FreshCut Review | PCMag

Even if you enjoy watching other people play video games, the long, multi-hour streams you’ll find on live video game streaming services can test your patience. You can find a shorter alternative at FreshCut. The platform serves up half-minute videos that hit the spot with entertaining gaming clips. FreshCut is an appealing idea, but it currently feels like an odd experiment compared to Twitch, a robust Editors’ Choice worthy platform.

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First steps with FreshCut

You can view FreshCut in your web browser or via an Android or iOS app. Creating an account costs nothing. When you log in, FreshCut will ask you to choose a profile picture from a selection of funny pop culture faces. I went with the fat Bugs Bunny, aka Big Chungus.

FreshCut will then ask you which games you are interested in to initially populate your video feed. You’ll find the big esports favorites dominating the larger video game streaming landscape, like Call of Duty: Warzone and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Most of the other big games also appear as options, like classic shooter Half-Life, old Mario Kart racing games, and the latest Mortal Kombat.

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However, the library has some strange omissions. You can watch Heroes of the Storm but not StarCraft? Tetris 99 but no other Tetris game? Cuphead but no Celeste? It seems that games are listed as soon as a user decides to upload a video for that game and nobody has uploaded anything for some of these undeniable hits yet. It reflects that FreshCut’s community still has a lot of work to do, an issue I’ll address in more detail later in this report.

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Watch videos on FreshCut

After completing your profile, it’s time to start watching videos. FreshCut is essentially TikTok for gamers. Most videos last just over 30 seconds (none I’ve seen were longer than a minute), and they usually feature the most exciting moment cut from a stream: fighting game pop-offs, impossible snipes, funniest VR -Mistake. Video game footage naturally lends itself to hilarious online memes, and FreshCut is a great fit.

As with TikTok, you can keep scrolling to be served new surprises. This works especially well on mobile. However, you can also customize your search by looking at trending tags, adding new games to your account, and following more developers. FreshCut even curates its own playlists that combine clips from different channels into single, easy-to-understand packages, like “FGC Highlights” and “League of Legends Weekly Roundup.” Videos are not broadcast live, but you can like clips, leave comments, and share clips on social media.

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Become a FreshCut Creator

As a spectator, FreshCut is an enjoyable, low-stakes activity. However, many people today make a living from online gaming, so they need to know if a platform is worth their limited time. In this context, FreshCut is harder to recommend.

For starters, there just aren’t that many users. The most popular games only have a few thousand followers, the top developers only a few hundred, and the overall view count is extremely low.

To the platform’s credit, it looks like most creators don’t create content specifically for FreshCut. Instead, they upload short clips from their longer, pre-existing Twitch streams, which is a smart idea. FreshCut lacks live streaming tools, so developers don’t have to learn new broadcasting software. You simply upload the file and continue.

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However, you must meet some requirements to become a FreshCut creator. You need at least 25,000 followers on Twitch or YouTube; at least 5,000 followers on Facebook Gaming, Instagram or TikTok; or at least an average of 2,000 views of your clips. That’s probably beyond most casual users. You can also join FreshCut’s Discord server to learn more about the service and network with other developers.

To get paid, FreshCut offers a currency called FreshCut Diamonds. With Diamonds, viewers can tip their favorite creators, access VIP benefits (merch, event access), and influence decisions as part of the community. Unfortunately, FreshCut Diamonds is a cryptocurrency, which means participants need to set up a wallet on the blockchain. That gives the whole thing a dubious touch.

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In their own way, TikTok and Twitch have massively transformed the way young people engage with online video, and FreshCut leverages both delivery styles by providing instant access to fun, short, personality-centric video game clips. However, a relatively small community, a less than extensive game library, and deplorable uses of cryptocurrencies make it difficult to fully utilize the platform. Definitely enjoy what FreshCut has to offer now. Just don’t be shocked if it doesn’t last after 30 seconds.

Need more help starting your streaming journey? Check out our ultimate game streaming guide and tips for streaming with OBS.

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