Nightbots, and Moobots, and Xanbots, Oh My!
If you’ve decided that you want to have some sort of bot in your chat the next step in the process is choosing which bot you want to use. There are quite a few options out there so deciding on one can be somewhat difficult. Thankfully, Twitch User dhamster has compiled a really nice comparison spreadsheet that goes over all the functions of the most popular bots! You can check out the spreadsheet here.
*Note – this sheet is a little outdated, and dhamster has told me he might be updating it soon, but a lot of the info is still relevant.*
Here’s my quick summary of the three most popular bots:
Pros: Anti-Spam, Raffles, Completely Free, Timed Messages
Cons: No Dashboard bot set up run mostly through chat use, Display only Song Requests
Pros: Enhanced Song Requests, Anti-Spam, Raffles, Helpful Dashboard, Timed Messages
Cons: No Sub Notifier, Some features require you to pay
Pros: Anti-Spam, Raffles, Helpful Dashboard, Timed Messages
Cons: Some Features require you to pay, Display only Song Requests
I personally use Moobot due to how easy it is to set up for my stream. Just go to moobot.tv and link your twitch account, and you’ll be able to manage the bot in its entirety from the easy to use dashboard on the website.
So once you’ve chosen a bot, it’s time to customize it to your liking. One of the best features of any popular bot on Twitch is the command option. Commands allow you to give out information that your viewers want to know, without you having to talk about the information every time someone asks in your stream. Information like your social media links, what game you’re playing, how long you’ve been streaming, or any FAQ about your stream can all be added as commands for most bots. By simply assigning a command such as !links, users will be able to easily access this important information.
If there are certain commands that you want your viewers seeing all the time, you can add a timer so that the bot always posts the information over a given interval. Be careful with how often you set the timer. I would always recommend that the timers are separated by at least 20 minutes otherwise they will take up the whole chat.
Bots can also be used to moderate your chat and time users out who spam and cause a ruckus in your chat. While this option is very helpful for huge streams that average over 5000 viewers, I would say it’s definitely not necessary for a small stream.
If there is one big suggestion that I would make, it would be to stay away from any type of feature that rewards people for spamming. I see a lot of streams that have bots that allow users to continuously win imaginary things like cookies, muffins, tokens, and then use these monetary objects to purchase imaginary prizes. Do not do this! If I’m a new viewer and I come into a stream I want to chat in, and all I see spam commands being used, I’m going to have no desire to chat. While it may seem that these bots are getting your users involved in the chat, it’s actually creating an atmosphere for no interaction.
I used to have a bot for a game I called pieBux. Whenever someone would put the !piebux command in after a certain amount of time, they would either randomly gain or lose piebux. At the end of the month, whoever had the most would win a steam game. While this was a cool idea at first, it quickly turned into huge amounts of spam where everyday viewers actually complained and left. Learn from my mistakes and avoid these types of games.
Overall, I would say bots are a good addition to a small stream that is looking to grow. They can provide important information to your viewers that allow you to focus on playing the game instead of answering the same question over and over. They can also be used to facilitate cool functions such as song requests and raffles. Just be mindful of how they affect your chat in regards to spam. Having fun bot commands that include inside jokes in your stream are perfectly fine, but as you grow they can be harder to manage. At the end of the day, if you don’t feel like having a bot in your stream you’re not losing out on too much, so it really comes down to what you prefer.
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