A Twitch streamer’s dream setup can vary from person to person, but almost every streamer would include multiple monitors as part of their hardware fantasy. Multiple monitors mean a lot more breathing room for handling the behind-the-scenes of a stream. There’s not a single streamer who would shrug at having more space to work from.

However, monitors don’t grow on trees last I checked. They might, I just haven’t seen anything like that before.

When you’re first starting off in the world of streaming, a single monitor may be your sole display to broadcast from. But how does a streamer both present their content to the world and keep up with their audience from just one monitor? I’m glad to say that the solution isn’t hard to come by. All you need is your friends at Gaming Careers to show you how it’s done! Today we’ll be looking at how you can set up a Twitch Chat In-Game Overlay to solve all your single monitor streaming problems!

Video Guide

As with all of our guides, below I have included a full video tutorial if that is your preferred method of learning.

Restream Chat

Restream is a service that I covered earlier this year and I’m glad I get to share it with you again. Why? Because not too many free services allow you to stream to over 30 different platforms at once. That raises an eyebrow, doesn’t it?

But today, we’re going to be looking at Restream’s new companion application, Restream Chat. It’s through this application that we’ll be able to overlay our Twitch chat on top of the game we’re streaming. Better yet, it’s all presented in a transparent window that stays above your content no matter where or how sporadic your mouse clicks may get. I’m talking to you, Genji mains.

Download Desktop Chat

Follow this link to Restream’s website. Use the grey banner on the top of the page to download the “Desktop Chat” version of Restream Chat. After a short setup process, you should find yourself looking at the login window.

If you’re already a Restream user, log in. If not, use the “Sign Up” link on the login window to get registered (it’s free!). Once you’re logged in, click the drop-down icon in the top left.

Twitch Chat In Game - 1

Again, if you’ve been using Restream to stream in the past, what follows should be a list of all the channels you’ve already entered into Restream. For others, this list may be completely empty.

If it is empty, a quick trip to your dashboard on Restream.io is what’s needed. Fill out your connected accounts with as many of your Streaming channels as you’d like. Return to the drop-down in the top left once you’ve added at least one of your channels into Restream.

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We’ll obviously get to putting our new chat box to the test. But before we do, let’s quickly jump into the settings found within the telltale gear icon in the top right. Then into the “Appearance” tab.

Keeping up Appearances

Now, I know I promised you a transparent chat box that will always stay on top of other windows. And currently, you have a non-transparent chat box that sinks below other windows the moment you click onto something else.

You may be thinking, “Pete, did you lie to us? Why have you betrayed me so?”

I promise you, the only time I lie is when someone asks about the Ed Sheeran poster on my wall and I quickly tell them it belonged to the previous tenant. Through the “Appearance” tab, we’ll get this chat box looking just right.

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First things first, the topmost option that says “Window always on top” needs to be checked. Just like that, Restream Chat will always be at the top of whatever else you’ve got open.

Just below that option, you’ll see the box for “Enable Transparency”. Check that box and travel down to the bottom of the “Appearances” tab. You’ll find your opacity sliders for both the window and the actual Twitch messages that will appear. Tinker with these options until you’re happy with the transparency of your window and the messages. Keep in mind that you’ll probably return here to change these sliders in the future as you transition from game to game.

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NOTE: I usually keep my window opacity around 1-10% and I keep my message opacity set around 40-60%.

Advanced Options

While the two topmost options are the most important for what we’re covering today, a Twitch streamer like yourself may want to know more about what other options are found within the “Appearance” tab. Let’s run through those options while we’re here.

  • “Use GPU” forces the application to overlay using the GPU. I’ve personally had more issues enabling this than leaving it disabled. Keep that box unchecked.
  • “Show in taskbar” means just that! You’ll be able to see the Restream Chat icon in the taskbar. Turn this off if you’d like, but I keep that box checked. I’m not a fan of phantom programs. That’s how you get hauntings. And ants.
  • “Show viewers counter” is a useful option to keep on top of how many people are watching you. A number is shown next to the eye icon at the top of the window. This counts up all the people watching your stream across your various channels in Restream. Good info to have at a glance, no?

Click Through Mode

Lastly, “Click-through mode” is a handy way of allowing yourself to actually use the chat window instead of just viewing it. Without a button assigned, the chat isn’t interactive. This means you won’t accidentally click on the chat while you’re playing your game. When you assign a button to this feature, you’ll be able to use that button to then respond to Twitch chats or re-position the chat window.

For the concerned readers, there’s not a huge difference between running a game in Fullscreen compared to Borderless Windowed mode. Usually, the way these two modes run the game won’t make a single, noticeable change for you or your viewers.

Full Screen Borderless Window

Boot up your game of choice so we can see how your Twitch Chat In-Game Overlay looks when it’s floating above the content you’re going to stream. Well? How’s it look?

“Pete, you’ve lied to me again. Why must you play these evil games upon my soul?”

Right, right, there is one last thing I should tell you and it’s kind of a biggie.

Whatever game you’re going to stream, you’ll need to make sure that the game is running in Windowed or Borderless Windowed mode. As most games are set to run in Fullscreen as a default, this is something you’ll probably have to change for the Restream Chatbox to actually appear.

For the concerned readers, there’s not a huge difference between running a game in Fullscreen compared to Borderless Windowed mode. There may be a tiny performance benefit depending on the game engine. But usually the way these two modes run the game won’t make a single, noticeable change for you or your viewers. Most every game will have this mode available within its video options.

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After that’s taken care of, you should be able to see your Restream Chat appearing above your game! Pretty neat, right?

Remember, as you play, you won’t have to worry about accidentally clicking on this chat box and sending a string of random keystrokes out as a message to your viewers. If ever you do want to send a message or even change the settings of the chat box while in-game. You’ll just need to hold down your assigned key for Click-through mode and the chat box becomes fully interactive.

The Dual Monitor Dream

The streamer’s dream of having a battlestation that looks like something out of Mr. Robot is always there to fuel the fire of your craft. One day, it’s not a dream and you’ve got a multi-monitor setup that others aspire to have. Until then, whether the budget must grow before you can acquire another monitor. Or you genuinely love the clean, consolidated feel of having everything on one screen. Restream Chat can help you make use of every pixel you’ve got.

Gear - Studio Setup 2