The world of Twitch is taking over the streaming world. From gaming and art to even live performances, Twitch is the go-to place for all your entertainment needs. But not just anyone can be a streamer, you need to follow all of these rules on this list if you want to make it out on top like some of the biggest names in gaming currently. These rules might be ridiculous to some, but what do you expect, if you’re going to get paid from a service, it’s not going to be that easy to actually make your career out of it.
All of the rules we’ve included below are either official rules or unspoken rules within the Twitch and streaming communities that just make ethical sense! Hopefully, if you plan to start streaming your sick gameplay on Twitch, these rules will help you get a head start moving forward. Overall, streaming isn’t just a piece of cake for a paycheck, it’s hard work and by the time you finish the entirety of this list, you’ll probably have a pretty good idea as to why this line of work can be so demanding. In the end, the points on this list do keep the community somewhat organized and in order, so they can’t all be that bad, right?
20 You Need To Dress Appropriately
When you’re basically presenting yourself to hundreds, maybe even thousands of individuals, it’s pretty important that you dress the part. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to put on a full dress suit or tux, but it does mean that you should dress and be respectful. There has been a huge problem with too much skin when it comes to streamers of any gender, so to avoid this from happening, it’s important that you stay covered up for the most part. Thankfully, Twitch actually got rid of their official dress code recently, but that doesn’t mean people should just be going shirtless on the stream.
It’s important to remember that people should be going to your stream to be entertained, they shouldn’t just be going there to watch you. You should be doing something that people are interested in, that’s the whole point. Some individuals have tried to exploit Twitch by click-baiting and other nasty tricks to get more viewers, just take the high road and create an audience that sticks around no matter what. Don’t fish for views that won’t be there the next time you stream. By all means, dress how you want, but try to keep it simple and respectful for those watching.
19 No Self Promo
If you’re a growing Twitch streamer, it can be pretty tempting when you’re watching another streamer to just plug your channel, but please don’t. Not only could this be considered spam, it’s just annoying and looks a tad bit desperate. Instead, grow your channel naturally, don’t just beg for views! If anything this could end up making people unsub you and send you hate! Who wants that?
Just don’t! Resist the urge of self-promotion and stay humble!
Instead of spamming the link to your Twitch and telling people to head over to your stream, reach out to other streamers on the same level as you and ask to collaborate. Grow your channel in a way that actually is unique and focuses on building a real audience that WANTS to support you. Don’t take viewers away from someone else who has worked hard, try to focus your career streaming in a way that allows you to grow in a real way. You could always collaborate, network, and try new things, but don’t throw ethics out the window just because you’re tired of waiting or working hard. If you have a Twitch, let us know how you’ve grown your audience and how you plan to continue to do so!
18 You Can't Use All Caps
Another issue that is often considered spam if it’s done enough. Don’t go into someone’s stream and spam in all caps, it’s just not cool. Would you want people to do that on your stream constantly? To the point the messages would just engulf the rest of the chat that actually wants to connect with you, no thanks. If you want to catch the attention of a streamer, just be active in the chat like a normal person. If you don’t want to be labeled annoying and a spammer, just try talking in the chat as a regular person, whether you’re in your own chat or you’re watching a streamer.
Be respectful! Would you go up to someone in real life and yell at them in person? I don’t think so. Don’t ruin the chat just because you’re trying to get as much attention as possible. We don’t see any reason whatsoever why you would ever need to write in the chat in all capitals. If you want to garner more attention on Twitch, just try interacting with the individual streaming, ask them questions you have and be engaging! That’s the best and only way to get attention from individuals.
17 Don't Call Out Lurkers
Lurkers are individuals who are watching a stream that just don’t really interact in the chat. These people might be shy or even have anxiety, who knows the reason why they’re not talking in the chat, but it’s not an issue that someone just wants to enjoy the stream quietly. Many times people will watch streamers while they’re doing something else, so just leave them be and let them watch in peace!
Let them live their lives and watch the stream in peace!
Many people in the streamer community that are viewers just want to watch a Livestream on Twitch in peace. It’s not really common for an individual to constantly be interacting in the chat the whole stream. Like we mentioned above, many like to have the stream on in the background when they’re working on a project at home, so just let them exist in peace. Don’t force someone to talk in chat if they don’t want to, it’s just rude and insensitive. If you want to say hi when they enter the stream or when they tip you, that could be fine, but don't go out of your way to bring unnecessary attention to people who obviously don’t want it.
16 Use The Language Of The Streamer
If you’re streaming or planning to, you really need to hold off on the bad words. You don’t need to completely censor yourself, but you should try to keep it family friendly if you can. Kids are a huge audience to streamers so Twitch does prefer that you bite your tongue a bit if you can. Plus, it does tend to be a bit awkward when a streamer is constantly swearing nonstop, it always seems a bit too try-hard. We all know it can be easy to lose yourself in the moment when you’re streaming. Playing an intense battle in a game, we understand a few bad words might come out of your mouth.
But if you’re swearing simply because you have no self-control, that’s a major issue that shouldn’t be on a stream. If you're having trouble trying to quit swearing when you stream, make it a challenge, you could even make it a game, if you swear on stream you have to donate to charity each time. Not only will you most likely learn to break the habit, when you do slip up, you’ll be able to get some good out of it. Let us know if you’ll try this next time you stream!
15 Don’t Use A Bot To Greet Newcomers
When you’re streaming and using a bot that greets every single individual that joins the stream, not only does it clog up the chat board and it’s annoying, it also makes it seem so non-personal, almost as if you’re not interested enough in just taking a moment to say hello to the new individuals who have joined the stream.
Be genuine and do everything in your power to NOT be annoying!
By using a bot or other similar tools, it can really make viewers feel like you don’t actually care about their interaction or involvement. Even if you think it’s a good idea to use a chatbot to thank individuals after they tip you, just resist that urge. Instead, pay attention to the chat and thank individuals out loud when you’re streaming, not only is it more personal, it’s pretty cool to hear a streamer say your name or username out loud in their stream! Don’t take that special moment away from your viewers just because you’re lazy or don’t feel like paying attention. Similar to this, don’t just allow anyone to become a mod for the chat either, it’s very important that these individuals take their job seriously, so don’t let just anyone do the task. Having bad mods or chatbots can really downgrade the quality of your stream.
14 Don’t Gossip About Other Streamers
As a rule that might seem a bit common sense, it needs to be said simply because it does happen way too often. Just don’t gossip about other streamers on your stream. Just because you’re streaming, that doesn’t mean someone can’t record you or see it later. Once it’s on the internet, it’s always on the internet. So instead of gossiping about people you don’t even know personally, stay positive and reflect that positive attitude to those who are taking time out of their day to watch you stream. It’s never a good thing to gossip no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re streaming or you're hanging out with friends in real life.
You should never go out of your way to bring someone down, even if you know them. Don’t stoop to that level, because if you say something rude about another individual on the platform, it’s bound to get back to them and that’s a great way to get exiled from the community. Don’t talk about people in stream or out. Play the game you’re streaming and leave it at that. If someone in the chat asks your opinion about someone, unless it’s positive, just ignore it or politely say you don’t want to talk about that publicly.
13 You Can’t Argue In Chat
Similar to the point above, don’t go out of your way to argue in the chat. It’s normal for streamers to get a few haters every once in a while, but don’t feed their ego by giving them attention, that’s pretty much an unspoken rule on every single platform. Instead of arguing, either ignore them or just ban them from the stream if you don’t want to deal with seeing it. Don’t let it get to you and move on with your life.
Keep it cool, don’t take out all your rage on the chat just because someone’s trying to troll you. It never works out in your favor!
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. This is key if you want to be able to maintain a positive space full of supportive individuals that come to your streams for your content, not you freaking out over the occasional troll, which by the way will end up making more trolls come your way since they just want a reaction from you. Don’t give the haters attention, just go on with your life without them stopping you like they so desperately want. Don’t give them that sense of satisfaction.
12 Be Yourself!
Don’t try to force a persona that isn’t really you, even if it works. So many people put on characters for their stream to hype up the audience, but you can only do that for so long. By being yourself, you’ll always have an audience that will support you for being you. If you’re just being fake constantly, you’ll find pretty quickly that it’s not something that will work in the long run.
Don’t be afraid to express yourself, especially if you want to find an audience that really has your back!
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re streaming on Twitch would have to be the importance of being yourself no matter what. It can be so easy to see other popular streamers and how they act when they’re live and you can try to copy their attitudes, but at the end of the day is that something you’ll feel really good about? If you can try to be yourself more on stream and open up, you’ll be able to build a community that adores you for you. That’s a community that will last through thick and thin, just remember that at any point in your streaming career.
11 Try Actually Playing The Game
There are so many instances where streamers will either get distracted by reading the chat or they just mess around in the game and don’t even try playing the game. It’s fine to read the chat, you should be doing so! But it’s not okay to forgo playing anything or making any sort of progress in the task you’re livestreaming. Try playing the game for once and see how well you do, find the balance that works the best for you and go from there. We know, we know, it can be hard to stay focused, especially when people are constantly talking to you in the chat, but try to make an effort when it comes to playing the game so you can actually entertain during the livestream.
People are coming to your stream to see you play a game or whatever task you may be working on. It’s very rare that people go to a livestream and expect the individual to constantly talk and be 100% involved in the chat. If you’re having a problem with focusing while you’re streaming, try for a moment to close the chat window and focus on the game. That way you aren’t even tempted to look and be distracted!
10 Don’t Just Look At Chat The Whole Time
Just like we mentioned above, it’s so important that you as a streamer don’t constantly distract yourself with the chat the whole time you’re livestreaming on Twitch. Instead, try to focus on the task you’re working on. There are even some streamers that use a text to chat tool where it will read the chat one at a time and the streamer can respond without even looking away from the game or task. We just mentioned a few ideas if you happen to be struggling with distractions, but another tip you can apply to your streaming routine is to set up your stream area to be as distraction free as possible.
Don’t have a ton of windows open on your computer, keep water near by you, and anything else you might need so you can play your best without losing focus. Don’t try to always balance multitasking because at the end you’ll only be putting half your energy into the stream, making it quite boring for those who are watching. If you need help finding a format that works for you, try looking at other streamers to see how they function on their streams. Get inspired and apply some techniques to your own stream to make it uniquely yours.
9 Donation Goals Are A No No
Don’t guilt people into paying you. Let people donate if they want to, but don’t set up an expectation for them, it just seems desperate. If your main goal when streaming is to just make easy money, you simply shouldn’t be streaming. Streaming is supposed to be about the fun and passion behind it. Yes, some individuals make a living by streaming, but that’s not something they did over night. These individuals who are doing this full-time have worked hard to get where they are, it wasn’t just handed to them and they didn’t get to where they are by begging for donations and being desperate.
Relax and don’t push people to pay your bills, if you act like yourself and enjoy the process it will pay off in the end.
Instead of begging for donations, get a job and stream on the side. Do something that allows you to spend time streaming, while also making it so you don’t have to solely rely on streaming to make your rent that month. It’s so important that this is an unspoken rule, because there are so many streamers out there who are just trying to take advantage of their audience and it’s just not cool.
8 Block Links
It's a bit of common sense, but everyone should do it to save everyone else from a headache. Just block links from being allowed in the chat. If you don’t end up blocking links, you’ll just end up getting your chat spammed with spammers who want to send out viruses. If you block links you’ll be able to avoid this kind of behavior on your streams and just makes the process of streaming on Twitch so much more enjoyable. And if you absolutely want to be able to accept links from individuals in the chat, you could easily set up a discord to invite individuals to so you don’t have to deal with the spammers in the chat on Twitch.
This is why having a Discord is a great option for streamers, not only does it streamline the chat so you as a creator can have more control, but it allows you to be a bit more strict when setting up the guidelines on Twitch for your chat space. Now you will no longer need to compromise with the chat and you can allow individuals to have free reign in your discord (of course as long as they are totally respectful). Do you think this platform duo will solve this problem in the community?
7 Talking To Friends Who Aren’t Playing The Game
Don’t talk to friends who aren’t actually involved in the game. Not only is it confusing for people who have never watched you before, but it’s also just annoying overall! Why would we want to sit there and watch you chat with people who literally have nothing to do with you and your stream. If you want to hang out with your friends while streaming, make an effort to all play the game together and that would probably be much more entertaining.
Let’s all get on the same page and have fun, even if it’s with a group of friends, you can still be professional.
This is another no no, you shouldn’t be introducing any kind of distractions to the stream that could possibly confuse or annoy potential supporters and viewers. You should always be straightforward about what you’re doing on the stream. If you’re going to be playing with people, don’t just start off doing that without any explanation. Plus when you do play with people on stream, it could turn off many viewers since you’re less likely to interact with the chat. Keep this in mind when you invite friends to stream with you on Twitch from now on.
6 Just Don’t Eat On Stream
The biggest unspoken rule of streaming! Don’t eat on stream. Not only is it just gross, but it takes away time you could be spending playing the game, talking to the stream, or replying to comments in the chat. Eat before you start streaming or after, never on the stream. Maybe you could have a drink on stream, but don’t just use this time to eat in front of a ton of people who want to watch you play the game or whatever else you happen to be doing. Watching someone eat their whole dinner on stream is something out of a nightmare.
There shouldn’t be any eating of ANYTHING on any kind of stream, unless it’s just an eating stream, that’s the only exception. If you happen to be running late and don’t have time to eat, let people know the stream might be a few minutes late or try to have something to hold you over until you can eat after the stream. It simply grosses so many people out and it’s just plain uncomfortable to watch. Plus when I watch someone stream, I want to watch them play the game and interact with viewers, not do other things I didn’t sign up for.
5 Don't Let The Haters Get To You
We mentioned this briefly before, but it’s so important if you plan on streaming, it’s a rule everyone should follow, no matter if you’re a big time streamer or one of the little guys. Don’t let the hate and rude comments get to you. Don’t allow yourself to be affected and encourage more trolling to be sent your way. These people just want attention and a reaction from the streamer they’re targeting, which is why it’s important that you don’t give them that whatsoever, it will just make the situation so much worse. It’s so much easier to ignore them and continue on living your life and enjoying the stream you’re playing!
Haters can be seriously discouraging, especially if you are very naive to the fact that no matter who you are, if you put yourself out there in the public eye, people will be mean to you, even if it’s for no reason at all. If this is something you can’t handle, you need to really work on how you handle life, because this will happen even outside of Twitch. You need to figure out ways to grow a thicker skin and learn to get over it. Just remember to be the bigger person and don’t let people control your emotions, because that’s exactly what they want.
4 Just Call Them Tips, Not Donations
So many people have issues with streamers calling the tips they get donations. This doesn’t apply to everyone, but typically streamers try to play it off like people are just donating, but in reality, they are just tips, they’re tips that the streamer is working for. This might be something small to many people, but many individuals in the gaming community have had enough of gamers and streamers trying to play off the money they get as donations, when these tips they’re working so hard for is what happens to pay the bills and buy their groceries. Just call it what it is and stop trying to downplay the importance of it!
Be honest with your viewers and don’t try to guilt them into giving you their hard earned money. The tips you get for streaming are just that, payments given to you for a service of entertainment. Even as small as this is, there should be a separation, because there are some streamers out there calling their tips donations just to make viewers feel more inclined to “help the cause," even though that cause is literally something most people have to deal with, money to live their life.
3 Keep The Chat Off Stream
Keep the chat box off of the stream feed, it clogs up space that could be used for more gameplay. When streamers put the chat box on the stream, even though it can easily be accessed in the same window already, it’s not only redundant but simply annoying like most of the issues on this list. Try to keep your livestream on Twitch as simple and minimal as possible. People don’t want a cluttered space, they want a screen that is clear and to the point. A cluttered space when streaming can not only distract you when you’re trying to focus, but it can confuse many people who are watching.
No one wants to sit there and watch the chat box, they can already look at themselves, so what’s the point!? Many people also clutter their streams with decorations and fancy graphics, but if you want to do something like this just remember to keep it simple and relaxing for the eye to look at. Keep a facecam on the stream if you can, most likely in the corner and that’s all you need to start streaming whenever you want. You don’t need five cameras clogging up the screen. Simplistic is the way to go!
2 Don’t Look At The View Count Until After The Stream
One of the biggest fails so many streamers do is looking at the stream view count, not only will it discourage you, but it will also make you nervous or even have anxiety. Just push it out of your mind and look after the stream is complete and you’re no longer live. Sometimes you can’t ignore it, especially when you’re just starting out as a streamer because you just want to know, but you shouldn’t be doing this for the numbers, you should be pushing yourself to be a better streamer because you’re passionate about it.
When you look at the stats in the middle of the stream it can throw you off. It can throw off how you speak and even your performance in the game you happen to be playing. Instead, try to avoid looking at the count so you can just have fun and enjoy the stream for what it is. If you have to you can even cover up the view count with a sticky note if you would like so you won’t be tempted to take a quick look. If you’re streaming for the number of viewers only, you won’t be very successful in growing your career.
1 Don’t Be Quiet!
Most importantly, if you’re going to be streaming, don’t be quiet. While you don’t have to act out of your mind and hyper, you can be yourself and express yourself, just don’t let it get awkward. If you want to be entertaining, interact with the individuals there supporting you and giving you a chance. Go out of your way to interact and make the individuals watching your stream feel welcome and appreciated. It’s one of the best things you can do and it doesn’t even take that much work to make this difference.
Don’t be hyper for no reason, but speak up and let your viewers know that you care and appreciate them. If you have some trouble speaking up when you’re streaming, try to interact more with the chat. Ask the chat to send you questions or topics to discuss on the game you happen to be playing. Or if you’re comfortable you could let people ask you personal questions about your life, interests, and what other games you enjoy. It’s important to be open with your viewers to the extent you’re comfortable with, that way it’s more casual and fun for everyone involved to learn more about each other.