Beginner’s Guide to Streaming Gear
Updated October 6, 2023
Video game streaming has exploded in popularity in recent years, and some experts believe that just over 740 million people regularly tune in to video game streaming channels. For some content creators, streaming games is a career, and many of those individuals are getting huge contracts from international companies and making quite a bit of money in the Esports industry.
Others simply want to connect with video game fans from around the world who have the same interests as them. With such a diverse group of people streaming every single day, this unique activity is sure to be around for quite some time.
If you’re about to start streaming, we recommend you prepare first. Luckily, even the best webcams for streaming aren’t that expensive, so you won’t really have to break the bank.
The Basics of Streaming
Aside from the camera, you will also need to invest in a few other important pieces of equipment and some essential software. Without all of the proper software and hardware, you could run into quite a few frustrating issues in the coming months. Here is a quick look at some simple tips and tricks that you can use to get your streaming channel up and running before you know it.
#1 Start With the Camera
While you can always stream your gaming sessions without showing your face, that could have a huge impact on the number of views that you get. Showing your face is going to create a personal connection between you and your viewers, and that is why you should take a close look at webcams. Even if your current computer or gaming console already has a built-in camera or video capture attachment, getting a standalone webcam will probably be a much more practical option.
When you are choosing a webcam, there are a few different variables to consider including the frame rate, resolution, and field of view. If the camera can capture video with a higher frame rate and better resolution, then your stream is going to be much clearer. The field of view is going to be important as well if you plan on capturing any objects to your side such as guests who are sitting next to you.
You might also need to consider investing in at least a few accessories for your camera. Most basic webcams can easily be attached to the top of a display or set on a desk, but a tripod will be more stable. A webcam with a built-in light could be useful as well if the room where you will be recording doesn’t have adequate lighting. Finally, you will need to consider what type of mic the camera has. If the camera that you choose doesn’t have a high-quality mic, then you will probably need to invest in a separate microphone as well.
#2 Choosing the Right Platform
For many years, only a few platforms were available to those who wanted to stream video games, but that has all changed recently. There are now hundreds of apps, websites, and programs that will capture and stream your gaming sessions to countless people all over the world. When you are choosing a platform to stream on, you will need to consider what types of features you are looking for. A free platform with limited features should be adequate as long as you are only going to stream to a handful of people.
If you want to turn video game streaming into a business, then one of the bigger platforms will probably be a better option. Those platforms usually charge a monthly or yearly fee for professional accounts, but they often provide their users with 24/7 technical support, custom channels, and other amazing perks. Many platforms also have very strict rules regarding streamer conduct and the monetization of accounts, and you must carefully read those regulations before you start your channel.
#3 Double-Check Your Gear and Internet Speeds
As soon as you have chosen a platform and gathered all of your gear, you should then consider carrying out a few practice runs. No one wants to start streaming to the world only to realize that they don’t have an adequate internet connection or some of their gear isn’t working properly. Capturing a few videos and then uploading them to a popular streaming or media sharing site will also give you the opportunity to establish a brand.
As for your gear, you might need to make a wide variety of changes before you begin streaming to the public. To make sure that your audio and video equipment is set up properly, you will need stream test videos to different devices such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones. A certain camera angle could look great on a larger television but terrible on a smaller screen. Some alterations might need to be made to the background as well so that your silhouette remains crisp with the gameplay behind you.
#4 Build a Following
The final step in this process is building up a following of loyal fans, and that is going to take some patience and dedication. Even if you have a great personality and amazing content, you should realize that this project is going to require some hard work. To build your following, you must create social media accounts for your streaming channel so that people can find you. After you have those accounts set up, you will then be able to invite friends, family, and colleagues.
Another important step in this process is consistently releasing content. If you only stream once or twice a month, then it will be very difficult for new followers to find and share your videos. You might also want to test out different streaming platforms and games. Some streamers can build up multiple groups of fans at the same time by playing different games and launching their videos on a variety of networks.
As you gain more followers and your channel grows in popularity, you must try to stay connected with all of your viewers. Many people prefer video game streaming channels because they feel personal and comfortable, and distancing yourself from your fanbase is only going to drive people away. By connecting with those individuals, you can continue to stimulate organic growth while streaming all of your favorite video games to avid followers from around the globe.