What is stream sniping?

Game sabotage is illegal.

Screengrab via Ninja

If you’ve spent any amount of time watching a streamer on Twitch play a multiplayer game, there’s a chance you’ve heard them complain about something called “stream sniping.”

For those who have never went live and broadcasted their gameplay to the internet, this can be a confusing term. But when a streamer is complaining about being “sniped,” it’s not because there’s a strong enemy player with a sniper rifle on the other team.

Here’s what stream sniping is and why streamers are so annoyed by it.

What is “stream sniping” on Twitch?

The act of stream sniping is using someone’s live broadcast to gain information to sabotage the streamer.

The type of information that can be gained from watching someone’s stream is wide. But most of the time, this means that players will try to queue up into the same matches as streamers and defeat them—for whatever reason.

Hearthstone streamers like Octavian “Kripparrian” Morosan and Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang made videos exposing entire stream sniper clans that try to sabotage their streams and matches.

In a game like Hearthstone, watching someone’s stream will give a litany of information, such as what kind of cards they have, what they plan to play next, and more. This gives the “stream sniper” an unfair advantage.

Stream sniping in other games, like Call of Duty: Warzone or Fortnite, will give the sniper information such as where the player is landing, what their current gear situation is, and more.

In some games, stream sniping is against the terms of service, which means you could face penalties such as suspensions or bans for partaking in the activity, so think twice before trying to take down your favorite streamer.

Stream snipers are a bane to content creators. Usually, their sole purpose is to hunt down the streamer and ruin their match, and in turn, ruin the stream.