Streaming has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Many streamers have risen to fame simply by playing the games they love for thousands of people, sometimes for tens of thousands of people to watch.
If you are someone who loves gaming live stream or someone who has no idea where to start when it comes to streaming, this post will walk you through everything you need to know.
What is Streaming?
In simple terms, streaming is broadcasting what you are doing live to an audience on the internet. It is no different from watching a live game of football, except it is done on the internet, and more often than not, the streamer is gaming.
Streamers will play the game of their choice, interact with their audience by replying to messages in their chat, and just generally have a good time. Streaming has become so popular due to the skill level of those involved.
Once again, we watch professional football because they are so much better than any of us and their skill and talent are half the reason we watch, the same can be said about streaming. We watch streamers who are incredibly talented at games we love.
Why Stream Your Games?
There are many reasons to stream your games, but what every streamer has in common is that they can earn money. Streaming allows you to monetize your time and gameplay, and you do this through what is essentially a subscription.
Viewers can subscribe to your channel and pay a certain amount a month, and this money is then split between the website you use and you. While earning money is in no way guaranteed, it is a significant driving force behind people starting to stream.
Streaming is not as easy as switching on your PC or console and then beginning to stream, and there is some stream-specific gear that you are going to need. While we will get into PC specs and that sort of thing next, this small list is for the extras.
While headphones aren’t necessary, they vastly improve your audio and help you hear far more in-game, as well as hear any teammates you may have. The next thing you will need is a good quality microphone.
The microphone will be used to talk to your teammates, but more importantly, it will be used to talk to your audience. While it isn’t essential to have the most expensive gear, if you are going to make streaming a proper hobby, investing in high-quality equipment early on isn’t a bad idea.
Streaming on PC
It is almost always best to stream using a PC. It has the power and memory you need, and having multiple screens is the best way to play your game and keep an eye on what’s happening in your chat or if you want to check something on the internet.
How to Stream on Twitch
Twitch is the biggest streaming platform out there and the one that has the biggest available audience. However, streaming on Twitch isn’t as straightforward as just logging in and beginning; you will need a couple of programs.
The first thing you need to do is create a Twitch account. You must then copy your stream key, which is used to link and stream your gameplay. This key is unique to you, be sure to keep it safe and hidden at all times.
You will then need to download an app that captures and then streams your gameplay. Most streamers use OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), which captures what you’re playing, in-game audio, your camera or webcam, and your microphone. Most streamers set up OBS on a separate PC, as having both OBS and all your games on one machine is a lot for one PC to handle.
Both OBS and its more advanced cousin Steamlabs give you everything you need to stream and capture your gameplay. There are many tutorials on YouTube that will walk you through installing and effectively using both versions.
Streaming on Console
Streaming on a console is a bit easier, but it has fewer options. Hence, you will see many console streamers play on a console but stream through a PC using OBS. However, if you don’t have a PC, all is not lost.
You need to create a Twitch account on the website, then download the Twitch app onto your console. Once done, you can connect the two. Remember, PlayStation has a “Share” button that allows you to save and share clips instantly. Once again, if there is any confusion, there are hundreds of videos on how to do this.
Streaming on YouTube
Streaming on YouTube has also grown in popularity due to huge streamers moving from Twitch to the video-sharing website. If you want to go this route, too, it is similar to streaming on Twitch.
You will still need OBS, and after you have created your account, you go to the “Create a Video” button, select Go Live, and then Stream. Follow the steps, and in no time, you will be streaming on the biggest video-sharing platform in the world.
Things to Remember
Once you have your PC or console set up to stream and you are ready to go, there are a few things to remember to ensure you have an enjoyable stream that people will want to stay and watch and return to.
People watch streamers because of their skill in a particular game and their personality, and how they interact with their audience. If you are sitting quietly and barely talking or showing emotion, no one will want to watch.
Production quality is always a plus when it comes to streaming. Viewers appreciate great audio, interaction, and even funny emotes. While this may all seem a bit unnecessary in the beginning, no matter how many people stop by your stream, you want to impress them all with how great it is.