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To join or start a Twitch Watch Party with a VPN, you must first connect to the VPN and then join or host the show. However, it may not always work depending on the VPN you use, the countries the show is available in, and the country your Amazon Prime account is from.

A Twitch Watch Party is a great way to meet up with friends online and catch up on your favorite shows or new movies together. What happens when you’re in different parts of the world, though, and may not have access to each others’ streaming libraries? Like with unblocking Netflix, VPNs may provide the answer, though it’s not quite as straightforward as you’d like.

Why Would You Want to Set Up A Twitch Watch Party with a VPN?

When you use Watch Parties to watch movies or shows with your friends, you’re using the content of Amazon Prime Video, one of the biggest streaming services out there. However, different countries have different libraries. The United States version of Netflix, for example, has a massive library of movies and TV shows, while the UK Netflix library is smaller, with different options.

The result is that setting up a Watch Party with friends from different parts of the world can be tricky. Amazon Prime Video doesn’t allow you to watch a title if it’s not available in your country, even if the host does have access. The U.S.-based host may choose the perfect movie only to find out that their friends in the UK can’t access the content because Amazon Prime Video doesn’t carry that title in Britain.

The way around restrictions like that is usually to use a VPN, or virtual private network. These programs reroute your connection and make it appear like you’re somewhere else, hopefully fooling the services you visit into giving you access to the content library of another country.

How to Join or Start a Twitch Watch Party With a VPN

Setting up a Twitch Watch Party with a VPN isn’t particularly complicated, it’s just a matter of connecting to a VPN, connecting to Twitch, and then setting up the Watch Party like you would at any other time. However, there are most likely going to be a few issues when choosing what to watch. Before we get to that, though, let’s take you through the steps.

First off, you need to pick a VPN service you like. We’ve ranked the best VPNs, but for this article, we’ll use ExpressVPN as it’s great for streaming content. Now, before you go to Twitch and set up or join a Watch Party, you need to activate the VPN. In the case of ExpressVPN, it’s as simple as hitting the big button in the center of the screen.

ExpressVPN main screen

This will connect you to a server in a different part of the world, you can choose from a list of countries using the lower button. Once connected, if you were to check your IP address—the numbers that serve as your identifier on the web—you should see that it’s changed.

From here, all you need to do is go to Twitch and set up the Watch Party like you would under any other circumstances, by going to the Stream Manager on your Creator Dashboard and clicking “Start Watch Party” from your Quick Actions.

hosting a Twitch Watch Party

If you’re having any trouble with any of the steps, check out our beginners’ guide to ExpressVPN or Twitch’s own guide to setting up Watch Parties.

Issues When Setting up a Twitch Watch Party With a VPN

However, there is one major issue when setting up a Twitch Watch Party with a VPN: it will probably not work. Twitch itself isn’t a problem, pretty much any VPN can unblock it, but since the content comes from Amazon Prime Video you’ll have to deal with the many restrictions it has placed on VPN use.

Since Amazon doesn’t want you to jump the proverbial fence with a VPN, it and most other streaming services have put up some kind of VPN detection measures. Netflix’s is pretty good, for example, but Amazon has one of the best. During testing for our VPN reviews, Amazon Prime Video has proven extremely hard to crack.

On top of that, Amazon also links your Amazon account to your location. For example, if you’re from the UK and trying to watch Amazon Prime Video in the States with a VPN, it expects you to have an account in the United States. If you don’t, you get the library associated with your country of registration.

Can I Still Watch Twitch Watch Parties With International Friends?

To join or start Twitch Watch Parties with friends in a different country than you, there are a few things you can do. The easiest is probably to find a show or movie that’s in everybody’s library. Many of Amazon’s Prime Original and Prime Exclusive content can be watched from anywhere, you just need to figure out which ones.

The best way to do so is to get together with the people you’d like to include in the watch party and simply make a poll (you can make a simple one in Microsoft Teams, even) to see which shows you like they can watch via Amazon Prime in their countries. It’s a lot of ferrying about of opinions, but you could make it work.

What Are the Best Twitch Watch Party VPNs?

If that sounds like too much work, or you’re hellbent on watching one particular thing, there are still ways to access Twitch Watch Parties with a VPN, they’re just very complicated to set up. There are a handful of VPNs that can crack Amazon’s VPN detection system; in our experience ExpressVPN does okay, as does NordVPN. However, you’ll probably have to connect to a number of servers before you get one that works.

The second issue is a bit trickier, though: to access a country’s library on Prime Video, you need an address and credit card from there. This is where the friends you’re planning to watch with can help: if they’re willing to “host” you at their physical address and also pay for you, you would be in possession of an Amazon Prime account in that country.

Admittedly, it’s a lot of trouble and effort and requires a lot of trust, but you could make it work. Still, it’s probably easier to find something you all like on Amazon Prime Video for your Twitch Watch Party. Alternatively, you could also try out other avenues to watch content together, like sharing the screen in a Zoom meeting or via Microsoft Teams.

Though it will take some work and setting up and may not be as convenient as setting up a Watch Party, the main thing is that you can all enjoy the same movies together.

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Profile Photo for Fergus O'Sullivan Fergus O'Sullivan
Fergus is a freelance writer for How-To Geek. He has seven years of tech reporting and reviewing under his belt for a number of publications, including GameCrate and Cloudwards. He's written more articles and reviews about cybersecurity and cloud-based software than he can keep track of---and knows his way around Linux and hardware, too.
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