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What is Low Latency Twitch?

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The long-awaited Low Latency Mode is a functionality that allows Twitch streamers to reduce the time it takes for their broadcast to reach viewers. For most viewers, there is a delay which may vary slightly depending on where in the world they are watching from.

This feature allows streamers to react more quickly to comments, which helps them form stronger social relationships with their followers.

After receiving an overwhelming amount of support from the community, Low Latency mode was converted from an opt-in to an opt-out system in March 2019. By default, most channels are using low latency mode, which means you can expect faster speeds. If you have concerns or there isn’t a lot of chat going on in your channel, you may still choose to turn it off.

If your stream is lagging and buffering for viewers, you can use this checklist we made to troubleshoot common problems.

When Is Low Latency Important?

Twitch viewers don’t want high latency, of course. But when does low latency really matter?

It’s not uncommon for a very short delay to be unnoticeable. In fact, according to our Streamscheme discord poll, the majority of broadcasters reported they are dealing with latency in the 3-45 second range. The majority of these Twitch viewers were fine with a little wait.

Should You Use Low Latency on Twitch?

Twitch is all about the interaction between the audience and the streamer. Streamers should be attentive and responsive to their chat in order to keep it engaging. One of the most effective ways to increase interaction is to lower latency allowing your viewers to communicate in real-time.

Are There Downsides to Using Low Latency Mode?

The main issue reported with Low Latency Mode is viewers watching on mobile have reported issues with extra buffering, frame rate loss, and desyncing issues. Although not particularly common this seems to be the major issue for a select few.

Also with Twitch reducing the latency from when you upload to when the broadcast is seen as a viewer, you notice more “buffering” since, after all, if the latency is reduced there is less time to buffer the video.

How to Toggle Low Latency Mode on and Off

To turn low latency on or off for your channel, go to your dashboard. Select Stream from the Hamburger icon’s drop-down menu and then open the Preferences menu to select Stream. The mode settings may be found under the Stream Key & Preferences area at the top of the page. You have two options: Low latency or Normal latency.

What to Do if Low Latency Causes Poor Quality Streams?

  1. If you just enabled low latency and are having problems with your broadcast, try turning it off to see if the problem goes away.
  2. You can also manually disable low latency if you’re a viewer. To do so, go to the lower right corner of the video player and click the Settings button. You may turn low latency on and off in this area.

How do you check which Latency a Channel is running at?

To see your latency to the broadcaster and latency mode, go to Settings -> To the bottom right corner of the video player’s Advanced menu, choose Video Stats.

About the Author

Chris

Chris is a digital marketer with a strong background in small business and influencer branding. He applies his knowledge of content and promotional strategies to design actionable advice for new and intermediate streamers. When he’s not busy crunching analytics, he can be found in the salt pits of League of Legends.

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