While the concept of streaming has been around since the mid-90s, streaming as we know it — mostly either live streaming with services like Twitch or YouTube or streaming via services like Netflix are relatively new concepts. It may, however, come as a surprise to many that both streaming and live streaming have been popular on the internet for more than a decade. Both Justin.tv, the “original” Twitch, as well as Netflix Video On-demand were started in 2007. Justin.tv acted as a place for individuals to live stream themselves and their friends for any and all of the internet to watch. Before Justin.tv, the concept of live streaming was one held mostly by large corporations and News organizations. Justin.tv broke this trend by bringing the concept to the masses, allowing anyone with an internet connection to broadcast themselves to an audience.
Over time, Justin.tv grew to be a popular platform for game live streams, seeing more and more focus on that topic versus traditional streams which were more person-oriented. A Gaming category was added in 2008 and consistently dominated the site in popularity. In 2011 the category was split off into its own site: Twitch.tv.In a nutshell, streaming and
In a nutshell, streaming and live streaming are both types of content built around the concept of internet-based data streaming to watch content. The only real difference between Netflix and services like Twitch is that Netflix is pre-recorded and on-demand, whereas live streaming platforms are all live.
Today, streaming and live streaming are a major part of pop culture. Between Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, YouTube RED and other online streaming services, the concept of streaming TV content has gone from a mere concept to the entire entertainment structure of a generation in just over a decade. On the gaming side of things, Twitch.tv and YouTube Gaming — to a lesser extent — dominate the market on live streaming games. Livestreaming has gone from a niche hobby to an entire industry. Many people are making a living off of live streaming professionally, securing partnerships and sponsorship deals, selling merchandise and even creating content on YouTube. On the other side, e-sports has grown from an industry nearly exclusive to South Korea, to a worldwide phenomenon in only a handful of years. Billions of hours of e-sports are watched each year, more and more games see the big stage, and careers are born every day.
In just over a decade, our entire culture has shifted from traditional Cable / Satellite Television and Couch Gaming to on-demand content and live entertainment for and by everyone.
Table of contents
- Creating Your Account on Twitch
- Twitch Settings
- Setting Up Your Software (OBS Studio)
- Going Live
- Improving Your Stream
- General Tips
How To Start Streaming
Where You’ll Want To Stream
While there are a handful of sites available to stream on, the two most popular platforms are Twitch and YouTube. Between these two, Twitch consistently sees a larger number of users, as well as a more dynamic and diverse platform for anybody to stream on. However, this also has its shortcomings. Mainly, Twitch doesn’t allow certain types of content and its policies are generally much more strict. If you want to stream a game, you’ll need to specify which game on your stream. If afterward, you decide to chat with your audience, you’ll need to specify your stream as a Talk Show. Otherwise, you’ll consistently see fewer viewers and in some cases, this can even be against the rules: streaming content unrelated to your stream category.
Furthermore, there are a lot of games that Twitch simply doesn’t have categories for, which means your stream won’t be publicly available if you cannot find the game on Twitch. This is usually only exclusive to obscure titles, but there have been cases where a popular game still isn’t available. Plus, the quality settings on Twitch are not available to viewers unless you’re a partnered streamer, whereas YouTube has quality settings from 360p up to whatever resolution you are streaming at.
With all of this said, YouTube has many shortcomings as well. YouTube Gaming isn’t nearly as popular as Twitch and is the only real “hub” on YouTube for streamers. For a majority of the time, almost all of your viewers will be coming from those who are subscribed to your YouTube channel. If you’re not producing content and receiving subscribers, you likely will never have an audience on YouTube while streaming. One nice feature of YouTube though is that it offers “YouTube DVR” which allows viewers to rewind up to 4 hours in a stream, regardless of how long they’ve been watching or when they joined.
At the end of the day, where you want to stream will depend on one key point: are you streaming to a new audience or an established audience? If your answer is a new audience, you’ll want to stream on Twitch.
For the sake of this article, we’ll be writing from the perspective of someone starting new on Twitch.
First things first: you’’’ want to register for an account. Since we’ll be using Twitch, you’ll want to create an account on Twitch.tv. As with most sites, this process is simple and should be more than easy enough for anyone to do.
- Navigate to http://www.twitch.tv/
- Click the “Sign Up” button at the top-right of the page.
- Fill in your Username, Password, Birthday and Email.
- Verify yourself as Not A Robot using the Captcha.
- Click “Sign Up” at the bottom of the box.
- Verify your Email with the link sent to the Email you specified.
After doing the above, your account will be set up!
Of course, simply registering won’t be enough down the road, so we’ll cover some basics of account configuration as well. Navigate to the top-right of the page and hover your mouse over your username. Clicking on it will bring up a drop-down menu where you can select a handful of options. We’ll start with Settings.
Once you’ve clicked Settings, you’ll land on the Profile tab. Note that this is not the same as your Channel. From here, you’ll be able to update your Email, change how your Username is displayed, and even change your Username outright. You can also add a Biography to your account, and disable it entirely if you wish to do so.
The Twitch Prime tab is simply for integration with Amazon Prime and nets you no benefits as a streamer, so we’ll leave that out for now.
Channel & Videos
Moving over to the Channel & Videos tab, this is where you’ll be able to add a banner to your channel page to be displayed when you’re offline. You’ll also be able to configure Hosting, which is a feature used to host other streamers on your channel. You’ll want to look over this yourself to decide if it’s something you’d like to use, but for the intents and purposes of this article, we’ll leave it out.
Going downwards some more, you’ll reach some important settings. Mature Content and Stream Delay, specifically. If you intend to use harsh language, stream mature content or consume substances like alcohol or marijuana, you’ll need to ensure that your stream is marked as containing Mature Content. This won’t hide your stream on the site or anything, but will simply prompt viewers with a one-time check when visiting your stream, to ensure that they are okay with viewing your type of content.
The Stream Delay feature is useful for ensuring that anything you’re doing live will be delayed by a set amount of time, as a means to help alleviate what are called “stream snipers.” Essentially, these are people that use your stream to their advantage, and this is usually only prevalent in competitive multiplayer games. Streaming software can also have this functionality baked in, so it’s up to you whether you wish to do it on your software’s side, or on the side of Twitch.
Moving down even further, you’ll see a lot of options to configure the chat on your stream. From filtering and blocking to moderation and general control. There are a lot of options here to ensure that your viewers don’t see hateful or inappropriate content in your chat if you so wish. You’ll want to play around with these settings to suit them to your needs.
Security & Privacy
From here, you’ll be able to do standard things like changing your password, enable 2-Factor Authentication and block content from strangers. You can also prevent users from exporting your archived videos and streams to YouTube, though that is a really niche and hardly-used feature. The Security & Privacy page is fairly straightforward, so there’s not much more to say here.
From the Notifications tab, you’ll be able to change what notifications you receive from Twitch. From when a streamer you follow goes live, to when a streamer you follow uploads a new video, and even when some of your own content receives attention. You’ll want to configure the notifications here to best suit your needs.
The Connections tab is intended to allow you to connect other accounts to enable further functionality within certain software and games. You can connect things like your Facebook profile, Blizzard account, Steam account, YouTube, Twitter and more. You can also manage connections made to Twitch by third-party software like Discord. These changes are entirely optional and are not required, but can be handy in certain cases.
Lastly, the Subscriptions page, like the Twitch Prime page, is only really useful for you if you intend to subscribe to others’ channels, so unless you do that, you won’t need to use this tab either.
Setting Up Your Software (OBS Studio)
While there are many options for software when it comes to streaming, the most widely-used and accessible of them is easily Open Broadcast Software — or OBS. It’s open-source, free and easy to use. Today, we’ll be covering the basics of how to use it and how to set up your stream. We’ll cover the main interface and all of the settings you’ll want to check. Let’s get started!
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure you download and install OBS, so make sure you do that. You can download it from here. Once it’s installed, you’ll be greeted with an interface that looks something like this:
From here, we can see a few things. Firstly, we have the Scene and Source panels. The Scene panel is where everything will be displayed, and the Source panel is where all of your elements will be held. “Source” may be titled “Game Capture” but Source will contain the game, an overlay, a camera or anything else you wish to broadcast.To the right of these panels are your general mixing controls. We’ll go over these in more detail later, but for
To the right of these panels are your general mixing controls. We’ll go over these in more detail later, but for now, we can use these two as a reference. The Mic slider is used to configure how loud your mic input volume is, and the Desktop Audio slider is used to turn up or down your audio output — that is, everything coming through your speakers or headphones.
To the right of these sliders is the Scene Transition setting. This is used only when you intend to switch sources. OBS can either fade or cut, depend on what you prefer. You can also set the duration of the transition, and configure its options.
To the right of that, we have the Start Streaming, Start Recording, Studio Mode, Settings and Exit options. These do basically what they sound like they do. Start Streaming will begin broadcasting, Start Recording will start a local capture, Studio Mode enables more control over transitions, Settings allows you to configure OBS, and Exit will close the program.
Setting up your Scenes and your Sources will take some time, practice and patience and it’s entirely up to you how you wish to configure it. For the sake of demonstration, we’ll set up a basic desktop capture.
First, right-click inside of your Scene area and click “Add.” You’ll be prompted to name your Scene, so go ahead and do that. Once it’s created, right-click inside of Sources, mouse over Add, and click “Display Capture.” From here, you’ll want to name the Display capture. I will be naming mine Desktop. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be greeted with a video preview and a menu. From this menu, you’ll want to select whichever monitor you intend to stream. After you do, you can add it to your Scene and it should appear as a capture of your display. This means that OBS will stream anything that happens on the specified monitor.
The process is very similar for capturing a game. However, you’ll need to have the game running in order to specify to OBS which game you intend to stream. You can also capture a Capture Card, Webcam, a specific Window or more.
Next, we’ll add a basic overlay. Right-click inside of Sources once again, and instead of Display Capture, click on Image. Name your image and continue. You’ll then be prompted to specify a path to the image. Once you do, you can apply the image to your stream. Similar to photo editing or video editing software, OBS uses layers for sources. The top-most layer is going to be on top of all media below it, and this hierarchy works all the way down. Ensure that your specified image is on top of your Display Capture, and you should instantly see it appear. That’s the gist of it!
From here, you’ll be able to explore and experiment with Scenes and Sources inside of OBS to make your stream yours!
Next, we’ll be going over the Settings of OBS to get your stream set up, so let’s go into Settings!
Once you enter the Settings window, the first thing you’ll be greeted with is the General tab. Here, you’ll be able to make some general, non-specific changes to OBS.
You can set your Language from the first menu, change the default OBS theme to a dark version, enable or disable automatic updates, and more. You’ll be able to check whether you want to be prompted when you either try to start or stop streaming or even to automatically record when streaming. This is useful mainly for keeping a local copy of your stream, but it can be very demanding on your computer.
The Source Alignment Snapping settings are used to adjust how elements snap together in the Source Panel. This is used mostly to help align items and keep the overall design consistent, but sometimes it can be a hindrance when attempting to move objects into a certain position. You’ll be able to configure it from here if necessary.
The Projectors settings are useful only for streaming to a projector, so you’ll most likely be able to ignore these.
Lastly, the System Tray settings are for changing OBS’s behavior with the System Tray in Windows.
The Stream tab is used to configure your Streaming platform. Here you’ll specify what website and server you wish to broadcast to. If you’re broadcasting to a platform not specified in the Service drop-down menu, you can configure it to whatever server you desire by changing the Stream Type menu from Streaming Services to Custom Streaming Services.
You’ll want to change your server to one that is closest to your location to ensure the best stream quality and experience for both you and your viewers.
Lastly, and this is the most important part: your stream key. Whether you’re streaming on Twitch, YouTube or any other site, you’ll need to specify a Stream Key so OBS knows where to broadcast to. You don’t actually need to hook into a browser at all for OBS to begin broadcasting. Once you supply your Stream Key, you’ll begin broadcasting to whatever channel the key is tied to.
On Twitch, to retrieve your Stream Key, do the following:
- Navigate to http://www.twitch.tv/ and log in if necessary.
- Click on your name at the top-right of the page and click “Dashboard.”
- From the dashboard, click on the “Settings” tab.
- Click on the “Stream Key” button.
- Click “Show Key” and confirm that you wish to view your key.
- Copy the provided key and paste it into OBS in the Stream Key dialog.
That’s it! Do note that you do not want to share your stream key with anybody, or they will be able to broadcast on your channel at their leisure. You should never share your key.
The Output tab is where you’ll configure your stream settings. You’ll be able to change the bitrate of your stream. Changing the Output mode from Simple to Advanced will allow you access to a handful of complex features and settings, but these are mostly reserved for those with video experience. For now, the Simple mode will suit us just fine.
The Video Bitrate of your stream is the amount of data available per second for your stream to use in your video. Without going too technical, the higher this number is, the better your stream will look. For a reference, YouTube 1080p videos user a bitrate of around 8500kbps.
The figure in OBS is measured in Kbps or kilobits per second. This number is entirely dependent on your ISP’s upload speed. You’ll want to use at most 75% of your ISP’s Upload speed, so be sure to test it on services like Google Speedtest or Ookla’s Speedtest. However, Twitch does not allow bitrates higher than 6000kbps, so keep that in mind.
Whether or not you have a GPU capable of h.264 encoding will determine if you can change your Encoder from Software to Hardware, but a safe bet is to keep this on Software just in case.
Next, we have Audio Bitrate. Twitch allows a maximum of 160kbps, so feel free to set this to 160 and forget about it.
Next, we have Recording options, but these should be easy enough for you to configure on your own. Just set your recording destination (where you’ll want the files to be saved) and your quality settings. Changing the format from .flv to something like .mp4 or .mov can also be a smart move to ensure compatibility with YouTube as well as video editing software.
Next, we have Audio settings. This tab is fairly straightforward and allows you to specify details regarding your Audio hardware. You can specify which Speaker / Mic to use, whether you want Stereo or Mono audio, your Sample Rate on your audio (typically this setting does not need to be changed) and enable/disable Push-to-Talk or Push-to-Mute. By default, OBS will use whatever devices you have set as Default in Windows, but just in case you want to specify a new device, you can do so from this tab.
The Video tab is where you’ll be able to configure the resolution and framerate of your stream.
You’ll want to set your Base (Canvas) Resolution to the native resolution of your monitor. By doing so, you’ll have the largest amount of space available to set up for an overlay, camera or any other information you want to put into your stream.
The Output (Scaled) Resolution tab is the most important one, however. This is the resolution that your streaming platform will broadcast your stream at. Generally, streamers have accepted 720p over 1080p, because Twitch has always used a rather low bitrate (3000kbps max) which mean there was too little data available for 1080p streaming. However, with Twitch updating their platform to support bitrates up to 6000kbps, 1080p is now an acceptable resolution and actually looks better than 720p at the same bitrate. The biggest decider here will be what your upload speed is capable of, and what your computer is capable of. If you are able to use a high bitrate of 5000kbps+ and you have a decent computer, use 1920×1080. If you’re using a lower bitrate or have a slower computer, use 1280×720.
The framerate of your stream is going to determine how smooth it is, and how natural it feels. Generally, you’ll want your Twitch framerate to be as high as it can go, but certain cases can be made where a lower framerate is actually better. If you’re only playing a game at 30fps, then a 60fps bitrate won’t help, and may actually look worse in some cases. However, if you’re playing at 60fps+ and your computer is able to handle the higher framerate, definitely set it to 60.
The Hotkeys tab is very straightforward and requires almost zero explanation. From here you’ll be able to specify hotkeys — effectively shortcuts, to certain OBS functionality. Things like stopping and starting a stream/recording, transitioning scenes, muting / unmuting audio and more.
The Advanced tab is one that beginners will want to stay away from, as there are a handful of settings in here that if handled improperly may break your stream. However, I’ll walk you through a handful of these settings just so you know what they are, or if you’re important to you or your stream.
The Process Priority setting specifies the Priority of the OBS process in Windows. A higher priority process will cause Windows to devote CPU resources more specifically to the application, but it will cause other programs to become unstable. In almost all cases, it is fine to leave this setting at Normal.
The Video settings area allows you to manage what Renderer, Color Format, Color Space and Video Adapter you wish to use while streaming. In a majority of cases, it is fine to leave these all at default, but video editing professionals may find these settings useful for ensuring that their colors are proper and that nothing looks distorted or wrong. Changing these settings improperly could cause video or color artifacts, however, so be careful.
Setting an Audio Monitoring Device is used to specify an Audio device that will play back all streaming audio, allowing you to listen and ensure that your desktop and microphone audio are balanced properly. This setting is typically only useful if you have a separate pair of headphones you can hand to someone else in-house.
The Recording tab is useful only to help configure local recordings. You can specify a file output name and a prefix/suffix for each file. This setting is mostly harmless, so long as you do not introduce conflicts with improper naming schemes.
As mentioned earlier, you can enable/disable a Stream Delay option through OBS itself, and that setting can be found here as well. The setting is relatively straightforward.
The Automatically Reconnect setting is used to allow OBS to reconnect to your streaming platform if a disconnect occurs. This setting is best left to Default, to ensure that your stream continued unhindered after a connection interruption.
Lastly, the Network tab is used to specify which IP / network adapter OBS should use for its connection. In almost all cases, leaving this on Default will be fine. It’s safer to say that if you know what this is, you know what it does. If you don’t know what this is or what it does, you don’t need to change it.
That’s about it for stream configuration inside of OBS! All that’s left now is going live!
Before clicking that “Start Streaming” button, you’ll want to configure your stream on Twitch. This is very easy.
Navigate back over to your dashboard on Twitch, and we’ll start configuring!
Now that you’re at your dashboard, you’ll be able to change most of your stream settings. You can title your broadcast from the Title field, set your Broadcast Language, specify your game you intend to play, and even represent a Community. You can also preview your live broadcast from here and monitor its chat.
Make sure to specify what game you’re playing or what activity you’re doing. Twitch has a specification for almost every game, and you can even specify if you’re being creative or streaming “In Real life” — a category for live-vlogging and other similar activities.
You’ll want to ensure you specify what you’re playing or streaming, as broadcasting an activity or game that you are not participating in can often lead to suspensions or warnings from Twitch staff.
Next, we’ll configure your actual stream page. Return to the drop-down menu where the Dashboard option was, but this time you’ll click Channel.
From this page, you’ll want to click the Edit button at the top-right, directly above the giant stream window. From here, you’ll be able to set a banner and avatar for your stream.
Scrolling down, the Edit button underneath your stream will function the same as the Title, Language and Playing options from the Dashboard.
Beneath your stream, you’ll see an “Edit Panels” slider option. Enabling this will allow you to add Image Panels and text to the area below your stream. These should be recognizable to anyone active on Twitch, either as a streamer or a viewer. You’ll be able to configure each individual panel here, but do note that you’ll need to provide your own images. Images can be hyperlinked to other websites such as social media, but you’ll want to ensure you stay within Twitch’s guidelines for this.
That’s it! Now that your stream is configured, it’s time to go live!
Improving Your Stream
There are a handful of ways for you to improve your stream and make it stand out. With streaming being so accessible and popular, anyone with a computer and decent internet connection can be the next big hit, so if you want to ensure you stand out from the crowd, be sure to improve your stream! To make it easier, we’ll go over a few ways to do so.
Arguably the most important part of your stream, having a good microphone for clear communication is a key aspect in impressing your audience. Nobody wants to watch someone they cannot listen to, and nobody wants to listen to someone that sounds as if they’re talking through a walkie-talkie. Luckily, we have an article on the best microphones that would be perfect for any gamer or streamer, so check that out.
Next, a good streamer should always invest in a decent pair of headphones. You don’t want to broadcast your game audio through your microphone, as this can often lead to feedback loops on your stream and nobody wants to listen to that. Furthermore, a nice pair of headphones can also improve your gaming capabilities, as you’ll be able to hear subtle nuances in the audio of your game. If you already own a headset, that should suffice. However, if you’re interested in taking things a step further, consider checking out our guide on the best headphones for gaming and streaming.
Adding some personality to the stream can go a long way, and many people accomplish this through the use of a facecam — otherwise known as a webcam. These are cameras used specifically to broadcast yourself alongside the game. While not necessary, many streamers use this to add a layer of personality to their stream, allowing viewers to see their reactions in real-time. This also enables the streamer to do more creative streams if they so desire.
This one’s very important. Nobody wants to watch a stream where the game is so loud you cannot hear the streamer. Inversely, nobody wants to watch a stream where all you can hear is the streamer and not the game. The process of mixing audio is going to require patience and a keen ear, but having a friend help you out can go a long way. This is also where the Audio Monitoring option will come in handy inside of OBS. Make sure that your voice stands out from the game, but also that the game can still be heard clearly whether or not you’re speaking.
This one’s a very polarizing suggestion. Half of the streaming community will protest that overlays are distracting and take away from the experience. The other half will argue that overlays introduce personality and flair to a stream. Depending on which side you’re on, this is something you’ll want to look into. Whether you theme your overlay to match your game, your personality or your overall aesthetic, there are many options. Overlays aren’t just reserved for those with graphics design degrees either, as there are many sites which will sell you overlays for relatively cheap.
Below, I’ll provide you some general tips to ensure that your stream does the best that it can. These won’t be very specific, but they can be beneficial in ensuring your stream is as good as it can be.
- No matter how often you can stream, always stream on a schedule. Consistency in streaming will result in more consistent viewers returning to future broadcasts.
- Ensure that your stream is configured to best suit your internet capabilities. A non-HD stream is always better than an HD stream that buffers a lot.
- Interact with your audience. Be sure to pay attention to the chat. Answer questions, ask questions and get to know the Kappa Community.
- Do not overcomplicate your overlay/panels. Make your layout easy to read and follow. You don’t want your viewers getting lost in a barrage of information.
- Integrate social media into your streams. Don’t be afraid to announce on your Twitter when you’re going live. Not everybody will see when you go live, so letting them know ahead of time and through a different platform can be very mutually beneficial.
- Minimize dead air or downtime. Try to always communicate and talk, and refrain from taking extended leaves from the stream unless absolutely necessary. There’s nothing worse than hopping onto a stream that says “Be back soon!”
While these tips are very general, they should help you to establish a good foundation for you to build an audience and following, and to ensure you don’t develop poor habits. Remember that live streaming is 80% personality, and 20% actually playing!
Now that we’ve reached the end of this guide, I hope I’ve provided you with enough information and tools to get yourself well on your way. Making a name for yourself isn’t easy, but with enough time, passion, dedication and motivation, it can happen.
Don’t give up!
You Don’t Need to Read Below This —- OLD ARTICLE
Do you frequently visit sites like Twitch or Youtube Gaming? If so, you’re probably aware that both of the sites have a lot of game streamers. What are game streamers? Well, they are people who stream their gaming content live for you to watch.
A few years ago, streaming is not something people engage in because the technology was still new. But, a lot of amazing content creators have found a way to make game streaming a living. It is not only fun to watch but it can also be profitable as well. Being a streamer doesn’t require any licenses or anything; you just need to have the right tools.
In this article, I will talk about everything you need to know about PC Game Streaming. I will talk about the hardware, the software, and all of the information pertaining to Streaming games online.
But before anything else, I want to make an important distinction here. What is the difference between a casual/hobby streamer and a professional streamer?
The Casual Streamer and the Professional Streamer
What are the differences between the two? Well, the casual streamer is a person who streams just for fun. He or she doesn’t have any sponsors and is putting out content solely for the fun and excitement of sharing. Professional streamers, on the other hand, are people who venture into streaming to earn money. They are usually sponsored by popular gaming companies and they get huge revenues from them as well. They turn to streaming services to earn money for a living. If you enjoy streaming, why not earn money from it, right?
Other things to note are that casual gamers do not have a professional setup. All they really need is a PC, a gaming headset with a microphone, and a stable internet connection and they’re on their way to streaming.
Professional streamers have a professional setup: complete with powerful rigs, a discrete podcast microphone, and a fast internet connection that ensures that their streams aren’t choppy or having a delay. In other words, they invest huge sums of money to have a powerful gaming and streaming setup compared to casual streamers. Most of the time, casual streamers go live just for leisure but Professionals are often following a schedule. The schedule is not too strict but whenever they say that they will go live at this time, they make sure to keep up with that promise so as to not lose their integrity.
Now that you know the important distinctions between a casual and a professional streamer, what are the basics of game streaming? For the purposes of this article, I will only talk about PC game streaming and not console game streaming (it will require another article).
The Basics of Game Streaming
Just like any other game, streaming content over the internet requires some things first before you can actually do it. In this section, I will go over the basics of what you need to have in order for you to start streaming your games.
The PC is obviously essential when streaming. You need to have a powerful computer so that it can support playing games at good settings and that it can support streaming the game over the internet at the same time. What are the things you need to be aware of when creating a good computer for game streaming? That is a good question and I will go over the different PC components and what you need to get to have a nice game streaming PC.
CPU: Game streaming is a demanding thing to do, so you need to have quality PC components in order for it to run smoothly. Because of the way streaming works, you need to have a powerful CPU that can support the game whilst also encode the live content as well. I will not recommend getting AMD CPUs because they are outdated and the company’s new Zen CPUs are not out yet, so we will stick mostly with Intel CPUs. As a rule of thumb, you need to get at least a quad core processor. An Intel Core i5 processor is good. If you want a good and inexpensive one, an i5-6500 should work. If you want a little bit of leeway, an Intel Core i5-6600K is good because it can be overclocked to a higher clock speed, giving more juice to the processor if needed. It is important to note, however, that if you want to have the best gaming setup, you need an Intel Core i7. The i7s have a technology called “hyperthreading” which boosts its thread count to twice the original number (for the i7-6700K, the threads will increase to 8 depending on the need). If you have the money, invest in an Intel Core i7 processor if you’re serious about game streaming. But, if you’re a casual streamer, the Intel Core i5 is a good processor.[spacer height=”10px”]
GPU: Another important component in a streamer’s rig. The GPU takes care of the graphical load and it is important that you have a good graphics card that can handle most modern games. You do not want to watch a stream with some crappy graphics, right? Anyway, AMD hasn’t really released a beast of a card yet but the RX 480 should play most games at pretty high settings at an affordable price. Do note that you should stick to 1080p resolution if you’re planning on cranking up the settings. If you want a better graphics card that can perform well even if you’re playing on a 1440p resolution monitor, then a good value graphics card is the Nvidia GTX 1070. It costs around $400 (depending on the brand) and can handle all of the games at 1080p and you can also play at high to very high settings with it on 1440p.[spacer height=”10px”]
RAM: RAM is not essential for streaming, per se, but it is for the games that you play. Having 8GB of system RAM should be adequate in most cases but having 16GB of RAM should be the sweet spot, in my opinion. This is because most applications nowadays require a lot of RAM (heck, even games are eating up more than 4GB of RAM). Although 8GB of RAM will work, having an additional buffer can work wonders. If you can, go for 16GB of system RAM.[spacer height=”10px”]
Motherboard: Motherboards are not that important when it comes to building a streaming PC. Just get the most inexpensive motherboard that you can find that supports the CPU you’re going to use.[spacer height=”10px”]
PSU: For the power supply, it depends on the PC. For most single graphics card configurations, a 550-watt power supply is more than enough (you can even overclock both your CPU and GPU with this capacity). If you have multiple GPUs, however, you will need a bigger capacity PSU. [spacer height=”10px”]
Storage. There really are no stringent guidelines for storage when it comes to game streaming. What most people do is they use an SSD and an HDD. The SSD is for the programs and games while the HDD is used for storing the streams. If you have the money, you can buy a higher capacity SSD instead because they are much faster.[spacer height=”10px”]
CPU Cooler. Since the CPU is going to be working hard, it will become very hot, especially if you’re not using an aftermarket CPU cooler. The stock cooler is good enough when you’re just playing games but if you’re going to pit your CPU into something strenuous (like streaming while playing a demanding game), you will need an aftermarket cooling solution. Don’t worry, I will post recommendations later.
Microphone Or Podcast Microphone
The next important thing you need to have when you’re going to stream is the microphone. Although some streamers use gaming headsets that have built-in microphones, the audio quality that is coming from that is subpar and sometimes it is unclear for the audience. As much as possible, invest in a dedicated podcast microphone. There are a lot of inexpensive microphones out there that you can buy and they will last quite a long time as well. If you’re a casual streamer, though, the microphones from gaming headsets will suffice.
Whether you’re a casual or professional streamer, you will need a webcam. The people who are watching your streams will want to know the actual streamer. Not only that but if people can see you, they can connect with you even more. It becomes more empathic and the audience also wants to see your reaction while you’re playing the game. A lot of webcams nowadays are very affordable so there really is no reason for you not to get one.
The streaming software is a program that allows you to share content live on popular streaming websites like Youtube Gaming and Twitch. There are plenty of streaming software available online and I will go in-depth later in the article.
Of course, before you can start streaming to these popular websites, you need to sign up for an account first. When you sign up, you will be given a “Stream key”, which you will use in the streaming software.
Fast Internet Connection
Lastly, you will need a fast internet connection. According to a lot of people who stream content frequently, you need to have at least a 3MB/s connection. Upload speed is more important in streaming so you want to make sure that you have a fast internet connection. No one wants to see a choppy stream at all, so make sure that you have this covered before you start getting serious about streaming.
PC Builds for different kind of streamers
As previously mentioned, there are two types of streamers: the casual and the professional streamer. In this section, I will give you a rundown on some of the best specs for both streamers. Let’s start with the Casual Streamer’s PC.
PC Build for the Casual Streamer
• CPU: Intel Core i5-6500
• GPU: AMD RX 480 or Nvidia GTX 1060 (6GB variant)
• RAM: 8GB of DDR4 RAM
• Motherboard: Any motherboard that supports the new Intel Skylake processors
• CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212X
• Power Supply: 500-600-watt power supply from a reputable manufacturer (Corsair, EVGA, and Seasonic are some of the prime choices).
• Storage: 240GB-500GB SSD for applications and games; 1TB or higher HDD for Mass Storage
• Microphone: You can opt for a gaming headset since it already comes with a microphone. If you want a discrete microphone, get the Samson Meteor Mic.
• Webcam: Although it is tempting to get a cheap $5-$10 webcam, get a decent one in the form of Microsoft’s LifeCam HD-3000.
PC Build for the Professional Streamer
• CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K or Intel Xeon processors
• GPU: Nvidia GTX 1070 (any brand)
• RAM: 16GB of RAM
• Motherboard: Any Z170 board will do. A recommendation would be the Asus Z170A Pro
• CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X61
• Power Supply: For single GPUs: 500-600 watts. For multiple GPUs, aim for either a 1000-watt or 1200-watt power supply.
• Storage: 1TB SSDs for games and applications (higher capacity is better). For SATA SSD, get the Samsung 850 Pro. For M.2/PCIe SSDs, get the Samsung 960 Pro.
• Microphone: Blue Yeti USB microphone
• Webcam: Logitech c920
PC Components Explanation (Casual Streamer)
Now that you’ve seen the rundown on both the Casual and Professional streamers’ PC builds, starting with the casual streamer, I will now go more in-depth as to why I recommend the products outlined above.
Let’s start first with the casual streamer’s PC. I’ve recommended the Intel Core i5-6500 quad-core processor because this is deemed to be a good CPU for streaming that doesn’t break the bank. For the most part, you will be able to stream 1080p at 30 fps with this CPU, although, there are going to be some instances where framerates will drop (that will depend on the game you play).
For the graphics card, I recommend getting the either the AMD RX 480 or the GTX 1060 6GB version. Both of these cards are priced just below $300 and they perform very well if you’re playing at the 1080p resolution. You can crank the settings up pretty high and they perform well without the heavy asking price.
I recommended 8GB of RAM for the casual streamer’s PC because I find it to be good enough in most cases. Just remember to open only a small number of programs so that there will be no applications vying for the RAM’s attention. Also, do not look at the speed of the RAM because it is not really necessary for a casual streamer’s PC.
For the motherboard, any motherboard that can support the new Intel Skylake processors will work just fine. If you want, you can get an H170 board or if you have the money, you can get a z170 board. The latter motherboard supports RAM with higher frequencies (higher than 2133MHz) and it can also overclock the processor as well. But, since we are only using the Intel Core i5-6500 CPU (which is not overclockable), then a z170 board is not advisable.
The power supply powers your entire gaming PC and for the casual streamer’s gaming rig, you would only need a 500-600-watt power supply. You should get a PSU from a trusted brand like Seasonic, EVGA, or Corsair. It doesn’t matter what 80 Plus certification it has so long as the product came from a reputable manufacturer.
For storage options, a 240GB SSD is good for the applications and some games and a 1TB hard disk is for mass storage. If you can stretch your money to buy a 500GB SSD and a higher capacity HDD, then go for it.
As mentioned earlier, a streamer needs a microphone to speak his or her mind. In most cases, a gaming headset with a microphone is already enough for a casual streamer. But, if you really want to get a discrete microphone, the Samson Meteor Mic is an inexpensive option that is favored by a lot of streamers.
Lastly, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 is popular among streamers because it provides a decent video quality at a price of only $25.
PC Components Explanation (Professional Streamer)
Since professional streamers make a profit from their content, it is best that you get quality PC components to ensure top notch quality.
For the CPU, an Intel Core i7-6700K CPU is one of the best CPUs on the market today, especially for streaming. Thanks to its hyperthreading technology, the CPU can effectively double its thread count for better video encoding capabilities. Furthermore, the i7-6700K processor can be overclocked to a higher frequency for improved performance.
For the CPU, an Intel Core i7-6700K CPU is one of the best CPUs on the market today, especially for streaming. Thanks to its hyperthreading technology, the CPU can effectively double its thread count for better video encoding capabilities. Furthermore, the i7-6700K processor can be overclocked to a higher frequency for improved performance.
For the GPU, get a Nvidia GTX 1070. The 1070 can handle all games at 1080p with most, if not all, of the game’s settings set to the max. If you’re using a 1440p monitor, I highly recommend you get the GTX 1080 instead. But for the most part, a GTX 1070 Graphics card should suffice.
8GB of RAM is enough, according to most streamers, but having extra RAM will not hurt. If you’re going to become a professional streamer, get at least 16GB of RAM. This will ensure that you will have enough RAM for your games and applications.
I recommend getting a z170 motherboard because the i7-6700K processor can be overclocked. There are a lot of z170 motherboards out there but upon research, most people prefer z170 motherboard from Asus or Gigabyte. Other brands offer some good z170 motherboards as well, so this boils down to preference.
I recommend getting a z170 motherboard because the i7-6700K processor can be overclocked. There are a lot of z170 motherboards out there but upon research, most people prefer z170 motherboard from Asus or Gigabyte. Other brands offer some good z170 motherboards as well, so this boils down to preference.
SSDs have become quite cheaper nowadays and there is no reason not to get one, especially if you’re into streaming. SATA SSDs are okay in most cases, but if performance is something that you value, you might want to get an NVMe M.2 or PCIe SSD. Both of them are going to be pricey but nothing can beat their performance. Get at least a 1TB SSD for your games and applications (if you can, get a bigger capacity SSD).
There are a lot of microphones that streamers use but one product that often comes up is the Blue Yeti USB podcast microphone. This is one of the most highly recommended microphones due to the fact that it is not too expensive but its audio quality is top notch. It is powerful enough to grasp your voice even if it is positioned a bit far away from you and it is very easy to use. The only problem is that it is so sensitive that it can pick up keyboard and mouse clicks. But, in most cases, the Blue Yeti provides a high-quality sound without breaking the bank.
For the webcam, the Logitech c920 is also a constant and solid product. The c920 has a resolution of 1080p and it has a lot of neat features such as a wide angle lens that captures a wide field of view, auto focus, and an image adjustment mechanism that instantly adjusts the quality of the webcam depending on the ambient lighting. It is a bit expensive at $70 but for its features, the Logitech c920 is a very good webcam for live streamers.
Gaming Chair For Streaming?
Gaming chairs have risen to popularity in the past few years and a lot of streamers are using them. But, are they absolutely essential for a streamer? Just to make things clear, when I say “gaming chairs”, I meant those racing style chairs that come from Maxnomic, DX Racer, and other prominent gaming chair brands. So, do you absolutely need a gaming chair when you’re streaming? Again, it depends if you’re a casual or a professional streamer. If you’re a casual streamer, then no, you don’t really need one of those expensive gaming chairs. All you really need is a comfortable chair to sit on without the brand being so prominent.
If you’re a professional streamer, however, gaming chairs should be highly considered. There are many reasons why. First, you want to be comfortable because you’re going to play and stream at the same time for hours. Second, if you are sponsored by one of the gaming chair companies, it is imperative on your part to let your audience know the brand/s that sponsor you and your streaming channel. Third, gaming chairs have the right ergonomics to allow you to sit up straight. This is important because it will make you more alert and at the same time, comfortable. You can also play more efficiently when you’re sitting in an ergonomic gaming chair. So to recap, a gaming chair is not really needed if you’re a casual streamer but a must-have for a professional.
So, you’ve got your gaming/streaming PC set with all of the necessary peripherals but one thing that you should never overlook is the streaming software you’re going to use. The streaming software is a very important program because it allows you to stream content over popular streaming websites like Twitch and Youtube Gaming. But, what are the best ones out there? I will give you the best Streaming software according to popular streamers.
Open Broadcast Software (OBS)
Pros: Free, plugins, a lot of options.
Cons: Interface could be better, a variety of options can be daunting for first-time users.
Open Broadcast Software or popularly known as “OBS” is probably the most widely used streaming software out there. It has a simple interface and it comes loaded with a lot of options you can tweak to completely optimize your streaming setup. It is a popular streaming software mainly because of its extensive plugins support which increases its functionality and it supports quite a number of streaming websites such as Twitch, Youtube Gaming, and it even supports Facebook Live as well. Because of its extensive array of options, it can be pretty daunting for the layman. Fortunately, there are plenty of guides over the internet that lets you tweak the program with the best possible settings. People do not recommend clicking the “optimize” button, though, as it has been proven to recommend settings that are either subpar or too much for your streaming PC to handle. You can put in a lot of sources and you can group them together via “scenes”. If you do not know about the different settings, there are a lot of resources over the internet that tells you what they do. If you want a free streaming software that is used by many and has an amazing portfolio of supported websites, then OBS is definitely a must-try.
Pros: Extensive features, Nice interface, Easier to Use than OBS
Cons: Pricey, free version contains ads
Another popular streaming software is the Xplit Broadcaster. Now, you might be surprised that I didn’t go with its other variant, the Gamecaster. That is because the Broadcaster has loads more features so you can truly tweak the program to suit your preference. Xplit has been a crowd favorite for many years because it has a much nicer user interface and it also has a vast array of settings that you can tinker. For those of you who do not know the difference between the two, the Xplit Gamecaster is the simpler option if you just want to start streaming and get on with it without much tinkering. However, people find the Broadcaster to be a much better choice, especially if you know what you’re doing. I highly recommend that you do not use the free version of the program because its features are limited and the final output will contain ads (which the audience doesn’t like). You can get a 3-month license which is a pretty good deal. This program also supports a variety of different streaming sites and its various settings are pretty easy to understand. If you have the money for a streaming software, the Xplit Broadcaster is one of the best out there.
Pros: Easy to use, a few clicks and you’re ready to go, hotkeys, streamlined
Cons: Has limited options, Only available for Nvidia Graphics Card users
If you absolutely want a very simple program that lets you stream your game content over to Twitch, then Nvidia Shadowplay is for you. This is a very simple and easy program and it allows you to stream content over to Twitch (although, I think that they will have support for other streaming platforms in the near future). Naturally, the program records your in-game footage and puts it in the storage of your choosing. But, once you enable the Shadowplay feature (now called “Share”), you can then start streaming your games.
Add to that the fact that there are certain hotkeys you can press to make things easier for you. It is not as extensive as the other streaming software out there but it is definitely worth considering if you want a simple solution. Do note that the Nvidia Shadowplay is only available for Nvidia graphics card users, so AMD users will have to resort to other streaming programs.
Monitors For Streaming
A monitor is also an essential part of a streamer’s arsenal because how will you be able to see your games and your current stream without a monitor, right? There are a lot of questions regarding monitors, especially with regards to streaming. I will go over some of the most frequently asked questions about monitors when streaming content over the internet.
Thoughts on 144hz Monitors For Streaming
One of the most common questions asked when streaming games are “do I need a 144Hz monitor?” Technically, no, you don’t. That’s because whether your monitor can reach 200Hz or just a simple 60Hz monitor, you are still going to be able to stream. And the FPS is capped at 30 (or 60 depending on your settings) anyway. However, having a high refresh rate monitor can be beneficial for you as your gameplay will be much smoother. But, you don’t really need one if you want to stream.
Secondary Monitor For Streaming
Well, you do not really need a second monitor to start streaming. However, according to a lot of professional streamers, your streaming experience will be much easier and better if you have another monitor. That is because you will not have the need to keep on alt+tabbing just to set things right. Furthermore, if you have a second monitor, you can instantly see what’s going on with your current stream without you having to get out of your game to take a peek. The next obvious question would then be, does the second monitor has to be a 144hz monitor, or simply a monitor with high refresh rate? No. The second monitor is only there to make your life easier. As stated above, having a second monitor allows you to see your stream in real-time without you having to go out of the game. Also, streams are usually capped at 30FPS anyway, so there is really no benefit in getting a high refresh rate monitor for your second display.
Optimal Settings For Open Broadcast Software (OBS)
OBS and Xplit Broadcaster are two of the most used streaming software tools. They have a vast array of options and it can be intimidating for people to tinker with them.
Fortunately for you, I am going to help you get the best out of the software. Below are some of the recommended settings for both of these programs (Starting with OBS).
1. The first thing you want to do is fire up the program and head over to the settings menu. From there, head to Output then clicks the Streaming tab.
2. For the Encoder, always set it to x264 (this option will use your CPU).
3. Next, put a check mark on “Rescale Output” and choose 1280×720. This is because a lot of people believe that 720p is much more doable on a lot of streaming PCs and the said resolution is okay in most cases. Also, Twitch only supports up to 3500 bitrates so it might not handle 1080p very well. For other streaming websites like Youtube Gaming, however, you can experiment with the 1080p resolution because it supports higher bitrates.
4. For bitrate, if you’re using Twitch, set it to 3500. If you’re using other platforms, research first on the limit of the platform (Twitch’s limit is 3500) and then set your Bitrate accordingly. This is where you will need a fast upload speed. 3500 bitrate translates to 3.5Mb/s. If you set your bitrate accordingly, you have to make sure that your internet speed is up to par.
5. For the CPU Usage Preset, the lower you go, the more taxing it is going to be for the CPU. Set it to either very fast, faster, or fast, depending on your current setup. If you’re absolutely confident, try the slower speeds. In case you’re wondering, the slower the CPU Usage Preset is, the better the overall output is going to be.
6. On the Profile, select “main”.
7. At the bottom, you will find the x264 options. Type in “opencl=true” (without the quotes). Next, click on the Recording tab.
8. Here, set the Recording type to “Standard” and also set the Recording Path. The Recording path will be the folder where you want the recordings to be saved.
9. For the recording format, you’re going to want to choose MP4 as it is a widely accepted format in any video editing software.
10. For the Bitrate, input 1000 and put a check on the “Use Custom Buffer Size”.
11. Keyframe Interval is going to be set to 2.
12. Uncheck “Use CBR” and a CRF option will be seen. The gist here is the lower the value, the better the quality but it is also going to be hard on your CPU and your storage. Input anywhere between 7-12 (experiment what works for you).
13. Set the profile to high
14. For the CPU Usage Preset, you want to set it to the lowest value your PC can handle. The idea here is the slower, the better, but it can be very taxing on your CPU. For most people, fast or faster should be okay (if you have a quad-core CPU, that is).
15. Put a checkmark on the Rescale Output and select your monitor’s native resolution on the dropdown menu.
16. For the x264 options, type in “opencl=true” without the quotes.
17. Next, click on Audio on the left-side pane. On the Desktop Audio Device, select the sound system of the gameplay audio.
18. If you have background music, select the Desktop Audio Device 2 and set it to the appropriate sound system. If you do not have any background music, then leave it Disabled.
19. For the Mic/Auxiliary Audio Device, choose the microphone you have (do not leave it at Default).
20. Head on to the Video settings. For the Base (Canvas) Resolution, select the native resolution of your monitor. For the Output (Scaled) Resolution set it to whatever resolution you want your stream to have (leave it at 1920×1080 if you have a fast internet connection, otherwise, select 1280×720).
21. For the Common FPS Values, leave it to 30 FPS as there is no noticeable difference when you set it to a higher number.
22. Head on to the Hotkeys section and put a hotkey for the “Start Streaming”, “Stop Streaming”, “Start Recording”, and “Stop Recording”. Having hotkeys for these functions will make your life easy.
Note: These settings can only be found on the OBS Studio program and not the OBS Classic. Be sure to use this one as it is much better.
Optimal Settings For Xplit Broadcaster
1. Go to Broadcast> Local Recording and you will notice a small cogwheel on the right. Click it.
2. For Codec, use x264 (you may experiment with the NVENC H.264 if you have a Nvidia graphics card).
3. For the quality, you would want to set it to High or Very High. If your computer is high-end, then set it to Ultra High.
4. Under Audio Encoding, select 192 for the bitrate.
5. Select MP4 as your output file type.
6. Make sure to check “Force Constant Framerate”.
7. Go back to broadcasting again and this time, select your platform (Twitch, Youtube Gaming, etc) and click the cogwheel on the right. You must first create an account and input the necessary information in the program for the platform to appear.
8. For the bitrate, you want to have at least 4000 bitrates for Youtube Gaming and 3500 for Twitch. For those of you who do not know, 4000 bitrate equates to 4000 kB/s or 4Mb/s. To know your internet speeds, click the “Test Bandwidth” button.
9. For the codec, select x264 (if you have a Nvidia graphics card, you can experiment with NVENC H.264).
10. Next, on the main interface, you will notice a cogwheel right at the bottom-middle portion, click it to bring up the settings menu.
11. On the Audio tab, select your microphone and for the System Sound, select your speakers/headset.
12. Back to the main interface again, on the right side, click the drop down menu and select Resolution> 1920×1080 (for Youtube Gaming) and 1280×720 for Twitch. The reason why you only want 720p for Twitch is because the platform only supports up to 3500 bitrates. Setting the resolution to 1080p will result in choppy performance. 720p is good in most cases anyway, so leave it at that if you’re going to use Twitch.
13. For the frame rates, 30fps is enough. 60fps is not really noticeable and can be even more stressful for your system. Stick with 30.
Note: Do not use Xplit Broadcaster free edition because it will have ads on your stream and the audience doesn’t like that. The company sells 3-month licenses at an affordable price anyway.
Top Tips For Would-Be Streamers
Now that you know the essential information about streaming, what are the things that you need to do in order for it your streams to be enticing? Here are some of the best tips I’ve gathered from seasoned streamers that I find that can benefit both the casual and the professional streamer.
1. Always Have a Good Set of Equipment. By this, I mean that you need to have a good streaming computer. In the PC builds I outlined above, all of the specs should give you a really good computer for streaming. Also, a great webcam and a clear and audible microphone is a must if you want to become a professional streamer.
2. You Need to have a Good and Reliable Internet Connection. This cannot be stressed enough; you need to have a fast and reliable internet connection. No one wants to see a live stream that is choppy and buffers a lot. Upload speed is more important when streaming and you will need at least 3Mb/s upload speeds if you want a solid connection.
3. Establish a Schedule. A lot of successful streamers always advocate that you establish a solid schedule and follow it. This is so that people will know when you will be streaming again so they can watch you again. Always stick to the schedule and if in the event that you cannot stream, always inform them ahead of time.
4. You Need to have a Personality. What will separate you from the other streamers? Simple, your personality. Add your personal branding to your streams and people will love you for it.
5. Talk Frequently When You Stream. Streaming is all about playing your game and communicating with your audience. As much as possible, talk when you stream. Add commentary, express your opinions, give tips and tricks, or just about anything. Communicate with your audience at all times.
6. Always have a webcam. If you’re a casual streamer, a webcam for stream is not really necessary. But, if you want to grow your channel, you must have one. If the audience sees you and your reactions when you play your game, it becomes more empathic and people can relate to you even more. Also, people want to know who they’re watching.
7. Stick to a Specific Content. As much as possible, stick to a specific content. For example, if you started your channel by playing Overwatch, stick to that game. Or, if your channel is all about RPG games, stick to that genre. This will help people know what your channel is all about. And, it is easier for them to remember if your channel only has a specific content/genre.
8. Do Collaborations. One way to grow your streaming channel is to collaborate with other streamers in the same genre or content. Popular streamers are always approachable and they will give you a boost in your viewership when you need it. Whenever you can, do collaborations with different streamers.
9. Play Popular Games. This might seem to be counterproductive but it actually isn’t. Even if a lot of people are going to stream a popular game, there is always something you can do to make your channel standout (do the things that I’ve outlined before). Also, if you’re really skilled with a popular game, your channel will grow in no time.
10. Put your Own Spin on Things. This ties in with the personality tip I said above. Look at it this way: your channel is like your life. You can be chill, you can be expressive, you can be whoever you want to be. Just be within the bounds of responsible content creation and you should be Golden.
11. Tell your Friends and Family. One way to get a sizable viewership on your streaming channel is to go tell your friends and family. They might not be interested in your content but they can support your streams. Heck, they might even tell their friends who are interested in what you have to offer to watch your streams.
12. Use Social Media. Social media is becoming a popular place. It would be wise to post the links to your streaming channels on your social media accounts so that people can click on it. Before leaving a link, put a brief description about your channel and what you’re going to stream.
13. Don’t be Discouraged. Growing your own channel is going to be rough at first. You might see only a few people looking at your stream and that is completely normal. Here is a golden tip that pro streamers impart to newbie streamers: do not be discouraged, especially if you see that there aren’t a lot of people viewing your channel. Although that is true in most cases, it will change, provided that you do the tips I’ve said in this section.
14. Have Fun! Last but definitely not the least, have FUN! The point of streaming is for you and your audience to have fun. Play the game you want to play, talk about it, have fun. If people see that you’re having fun, that energy becomes contagious and people would want to see more.
Game streaming can be a casual affair or a profitable one. In both cases, you need to have a reliable streaming PC and a fast and stable internet connection. For casual streamers, a webcam for streaming and a discrete microphone are not necessary. However, they are absolute musts if you’re going to make money out of it. When it comes to the streaming software, both OBS and Xplit Broadcaster are popular choices. If you want a simpler one, you can opt for the Xplit Gamecaster, although, the Broadcaster has a lot more options.
Remember, if you’re going to stream, you always have to engage with your audience. That is why having a dedicated microphone can do wonders as your voice will become much clearer to them. Also, try to chat with them from time to time, mix things up, make your content enjoyable and/or informative. Put your own personal brand. Make your channel unique by expressing who you are, your personality, and your own take on the games you play and stream. Create a schedule and commit to it so that people will know when you’re going to go online. Communicate with your audience like they were there with you. Never be too dull and boring, otherwise, you will lose a huge chunk of your viewership. Disseminate links to your channel on your social media accounts. Tell your friends and family about it so that they can also tune in and even invite some more people too. Don’t be discouraged if your channel doesn’t have a lot of viewers yet. Some popular streamers didn’t start out famous but they were committed to doing whatever it takes until they got where they are now. So, venture forth brave streamer. Follow the things that I’ve said in this guide and I am sure that your streaming adventure will be a fruitful one.