If you're looking for somewhere to watch popular gamers like Ninja, PewDiePie and Markiplier, or you're a gamer yourself and fancy creating an online gaming community of your own, then you're in the right place.
We take a look at the biggest and best platforms available for live video game streaming, from Twitch to DLive and YouTube Gaming, right here.
If you know anything about online gaming, then you've probably already heard of Twitch. Launched in 2011, the company was sold to Amazon in 2014, and has become one of the world's biggest streaming platforms over the past few years.
The live video streaming service has over nine million channels to explore, and more than 15 million active daily users. Twitch focuses primarily on video game streaming, however you can find a number of other live broadcasts on the platform too, including music broadcasts and broadcasts that Twitch files under its Just Chatting category, where viewers can catch up and chat with their favourite creators.
Twitch is completely free to use, and really easy to explore. From the homepage you'll instantly be able to see who's live, alongside lists of recommended categories or recommended channels focused on specific games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. You don't need to make a Twitch account to start watching, however if you do, you'll be able to follow your favourites to make them easier to find in the future.
You can also subscribe to channels, for a monthly fee. Subscriptions help to support gamers and Twitch itself, and come with a number of benefits for viewers. Each streamer can control what their subscription package offers, but benefits can include special emojis (known as Emotes) to use in chat rooms, subscriber badges, special alerts, exclusive subscriber-only chatrooms and ad-free viewing.
You'll find streamers like TimtheTatman, Alinity and x2Twins on Twitch, making it a brilliant place for viewers who want to watch some of the world's biggest gamers from one place.
Twitch is available on the web, or through the Twitch app available for both iOS and Android.
If you already have the YouTube app downloaded on your smartphone, then you'll have instant access to YouTube Gaming. Reimagined in May 2019, YouTube Gaming is now an extension of YouTube itself, and it's really easy to find. On the web, simply open up YouTube's homepage and select Gaming from the sidebar or, alternatively, click Explore and select Gaming.
YouTube Gaming is the perfect choice for people who'd prefer to keep all of their video-related content in one place. Fully integrated into YouTube, YouTube Gaming features the same easy-to-use interface you'll already be familiar with, so you'll get to grips with the platform in seconds. You can instantly see who's streaming live, or you can view on-demand gaming video produced, or previously streamed, by creators directly from the dashboard.
There are a bunch of exclusive features, which benefit both creators and viewers. An interactive live chat will sit to the side of the stream, which can be modified to become a members-only chat if the creator chooses to do so. You can subscribe to creators in the same way as you would subscribe to any other channel, or you can hit the Join button instead to become a member. As a member, you'll pay a monthly fee, and receive benefits similar to those found on Twitch.
Gamers actively using YouTube Gaming in 2020 include PewdiePie, DanTDM, Vikkstar123 and SSundee.
DLive is a newer video game streaming service, founded in September 2018. Its popularity was helped massively when PewDiePie - one of the largest internet personalities - used DLive exclusively between April 2019 and May 2020.
DLive works in a similar way to Twitch, allowing viewers to watch freely without the need for an account. However, if you'd like to keep track of your favourite gamers, you can create an account and hit the 'Follow' button for free. Once you do this, you'll notice your recommendations and homepage become much more tailored to you, with new channels being suggested based on your previous activity.
DLive also offers the chance for viewers to subscribe to their favourite gamers, with fees and attributed perks varying from gamer to gamer. If you're a gamer yourself, and aspiring to start streaming online, DLive can be a particularly attractive choice, as almost all the revenue gathered from subscriptions is directly fed back to creators. DLive gives 90.1% of subscription revenue back to its creators, and the remaining 9.9% is collected into a pool that’s shared in the form of rewards to DLive's most active contributors.
If you're interested in becoming a creator yourself, a smaller platform like DLive is a great place to start. It's also a good choice if you'd prefer to discover and interact with smaller, upcoming live video game streamers.
DLive is available on the web, or on your mobile through the iOS and Android app.
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