If you’re a small streamer interacting with your chat is one of the keys to growth. While popular streamers may have a chat that just looks like a wall of text that’s probably not what yours looks like.
If you’re a small streamer interacting with chat is vital to building a community. Engage with your chat, ask questions and have a back and forth conversation with them. This is how you start to build out a small community.
In this article we are going to cover:
- Top Ways To Read Your Chat When Streaming
- Best Way To Read Chat With Only 1 Monitor
- The Best Place To Position Your Chat While Streaming
- Should You Show Your Chat On Your Stream?
How To Read Your Chat When Streaming
Depending on which software you are using to stream the method to view your chat may be different.
If you’re streaming in Streamlabs you’re in luck. It has a built in chat widget function. When you fire up your stream you will see the chat to the right hand side of your preview.
This is how I read my chat. I will have it open on my second monitor. This allows me to view the stream preview and see what my stream is seeing as well as having the chat on the right hand side of the monitor.
On OBS when you sign in with your Twitch account a chat box will pop up allowing you to drag it anywhere. If you have logged in and can’t see the chat box go to View –> Docs –> Chat.
If you are unable to find this feature you may be running on an older version of OBS. Don’t worry though there is a couple of other options to get your chat into OBS.
Step 1: Go to the chat section of your streaming platform
Step 2: Click on the the settings icon and select Popout Chat
Step 3: When you click Popout chat you will get a pop out that you could use to view your chat although it is not yet integrated with OBS Studio. To add this to OBS Studio copy the URL that appears in the pop out window.
Step 4: Open OBS Studio
Step 5: Go to View –> Docks –> Custom Browser Docks
Step 6: In the first empty box give your chat a name and and in the box Labeled URL paste the URL from Step 3
Step 7: Click Apply
Now you will see a dock-able window in your OBS Studio allowing you to read your chat alongside previewing your stream.
If you’re streaming on OBS you can also add an extension to OBS called Streamelements. Just go to streamelements.com/obslive and follow the instructions to install.
Once installed you will be able to add docks to your OBS including your chat and also other alerts such as follows, bits, subscribers and donations.
This plugin is optimised for performance minimising the amount of resources used when streaming to give you the most frames possible in game.
View Stream Chat On Your iPhone or Tablet
If you are logged into the Twitch App on your phone or tablet while streaming you will be able to use that device to see your Dashboard and read chat.
If you don’t have much room on your monitors you can utilise your phone or iPad to read the chat while streaming. Using a device like this is handy as it allows you to place it somewhere convenient to read without taking you away from the game too much.
How To Overlay Twitch Chat On Your Game
If you only have one monitor and you’re trying to stream you’re not alone. Streamlabs found that 64% of streamers on Twitch are only using one monitor.
Luckily there are some extensions that help you overlay your Twitch chat over your game so you can view your chat and play at the same time.
First off I’m going to show you how to do this if you’re using streamlabs then we’ll show you how to do it in OBS Studio.
Overlay Chat On Game in Streamlabs
Streamlabs have made it really easy to add a chat overlay to your game allowing you to play while simultaneously interacting with your audience.
They have a built in feature called Game Overlay which display your chat on screen in a translucent format so it doesn’t intrude on you seeing important parts of your HUD.
Here’s how to set it up:
Step 1: Open Streamlabs and navigate to settings
Step 2: Near the bottom of settings you will find a setting called Game Overlay
Step 3: Toggle on “Enable in-game overlay”, “Show Chat”, “Show Recent Events” and “Toggle Positioning Mode”.
Step 4: You will now see two boxes on your screen for Recent Events and Chat. You can position these in a position that won’t interfere with your game. You can also adjust the opacity so you can still see game elements behind the chat and recent events.
Streamlabs recommends running in windowed mode for your game as it may not work in full-screen mode.
Now you can game and stream on one monitor while being able to view your chat.
Recommended Cheap Second Monitor For Streaming
Obviously having chat overlay on your stream isn’t ideal. Once you have enough budget adding a second monitor to your stream could be a solid investment.
You can get a cheap 1080p monitor that will do the job for web surfing and reading chat.
I recommend checking out the AOC 24B2XH 24″ Full HD IPS Monitor coming in at just over $100.
Hopefully this article has helped you figure out the best way for you to view your chat while streaming. If you prefer another way I have not mentioned in this post let me know down in the comments so I can add it.
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