Who would have thought that one day, playing video games could earn you money? Twitch is one of the best and biggest platforms that will allow you to showcase your gaming skill and earn money in the process. Today, it has become an insanely lucrative career for a lot of pro gamers. If you’re dreaming of becoming one of them, here is a great guide on how to make money playing video games to set you off on the right track. You will learn all you need to know to get started and the many ways in which you can rake in cash.
Ways to Stand Out As a Game Streamer on the Platform
Before you even start thinking about how to make money playing video games on Twitch, you need to know how you can stand out. Consider this the first step — it is vital that we figure this out before discussing all the technicalities later on. There are millions of broadcasters on Twitch per month so you have to step up your game and make your channel unique and interesting. Being unique is the most essential aspect of making money on Twitch.
On Twitch.tv, you can play a video game, broadcast it, and interact with your viewers through chat all at the same time. You can stream games both on a gaming console and a PC. You can read our beginner’s guide on how to stream on Twitch to help you set up your equipment and start streaming your games today.
Since everything you need to get started on Twitch is on that guide, we will just focus on the ways you can make your game streaming more interesting.
Show Yourself and Make Your Voice Heard
Although not necessary, the most successful Twitch streamers who make money by playing video games are those who turn on their cameras and talk about what they’re doing while playing. It’s like a podcast in a way. While your viewers can chat with each other and with you, it’s not really ideal for you to be typing while playing your game. It would be more interesting if you walk them through the game by speaking with them. In this case, you would need a decent podcasting or gaming microphone and webcam. Of course, if you’re using a laptop for your Twitch game streaming, you can always use your computer’s built-in camera.
But don’t just narrate what’s going on in the game. Entertain your viewers as well! Be confident and make them feel that they can connect with you through the game. Read the chatbox from time to time and respond to your viewers’ questions or comments. This will help sustain their attention and even help you get subscribers. You will learn more about how to get subscribers later in the guide.
Choose Games That You Love and Are Good At
It’s very tempting to go for games that are popular or trending. While that’s a great decision to make as you will ensure a steady stream of viewers in the process, make sure that you are also passionate about the games you will play. Your viewers will know whether you are uninterested in what you are doing. Even if a game isn’t trending at the moment, you will find your audience. They may even find you if you really love the game and have extensive knowledge of it!
On the other hand, it could also be that you are not an expert on the game but really enjoy playing it. You can still gain a lot of followers by exploring whatever there is to discover within the game. Your audience will most likely be beginners like you and they just enjoy watching you navigate the game just like they do.
Create a Team
You can also host a stream of you playing with your friends. This is ideal for Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPG) since you and your friends can interact with each other within the game. Streaming a game with a team can be a lot of fun both for you and your followers. They can watch each of you and enjoy the differences in your personalities as you play. Examples of games that you can host with a team are Among Us and The Elder Scrolls Online.
Here are other online games you can play with your friends at home.
How to Make Money Playing Video Games on Twitch
All things considered above, the real secret in how you can make money playing video games on Twitch is dedication. You will learn all you need to know to become a successful Twitch streamer below, but you cannot achieve those without putting in the work yourself. You don’t have to do all of the things listed down here; ideally, you just choose one or two of them to apply to your own streams. The important thing is that you continue to take care of your Twitch presence if you want money to flow through your streams. If you do this well enough, the money you make by streaming games can be a good source of passive income while you just game for fun! Here are a few simple ways you can make money playing video games at home.
Set Up Donations
After setting up your Twitch channel, you can add a Donation button right away. Your viewers can donate to your channel and they can give any amount from a dollar to thousands of dollars. Though of course, you can’t expect that much especially when you’re just starting out. How do you do it? There are several ways. Twitch has an official donations system called Twitch Bits but you can also receive donations via third-party platforms.
Twitch Bits, the official method, is like a tipping system where viewers can tip you which is a form of donation in itself but it can get a bit confusing. You do not receive direct cash from Bits. Bits are also called Cheers because your viewers are cheering you on in a way for doing a great job on your Twitch game streams. They are a form of digital or virtual currency that viewers have to purchase from the platform. They can buy Bits by clicking on the Get Bits button on any page or channel and paying for it via credit or debit card, PayPal, or Amazon Pay. Once you have received enough Bits, you can claim them and withdraw them as cash. As a Twitch streamer, you earn $1 for every 100 Bits that you receive.
But first, you have to be a Twitch affiliate to receive Bits. How do you become just that, though?
How to Become a Twitch Affiliate
- You must have at least 50 followers on your channel.
- Broadcast at least seven unique game streams in the last 30 days.
- Have an average of three or more simultaneous viewers within the last month.
- You must have broadcasted or streamed at least 500 total minutes in the last 30 days.
Once your channel meets the requirements above, you will receive an email invitation and a notification on the Twitch website to become a Twitch affiliate. The option to collect Bits will now be accessible on your Creator Dashboard.
How to Set Up and Receive Twitch Bits
- On your Creator Dashboard, click on Partner Settings on the top menu and then select Bits and Cheering.
- Toggle on Bits and you’re done!
Collect Donations Through PayPal
Almost everybody uses PayPal nowadays and it’s one of the easiest ways you can receive donations on Twitch. Though you cannot add an official PayPal button on your channel, you can attach your PayPal payment link so your viewers can click on it and send money your way. This link is called PayPal.Me link.
- If you haven’t already, create and grab your PayPal.Me link by logging into your account and under Quick Links on the top box, click on PayPal.Me. It will ask you to create a custom link or short name and it will look like this: PayPal.me/(your chosen name).
- Access your Twitch account by clicking on the icon on the top right and click Channel on the dropdown.
- Below your banner, click on About on the menu under your username.
- Toggle on Edit Panels and click on the large plus (+) button. Then, click on “Add a Text or Image Panel.”
- On the Panel Title, enter PayPal Donations on the text field or whatever you want to call it as long as it says PayPal so users know it will direct them there.
- On the description box, type your PayPal.Me link. You can also add a short message to encourage them to donate.
Viewers can now click on your PayPal link and send you money directly to your PayPal account!
Streamlabs is another third-party platform through which you can receive donations on Twitch. This is another great way on how you can make money playing video games. Setting up your stream for Streamlabs donations follows the same process as setting up PayPal donations. You will first have to create a Streamlabs account and set up your Streamlabs Donation. Follow the same steps for PayPal except you will be putting your Streamlabs Donations link instead of a PayPal link.
Other Third-Party Donations Platforms
As you can see from PayPal and Streamlabs, the steps are the same when setting up receiving third-party donations. Here are other platforms that you can link with your Twitch account to make money playing video games.
- G4G (Gaming for Good)
A Note on Donations: Keep in mind that donations made via any third-party platforms are taxable. As for Twitch Bits, Twitch also gets a cut from the money you make collecting them.
On Twitch, you can get both Followers and Subscribers. These two are different. To avoid confusion, any Twitch member can follow you for free while subscribers pay a monthly fee to subscribe to your channel. There are three types of subscriptions that they can select, the basic one being $4.99 a month and the succeeding tiers rated at $9.99 and $24.99. Subscribers can also pay in bulk either for three months or six months. For every $4.99 payment a subscriber pays, Twitch will give you $2.99 from it. They get the rest as their fee.
Why Would People Subscribe to You and What Are the Benefits?
The number one reason people would subscribe to your channel is really to support you as a streamer. It is to show appreciation for your work and to help and encourage you to remain on the platform so they can continue watching your video game streams. Aside from that, they also get certain perks that are exclusive to subscribers based on the tier that they choose.
A subscriber can get a badge that shows up on their profile and also in the chat rooms so others can see. It is a special icon that is a star by default. However, you can customize the badge to suit your channel and personal brand. The customization feature allows you to give them different types of badges depending on how long they’ve been subscribed to a channel. It’s a great way for Twitch and you as a streamer to reward your subscribers for their support and loyalty. By showing off their badges, your subscribers can also easily encourage others to subscribe as well. It’s an easy way to make money playing video games.
While there are default emojis or emoticons on the platform, subscribers get special ones and you as the streamer can customize them so they appear unique from others. The special emotes also distinguishes your channel. The streamer is entirely responsible for creating these emotes. The more subscribers you have, the more options for special emotes you can create. This means that if you have more subscribers than another channel, you will have more available emotes than them.
Exclusive Lounge or Chatrooms
You can also create an exclusive room where only your subscribers can chat. This may not be a good idea when you are just starting out because there will only be very few of them. It’s a feature that is ideal for Twitch streamers who already have thousands of subscribers so they can manage them easier. It is up to you as the streamer to activate this exclusive chatroom or not.
Of course, one of the best perks any paying viewer on any platform can have is not having to see any ads that will interrupt streams. As you may have already experienced, ads are disruptive and can get extremely annoying especially if you are in the middle of a stream or a video. All types of subscriptions remove all types of ads but streamers also have the option not to turn them off, odd as that may sound.
Earn From Video Ads
As for your viewers who are not subscribed and still get ads, you also earn from the ads viewed on your channel. For every 100 subscribers you get per month, Twitch will pay you $250. That is a lucrative amount and a passive way you can make money playing video games on the platform!
Make Money Through Sponsorships
With luck and dedication, some brands may contact you and offer sponsorship so you two can work together. You help the sponsor promote their brand by displaying their logo on your channel and they help you by paying you for it. Take note that sponsors usually only pay large amounts if you have a decent amount of followers so keep working on getting more viewers. Another way that you streamers can work with sponsors is by talking about their products on your streams. They may also ask you to play short clips that appear on your channel.
The best part is some game developers may approach you to play their games and stream them! Now, this may be the most lucrative of all the ways that you can make money playing video games because you can earn up to thousands of dollars for every hour that you stream their games.
Join an Affiliate Program
Aside from being an official Twitch partner or affiliate, you may also be approached by others to be their affiliate. This works similarly with sponsorships except they may ask you to sell their products directly.
Become a Twitch Seller
Being a Twitch seller is essentially selling Twitch merchandise. This can be anything from shirts, caps, hoodies, or mugs. You may also sell stickers or cellphone cases. There are so many types of merchandise that you can sell as a streamer, although this is not for everyone. Not all streamers are great at selling, and some may be hesitant to do it. However, it’s a great way to make money besides playing video games on the platform. Apart from items that show and advertise Twitch, you are also free to sell any merchandise that promotes your channel.
How Much Money Are Game Streamers Making?
The money streamers earn playing video games on Twitch depends on how many followers and subscribers they have. An average streamer with a decent following can earn up to $2,500 per month on donations alone. Of course, this can increase if you get several thousands of followers. On ads, you can make up to $5,000 per month, and this is a conservative estimate if you have a considerable following. Remember that the projected amounts here are for those who have already gained at least a few thousand followers. Do not expect to make as much as they make right away. Money earned through sponsorships would totally depend on your agreement with the sponsor.
As for Twitch stars or those who have millions of followers, they make millions of dollars per year. However, do remember that there are only a handful of these streamers. Take a look at the video above that further shows some proof of this data.
Highest-Earning Game Streamers and How They Did It
According to Forbes, the highest-paid game streamer, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, has made $17 million in 2019! If that doesn’t surprise you, you may be delighted to know that this gamer is only 28 years old. While this earning didn’t come from Twitch alone, it alone shows how game streamers can make money playing video games. Let’s take a look at these video gamers, including Tyler, how much they’ve made so far, and how they did it.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins
Tyler, better known as Ninja, makes an average of $5.4 million per year. He has over 14 million followers. Even though his paid subscribers only add up to 50,000, he still made $500,000 per month in the last year. How did Ninja do it? He has always been a professional gamer, but his stint with Fortnite has increased his popularity and that’s when people started noticing him more. It’s one of the reasons more people started following him and subscribing to his Twitch channel. Of course, the real reason behind this is his love for gaming and, as mentioned several times, dedication to what he does.
Timothy John “TimTheTatman” Bater
Timothy Bater, better known as TimTheTatman, streams on Twitch every day except on Sundays. Tim makes $1.8 million annually by working with sponsors alone. Combined with ad money, his total earnings add up to $2.7 million per year. Like Ninja, he is most popular for playing Fortnite. However, he also streams games like Overwatch and World of Warcraft. How did Tim do it? Aside from gaining popularity by playing Fortnite, he has already been known as a commentator on Twitch for football games. You may want to follow his lead and do other things on the platform while you are just starting out on your Twitch game streaming.
Ben “DrLupo” Lupo
He calls himself DrLupo on Twitch and other gaming platforms. Ben Lupo earns $1.9 million per year with an average of 10,000 viewers per week and has a total of 3.2 million followers. How did Ben do it? The better question is how did he start, which is rather an interesting story. He realized that video gaming is genuinely his passion when his father died, and he turned to video games in order to distract himself from the devastating tragedy. One time, he started playing and decided to stream his game, talking about his experience, and crying about his loss. He didn’t do it to gain attention; he did it because it gave him relief from his pain. Still, it gained him much popularity and helped him become one of the most well-known streamers on Twitch!
These are just three of the most popular and highest-earning Twitch streamers who make money playing video games at home. Are you inspired yet?
Why Choose Twitch Over Other Streaming Platforms?
There is a big competition in the game streaming scene for streaming companies. YouTube Gaming is out there as one of the biggest streaming platforms there is. There is also Caffeine and GosuGamers, to name a few. Why choose Twitch? Despite being a little late into the game (pun intended), Twitch has now become one of the giants when it comes to video game streaming. They achieved this mostly because of how the platform has made the entire streaming process seamless and absolutely easier even for beginners.
Even if YouTube has already been known as a popular platform for game streaming, it is really Twitch that popularized this fantastic hobby that also brings in money for hobbyists. Twitch is the one that played a major role in building the live streaming industry for gamers. It’s a wise decision to choose Twitch for your game streaming mainly because of its growth. The platform now has 140 million users per month and if you want to make money playing video games, why not go for the giant?
What Is Twitch?
If you’ve been reading this guide and are still not very familiar with Twitch, you already know that it’s a platform for video game streaming. But apart from that, it is also a streaming platform for nearly anything even before it became popular for game streaming. It was founded in 2011 and was first known for live streaming music, cooking shows, and others that are not related to gaming at all. Online retail giant Amazon acquired Twitch in 2014 and has become one of the company’s highest sources of internet traffic in the US. It has also become a social networking site on its own since you can interact with other users, gamers, and the streamers themselves.
How to Download Twitch
It’s pretty easy to download and start using Twitch. Simply go to the Twitch website on click on the icon beside Browse on the top left of the Home Page. Select Download Apps from the dropdown and it will lead you to the page where you can download it both for Mac and PC. That is also where you can download the mobile app.
Your passion for video gaming can really be a stable source of income if you add your dedication to the mix. Hopefully, this guide has not only taught you how to make money playing video games on Twitch but also inspired you to get started. While it’s not a guarantee that you will be like the top-earning game streamers, you can start and see how far you can go from there.