Fortnite superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins
shocked gamers worldwide when he announced that he would no longer be streaming
on Twitch and is moving to stream exclusively on Microsoft’s platform, Mixer.
Despite being owned by such a massive
corporation, many people had never even heard of Mixer until then. Xbox owners
may have been familiar with it, since it’s the native streaming platform, but
Twitch has been to streaming what Amazon is to online shopping – no competitor
has come close to knocking it off.
However, with Brevins recent move, more eyes
have started to turn to Mixer and consider it as a viable option. It’s worth
noting that this also comes at a time when Twitch has been under fire by the
community for a series of questionable decisions regarding bans (or the lack
thereof) against certain streamers on their platform.
Now more than ever, people are wondering,
“Could Mixer become a better streaming platform than Twitch?” Well, in some
ways, it may already be.
Starting off with one of the coolest features
that Twitch has never had, Mixer’s HypeZone is a series of official Mixer
channels that automatically highlight and raid streamers from a select number
of games while they’re in crunch-time moments of gameplay.
HypeZone is currently supported for
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite Battle Royale, Rainbow 6 Siege, Call of
Duty: Black Ops 4, and Apex Legends – all shooters. To be eligible for
HypeZone, all you have to do is stream on Mixer with a clear view of your
When Mixer detects tense moments from
streamers playing these games, they have a chance of being hosted on the game’s
official HypeZone channel. When this happens, live viewers are sent to the
channel and it creates an exhilarating experience. I’ve personally been in a
stream that has gone up from less than 10 viewers to over 200 during a HypeZone
spotlight, and it was awesome.
Here are the official links to Mixer’s five
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
- Fortnite Battle Royale
- Rainbow 6 Siege
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
- Apex Legends
Be sure to give check them out if you’re ever
looking for non-stop action!
Sparks & XP
While Twitch has follower ages and long-term
subscriber rewards, Mixer incorporates an RPG-like system into its streaming,
viewing, and chatting experience.
Sparks are a form of currency, and XP is a way
to level up your account to unlock new features and show off your experience as
a Mixer viewer. Both are earned by streamers and viewers.
You earn 50 Sparks per minute for broadcasting
and viewing streams. However, with Mixer Pro, channel subscriptions, and Channel One,
you can earn as high as 325 Sparks per minute.
You can spend your Sparks to create a team,
enable interactive game enhancements, launch Skills (animated visual effects)
in a channel, and more. Overall, Sparks and XP are just ways to incentivize
more broadcasting and viewing on Mixer.
In 2014, a massive social experiment started
on Twitch: Twitch Plays Pokémon (TPP). TPP allowed Twitch chatters to
interactively influence Pokémon games by spamming input keys in Twitch chat
which would then be sent to the game. The channel peaked at over 121,000
viewers and holds the Guinness World Record for participants of a single-player
online game at 1,165,140.
Mixer seems to have recognized the genius of
events like TPP, and they’ve built interactivity into MixPlay. This allows game
developers and third parties to make their games fully interactive through
Mixer. This features enables streamers to add joysticks and buttons to the
Mixer overlay that will control how a game is played, allows viewers to help
influence in-game decisions, and more.
Interactivity is currently supported in
Minecraft, SMITE, Paladins, No Man’s Sky, Killing Floor 2, Hello Neighbor, City
of Brass, Phantom Trigger, and many other games. Furthermore, Mixer provides
developers with all the documentation they need to help build
interactivity in even more games.
MixPlay’s interactive games functionality is
one of the coolest Mixer features that we’ve never seen supported natively by
Twitch actually supports co-streaming, but its
implementation is nowhere near as clean as Mixer’s. It involves manually
configuring your streaming software, and it isn’t supported in every channel.
Mixer’s co-streaming, however, allows up to
four streamers to collaboratively stream in a split-screen view to a single
chat. To do it on Mixer, you simply go to your channel, click on the
three-dotted options icon beside your follower count, and click on Start a Co-Stream. Here, you can invite
up to three others. Once they accept, you just go live. It’s really that
Viewers can even choose between one of four
layouts: grid, live sidebar, camera chooser, and mobile.
While co-streaming is a feature that will
likely be utilized by a very small percentage of streamers, Mixer putting the
time and effort into executing it so much better than Twitch shows that they
care about supporting streamers of all kinds.
As you can see, Mixer has a lot of great things
going for it for both viewers and streamers. The one thing it lacks in,
severely, is numbers – viewership on Mixer streams come nowhere close to those
on Twitch. However, changing that starts with you giving Mixer a chance.