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11 Ways to Pick the Right Game to Stream [Twitch & YouTube]

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When deciding which game you should stream on Twitch or YouTube Gaming, your focus should be on your community. Even as a beginner, you want to produce something that people will want to watch. You need to set up a strategy on your content, the times that you stream, and how you portray yourself (and your brand).

Tips for Finding Right Game to Stream

  1. Popular Games vs Less Popular Games
  2. Stream games that you are good at playing.
  3. Broadcast games with a good viewer to streamer ratio. 
  4. Stream games within your favorite genre.
  5. Stream sandbox/creative games.
  6. Broadcast new releases/re-releases/sales. 
  7. Stream games with different storylines. 
  8. Broadcast games you can play with friends and your Twitch viewers
  9. Stream retro/nostalgia games.
  10. Broadcast games where you can create a unique niche. 
  11. Stream games that you enjoy playing. 

It is more difficult to be easily discovered when you stream popular games. Unpopular games may have less competition, but they also attract fewer viewers. When deciding what you stream, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each category. 

Popular Games Pros and Cons

Popular games have more competition and you can easily get lost at the bottom of the barrel. Nobody goes through the effort of setting up a channel with the hopes of attracting nobody. 

Growing while playing Fortnite, League of Legends, Apex Legends, and other top games can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. The viewer to streamer ratios is typically low and you can get lost in the crowd. In order to make it, you must be dedicated, spend a lot of time networking, utilize strong promotional skills, and focus on producing high-quality content. 

fortnite switch player

Popular games potentially have more viewer engagement and larger audiences. To attract them, strengthen your gaming abilities. Most of the top streamers in any game are extremely skilled (as in esports good). While you may not be able to reach that level of play, the better you are, the more people you can potentially attract. In addition to skill, you need to be very entertaining to watch. Make sure to engage with your viewers as often as you can and find ways to stand out. 

Less-Popular Games Pros and Cons

Less popular games have fewer viewers but less competition. These games can make it easier for you to be discovered and you can graduate to more popular games as your following grows. Again, pick games that you thoroughly enjoy in order to maintain your audience. 

The best strategy is to find “middle of the road” games that aren’t too popular but aren’t dead. Use SullyGnome to research the times that there is a higher viewer to streamer ratio and exploit it. You will still need to be entertaining and spend time networking to grow. 

2. Stream Games That You are Good at Playing

Being especially skilled at a game can increase your viewership. That being said, don’t put yourself in a box. Most games have several roles to play. Some characters may be more popular than others, but it may be easier to become better than average in a unique role.

As your following grows, you will learn what questions the average player has about the game you are playing. Use this to your advantage and point out tips and techniques as you come to them. In addition to entertainment and community, viewers are attracted to educational content. If you give the impression that they can become better players by following your advice, many will tune in time after time.  

Skill isn’t always a result of mashing keys and fast mouse movements. Mental skill is important as well. If you are a better than average chess player, check that out as a possible category. It generally has a decent viewer to streamer ratio. Jump between minute chess and longer games to keep your content interesting and find unique ways to educate and entertain your viewers.

Read 37 Proven Ways to Become a Better Gamer for our tips on how to optimize your potential.

3. Broadcast Games with a Good Viewer to Streamer Ratio

If you enjoy most games and don’t mind what you play, take the opportunity to be tactical in your selections. If you want to choose games on a whim, there are a couple of online tools that you can use to check ratios.

  • Twitch Strike – this website will give you a list of games that have a great ratio on an hourly basis. You can see more information about each title if you click on them. You can learn both current and historical metrics through it. 
  • Quizzical Pixel – this site shows categories that currently have high viewership but very few channels. Playing one of these may give you a lot of quick attention. 

You can track metrics over time using SullyGnome or Twitch Tracker. Find options that have generally have high ratios during the times you wish to stream and plan your content accordingly. 

4. Stream Games Within Your Favorite Genre

As a beginner, consider choosing 2-4 games within your favorite genre. Research each as you would if you were to only play one. Alternating between a few options will open you up to potentially finding new viewers. Playing within the same genre will entice others to continue to watch to learn about other games they might enjoy. 

Once you have a small following, be careful about switching genres altogether. Leaving one without returning may cost you some viewers. If you want to try other types of games, try to add it after your usual content first. As you grow with your new content, you can gradually make the switch. Those who like you and your style will stay with you even when switching games.

You can use Twitch categories and tags to help you find similar games, but we recommend you check forums. Not only will this give you information about what others might be interested in, but you can also network with people who may support your channel through views or collaborations. 

5. Stream Sandbox/Creative Games 

Sandbox and creative games are very popular games to watch, so long as you can offer entertaining content. Utilize your specific strengths when approaching these games. If you are a great storyteller, blend stories. If you have an eye for design, create masterpieces. Create (or find) challenges that make the game more interesting or push the boundaries of how it is normally played. 

Two popular examples of creative games on Twitch are Minecraft and the Sims franchise. At the time of this writing, both games averaged about 20 viewers per stream (these numbers vary between broadcasters). Minecraft generally has quite a few more viewers, but more streamers as well. The key to finding viewers with these kinds of games is proper promotion and titles. Craft a strong stream title that describes your content to pique the interest of potential viewers. 

Here are a few ideas for Minecraft and Sims, though they can be altered for other games.

Minecraft

  • If you are an experienced player, create a world and play in hardcore mode. Create an endgame goal for yourself and try to reach it before you die. 
  • Play Minecraft Hunger Games. The game is exactly as it sounds. A group of players spawn in a world and battle each other to the death – Minecraft style. Bonus: it could be a good way to attract viewers who love both Minecraft and Fortnite. 
  • Create a Minecraft server to play with your viewers! Or play in a server with friends. This allows collaboration, conversation, and it is generally more fun. 
  • If you are a creative player, join creative competitions. Or give yourself a time limit and ask your viewers to tell you what to create. Let them create pitfalls for you or exclude blocks from the creation. 

The Sims

  • Allow your viewers to send you characters that they have you play in your game. Alternately, have them help you create your own characters, give them traits, and name them.
  • If you are a natural designer, create great architecture. Recreate famous buildings or give your viewers tips on how to improve their own designs. You can even have them submit their homes for you to edit in your world. 
  • Do challenges, but with a twist. Many players have done the “100 Baby Challenge” but few people have done it from the Dad’s perspective. Hint: It is easier and more entertaining if you add a story to it.
  • Create your own challenges or tell your own stories. Take a leaf from reality TV and create stories people will want to watch. Seen the game-show Solitary? Players are put into individual rooms and forced to compete in challenges with each other, but while being alone. Recreate the idea with your Sims. If you come up with unique ideas, you will stand out from your competition.  

6. Broadcast New Releases/Re-releases/Sales

Keep your eyes and ears open for new releases, re-releases (such as the Classic WoW release in August 2019)  or sales. Many new games come accompanied with a lot of hype. There will be a larger number of viewers right at the beginning. 

There are a few ways that you can set yourself apart from the competition in these situations:

  • Play alternate roles such as arcane or healing characters. While they may be seen as secondary to more popular types, you will attract the niche crowd who prefers them. 
  • Push toward end-game content. If you are able to get ahead of the average player, people will want to watch to see what they can expect as they progress. Try to collaborate with other strong players to get you all to the endgame and encourage your viewers to multistream in order to see each point of view. 
  • Teach new gamers the ropes. If you have a knack for picking up games quickly, demonstrate aspects of the game to new players. Research as much about a game as you are able before it launches If you are able, invite them to play with you. Pack your streams full of tips and techniques. Keep an eye on your chat to interact with your viewers by answering their questions. 
  • Definitely stream a game if you were part of its Beta testing. People will be curious about the differences and you may have a leg up on your competition. 

Keep track of sales of popular games, especially from platforms such as Stream or Xbox. Some gamers look for streamed content of a game they are thinking about purchasing. If you are entertaining, they may stay and become one of your loyal viewers. If they purchase the game, they may continue to watch for more tips about the game. Even if you don’t play full games, you might consider having a game review portion of your broadcasts to keep people returning. 

Patch Notes

If you play a game with periodic patch notes, extend your stream times after patch notes are released. Be very familiar with the game and how the patch affects it. For higher entertainment value, discuss differences of opinions of the new content with a friend or collaborator. 

7. Stream Games with Different Storylines

Try to find games that have strong storylines that can vary depending on your actions or class. This can include both single-player games and MMOs. Games like Elder Scrolls, Outward, Dwarf Fortress, Stardew Valley, or Fable can be quite intriguing to watch if you are a natural story-teller. If you DM Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder in your spare time, this may be the niche for you. 

Several of these kinds of games can be played in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style with your viewers. Ask your audience to help you make decisions. Create polls to plan future steps and allow them to direct your play.

8. Broadcast Games You Can Play with Friends and Your Twitch Viewers

Choosing games that allow you to interact with your friends or members of a guild are a good way to keep spoken content on screen. Make sure that anyone using voice chat with you knows that you are live and ask them to follow the rules of the platform. This will hopefully keep you from being banned for something you didn’t do. 

Over time, your friends can become “regulars” on your show and your followers will grow to love them as well. If they have channels, invite your viewers to multi-stream so that they can view two stream channels at once.

Make a point of networking with other streamers in order to find people you to collaborate with. Look for people with a similar amount of viewers as you and grow your channels together. 

As your communities expand, interact with your following by gaming with them. You can eventually use this as a perk for subscribers. While you can play many “traditional” games with them (Fortnite, Minecraft, etc), you can also look at JackBox Games for a variety of ideas. 

9. Stream Retro/Nostalgia Games

Think about games from your childhood. Which ones did you look forward to playing the most? While the majority of these games don’t rank high on broadcasting platforms, there generally isn’t much competition for them either. Many people think back to their old games from time to time and enjoy the nostalgia surrounding them. Playing them is a good way to find a small, but active audience interested in sharing their gaming tales. 

10. Broadcast Games Where You Can Create a Unique Niche

If you have a unique perspective on how or why you game, consider creating a niche out of it. There are some elements of gaming that our outside of the actual game itself. Here are a few ideas:

  • Do you enjoy creating games as much as playing them? Stream the process of game-building for your viewers. Explain the steps as you go and listen to feedback along the way. While you might not adopt every idea, some may make your game stronger. 
  • Are you an organized spreadsheet gamer? If you know how to create strong spreadsheets that make you a stronger gamer in an RPG game, show your process. Just be sure to not give away guild secrets. Or merge your Excel strengths with a game design like the creators at Spreadsheet Gaming
  • Look at personal ideas as well. If you are a mother trying to learn to game to connect to her children, network with other parents trying to do the same thing. Use your process as a training tool for others. Create a Facebook group to grow that community and give each other tips. 

Almost any “real life” strength can translate to gaming in one way or another. If you can make it an entertaining niche, you can stand out from the masses.

11. Stream Games that You Enjoy Playing

Above all else, it is important that you have a good time while you stream. People are attracted to broadcasters who are clearly having a good time. Unless you are a good actor or you can pull off playing something you dislike in an entertaining way, stay with games that you genuinely like playing. 

You will need to employ different strategies for growth dependent on what you enjoy playing. Regardless of what you play, you need to be entertaining and produce quality content.

Playing games you enjoy will help you be more entertaining. Your viewers can tell that you are genuinely excited to be there and they will feed off of it and interact with you more. It also gives you the opportunity to be a gamer first and a streamer second. 

Have Perspective and Patience

It takes a while to grow. Continually work on your branding and networking. If you enjoy your game, are entertaining, and can find your niche in it, your audience will come.

About the Author

Luci

Luci is a novelist, freelance writer, and active blogger. A journalist at heart, she loves nothing more than interviewing the outliers of the gaming community who are blazing a trail with entertaining original content.

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