Raiding is not really a new feature anymore. It’s been out for a while and a lot of people use it. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of streamers (especially older, more established ones) are still choosing to end their stream by hosting a channel instead of raiding. In this article, I hope to convince you that this is a bad practice, and explain why you should be utilizing the incredibly useful (and superior) feature we have available – raiding.
Raiding vs. Hosting
Hosting another channel displays the hosted channel in place of the current content, on the same channel. The viewers will remain in your chat room unless they click “Go to Channel” at the top of the screen. Raiding, on the other hand, takes your current active viewers (unless they choose to opt out) from your channel and moves them into the hosted channel just as if they were going to that channel on their own. They can instantly interact with the new streamer, and the new streamers chat.
So Why Host when I Can Just Raid?
Good question. The short answer is that you shouldn’t.
Raiding at the end of stream is more beneficial to the person you are raiding at no cost to you. Your viewers are going to leave anyway… this way, you’re giving them somewhere to go. Hosting leaves that person in your chat room, unable to interact with the person you’re trying to send them to unless they manually click through. Why make it harder on your audience to meet someone you want them to meet? Your viewer numbers stop recording when you’re not live, leaving people in your stream instead of passing them along to someone else doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
You may not know this, as many probably don’t, but when you raid a channel, your stream also automatically hosts that channel until they go offline. What do you lose out on for raiding instead of hosting? Nothing. Everyone wins – especially the viewer.
Then What Good is Hosting?
If raiding is always the better option, why is hosting a thing? Hosting is beneficial when you are not live. Hosting a channel is like saying, “I’m not live right now, but here’s someone I think you’ll enjoy watching!”. The benefits of hosting are less statistic-oriented and more networking-oriented. Hosting channels that fit your viewer base is a good way to keep your audience entertained on days you are not live. If you actively host that person (versus an Auto-Host), this can be a crucially important way to grow your network by meeting new fun content creators on Twitch.
Who Should I Raid?
Choosing a raid target can be tricky. If you have a core group of friends that your audience goes back and forth to, wonderful – easy choice! However, not everyone has this, and a lot of folks are left to either just ending the stream or raiding random people. Just ending the stream is always a bad idea, so we won’t bother going into that… but random raids don’t always go so well. Choosing a random target can be dangerous because the streamer you drop in on may end up being the complete opposite of what your audience is used to. So choose carefully!
One tip, if you’re able to do so, is to try and quickly preview the person you’re looking to raid. This can mitigate a lot of problems. If you can’t do it yourself, consider asking a mod you trust to help you out towards the end of the stream by finding you a target.
The main thing in choosing a raid target is trying to find someone that will resonate with your audience. Raiding a larger streamer can bring a lot of new attention to your channel and can be largely beneficial for networking, but if you choose a target with too many viewers, you may just get lost in the shuffle. Try scouting out larger streamers you may want to raid in the future and figuring out who reacts positively to raids from smaller channels.
Who Should I Offline Host?
If you are not currently live, but are hanging out in someone else’s stream at the moment, that may be a great person to host! This lets your audience know where you are and passes some love on to another streamer. You can also use offline hosting, and even the auto-hosting feature, to show support to your IRL friends, Twitch friends, community members, and fellow IQ streamers you know.
What About Auto-Hosting?
This should probably be reserved for channels you have fully vetted and are extremely comfortable with, and in that case only when you don’t have time to actively host them. Actively hosting someone (going to their channel as a viewer then tossing them a host) is a more meaningful way to network with other streamers, and may even net you a host or even a raid back!
NEVER ASK FOR A HOST/RAID BACK. This is a major Twitch faux pas, and it will usually be met with an extremely salty reaction. Remember, hosting/raiding is for mutual benefit – not just yours.
Raiding is an incredibly useful feature that you should definitely utilize at the end of every stream if possible. Don’t host when you’re done streaming! Raid. Twitch added the feature for a reason – because it’s better!