Twitch has over 2 million average viewers at a time and 6.9 million monthly streamers. Based on those numbers, Twitch remains the leading live streaming platform for gamers and other content creators. And its popularity just keeps on growing.
It’s no wonder a lot of people are itching to get in on the action. After all, streaming games on Twitch is not only fun and exciting. It’s also a great way to earn extra cash.
To help get you started, let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll need before setting up a Twitch stream.
What Do You Need to Stream on Twitch?
Twitch makes it easy for anyone to live stream. You don’t need fancy gadgets and equipment to go live on Twitch. You just need the basic streaming setup.
Every beginner streaming setup should include the following:
A gaming system
If you’re a gamer who wants to stream your gameplay, you first need to decide on your gaming system. Twitch lets you stream via mobile, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Gaming consoles have very limited memory, so streaming through one may not give you the best stream quality. The PC is still the best gaming system if you ask us.
You can stream from a Mac. But Macs aren’t generally recommended for gaming because they lack the hardware power required to run modern games. Plus, the selection of games available on macOS is limited compared to Windows.
If you already have one, it’ll still work. But if you’re buying a new computer, a PC is more suitable for gaming. Aside from giving you better gaming performance, it also offers a broader range of games. Plus, it’s more affordable.
When choosing a PC for gaming, we suggest that you get one with a dedicated video card, such as Nvidia. If your PC has Intel-integrated graphics, that’s still okay. But a dedicated card will take you further in terms of graphics and performance.
Your Twitch stream setup is not complete without a stable Internet connection. You need at least 3.5 Mbps upload speed for high definition (720p or higher) streaming. This will ensure the quality of your stream and that you don’t get cut-off while streaming. Make sure to check the fine print of your Internet plan to see what your upload speed is.
A good router
Your connection speed is only as good as your router. If it can’t match your Internet speed, you won’t get the most out of your service. A router with strong antennas and a powerful processor can help keep your connection steady and efficient. It can also help reduce interference from other online activities.
Streaming software for PC
To stream a game on a PC, you’ll need a third-party streaming software. There are several streaming software to choose from. You can find them in your Twitch settings under Streaming Tools. But the most popular ones are XSplit and OBS. Either one will work.
But when it comes to free broadcasting, there’s nothing quite like OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). It’s fairly easy to use. But since it’s an open-source software, it doesn’t have dedicated support. Fortunately, there are many resources online to help you set up your OBS settings for Twitch streaming.
You don’t really need a webcam to stream your gameplay. But it helps personalize your streams. Some of your fans also want to see your reactions aside from your game. The best webcams come in a good mix of quality and price. There are many affordable, high-quality webcams that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Additionally, if you’re going to use a webcam, make sure that your room has good lighting. It’s no use showing your face if your fans can’t see you because of poor lighting.
Most webcams have a built-in microphone. But the sound quality may not be that good. Some webcam microphones have decent quality, but most don’t. Just to be safe, it’s better to have a separate mic for your live stream. If you have the budget, go for an XLR microphone. Installation might be a little tricky, but you’ll definitely get amazing audio quality.
A USB mic is a more affordable option if you can’t afford an XLR mic. Quality-wise, it’s not the same as an XLR mic, but it’s good enough.
How to Set up a Twitch Stream
Here are a few steps to take when setting up a Twitch channel.
1. Set up your Twitch profile
Whatever streaming service you use, the first step is always to create your personal profile. Include your logo, graphics, and a brief self-introduction. You should also let your viewers know what your channel is all about. These channel details don’t just explain who you are. They’re also great for branding.
It’s also a good idea to claim your stream name on other social media networks even if you’re not going to use them yet. Aside from discouraging others from using your name and brand, you can always use them later to grow your following.
2. Plan and brand your channel
Branding is an essential aspect of being an influencer. Your Twitch brand should tell everything about your stream. Your personality, appearance, and logo will become synonymous with your channel. That’s why you need to create a memorable brand. Structure your brand from the start. This will help elevate your stream in the future.
3. Create an offline banner for your channel
You can’t be online 24⁄7, and no one expects you to be. But it would still be nice if people visiting your channel can see something on your page even if you’re offline. You can display an offline banner on your page while you’re away. The recommended size is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Make sure to include your stream schedule and social media pages on your banner.
4. Familiarize yourself with your streaming software
Whether you’re using a free or paid streaming software, it’s best to familiarize yourself with it before going live. You don’t have to be an expert. But you should at least know how to sync your audio/visuals and how to start and stop your stream. You should also be able to set up your overlays and scenes.
How to Start a Twitch Stream
Starting a Twitch stream doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow our tips, and who knows. You just might be the next Ninja.
1. Set a time for streaming
Find a time when you should be streaming and stick to it. We can’t tell you the best time for streaming. You’re the only one who can answer that. You need to identify who your viewers are. Stream when they’re awake and online.
2. Stream something people want to watch
It’d be nice if we can just stream whatever we want. But if you want to attract as many viewers, you need to determine what they want to see. It would be better if you can stream something people want to watch, but not a lot are streaming.
That’s a surefire way to get new followers. Check out the list of games on Twitch and find something that’s not being streamed enough. Your goal is to appear on the front page of a game.
3. Interact with your viewers
Don’t be too absorbed in your game when you stream. You should also interact with your viewers. Say hello and welcome them to your channel. Ask them questions and answer theirs. Talk to them like they’re your close friends. Be nice and polite at all times. Avoid arguing with them. If they’re being rude or annoying, you can always mute them.
4. Use a chatbot
Chatbots like Moobot and Nightbot can help moderate your live chat. These bots will make sure that no one posts malicious links or content on your live chat. This will prevent your viewers from unknowingly clicking one of those links and getting a virus.
5. Be consistent
Having a regular stream schedule is better than streaming whenever you feel like it. For starters, it’ll make it easier for your fans to find you. Set up a stream schedule and stick to it.
6. Be persistent
Not all of your streams will be great. But not all will be bad either. You’ll also likely run into trolls from time to time. A lot of things can go wrong when you stream. But you have to weather through it if you want to be a successful streamer. Just keep on streaming even when things go wrong.