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8 Twitch Features Every User Should Know

Live streaming has become a versatile medium of entertainment. This is thanks largely to the features popular platforms like Twitch offer that enhance your viewing experience. But the experience doesn’t stop there—as there are certain things you can do to facilitate proper engagement.

To this end, here are some activities you can partake in and features you can use to elevate your Twitch experience.

1. Use Bits to Support Your Favorite Streamers

The Bits Purchase Menu on Twitch

Do you ever feel like supporting your favorite creator but need to figure out how? Well, Twitch Bits give viewers a way to support any streamer by donating special currency that you can send with unique messages accompanied by animated emotes. This is called cheering, and the outcome may vary depending on the creator you are watching.

The first step is to purchase bits. You can do this by accessing the Purchase Bits menu on the Twitch home page and following the instructions on the screen. Once you have the amount you need, open up any stream of your choice, and when you feel like cheering, click on the Bits icon, and a smaller menu will open that shows all the Cheermotes you can use and their prices.

There are four standard Cheermotes: 100, 1000, 5000, and 10000 bits, respectively. However, some animated Twitch emotes can also be used as Cheermotes when you pay bits to use them.

2. Take Advantage of Twitch’s Hype Chat

Twitch Hype Chat on Mrekk's Stream

Twitch’s Hype Chat feature is a great way for viewers to ensure their favorite streamers see their messages. Hype Chat pins a message at the top of the stream chat, like a highlighted message. As such, it offers the best chance for a message to be noticed for a price.

Hype Chat has 10 tiers, each offered at a different price. The lowest you can pay for Hype Chat is $1, and it scales as high as $500 for a single message. Hype Chat is a great way to support your favorite content creators and get them to notice you. Even better, they keep 70% of the money spent to send the message if they are a Twitch partner.

It’s also worth noting that the Hype Chat message you pay for will last for different durations depending on your chosen tier. A tier one message stays pinned for 30 seconds, while a tier 10 message will remain noticeable for five hours.

The message background also helps differentiate the message tier. Tier one messages have a grey background and the noticeability changes with each level. For example, tier 10 messages display a bright pink/purple/red animated background.

3. Use Twitch Drops to Get Exclusive Perks

The Twitch Drops and Rewards Page

Watching your favorite creators do what they love can be mutually beneficial. This is possible thanks to the Twitch Drops system. But what are Twitch Drops, and how do you earn them?

The Twitch Drops and Rewards system allows viewers to earn progress toward one-of-a-kind items in some of their favorite games. You earn these rewards with watch time, and the period varies depending on the campaign.

Thankfully, games across various genres and franchises support and actively facilitate Twitch drops. These drops could range from something as minute as a cosmetic in your favorite MMORPG to something as groundbreaking as full access to a game still in closed beta.

Keep in mind that you can track what drops are available in the All Campaigns tab of the Drops & Rewards page on Twitch. Your favorite developers also advertise any campaign well ahead of time. So, you will likely know about it and prepare yourself before the Drops are available.

4. Have Some Fun With Channel Points on Twitch

The Channel Points Store

Twitch channel points are another feature of the streaming ecosystem on Twitch. With the hype surrounding this feature, many users often wonder what Twitch channel points are and how to opt into the experience. Channel points are another system designed to reward consistent viewing.

You can earn channel points by tuning in to any creator once they go live. Each channel has its own unique channel points system. You can typically earn them by watching, subscribing, participating in Twitch Raids, and collecting bonuses that pop up during a stream.

A lot of creators also include incentives in their stream’s Rewards and Challenges section for you to spend your channel points. If available, you might even be able to become a moderator or get a VIP status on the stream with enough channel points.

It also helps to keep an eye out for unique events that may happen on stream. For example, you can participate in predictions, which will let you bet your channel points against other viewers. For instance, it could be a matchup between two teams, and viewers would need to predict the winning team and stake channel points on it.

5. Make Your Messages Stand Out With Global and Creator Emotes

Twitch Global Emotes

Emotes are a big part of Twitch culture, each one communicating something different whenever used. There are two distinct types of Twitch Emotes. First, Global Emotes are part of Twitch’s system, and anyone can use them. There are hundreds of them, and finding the exact one you would like to use might be difficult.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Creator Emotes. These are unique static and animated icons that Twitch streamers have created. Users get access to these icons—usually as a perk—when they follow or subscribe to a streamer.

Viewers also have access to two sets of emotes. You only need to follow a creator to use their custom follower emotes, which can typically only be used in the associated streamer’s chat. On the other hand, you would need to subscribe to access subscriber emotes. The plus side? You can use subscriber emotes in other chats, too.

6. Use Twitch’s Prime Gaming Feature

Prime Gaming Integration

Prime Gaming is a monthly service extension of Twitch Prime—which is already a perk of being an Amazon Prime subscriber—but can also be purchased separately. It grants subscribers various rewards across different game titles. It could also allow subscribers access to certain games for free.

Prime Gaming users are afforded one free Twitch channel subscription monthly, which they can use as they please to subscribe to their creator of choice. This free Twitch subscription affords users the same rewards as a normal one. As such, you can access subscriber-exclusive channel content like emotes, unique roles, and ad-free viewing.

7. Find Your Next Favorite Streaming With Twitch’s Category Browser

The Twitch Categories Tab

The Categories tab on Twitch conveniently organizes live streams based on the game played. Once you select a category, the associated streams with more viewers are at the top of the list, and the number of viewers gets lower as you scroll down.

There is also a second section here that simply displays live streams regardless of their category. It’s much harder to single out a stream that catches your eye in this section, but you can choose from a wider selection of creators.

Categories aren’t limited to video games. You also have In Real Life (IRL) streams with subcategories like Special Events, Just Chatting, Fitness and Health, Politics, and much more. Overall, the IRL category is perfect for users who want to stay in touch with real-life events and prefer to watch their favorite creators do something on camera.

8. Use Squad Streaming to Watch Multiple Streams

Squad Streaming provides creators with a medium for collaboration. This feature is excellent for creators with friends in the same space who want to host an event across multiple streams. Here is what you will encounter when you tune into a squad stream.

The Twitch interface alerts viewers that they are watching a Squad Stream. Users are also provided a link to associated streams to easily click off and check a different point of view if they wish.

Squad Streaming is limited to four windows at a time. However, it’s a great way for creators to show everyone’s perspective simultaneously. Plus, it’s much easier than navigating from one stream to another when you want to change perspectives.

Getting the Most Out of Your Twitch Experience

At face value, Twitch is a platform for creatives to showcase and share with their audiences. But it goes much deeper than that. You can actively participate in a live stream and gain from it in many ways, as evidenced by the options above.

Ultimately, it helps to understand these features so you aren’t left floundering for answers when navigating Twitch’s vast content selection. The features above might seem daunting, but they will all make sense when you dive into Twitch and learn how to use it.

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