The Rise of NPC Streamers: Let’s look at this Bizarre TikTok Trend

I thought nothing else could shock me when it came to TikTok, but then I witnessed an NPC streamer. And here I am, yet again,…


I thought nothing else could shock me when it came to TikTok, but then I witnessed an NPC streamer. And here I am, yet again, in shock. The latest TikTok trend is unsettling at best and it’s taken the platform by storm.

NPC streamers have captivated audiences with their robotic-like performances, imitating non-playable characters (NPCs) from video games. But how did this strange trend come about, and what does it mean for the future of content creation on TikTok? How are people making money out of NPC streaming?

It’s reported that these streamers are making thousands per live stream. But how?


What is an NPC?

NPCs, or non-playable characters, are computer-controlled entities that interact with players within a game. They often have scripted dialogue, repetitive movements, and predefined behaviours that make them easily distinguishable from player-controlled characters. Remember the famous Skyrim NPC quote of ‘“I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.”?

Skyrim NPC Meme

NPCs are to do things like provide quests, sell items, or add depth to the game world.

The term “NPC” has taken on a different meaning outside of gaming circles. In recent years, it has been used as an insult, primarily by the political right, to label individuals who are perceived as mindlessly following a particular ideology. However, the NPC streaming trend on TikTok has no connection to this derogatory usage. It’s focus is on emulating the robotic nature and repetitive catchphrases associated with video game NPCs.

Let’s look more into this TikTok NPC trend and NPC streamer meaning.

The Origins of NPC Streaming on TikTok

The trend of NPC streaming can be traced back to a TikTok personality named @natuecoco. In the early months of 2022, this streamer gained popularity by delivering increasingly captivating NPC-like performances. These performances laid the groundwork for the trend to explode in popularity in the following years.

Famous NPC Streamers

Since then, many other TikTok creators have joined the NPC streaming wave, including notable names like @pinkydollreal, @cherrycrush_tv, @shu_.tiktok, and @iamjaymonique.

What is an NPC streamer?

MPC streamer meaning: An NPC Steamer is someone who acts like an NPC character on a lifestream, they give control to the reviews by reacting to ‘gifts’ they send. These gifts have a monetary value.

The Mechanics of NPC Streaming

At its core, NPC streaming involves TikTok creators dressing up as stereotypical video game characters and performing live streams from the comfort of their homes. During these streams, viewers have the opportunity to send virtual gifts to the streamer, which appear as emojis on the screen. Each gift triggers a predefined response from the streamer, typically in the form of a catchphrase or a specific gesture.

For example, if a viewer sends an ice cream gift, the streamer might exclaim, “Ice cream so good!” or make a slurping noise. These responses are repetitive and consistent, mimicking the behaviour of NPCs in video games. The streamers maintain a robotic-like persona, often accompanied by exaggerated movements and gestures, adding to the overall surreal experience.

Tiktok - NPC Streamers

The Financial Incentive of NPC Streaming

While the NPC streaming trend may seem bizarre to some, it has proven to be a lucrative endeavour for many TikTok creators. The virtual gifts sent by viewers during the live streams translate into real money for the streamers. Each gift has a corresponding monetary value, and the streamer receives a portion of the profits from these gifts.

How Much do NPC Streamers Make?

The income potential from NPC streaming can be substantial. Pinkydoll, one of the most prominent NPC streamers, has revealed that she can make over $7,000 per day through her live streams, a significant increase from her early days when she would earn around $250 per day. The financial success of NPC streaming has attracted the attention of many content creators, leading to a proliferation of NPCs on TikTok.

The Controversies Surrounding NPC Streaming

As with any trend that gains widespread attention, NPC streaming has not been without its controversies. Some critics argue that NPC streaming perpetuates harmful stereotypes and objectifies women. They argue that these streamers are portraying themselves as interactive dolls, constantly fulfilling the desires of their viewers without agency or autonomy.

On the other hand, supporters of NPC streaming argue that it is a form of performance art and a clever way of monetising content creation. They believe that the streamers are fully aware of their actions and are willingly participating in the trend for financial gain.

The sexual nature of some NPC streamers’ content has also sparked debates. While TikTok explicitly prohibits sexually suggestive content, some viewers speculate that there is an underlying NPC fetish that drives the popularity of these streams. The responses to some of the gifts appear to be sexually suggestive, or the NPC streamers are often dressed in revealing clothes. However, it is essential to note that not all NPC streams are sexual in nature, and the sexual aspect should not overshadow the broader trend.

The Psychological Appeal of NPC Streaming

To understand the appeal of NPC streaming, we must delve into the psychology behind it. Research psychologist Rachel Kowert suggests that the trend taps into basic human desires for connection and control. Viewers can interact with the streamers by sending gifts, and the streamers, in turn, respond to those gifts, creating a sense of connection. The repeated and predictable nature of the streamers’ responses also gives viewers a sense of control, as they can elicit specific reactions through their gift choices.

However, Kowert also highlights the potential negative consequences of NPC streaming. She argues that the trend reinforces existing power dynamics and may contribute to the objectification of women in gaming cultures. By positioning themselves as NPCs, the streamers may inadvertently perpetuate stereotypes and reinforce the notion that women are secondary characters in the gaming world.

AI - NPC Streamers

Future Implications for TikTok and Content Creation

The rise of NPC streaming on TikTok raises questions about the future of content creation on the platform. Will this trend continue to grow in popularity, or will it eventually fade away like many other TikTok trends? The answer remains uncertain. However, NPC streaming has demonstrated the power of unique and unconventional content to capture the attention of millions of viewers.

As TikTok evolves, it will be fascinating to see how creators adapt and push the boundaries of content creation. The platform’s ability to foster creativity and provide opportunities for monetization has already made it a significant player in the social media landscape. NPC streaming is just one example of the innovative content that can emerge from the platform, challenging traditional notions of entertainment and captivating audiences worldwide.

My Thoughts

NPC streaming has emerged as a peculiar trend on TikTok. While the trend has faced controversies and debates, it has also provided financial opportunities for many content creators. The appeal of NPC streaming lies in its ability to create a sense of connection and control for viewers, while also challenging traditional notions of content creation and entertainment.

As TikTok continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how NPC streaming and other unconventional trends shape the future of content creation on the platform.

I personally find the NPC streaming trend strange. Like most people, I find it unsettling and it’s hard to describe why. I think because I already have this idea that TikTok turns people into content addicts with no attention span. The goal is TikTok is to keep you on it for as long as possible and its algorithms are focused on doing just that. It’s addictive and turns us into mindless scrolling zombies. NPC streaming feels like a step up from that. Not only are thousands and thousands of people watching people repeat phases again and again, they are sending streamers money to do it. It feels like a scam, it feels like exploitation, and it feels frustrating that people are wasting their money on such a silly thing. Even though is their money to do with as they please, but this NPC trend does not sit right with me.

Read also: Is TikTok safe for kids?

Whether you find NPC streaming fascinating or bizarre, one thing is clear – it has captured the attention of millions and showcases the power of creativity in the digital age.

Have you heard of the famous NPC TikTok trend or some of these top NPC streamers?

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  1. I saw a TikTok about these NPC streamers last night and was very confused so I fell down a rabbit hole of looking at videos of them. It’s all very odd. They are on to a good thing at the moment making money until the next thing comes along. x

  2. I have seen clips of some of the NPC streamers, and it was off-putting. However, I do find it interesting that they can make so much money, and I also wonder how long this trend will last.

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