Things You Need to Start Streaming Video Games
September 24, 2018 9:50 AM
by David Cash
Video games have been extremely popular for decades, but streaming them for viewers has only become prevalent in the last few. While Twitch was only created back in 2011, as of 2018, around a million people are tuning into Twitch at any given time and it is one of the most visited websites on the internet.
More and more people are not only watching others stream video games, but also taking up streaming themselves. Some do it to make money (and potentially even be able to do it full time), while others just do it to have fun or show off their skills to viewers.
While getting started streaming on Twitch or Youtube is quite simple, there are a few things that you need to do to make sure your stream will run successfully and look great at the same time. With that in mind, this article will look at a few different things that you need to have before you start streaming video games.
A Solid Computer
Most of the time, streaming successfully will require that you have a solid computer. For example, Twitch recommends that you have at least an Intel i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and an Operating System that is newer or as new as Windows 7. Thankfully, finding a computer with these specs is quite simple and shouldn’t run you a ton of money.
However, those are just the minimum requirements, and if you want to have a better and more high quality stream, having a computer with better specs is a good idea. Also, if you stream PC games, you will need to invest in a better graphics card to ensure your computer can support the games you play. Of course, your internet should also be quite fast if you want a solid stream.
If you are able to, many of the most popular streamers recommend having two PCs, one for gaming and one for streaming. However, if you are just starting out or don’t have the funds, this isn’t a necessity.
If you want to play video games on a console like the PS4, Nintendo Switch or Xbox One, you will need a capture card to stream. This is the device that will let you stream and record gameplays from consoles to your stream. There are a variety of different types of capture cards out there, some which are internal, and some which are external.
The internal capture cards will go directly into your PC, while the external options will connect between your PC and gaming console. There are several options at different price points, so there is a good chance you’ll be able to find one that is perfect for you!
This is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to streaming because if you don’t have it, you will never be able to go live. Streaming software helps you set up your stream by doing things like picking sources, laying everything out how you like it, and actually broadcasting.
There are a few different streaming software options out there, many of them are paid and some are free. One of the most popular options is Open Broadcasting Software (OBS) and it is completely free to use. Many of the most popular streamers use it, but of course, feel free to try others and see if you like them better.
Webcam or Camera
While not everyone who streams has a facecam, most of the most popular streamers do as it helps you to connect more with your audience and make the whole operation seem more professional. Also, with many of the camera options being quite affordable, there is really no reason not to give them a try.
So which type of camera should you get? Well, the choice comes down to either a webcam or a regular camera on a tripod. For a more casual streamer, a webcam will be more than okay, while more dedicated streamers may want to invest in a higher quality camera. Reading reviews and finding out what other streamers use is also a good idea.
Without a microphone, engaging with those in your stream and offering thoughts or commentary on the game you’re playing will not be easy. As a result, a mic is essential if you want to stream video games. Thankfully, there are dozens of affordable mics that you can pick up if you are just starting to stream.
Early on, your can probably get away with using a gaming headset as your microphone, but eventually, you will want to invest in one with better sound quality, such as a desktop microphone. Many high quality microphones have helpful features and a variety of options and modes to make sure you always sound great, no matter the situation. They will also provide more crisp, clear and sharp audio. Investing in a pop filter is also a good idea, to ensure everything sounds consistent, as well.
While this isn’t a necessity for streaming, per se, it is something that can greatly improve stream quality. Having overlays allows for you to put data on top of your stream, which can help feed more information to viewers during any slow parts of the stream. These overlays can include anything from your logos, to game stats, to alerts and more.
If there were no overlays in your stream at all, there is a good chance it would be a little bit bland and your viewers might lose a little bit of interest in your stream. There are different steps of adding different overlays and some might require additional software, such as needing something like Streamlabs for great alerts.
In conclusion, anyone can begin streaming as long as they have most (if not all) of the things we have mentioned in this article. While it can be a little expensive to purchase these things, you are sure to be able to find deals all across the internet or at electronics stores in your local area.
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