As a Twitch streamer, one of the most challenging tasks is to give your channel the right dose of branding and aesthetics and make it much more recognizable and pleasant to look at for the audience.
The best way to do this is by using a Twitch overlay, and if you still don’t have one or are looking for an upgrade from your current overlay, you’ve come to the right place.
This guide covers everything you need to know about Twitch overlays, including the top, free choices for both new and experienced streamers, so without further ado, let’s get right into it.
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What Are Stream Overlays?
By definition, an overlay is a graphic that’s placed over your video feed and serves multiple purposes, such as better branding, improved looks, and adding emphasis to important notifications and elements, like episode titles, for example.
If your Twitch channel has a specific theme, the best way to make that into a notable and successful brand is by completing it with a matching overlay.
For example, Shroud, one of the world’s most popular Twitch streamers, has a blue-themed overlay that matches the other elements on his channel, including his partnership with Logitech.
S1mple, another very popular CS:GO professional eSports athlete and Twitch streamer, has a yellow overlay that matches his membership in the NAVI organization.
Both examples are successful broadcasters who built their channel’s branding the right way, up to the point where simply stumbling upon the color used in their overlay immediately reminds users of their stream.
Twitch overlays are also more than just about improving aesthetics.
They also help the viewer “scan” the screen more efficiently and find the right information they require without much effort. Overlays also help the streamer make their face-cam box stand out more from the rest of the content shown on screen, as well as make subscriber notifications, donations and chat messages look more appealing.
They can also be used to display featured or top comments during podcasts, talk shows, display polls, or giveaway results.
Needless to say, there are many benefits of using a Twitch overlay for your channel, and if you’re in need of one, we’ve prepared a list of the best free Twitch overlays you can download and start using in no time.
Let’s take a look.
Canva is one of the most popular online platforms for creative purposes, and it especially stands out in the Twitch overlay category.
Even if you have no designer knowledge or experience, Canva is still the right place for you to find or create a free Twitch overlay for your channel.
Users are free to choose templates or start from scratch and design their own Twitch stream overlay using the Canva editor.
For more information on how to use it, take a look at this official video from the Canva team explaining the process from beginning to end.
If you don’t want to design the overlay by yourself, Canva’s filters make it easy for users to browse the existing templates, their system includes really helpful sorting categories such as gaming-themed, modern, minimalist, illustration, and more.
Overall, we’re really satisfied with what this platform offers to both streamers with and without any designing experience, and we recommend it as a starting point when you’re looking for a free Twitch overlay.
If you’re looking for animated twitch overlays, ones with a premium look and at the same time are easy to install, Nerd Or Die is the right place to be at.
This is a popular platform that helped many Twitch streamers find the right overlay for their channel, and it could be of great help to you as well.
Nerd Or Die features both free and paid Twitch overlays, and all products listed are compatible with the most popular streaming software, such as OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit, as well as Twitch’s desktop app (Twitch Studio).
You can also use the same overlays for Facebook and YouTube gaming streams if you happen to be an active broadcaster on multiple platforms.
This platform often features sales and events, meaning if you visit often, you may run into a cool discount for some of your favorite premium overlays. Until then, though, there are plenty without a price tag to choose from, including free animated overlays as well!
Besides the hundreds of free Twitch overlays available on it, this platform is special for a different reason.
It’s the industry’s first fully web-based overlay service for popular streaming platforms, including Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube.
For those unfamiliar with the term above, a web-based overlay service means you won’t have to download and edit any files on your end when looking to add one of the overlays from Strexm to your broadcast. All you have to do is copy the overlay’s URL and paste it into your broadcasting software of choice, such as OBS or XSplit.
You can see how it all works in the official Strexm showcase video below:
Also, the thing we like the most about this platform is that you’re not required to spend any time creating accounts but can instead just connect to it with your Twitch account in just a few clicks.
Last but not least, if you feel creative and want to design your own overlay instead of using a pre-built template, you can use the Strexm editor, which allows importing different widgets, alerts, images, and much more, all to help you come up with the best overlay for your channel.
Free or premium, Strexm has quality templates that are worth checking out.
Streamplay is another very useful platform for free Twitch stream overlays, and it’s really helpful for both beginners and users with some streaming and designing knowledge.
The reason for this is that each download on this platform includes the .psd file that you can open in Adobe Photoshop and modify if needed.
For those looking to test things out and try different overlays until they find the right combination of elements, this website is probably the best place to start.
If you’re looking for something ready out of the box, Streamplay has premium Twitch overlays, both animated and static, that come in full packages with animations, alert sounds, and more. You can also find different types of transitions and much more on this useful streamer resource website.
Gael Level is a YouTuber popular amongst the streaming community for the helpful tips and tutorials he provides to many broadcasters, both who are just starting and experienced ones as well.
Most of his content is pro tips for improving your stream’s quality in many different ways, and we wholeheartedly recommend his videos if you’re looking to do the same.
When it comes to Twitch overlays, the good news is that the designs Gael Level creates in his videos are also available for download on his website.
Some are free, but the ones you have to pay for have a very low, symbolic price that will not set you back at all. Most of the free templates also come with the PSD file, allowing you to fully customize the elements for your channel’s needs.
Take a look at the video below to learn more about Gael Level’s work and hopefully find your future Twitch channel template.
The showcase videos also come with helpful step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to do the edits on your end in case you wish to modify the look of some elements.
Overall, a great source of information and free Twitch overlay templates.
With that said, you now know some of the best sources for both static and animated Twitch overlay templates.
If you are still considering whether or not you need a Twitch overlay for your channel, we recommend looking into the many benefits or at least testing an overlay on your live broadcast to receive feedback from your audience. We guarantee the comments will be positive!