by Jasper in
General

Ask any gamer which platform they stream on, they will definitely point towards Twitch. Streaming games is a great way to earn while doing something you really love to do. If you are also planning on starting your own Twitch stream, then let us help you on your journey.

The first requisite to start Twitch streaming is to have a high-spec PC or Laptop to run the games without any lag. After that, make a profile on Twitch and get it verified for streaming. You also need to know how to work with a software encoder and buy some external hardware and gadgets to improve the quality of your streams. 

While on the surface, these things look incredibly easy, they can be a bit tricky. This is why we will elaborate on everything above in a bit more detail for you. So by the time you finish this article, you will have full-fledged knowledge of Twitch streaming.

And in case If you want to try something other than Twitch, then we’ve also covered other streaming platforms available.

Now without further ado, let’s dive straight into it!


Hardware Requirements

What most people fail to tell you is the fact that video streaming requires a powerful PC. This is because modern games already demand high-end specs and on top of that, you’re also multitasking by running your stream. The only problem is, what might qualify as a good gaming PC is not always going to cut it as a streaming one.

So what hardware do you need for a good streaming PC? Let us help you out with the recommended spec list for the job.

CPU/Processor

The CPU is the powerhouse of a PC that is churning bits and bytes at lightning-fast speeds. It processes tons of data per second, so you need a powerful CPU that you can use to both stream and game simultaneously.

For streaming, the minimum suggested requirement is at least Ryzen 5 3600 or the 10th Generation Intel Core i7. Your best bet for a cost-effective streaming setup is the 3rd Gen Ryzen 5 CPU with the 6 core 12 thread count. While Intel is the best at single-core processing, the AMD CPU beats it at multicore operations, which is exactly what streaming does.

Anything below that will not be a great option for streaming games. The FPS of games dropped by 30-40% as soon as a stream starts. So having a powerful CPU impact streaming the most out of everything else.

Ryzen 5 3600 AMD Ryzen 5 3600 ProcessorCHECK IT ON AMAZON
Intel Core i7 10th GenIntel Core i7-10700K CHECK IT ON AMAZON

GPU

A GPU or a graphical processing unit is also essential for gaming. Most new GPUs have built-in hardware encoders for streaming purposes. This allows your CPU to take a breather from that operation while the GPU encoder does all the work. The Nvidia RTX 20 series GPUs and above have that option built-in. So having a GPU of that generation certainly helps your streaming needs.

Meanwhile, the minimum recommended GPUs for streaming are Nvidia GTX 16 series and the AMD RX580. Anything below that will just impede your streaming experience. And most games these days require you to have at least that much GPU power to run them at decent graphic settings.

NVIDIA GTX 1660GTX 1660CHECK IT ON AMAZON
NVIDIA GTX 1660 TIGTX 1660 TICHECK IT ON AMAZON
RADEON RX 580RX580CHECK IT ON AMAZON

RAM

We all know RAM and CPU go in pairs because the CPU needs memory to move data. CPU churns data so fast that it needs an equally fast memory to feed it. Typical HDDs are nowhere near the speed that a CPU requires data to be fed. 

Even SSDs aren’t as fast even though they are the faster storage option. RAMs are volatile memory that store data as long as current runs through it, and it loses it all when you shut down your PC.

Since streaming is a CPU-heavy task, you would need a good amount of RAM to support the operations to run smoothly. The minimum we would recommend you to install is 8GB of memory. But that will barely be enough, you need 16GB of memory for the best streaming experience.

Corsair Vengeance 8GB (1x8GB)Corsair Vengeance 8gbCHECK IT ON AMAZON
Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB)Corsair vengeance 16gbCHECK IT ON AMAZON

You can check Shroud’s PC specs and gaming gears to have an idea on some of the best hardwares games to use.


Creating a Twitch Account

Now that you pass the minimum recommended PC specs for streaming, it is time we move on to the actual thing. It is pretty basic knowledge that you will need to create an account on the Twitch website first. In this section, we will go through the step-by-step process of creating a Twitch account that gives you streaming capabilities.

Going Through the Community Guidelines

Most people skip right over the guidelines like the terms and conditions while installing games. But you might want to reconsider doing that if you want to stream on Twitch. Even the smallest guideline violation can get you banned from the platform. So it would be unwise to skip over that area even if it is a huge pain to go through.

You can click here to read the guidelines before you start your stream.

Signing UP

We all have made plenty of socials in our life, making a Twitch account is no different. You just need to have a valid email address that you use. If you are on the phone, you might need to download the Twitch app.

If you are signing up through the app, you will be told to add a phone number initially and later on verify the email.

Two-Factor Authentication

Lastly, if you have signed up, you will not get access to streaming games right away. Initially, you will only be able to view the content by other creators on Twitch. But to stream yourself you need to enable two-factor authentication. This will not only make your account secure but you will be able to stream content to Twitch now. For 2FA you will need to use your mobile phone for verification


Streaming Device

Other than the PC, people often use their consoles and mobile phones for gaming too. But don’t worry as Twitch allows you to stream using other devices. For PC, the requirements to stream a game are quite demanding. 

But for console users, it is not a big issue as consoles are optimized for being able to simultaneously broadcast and game at the same time.

If you are on your smartphone the process is even easier. You just need to download the app and sign in using your information. Once inside the account open your profile and then tap go live. 

Set up your stream and specify what genre of streaming you are planning on. After that stream using the purple button and you are done.

For consoles, first, start your game, and then tap the button that opens settings. Like for the PlayStation 4, you tap the PS icon in the middle of the controller. After that, you need to check the respective console settings and select broadcasting. From there you need to select the Twitch option and start streaming.

By the way, if you want to read a comparison on which console is better between Xbox Series X and Playstation, check this detailed article out!


Dual-Computer Setup

Streaming is a very taxing task for the CPU, some people divide it between two computers. This way the PC that plays the game does not end up losing FPS due to streaming. Another computer performs the task of streaming using a device called a capture card. This device is built to capture the gaming information from the other computer. So, using the computer with the capture card you stream your games online.

This is a pretty efficient setup and most professional streamers use it. And because of that, they can play without losing any performance in the games. A dual-computer setup does end up costing more though since now you have to buy additional hardware. A capture card alone is quite expensive and they cost around 200$ USD.

But if you have money to spare, this is the best way to stream on Twitch.


Additional Hardware and Gadgets

Now that you have your Twitch channel going and you have started to get a following, it is time you upgrade your overall setup. There are a few gadgets that will truly help you in that regard. Additional hardware and gadgets will just improve the overall mood of the stream, they do not affect the computer’s streaming capabilities.

Microphone

While most people just use their headphones mic at the start for communications in a game, a dedicated mic just elevates the overall experience. Some microphones have a professional broadcast-like quality while others just do the job. But the quality will depend on the brand and the amount of money you spend on the mic.

For starters, you can find good quality microphones for about $50-100 USD. These have average to good quality, however, some brands will be better than others even at a cheaper price.

Buy a microphone that has options for polarity, avoid an omnidirectional microphone since it ends up catching noise from every direction. Go for at least a mic with a cardioid setting as you only need the streamers to hear your voice. 

Omnidirectional microphones will capture the noise you make on your keyboard/controller and mouse. It will also capture the noise of your computer fans that will be running full throttle as you stream the game.

A good recommendation for a microphone is the HyperX Quadcast Microphone. HyperX is a brand that works on gaming hardware and peripherals. The microphone has multiple polar settings that you can choose from. 

And it can be used for professional recording jobs as it has clear sound quality. It has received positive reviews from a lot of game streamers because the microphone is jam-packed with features.

HyperX QuadCast Microphone

Are you looking for a sweet pair of headphones for your gaming console? You can read our review on the best headsets for the PS4.

Webcam

If you want to interact with your fans, the best way is through visual appearance. A good quality webcam can help you out with that. You will need something that has at least a 1080p resolution. If you go below that, the quality will be really bad and pixelated.

A good-quality webcam can also help you if you want to add VFX to your stream later on.

Logitech is a great brand that sells professional gaming products as well as peripherals for daily use. The Logitech BRIO ultra-HD webcam can capture your video in 4K resolution. With great features and support along with amazing video quality, it is hard to beat. Though it can be a tad bit expensive, it will be a one-time investment that will last you for a long time.

Lighting

If you are going to use a webcam to stream your face and room, you might want to invest in lighting. Though most rooms already have LEDs and tubes installed, it is still notable that cameras can be tricky when it comes to lighting. Lucky for you though, lighting isn’t that expensive an investment and you can find it at pretty reasonable prices.

If you can DIY lighting yourself, you only need to purchase a good tripod so it is easy to adjust the lighting whenever you want to.

For lighting we will recommend this Amazon Best Seller, the UBeesize LED Video light kit. A 2pc kit comes under the price tag of 50USD and it comes with a stand that is easy to assemble and some color filters if you want to change the mood of your Twitch stream with different lighting. 

Greenscreen

Does your room look like a mess and you don’t want that to show up on your stream? Just get a green screen and place it behind you. It will not only hide your messy room and keep your privacy intact, but it will also help you add effects to your stream.

This green screen by YICOE is a great buy, as it comes with a stand of its own. The stand is easy to assemble, does not require a lot of effort, and it is very easy to attach the green screen with the included clamps. The best part is it also has its own carry bag, so when you collapse the stand and everything, it all fits inside the bag.

Stream Deck

A stream deck is a pretty neat device to have on hand while streaming on Twitch. If you have a multi-screen setup and you need to adjust settings on the go without actually going into the setting menu and tweaking it there, then you can bind these to the stream deck.

Elgato brand has some really decent stream decks that come with tons of options pre-loaded. The Custom A model Elgato Stream Deck already is compatible with Twitch streams so you don’t have to go out of your way to set it up specifically for it. With so many adjustability options and features, I think it is sufficient to say you will be highly satisfied with this purchase.


Software Encoders

So right away you will try to use Twitch Studio to stream your game. The proprietary software will give you an idea of whether you are good to go for streaming or not. But there are other software encoders that are more versatile than Twitch Studio. The most common software encoders are:

OBS Studio

The first and foremost choice for most streamers has to be the OBS Studio. It is pretty easy to set up and the best part of all is that it is free of cost.. OBS Studio is open-source software that is cross-platform compatible. Though the software can be a bit technical and someone who wants to use its versatile options needs to be ready to watch some tutorials.

XSplit Gamecaster

Source: Windows Central

The XSplit software is pretty easy to use and set up. But if you want to unlock the full capabilities of the software you need to purchase it.

OBS Streamlabs

Source: OBS Streamlabs

The Streamlabs version of OBS is only available on Windows but it is much easier to use and gives you tons of options. It is different from the OBS Studio software though so don’t confuse them both.


Soundproofing Your Room

If you are serious about streaming and considering it as a profitable source of income, you might want to invest in soundproofing your room. While it is not necessary to do so if you are planning to be a casual streamer, it will help in reducing noise from leaking out and outside noise from leaking in.

So whether you are being loud and noisy when you are streaming or it’s your neighbors, neither of you will be bothered. Also, it might block any obscenity from the outside to get into the microphone on a Twitch stream. And as we already told you earlier, Twitch is pretty serious about its community guidelines.

Depending on the situation, you will be very thankful to have soundproof your room. It will actually help you expand your streaming options in the future. Soundproofing is considerably easy to do and can turn into a DIY project with acoustic foam..

Acoustic foam can be easily found online and it does not even cost that much. But if your room size is big, you will need a lot of foam to cover the walls.


How to Engage Your Audience to Build Followers

When you are done setting up your stream, you need to consider an approach that will help you build followers. You might be the funniest friend in your group, but that does not necessarily mean that you will be liked by people who visit your stream. Engaging an audience is pretty tough work and you need to make them feel welcome enough, so there are a few ways you can go about it.

Thanking Your Viewers

The first and foremost is to show gratitude to your followers. Even if you only have a few of them, you need to express that they mean a lot to you. Most streamers thank every single person who donates to them even if it is a very small amount.

Calling Out Frequent Viewers

Call out to people who frequently visit your Twitch stream and greet them. Say their name out loud to encourage them and make them feel more welcome. Also, building a streaming schedule is very effective, so the people who visit your stream know what time to be expecting you.

Play Games You Love

You should stick to the genre of gaming you love, don’t go too much out of the way to play something you dislike. Adding humor is always a challenging task, you have to keep in mind that you don’t make jokes that will offend anyone. You might lose streamers at an alarming pace instead of gaining new ones. Or you can put up a disclaimer for such stuff, just abide by the community guidelines.

Create a Streaming Persona

You can build a streaming persona as well that you think people will find very funny or entertaining. Building a character is not always important, sometimes being yourself gets you more audience than anything else.

Lastly, be polite to your audience and interact with them, read the chat, and answer their questions, unless they are too personal and you aren’t comfortable answering them. Level with your fans and audience, and when possible in the future, do giveaways and such that will attract more people to your stream. 

All of this will contribute towards increasing your following on Twitch streams and help you build an audience for yourself while creating a revenue stream via donations.


To Wrap Up 

If you thought Twitch streaming was too difficult, then hopefully this article cleared some of your confusion about it. You don’t have to go all-in right away if you are short on money. You can start off small and build your way up, investing in your setup to upgrade it whenever you can. 

Just know that you will need to give it a lot of time and be patient, slowly but gradually, your Twitch streams will gain followers.

Gamer, Computer Enthusiast, Hobbyist Photographer, Video Editor, Loverboy
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