The much-awaited app is finally here!
Twitch is a streaming platform to watch gamers from around the world in action. However, it isn’t limited to real-time gaming and includes a variety of content that you can directly engage with via the chat feature. The Amazon-owned service is now available as a Microsoft Windows application and contains all features present on the browser version. That said, the app includes a range of additional features that aren’t available on the browser, making streaming and connecting with other users a lot easier!
What exactly is Twitch?
For most people, streaming music and videos is synonymous with YouTube. However, Twitch has been around for longer and is the primary market for streaming live games. The easy-to-use program was available only as a web browser but has now moved to present users with a desktop app. The latter includes all the features present in the web version, along with a few new features to boot!
Other than giving users a central place to watch live games, the platform also offers content creators a platform to earn money and build communities around what they present. For the audience, this means unlimited access to makeup tutorials, live concerts, music lessons, and more. The only drawback here is that free account holders have to deal with ad interruptions during live streams.
If you’ve used the program on a web browser, you’ll find the interface of the Twitch Windows app familiar. That is because the creators of the app haven’t made any changes to the design. Apart from a few feature additions, everything is the same. However, if you’ve never used the service before, you will find the layout to be a little cluttered, and it might even take you some time to figure out the program’s functionalities.
That said, the reason users opt for Twitch download is that the desktop version comes with OS integration and performs a lot better. With its help, you can launch the program during PC startup or minimize the app to the taskbar. Moreover, it’s only with the desktop application that you can continue chatting even when a stream goes down, make voice and video calls, and switch between light and dark mode.
Before, the home screen of Twitch was dominated by popular games such as Dota 2, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Minecraft, PUBG, and more. This piqued interest among gamers, because it gave them quick access to view gamers from around the world, going from one level to another. However, this also meant that content discovery was quite limited. With the Twitch Windows 10 app, all of that has changed.
You can now use the home screen to discover a range of content neatly segregated into different categories and sub-categories. For instance, you can now find a variety of games by their genre, explore a list of live shows, and even use tags to discover different videos. The non-gaming community also gets easy access to IRL videos, live sporting events, ASMR clips, music concerts, and numerous other streams.
To ensure users can enjoy videos without getting distracted by the popular streams list on the left and an ongoing chatbox on the right, Twitch provides two screening modes. You can either enter the Full Screen or Theater mode. While the former removes the chat and recommendations section altogether, the latter widens and darkens the screen to minimize distractions but keep the chat feed going.
Explore the gaming library
Similar to the web version, the Twitch Windows app provides users with a gaming library. However, anyone looking to play games on the application will be disappointed. That is because the games currently available are limited, and to buy them, you’re redirected to the browser. Additionally, the app includes a mod tab but doesn’t have many tools with which users can manage gaming mods.
Connect with friends
If you and your friend have a Twitch account, you can make the best of the app’s most attractive features. Unlike the browser version, the app offers various chat functionalities that make gaming and watching videos an absolute breeze. For starters, you can easily import all your friends onto the platform as well as get easy access to all the games or streams that you follow.
Once you log in, you can start a voice call with anyone using an invite link. If you prefer video calling, you can instantly connect with your friends, teammates, or subscribers. While the program only lets in a maximum of 5 people on a video call, it does allow in-game calling, so you and your friends can chat and play simultaneously. The app also supports screen-sharing, an essential feature for anyone giving a tutorial.
Is Twitch free?
Yes. Anyone looking to watch gaming streams, live shows, and other creative content can use the streaming platform for free. However, there are advertisements. If you want them removed, you can subscribe to Amazon Prime and get access to one ad-free channel, some games, and extended chat features. You can also subscribe to different channels or pay for a monthly Twitch subscription for an ad-free viewing experience.
Are there any alternatives?
While Twitch is the best app for streaming video games, it does have a few alternatives. If you’re looking to stream games or chat with other gamers, you should check out Discord, Mixer, Streamlabs, and Facebook Gameroom.
Should I download Twitch?
If you’re looking for a streaming service that lets you live-stream games, you should download the Twitch app. The dedicated desktop app works well and has many features that make chatting and streaming easier. That said, the program does have functionalities that aren’t yet robust and may disappoint users looking to play games themselves. For people looking for creative content, this is a great place to discover new feeds and make friends with like-minded people.