How to Prepare for a Marathon Gaming Stream
Every gamer has pulled an all-nighter at least once in their gaming career. However, as a streamer, you can use the gaming stamina you developed as a teenager to draw a larger crowd to your stream.
Gaming marathons are a popular way to boost viewership and increase exposure. Twitch even has a “Marathon” tag to help audiences find streamers who have committed to lengthy playthroughs of their favorite games.
But before you break open the energy drinks and go live, it’s worth planning ahead to make sure that you maintain a high-quality stream and good health throughout.
Choose a Few Games
You might love Apex Legends now, but just wait until you’re 10 hours deep and Wraith uses her tactical ability to escape a gunfight you’d so nearly won. When the time comes, you simply need to switch to a backup game that lets you take a break from competitive shooters or tactical games.
There are plenty of non-competitive games to choose from during your marathon stream. The key is to choose something relaxing. You might consider:
- Stardew Valley: a sim RPG with farming gameplay.
- Flower: a PS4 exclusive that is more like art than a game — you play as the wind and blow through fields of flowers.
- Journey: the definitive indie-adventure game. You journey through a forgotten civilization and can even play with a player from your audience if they load in at the same time as you.
Having a chill few games in your back pocket can make the marathon that much more interesting for you and your audience. No one wants to see you rage quit COD on-stream, so make sure you have a few classic games to turn to when your reaction times start to fade.
Advertizing the Marathon
Gaming marathons are a great way to draw in a new audience and increase your exposure. However, to get the most from streaming you’ll need to advertise well ahead of time and do a deep dive into things like Twitch’s bits and subscription models.
When advertising your marathon, try to produce content that will be amplified by the gaming community and shared amongst your viewers. Ideally, this kind of content will include some of your highlights and reward your audience for sharing and commenting on your social media content. These rewards can be as simple as exclusive content or as lucrative as a tech giveaway.
The idea of advertising your marathon might seem excessive at first, but folks like CryptoWrench prove that the time spent creating content is worth it. CrytoWrench recently hosted a 100+ hour streaming marathon to raise insomnia awareness. The marathon stream was picked up by a few gaming blogs, and TwitchTracker stats show that his viewership increased fourfold following his marathon stream.
Tips to Stay Energized
Gamers aren’t renowned for their health, and many streamers have a toxic relationship with high-sugar, caffeinated energy drinks. While chugging some G-Fuel on stream might work for other gamers, it’s not the best idea during the early stages of your gaming marathon stream.
Instead of going heavy with energy drinks, consider other ways to stay energized throughout the day. Start by sticking to a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, and side-step heavy foods like pizzas and fried food. You should also set water drinking goals to support your marathon stream, as dehydration obstructs oxygen flow to the brain and causes tiredness and fatigue.
If you do need some caffeine, it’s worth remembering that the boost you get now will cause greater tiredness down the line. Caffeine works by blocking the chemical which makes you feel tired. However, when the caffeine in your body wears off, you can expect a bigger slump and more extreme feelings of tiredness. To mitigate this, try to schedule any caffeine intake towards the back end of your marathon when you’re struggling to stay awake.
Mental fatigue is the biggest problem you’ll face during your marathon stream. However, that doesn’t mean you should discount the impact that poor posture can have on your performance and overall well-being.
Poor posture over an elongated period (like a streaming marathon) can contribute to chronic pains like tension headaches and digestive issues. When gaming, you can avoid conditions associated with poor posture by switching positions frequently and investing in an ergonomic setup that supports a neutral spine and good head positioning.
An ergonomic setup goes a long way towards improving posture, but you should also stand up at least once an hour and stretch a little. This will reduce fatigue and help alleviate any muscle tension that you may have developed while playing for an elongated period.
A marathon gaming stream is a great way to improve your exposure and create a buzz around your stream. Before going live, you should download a few non-competitive games and fill your fridge with healthy foods. This will help you stay the course and perform your best during a marathon gaming stream.