Essentials You Need To Kickstart Your Gaming Livestream
Written by Justine Liew

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Source: forbes

Live Streaming has been gaining popularity over the years, and there are various types of contents available, such as PC, mobile, and console gaming. So what exactly is streaming? It is the act of broadcasting yourself in real-time via the Internet so that people can tune in and watch you as you stream.

For many gamers, the dream is to earn a living out of their passion without leaving their homes’ confines. Though you don’t necessarily have to monetise it instead, it can become a hobby you do when you’re free. Nowadays, you will see live streaming everywhere and may even have your favourite streamers to tune into, making the thought of wanting to try and start your gaming livestream daunting. Especially when you’re not used to being on camera and speaking to one.

Our team here at PCByte definitely recommends giving it a try because you never know what it may lead to. It is better to fail trying something new than regretting not doing it in the first place. Hence, in today’s article, we’re going to look at a few essentials that you will need to prepare to kickstart your very first livestream.

1. Laptop or Desktop

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To start, you’ll most likely be doing most of your gaming livestreams through a laptop or a desktop PC. If you’re planning to stream lengthy gameplays, then your computer should be able to handle modern games as the minimum baseline. Therefore, getting a powerful enough laptop or PC can become significant assets if you plan to level up your streaming activities in the future.

In terms of specs, it’s recommended to have a computer that supports at least an Intel Core i5 processor or its AMD equivalent, 8GB of RAM and Windows 7 or newer.  (For any iOS supporters, you can stream from your MAC, too!). Moreover, most streamers play their games at a Full HD resolution, so you should follow suit. This would provide for a much smoother and clearer appearance for your viewers. 

You may also be wondering if you should get one or two PCs if you decide to stream from PCs. We suggest getting two, so you can have one solely for your gameplay and another to broadcast the streaming platform and respond to chats with your viewers. This is something that most streamers do as well. 

#Tip: Keep in mind that it’s essential to put yourself in the viewer’s standpoint as streamers. You want your streams to look as good and entertaining as possible! 

2. Camera

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Although most laptops come equipped with a pre-installed camera, the quality might not necessarily be the best. It’s better to invest in an external webcam or a  camera that has a higher resolution so that your viewers may be able to see you without the visuals appearing distorted or pixelated. Your audience will then be able to see your reactions to an unexpected event during your gameplay, such as being shot by the opponent team. 

Getting the standard USB webcams would be the easiest and cost-efficient options to go for when you’re starting streaming for the first time. You can always go for an entry-level webcam and upgrade it however you see fit when you’ve built a community for your streams. 

Our overall picks on excellent and popular webcams that you can invest in are the Logitech C922 Pro Webcam and Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam. These are the standard among streamers thanks to their sharp capture qualities and field of view.

Note: Although you don’t need to be in the video, giving a face to the streamer keeps your viewers entertained. The reason being, they want to be able to gauge your reactions and to enjoy your games with you, as though they are right next to you. The chances for success without one is slim, so it’s highly recommended to get a working camera.

3. Microphone

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Like cameras, most laptops also have an in-built microphone installed, but the quality wouldn’t be as profound. It’s worth investing in a microphone that lets you engage with your viewers and talk to them as you would with your friends and family. 

Although you can make do with just using your gaming headset for audio, ideally, getting a microphone can enhance the viewer’s experience and keep them entertained because they can hear you speak more clearly. Hence, getting a microphone that can block out any surrounding external noises, focuses on your voice and sounds good would be your best bet. 

There are various types of microphones out there, but most streamers use the standard USB standalone mics. These are relatively simple to use and set up. Hence, we recommend starting with the Blue Yeti 3 Capsule USB Microphone as it makes a fantastic mic due to its versatility, precise and crisp audio quality and adjustable pickup modes. 

#Tip: Keep in mind that all mics have their functions and compatibility. It’s best to do more research to understand better which one suits your needs most before settling down with one.

4. Streaming Software

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Source: Twitch Studio

A streaming software, also known as an encoder, is a user-friendly broadcasting software that lets you showcase your gameplay to the world. It takes the video and audio inputs from your computer and transmits them to your preferred streaming platform to create a polished broadcast with all the fancy scenes and transitions. 

There are different streaming software out there. Some are free, while others require a subscription fee. A few of the most commonly used software are Open Broadcasting Software (OBS), StreamLabs, XSplit, and even Twitch Studio (Twitch’s streaming software). Each of these streaming software packs in its distinct features to cater to a variety of needs.

We suggest reading and researching more about the software before making any final decisions. Make sure they meet your requirements and needs!

5. Good Internet Connection

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Having good internet access is also crucial in streaming your gameplays. Make sure your internet connection has the capacity and bandwidth to support a stable gaming livestream without any unexpected interruptions. A strong internet connection also allows for a better streaming experience and quality for your audience. Hence, as a general rule of thumb, anything between 672 kbps and 61.5 Mbps is sufficient. 

If you want to upgrade your internet connection, we recommend going for the Xiaomi Mi AIoT Router AX3600 or the Ubiquiti UniFi Flex HD Wave2 Enterprise Wi-Fi.

6. Streaming Platforms

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Once you have everything you need set up and ready for your gaming livestream, you’re going to need a platform for you to broadcast. Consider asking yourself this question: Where do you want people to watch, grow, and react to your livestream? 

There are multiple platforms for you to start streaming, and the few commonly known ones are Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live. 

The choice is entirely up to you and your preference to make the most out of your livestream!

7. Other Optional Extras

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If you’re planning to stream your gameplay from consoles such as the Nintendo Switch or PS5, you would need to prepare an external capture card. Having one allows you to record your console gameplay to your computer. 

Another thing you may want to consider is to have adequate lighting during your streams so that your viewers can get a more unmistakable look at your reactions. You can consider getting budget-friendly lighting products, such as camera-mounted right light that won’t break your bank account. Additionally, some streamers also opt for green screens for an elevated aesthetic experience.

Final Words

Starting a gaming livestream for the very first time is intimidating when you’re so caught up in your thoughts, wondering if anyone will watch your streams or if it’s entertaining enough. And you’re not alone in this; I guarantee that your favourite streamers had also gone through the same thing when they first started. 

You can always start one as a hobby or for fun because you’re doing something that you’re passionate about. From there, you can slowly plan out what you want to pursue with this. It’s a learning process, and you can grow slowly and steadily.

We hope that this article has given you some ideas of the bare essentials that you will need to start streaming!