You know you should be reading Twitch chat messages as you play. Your readers love and expect it. If you do it right, it’s the best way to build community and ensure you get the sweet donations you need.
But you want the process to be easy. If Twitch chat messages take away from your gaming, your fans won’t stick around.
So you’re probably wondering how to see Twitch chat while streaming without torpedoing your game or coming off as a total dork.
The good news: It’s very possible.
The bad news: You might need to invest in a bit of equipment.
The steps will be a bit different depending on whether you are using one monitor, two monitors, or streaming on your phone.
How to See Twitch Chat While Streaming With One Monitor (in four easy steps)
Let’s start with the cheapskate option. You won’t need any special equipment to make this happen, but it might not provide an ideal experience.
You’ll use Twitch alone to make it work in four easy steps:
How to See Twitch Chat While Streaming:
- Click on chat options. (If you forgot where these are, access them by tapping the little gear icon right next to the purple “chat” button.)
- Click on “popout chat.”
- Move the popout next to your main game screen.
- Ensure both screens are the same size.
This is the essence of how to view Twitch chat while streaming. But let’s be honest. This isn’t the easiest interface in the world to work with. The text is small, it’s easy to lose your place, and there are some other issues.
You’ll need to take a few extra steps to make sure you can really see what’s happening. We recommend:
- Increasing the font size. Most computers let you kick up the font size, but a step like that changes the font in all open browser windows. So yes, your game window will get a bit bigger too, and you might lose a little detail around the edges. Play around with it until you find the right fit.
- Using readable colors. Twitch is a colorful place, and sometimes, the wacky choices make for tough reading. Head back to the chat settings and choose that “readable buttons” slider.
How to Read Twitch Chat While Streaming on Two Screens (with the help of Twitch chat apps)
Have a little cash to toss around? Add another monitor to your setup. A new screen gives you so much more real estate for chat, and it could make following conversations so much easier.
You can follow the steps above and drag the popout chat to a new monitor. Bam, you have a screen all set up for reading along with messages.
If you’re feeling really creative, you could read along with an app or program devoted to Twitch chat. Here are a few we like:
- Chatty: This open-source software has no paywall features, and there are no advertisements. You’ll need to draw down a bit of computing power to make it work, but you might love some of the included features. Customize the way the windows look, and follow other channels while you’re monitoring your own.
- TeeBoard. This desktop-only program lets you manage your own Twitch channels, and it makes following chats really easy. You can also tackle a few other interesting tasks, such as running commercials and tracking count stats, through this program.
- Chatterino. Developers say this open-source program offers better performance than Twitch chat. Set up your chat on a light theme, so you can read the content quicker, and access all of the emotes you know and love from Twitch.
- Tc. This is another desktop program, made to help you manage a Twitch chat in real time. Customize your chatter menu, and set up highlighted words, so you’re aware of conversations you must respond to.
All of the options we listed here are free, so you can download them all and mix and match until you find the perfect fit. There’s no risk.
How to Read Twitch Chat While Streaming With Your Phone (in three easy steps)
Let’s say you want to read Twitch chats, but you can’t afford a new monitor and you don’t have enough screen space to support both chat and gaming. Whip out your phone, and you’ll find a quick solution.
Here are the steps for reading Twitch chat while streaming with your phone:
- Download the Twitch mobile app.
- Find your channel.
- Pop out the chat box, and you’re ready to go.
If your phone’s screen is too small, the same approach works on a tablet.
Moving to a small screen like this requires one crucial piece of equipment: a phone stand.
You’ll want your chat screen and your gaming screen to be at the same eye level. Nothing is more distracting to your viewers than seeing you look up and down repeatedly, depending on whether you’re playing or chatting. And all of that movement can force you to lose your place, and then you’ll start “ums” and “ahs” to fill up space. Nobody wants that.
A phone stand like this one from Levo lets you adjust the height and placement of your phone. Make sure you have something like this if you choose to watch your chats fly by on a phone.
Also: Make sure your phone isn’t set to sleep after a certain period of inactivity. If your feed dies, you’ll scramble to replace it.
Chat Basics. Twitch.
TeeBoard. Deezja Vu.
Chatterino for Twitch. Chatterino.
Introducing TC. TC.
Levo Extend Your Phone. Levo.
Chat Commands. Twitch.
‘Twitch-Speak’: A Guide to the Secret Emoji Language of Gamers. (August 2014). Mashable.