Gaming / Lifestyle

Streaming 101: What You Need to Know Before You Start

YouTube, Twitch, and other streaming services have made it easy for anyone with a camera and Internet connection to broadcast video games to the world. Anyone with a webcam, a laptop, and recording software can start streaming their favourite games to their friends, family, and the world. But before you get started, you should know what you’re getting into.

Many people think that the only way to stream is to be a pro at playing the game you’re streaming. And many people are going to be very surprised when they find out just how easy it is to start streaming.

Streaming is not that hard, but you need to understand the basics first. If you don’t know what you’re getting into, you shouldn’t start streaming. This post covers things you should think about and the equipment you will need to get started on your streaming journey.

What is Streaming? 

Streaming can be described as a video broadcast on the Internet. Streaming usually involves one or more people, but it can also be used to broadcast a single person. The streamer is broadcasting live to an audience, and cameras are used to record the event.

Streaming services like Twitch make streaming easier than ever before. Twitch has made it possible for anyone with a webcam and laptop to start streaming their favourite games to friends, family, and the world.

Streaming platforms exist across social media and gaming communities like YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, and Facebook Live. These sites allow people to connect with audiences from all over the world and showcase their talents in front of a massive group of fans.

Find Your Niche

The first thing you need to do before starting streaming is to find your niche. What kind of games are you going to stream? Are you going to focus on strategy, action, and puzzle games? You must decide what type of game or game genre you’re going to stream before getting started. You’ll have a better chance of finding an audience that enjoys the same games as you if they’re not trying to figure out what your channel is about halfway into your stream.

Determine Your Stream Times

One of the first things you should think about when you want to start streaming is your stream times. Some people only stream on specific days, while other people like to stream 24 hours a day. If you’re going to be streaming all day, you need a way to hold your audience’s attention. Staying fresh and making sure your audience wants more are essential ways to keep viewers interested. But if you’re only going to be streaming once or twice a week, it might be better for you to stay consistent with those times so that viewers know when they can get their regular fix of your content.

Set Goals

First, you need to know what your goals are. What are you trying to accomplish?

Consider the following:

  • What type of content will you be streaming?
  • How often will you stream?
  • What is your target audience going to be like?
  • Who are your competitors in this space?

You should have a goal in mind before creating a strategy and starting to create content. Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere. For example, if your goal is to make money from streaming, you might have different plans for who your target audience is than someone who wants to spend time with friends over video games. You also might wish to start monetizing sooner rather than later if that’s what you’re looking for. You can also look into branded clothing and accessories to build your brand for your career in streaming. Check out dynamicgift to bulk buy products for fans or start your own store alongside your streaming channel.

If one of the reasons you want to start streaming is that it seems fun, then that should be reflected in what type of content you upload on YouTube or other platforms.

Purchase Equipment

Before starting streaming, the first thing you need to do is purchase the equipment. You will need a webcam, a computer or gaming system, and recording software.

Your computer or gaming system needs to be equipped with a high-end graphics card and an Internet connection to handle the bandwidth requirements of streaming at 1080p. Your webcam should have a resolution of at least 720p, include autofocus, and have a microphone built-in or attached. Your browser or operating system may provide the recording software, but if not, then you can download software like OBS Studio for free online.

Invest in the proper equipment from the start, and you’ll spare yourself any extra headaches later on down the road.

Consider Extras

While there’s the essential equipment you physically need to start streaming, there are some extras worth considering. Of course, these extras aren’t integral to being able to go live online. But they might make your life easier and the whole experience more fun.

These extras can be a tripod for your camera to record if you’re not using a webcam. An arm for your microphone so that it’s securely in the right place. LED light rings enhance the image quality you’re streaming out. Or even something as simple as a cable tidy. Because there will be a lot of wires. Learn more about a quality cable management system here.

While none of these extras are strictly needed. They are good to have, and they will make your life easier.

Find The Right Software 

Before you get started, the first thing you need to do is find the right software for your computer. There are a lot of different streaming programs out there like OBS and XSplit that can help you get started with streaming.

The first thing to look for in this program is whether or not it has an audio mixer. A good audio mixer will help you sound better while talking over gameplay and boost your video quality. You also want to make sure that the software is compatible with your computer’s operating system. You don’t want to spend hours trying to figure out why the software isn’t working when it’s just because it isn’t compatible with your operating system.

Make Sure You Have A Good Internet Connection

Many things can affect how good your video quality will be, and one of them is how fast your Internet connection is. You need to have a good internet connection if you plan on streaming your favourite game. Depending on the game, your internet speed might be all it takes to get a smooth and lag-free video. You want to make sure you have a fast enough internet connection so that you don’t experience any interruptions or delays with your stream.

The type of router you use is another thing to keep in mind when streaming, especially with games like League of Legends or Fortnite – where many people are playing at once. If you use an older model, then it might not be able to handle all the traffic coming in from all those gamers trying to use their bandwidth at the same time. In this case, it’s best to upgrade your router.

Featured Image by Fábio Silva on Unsplash
About Author

Jeff to some, Jeffafa to others. I'm a Benoni based coffee-fueled Creative, Foodie, Occasional cyclist and Blogger at ManvsMind.

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