Updated 23 April 2021
Ever considered becoming a streamer? Here we'll list some bits of hard- and software gear you'll need to get started.
Many dream about making some money by playing their favourite games. Do you have a solid concept for your streaming channel, an interesting personality or an idea about how to grab viewer's attention on your channel is enough to get you started on trying to achieve your dream.
Step one is to select a streaming platform, step two is to get the right gear you'll need for you computer.
Nowadays there are two large primary choices that are devoted specifically to streaming for games: Twitch and Mixer. Twitch is the dominating force when it comes to streaming with over 1 million streamers; even if Mixer is growing fast in numbers.
There are different benefits with opting to stream on a larger platform vs getting started on a smaller one. Of course competition is a factor to consider. On a smaller platform you have less competition to fight against, which also comes with the caveat of having a potentially smaller viewer base. The console you intend on streaming with is also something to consider (i.e. Playstation, XBOX or PC). For XBOX gamers, Mixer is a great alternative to look into since it's been purchased by Microsoft so it naturally has smooth connections to the XBOX One interface. Twitch on the other hand, is owned by Amazon.
You can of course stream directly to Youtube, which has great functionality for streamers and affords you with ease of control and loads of stats. That said, you don't get the same type of target audience you'd find on the other streaming platforms despite many people watching gaming streams directly via Youtube as well. It's therefore vital you package your material appropriately for the correct audience and captivate their interest.
It's also worth mentioning that you should compare each platforms revenue model to see what you can earn and how large your following must be before you really start filling your bank account. Be wary of letting that dominate your thinking though, as it's usually easily noticed by viewers but if you're looking to live comfortably off of streaming, it's good to keep an eye on these elements so you know where to hedge your bets.
A streamer in essences interacts with games and in many cases with their viewers as well. They answer questions, offer advice and more. In order to do that effectively though, you're gonna need a microphone. Many also choose to film themselves because it creates a more personal and interactive experience, which requires a good web camera.
Most web cameras have built-in microphones. However, many streamers still buy a separate microphone in order to get better audio quality.
If you're new to streaming you might want to grab some gear that isn't in the top-tier level of premium products. Instead, try to find a more affordable microphone at a more entry-level price. In other words, aim for a high enough quality to please your viewers, but not buy gear that will deplete your entire wallet. The kit we recommend below are products that are often go-to choices for small to medium-sized streamers.
An extremely sought-after camera with microphone that supports full HD resolutions in 30 FPS. If you record at 720p, it also has support for 60FPS. The camera comes with built-in autofocus, tripod and 3 months of free Xsplit premium streaming software.
This USB microphone has consistently topped many's top lists for some time now due to its excellent audio quality relative to it's low price. It's a condenser microphone with tri-capsule so you can record sound from various placements. It also supports 4 different recording formats: stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional and bi-directional.
Once you've got all you need to record your visuals and sound you'll need some software on your computer to help complete your stream. The two most popular programmes are OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) and XSplit Gamecaster.
OBS is super useful and free to use. Although it perhaps isn't as visually impressive or the most user-friendly software, it give you loads of control.
XSplit is also a really helpful programme that does have a bit of cost attached to it. Many are of the opinion that it is much more user friendly and if you're in the market for a webcam, we recommend the 3-month XSplit Premium plan that comes it.
Playstation 4 and Xbox One have built-in streaming support and functions so that it's easy to get started with streaming. However, if you're looking to play on another console or want to have more control over your stream, you'll need a capture card to connect your console to your computer. That way, the stream will be run via your computer.
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