Are you kickstarting your own play in game streaming or content creation and looking for some advice? Hit a plateau and need a bit of guidance to take your stream to the next level? Unsure of what kit you need to make your stream a success?
Each month, STACK’s very own Agony Uncle, the Duke of Flukes, is on hand to answer any question at all about streaming and content creation. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, a great understanding of tech and the patience of a saint, let the Duke alleviate your frustrations and pave the way to stress-free streaming.
Q. Dear Duke,
What gear, from a basic perspective, do I need to start streaming?
Andy, Tamworth NSW
A. Hi Andy!
For a real basic set-up to get up and running, you can get a cheap webcam and an Xbox One and go live on mixer in an instant. But let’s just say that you want to step it up a bit and go beyond the basics…
Before we get started, remember that YouTube is your best friend. Anything that I talk about from here on in that you’re not sure about, videos on YouTube will give you a clear step by step guide on how to do it.
First of all, you’ll need a shopping list.
A computer is a vital tool in the streaming process! Make sure that it’s a PC and not a laptop and aim for a super high end model because you’ll be running OBS, (Open Broadcaster Software – the free streaming program) and a game at the same time. Make sure it has a decent processor, graphics card, etc.
Getting a camera is the easy part. One of the most widely used webcams out there is the Logitech C922. It’s not an expensive webcam but it does an incredible job.
Microphones can be a little tricky. You have to make sure you put a bit of money into it so people can hear you clearly. There is nothing worse than trying to listen to someone with a grainy or unclear voice due to a cheap mic. I’ve found that the Blue Yeti Blackout does a great job here and it’s easy to set up with a USB port.
Make sure you light yourself properly, especially if you’re using a webcam. People come to see your spontaneity and all the reactions that come with that – but they won’t see that if you’re sitting in a dark room. You can use lamps if you want but for accuracy and quality, ideally you’ll want something better. That has been purpose built for the job at hand.
Headphones can not only help you in games but also aid in hearing your alerts and music on stream. They are your window into what the stream can hear so you can also make adjustments. Make sure you get yourself a good pair that are comfortable. Headphones can be a real personal choice – I use the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless.
Always make sure that you enjoy the game you’re playing. People can fall into the trap of thinking that if they play the latest ‘popular game’ they will be noticed and attract more follows – usually that isn’t the case. People can come for the game but they stay for you. They want to see what your reactions are to a game that you enjoy!
These are the basics but you can always get more advanced from here. I hope this helps, Andy, and let me know how you go with it.
Write to Dear Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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