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Squad Stream: The next way to play and watch together

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Co-op Contra on the living room floor. D&D in the blanket fort. Four-player Goldeneye after school. Rock Band rock-offs. Watching your friends’ in-house Smash tourney. Building a castle together in Minecraft… No matter which games we started with, no matter where we trace our nerdy roots back to, we’ve always played together.

And now there’s a whole new way to keep playing together on Twitch: Squad Stream.

Squad Stream is a fast and easy way for up to four creators to go live and stream together in one window. It’s perfect for showing off every awesome moment in a battle royale match, saving a virtual seat at the table for tabletop streams, catching every second of speedrunning head-to-heads, and so much more that we can’t wait for all of you to show us.

Unlike hosting or Raids, which are excellent but more hands-off ways to collaborate, Squad Stream lets streamers actively team up with other creators to benefit everyone in a channel. Creators can join forces right from the dashboard, stream content they wouldn’t normally stream, and grow their communities all at the same time. Viewers get more angles on the action, a way to support more of their favorite streamers with ease, and a chance to chat with several great communities at once — or join a new one.

We’re celebrating the launch of Squad Stream with a variety of four-person streams over the next few weeks featuring a variety of partners and content. Check out the full schedule (in PST):

Squad Stream is available for Partners first. If that’s you, you can start a Squad Stream now right from your dashboard. Your viewers will be able to opt-in to the Squad Stream right from your channel page.

If you want to see Squad Stream in action, use the Squad Stream tag on the Browse page to see which squads are live right now.

FAQs

Q: How do I start or join a squad?

A: To start your own squad or join an existing one, go your dashboard and look for the Squad Stream widget. From there, you can either start your own squad by inviting other streamers or accept an invite to join another squad. Note: Squad Stream is rolling out to Partners first, so you are only able to invite Partners to a squad at this time.

Q: How do I change permissions for who’s able to invite me to a squad?

A: You can manage your permissions settings for Squad Stream from your channel settings page. By default, channels you follow, is your friend, or on the same team will be able to send you an invite.

Q: How are viewer counts calculated during a squad stream?

A: Any viewership you receive when your video player is in the primary slot will count towards your channel stats and be reflected in your channel analytics and stream summary.

Q: Why is Squad Stream only available to Partners?

A: We are rolling Squad Stream out to Partners first because of the need for video quality options (also known as transcodes) in order to ensure the best experience for viewers. Currently, all Twitch Partners receive video quality options on their streams by default, while Affiliates receive them as they’re available, with priority access. Our plan is to make Squad Stream available to Affiliates and all other streamers as we continue expanding our transcodes capacity.

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

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

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

A: Viewers can chat or Cheer with Bits in whichever channel that is in the primary slot. Options for following or subscribing appear by either hovering over the squad member’s avatar at the top of the screen or over the video player for that squad member.

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

A: Simply click on any of the other channel’s video player and it will swap into the primary slot.

Q: Do ads appear in Squad Stream?

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

Q: Can viewers watch Squad Streams on mobile?

A: Yes, viewers are able to watch in squad mode via the latest versions of the Twitch mobile app on iOS and Android. Viewers are able to watch up to 3 channels at once. For squads with 4 channels, viewers will be able to select which 3 of the 4 are displayed. Squad viewing is limited to 3 on the mobile app because of the need to be able to provide a consistent, optimal experience for all audiences.

Q: How do Clips work with Squad Stream?

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

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

A: Past Broadcasts of a squad stream will not display multiple streams. We are exploring solutions to 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.

Q: How do Extensions work with Squad Stream?

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

Q: How do Hosts and Raids work with Squad Stream?

A: When a channel Hosts or Raids a channel that is currently in a Squad Stream, it will only Host or Raid that single channel. Streamers who are in a Squad Stream cannot initiate a Host or Raid via the chat in squad view. However, they can still initiate a Host or Raid through the Dashboard widget or chat command from the channel page.

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

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

Q: What happens to my viewers when I leave a squad stream?

A: When a streamer leaves a squad, their viewers will remain in squad mode. If you plan on leaving during a live Squad Stream, make sure to let your viewers know. If you are the squad leader, the first streamer you invited will become the new squad leader.

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