The popularity of online video game live-streaming is surging. More and more gamers are jumping on the bandwagon every day, sharing their gaming experiences and commentary with the masses. Standing out amid a crowd of motivated streamers can be tricky, but it all starts with having the right tools for the job. Let’s take a look at some of the standard equipment necessary to start streaming video games successfully.
While it isn’t necessary to have a top of the line machine for streaming, it is important to at least meet the minimum specifications for a good experience. Potential viewers will not hang around for long if your computer is struggling to output quality picture and sound.
Minimum requirements for streaming via broadcast hub giant Twitch include an Intel Core I5-4670 processor (or equivalent), 8 MB of RAM, and Windows 7 or newer. Don’t worry if you are not a PC user, you can run your stream from a Mac as well. Just make sure you are meeting equivalent benchmarks in hardware.
Video game live-streaming isn’t just about playing a game. It’s also about the commentary and flavour you bring along with it. Anyone can broadcast and simply let the game run its course naturally.
To attract viewers and achieve real success, a streamer needs to communicate with their audience. Running commentary and audience interaction are what set great streams apart from mediocre ones. For this you will want a good microphone.
A great example of a USB microphone ideal for streaming is the Blue Yeti Microphone. The Blue Yeti features a “Cardioid” mode that captures sound directly in front of the microphone. This will allow you to deliver clear, full-bodied audio to your viewers with minimal background noise.
An excellent set of headphones go hand-in-hand with a great microphone in completing the full audio experience for streaming. Try to find a headset that balances optimal sound quality with comfort. Remember, you’re likely going to be engaging in some lengthy gaming sessions, so you need something that won’t grow uncomfortable over time.
A lightweight headset with soft padding around the ear cups and along the headband is ideal. Going wireless can be helpful in reducing the clutter of cords impeding your mobility as you stream. Finding a set that suits your own preference for sound quality and comfort will ensure a pleasurable experience over the course of a marathon streaming session.
While it’s ultimately important for your audience to be able to hear you, it’s equally as important that they be able to see you as well. Remember, a great live-streaming experience is all about connecting with viewers. A dependable webcam will ensure that the audience will associate your smiling face with the quality streaming content you provide.
A popular choice in webcams is the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C922. The C922 will stream in Full 1080p HD captured at 30 frames per second. It also includes a tripod with an extendable swivel mount, which can be extremely helpful when trying to get the best camera angle. This can really come in handy when making sure the overlay of your webcam image is integrated seamlessly.
While some current generation consoles have built-in streaming components, they are extremely limiting. For anybody who is serious about getting into video game live-streaming, a dedicated game capture device is truly a must. A game capture device will allow for freedom in the range of content that you may wish to stream, and allow you greater customization in streaming overlays.
Elgato is one of the more recognizable names in game capture. The Elgato Game Capture HD60S is a popular option for live-streaming. It broadcasts and records in Full HD 1080p at 60 frames per second, and allows full customization to your streaming layout through your webcam, overlays, alerts, and more.
A relatively high-speed internet connection is imperative to live-streaming. Viewers will not watch to watch a choppy, pixilated stream. The audience at large will likely have many options with regard to whatever content you are choosing to stream. Most will not spend more than a few lingering seconds on a stream that can’t keep up in picture quality and sound.
Upload speed is key. Ensuring that you are subscribed to an internet service provider with suitable bandwidth is half the battle, but your hardware must also be up to par. If you are broadcasting on a wireless network, a proper router is tantamount to locking in upload speeds that will make your stream a gratifying viewing experience.
There are a great many choices in routers that will provide the necessary specs to keep your stream running beautifully. If, however, you are a hardcore gamer looking for a top-of-the-line home network experience, check out the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 router.
The GT-AC5300 has a 2nd 5GHz band that can be designated entirely to gaming. It also has 8 LAN ports, 2 of which are dedicated gaming ports. It’s certainly not a requirement to have a tool as powerful as the GT-AC5300, but for hardcore gamers (especially those in a busy household with other internet users), it is one way to guarantee both a robust online gaming experience and a healthy stream.
While we have covered the necessities required to get your video game live-streaming career off the ground, there are always more amenities and ways of improving your live-steaming setup. A green screen backdrop is great for overlaying your webcam image directly on top of the game broadcast. Extra lighting can make your broadcast even more vibrant and eye-catching. A pop filter for your microphone can help reduce noise and deliver better audio.
You’ll likely find more and more fun ways of improving your live-stream along the way. Nevertheless, start out by focusing on the necessities listed above, and you will be well on your way to creating the next must-watch video game live-streaming channel!