What Are The Best Games To Stream On Twitch When You’re Building A Following?

Best Games to Play on Twitch - featured image of a gamer at their station
Best Games To Play On Twitch Adobe Adobe/MMollaretti – stock.adobe.com

Twitch has thousands of channels broadcasting to millions of viewers at any moment. It’s an enormous and lively community that’s always eager for more.

Unlike many other platforms, where it can be tough to get noticed, new faces are constantly being discovered on Twitch. Likewise, new fan communities are forming around streamers all the time, netting sizable revenue for the most popular accounts.

There are many reasons it’s easier to get started on Twitch, but the most prominent is how closely the platform is tied to the video game community. Popular Twitch streamers do everything from pranking phone scammers to Jackass-style stunts, but most Twitch streams show live gameplay.

The most popular games to stream are constantly shifting, thanks to new releases, marketing cycles, and more. If you want to get attention for your Twitch channel, it may be hard to decide where to start.

Each game has its own benefits and drawbacks as a way to grow your channel’s audience and attract new viewers.

What Are the Best Games To Play on Twitch

It’s possible to find a fanbase playing almost any game on Twitch. Games are a broad spectrum, from single-player to massively multiplayer. Some AAA have budgets and teams the size of blockbuster movies. Some independent releases are made by a single developer and have no promotion beyond word-of-mouth.

In general, keep in mind that different kinds of games will get different kinds of attention. You’ll need to understand the potential audience for a game if you want to focus on streaming it.

Some games are creative, so viewers will want to see your creation in the process. For social multiplayer games, people will be more interested in the social dynamics between you and the other players. If the game features heavy customization, the audience will be interested in your build.

Some games include all three of these features and more. Whatever game you pick, it’s a good idea to make sure it has a fan community already.

best games to stream on twitch - fortnite
Epic Games

What Do Twitch Viewers Want To See?

Whatever game you pick, you’ll have to understand what your potential audience is looking for. You’ll need to use your judgment, life experience, and strengths as a streamer.

  • Are you good enough at keeping track of histories and characters that you’ll be able to tell people about the game’s lore?
  • Are you imaginative enough to be able to come up with unusual gameplay strategies and show them off?
  • Are you experienced enough with custom mods that you’ll be able to play the game unlike anyone else?
  • Will you be able to put in the time and energy to become a speedrunner?

In general, people looking for new streamers want something, if not unique, then at least unusual. Understand what people are streaming already and how popular they are.

Set Your Content Apart From Others

If you find another Twitch streamer with an idea similar or identical to yours, consider the following:

  • What will distinguish your streams from theirs?
  • Will people interested in them have a reason to watch your streams as well?
  • Can you stream at a different time of day or cover the same subject matter with a different style?

It doesn’t have to be a competition for people’s attention since many people regularly watch a wide range of streamers, but you need to take care to distinguish yourself no matter how popular the game you’re playing is.

TwitchTracker is a handy website for anyone who wants to strategize about using their Twitch account. With its multiple search functions, you can track any game and view the most popular streams and streamers.

You can also do the opposite, and see which games your favorite streamers play. You’ll be able to get concrete and specific examples of what audiences enjoy. Using TwitchTracker, you can find common terms for stream titles so the fans will know where to find you.

If you’re looking for ideas, take an example from a popular stream and see if you can put your own spin on it.

Should I Stream New Games on Twitch?

One popular way to grow on Twitch is to play a new or very recently updated game. In general, people interested in a game that’s just been released are the most likely to be looking for new streamers.

Familiar streamers who regularly cover new games will have a reliable audience. For new games, people may be open to new streamers who can focus on and sustain attention to the game. It’s a sound strategy to focus on a new game and grow as the community builds around it.

Larger games will have more players and potential viewers for your streams, but smaller games will tend to have more devoted audiences who will be more likely to follow you if you regularly stream the game. When you understand your own strengths as a streamer, it’ll be easier to decide which new games to select.

Of course, this is not a strategy that you can repeat constantly. The newest games are the most expensive, meaning you’ll have to pay full price if you want to play the game as soon as it comes out.

The greatest interest in the game also means the greatest amount of competition for attention, and it may be easy for issues like major bugs to make it difficult to stream the way you want.

best games to stream on twitch - valorant
Epic Games

What Are the Biggest Games on Twitch?

An obvious strategy for getting attention is to pick the most popular games to stream on Twitch. In general, the list of these games has changed a lot less than other popular games, like the most popular games on Steam, which constantly changes based on new releases.

TwitchTracker has complete records of all games people have streamed on Twitch going back to 2016, and each of the top five games has its own dedicated fandom.

MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Video Games) and You

In general, the most popular games tend to be competitive, action-heavy multiplayer games.

As mentioned above, they combine multiple elements people are interested in from streams: A social environment, elaborate customization, a high level of skill and more.

The most popular game in Twitch’s history by far is League of Legends. Blizzard’s highly strategic MOBA game is in second place at the time of writing, but at its peak, nearly 1/5 of all active streams were playing League. The other major MOBA, Valve’s DOTA 2, is currently the fourth most popular game on Twitch.

If you want to grow your channel by streaming a MOBA, though, you’ll need to consider what viewers will be looking for.

You Don’t Have To Be Good at Games if Your Content Is Great

League is one of the most popular games for esports. Most of the game’s Twitch popularity comes from elite players and streamers. Viewers can hold anyone they watch to unimaginably high standards for how well they play.

Not every popular League streamer is a top-ranked player. The single biggest streamer on Twitch, Ibai Llanos, found success as a Spanish-language commentator.

Even so, this requires an enormous amount of familiarity with the game. You won’t attract attention unless you’re willing to put in the time commitment to git gud.

Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Valorant Still Reign

Other games that have been the most popular on Twitch include Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Valorant. All of these had their time as the top game for a short period immediately following their release.

They’re not #1, but they still have tens of thousands of streams every day. All of these games have intense esports scenes, but the community’s focus on that varies.

Fortnite has an enormous social and creative community thanks to its regular new content updates. Meanwhile, Valorant has received both praise and criticism for how focused its fans are on how well people are playing.

best games to stream on twitch - gta online
Epic Games

What You Can Learn From Grand Theft Auto Online

The current most popular game on Twitch is an odd one: Grand Theft Auto V. At its peak, over 12% of active streams on the site showed Rockstar Games’ legendary open-world game. Unlike the other games, it’s maintained its #1 status for years.

And unlike League of Legends, there isn’t the same skill barrier to entry. The most popular GTA V streamers tend to focus on the game’s enormous selection of mods. Thanks to the community creating customized add-ons for the game, there are countless unique ways to play.

As a new streamer, you’ll have a much easier time assembling a completely new experience for your viewers.

Don’t expect this to be the case forever, though. Grand Theft Auto VI was announced last year for release in 2025. The sequel’s announcement trailer broke records for the most popular video in YouTube’s history.

When the game is released, it will probably userp the previous installment in the series. The same will be true the streamers who have been playing it.

This is a useful example of the decisions any streamer needs to make, if they want to focus on growing the widest popular audience. If you build an audience with one game, will you be ready to make a transition to its sequel?

Are you interested in attracting people interested in the latest games, or building a more stable community of viewers who will be happy to see the same games after years and years?

How Should I Build an Audience on Twitch?

These questions don’t just apply to the two biggest games. Many other popular games on Twitch, like Counter-Strike and Rainbow 6, have similarly competition-focused communities as League of Legends. And games like Minecraft and Skyrim, just like GTA V, are more focused on mods and creativity.

Overall, there’s only one factor that’s completely non-negotiable when deciding which Twitch game to stream: Whether you’re having fun.

Anyone who regularly streams on Twitch to a large audience knows that the schedule is demanding, and you’ll need to invest a huge amount of time and resources to get to the point where you can easily do it regularly.

If you want to make that investment, you need to stick with games that you find enjoyable to play, and you shouldn’t try to play the game in a way you don’t enjoy. If any of the strategies listed here don’t sound like fun to try, then dismiss them immediately.

Having fun doesn’t necessarily mean having a good time. Many streamers regularly fail and lose, and some will try for dozens of streams before achieving the objective they’re looking for.

The games they play are still enjoyable enough that they’re having fun the whole time, and you need to keep this in mind no matter what game you decide to stream. Your audience will care about you, and they’ll want you to have fun too.

If you’re putting yourself through all the trouble of regularly streaming and you aren’t enjoying yourself while you do, they’ll be able to tell and will be less interested in watching. You won’t be enjoying yourself either, and ultimately, you’re still playing a game. Remember games are fun. Go have fun, people will follow.

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