In an era of rapidly growing digital technology, streaming games have become more than just a hobby for many. With millions of people turning to this form of entertainment, it’s no wonder that numerous apps have emerged to cater to this demand. For PlayStation 4 (PS4) users, the choices for streaming apps have never been so extensive and so rich in features. This article will guide you through the best PS4 streaming apps that you can use to share your gaming experience with the world.
Twitch is arguably the most popular and prominent streaming platform for gamers. With its robust functionality and broad user base, it has become the go-to place for streaming and watching gameplay. Twitch lets PS4 users share their gaming adventures with a community that numbers in the millions, providing ample opportunities for interaction and engagement.
Twitch offers a variety of features that make it attractive to both streamers and viewers. These include a highly active chat room, custom emojis, badges, and the ability to ‘raid’ other channels, whereby a streamer can direct their viewers to another live channel at the end of their stream. This feature fosters a sense of community and collaboration among Twitch users, which is one of its major appeals.
Moreover, Twitch provides monetization options for streamers who reach ‘Affiliate’ or ‘Partner’ status. Affiliates can start earning through subscriptions, Bits (a virtual good viewers can buy to cheer), and ads, while Partners have additional earning possibilities and premium features. With its focus on community, interactive features, and monetization options, Twitch remains a popular choice for PS4 streamers.
2. YouTube Gaming
YouTube Gaming is another heavyweight in the world of game streaming. As an offshoot of YouTube, it carries the parent platform’s strengths — a colossal user base, outstanding video quality, and robust search functionality — while adding features specifically designed for gamers. Streaming your PS4 gameplay on YouTube Gaming can potentially reach an even larger audience, given the platform’s worldwide popularity.
The streaming features on YouTube Gaming closely mirror those on the main YouTube platform. Streamers can easily manage live chats, employ moderation tools, and use YouTube’s advanced analytics to better understand their viewership. Streamers also have the option to archive their live streams, making them available for viewers to watch later.
As for monetization, YouTube Gaming offers several options. Streamers can earn money through ads, channel memberships, merchandise shelf, and Super Chat (a paid highlight of messages within the live chat). While the competition on YouTube Gaming can be intense, the potential reach and monetization make it a viable choice for PS4 streamers.
Mixer, owned by Microsoft, is a streaming platform that distinguishes itself with unique features aimed at enhancing viewer-streamer interaction. Although Microsoft discontinued Mixer in 2020, it still serves as an excellent example of the innovative features a streaming platform can offer, and existing Mixer partners and streamers were directed to Facebook Gaming, which we’ll discuss later.
Mixer was renowned for its ‘Faster Than Light’ (FTL) technology, which ensured almost zero-delay streams. This meant that interactions between streamers and viewers were near real-time, creating a more dynamic and engaging live experience. Mixer also introduced ‘Skills’, a feature that allowed viewers to interact with streams using stickers, effects, and rallies.
Despite its discontinuation, Mixer’s legacy lives on as it influenced other platforms to prioritize streamer-viewer interaction and low-latency streaming. Many of its community and partners have migrated to other platforms, bringing with them the interactive spirit that defined Mixer.
DLive is a relatively new player in the game streaming world, but it has rapidly gained traction due to its innovative approach to monetization and community building. DLive is a blockchain-based platform, which means it offers a decentralized network where profits and rewards are distributed more evenly among content creators and viewers.
DLive operates without taking a platform cut from streamers’ earnings, which is a significant departure from the industry norm. This app also has a rewarding system where both viewers and streamers earn ‘LINO points’ (the platform’s virtual currency) for various activities on the platform, enhancing user engagement.
Additionally, DLive places a heavy emphasis on community engagement. With features like ‘Chat Gifts,’ where viewers can send animated gifts in the chat, and regular contests and events for streamers, DLive has cultivated a supportive and active community. For PS4 streamers interested in an alternative, decentralized platform, DLive is a fascinating choice to explore.
5. Facebook Gaming
Facebook Gaming is a major contender in the game streaming market, leveraging Facebook’s colossal user base and social networking capabilities. It presents an attractive option for PS4 streamers, given its integration with Facebook’s social features, enabling easy sharing and discovery of your streaming content.
Facebook Gaming offers various features to boost streamer-viewer interaction. These include Fan Subscriptions, Stars (virtual gifts from viewers that convert into money), and interactive live polls. Streamers also have the option to form ‘Gaming Groups’ for their fanbase, enhancing community building.
Monetization on Facebook Gaming is also quite diverse. Streamers can earn through Fan Subscriptions, Ads, and Stars. The platform also runs a ‘Level Up Program’ that provides streamers with advanced features and monetization tools once they meet certain criteria. With its blend of social networking and streaming features, Facebook Gaming can be a potent tool for PS4 streamers looking to grow their audience.
With the advancement of technology, gamers can now expand their horizons and enjoy Xbox games on their iPhone and iPad devices, opening up a whole new level of gaming experience.
Niconico is a streaming platform popular in Japan, but it has been gaining recognition worldwide. For PS4 streamers, it can be a unique platform to tap into, especially if you’re interested in connecting with a Japanese gaming audience.
Niconico provides an interesting feature where viewers’ comments float across the screen, tied to a specific playback time. This creates an immersive and interactive viewing experience, though it may take some time for new users to get accustomed to it.
As for monetization, Niconico’s ‘Premium Service’ offers an ad-free viewing experience, priority access to live streams, and other benefits for a monthly fee. While a portion of these earnings goes to the streamers, it’s worth noting that Niconico may not be as lucrative as other platforms. However, for PS4 streamers looking to reach a unique audience, it’s an option worth considering.
Trovo is a game streaming platform developed by Tencent, aiming to provide a balanced and sustainable ecosystem for streamers, viewers, and advertisers. Trovo offers PS4 users a unique space to broadcast their gameplay, interact with viewers, and earn rewards.
Trovo provides a wealth of features, including interactive stickers, subscriber badges, and the ability to co-stream with other users. Streamers can also form ‘guilds’ with their fans, further enhancing the sense of community.
In terms of monetization, Trovo offers a ‘Partner Program’ with various levels, each providing a higher percentage of subscription and gift revenue. The platform also runs a ‘Trovo 500 Program’ which is a substantial monthly incentive program for eligible streamers. Trovo, with its balanced approach to streaming, presents a unique platform for PS4 streamers to consider.
8. Steam Link
Although not a traditional streaming platform like the others, Steam Link is worth mentioning as it offers a distinct way for PS4 users to stream. Steam Link allows users to stream their Steam games from their PC to their PS4, effectively broadening their gaming and streaming choices.
The key advantage of Steam Link is the ability to play and stream PC-exclusive games on your PS4. This is particularly appealing for those who want to enjoy PC games but prefer the comfort and convenience of a console setup.
While Steam Link doesn’t offer the same community and monetization features as the other platforms discussed, it’s a valuable tool for expanding your gaming repertoire. Remember, you can still broadcast your Steam Link gameplay to other platforms using capture cards and streaming software, making it a powerful addition to your streaming setup.
Plex is a media server app that allows you to stream your movies, music, and other media from your computer to your PS4. Although Plex is not specifically a gaming streaming app, it’s worth considering for PS4 users who want a comprehensive streaming solution for all types of media.
Plex offers an organized and visually appealing interface where you can easily navigate and stream your content. It automatically fetches metadata for your media, providing detailed descriptions and artwork.
While Plex lacks the gaming community and interactivity of dedicated game streaming platforms, it’s an excellent tool for PS4 users who want to stream other media types, making it a versatile addition to your streaming arsenal.
Other Noteworthy PS4 Streaming Apps to Consider
While the streaming apps we’ve covered represent some of the most popular and innovative choices, it’s worth noting a few other platforms that PS4 users may find appealing. Caffeine, a platform focused on social broadcasting, allows you to stream directly from your PS4 with minimal delay and a strong emphasis on social interaction. Smashcast, born from the merger of Azubu and Hitbox, is another option known for its user-friendly interface and rewarding program for streamers.
Another app to consider is Mobcrush, which offers multi-platform streaming. This means you can broadcast your gameplay simultaneously across several platforms, a valuable feature for streamers aiming to reach the broadest possible audience.
Choosing the best streaming app for your PS4 can seem daunting, given the wealth of options available. However, by understanding the unique features, communities, and monetization opportunities each platform offers, you can find the one that aligns best with your streaming goals and personal preferences.
Remember, the best streaming app is not necessarily the one with the most users or the most features. It’s the one that fits your needs, matches your gaming style, and offers the right tools to build and engage your community. Whether you’re a casual gamer looking to share your gameplay with friends or an aspiring streamer aiming to build a career, there’s a PS4 streaming app out there that’s perfect for you.