Backseating is a common word you will see or hear on various Twitch gamer streams; it’s also a common rule people put on their chat for moderators to be aware of.

What does backseating mean

Backseating is a phrase to describe a person who is giving unsolicited advice to the person who is in control of the situation. Usually a situation where only one person can be in control such as driving or playing a video game.

People who ‘backseat’ essentially want to call the shots but not actually do the driving. There is an air of arrogance around backseaters as they imply they know best without regard of what the driver thinks or feels. They are also enforcing their will on a stream which isn’t theirs.

It can be very irritating.

example backseat chat rules
Example rules taken from

What does backseating mean on Twitch?

Backseating on Twitch is the same principle as backseat driving.

Commenting on skill

Users who comment on the skill in a negative way are backseating. Saying things like “you should have done this move” or “well that was a fail”. This is essentially them saying they could have done it better.

Not only is it rude but perhaps instead of back seating they should practice what they preach and do it.

This can happen in all sorts of games such as sports, beat em ups, FPS and speedruns. New and experienced streamers can become a victim.

Streamers want to enjoy streaming and having constant negativity thrown at them can take away from the experience for them as well as other viewers and one of the reasons why it often banned.

Trying to dictate the direction

For streamers playing a game they may not have mastered yet or doing a blind playthrough may sometimes be visited by a backseaters who have and will let the streamer know by telling them ‘go left’ or ‘there’s a hidden chest there’. Not only is this irritating but it takes away from the streamer’s experience (and other users).

Just because they’re live and streaming doesn’t mean they don’t want to enjoy the game in the same way a private individual would.

Explaining the story

No-brainer here. Explaining the story to the point where there’s spoilers is backseating.

What isn’t backseating?

You may think to yourself that you can’t say anything about the gameplay you’re watching without being accused of backseating. But that isn’t always the case.

We think that backseating depends on how the streamer takes it, some may be genuinely stuck in a game and some advice is very welcome, others may be trying to improve their game and getting some tips can help them go further.

To protect yourself from being seen as a backseater, read the chat rules first and foremost and then take in the general vibe of the chat before saying anything.

If a streamer has made it clear in their chat rules about backseating then its best to do NO backseating whatsoever.

What do do about backseating on your Twitch stream

1 – If you don’t want backseating in your stream, make it clear in the chat. For people who don’t go straight to the rules, set your chosen bot to periodically remind people of the basic rules (not too often).

2 – Instruct your moderators to stay on top of backseaters as it happens. A gentle whisper would do, no need to go in heavy handed and chastise a viewer who was doing it with good intentions.

3 – Politely let the stream know you have a backseating policy.


4 – If all else fails, enforce it with chat timeouts. If that doesn’t work and some members are chronic back seaters ban them.

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