As someone just starting to stream on Twitch, you probably thought that streaming as a side hustle wouldn’t be such a bad thing. It should be pretty easy right? You open OBS, you play your game, and BAM, you get popular!
Unfortunately, millions of other people have had the same exact idea, so in reality, you will face fierce competition for even the tiniest amount of attention in your Twitch category of choice.
So what game do you stream, and at what times do you do it, so you would have a shot at creating your fun little Twitch community?
Keep reading to find out what the best times to stream on Twitch are!
When Is the Best Time to Stream Twitch?
Cutting straight to it, the best times to stream on Twitch are between 1 A.M. and 11 A.M. CST.
This is because there are fewer channels (especially the bigger names), and still a decent amount of viewers looking for somebody to watch.
But there are other factors that come into play that make the best time to stream vary for each Twitch streamer.
So if you’re looking for a more personal approach you can take into consideration – especially one that depends on which game you stream – then keep reading below.
Be Realistic With Your Schedule
First of all, you would want to stream at a time that is free in your schedule. Although there are many more points about when you should stream, and what things you should take into account, the first thing that should really matter to you is your physical and mental health.
You just read that the best times to stream are between 1 A.M.- 11 A.M. Central Standard Time. But what if you work a 9-5? Streaming that late into the night isn’t the most healthy of options.
A forced schedule that disregards everything else you do in your life will lead to mental and physical exhaustion which is counter-productive to content creation.
If you do go along with the 1 AM stream time, you will probably be sleepy most of your stream and then suffer during your normal working hours.
You’d want to go live at a time that is suitable for the people who watch you only if it is a realistic option, and it does not force you into some weird habits just because you want to have more viewers on Twitch.
Twitch is important, yeah, but you should always prioritize your well-being!
It’s Not You, It’s the Game
Another aspect in which you should be honest with yourself is that at the start of your streaming journey, most people are not coming to watch YOU, the viewers are there for the GAME.
Following this logic, it is important to find a game you are deeply passionate about or are good at playing. This way when new viewers tune in to see their favorite game being played, they will either be charmed by your love for what you are playing or simply be amazed by your skills.
You should also be smart about the game you will be streaming from a growth perspective as well. You SHOULD NOT play a game that is considered to be “dead”, a.k.a has a very low player base, since your prospects of growth are slim.
You should also steer away if possible from super popular games like Fortnite or League of Legends, because honestly, for a starting streamer, the competition is just too darn fierce in those Twitch categories.
Good choices would be games like Apex Legends or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive since these games hover at the bottom of the top 10 games on Twitch, which means they are not SUPER popular but have a very decent viewer base you can take advantage of!
To Stream When the Big Channels Stream Or Not?
There’s an argument for both sides of the coin here.
Some might say that if you stream a game during the same times as the biggest streamers in that category they’ll suck up most of the viewer count, leaving you with nothing.
On the other hand, what happens if you can time it so that you’re still live when the bigger streamer(s) go offline, leaving a ton of viewers looking for a new channel to watch playing that same game?
As with most things, it’s best to test both out to see which option plays out better in your favor.
PRO TIP: A good streaming tip is to try to spot some bigger channel(s) in your category that often likes to raid other streamers and try to make sure you’re live when they are about to finish their stream. You never know if they might raid you, therefore granting you a lot of free exposure.
Twitch Prime-Time Is Not the Best Time
In the same way, you might want to avoid big streamers, it would be wise to also avoid the Twitch prime-time hours, which depend on the time-zone you live in.
The main reason for this is the fact that the fewer channels someone has to go through to finally find yours, the higher the chance people will ACTUALLY reach your channel!
To clearly showcase what we mean, we will use a simple example – we will assume you live in North America and are in the Central Time zone (GMT-06:00) with your game of choice being Apex Legends, quite a popular battle royale game.
If we open Twitch Strike for Apex Legends for this time zone, we can clearly see that Monday to Sunday, from 4 PM CST to 11 PM CST, the number of channels starts to grow with the number of viewers also going up.
What is important to note though, is that the ratio map, which is the most important for us in determining a good time to stream Apex, indicates that the ratio during those times is not in your favor.
What the Ratio Heat Map then suggests is streaming Apex Legends for the CST time zone between 4 AM until 3 PM where the ratio of viewers is high, but the number of channels is lower.
Moreover, from sites like Twitch Tracker and SullyGnome we can see that Friday and Sunday morning hours (9 AM to 11 AM) are super important because those seem to be the times with the highest amounts of viewers, and lowest amounts of channels in the Apex Legends Twitch category!
Who needs to be streaming on Twitch during prime-time hours? Not you! Why? Because numbers don’t lie!
Conclusions – Putting All the Data Together
What all of this data and information says to us, is that late-night and early morning streams have the highest chances of getting you some additional viewers in any game you play. This is especially true during weekends!
As a general recommendation, your streams should also not be shorter than 3 hours each, and you should try to stream at least 4-5 times a week for maximum potential exposure.
At the same time, we would highly suggest you to not ignore the first point that was made in this article – DO NOT sacrifice your wellbeing and health for optimal Twitch streaming hours. Although the temptation to stream at 3 A.M. might be strong, you need to be stronger for your overall benefit.
If you cannot stream late at night or early during the mornings, you should try to make sure that even during more agglomerated times, your channel would still be visible by having some quirky title, or by having some special giveaways/events going on.
As you can see, getting your channel rolling on Twitch needs a couple of things: a lot of research, some luck, but mostly making sure to not ruin your life while doing it!
GLHF gamers – may the Twitch gods bless you with good fortune!