Everyone loves gaming. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do that as a job like your favorite video game streamer? It isn’t easy, but as it turns out, it is possible.
All you need is a good PC, decent internet, the right tools, and sheer determination. Some knowledge on what to do along the way would be helpful. With enough time, hard work, and armed with proper knowledge, anyone can succeed at this craft.
Here’s a handy guide of everything you need to become a successful video game streamer.
Your PC, Internet, Camera, and Sound Quality
Before you can become the best game streamer, you need the right tools for the job. The first thing you need is a powerful gaming PC to play on.
The last thing you want is a laggy playing experience or choppy stream. It will reduce your enjoyment, increase frustration, and ruin the end product. You have to consider the quality of the stream and viewing experience.
Chugging along at 60fps on medium settings in a triple-A game might be ok for you, but your audience will expect better. They want high or Ultra settings, in as high a resolution as you can manage, without lag. While there is room for preference here, it will be easier for you if you don’t limit your capability with a weak PC.
To provide the best experience you’ll also need reliable high-speed internet. Nothing kills a stream faster than interruptions and blackouts. You’ll also need a high-quality microphone and camera since your audience will expect to see and hear you as you play.
Your gaming headset can double as a microphone but isn’t ideal. There’s a reason why most streamers use studio-quality microphones like a Shure or Blue Yeti. You want everything nice and crisp, with no feedback or quality issues.
Tools to Capture and Run The Stream
To stream, you’ll also need capture software. The most popular and easy-to-use software is XSplit and OBS. They’re necessary to stream your games, but also for recording your sessions for later.
Those streaming from consoles can take advantage of built-in streaming on newer gen consoles. Capture cards are also still popular options if you want more control. The final thing you need is a stream deck.
A stream deck is a box that lets you control your stream effortlessly. It’s like a programmable remote control that enables you to interact with your stream with a push of a button. With a stream deck, you can play sounds, run ads, or change the music.
Picking Your Platform
Every gaming geek knows that there are two main platforms for streaming games. These are Twitch and YouTube. Competitors like Hitbox are out there too, but they can’t seem to come close to the numbers of Twitch.
Picking your platform is a crucial step in becoming a streamer. It’s where you’ll provide your content and build your audience. For this reason, it’s important not to limit your potential for growth by picking a small platform.
Streaming can be a full-time job. You won’t have time to balance multiple platforms, so it’s best to focus on the one with the most upside. Twitch and YouTube gaming is hard to beat in today’s current ecosystem.
Aside from exposing yourself to the largest potential audience pool, you also have another important decision to make: PC or console. For most streamers, it’s best to go for PC.
The set-up is more expensive, but the creative capability is also massive. You can also interact with your chat in more ways. This includes browsing the internet outside of the game and bringing your audience along with you.
In terms of console-exclusive games, you can always spice things up with the occasional console stream. Either way, you’ll need a PC to edit additional content, so you might as well invest in the PC approach.
Target Audience and Building Your Brand
There are many ways for a video game streamer to create and build a brand. When it comes to professional gaming, the skill requirement is cutthroat. Choose what kind of streamer you want to be and who you’ll target.
You don’t even have to be particularly good at the game you’re streaming. As long as you provide some level of entertainment or “draw factor,” people will tune in. It helps to have a relatable personality and enthusiasm for your work.
Your target audience is also something to consider. Highly-skilled players will attract fans of esports and the competitive scene. Goofy players trying to have a good time will bring in more casual fans who crave humor or wholesomeness.
Sticking to a schedule is also important to building your brand. Your audiences need to know where and when to find you, so being regular is crucial.
Being active on social media and chatting with viewers on stream are great ways to build your brand and community. Variety in your content is also vital.
Bring your viewers into your games or host events like trivia contests. Even chilling with your chat and answering questions is a good way to build your following. The most important thing is never to give up – hard work will pay off.
The Games Themselves
Every year, the video game industry pumps out plenty of games. Picking which one to play is difficult and sets the tone for your content.
People browse Twitch looking for specific game content. Being a jack of all trades sounds nice, but it will break up your potential audience. It’s better to build a following in one game before spending considerable time in others.
The other approach is to pick up a newer hit game to try and capitalize on the wave of interest. Games like Valheim were huge on release and still have popular followings. Streaming it with large groups of friends was as simple as going with a Valheim server hosting service.
Either way, don’t jump ship too often. Stick to a game or genre before making any drastic departures.
The Way to Becoming a Video Game Streamer
There is no magic bullet solution or path for becoming a video game streamer. It’s hard work that requires consistency and determination. You need the right gear and the right heartfelt approach to succeed.
That said, anyone can do it. With enough patience, your community can grow, but even a small, rich one can be fulfilling. If you’re looking for more info on this topic or other gaming-related issues, check out our site.