What is Lurking and How to Lurk on Twitch

In case you don’t know, the act of opening a stream without actively interact during the stream is called lurking. So, what exactly is lurking? What differentiates it from watching stream normally?

Twitch streamers playing game

Sometimes we are too tired to do anything. Watching a stream and chatting with other viewers, even if it enjoyable will be tiring after a while. So you just let the stream going while you watch the stream, or switch to your phone or even just daydream to relax your mind. Hearing the background sound of the streaming, especially the human voice can be relaxing if you don’t like silence and being alone

What is Lurking on Twitch?

According to Twitch definition, Lurking is the act of opening a stream, but may not be actively watching, chatting, have the stream or browser sound muted, or maybe watching multiple streams at one time. Twitch Lurkers is acceptable according to Twitch Moderation and counted as a real viewer on Twitch

After knowing the definition of lurking, you might realize that:

I have been lurking all the time!

Indeed, most Twitch viewers are actually lurkers. Why? Because most viewers only passively watch and listen to the stream. Only the minority are actually chatting, subscribing, gifting subs, and follow the channel

Why do People Lurk during a stream on Twitch?

Viewers lurk during a stream because they are not fully interested and invested to the streamer. To them, watching a stream is just a short entertainment to pass the time. They don’t have the desire to follow, chat, donate and subscribe to the streamer’s channel. Having no free time is also one of the main cause viewers lurk a stream

Many viewers just open the stream that is recommended by the Twitch algorithm. Since it’s just the first time they watch the streamer, they don’t have any incentives to be active during the stream

And many gamers when they play a game, they also open a Twitch stream on the second monitor. So, it will be hard to actively interact with other viewers during the gameplay

Is It OK to Lurk on Twitch?

It’s ok to become a Twitch Lurker. Nobody can’t force you to chat and interact with the streamers and viewers during a stream. Nobody liked to be forced to do anything they don’t like. It’s your own freedom to choose what do you want to do during a stream. Most streamers don’t’ mind the lurkers on their stream

Being a Twitch viewer doesn’t bring you the responsibility to follow and support the channel by subscribing, donate and gifting subs. You don’t need to feel that you need to actively support the streamer. Just being there as a viewer can already bring help to the streamers you watch

And many people, especially introverts like me don’t like the interaction from chatting and donation bring. They mute the channel because they want a peaceful stream with little interaction with other people.

It makes sense to some lurkers. Sometimes, congratulation by the streamer for every donation and subscription can be annoying even if it funny in the first place. Lurkers are the byproduct of the culture of Twitch that rewards countless drama and hype.

Can I call out lurkers on my stream?

Don’t call out or mention the lurkers on your stream. It’s offensive, unpolite, and unprofessional to the viewers. Many viewers have real-life responsibility, so actively contributing to the stream is not on their priority list. You can lose the viewers that keep watching you despite never interact on the stream after calling them out

Reddit Story calling out lurkers on a stream

According to a story by Redditor named  MtOlympus_Actual, once he gets called out by the streamer on Twitter, after lurking the stream during his work time.

Of course, he can only lurk at his work time. After the streamer calling him out on Twitter, he stopped following the streamer ever since.

What we can learn from the story is as a streamer, you should never felt entitled to the viewer. It’s their freedom to do what they want on your stream as long your viewers obey the twitch and channel rule.

Lurking even though doesn’t bring an active interaction on the community, can help the streamer by increasing the viewers count on their Twitch channel. Getting more views, despite the majority from Lurkers can jumpstart your channel success

In fact, for the streamer, lurkers are easier to be managed than active viewers. Why? Because since Twitch lurkers don’t chat, they won’t spam and troll the chat room

Do Twitch Lurkers are considered as a real viewer by Twitch?

According To Twitch TOS, Twitch Lurkers are considered as real viewers, they are treated the same as normal viewers but separated from normal viewers. Streamers can see how many lurkers exist in their stream. Even though the lurker’s count is not statistically accurate, from here we can see Twitch separate the real viewers from the lurkers.

At least 75% of viewers on any given streams at any given time is consist of lurkers. The number will be higher on a popular streamer’s stream because the chat is moving too fast, most viewers are too lazy to view and respond to the chat.

Usually, on a small channel, most viewers are either lurkers that trying to find a new channel or close friends of the streamers, so lurkers rarely exist on a small channel

According to Twitch, Twitch Lurkers are not considered as view bots. So you can safely lurk during the stream without giving any burden to the streamer

How To Lurks on Twitch

Become a Lurkers on Twitch is as simple as it sounds. You just need to open a stream with logged Twitch account and do nothing. You can watch the stream or move your attention to other browser tab or games you played on the other monitors.

There is a trick to lurk on multiple streams. You can use the inbuilt feature to mute the site on your web browser

How to Lurk in Multiple Streams on Twitch guide

  1. Open multiple Twitch stream s on your web browser (I use Google Chrome, you can use this tutorial in Mozilla, Edge, and Opera Browsers)
  2. Right Click the Tab on your web browser
  3. Click “Mute Site”
  4. Repeat Mute Site all your streams you watch

You can freely use the multiple streams lurking trick without fear of getting banned since this is not considered as a viewbot practice. You will be counted as a real viewer (and lurker) across multiple streams. There is a limit to the number of streams until you are no longer counted as a real viewer.

Some lurkers like to announce that they will be lurking by typing the lurking command on the chatroom.

What is Lurk command on Twitch?

Lurk command is a chatbot command that is set by streamer automatically performed when a viewer typed “!lurk” on the chat room. When the Lurk command is launched, it will give custom messages and actions based on what the streamer set on their chatbot. Lurk command is used when a viewer want to lurk for a period of times

You may ask, what is the point of announcing that you will be lurking the stream?

Because sometimes, if you are watching a small streamer, the streamer and other viewers can easily know when you suddenly stop chatting on the chatroom. By typing !lurk, you can let them know that you will stop chatting temporarily.

How To set a Lurk Command on your chatbox for Twitch

To make a lurk command on Twitch, you need to create a new command on the chatbot

NightBot Lurk Command

To create a lurk command on NightBot, type into your chat:

!commands add !lurk insert your custom lurk command responses

Replace the bolded text with your custom message.

Example of NightBot Lurk command:

!commands add !lurk Sorry Guys, I will Lurk in the deep sea

You can also add an extra command

!commands add !lurking insert your custom lurk command responses

Streamlabs Lurk Command

To create a lurk command on Streamlabs, type into your chat:

!addcommand !lurk insert your custom lurk command responses

StreamElements Lurk Command

To create a lurk command on StreamElements, type into your chat:

!command add !lurk insert your custom lurk command responses

DeepBot Lurk Command

To create a lurk command on DeepBot, type into your chat:

!addcmd !lurk insert your custom lurk command responses

FossaBot Lurk Command

It’s a little harder to add new command on FossaBot.

FossaBot Add Lurk Command

Type into your chat:


Click Add Custom commands through chat

Set !lurk insert your custom lurk command responses

Guide on How to Turn Your Stream Lurkers Into Active Viewers

  1. Add !lurk command on your chatbot
  2. Do giveaways to your viewers
  3. Do fun, silly and funny things that make the lurkers finally chat
  4. Interact with the viewers, instead of only playing the game on your stream.
  5. Achieve a great milestone like doing a speedrun to make your viewers celebrate your achievement
  6. Add goals on your streams like the number of subscribers and donation to make your lurkers celebrate with you
  7. Ask your viewers and lurkers to follow your channel. Don’t make it too spammy
Philip Maynan is a hobbyist streamer and digital artist. What he loves most are writing, gaming, and drawing. Currently, he focuses on blogging and learning digital art.

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