If you want to watch live gaming or even just chat about the latest games and performances, then you need Twitch. This platform has actually been operational since 2011, although it is only in the last five years it has become the number one place to see live gameplay.
In fact, in October 2013 it had 45 million viewers, but by 2015 it had over 100 million viewers and as many as 1.5 million broadcasters. The number of viewers and broadcasters continues to grow
It’s not just about live video game streaming, you can also access video on demand and, potentially the most popular option is eSports tournaments.
One thing is certain, the players on Twitch have become mini-celebrities, with hundreds of thousands of fans and an abundance of sponsorship deals.
The good news is that anyone can become a Twitch streamer.
Equipment To Get You Started
Anyone can be a Twitch streamer but you do need some basic gear first.
You can’t start online gaming unless you have a computer, and it needs to be one that is capable of playing the games as well as supporting the streaming process. That means you need a computer with at least a Core i5-4670 processor or better.
You’re also going to need at least 8GB RAM and be running Windows 7 or newer.
Of course, you can game effectively from a Mac, you just need a similar level of spec.
But, most important is your internet connection. You can’t afford to have a wireless connection that keeps dropping out. This is one instance where you need to be wired into the internet. That means your computer needs an Ethernet connection point.
Don’t forget that you need a good graphics card, ideally an Nvidia RTX range or higher. This can actually help to reduce the strain on your CPU and improve the streaming experience.
This is essential if you’re intending to play games on your games console and want to stream them at the same time. The capture card plugs into your HDMI slot on the games console and connects to your computer. You can then access Twitch and stream your game. The good news is this is simple plug-and-play technology.
It’s worth noting that the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 actually allow you to stream from the console without a capture card. You’ll still need an internet connection and a Twitch account. In fact, the PS4 allows you to go straight to the streaming site, while the Xbox One needs to link via Microsoft’s Mixer platform.
Of course, you won’t have as much control over what the viewers are seeing as you would with your PC feed.
Your computer probably has a webcam but that’s not going to give you, and your followers, the quality they need. It’s best to purchase a high-quality webcam that can sit on a tripod anywhere you want. This will provide you with much more freedom to create the right shots for your audience. Remember, they’re as interested in how you’re playing as in watching you go through the levels.
A separate webcam also makes it easier if you want to do table-top games or steam with other people. You’ll be able to get better picture quality and a wider angle.
If you’re not sure which one to opt for, this Logicom one is a great option. Another great choice is the Logicom C922, it has great image quality and automatically removes the background, allowing you to superimpose yourself on the game if desired.
It is possible to use the microphone built into your gaming headphones. However, you need to think about the sound quality ²for your followers. That means the best option is to purchase a dedicated microphone.
There are several good options available, depending on your budget. At the top end, the Blue Yeti is an excellent choice with a fantastic audio response. But, the cheaper Samson Go Mic is also worth considering and does a credible job of delivering all the nuances in your voice.
In most instances, you’ll find it easier to play the games using a games console-style controller. Of course, if you’re playing from a games console this isn’t an issue. But, if you’re using your gaming computer, you need to purchase separate controllers.
You can load drivers and use your games console controllers, but you’ll find that simply purchasing a wireless gaming controller is the simplest and most effective option.
You won’t be surprised to find that you need a Twitch account in order to start streaming. Fortunately, it’s simple to create one. You’ll need to go to twitch.tv and create a profile. This can be done in a matter of minutes and will allow you to take part in the chat rooms. Of course, you need all the other equipment in place to stream effectively.
It’s a good idea to create an avatar for yourself and add a few key details if you want to build a following people need to know who they are following!
You may be interested to note that Amazon Prime members get free access to Twitch Prime, which means ad-free viewing and access to loot in specific games that ‘regular’ players can’t get.
It’s also a good idea to go into ‘settings’, then ‘channel & videos’, and finally select the ‘archive broadcasts’. It will allow you to review your streams and see where you can improve.
Alongside a Twitch account, you’re going to need good streaming software. One of the best and most commonly used ones is Open Broadcasting Software, (OBS). This software is completely free and will guide you through the steps to start streaming.
These are typically telling it the source of your gameplay, that’s the computer monitor, webcam, or another gameplay feed. You can then choose how they’ll appear to the viewer and sync them to your Twitch account.
You’ll then be ready to start playing and allow others to watch you succeed, or fail, at each game.
Tips To Successfully Become A Twitch Streamer
Being a successful Twitch streamer is more than winning games, or even being good at them! There are millions of streamers if you want to build a following you need to adopt the right approach. You’re more than just a gamer, you’re an entertainer.
The top Twitch streamers are friendly, always sparing time for their followers, always being down-to-earth, and always humble. It’s the followers that make all this possible so look after any you get.
Find a Niche
Of course, with so many streamers you need to find your own niche, this will help you to stand out from the crowd and build a following. It’s not just about the games.
For example, CDNThe3rd generally plays Fortnite and is pretty good. But, what makes him great to watch is the way he tries to get different and even humiliating kills on other players. It really will make you laugh out loud. That’s what makes him one of the most popular streamers.
It takes regular gameplay and time to build a following. You need to play and respond to other players and followers to build a bigger and consistent following. Providing you remember that gaming is supposed to be fun, being patient building a following will not seem like a difficult challenge. Simply enjoy yourself and see where it takes you.
If you’ve ever watched a soap opera you’ll know that one of the most important things is knowing when the show will be on. If you’re going to be a successful or top Twitch streamer then people need to know when they can watch you.
The best way of doing this is to stick t a regular time slot. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night that is, just choose the one that suits you and stick to it.
It would be lovely to purchase all the top-end gear at the start but, don’t stress if you can’t afford it straight away. Simply get the best you can afford, even if that is an old PC balanced on your lap. You can upgrade your gear as your audience grows.
Don’t focus on building followers, simply interact with others with the aim of making friends. The bottom line is that Twitch is one large community. Building friendships makes the gameplay fun, and a following will happen naturally.
That really is the most important tip you should remember. Chatting with other members and keeping it personal builds a family and a following. Twitch is a place to stream game playing, but, it’s also a place to interact with others. That’s what will keep people tuning in to you and make you a top Twitch streamer.