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How to watch Critical Role online

Dive into the world of Exandria with our watch (and listen!) guide

How to watch Critical Role online
(Image: © Critical Role)

Critters, it’s official: Critical Role is back. Though the second campaign came to a close on June 3, with the conclusion of the Mighty Nein's story, your regular fix of ragtag heroic adventure begins again on June 24 with a new Exandria Unlimited mini-campaign. 

Starring a new cast of characters with a guest Game Master, this eight episode mini-series is a completely fresh look at the world of Exandria, making it perfect for committed Critters and new adventurers alike to enjoy. Whether you’re just getting started on your journey with the Critical Role gang or you’re returning to get your weekly fix, our watch guide below explains how you can get in on the action. 

Set in a world created by veteran Game Master and prolific voice actor Matthew Mercer, Critical Role is a series of live-streamed RPG campaigns based on the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons – the pen-and-paper roleplaying game that's led the pack for the past 40 years with millions of players and fans worldwide.

Critical Role has been running in some form since 2015, and each episode consists of around 3-5 hours of table play, where the cast – all professional voice actors – solve dilemmas, get into sticky situations, and ultimately work towards creating bonds of friendship while defeating whatever big bad they end up facing.

Part improv performance, part collaborative storytelling, Critical Role is ideal for fans of roleplaying games looking for something new to add to their streaming and podcast schedules.

How to watch Critical Role Exandria Unlimited

How to watch Critical Role online

(Image credit: Critical Role)

If you're here to watch the latest addition to the Critical Role universe, then Exandria Unlimited is what you're after. It takes place 6 years after the close of campaign two, so we wouldn't recommend starting it unless you're all caught up (or ready to watch some spoilers).

Beginning in the city of Emon (a familiar place to campaign one viewers), we’ll join brand new characters and guest Game Master Aabria Iyengar – with usual GM Matthew Mercer at the table as a player instead – as they navigate their new team and wonder how on Exandria they got together in the first place.

Exandria Unlimited is a new story starting June 24 and running for eight episodes. It airs at the usual time of Thursday 7pm PT / 10pm ET / 3am BST live on Twitch and YouTube. 

On demand versions of Critical Role episodes release on their Twitch channel immediately after broadcast for subscribers ($4.99/£4.99 monthly), or on the following Monday on YouTube at around 12pm PT / 3pm ET / 8pm BST.

For the podcast lovers, episodes go live one week after airing on stream at the official website or on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts, and CastBox.

What mishaps await these fresh-faced adventurers on their path? We absolutely can’t wait to find out.

How to watch Critical Role campaign 1

How to watch Critical Role campaign 1 online – voice cast pictured in cosplay for their characters

(Image credit: Critical Role)

If you’re new to the world of Dungeons & Dragons or want to immerse yourself in the setting of Critical Role from the beginning, then we recommend watching from the beginning of campaign one, the Vox Machina campaign, which ran for 115 episodes between 2015-2017. These are available as legacy recorded episodes on the Geek & Sundry channel, gathered into a handy YouTube playlist that includes related oneshots. 

Starting from C1:E1, Arrival At Kraghammer, means you’ll join the Vox Machina group as level 9 characters, a little after the cast started their (originally-offline) home page at level 3, and gives a good overview of the first story arc and subsequent growth and motivation for the team, as well as a strong grounding in the setting of Exandria as a whole. 

Starring an eclectic mix of heroes with Ashley Johnson as Pike Trickfoot, Travis Willingham as Grog Strongjaw, Marisha Ray as Keyleth of the Air Ashari, Orion Acaba as Tiberius Stormwind, Taliesin Jaffe as Percy de Rolo, Sam Riegel as Scanlan Shorthalt / Taryon Darrington and Liam O’Brien and Laura Bailey as twins Vax & Vex, they are guided through political conflicts, demonic possessions and more by Game Master Matthew Mercer. 

For a good introduction to the characters including their first mission and how they met, check out The Story of Vox Machina on YouTube, which discusses backstory that happened before the gang started streaming in 2015. And don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with D&D 5E’s rules or worldbuilding; Mercer’s homebrew setting and classes mean you can jump into the story without any prior knowledge of D&D and still enjoy the campaign. 

Prefer to listen rather than watch? You can find all of the Critical Role podcast for campaign one on their website or via Apple podcasts.

How to watch Critical Role campaign 2

How to watch Critical Role campaign 2 online

(Image credit: Critical Role)

If 450 hours of the first campaign sounds like a lot – and it is, but it’s so worth it – you can definitely head straight to campaign two, the Mighty Nein campaign, which started in 2018 and just finished in June 2021. 

It’s also set in Exandria but features a new cast of characters unrelated to the Vox Machina group, meaning you can skip to campaign two without needing to watch recaps or catch up on the full backstory. Matthew Mercer returns as the Game Master guiding the adventuring party through peace talks, corrupted cities and despotic overlords with 141 episodes of content that is now all available to watch for free on YouTube

You won't find it on Geek & Sundry, as episode 20 saw the campaign shifted to Critical Role’s own social channels, as they parted ways with Geek & Sundry to create their own media company in 2018.

Plus: if you grow to love the Mighty Nein and their oft-overlooked heroics, it’s perfectly possible to go back and catch up on campaign one afterwards without having anything spoiled.

How to watch Talks Machina

Critical Role

(Image credit: Critical Role)

For all things Critical Role – that aren’t actually, you know, the campaigns themselves – fans look to Talks Machina, hosted by Brian Wayne Foster on Tuesdays at 7pm PT / 10pm ET / 3am BST on Twitch

Joined by the cast members as they digest the happenings of the latest episodes, this talk show offers Critters the chance to ask questions, submit fan art and cosplays, and generally engage with the team via social media Q&As. It’s available as a podcast a week after it airs live on Twitch, and is definitely recommended for those who enjoy dissecting the sessions in detail.