One of the ways that Twitch has tried to encourage collaborative content creation on the platform is Squad streaming. 

Twitch is not just a solo-streaming experience. You can use Twitch’s new squad stream feature if you want to stream with your friends,  where up to four streamers can combine their streams into one window for combined viewers. Here’s how.

To do this, on your PC or mobile platform, you’ll need to be set up for Twitch streaming. You’ll also be required to possess the other Twitch users you want to squad stream with as somebody you follow, as a friend, or to be members of the same Twitch team.

Creators can join forces right from the dashboard, and grow their communities all at the same time by streaming content they wouldn’t normally stream. Viewers get more angles on the action, a chance to chat with several great communities at once – or join a new one and a way to support more of their favorite streamers with ease.

Most importantly, if you have Twitch Partner status, you’ll only be able to squad stream on Twitch. Twitch has promised to offer this feature to all Twitch streamers at a later date, but a timescale on when it plans to do this has not been set by Twitch yet.

How does the Twitch squad work? 

At the moment, the Twitch squad stream is a feature available to only Twitch partners. From the Stream Manager section of their Twitch account, they can access the option. By allowing up to four streamers to share their screen simultaneously, this feature works. 

Viewers can select whom they’ll wish to focus on predominantly; the selected streamer becomes the primary streamer automatically.

All views are awarded to them. The viewers can only chat in the currently selected primary streamer’s window since the squad mode doesn’t have a squad chat; there’s also no feature to squad donate, so this can be done streamer after streamer.

That is, the viewer needs to switch between each streamer to chat, donate, make their view count or follow them individually.

How to squad stream on twitch

Follow the steps below to enter squad mode, if you are a Twitch partner. These steps apply to both your application and browser. 

  • Step 1: By visiting its official site and signing in, open your Twitch account. You can access Twitch from your mobile app also. 
  • Step 2: Click on your profile icon. It is represented by a human avatar and is often at the top right corner. A drop-down menu appears. Then select the Creator Dashboard option. 
  • Step 3: Go to the left pane and select the Stream Manager tab, while in the Creator Dashboard. Then this action opens your stream settings. 
  • Step 4: Click on the Plus sign in the Quick Action section and select Squad Stream from the lists presented, if you can’t find the Squad stream option. 
  • Step 5: Now, to start customizing the action, click on the Squad stream button. To add other Twitch partners, you are given three slots(friends or teammates). 
  • Click the Add a Channel button. Then type in the channel’s username, and select it. 
  • Step 6: You now select the Start Squad Stream button, which is at the bottom of the squad stream tab, after sending out invitations for others to join “the squad” and getting accepted. 

When you want to host a squad stream, these steps are applicable. Follow steps one to four, select the Invite option, and accept any invitation, to honor an invitation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can non-affiliates squad stream?

No, they can’t. Twitch promises to make this feature available for all users, but they haven’t given any specific date. 

  • Who can use the squad stream feature?

Only Twitch Partners can access this feature, at the moment. Including affiliates, no other content creator can. This is because squad streaming is resource-intensive on the Twitch servers. Twitch hasn’t given a specific date for this even if they tell they’ll make squad streaming available for other users. 

The need for video quality, aka transcode, is another reason only Twitch Partners can access this feature. At the moment, Twitch Partners by default, get the exclusive window of receiving video quality options to their streams; affiliates, on the other hand, receive them based on priority access. 

The catch is they can reduce the other video quality while focusing on the primary streamer, while a viewer is watching a four-person squad stream. It is pretty standard r streamers to stream in 720p as is a pretty high resolution.

Viewers are saved the expenses that would accrue from streaming four 720p resolution videos when in actuality, with the option to choose video resolutions, they are focused on one. 

  • Can I squad stream on mobile devices?

Yes, you can. The Twitch squad stream is readily available with your mobile browser or your mobile application. 

  • How are views counted in the squad stream?

Views are recorded for the primary window only and thus it doesn’t matter if a viewer has all four videos on display on their screen. That is, the window the viewers select to maximize and focus. 

  • Can viewers watch squad streams on mobile devices?

Yes, they can. However, they can only select three out of the four squad members. To provide an optimal and consistent experience for all audiences, this is integral. 

  • Would ads still show in a squad stream?

Yes, they would. During the squad stream, both pre-roll and manually triggered mid-roll ads would play. Only on the primary screen, these ads would be displayed, that is, the screen the viewer is focused on (big screen.) The viewers cannot switch the streamer until it is done, while an ad is playing. On mobile devices, the Ads take the entire screen. 

  • How can Affiliates squad stream? 

Until things change, they can’t. At least not with the Squad Stream feature Twitch Partners have access to. However, they are third-party platforms that Affiliates can seize advantage of. They just need to create a group stream. They can then instruct their viewers to watch them from a third-party platform like MultiTwitch.

  • How are viewer counts calculated during a squad stream?

When your video player is in the primary slot, any viewership you receive will count towards your channel stats and be reflected in your channel analytics and stream summary.

  • How do I change which channel is in the primary slot?

Simply click on any of the other channel’s video players. Then it will swap into the primary slot.

  • How do I Follow, Subscribe, Cheer with Bits, and Chat in Squad Stream?

In whichever channel is in the primary slot, the viewers can chat or Cheer with Bits. By either hovering over the squad member’s avatar at the top of the screen or over the video player for that squad member, the options for following or subscribing appears

  • Do ads appear in Squad Stream?

Yes, while watching a Squad Stream, viewers can see both pre-roll and manually triggered mid-roll ads. However, only in the channel that is in the primary slot, the ads will play. While an ad is playing, viewers will be unable to switch views. Ads will play on full screen on mobile.

  • Can viewers watch Squad Streams on mobile?

Yes, through the Twitch mobile app, viewers can watch in squad mode. At once, viewers can watch up to 3 channels. Viewers will be able to select which 3 of the 4 are displayed, fir squads with 4 channels. Because of the need to be able to provide a consistent, optimal experience for all audiences, Squad viewing is limited to 3 on the mobile app.

  • How do Clips work with Squad Stream?

A clip of only that specific channel is created, when a viewer clicks the Clip button on a video player from a Squad Stream. It’s something we’re into for future development even if there is currently no native way to capture a clip of the entire squad view.

  • How do Past Broadcasts (aka VODs) work with Squad Stream?

Multiple streams will not be displayed by Past Broadcasts of a squad stream. We are investigating solutions for enabling Squad Stream-compatible Past Broadcasts. But in the meantime, Past Broadcasts for channels that participate in a squad stream will only feature content from that individual channel.

  • How do Extensions work with Squad Stream?

For viewers who watch in squad mode, extensions will be disabled. However, for those viewers who watch in non-squad mode, Extensions will continue to function.

  • How do Hosts and Raids work with Squad Stream?

It will only Host or Raid that single channel when a channel Hosts or Raids a channel that is currently in a Squad Stream. Initiating a Host or Raiding via the chat in squad view cannot be done by Streamers who are in a Squad Stream. However, through the Dashboard widget or chat command from the channel page, they can still initiate a Host or Raid.

  • Why is Squad Stream only available to Partners?

Because of the need for video quality options (also known as transcodes) in order to ensure the best experience for viewers, we are rolling Squad Stream out to Partners first.

Currently, while Affiliates receive them as they’re available, with priority access, all Twitch Partners receive video quality options on their streams by default. As we continue expanding our transcodes capacity, our plan is to make Squad Stream available to Affiliates and all other streamers.

  • Why are video quality options (transcodes) important for Squad Stream?

For everyone, we want to ensure the best Squad Stream experience. Squad Stream depends on video quality options for displaying the channels in non-primary slots in lower quality modes like 480p, to do that. Most streamers stream in 720p or above, so without video quality options, since it would display up to four 720p+ streams at once the squad viewing experience can be taxing.

  • What’s the best way to ensure that video and audio is synchronized as much as possible?

We recommend that all streamers participating in a Squad Stream turn on the low latency settings (found in the Dashboard under Preferences > Channel) and also use a third-party voice app to communicate.

  • What happens to viewers when a squad member leaves a squad stream?

The viewers will remain in squad mode when a streamer leaves a squad. Make sure to let your viewers know, if you plan on leaving during a live Squad Stream. The first streamer you invited will become the new squad leader if you are the squad leader.