Can’t Get Viewers on Twitch? You’re Playing the Wrong Games

Robert Wiesehan 17-06-2014

Trying to build an audience 10 Tips for Building an Audience for Your Live Streaming Channel Building a live streaming audience can be tricky. Here are some live streaming tips to maximize your chance of success. Read More on Twitch can feel like hosting a party that you forgot to send out invitations for. You boot up your favorite game, get the lighting just right on your webcam, maybe put on some mood music, and wait… but nobody comes in!


Popular streaming personalities can draw a crowd with just about any game, but if you’re a small fish in a big pond, the games you pick could leave you languishing in obscurity. If you want to pique curiosity and boost your traffic, consider these questions when you pick which games to stream.

Does It Have An Active Community?

This one may seem obvious, but it’s far too important to risk leaving out. If nobody’s thinking about the game you’re playing, they’re not going to be searching for it. This means you need to make sure you’re playing games that at least some people still talk about. Browse around and see if the game you want to play has an active forum, a few other regular streamers, or even an active Steam community page.

It can also help to announce your stream in appropriate forums to get your message straight to the target audience. Just make sure they don’t frown on shameless plugs before you post about your stream. Some people resent what they perceive to be advertising in their conversation space, even though your intent really is to provide them entertainment.

Am I Extremely Competitive At It?

Can you blaze through a game in a jaw-dropping speed run 4 Of The Most Unbelievable Video Game Speedruns Ever Are you ready to see four of the most jaw-dropping video game completions in gaming history? Read More ? Are you good enough at Dota 2 or Starcraft II to win real money at tournaments? If so, you probably don’t have trouble drawing your core viewers with dazzling displays of skill. Spread proof of your prowess around on social media and get people talking to grow your audience.

If you’re not a strong contender in a game where the primary draw is competitive multiplayer though, you may want to pass on running eSports streams. It’s easy to look at the tens or even hundreds of thousands watching the top games on Twitch and want a slice of that audience, but most of those viewers are watching their favorite pros or tournament coverage. Your most dedicated followers may show up for you, but you’re unlikely to get more than a handful of new follows surrounded by such fierce competition.


Is It An Outlet For Creative Expression?

Are you a master of interior design in The Sims 3? Have you made sprawling incredible worlds in Minecraft Are These The 5 Greatest Minecraft Worlds Ever Built? We're almost five years past its first public release and Minecraft is still one of the most played games in the world. Despite the primitive graphics, these worlds are so grand and so lively that... Read More ? Any game that gives you enough flexibility to build totally unique creations could be a good choice for streaming. It’s a factor that ensures that no other stream is quite like yours. If the pitch for what you’re crafting is interesting enough, potential visitors browsing for streams will overlook a below average viewer count, and peek in on your progress. Make sure you greet them warmly and invite them to stick around to see your masterpiece come together.

Is It Different For Every Player?

Games in which each player’s adventure can be moderately, or even dramatically different, are great at bringing in audiences. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, for example, has dozens upon dozens of obscure sidequests, and few players have seen them all. Grand Theft Auto V is similarly packed with optional content. Many players only have time to play through these games once, but might be curious about the paths they never took. Your stream could be the one to show them the other sides of various moral choices, and the rewards of thorough exploration.

Games like Rogue Legacy, Risk of Rain, or Civilization V fit this category for a different reason. They’re full of randomly generated environments and procedural challenges that ensure every play through has something new to offer.

On the other side of this question are games that you should probably avoid. If you’re playing a game with a linear story, players who have beaten it won’t have anything new to see, and interested viewers who haven’t may be trying to avoid spoilers.


Does It Have High Stakes?

When a player loses a fight in Dark Souls II, he loses souls, the game’s universal currency for shopping and character advancement. In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a soldier that dies during battle represents a loss of hours of valuable training, and can begin a snowballing series of failures that bring the world to a catastrophic end. These and other games with high stakes make great streaming material because whether or not you win any given encounter will matter to your audience. Don’t be afraid to let yourself get tense about winning and losing when you play these games. Viewers will tune into your emotional investment, and keep watching to see if you can power through the challenge.

Is It On Sale Right Now?

Steam likely has the biggest impact on viewership as far as boosts due to sales are concerned, but keep your eye on other digital retailers like GOG, Humble Bundle, and Sony and Microsoft’s online storefronts. A sudden drop in price can rekindle interest in an otherwise forgotten game, and if you’re live when players need to know if a game is a good buy, you can get thankful follows by meeting that need.


If a game you want to stream answers “yes” to even a few of these questions, it will likely help you draw fresh faces into your channel. The games you choose are only part of success your on Twitch, though. Your personal touch is one thing that no other Twitch channel has, so make sure to be an entertaining and informative host, and you’ll see more viewers in no time.

What are your favorite games to watch on Twitch? Do they meet these criteria? Put these questions to the test against your experience in the comments.


Related topics: Online Video, Twitch.

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  1. Mike
    January 20, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Hey guys give me a follow at my channel after 150 viewers I tend to do giveaways it's not a promise but it's fun come check out the channel and have some laughs .

  2. Eric
    September 21, 2016 at 7:07 am

    What's up everyone! Im a newish streamer who loves conversing with my audience.. just need an audience now :b
    I play a wide assortment. A lot of people like my Horror Game streams with a heart rate monitor on stream. Come check me out if you like!

  3. Codypattee
    July 30, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Come check out my tf2 stream!! I love making people laugh so it's always a good time!!

    I also follow everyone back ?

  4. Darrian
    July 7, 2016 at 4:18 am

    came here for tips. seem to be helpful. :P i'm a small channel, feel free to check me out.

  5. Aj
    June 28, 2016 at 6:04 am

    I normally stream cod really good at it and I'm at 111 followers doing a giveaway at 150 it would mean a lot if you could support my channel out @

  6. Faymyst
    June 18, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I have recently started my streaming as well! Haven't really gotten a good community for my games but I primarily have streamed Hearthstone & Diablo 3. You guys can check me out at

    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Warren
    May 8, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Small channel just started streaming again

  8. Tanner
    March 27, 2016 at 12:21 am

    I am a very small channel, not too many viewers at any given time. If you like to (hopefully) laugh and have a general good time/good feelings, feel free to head on over and talk to me!

    twitter: @owlfiship_LP

  9. Robert
    March 18, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Just started back streaming. I play any game and play with anyone so long as you're not a complete rage machine. You can also follow me on twitter

  10. Meme
    February 8, 2016 at 12:30 am

    I've just started streaming this week, I'm not using a webcam at the moment as I'm kinda shy. Would you recommend me using one, is it something viewers like to see?

    any help appreciated.

  11. Crime
    January 28, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Is my channel name good its called CrimeTheKiller337 is it good or make a new account

  12. Ncstatefan77
    January 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Me too! Show me some love at my channel Ncstatefan77

  13. BlakStatus
    January 21, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Make sure you don't stream games that are so popular that it's hard to get noticed. Start with a game that has some viewers, set a schedule, and grow your channel from there. Once you have enough regulars, you'll start appearing higher in the games you choose to play.

    I'm a new-ish streamer. Check me out:

  14. thedarkchocolate
    November 18, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I'm a new streamer come by and show some love! I play ps4 and wii u games. Currently playing mario maker and fallout 4 but I play all kinds of games!

  15. Anonymous
    October 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm
    I'm new my following is small I streem at least 3 times weekly if not more I much prefer xbox games issue is my connect isn't working right -sadface- and no one watches realy if u don't facetime I do need to talk more even when no one is their guilty of not doing that enuoph >.< but your tips are good thanks^^

  16. Anonymous
    October 11, 2015 at 12:24 am

    I have been streaming for a while now least a year or more, I had switched profile names because it wouldn't make sense to have a different name than my current Youtube channel. Now that I look back to my old profile now only does it have more views or viewed count it has a few more followers than my current account. Like most twitchers I want to reach the goal of a subscription button but when I stream of course I play it with my friends because I know when I stream solo I will sit there more focused on gameplay and look over on my second screen to look at if I have viewers, if I do I click to look who it is and engage that way, of course most people who do come in are either not signed in twitch / have no account or they are potential people to be viewers or people who are from Four chan.

    Me being a female gamer the fourchan people spam for me to either show more cleavage or spam really outrageous things they had copied and pasted from somewhere that's where either my mods / friends come in or MooBot to timeout / delete the message with the spam. I normally wear normal clothes that don't reveal much to not show anything but I have given up to that point and sort have been leaning towards showing cleavage because I feel like most people only watch female streamers if they have big breasts or showing cleavage. (This is my opinion)

    I have personally played video games since I was about 3 years old and I enjoy them very much. Most of the games I play aren't getting very much views because it's all about League of Legends which people have asked me to play it, but time and time again I have told the people personally my computer could run it but I can't install it because of a program built in my pc won't accept or let it install.

    Games I am more so scared or almost not interested in playing are Horror games because myself when I was little was always scared the crap out of least when it comes to video games where you would have to listen to survive and if you mess up it's always that jump scare. But unless requested I don't care to a degree and might get the balls to do it. But as said in this, it' is all about a person's personality and quality / video game.

    My stream ?

    Youtube ?

  17. Anonymous
    August 18, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I've been thinking about Streaming for awhile now, I have everything that I need for it, this advice you had was awesome. It really helped me, thank you so much! (:
    The issue I think I have is not knowing what game would be best to stream on, I've been thinking about Elder Scrolls, but I'm not sure if many people would watch it.

  18. Anonymous
    July 1, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I have been a live streamer for about 7 months now.The first word of advice I have to give you it TALK, TALK, AND TALK. Even if you have no viewers just keep talking because when someone does show up and they see you just sitting there, they are going to leave.

    2) Engage with your Viewers. Just play a game with them or have something going on in the chat say Bankheist or betting on what team is going to win, viewer engagement is key. They are a lot of bots to help support that. I am currently using deepbot which runs like a dream.

    3) I believe in song requests. Let the viewers decide on what they want to listen too. A good program for this is either Deepbot or Nightbot. Nightbot is also used for chat control to stop spammers.

    4) Be yourself! Don't act like someone else. It would take too much time and effort and you want people to follow you for you.

    5) Branch out to different types of social media! Facebook, twitter, youtube, instagram. Let YOUR channel be known! Also get to know other streamers and host their streams when your offline!

    6) (APPLIES TO GIRLS ONLY) Please Please Please don't show your boobs and pretend to play games. If you like games then truly try to play the games and wear something that looks professional. You don't want followers who just want to stare at your boobs. Unless if your in it for the money, like some of the whores on twitch. I will not name names.

    7) STREAM A LOT. I am talking about streaming 4-6 times a week and when you just start out. Stream as much and as long as you can to get that viewer base started and develop a community. There will be a snowball affect the more you stream and the viewers will come. It just takes time.

    If any of these tips helped you please follow the channel and if you have any questions jsut ask me (= Have a good one all!

  19. Ruben
    November 19, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Some good tips here.
    Myself i stream a game with a small community: Elderscrollsonline
    Not too big but neither too smal a nice game to start with/i enjoy it a lote please check it out if you like:

  20. Anonymous
    November 17, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I had 100 concurrent viewers for a game I hated playing, but everyone loved watching me play. I decided enough was enough and I switched games, but only my loyal following stayed. They watch me play Barbie games for Christ sake. I just need a bigger "loyal" following like the big names.

  21. Tom W
    June 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I think another point is "Do you enjoy playing the game?". If you don't find the game interesting, the content you produce won't be interesting.

    I agree with Joel about personality. There's a couple of streamers I watch simply because they're entertaining in their own right. One of them streams Smite, which I have no interest in playing, but I still enjoy their stream.

  22. Joel L
    June 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Solid points! Nice writeup, Rob.

    I don't watch many Twitch streams these days, but the ones I do watch are the ones that have a good balance of "vicariousness" and "personality." I watch streams to experience something that I can't experience on my own, whether that's high level esports or games that are unique on each run (roguelikes, sandboxes, etc).

    But personality is the real criterion. An engaging personality can make me watch a game that I have no interest in. An offputting or boring personality can turn me off of my favorite game. For most Twitch streams, personality is the content.