How To Choose What To Stream on Twitch

Published by Emergence on

Reading Time: 7 minutes

How do you choose what to play on Twitch? How do you spot gaps in across all the streaming platforms? Choosing a game (or category) to stream on Twitch is one of the hardest choices to make and one of the decisions that will impact your success more than anything else.

The most important advice is to not play a game because it is ‘popular’ or ‘cool’. You need to play something you truly enjoy, something you are passionate about, or something you are incredibly knowledgeable about and wish to share with your viewers.

It can also help to be good at the game…

You don’t need to pick one game to focus on. You can pick what you want when you want, this is called being a ‘variety streamer’, but it can make it harder to grow and stand out.

Considering whether being a variety streamer? We’ve listed all the pros and cons in this article:

Typical advice from other streamers is to choose a ‘second-tier’ Twitch game, so rather than play the current favourites such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Valorant and Hearthstone, try playing a game such as DOTA2, Battlefront 2 and Magic The Gathering.

While I agree with this in principle because it gives you a chance to stand out compared to the other games, some games will have their dedicated streamers to breakthrough already. If your knowledge or skill is lacking, you won’t see the views you wish you could.

Discoverability is extremely tough on Twitch, and if 1000s of other people are playing a game and you jump in… how do you expect anyone to find you?

Consider how you are going to stand out, how you are going to promote your content and how you can drive new people to view your stream.

But let’s investigate the best ways to see whether the games you wish to play are popular on Twitch?

Browse Twitch

It may sound obvious but before you stream, why not use the app/website and see who else is streaming it?

Are there thousands of people watching? Will you be able to break through the crowd or is there even a crowd, to begin with?

2nd tier games?

Does anyone else currently stream the game you wish to play? If it is empty, this could hint that there is a huge opportunity for people searching for the game and finding no results.

I once tried streaming Steep on the PS4 and saw over 15 average viewers because there was nobody else playing it and viewers were searching for gameplay before buying it!

But, no viewers could also show that there is no interest in watching somebody stream that game. In another example I have streamed Offworld Trading Company a few times, but seen low viewers and engagement because the game only had a niche following and is now over a year old.

The quickest way to find out is to use websites such as TwitchTracker or Sullygnome

Lord Of The Rings Online data on Sullygnome

You could also stream it for a couple of hours and see if you get any engaged viewers or not. This will allow you to work out what games you want to play going forward.

I wish people were streaming Homeworld…

Twitch Categories and Tags

With the introduction of Tags, Twitch gives streamers even better ways to find other games to play. Use the search bar and filters to find similar games to the ones that are maybe too crowded for you.

Some example Tags on Twitch

What other ways are there to look at what is popular on Twitch?


A relatively new tool to the game, TwitchTracker gives you all the insight on your own stream, any of your favourite streamers or the games being played on Twitch for the past 30 days.

We highly recommend you try it to understand what is working for you or others, or what games are currently worth trying.

Looking for somebody else to look into this instead of spending ages yourself? Why not look at my Twitch coaching and training?


I recently stumbled upon this tool after a suggestion from Reddit. Twitchstrike allows you to not only see what games are popular at what times, but how many are viewing per number of broadcasters.

It shows what games are popular, which games are only popular for the ‘top 5’ streamers and some clear viewing habits. For example, Rocket League is only popular at the weekends. Maybe streaming it on a Wednesday evening isn’t the best idea…

Example Rocket League screenshot from Twitchstrike

You are able to create your own account and create a shortlist of games that allows you to quickly see what is worth streaming right now.

You can find the full tool here:

What To Stream (from Quizzical Pixal)

The team at Quizzican Pixel have created a brilliant tool that allows you to spot games that have “high viewership yet few channels playing them” in order for you to gain the greatest impact when you are streaming.

You can find it here:

There is a huge opportunity to be a part of these communities if you enjoy the games


It may not be the prettiest to look out, but the data you can get from it is incredible! Any game info, any channel info and almost any viewership information is yours for free.

Wonder what the top 5 categories are right now?
So much data!

You can find it here:

My old favourite tool allows you to look at the average number of broadcasters per game and the average number of concurrent viewers. Influencergg is now a paid-only tool 🙁

You can find it here:

Example comparison search

You were also able to look at the top streamers per game and their stats if you wished to research the ‘competition’

Example search for Smite

While it is a paid tool, free users are still able to see a small amount of information about who was the largest channel and what was the most popular content over the past 7 days.

Browse YouTube

You can search YouTube to see what content is being made and use the filters to see how recent content was uploaded and whether it has many views. This may indicate how popular the game is outside of Twitch and give you a greater understanding of the popularity of the game.

Offworld Trading Company isn’t the most popular game

Other ways to judge a games’ popularity:

  • Steam’s ‘top sellers’ is a classic source of game choice for Twitch Streamers and YouTube Lets Players
  • New games, games on sale and big updates in-game and can change viewership habits massively, pay attention to these!
  • You can use Google Trends to learn more about how popular the game on Google and YouTube search

Should I stream what is popular?

It comes down to a couple of questions:

  1. Will you enjoy it? — Are you going to enjoy playing League of Legends or Fortnite?
  2. Are you good at it? — There isn’t much point in playing a popular game if you can’t play it… unless you are hilarious or doing something interesting while you play, nobody is going to watch a low-skilled player
  3. How will you stand out? — There are potentially thousands of other broadcasters across Twitch, Facebook Gaming and YouTube — what are you doing differently that they aren’t?

Hopefully, this has given you a few tips on what games you should play on Twitch. Overall though, it is a ‘test and learn’ situation. You never know what will find you an audience, until you do it, and do it consistently.

Looking to grow on Twitch? Here are our 7 tips to be successful.

I’ll leave you with this great advice from Redditor ‘Ventrurum1’:

Who is The Emergence?

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