 17,446 messages per minute. That’s a lot of Kappa emotes!

The Final Word!

Twitch is an impressive platform with a huge user base. I would argue that Twitch is the home of gaming! It brings the community together in a fun and interesting way and I am proud to be a part of the Twitch history. If you are interested in the Twitch history you can get a really good insight by visiting the Twitch 2014 Retrospective and the Twitch 2013 Retrospective.


CPU issues when streaming and playing games

I noticed I was getting lag spikes in game after starting to stream with OBS. It was not because of my internet speed but because my CPU was using 100% of it’s processing power and killing my mad skills in CSGO. This was causing me to have some pretty horrible issues when streaming and playing games on Twitch.

How to fix CPU related issues when streaming and playing games?

The information in this post will apply to all games not just Counter-Strike Global Offensive so if you have a CPU streaming issue please read on.

I didn’t stream on Twitch much since the summer. Mostly because of other projects and because I started hitting the gym a few times a week! I formatted my PC and put Windows 10 on it plus bought myself a brand new BenQ XL2430T 144Hz monitor and I had taken my green screen down to have a huge sort out in the room I use to stream. All of these things combined meant I had destroyed my streaming setup! Putting things back together takes time but I started to do that this week.

Starting fresh

So previously I guess I had tweaked my CSGO game and my streaming settings, something I must of totally forgot about.

I tried to stream the other day and my CPU was running at 100% and causing CSGO to stutter which made me play really badly. I had to make a some tweaks again and now my CPU is running at around 90% which is perfect in my opinion because I have almost maximum performance from my PC and no issues while streaming and playing games.

Before we start tweaking

If you understand a few simple ideas then you will be able to make choices that work for you rather than just plain copying me. We all have different gaming rigs and stream different styles of games so the fixes are down to you to makes choices.

Understanding the streaming process

When you stream your capture software usually XSplit or OBS is recording your screen at the number of frames you specify, then it is resizing the dimensions of the capture as you specify and then it tries to compress it to the size rate which you specify (1800 KB/s in my case) then it sends it down the wire to Twitch.

So the more frames you have and the larger your screen resolution the larger the amount of data your CPU has to crush in order to meet your specified streaming KB/s.

On top of that CSGO is known to be a very CPU expensive game, the source engine that runs Counter-Strike uses the CPU more so than other games. Newer games pass much more of the graphic processing work to the GPU.

So in my case both CSGO and OBS are using my CPU.

You can check this by going into Task Manager, on Windows by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.

CPU issues when streaming and playing games on Twitch

Analyse CPU issues when streaming and playing games on Twitch!

Reducing your CPU usage is easy

You have to make some choices as to what works best for the style of games yo pay and what software and hardware you use. I outline 5 fixes below.

You may have to use all 5 of them.

Fix 1: Free up valuable CPU processing power

Press CTRL+ALT+DEL and go in to Task Manager. The first unexpected thing I noticed in Task Manager was a little program called “RzStats.Manager.exe” I saw that is was using between 10-12% of my CPU when I moved my mouse. This is because I have a Razer DeathAdder 2013 gaming mouse and when I installed the Razor Synapse 3.0 software it asked me if I would like to turn on statistic tracking for my mouse. At the time this seemed like a great idea. I soon realised that all it really does it create a heat map which is in my opinion completely useless. I disabled statistics tracking in the Razor Synapse software and then the CPU usage disappeared and I gained an extra 10% free processing power.

Analyse what is going on under the hood of your machine using Task Manager and work out what programs are hogging CPU and decide if you need them or not.

Fix 2: Reduce the amount of CPU used by the game you play

In my case CSGO is using my CPU. I like to have all my graphics settings on maximum and I still get over 150 FPS. Reducing the screen resolution of CSGO can give you more CPU if you combine that with lower graphics settings you can free up a lot of CPU power. I play 1080p and I prefer gaming in full quality so I won’t be reducing my settings in CSGO. This is my personal choice.

Adjusting the game quality settings and resolution of your game can sometimes free up CPU power, especially if your game is known for hogging CPU.

Fix 3: Stream at a lower FPS

Reduce the the number of frames per second that you record in. This is what I mentioned earlier. If you are capturing in 60 FPS you are capturing twice as much data as someone who is streaming at 30 FPS and you may have to reduce this. If you are streaming a game like Hearthstone you can probably go as low as 24 FPS without much visual concern. CSGO is a fast paced FPS and I choose to stream at 60 FPS. I can’t sacrifice this.

The lower the frame rate you stream the less CPU will be needed.

Fix 4: Downscale your stream

Downscale effectively throws away some of the data so the CPU handles less data. The less data being used the less work it does. I record my screen at 1080p and I downscale to 720p. I don’t believe many of my viewers watch my stream at full screen and even if they do 720p is still classed as HD.

The more you downscale the less CPU you will use.

Fix 5: Spend some money!!

If you have tried all of the above and still you find your games unplayable it’s time to bite the bullet and spend some money. I am serious, If you think you can be a streamer on a cheap old laptop you are probably wrong. Have a real hard look at your setup, is it really a gaming setup, more importantly can it even stream…

If all else fails go and spend some money on some new kit! 

My crappy old gaming rig

Yes I want to upgrade, I consider my setup a little old now because I have to make sacrifices to stream! I am waiting for the release of the Oculus Rift before I do any thing major with my rig. I want to be an early adapter of the VR technology that is coming and I want to stream that sh*t! Yeaaahh Buddddyy!

Motherboard: ASUS – P8P67 Deluxe
Processor: Intel Core i7-2700K CPU @ 3.50GHz
Cooling: Antec Liquid Cooling KÜHLER H2O 920
RAM: 32 GB Geil Evo 2.400 MHz DDR3 RAM
OS Hard Drives: 2 x Kingston 240GB HyperX SATA III SSD
Data Storage: 2TB Western Digital HD
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7800 EYEFINITY 6
Power: AMD Radeon HD 7800 EYEFINITY 6
Case: Akasa Venom Full Tower Yellow

Please look at my gaming rig spec above and if your machine is a lower spec than mine then you are probably going to have to make even more compromises than I did. if compromising is not something you want to do then you will have to simply go and spend some money on buying some better streaming kit.

The Final Word!

I left my CSGO settings on maximum plus I really want to stream at 60 FPS. My compromise comes with fix number 4, I downscale to 720p and this was enough to keep my CPU usage in check. There are some other smaller optimisations that you can make but I haven’t mentioned them because if you can’t fix your issues using fix 1, 2, 3 or 4 then I suggested you go straight to option number 5.


The best Twitch bot? Quite simply DeepBot

Trust me on this one. There is one sure way for a new streamer to get viewers, regulars and followers. One of the hardest things for any streamer to do is to get the active viewer count up. The easiest way to do this is with a coin bot.

Coin Bots

They come with many names, coin bot, token bot, loyalty bot, points bot, reward bot. Essentially they are all the same. A coin bot will sit in your chat room and hand out virtual coins to your viewers. Typically viewers will get rewarded with 1 coin per minute that they view your stream. This causes people to idle in your channel and collect coins, which gives you a higher viewer count and that puts you higher up the Twitch channel page. The higher you are, the more people visit the room and the more followers and viewers you gain. I typically have a minimum of 20 viewers in my channel even on a really quiet day and some of them are even AFK but I simply don’t care because I am higher up on that Twitch channel page which means fresh people are now coming into my chat room. This is how a coin bot works and this is why savvy steamers use them.

Rewarding your regular viewers

There has to be some sort of incentive attached to the collection of coins. If you run giveaways or do something for every x number of followers a coin bot can really help you get those regular viewers to stay in your chat.

No Money for giveaways?

No Problem! You can invent all kinds of ways to reward your regulars. Viewer games, sing them a song, do 10 pushups. I know not every streamer can afford to run giveaways, but giveaways don’t have to be huge amounts of money.

I personally giveaway Counter-Strike Global Offensive skins on my channel worth around 0.35€ for every 15 followers. It doesn’t break the bank. Knowing that I have around 11k followers I have easily spent over 250€ in the last year. This sounds like a huge amount amount of money but it’s really only about 20€ per month and I stream 2-3 times a week. Twitch is my Hobby, I love streaming and 20€ a month for a hobby isn’t too much to spend. I also really enjoy doing the giveaways and it gives my stream a little something extra.

Coin bot crashes – Problems with some coin bots

I have tried 3 different coin bots, I wont mention the others here but I had some issues in the past. One time I was giving away an AK47 Redline and had around 200 active viewers in my chat and my coin bot crashed. It was a nightmare as I had been preparing this giveaway for weeks and in the last minute it all failed. I looked ridiculous.

DeepBot to the rescue!

Continuing from what I said earlier I have had over 450 viewers in my chat at once all interacting with DeepBot and it has never crashed on me once. This is the only coin bot that I have found that can be trusted with large viewer numbers.

DeepBot’s other features

I would struggle to write a blog post about all of DeepBot’s other features, this bot is all singing and dancing. It is constantly being improved and updates are free of charge. Some of it’s other features include: Raffles, Auto Timers, Channel Commands, Viewer Games, Voting, Bankheist, Music, Mini Games, Gambling, User Administration, Drag Race the list goes on and on…

best-twitch-bot

best-bot-for-twitch

I don’t think a single other bot has a feature which doesn’t come included in DeepBot. If your using multiple bots it’s time to switch. DeepBot does it all. Deepbot is the best Twitch bot.

The Final Word!

DeepBot is currently in the beta stage and to get it set up and running you will have to donate $10. But this is a small price to pay for such a great Twitch bot. If your looking to get higher viewer counts then I really think you should invest in DeepBot today.