Digital platforms have seen tremendous growth as demand surged over the course of the pandemic, and one form of digital entertainment that has stood out is gaming streams. In fact, viewership on game streaming platforms such as Twitch jumped by as much as 50% between March and April of 2020, and its trajectory is expected to continue this year. This trend is also evident in other streaming platforms like Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube.
With so much excitement in game streaming, it isn’t surprising if more gamers are considering starting streams of their own. And if this rings true for you, know that finding success as a streamer entails the essentials for providing your audiences with a quality stream — and you can do this without an expensive, state-of-the-art setup. Here’s how to build the best game streaming setup for yourself!
What You’ll Need to Get Started
A Stable Internet Connection
Before jumping into hardware, ensuring that your internet connection is fast and stable enough for streaming is a crucial first step. A 100 MB/s download and upload connection should provide you with a steady 1080p 60FPS experience with plenty of bandwidth left for other activities in between. Still, it’s never a bad idea to have a buffer for your internet connection, especially if other computers are connected to it while you’re streaming.
2. The Essential Equipment
After you’ve secured your internet connection, the next step is to complete your essential streaming equipment. Here are some basic pieces that you should have:
No matter where you’re streaming from, it’s essential to have quality audio. Those who are just starting out with a streaming setup can find easy-to-use USB microphones that offer superior sound quality. The best mics for vocals are those that have three things: an optimized frequency response, cardioid polar pattern, and dynamic range.
Optimized frequency response refers to the range of sound that your microphone can reproduce, and it’s the most significant factor in sound quality. Pickup patterns are also important to consider since these determine which parts of the microphone will be doing the recording. Microphones specifically meant for vocal recording have cardioid pickup patterns to reject background noise. Last, consider microphones with high dynamic ranges to ensure you get flexibility at the lowest and highest recordable levels of sound.
If you are just starting out with game streaming, then there’s no need to splurge on a DSLR. Using your smartphone for streaming is a great option since it already comes with an excellent camera and downloadable software that will allow you to capture video streams.
- A Dual Monitor Setup
When streaming on Twitch or any other platform, the best dual monitor setups make all the difference, so you can play on a primary monitor and use your streaming tools on the secondary monitor. It also makes it much easier for you to view the chat and respond to your viewers in real-time. Before making a purchase, ensure that your computer’s graphics card can support dual monitors. Second, consider the size. It’s recommended for new streamers to get two same-sized monitors for a well-balanced experience.
Lighting and Backdrops
While your lighting and backdrop might not seem like necessities, they certainly add to the overall quality of your stream. They also allow you to have a more professional and engaging setup, leaving your audience with a strong visual impression of your style as a streamer — something they can come to expect when tuning in next time!
With live streaming and gaming still high in demand as forms of entertainment, a new opportunity arises for aspiring streamers. Now is the time to get creative with your streams beyond the simple play-throughs. Share live reactions or even content on top video game soundtracks. Having a simple yet quality set-up using the tools and tips mentioned above makes it possible for you to focus on the more important things: recording an entertaining and memorable stream for your viewers!
Author: Tania Brown