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How to Stream Video Games

How to Stream Video Games

Jamie Finch
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Gaming is a huge business, with millions of gamers worldwide taking part in the hobby and spending money on gaming desktops, laptops, and accessories. While most will play games for fun or wind down at the end of the day, many people take it more seriously.
The emerging eSport pits contestants from around the globe against one another for fame and high-value prizes. The money made from gaming competitions means the best can become quite wealthy, although there are other ways to benefit financially from playing video games.
One alternative revenue source for gamers is streaming games, which can be very lucrative. We'll look at how to stream video games and the equipment you'll need to get started.

Equipment you need to live stream

Before you start live game streaming, you will need to invest in some gear if you don't already have what you need. A lot of equipment is fairly affordable, although a significant investment will sometimes be needed to achieve the best results.

Gaming headset

A good quality headset will help ensure your followers can hear you clearly, while also ensuring you can make the most of your game's immersive audio. While there are numerous gaming headsets from HP that you can choose from, here are a couple of recommendations:

HyperX QuadCast

HyperX QuadCast USB Microphone
The HyperX QuadCast is a stand-alone mic rather than a headset but still deserves mention. This affordable USB microphone doesn't come with whistles and bells, but it will give you the sound you need for streaming games.

OMEN by HP Mindframe Prime Headset

OMEN by HP Mindframe Prime Headset
OMEN by HP Mindframe Prime Headset affordable gaming headset is made for competitive esports. The ear cushions help keep the headset comfortable and cool during long sessions. Built-in virtual surround sound and a high-quality mic also mean gamers can be heard clearly by their followers.

Webcam

When you watch a gaming stream, you will often see an image of the gamer in the corner of the screen.
Of course, this means you will need a good-quality webcam, many of which are, thankfully, inexpensive. While cheaper options offer all that most people need, gamers can also choose from higher-end models full of features. But, of course, the most important thing is that your viewers see a clear and steady image.

A powerful gaming PC

A computer is an obvious bit of kit that's essential for streaming games, but one that requires some thought. Chances are you already have a PC. But if you're serious about gaming, you might need an upgrade.
You will need a machine that can not only play the games you want to play but at higher specs to help make your stream more professional. This means you might need to invest in a mid to upper-range gaming PC, depending on which video games you play. Of course, you could use a gaming laptop instead, but a desktop rig will deliver better results.

A fast and reliable internet connection

Imagine you're streaming games, and the internet connection keeps dropping out. People will likely lose patience quickly and leave, unlikely to return. As such, we cannot overstate the importance of fast and reliable internet service. If your internet connection is slow or fails too often, you will need to have a new connection installed.

An area just for gaming

Gaming Studio
A gaming studio, per se, is not an accessory but is still something you should consider. Gaming streams are live, so you should be prepared to play for however long it takes without interruption. Try to set your gaming studio up in a quiet, preferably separate room where you won't be disturbed. You might spend a lot of time video game live streaming, so make sure it's comfortable.

Live streaming software

To stream from a PC, you must install live streaming software to send your stream to your platform of choice. Again, there are numerous live-streaming apps to choose from, many of which are free, with many free options offering all that most people need.
Broadcasting software is thankfully easy to use, with some even connecting with your streaming platform automatically. In most cases, you will barely even know your live video streaming app is there once you have set everything up.

Select a live streaming platform

A live streaming platform is a portal where viewers can find streamers and access their content. The most popular option on the market is Twitch, which you will need to download to your PC.
Streaming platforms are typically organized into different genres and categories to help viewers find what they're looking for. Streams can cover anything from kids' games like Roblox to more advanced esports streams.
Anybody can sign up to stream content to Twitch or watch any stream they want for free, although extra features are available for various prices.

Making money from live streaming

There are numerous reasons why somebody would want to stream. Some people want to share their gaming with others, while others hope to build a community of viewers. However, the motivation behind streaming games is often to make money, and Twitch is an excellent source of revenue for many streamers.
There are several ways you can monetize your Twitch streams, including the following:

Subscriptions

Many viewers will use Twitch for free, from which you will receive nothing. However, your viewers can pay to access perks, from which you will receive a cut. Naturally, the more viewers you have, the higher your likely cut.
You will need to be accepted as a Twitch affiliate to profit from subscriptions, and you must pass specific criteria.
The criteria include:
  • Have 50 followers or more
  • You must have broadcast each weekday at least once over the previous 30 days
  • You must have had, on average 3 viewers in the previous 30 days
  • Broadcast for 500 minutes or more in the previous 30 days

Games sales

Watching expert gamers play games will compel some people to buy the game for themselves. Twitch allows viewers to purchase games directly from your channel, from which you receive a share.

Donations

Twitch users can give each other donations. Donations are made more likely on Twitch, thanks to the community element of the platform. Streamers can get to know each other and support each other. Viewers can also give donations to streamers.

Merchandise

If you have a Twitch account, you can use it to sell merchandise. There is a vast range of merchandise, but T-shirts, caps, and mugs are among the most popular options. Of course, streamers with the most followers are likely to sell the most merchandise.

Brand partnerships

Streaming games can be beneficial for game developers as well as players. With so many people going online to watch others play games, the games themselves receive a boost of visibility. As such, some game developers will pay gamers to stream their games. Such a deal can be very lucrative for gamers with large followings.

Ad revenue share

One way streaming websites like Twitch make money is by running ads displayed on the platform. Streamers who Twitch accepts as affiliates can get a share of the company's ad revenue.

How to be a successful streamer

woman live streaming video games
The more followers a streamer has, the better. However, there is a lot of competition, and not everybody has what it takes to attract a large following. The good news is that any streamer can take steps to compel people to follow them.

Research

One of the first things you should do before you even get started is to research to learn how to stream video games successfully. Attend major gaming conferences, read blogs, articles, and other content on what it takes to attract many followers. It would help if you watch other streamers to see what they do and always be open to learning from those who have already made it.

Experiment

You're unlikely to hit on a winning formula straight away. You may need to spend some time experimenting for the best results. It's also a good idea to prepare for a slow start and know that you're unlikely to make money immediately.

Educate

Many people visit Twitch because they have difficulties beating a game. If your channel will help teach people how to play the game themselves, your follower base is likely to start growing.

Be catchy

People are more likely to remember and follow you if you have a catchy online persona. So use an interesting name that people won't forget, and you can even try dressing up to help catch people's attention.

Marketing

Some people will find you when browsing Twitch or whichever platform you use. However, you can use marketing channels, like social media, to help market your streams. Try using social media to build a community, while you can even consider taking out ads on social media.

Practice

Being a great gamer is not necessary to attract many followers, but it can help. Showing other gamers how to win at games will likely bring people back for more, so get in plenty of practice to enhance your skills.

Good luck on your streaming adventure!

Live streaming apps make it easy for us to broadcast our gaming to whoever wants to watch, but it does take some work if you want to attract many followers. You might need to invest in your gaming computer and accessories, and it's also a good idea to do some research before you start. Look to entertain and educate your followers, and you should gradually build your audience base.

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