You want to create a little buzz and anticipation about your upcoming broadcast. A Twitch countdown helps you hype up a stream starting soon. We’ll show you several ways to create a countdown timer and add it to your Twitch stream.
A Twitch countdown timer ticks off the minutes people must wait before your live stream starts. It’s a clever way to entice your fans to grab a beverage and settle down before the fun begins.
There are dozens (if not hundreds) of ways to add a stream timer to your channel. We’ll cover a few of the major players here, and we’ll explain how they work. We’ll wrap things up with a few FAQs about how timers work.
Twitch Timer From Streamlabs
If you’re hoping to add a timer to Twitch, but you’re worried about how technical it might be (and whether you can pull the whole thing off), this option might be right for you. Use it, and you can add a timer without ever leaving the Twitch platform.
The Streamlabs tool is an extension, and as Twitch explains, these are built by third-party developers. Once you download the extension and customize it, you’ll determine where it should sit on your channel and choose “Activate.”
The Streamlabs extension comes with a countdown, so your fans know when you’ll be online. But it also comes with a clever scheduling feature. If a fan can’t watch your next video but sees that you’ll be on later in the week, that person might come back to check you out. It can help to grow your audience without requiring more work on your part.
Snaz Timer for OBS
If you’re using OBS to stream to Twitch, you know all about how much power is buried in this program. If you’re adept at creating scenes within OBS, you probably have one set up for your inactive moments. The Snaz timer lets you take up some space with a countdown.
This is a standalone program, written in C#, and you’ll download it here. It does not have a user-friendly interface, but don’t be intimidated. You can set it up in minutes. To do that:
- Get started. Launch Snaz on your computer.
- Customize your countdown. In the bottom third of your screen, you can customize what your countdown should say, how long it should last, and whether you use days as well as hours and minutes.
- Start the countdown. Hit the “Start” button, and you’ll see a bit of code appear. Click “Copy Path to Clipboard.” Leave the program running.
- Head to OBS. Start a new scene, and you’ll get a dialogue box. Your source should be “Text,” and you’ll give it a name like “Counter.” Click “Read from File,” and paste the path you’ve copied. Click “Open.”
- Adjust the design. Make the text bigger, smaller, or more colorful. Or do anything else that makes it pop.
There are a lot of steps here, but don’t worry. Soon, you’ll adjust scenes in minutes without wasting any time. You’ll get better with practice.
Other Options to Consider
Gamers love their timers, and when they can’t find one they like, they become developers. There are dozens and dozens of different timers built by gamers who want to reach more people on Twitch.
These are a few of our favorites:
- Stream DPS: This countdown was made with Twitch in mind, and it’s appropriately sized and very easy to use. Download the tool for free, and customize it as often as you’d like to.
- My Stream Timer: This tool was made to interface with OBS, and it’s free to use. Start and stop the timer with just a few button clicks, and customize what messages viewers will see when the countdown ends.
- Countdown Timer: This site has created all sorts of timers, including plenty that you could use on your Twitch site. Note that some of these have old-school flair. You might like them.
If you don’t see enough options here, don’t worry. There are many (many) more.
Typically, you’ll need OBS or Streamlabs to interface with these tools. You’ll set up what you want the timer to say and what it should look like. When you start it, you’ll get a bit of code to paste. If you’re not sure how to do that (despite the instructions we gave above), stick with the Twitch extension. It’s the easiest way to make this happen.
FAQs About Twitch Countdown Timers
We’ve walked you through how to set up several different stream timers, but you still may have questions about what they are and how to use them properly. We can help.
Streamers often ask these questions:
- Should I leave a timer on all the time? In general, most streamers use timers to hype up something happening in the next hour (or less). You could leave it running around the clock, but seeing that you’re streaming in 23 hours isn’t very compelling. Keep it simple.
- Can I close the timer program? Some apps and websites are hosted for you, so you can input your data and close the window. Others aren’t, and if they sit on your computer, you have to leave them open for them to work. Test and test again to be sure.
- Will my timer account for time zones? Check carefully! Some sophisticated tools will account for time zones, and others won’t. If you’re not asked to specify your time zone when you set up the tool, chances are, it won’t make that adjustment for your fans.
How to Use Extensions. Twitch.
How to Use Timers, Queue, and Quotes in Streamlabs OBS—Cloudbot 101. (September 2019). Streamlabs.
Snaz. Jimmy Appelt.
Easy Way to Add Countdown Timer in OBS Studio. (March 2018). YouTube.
Stream Widget. Stream DPS.
Introducing My Stream Timer: A Countdown Timer for OBS. (April 2019). James Montemango.
Countdown Timer. Online-Stopwatch.