xChocoBars, Valkyrae and Dakotaz as their favourite Fortnite characters

How to become a better Fortnite streamer

© Dan Evans

Top Fortnite streamers Dakotaz, xChocoBars and Valkyrae tell us what you need to do to grow your audience.

Fortnite is easily the biggest game on Twitch right now, destroying the likes of League Of Legends and PUBG when it comes to the sheer amount of hours watched.

The likes of Ninja and our Fortnite streamer poll winner Dakotaz are leading the charge, breaking streaming records and entertaining fans. As the game continues to grow, more people are getting in on the act – even West Ham United centre-back Declan Rice is streaming Fortnite as we type.

So if you’re streaming Epic Games’ huge battle royale game or just starting out with Twitch and want to improve your channel, what should you do? Well, we went right to the top and asked Dakotaz, xChocoBars and Valkyrae for their advice. They explained how they got started, gave us some top tips for growing an audience and told us about their favourite Twitch moments so far.

xChocoBars

An illustration of xChocobars in Fortnite's red dinosaur skin
xChocoBars in the red dinosaur skin

How did you get into streaming?

I had a friend who was pretty big on Twitch. It looked pretty easy to stream, so I just set it up. I wanted to give it a go because it looked fun and I wanted people to watch me play and make them laugh at my silly jokes.

I started it as a hobby – it didn’t feel like it was a job or anything. I just streamed whenever I wanted to, because I was still in school and it was just a getaway for me. If I was stressed, I would just turn on my streaming button and it would destress me and I would play some games and laugh with the community.

What’s more important – being good at the game you are playing or having a unique personality?

You need to be good, because no one wants to watch you die all the time.xChocoBars

It's a bit of both. There are lots of really good Fortnite players, but when they stream I feel like there’s something lacking there. Maybe they’re not interacting or talking much while they are playing.

You need to be good, because no one wants to watch you die all the time. But personality is super important, too – if you are really good at the game, but you are not entertaining, they are not going to stay just because you’re good.

What’s the best way to grow an audience and keep people coming back to your streams?

Social media is super important. When I first started streaming I posted on my Facebook page and I had, like, 25 viewers, which was pretty good for someone who had just started. I would just continue posting when I was live on my social media, and then while people are watching me, I can say: “Hey, don’t forget to follow my channel”. So the next time I go live, they get a notification. Social media is super important. Collabing with other streamers as well is a good way to get your name out there. But definitely social media.

Should you watch what other people are doing with Fortnite? Or are you more concerned about being authentic?

Myth is a good player and I learn a lot from himxChocoBars

The only things I ever really look for is the quality of their streams. Production value – like microphones, how their webcam looks, how their gameplay looks. Another thing I do like to watch is professional players. For example, Myth is a good player and I learn a lot from him, and that helps me to play better. Other than that, I try to be myself – I don’t really look at other streamers to try to change my personality, just how to up my quality.

Fortnite is quite oversaturated. Do you have any advice for people who want to stand out as a streamer and find their own niche?

Yeah, it is super-hard to climb over that big wall, because it is heavily saturated right now. I’d say collabing with another streamer or keep doing your own thing and, again, being consistent with your schedule, posting on social media when you’re live. If you are yourself and you make funny plays, people might clip you and something cool from your stream might end up on a Reddit post or a YouTube video. So, just keep being you and hopefully someone will notice.

What has been your favourite moment from streaming so far?

This is very recent, but my community made a 30-minute video telling me how much they appreciate me. And then they sent me a bunch of letters, each written by one of them, and then some fan art that I have posted behind me now. It was mind-blowing and it made me cry. It is definitely my favourite moment of streaming.

Watch xChocoBars on Twitch and YouTube

Dakotaz

Dakotaz as the Snorkel Ops with the T-Rex backpack
Dakotaz as the Snorkel Ops with the T-Rex backpack

How did you get into streaming?

When I first started streaming back in 2012 the whole idea of streaming was so new – there weren’t alert pops-ups, or careers to be made in this life. You just threw on a cam and a stream and had fun with anyone who would watch. Now it's turned into this huge empire that is mind-blowing. So, I just got started by my friend telling me to throw up my stream so my friends could watch me play. His name is Poom (Mitch)! Big shout out to him for getting me started.

Why did Fortnite appeal to you?

The building system – I loved the idea that if someone attacked you, you could just throw down defences and recover from it... But then there was more – you could actually use it offensively and it just hooked me with that.

Do you have any advice on how to grow an audience or keep people engaged?

Get active on Reddit and Twitter with your clipsDakotaz

The best advice for growing audience is to think outside of the box, get active on Reddit and Twitter with your clips – also do random squads/duos and if you guys win or have good games, invite that person to your stream. Who knows how many people stick around after those? It’s a bonding experience!

What is your favourite moment or clip from your time streaming Fortnite?

My favourite moment from streaming has to be my first rocket ride – the thought that you could do this blew everyone's mind and it happened by accident. That's when I knew this game was going to be something special.

Catch Dakotaz on Twitch and YouTube

Valkyrae

Valkyrae likes playing in the Elite Agent skin
Valkyrae likes playing in the Elite Agent skin

How did you get into streaming?

It is actually kind of crazy. I didn’t even know what Twitch was before the day I started it. I was working at GameStop and I had a couple of other jobs as well – just grinding and raising up for college and stuff – and I started up an Instagram gaming page where I was just posting games I was excited about, my retro consoles, games I was currently playing. That page kind of blew up and people were telling me: 'Hey, you should try streaming on Twitch live.' So, I did and eventually I quit all of my jobs and I’ve just been doing it full-time for three years now.

What first steps should people who are starting out take?

The first steps would be to upgrade and invest in all of your equipment. Streaming is definitely an investment and it is really hard to watch a stream that is low quality or when the mic is very bad. You’ve got to have good internet, too. That would be my biggest thing. And also, being active on all social media. Put yourself out there so people can discover you.

Do you have any tips for standing out? Or growing a following?

I truly believe that there is an audience for everybody – it’s just a matter of getting discovered and having those people find you. There’s people that like quieter streams. There’s people that have webcams or don’t have webcams. You don’t have to be pro. Obviously being a pro helps – people like watching professional gameplay, but you can be an entertainer, too.

The biggest advice I give to people when they want to put themselves out there in streaming is to truly just be yourself, because it’s exhausting being something you’re not and when it comes to streaming you’ve got to grind. You’ve got to put in time and effort to get that thing to grow.

As for standing out, you could try having creative overlays or alerts or unique emotes, or kind of like a gimmick I guess. I just think the biggest thing is getting yourself out there and noticed.

You also post on YouTube as well. Is it important to have that edited content to entice people over to streams?

I started posting YouTube content with Fortnite and it makes a huge differenceValkyrae

I’ve been streaming for almost four years now and that’s the one thing I regret the most – not posting YouTube content right away. I just started doing it with Fortnite and it makes a huge difference. That’s how people discover you. The thing with YouTube as well is that it’s permanent. Those videos will be up there forever – until you delete them, of course.

And you never know, that one person that will just fall in love with you and your content could stumble across that one video and start watching your livestreams. It’s just very important to get that content out there and solidified on YouTube.

Valkyrae says YouTube has helped her Twitch stream
Valkyrae says YouTube has helped her Twitch stream

Have you had any favourite moments from your time streaming?

Oh yes. There are so many great things that have come with streaming Fortnite in particular. This game is so worldwide that my community has grown four-fold. I think the biggest thing is just being an inspiration. I have a lot of people tell me, 'You’re my inspiration for Fortnite. You’re my inspiration for being a streamer.' It’s just really heartwarming knowing that people actually enjoy watching me, even though I’m not a professional. Just being an inspiration to a lot of people is definitely the best part about it.

Check out Valykrae on Twitch and YouTube

Illustrations by Dan Evans. Check out more of his work here.

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