The dream setup of most Twitch streamers using a PC involves having at least two monitors. One monitor to create the content and another one to read the comments and interact with the audience.
Sadly, some streamers aren’t in a position to have two monitors. This makes it very awkward to see the chat and interact in real-time. Often you’ll have to wait in between matches to give the chat the attention it so insistently demands. You should know that there’s a much better way that lets you stream with one monitor effectively. Keep reading to find out how.
Rarely, if ever, do we get a solution to a problem that seems absolutely bespoke to our needs. This particular solution is a piece of software, and it’s difficult to overstate how well it performs. The application is called Restream Chat and it will be your new favorite thing as soon as you start using it.
Restream is a unique streaming service that allows creators to broadcast to multiple platforms at once. The same stream can go out to Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Mixer simultaneously. That’s the company’s primary source of income, and the service is quite impressive if you want to multi-stream. In this article, though, we’re talking about its sister project—Restream Chat. Say goodbye to all your single-monitor streaming woes.
How Does It Work
On the surface, Restream Chat is a simple chat relay service. It aggregates all your stream chats into one chat window allowing for easy interaction. That’s all well and good, but its real power is in its customization options.
Here is a quick guide to using the app; specifically, how to create a chat overlay for your game. Start by going to the Restream Chat website and downloading the desktop version of the app. There is a browser-based version as well, but it doesn’t apply for this particular use. Once you’ve downloaded it, create a Restream.io account and launch the app. Then, follow the steps below.
- Set up your streams on the Restream dashboard. You can access the dashboard from Restream chat and then use the “Add Channel” button to select the platforms you want to use.
- Follow the on-screen procedure to add your Twitch channel and, once done, you should be able to select it in Restream Chat by using the drop-down menu in the chat input box.
- Now that you have your chat set up, go to the Settings by clicking on the gear icon in the bottom-right corner.
- Here you can customize the appearance of your chat window. Start by reducing the background opacity, as this will make the chat minimally intrusive while you play. You can go ahead and lower it all the way down to make the chat window invisible.
- When your opacity settings are ready (you can tweak them later), check on the Click Through Mode so you don’t accidentally interact with the chat while in-game. To interact with the window when this mode is on you should hold down the Ctrl key by default. You can change it to any other key.
- Check on the “Always On Top” option as well so the chat window ends up as an overlay to everything else you’re doing.
That’s it for the application setup, now there’s one more thing that you need to do in your game settings. Once you launch your game, go to the display settings and look for an option called Fullscreen Borderless Window or some combination of those terms. You won’t see any impact on your game’s performance, but you need to do this to show the chat window over the game.
Advanced Tips and Tricks
At this point you should see your chat feed in-game. Find a nice spot on your screen where you can look at the chat periodically without it affecting the quality of your gameplay.
In Restream Chat’s options, there are two more appearance settings that are worth mentioning. The first is Show viewer counter—this shows you how many viewers your stream has at a glance. Get used to noticing fluctuations in your viewer count in real-time, it will help you create better content and pick the right times for streaming to optimize viewership.
The other feature is Message opacity, which governs the visibility of chat messages. Confusing chat messages with in-game text can lead to really comical results and you should try to avoid it. This option helps make the chat even less intrusive. Use it judiciously to achieve a happy medium of being able to see the chat but not getting distracted by it.
You Must Feed the Beast
Developing and maintaining a relationship with your audience via chat is the key to success as a streamer. It’s a fast-paced world of memes, emotes, and occasional drama but that beast is also your best friend.
Restream Chat is easily the best and most elegant option to keep track of your chat on a single monitor. It is a free service and it’s easy to set up, falling so short of designing your own overlay.
What do you like most about Twitch chat? Do you prefer to have a very active chat, and does that make it more difficult for you to focus on the game? Let us know what you think in the comments.