"What game should I stream on Twitch?"
"How do I tell whether a game will be good for growth on Twitch?"
"Is variety just impossible to grow with?"
Glad you asked! This guide is going to answer both of those questions by giving you a method you can use to pick variety games where you can grow. We'll be focusing on picking games where your stream can land within the top of the directory on Twitch.
Who this Method is Designed For
This is another method designed for those who are looking to meet new people, and are open to playing several games in several genres. It is similar to the GOAT Guide we've discussed prior, but taps into what's currently going on with Twitch, instead of using sales figures to estimate the size of a game's following.
This method will always be relevant because it uses a channel's average concurrent viewership as a basis for picking games. Said differently, the method will grow with you. So this will be a good one to have in your tool belt for your entire streaming career.
The following paragraphs are worth reiterating:
If you're all about playing one game, or you're the kind of person who's obsessed with that ONE thing that they really want to play, STOP READING NOW. This guide will not help you, and will probably make things more confusing. It's okay to love one main title! Don't worry! There are other guides you'll find useful here.
There is zero need to clutter your thought processes with alternatives if you've already made up your mind. I'm not here to convince you my way is right. I'm only here to share what I've learned, and what I know works. I don't want to dissuade you from playing something you truly love.
SO! If you're still reading that's awesome. It means you're like me and fairly open to many games, and also looking to meet new people to kick start your stream! And for the budding small streamer, game choice is one of the most effective things you can learn out of the gate to get the ball rolling.
The Variety Method
Today is all about picking a game that's the right size given your normal average concurrent viewer count from Twitch. It's also worth noting that this game picking strategy is what got me Partnered on Twitch. It will always be relevant because it adapts according to the size of the streamer using it. The method prioritizes positioning your stream in the first row of the directory, increasing the traffic driven to your stream from those browsing the directory.
WAIT! There's some things we have to agree on first.
We're going to assume:
-Twitch is sorted by viewer count, from highest to lowest.
-People are more likely to click in the first row than the second, or third, etc.
-The first row lists positions 1-4, and one advertising spot. (Side note: I really don't like that one of the slots for streamers is occupied by an advertising slot. BUT it does suggest that the space is valuable. And that means this strategy is valuable!)
- Visit Twitchmetrics.net
- Enter your stream name into the box
- Click your name
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page to your Stream History where it says "Avg viewers"
- Write that number down! (You can also get this number off your Twitch dashboard but I wanted to introduce another useful tool to you ^_^)
- Go to sullygnome.com
- Put the number from steps 4 and 5 into the box marked "channel viewers" at the top of the page
- Click "Update Table"
Okay so now you have this list. Looks pretty overwhelming. There's lots of columns and some red, yellow, and green stuff. So let's start making sense of things.
For this method, I only want you to worry about the first, second, and third columns. You can ignore the rest for now.
Estimated Directory Position (first column) - This column tells you about where you'd land if you were to stream this game at your normal concurrent viewer average number.
Weighted Estimate (second column) - This column tells you how many followers you're expected to get per hour if you stream with as many viewers as you put into the box in step 7. The more statistical data there is, the more relevant this column will be.
Viewers in Larger Channels (third column) - This column tells you how many viewers were recorded in larger channels for this game. If it's big and red, then stay away from that game. It indicates a much larger streamer accounts for a significant portion of the audience for the game, or that the game is saturated with larger streamers than you.
9. Sort by clicking on the column header (text) that you want to sort by. It's your choice whether to sort by the first column or the second column. If you sort by directory position (first column), I recommend only focusing on games listed from positions 1-4, to attain that top row spot. You can test its effectiveness, but from my experience being #1 is markedly more effective than being #2, #3, etc.
10. Highlight all the games in positions 3-4, and pick one you like! (optional, but this is how I do it)
11. Check the Twitch directory for the game you choose before settling on the choice. One word of warning out of the gate is to make sure the directory looks healthy before you decide. You don't want to be the ONLY streamer in that directory in many of these cases (or maybe you do). Sometimes the data can be heavily skewed by a large streamer appearing in the directory for a time, so it's important to take a gander.
Cool Stuff about the variety method
It can help you find games because titles that start picking up momentum will pop to the top of the list. I've found many titles this way on Twitch.
It grows as your stream grows because the search results are dependent on your concurrent viewer average.
It gives you a feel for seasonal changes on Twitch.
It helps you figure out when a game starts under performing, and what to pivot to without guessing whether you can grow from playing it.
It's fast to update, and only takes about 20 minutes.
It takes the guess work out of figuring out what Twitch will like and what it won't like. Good games fall off in popularity all the time. It's hard to estimate what you can grow with and what you can't. This method removes the risk of picking a dead game.
Things to look out for (pitfalls)
Big streamers can screw up the counts for the weighted estimate (first column). Pay close attention to column #3. Big red bar = big freakin' streamers.
A potential pitfall is appearing as #1 for weighted estimate (first column) because nobody else is streaming the game. This could signify a dead directory or it could be a hidden gem. Just be aware of this. For my own use, I like to pick games in the 3-4 range for weighted estimate (first column) so that I'm not the biggest streamer, and so that I have a few smaller streamers below.
The method often won't list games from the GOAT Guide that I wrote because the sullygnome website requires people to stream the game for data to be recorded. The GOAT method isn't dependent on streaming data at all.
So this method is a bit more complicated, but when you start trying it you'll find it's pretty easy to perform. I use it daily, and have learned a lot of things from using it over my time on Twitch (such as console exclusive titles performing quite well for stream growth).
There are titles I never would have found without the method, and things I never would have thought would have been healthy for my stream growth that ended up being awesome (looking at you, Subnautica).
I think it's the most viable way to be a variety streamer these days unless you're so large you create demand for games, or your stream receives its viewership from another funnel like YouTube or Instagram.
Again, the most common misconception about my methods is "I dUn WanNa pLaY jUsT foR vIeWs". You're not. If you don't LIKE any of the titles you find this way, come over here and let me Minecraft slap you upside the head for +5 wood, and then you can go back to your main game.
Thanks for reading! If you wanna let me know how it worked for you, (and please do!) hop on over to Discord and yell at me. Keep on living that dream, boneheads!