A beginner's guide to streaming

Streaming games is big business. We’ve all seen the mind-numbing statistics that show how much the likes of Ninja and Pokimane can earn in a single week. But beneath those headline examples there are thousands of other gamers, and in 2020 they were watched by 740 million viewers.

If you enjoy playing Dota 2, CS:GO or Fortnite and want to take it to the next level on the esports circuit, watching a master on a Twitch stream makes a lot of sense. But there is also value in being watched by others and streaming your own gameplay, especially if you can make it big. Here are some tips on how to make a success of it. 

Focus on your favourite game

New streamers often feel compelled to go with a “crowd pleaser” and start streaming whatever is popular at the time. However, if you are playing a game for views instead of being good at it and enjoying it, it will soon become obvious. In other words, roll with your preferences.

It doesn’t even have to be a conventional game. iGaming is becoming increasingly popular, and while you might think that streaming casino games is just the domain of sites such as Comeon live casino and the like who promote their blackjack and roulette streams, there are plenty of gamers who stream slots and similar games while attracting significant viewer numbers. 

Get the right kit

Yes, you can stream with just a console, but the broadcast quality will be basic. If you’re serious about streaming, you’ll need a PC with a decent processor and a minimum of 8GB RAM. If you’re using a console, you will need a video capture card.

A dedicated microphone is also a must-have if you want your audience to clearly hear a word you say, and you should likewise invest in a camera so that you can be seen as well as heard. The other piece of equipment you really can’t do without is a good set of headphones. Otherwise, those tuning into your live stream will get an extra bit of the game audio second-hand from your speakers.

Be yourself

It’s become one of the great clichés of the 21st century. After all, who else can you be? When it comes to streaming, however, this is solid advice. Streamers try to wear all sorts of masks. There are examples like Dr Disrespect who have built entire personas around their streaming pursuits, but these are the exceptions, not the rule. 

In general, it’s more rewarding to build a community around the “real” you. It’s one of the reasons it is so important to play a game that you genuinely enjoy, as your personality and enthusiasm for the game are ultimately what will keep people coming back for more.