Most streamers at some point question if they should be a variety streamer or if they should focus on a single game. Streaming a variety of games comes with its own challenges but it’s also hugely rewarding, so let’s look at how to be a variety streamer.
- Increase your typical energy levels by 20% when on camera, your audience is here for your personality and increasing energy levels will make you actually come across more naturally.
- Talk and interact with your chat to build a community, that will become one of your main attractions.
- Focus on one main genre and stream a variety of games within it rather than games from all genres.
- Only play one game per stream, being a variety streamer doesn’t mean changing to a new game every couple of hours.
There’s a lot of great info out there focussing on if you should become a variety streamer, this article will instead look at how to become a variety streamer.
Variety Streaming Is About Personality
There are two main things that pull people into variety streamers: the personality of the streamer and the community while watching the stream.
Your personality is a key aspect to being a successful variety streamer as it’s the main reason viewers would follow you from stream to stream, however that doesn’t mean you have to be fake or create your own version of Dr Disrespect!
A great way we’ve heard it described is to be you, but you dialed up higher than usual. A good example of this is Asmongold who is actually quite chilled out in real life but dials the more extreme parts of his personality up to 11 while streaming.
That means he’s flipping out when he dies, going over the top when he gets a win and that sort of thing in general.
Your audience is here to watch you so spend your time enjoying yourself, simply add a bit more energy behind your actions.
Build Your Community
You’re going to be streaming a range of games on a pretty regular basis and that means one of the things which you’ll want consistency with is your community so they are following you and supporting you as you change things up.
To get people to come back to your stream and keep tuning in you need to interact with your viewers, they should be your primary concern and the game is secondary compared to them in your list of priorities.
The good news is all you have to do to interact with them is ask them questions, reply to them when they ask you questions and encourage discussions between themselves too.
With variety streamers we often find they have a WAY more interactive chat with 50 people in there compared with other streamers with much larger numbers, which means you’re going to get way more support from your community too.
Really do your best to interact with each person in the stream and answer all the questions you can, it’ll become second nature before long and feels great too!
Choose Your Genre
When researching how to be a variety streamer you can get a bit lost in the sea of choices when it comes to what games to play, which can become stressful on its own!
Although you’re a variety streamer, do yourself a favor and use the 80/20 rule when deciding what to play: try and keep 80% of the games you play to one genre, the remaining 20% can be spent experimenting with completely different genres you don’t usually do.
A great example of this is Shroud, although at first you may think “Wait, he’s not a variety streamer!” take a minute to actually think about what he does.
He’s very talented in the FPS genre so he spends 80% of his time playing FPS games, but he does experiment with other types of games too and that’s where he invests his 20% – it’s a great formula to hold the interest of his community while finding opportunities to grow too.
Play One Game Per Stream
It’s important to keep consistency in your streams where you can be, it’s one of the core challenges when thinking through how to be a variety streamer as you’re already spreading your focus over several games.
With that in mind, it’s important to give yourself the best chance of getting found by new viewers as well as setting yourself up so your own community can get used to how you stream – so as a rule try and play one game per stream rather than bouncing between several different ones.
As a variety streamer you have the flexibility to play different games, it’s also perfectly fine to stick with a game for a couple of streams or more as well so don’t feel like you have to change games regularly.
Seeing a game through to completion is actually a great way to build consistency, for example you could play one of the Tomb Raider games from start to finish over several streams and your community will get to see your progress as you go.
Use Social Media
All streamers should be building their social media and it’s especially important for variety streamers to do, it puts control in your hands and allows you to build structure around your stream.
You need to ask viewers to follow you on your channels and then using social media to announce when you’re about to stream, as well as your schedule in advance if you know it.
One underutilized tool we find amazing is Discord, setting up your own channel for your community and encouraging new viewers to join is an incredible way to strengthen your channel.
Work Out The Best Games To Stream
There are a lot of really useful tools out there that help you figure out the best times to stream certain games.
One of the best is Twitch Strike, you can search for a game which you’re interested in streaming and then look at the Viewers Heat Map to see the most popular days and times in that channel when viewers are tuning in.
You can then review the Ratio Heat Map to pinpoint the best times to stream for sure, you’re looking for a high ratio which basically means there are a high number of viewers and not enough channels to serve those viewers – so there’s a good opportunity for you.
Once you have a consistent number of viewers checking out your stream it’s worth looking at SullyGnome which is a tool you use to review the data behind your own channel and see which content got the most engagement and which isn’t doing too well.
Avoid Games With Hype
When looking at how to be a variety streamer you’ll often find you know the games which have a lot of hype surrounding them, from the big new releases through to the smaller indie titles.
It’s important to keep your eye on those games with a lot of hype and we actually recommend you avoid playing those games when they are at their peak, unless you’re a well-known streamer and can capitalize on the opportunity.
The reason to avoid them is that your channel will get drowned out through the pure volume of others also looking to get a piece of the action at the same time, it makes for an oversaturated market where everyone is shouting but only the largest streamers get noticed.
Instead, we prefer to keep a list of games that we would like to play and then before you turn on your stream just check in on that game in the directory. By keeping a shortlist of games it makes the decision of what to play much easier when an opportunity does pop up.
Check out our article on the best games to stream for growth, there are a fair few tips which cross over and apply when you’re looking at how to be a variety streamer.
The advice in this article should set you on a path to success as a variety streamer and we can’t wait to see where you take your stream!
Additional Tips For Variety Streaming
Update Your Stream Overlay Per Game
We’ve seen this happen quite often where a streamer will stream a new game and not look at their overlay, only to realize halfway through the stream that the overlay is covering essential game elements!
Take time before streaming a new game to make sure your overlay works great in the game you’re about to stream.
Update Viewers At The End Of Your Stream
If you’re able to share your stream schedule before closing out your stream then it’s well worth doing, it helps your community as they can plan to join you on your next stream.
Just like the cliffhangers in Game of Thrones (the good seasons anyway…) you should also give your community some insight into what they can expect in the next stream. If you’ve just finished a chapter in the game you’re progressing in then let them know on the next stream you will be picking up again, not switching game.