If you're reading this, I know that, at some point, you have thought about making money playing video games. It’s okay to admit it—a lot of us have this fantasy!
But until Twitch came along, the idea of getting paid for something that you would otherwise do for free—for hours on end—seemed like such a fairy tale.
Well, the massive streaming platform Twitch has changed all of that! You only need to look at the fact that there are over 15 million people on Twitch on any given day to give you a good idea of the commercial potential of this platform.
This isn't theory! In fact, a lot of streamers make six to seven figures playing video games on Twitch.
If you're thinking of streaming footage of you playing video games on Twitch, you have to think of the right kind of games to play.
Believe it or not, you have to look for the best games to stream for new streamers.
If you haven't established a brand or a community yet, you have to put your best foot forward by playing games that have a high chance of attracting the right crowd.
There are a ton of games where viewers are constantly looking for new streamers like League Of Legends, Grand Theft Auto V and Dead by Daylight.
Sadly, figuring out the best games to stream for new streamers is not as simple and obvious as you think.
Key Factors to Keep in Mind
When choosing a game to play on Twitch, you want to drill down and figure out what the appeal will be.
At the end of the day, people who show up to watch players who play video games on Twitch do so because they want to share in some sort of experience. They want to be part of a community built around a game everybody enjoys, your followers are the same way.
So there has to be a wide enough “niche appeal” that goes beyond just simple interest.
Let’s face it: a lot of the video games published every year are flashes in the pan. Sure, many of them sell quite well. But, at the end of the day, once you play them, you don’t want to play them again. They're that forgettable.
But there are also games that may or may not sell well, but there's something about them that makes you want to play them again and again.
You have to figure out which games these are. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for your subjective biases to get in the way.
Sure, you may have thought that a game title that you're a big fan of is the best thing since sliced bread—everybody’s entitled to their opinion. But, the problem is, that game might not translate well to a streaming audience.
You may be able to play it for hours on end as a casual gamer, but the moment you start to stream it, people lose interest. Something gets lost in translation. This happens!
So if you're a new streamer, you cannot make this mistake. Like it or not, you really don’t have many chances to make a good first impression. As much as possible, you want to swing the bat the right way and hit that ball out of the park.
With that in mind, here are our recommendations for the best games to stream for new streamers.
Marbles on Stream
One of the best games to stream on Twitch for a new streamer is Marbles on Stream. Not only is it fun to play, it's one of the most popular games used to interact with viewers.
As a streamer, you host simulated marble races, and your viewers join by typing !play.
Channels that stream Marbles always have viewers because it's free to play and there are tons of people who explore and enjoy playing in multiple streams.
Old School RuneScape
Let’s face it: MMORPGs have been around for quite a while. They come in many different flavors, attracting a wide range of diverse audiences.
With that said, one of the most lucrative demographics you can attract is older players.
Chances are they have more money to donate. They are more established, so your stream may attract longer-term audience members. There are just a lot of things going on for older demographics.
If you want to cater to that type of audience, you might want to consider Old School RuneScape.
This MMORPG has a wide fan base, and people watch it primarily for nostalgia. There is this spectator effect to the experience that is conducive to a more passive kind of entertainment.
This is not a bad thing because, since you are appealing to an older demographic by choosing this game, they have jobs and responsibilities; they really can't camp out in front of Twitch, watching you play for hours on end. They would probably watch an hour tops every night and call it a night.
This is a great episodic type of audience to target because they view your streaming as nostalgic entertainment and are more likely to donate or give you a tip because they have the means. It’s a win-win situation if you don’t feel like streaming for eight hours at a time.
Also, given the nostalgic firepower of the RuneScape title, you can quickly build a loyal community. It can be so loyal, depending on your persona, that your viewership can grow quickly.
People do spread the word because not enough newer gamers bother with RuneScape. A lot of the younger gamers think that the graphics are outdated, or there's just something about playing an old game. But it's a great game to stream on Twitch to try to boost your average viewers.
While the Warcraft III brand is very strong among different demographics, Dota 2 or Defense of the Ancients 2 stands out when it comes to competitive gaming.
You really have to know how to play this game to do well. You have to think strategically.
Also, there's no shortage of Dota 2 tournaments on Twitch. So if you're looking to plug into a ready-made, large audience that prizes competition, Dota 2 is a good game to start with.
On top of that, there's also the nostalgia element, so you kind of get the best of both worlds here.
Dota 2 can attract younger audiences, but it’s also popular with an older demographic. So don’t be surprised if you stream Dota 2 and you grow a big fan base because of younger fans, but a lot of your Twitch paychecks come from older aficionados who are in it for the nostalgia. That's why it is important to link your PayPal to a donation button.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
This is an older game, and it makes for a great, immersive streaming experience.
Its main appeal is that you're like watching a movie, and it has a lot of PvP elements, so there are a lot of opportunities for player-on-player action.
And, let’s face it, the Star Wars brand carries wide and far! You bring something to the table when you specialize in Star Wars games. You're basically just plugging into a large, preexisting fan base.
People, of course, get introduced to the whole Star Wars lore and franchise through the movies. A lot of this translates over to the gaming community.
In fact, there are many Twitch streamers that play Star Wars: The Old Republic. But there's always space for new streamers because a lot of fans just simply cannot get enough of this sci-fi massive, multiplayer online title!
Hearthstone is a very popular game precisely because it’s built on the lore and game world of World of Warcraft. When you stream Hearthstone, you're basically killing two birds with one stone—you’re playing Hearthstone, but you're also appealing to people who are big fans of World of Warcraft.
Not surprisingly, its fan base is quite big on Twitch and is getting larger. This means that there is always space for even the newest rookie.
People get excited when you get special items that are featured in other Blizzard games. There are all sorts of rewards, and tournaments on Twitch are always available.
The Final Word on the Best Games to Stream for New Streamers
Make no mistake; if you want to be successful as a Twitch streamer—no matter how you define “success”—you have to start with the right game.
The best games to stream for new streamers are not always obvious. You might be thinking that you like a specific game, but if its audience isn't big enough on Twitch, you will continue to struggle.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you're going to fail outright. You might stumble upon a game that may have a small following, but it’s very loyal. In that case, if you develop some sort of cult following for your stream, you could do quite well.
But, for the most part, you need as many eyeballs as you can so that a certain percentage of those people can become your long-term community.