How to Watch Twitch on a Chromebook (Beginner’s Guide)

If you’re buying a Chromebook for you or your kids to watch their favorite streamer on Twitch, or you’re buying one for yourself, there’s not much to consider because the majority of these laptops will work.

Yes, I know most people already know how to get on Twitch and use it in with their hands tied behind their back. In their sleep.

But there are some folks who’ve never used a Chromebook, aren’t too techy, plan to buy one for someone else, or are unsure if they’re able to even handle Twitch- whether it’s for themselves or for their kids.

If that’s you, you’re the target audience for this guide! Congrats!

(Even if you’re already a Twitch viewing master, you COULD still get some value out of the third-party apps if you don’t already use them.)

A lot of people are still unfamiliar with Chromebooks and may be wondering what’s the “best” one for Twitch or other entertainment purposes. Or if they can even handle streaming video.

We’ll get all your answers answered in this guide! If you still have questions, post a comment and let me know!

Watching Twitch is easy. Here’s how to do it with a Chromebook.

Use the website

genius GIF
T1 shows off his power. (Giphy.)

The most popular way is to just go to the site and watch it there.

If you’re buying a Chromebook for your kid or plan to use it just for entertainment (Steam, Kodi, Plex), it should be able to handle web streaming players without any problems.

These machines are quite versatile and can pretty much run anything through the browser built on modern code that doesn’t have crazy dependencies- such as Twitch.

You don’t need to download or install anything. Just watch it through Chrome. Not EVERYTHING needs to be done through an app.

Web browsers still exist. Use them. I doubt any model you purchase will make a huge difference in watching content on Twitch.

Head on over to Twitch and you’re done. Chrome is well optimized for it and even if you have a potato

Chromebook that’s old and outdated, it should still be able to stream Twitch without any problems. Viewing web content doesn’t need any powerful dedicated GPU (which Chromebooks lack), so you should be fine.

If you get stuttering, lag, or errors, read on for troubleshooting solutions.

Use the Twitch app

Twitch Logo GIF - Twitch Logo AnimatedText GIFs
The app makes everything easier. (Tenor.)

Twitch has its official apps for all major platforms. If you keep getting errors when you watch or it lags like crazy, try the apps.

You can use the Twitch Play Store app to help smooth out playback. Some people reported that they instantly got smoother playback once they ran Twitch through the app instead of Chrome.

So it may work for you too.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Launch Google Play.
  • Download the Twitch viewer and install it.
  • Launch the app and view your favorite streamer as usual.
  • It should work without any issues and you may fix a lot of the common errors like Error 2000 or Error 3000.

Note: You need a Chromebook with the Play Store for this to work. If you don’t, you can use a Chrome extension, which is covered later on this page. You should notice that it smooths out performance also.

Or use a third-party app

Twitch alternative apps.
Twitch apps come in many different flavors.

There are a lot of apps that enhance your Twitch viewing pleasure made by individuals or small companies. These apps don’t just a pretty background or let you customize your player.

They also help improve performance by cutting out things you don’t need, like chat or clutter on the screen.

Some will even improve loading times when you fly through Twitch, believe it or not.

By removing elements on the site, your Chromebook has less to load which can magically fix specific issues you may behaving.

Whether it’s lag, stuttering, or you just want to disable all those streams you’re just not interested in watching, you can do it through an app! We’ll cover some of the best Twitch companion apps in a later section.

Common errors on Twitch

Watching Twitch on a Chromebook.
Error 2000? MonkaW. (Tenor.)

Getting problems while trying to enjoy your favorite streamer get showered with Bits?

Fix it with these troubleshooting tips for common errors on Twitch.

Buffering, lag, loading, spinner icon, etc.

Turning down the stream quality will help reduce buffering nearly 100% of the time. 75% of the time.

If you have a slow WiFi connection, reducing stream quality will smooth it out.

Twitch will prompt you to adjust it if it detects lag. You can follow the prompts to lower the quality.

You can also do it manually by clicking on the options at the bottom corner of the screen and then turning down the stream quality. This is the easiest way to fix buffering, but it assumes that your WiFi speed, connection strength, available RAM, etc. is all good.

3000 error

The 3000 error isn’t as common as the 2000 error, but it’s still a common issue reported by Chrome users. It reads:

3000: Media resource decoding error

If you’re getting this on Chrome OS, here’s how to fix it:

  • Clear your browsing data
  • Delete cookies and other cache data (“CTRL + H” > Delete cookies and other site data)
  • Enabled third-party cookies on Twitch (Tick “Always allow Twitch to set cookies”)
  • Disable hardware acceleration on Chrome (Chrome > Settings > Advanced > Use hardware acceleration when available)
  • Turn off ad blockers or other extensions that could be conflicting (or use Guest mode login)
  • Try using Twitch in incognito mode
  • Use the Twitch app instead
  • Alternatively, use the Play Store app

2000 error

This is the most common error you’ll see on Twitch. It says:

2000 Network Error

Try the following to fix it:

Check your connection speed

If the stream is choppy, it’s either your connection, the streamer’s connection, or Twitch’s servers.

The only thing you can do anything about is your connection strength. Test it on SpeedTest and see what download speeds you’re getting. Upload doesn’t matter unless you’re streaming.

You don’t need much to watch a stream in full 1080p 60FPS (even though Chromebooks Displays top out at 30FPS). If your DL speed is at least 10Mbps, it should be good.

If not, find out how to improve your WiFi signal on a Chromebook. It’s easy!

Update your Chromebook

Updating your device will get you the latest updates, patches, security fixes, UI enhancements, and of course, performance improvements. Make sure you update your Chromebook regularly to get these.

It downloads updates automatically, but you need to do a full reset to actually perform the update.

Enhancing your experience

Best Twitch extensions for Chromebook.
Elevate it. (Tenor.)

There are a TON of user-created extensions that can do everything from speeding up load times to tracking your favorite streamers.

You can even remove annoying streamers from the home page that you’re tired of seeing show up in the sidebar.

Here are a few of the best Twitch apps to improve performance and UI.

Alternate Player for Twitch.tv

As bland as the name sounds, this extension is used by over 100K people.

After installing it, the first thing you’ll notice is blazing speeds upon page loads. The extension can be fine-tuned to your WiFi speed and set to match it. This means less buffering during video playback.

You can also watch an instant replay of up to 1 minute of the live stream.

It also comes with a built-in ad blocker, audio-only mode (for background noise), auto chest opener for chat points, and even lets you change the size and position of the chat when in full-screen mode.

If you don’t care for chatting, you can completely disable the chat box which helps improve system resources (this can speed up your Chromebook).

Additionally, you can adjust the volume on the fly by using your MMB on an external mouse, change the player’s theme, change audio output, change the player size, and other QoL announcements that you wish were built into Twitch by default.

It’s free and highly rated, so it’s an easy way to speed up Twitch on low-end machines like Chromebooks which don’t have the best hardware performance.

You can get it here.

BetterTTV

AKA “BTTV.” This is a Chrome extension that helps add new features to the site. You can unlock extra emoticons, highlight words or phrases automatically, add words to a banlist, split chat lines, see deleted messages, or even join a chat without showing up in the user list of current chatters.

It’s the most popular extension in the community with nearly 10K reviews and 5M users.

Once you try it out, you’ll never use Twitch again without out. It gets regular updates and fixes are done in hours, not days. It lets you customize your Twitch and how you want to watch it.

Elevate your experience on Twitch with it. It’s free to use so why not?

Check it on the Chrome Web Store.

Twitch Fullscreen Plus

This extension lets you adjust the size of your chat and its position while viewing the content on full screen.

It’s similar to Alternate Player in that sense, but it doesn’t have all the other features. If this is all you care about, then use this instead to reduce feature bloat.

Resize, move chat, and change background opacity and color while watching in full screen with chat overlay.

I think this should be built into Twitch by default. Check out Fullscreen Plus.

Twitch Now

Twitch Now is a simple extension that lets you track your favorite streamers even when you’re not on Twitch.

You just click the extension in Chrome and then you can see a popup window that shows who’s playing what, who’s online, and get a notification when they do go live.

From there, you can jump to the actual stream directly by clicking on it. It saves you time from manually checking Twitch. You can basically use Twitch anywhere on the web.

It tells you what they’re playing, current viewer counts and lets you quickly filter through your list if you have a lot of creators you watch by searching.

Now you can take Twitch anywhere with you.

Check out Twitch Now.

Twitch Tracker

Similar to Twitch Now, this one also notifies you when a stream goes online.

It’s simpler and has a cleaner UI. It doesn’t store any personal info according to the description. It also doesn’t access sensitive data

No tracking, ads, or data collection. Plus it’s free. This is a Twitch app for those worried about privacy.

Check it out.

Unwanted Twitch

The opposite of your favorite streamer is your favorite streamer.

Now you can hide them entirely from ever popping up on Twitch with Unwanted Twitch!

Use this extension so you can harness the power of filters.

You can hide everything from specific channels to games to entire categories. It also lets you block specific tags, titles, videos, clips, frontpage content, discover content, and following lists.

Get rid of annoying streamers with Unwanted Twitch.

Global Twitch Emotes

Pretty random. It replaces Twitch phrases everywhere online with Twitch emotes. So you can Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube with Twitch emotes I guess.

Download and install it here.

Streaming on Twitch

Believe it or not, some people have successfully gotten a Twitch stream going using their Chromebooks, like this person:

Chrome OS doesn’t play well with streaming software, so you’ll need Linux to do it. Or you use it as a secondary computer for stream previewing.

You can even hook it up to your TV as a large external display.

You may be interested in these peripherals if you want to try streaming:

Other things you can do with a Chromebook

If you want to get the most out of your laptop, here are some other guides that may be worth checking out:

Best Chromebooks for streaming content

If you plan to purhcase a Chromebook as an enterinment hub, there are arguably some models that excel at it cmpared to others.

Whether it’s for you or someone else, you’ll want to focus on these hardware specifics:

Screen resolution (how sharp the image/video is). Aim for at least 720P or 1080P for full HD. 1080P is arguably the standard nowadays on laptops and the majority of Twitch streams, YouTube videos, etc.

See this list of models with high resolution screens.

A larger screen. This is up to you. If you plan to use it in bed or lying on the couch, then a smaller screen would be preferred so it doesn’t crush you from the weight.

But if it’s on a desk or table, then a larger screen may be worth it so you don’t have to squint your eyes to enjoy it. Larger screens also provide more immersion in my opinion no matter what you’re watching online.

Check out some of the big screen Chromebooks.

A convertible. Some Chromebooks convert from laptop to tablet and an in between mode called “tent” where it can stand up on its own. Think of it like it a built-in stand to prop it up. This can be handy if you’re always traveling and you can enjoy content in a variety of positions.

See this guide for some of the most popular convertible Chromebooks.

Plenty of RAM/CPU. For those unfamiliar with clock speeds, graphical processing units (GPU), random access memory, storage space, central processing units, or any of that other lingo, you’ll want to find a Chromebook that has a decent spec sheet.

Just like a car’s engine, the CPU/RAM of a Chromebook will make the biggest impact on streaming content. Whether you’re watching live streams, listening to music, browsing your socials, or just doing some work, these metrics matter.

To keep it simple, CPU will affect how quickly your Chromebook processes tasks. RAM will affect how many simulatneous programs/apps you can run.

If you have a weak CPU but plenty of RAM, you’ll be able to multitask albeit slowly.

If you have little RAM but a powerful CPU, you’ll be able to do specific tasks quickly while running multiple things slows down your Chromebook.

If you have neither, it’ll make a great paperweight.

So aim for a decent CPU and at least 4GB of RAM. Look for Intel i3 or i5 for the CPU or higher. Pentium and Celeron work, but they’re budget-grade. The MediaTek and Rockchip CPUs are also excellent. This is where you’ll want to do some research and read some reviews before you buy. You can also post a comment on this page and I’ll help you out.

See a list of some of the best Chromebooks for entertainment.

Note: Chromebooks don’t have GPUs, so don’t worry about them. They would be handy for video content, but you can’t have everything.

Watching Twitch is easy!

Overheat laptop meme.
Heat generation destroys more computers than accidental slime kits spills. (Memegenerator.)

There’s nothing you need to do to view Twitch. It’s as easy as watching videos on YouTube. Just head over to the site and you’re done.

If it doesn’t work or you get constant errors or lag, then use the Twitch app for an alternative way to do it.

If you’re having issues, leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out.

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (check the "Contact Us" page).
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