There are plenty of hobbyist streamers out there who start out with just one screen, be that on a full blown gaming PC, console or even a laptop.
The downside, though, is it can severely hinder your ability to engage with your viewers, which are precious to new streamers. Thing is, money is also precious when you’re starting out and it’s often not worth investing a lot of money upfront in case you don’t continue streaming in the future.
Assuming having a second monitor is out of the question, here are some of the methods you can use to read your Twitch chat while streaming with one monitor.
Use Streamlabs Overlay
Streamlabs launched a new feature in 2019 to target this specific issue. You can now have your Twitch chat overlaid to your own screen which will stay with you whilst in-game.
Note: If you are streaming in game capture mode, the chat overlay won’t be visible to your viewers. However, if you’re using video display, they will be able to see it.
The overlay is also fairly customizable. You have full control over the positioning of the overlay and you can increase opacity if you’re playing more intense games like PUBG or find it too distracting.
You’ll have to broadcast via Streamlabs OBS in order to access the overlay, but Streamlabs have released a guide on how to enable the overlay, which you can read here or alternatively, check out the video below.
Streamlabs also have a handy Twitch extension you can take advantage of to improve your stream.
Use Your Mobile Phone
If you have a spare mobile phone lying around the house, simply download the Twitch app and sign in to your account.
It’s probably wise to head over to your phone settings to make sure your phone screen doesn’t lock whilst sat idle, as you’ll be playing games alongside reading it, of course.
You could also consider using a Samsung or Apple tablet to read your chat.
Run Games In Windowed Mode
Some games, such as Old School Runescape, Minecraft or Stardew Valley can be comfortably played in windowed mode.
Head over to your stream and pop out your Twitch chat. Then, re-size it until you are comfortable and move it to one side of your screen, with your windowed game on the other side.
Create a new capture area on OBS which covers only the game window, then you’re good to go. You may even have a bit of space left over to squeeze in your donation alerts.