Twitch Raids or Twitch Hosts allow streamers to redirect their viewers to another channel as a way to help other streamers generate greater exposure. Often, big streamers redirect viewers to channels of smaller streamers after finishing their broadcast, which has often resulted in a career boost. The two functions are very similar in their premise, and yet there are small but subtle differences between a Twitch Raid and a Twitch Host. In this article, we'll introduce you to both features in more detail and shed some light on the specifics of each.
2 Twitch Raids
2.1 What are Twitch Raids?
A Twitch Raid gives creators the opportunity to redirect the remaining viewers to a channel of their choice after the end of the stream. The special thing about a Twitch Raid is that the forwarded viewers are actually sent to the channel page of the new streamer and are also part of the new chat there. Thus, two crowds meet and a fusion of two communities is created. The name "raid" fits the function quite well in this case, because unlike a Twitch Host, all viewers automatically end up on the raided channel from one moment to the next.
Raids tend to be the more effective way to get new viewers to other streamers, because potential followers and subs don't have to click on the "new" channel to find out more about the streamer. A big advantage of the Twitch Raid over the Host method is that viewers can immediately participate in the stream and interact with the chat and the streamer.
2.2 How do Twitch Raids work?
Any Twitch streamer can initiate a raid. As the responsible creator, you should briefly talk to your chat before ending your own stream and before a raid and inform the community which channel you want to visit and what the obligatory introduction message of your chat should look like, to avoid completely jumping the gun. Once that's done, you can get down to practice and start the upcoming raid.
Just type /raid [name of the channel] into the chat - this function is only available to you and your admins & mods. What follows is a countdown that informs your viewers that everything is in full swing. Once the countdown is over, you can click the "Raid Now" button and the raid will be executed, your viewers will receive a corresponding message in the chat and everything will take its course.
If you disregard the button, the action will be carried out automatically after 80 seconds. If you change your mind and want to cancel the raid during the countdown, just click on "Cancel" or type /unraid in the chat. It's up to you if you want to prevent raids on your channel completely or only allow them from friends or streamers selected by you - more about this in the following paragraph.
2.3 Manage Twitch Raids
If your channel has been raided, you can easily manage the incoming raid with the help of some useful tools. Normally, raids are coordinated among themselves and the raider is informed in advance that a bunch of viewers will storm their chat shortly. If this is not the case and you don't want "foreign" users to flood your chat, you can set certain restrictions. You can even set your channel so that you can only be raided by certain people or not at all.
You can set these limits in the Creator Dashboard under Settings - Stream. To prevent unwanted spam in the chat, you can exclude new viewers from the chat by setting it to only allow your followers to participate in the stream. To do this, simply click the gear icon in your chat and enable the "Followers only" option - here you also have the option to prevent new followers from chatting by setting a follow minimum duration.
2.4 Advantages and disadvantages of Twitch Raids
The big advantage over Twitch Hosts is that a raid works as a real redirect and not just a mirror of the other stream that is then seen on your channel, as is the case with Twitch Hosts. If your channel has been raided, new users can relax and get an idea of your bio, schedule, social media channels, or other important information because they arrive directly at your channel's URL and get to see exactly what viewers who visit your channel in the traditional way see.
Among large streamers, raiding other channels is often done with caution, because the concern that some viewers will like the raided channel better than their own is always there. However, smaller streamers in particular often rely on building a common fanbase while raiding each other's channels, ultimately benefiting from each other.
2.5 Frequently asked questions about Twitch Raids
Why could it make sense to prevent raids on my channel in the first place?
Unfortunately, it happens from time to time that certain streamers raid especially smaller channels and tell their viewers beforehand to spread hate in the chat of the raided person. This results in harsh insults, hostility and other things that no streamer wants to see in their chat.
How do I choose a channel to raid?
That's up to you. Many streamers collaborate with each other, know each other or just want to make smaller creators they like happy. They also often try to unite communities that are similar - meaning if you play a particular game, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick a channel to raid that also regularly live broadcasts that game.
Can you raid from your smartphone?
Absolutely. You can also perform all raid functions and settings using the Twitch app or mobile browser.
Where can I see who has raided me and how often?
To do this, simply click on the gear icon in your chat and select the "Current Raids" item.
How do I react to incoming raids?
It's best to stay authentic, introduce yourself to the new viewers and thank the raider.
Are the new viewers part of my average viewers that I need for a Twitch partnership?
No. Viewers who come from a raid do not initially affect your average viewership. However, those who visit your channel regularly from then on will of course be added in the long run.
3 Twitch Hosts
3.1 What are Twitch Hosts?
Imagine you visit a website and see an embedded YouTube video. The website hosts the video and acts as a link between the source (video) and the user who visits the website. This is how you can imagine the host function of Twitch. Creators can host other channels while their own stream is not active and thus bring new viewers, subs or followers to others. In this case, the host's chat remains among themselves and does not actively participate in the streaming of the hosted channel.
In comparison to Twitch Raids, the users stay on your channel and can get an idea of whether they like the content of the hosted channel before taking action themselves and possibly subscribing or following.
3.2 How to use Twitch hosts?
To host another channel, simply type /host [name of the channel] in the chat. Once you confirm by pressing Enter, the playback window of your channel will disappear and it will be replaced by the stream of the other channel. Now your viewers are free to support the hosted channel with subs or follows. The cool thing is that even if your viewers can't join and participate in the channel's chat, your viewers will be added to the other channel's viewer count. To stop hosting in progress, you can simply type /unhost in the chat.
3.3 Automate Twitch Hosts
As a streamer, you also have the option to automatically host a selection of channels you have picked after your livestream ends. You can make the appropriate arrangements for auto-hosting in the menu of your channel settings. Here you can enter an unlimited number of channels in the host list, set the priority or the order, or let random chance decide which channel will be hosted next. Hosting also gives you an advantage as a creator - if you have entered enough channels in your hosting list, your channel will run longer, even though you are no longer actively streaming yourself.
3.4 Advantages and disadvantages of Twitch Hosts
The advantage of hosting is that it is usually a little more subtle and civilized than a raid. When hosting, the chat stays with the host and the presented channel is not flooded with new chat members that first need to be assessed and managed accordingly. This can quickly overwhelm smaller, inexperienced streamers in particular, so in certain cases it would be more advisable to host a channel first and possibly raid it later.
What one person sees as an advantage can also quickly be seen as a disadvantage for another. So, of course, from the pure effectiveness of generating new viewers, a host cannot keep up with a good raid. For some viewers, that one important click that is not automatically made when hosting, namely that you as a viewer get directly to the channel page of the raided, can be decisive.
3.5 Twitch Hosts Frequently Asked Questions
Can I schedule the host mode?
Unfortunately, no. Twitch itself states that it is not possible to do that, nor is it possible to host the channels in the hosting list one after the other, should one of the hosted channels go offline.
How to stop Twitch hosts?
By using a very simple chat command: /unhost - Enter - done!
Who are the viewers credited to when I enable host mode?
When hosting, all viewers of the host are automatically credited to the hosted channel and added to the number of Active Viewers at the bottom right of the display.
Does host mode change anything about what viewers see in my embedded livestreams?
No, viewers will see exactly the same as if they were visiting the channel in the traditional way.
Will users see pre-roll ads during the transition to host mode?
This can happen, yes.
Are the new viewers part of my average viewers needed for a Twitch partnership?
As with Twitch Raids, new viewers will not directly impact your average viewership for a Twitch Host.
Whether channels are hosted or raided, both sides usually benefit mutually from the collaboration. Big creators can give small streamers a bit of a kick-start, two streamers can team up and build a community - no matter who hosts or raids whom, it's a well-intentioned gesture in most cases and has helped quite a few streamers build a large following. Twitch shows once again with these features that they know how to build a large community that interacts and respects each other.