Streaming Starter Kit: What Do You Need to Start & More

You have been gaming for as long as you can remember. Tons of hours of gameplay have naturally contributed to your becoming a Master in your trade. A new power is rising, and you have become very well aware of your level. It just feels like it has to pay off at some point. All those hours should count for something in the end. When your “Hooray” and “Wow” moments during play start prevailing you may have reached the point where you have something to share with the rest of the community. In a world of free market you have an asset and there is demand for it. So, you ask yourself “What if I started streaming and got paid while doing what I love?”

Your First Steps to Streaming Stardom

It is a niche and therefore there will be others who will come up with the same idea. Do not by any means get discouraged by them vultures. If you have the spark, you’re on. In order to be well prepared for the long way to the top, there is a lot to consider before starting your Twitch journey.

1. Your Battle Station: Choose Your Weapon

With so many people wanting the same thing it might be safe to assume that you will be going to war when you start streaming. It is understandable that you will then need every advantage. Choose your weapon wisely, as a lot of wise men have already noted. Twitch Streaming supports a lot of platforms. Choose the one that suits you best. Make sure the selection process is comprehensive and unforgiving. The outcome will be very important.

PC or Mac

The good news is that you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for a gaming rig for streaming… yet. Twitch is lenient with system requirements. This is the list:

  • Intel Core i5-4670 processor or AMD FX-6300 onwards
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Windows 7 onwards
  • Dedicated video card DDR5 up

Don’t own a windows PC? Mac users can still stream, though Twitch recommends that you use a Mac with a dedicated GPU, as the built-in Intel HD Graphics will take away processing power from the CPU.

If you’re streaming PC games, you’ll need a graphics card powerful enough to support the game. The GPU must support DirectX 10 and up.

For the best streaming experience, we recommend that you did it from a desktop. With that said streaming from a laptop is possible with the right specs and enough power.

While Twitch’s system specifications are rather tolerant, streaming high-end games which eat RAM and GPU for breakfast will need an equally powerful machine. An intense session of streaming and running a demanding game at the same time can put your PC companion under extreme pressure. Some streamers have come up with an interesting countermeasure – they use two PCs at the same time, one for gaming, and another for streaming.

Xbox

Xbox owners can join the fun and continue chasing the dream of becoming the next online streaming A-lister. Broadcasting to Twitch right from your Xbox is super easy. Just download and launch the free Twitch app from the Xbox Store and you are ready to go!

PS4

PS4 just outdid others and launched a button to rule them all. To start your streaming career just press the share button on your PS4 controller while in-game. Then voila, say hello, because you are live! No fuss, no mess. Convenience at your fingertips!

Nintendo Switch

Unlike other consoles on this list, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t support internal streaming.  To proceed with broadcasting, you will need a capture card. Once you have picked the best card just plug it in your PC and you are good to start streaming.

Mobile

Streaming your favorite mobile game directly to Twitch using your smartphone is a no go. But don’t lose hope because you can still show your mobile gaming moves by using the Reflector 3 app and a PC. The show must go on.

2. Internet Connection: Don’t Let Bad ISP Disconnect your Dream

No one wants to watch a lagging streamer that is having ISP problems. To avoid that, make sure that your internet connection is fast and stable. It is also probably smart to have a back-up connection. A reliable router is also a good idea. Invest in routers that support lag-free gaming.

No one wants to watch a lagging stream that is having ISP problems. To avoid that, make sure that your internet connection is fast and stable. It is also probably smart to have a back-up connection. A reliable router is also a good idea. Invest in routers that support lag-free gaming.

What you can do before you start streaming is check your internet connection and speed on any of the available platforms. If it’s more than 80 mbps, you should be fine in most cases. If you’re experiencing drops, your viewers will see their video quality get worse, and even if you have a quality camera and microphone, your stream will probably be unwatchable. No one wants to watch content that annoys them.

What you can do, if your internet speed is high enough, is invest in a higher quality router that will let you stream more easily. If you’re looking for a quality router under $50, check out our article on Best Cheap Wi-Fi Routers for Home Use.

3. Twitch Account: Your Gateway to Online Hooray

This is a no-brainer. Sign up toTwitch.tv to join for free. There are ways to mark your progress in the streaming site. You can be either a Partner or an Affiliate. These are special types of Twitch accounts that basically allow monetization when streaming. Anyone can be a Twitch Affiliate or Partner, however, several conditions must be matched to qualify. This ranges from the stream’s following and popularity to the number of subscribers a channel has.

Twitch Affiliates are granted access to Bits which is like mini-donations from viewers and 5% of game sale profits earned by their channel. Twitch Partners additionally have perks when streaming. Plus, they can have video ads, paid subscriptions rights, custom badges, personalized emoticons, and other added exclusive content.

4. Picking Streaming Software

To commence your Twitch career, you must pick a streaming application for your channel. There is a lot of free and paid software for this purpose. Though you could choose the best that suits you it is recommended to try using the OBS first. Open Broadcaster Software or most commonly known as the OBS is proficient software for a beginner streamer.

5. Live Streaming Equipment

Good equipment will provide equivalent quality. However, I’m not telling you to buy the tools that Ninja uses for streaming or start installing a green screen.

First things first. What the viewers want to watch other than the game is you. They want to see and hear you clearly when streaming. Remember, you are an entertainer and your followers will love a vocal captain. That is why investing in a high-quality microphone and a camera will go a long way.

You already have a built-in mic in your gaming headset that should have decent audio for streaming. True as this is, you will still benefit greatly from a dedicated microphone so that your viewers can understand you clearly. If you have no clue which one is right for you, check out our guide about the best microphones for streaming.

Your facial reactions are a significant part of your overall act when streaming. A bunch or mushed pixels on the screen will be sure to spoil the experience. Invest in a quality streaming camera that will serve you well.

Evaluate your peripherals too. Optimize your mouse, keyboard and headset. Poor equipment might result in poor games and a bad streaming experience. No one will watch if all they see is you dying all the time.

Remember, your viewers will grow if you continue to show off your awesome entertaining skills and montage-worthy plays.

Microphone

If you don’t want to use your headset’s microphone or you don’t have one, there’s plenty of options that are perfect for a beginner’s stream with great audio. If you’re on a budget, you’d want to look for a desk microphone with a stand. If you can afford a higher grade microphone, you can get a studio one for fantastic audio quality.

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

Arguably the best microphone for streaming you can get. Offers supreme audio quality, USB/XLR combo and is small enough to not take too much space in front of the camera. 

The negatives are that it doesn’t come with a microphone stand and that it uses Micro USB and not Type-C.

Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
  • USB OR XLR CONNECTIONS: Dual USB;XLR output allows digital or analog recording
  • INTUITIVE TOUCH PANEL CONTROLS.
  • RICH and NATURAL VOCAL REPRODUCTION.
  • ShurePlus MOTIV DESKTOP APPLICATION.
  • ALL-METAL CONSTRUCTION: Rugged and professional all-metal construction provides outstanding reliability

Blue Yeti X

The Blue Yeti X microphone is one of the best podcasting microphones on the market. Just like the Shure MV7, it has a fantastic audio quality and great flexibility with the Blue Vo!ce software. The downsides of this microphone are the low microphone stand and delicate ports which can break easily. 

Blue Yeti X Professional Podcast, Gaming, Streaming USB Mic
  • Blue VO!CE Software Including Advanced Voice Modulation with Warcraft Presets
  • Custom World of Warcraft Design
  • Customizable Laser Etched LED Warcraft Runes
  • Enhanced Blue VO!CE Broadcast Vocal Effects 

HyperX SoloCast

The HyperX SoloCast is the best affordable microphone for streaming according to our research. It sounds nearly identical to most higher quality microphones but comes at a significantly lower price at under $100 and has a portable design.

The biggest downside this microphone has is the lack of gain control, which can make it harder to set up for streaming.

HyperX QuadCast - USB Condenser Gaming Microphone
  • Anti-vibration shock mount
  • Tap to mute sensor with LED indicator
  • Four selectable polar patterns
  • Mount adapter included
  • Convenient software gain control adjustment

The Camera

Any camera will do for a beginner stream. If your face is visible and there’s enough light, you should be fine streaming during the day. If you want to have a higher quality stream and you’re planning to have screens of yourself, and not of the game, you want to get a better camera.

While a high quality web camera is a good option, often it’s not worth the investment. The main reason for this is that you will only be able to use it for streaming. Additionally, the quality is not great so forget about blurry backgrounds and shooting in low light conditions. 

If it fits in your budget, you should consider buying a mirrorless camera. Not only do they have a fantastic video quality but you will also be able to use them for a lot more than streaming. In addition they also have a decent microphone, so you will be able to use them for ambient sound if you need it. 

Sony, Fujifilms and Canon have some pretty decent cameras that don’t come at a high price so we’d recommend looking into them. If you already have a camera lying around, you might want to check if you can use it for streaming, and save some money on your kit.

Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless Camera Body - Black
9.7
Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless Camera Body - Black
  • Putting stability in your hands: A huge part of creating great photos or videos is making sure you are in the right place at the right time – and that often means making handheld images to get to the heart of the action.
  • Performance you can rely on: For any serious image maker, having a tool that can be relied upon to perform flawlessly whenever it is required is extremely important. 
  • Find the best angle for your story: When chasing the perfect image, versatility is key, so the last thing you want is to be hampered by awkward angles. photography and videography.
  • Powerful image manipulation made easy.
Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera
9.5
Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera
  • 20.1MP stacked back illuminated 1" Exmor RS CMOS sensor w/ DRAM, large aperture 24-70mm1 F1.8-2.8 ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens
  • Enhanced subject capture: wide 425 Phase/ 425 contrast detection points over 84 percent of the sensor
  • Fast and accurate: Up to 11Fps continuous shooting at 24.2 MP raw with crisp, clear natural colors
  • Multiple movie functions: Make time lapse movies or slow/quick motion videos without post processing
  • Tiltable LCD screen: customizable for vlogging, still photography or recording a professional film
Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 4K Video, Full-Frame CMOS Senor, DIGIC X Image Processor, Dual UHS-II SD Memory Card Slots, and Up to 12 fps with Mechnical Shutter, Body Only, Black
9.1
Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 4K Video, Full-Frame CMOS Senor, DIGIC X Image Processor, Dual UHS-II SD Memory Card Slots, and Up to 12 fps with Mechnical Shutter, Body Only, Black
  • High Image Quality featuring a New 20 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor.
  • DIGIC X Image Processor with an ISO range of 100-102400; Expandable to 204800.
  • High-speed continuous shooting of up to 12 fps with Mechanical Shutter and up to 20 fps electronic (silent) shutter.
  • Dual pixel CMOS AF covering approx. 100% area with 1,053 AF areas.
  • Subject tracking of people and animals using deep learning technology.

Video Light Kit

Ask any streamer or video maker and they’ll tell you that lighting is just as important as the camera you’re using. While you can make a slight compromise with the audio quality and even the camera at first, you should get the highest quality lighting you can afford. 

This is because the way your face is lit makes a big difference for a video. If the light in your room is dim and no one can see you, your content won’t get anyone’s attention. Even though modern cameras are pretty good at shooting in darker conditions, you will still need some good lighting to give your stream that extra quality that would make the difference.

UBeesize LED Video Light Kit
  • 【Video Lighting Kit:】The small LED panel light is equipped with a 1/4 universal ball head, which can adjust the panel 180°.
  • 【Diversification Shooting Effects:】LED desktop video lighting with a tripod is equipped with 2 * 4 color filters (red, orange, white, blue).
  • 【Ideal for Product Photography:】 The retractable tripod has a working height from 23.62" to 57.68" and can be used in hand. 
  • 【USB-Powered Light:】 There are more powerful options as all USB ports can be used to power the task light.

6. Picking Your Game: The Right One for You

You love League of Legends and play Fortnite like a true champion, so you plan on streaming it. You might want to reconsider. A sound strategy is a must.  

There are tons of people streaming under that content. Big sharks too. Muscling your way through that jungle is like draining the sea with a bucket. Maybe you are some prodigy in marketing or you already have a fan base somewhere else and you are just looking to migrate it. But if you are not one of these exceptions, then forget it, at least for now.

There must be some sort of golden middle. Find a game that is not polluted with streamers. A good game with a decent following is your chance to fame. Start with a small community and as you gather momentum, start streaming the top tiers and aim for the big guns.

7. Building a Fanbase: Fans Are Your Lifelines

You are all set, your battle station is gleaming with goodies and you are ready to show the world your streaming skills. Now the real game starts. But no one shows up to your stream. Only a couple of friends and relatives. Yikes!

Don’t lose heart, my young Padawan, this is just the beginning of your journey!

Grow your channels by small bounds first, such as having a custom avatar, a banner, and witty bio so you will have a bit of online branding when you stream. You may also want to be streaming on a certain schedule. No one would check on you every day so it is best to start with a regular stream as you build your following.

Have a Social Media presence, this is important. Make a dedicated Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account for your channel. These links must be visible on your channel so viewers could easily click it and follow you. Having outlets like these will strengthen online imprint and increase your chances of success.

Let’s Wrap It Up!

Streaming can seem frightening at first. This makes perfect sense, as we all know that in all spheres of life the first step is always the hardest. Love what you do and aim for perfection. Make room for mistakes and take them as lessons learned.  Make noise and plan your marketing strategy. Let people know that you are streaming and you are a fun guy to spend time with.

To start a successful channel, you have to keep moving forward even when it’s not as easy as a walk in the park. Press on and work your craft. Learn every day and most importantly have fun. You wouldn’t watch a guy who hates his job, right?

Andrew is arguably the geekiest member of our team. He has a knack for new gaming hardware and awesome gadgets. Although Overwatch is his current favorite, he thinks the Counter Strike Global Offensive is the best shooter of all times. He is constantly hunting for news about new hero releases and patches. Andrew believes that playing video games is not just a hobby but a way of life. He regards his job at RealGear as a way of helping fellow gamers make the most of their gameplay by writing reviews about the hardware he uses and the FPS/ RTS he plays.

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