Note: As of October 3, 2022 Twitch has deprecated the /host and /unhost commands and updated "autohosting" to "suggested channels". Read more
If you’re a Twitch streamer or simply an avid user, there’s a chance you’ve experienced a streamer using hosts or raids. Though serving two distinctly different purposes, they may be easily confused. Simply put, Twitch Hosts and Twitch Raids are ways to support other streamers by redirecting your viewers to their channel. To some degree, Twitch Hosts and Raids are great ways to network with other streamers. Additionally, it’s a mutually beneficial way to grow on the platform.
Though hosts and raids can be done anytime, these commands are most commonly used when streamers are planning to go offline and wish to spread love to fellow streamers. In this article, we’ll outline the key differences between Twitch hosts and raids to help you decide which of the commands can work best for you and your channel.
- What are Twitch raids?: Simply put, raids are a way for streamers to collaborate by sending viewers from one Twitch stream to another (once the initial stream ends).
- Differences between hosting and raids: Though both hosting and raiding are ways to engage with a wider audience, a raid moves viewers from one channel to another while hosting keeps viewers on the same channel they were previously on.
- How to start a raid on Twitch?: Starting a raid is as simple as typing in the command /raid followed by the channel’s name you’d like to direct viewers to or by using the Raid Channel quick action on your Twitch Creator Dashboard.
- What to do if you get raided: No need to worry or be alarmed. Be a gracious host and introduce yourself and welcome the new viewers.
- Tips for unwanted raids: In some cases, raids can end up being a not so positive experience for live streamers. Setting who has the ability to raid your channel and using Streamlabs Safe Mode are a couple of ways to prevent unwanted or malicious raids.
What Is Hosting on Twitch?
As briefly mentioned, Twitch streamers host other streamers to show support. A Twitch host, which is started by inputting the command “/host USERNAME” in the chat (replacing username with the name of the channel you wish to host), allows viewers to watch another streamer directly from your channel.
One key thing to note about hosting on Twitch is that even though viewers may not be watching your stream, they are still on your channel, which leaves you in charge of moderating the chat. You can check out this article for an in-depth tutorial on how to host someone else’s channel on Twitch. Below are some pros and cons of Twitch Hosts.
- A ton of channel exposure
- A chance that viewers from the hosted channel may follow or sub you
- Chat alerts appear announcing the host
- You’re responsible for moderating the chat
- The streamer must be online to be hosted (although you don’t have to be online to host)
What Are Twitch Raids?
While raids are another valuable networking and growth tool for Twitch, there’s one key difference between raiding and hosting—where your viewers are directed. A Twitch raid which is started by inputting the command “/raid USERNAME” in the chat (replacing username with the name of the channel you wish to raid), directs users to another channel entirely. Once the raid begins, your viewers are warmly handed off to the streamer you chose to raid. You can check out this article for a complete overview of Twitch raids. Below are some quick pros and cons you need to know.
- No need to worry about moderating the chat
- Potential to get a ton of exposure for your Twitch channel
- Combines different communities into one chat
- It doesn’t allow you to speak directly to your viewers about the content they’re viewing
- Some streamers will intentionally send offensive raids to channels (never do this!)
While both Twitch hosts and raids offer a ton of potential for cross-promoting channels, one thing to remember is the importance of choosing the right channels for hosting and raiding. If you align with channels that share similar content to yours or have a similar vibe, the chances are that both channels can reap the benefits or more followers from either of these collaborative efforts. If you end up hosting or raiding another channel, let us know how it goes.