Who would have thought a decade ago that becoming a professional gamer could be a viable career? Those who “make it” in streaming are still a small portion of everyone who tries, but whether you’re looking to turn your passion into a living or you simply want to share your hobby (and your personality) with the world, it’s no longer just a pipe dream. So, here’s everything you really need to become a Twitch streamer.
Streaming from consoles
Now that it’s a very common hobby, as well as a career, for gamers, it should be no surprise that even console manufacturers are making it easier to stream. You can stream directly from the Xbox One and the PS4, both of which have Twitch and Youtube streaming software built into them. However, your ability to set up your studio and to add effects in editing is diminished by this rather bare bones software. If you want to create a professional quality stream on either platform, or you want to stream on Switch, then you’re going to want a PC streaming setup, as well as a capture card to provide a live feed to the PC.
Streaming from PC
If your PC or laptop is barely chugging along, it might not be the best machine for streaming. Though streaming software isn’t too intensive by itself, when it’s running alongside video games, it can be demanding. You want at least 8GBs of ram, as well as a processor that’s as good as or better than the Intel Core i5 series. For streaming the latest games, you need a top-of-the-line graphics cards like an Nvidia RTX 2080. A headphone and a webcam can help you complete the professional streamer setup.
Unless you’re streaming directly from the Twitch app in PS4 and Xbox One, you’re going to need the right software. While there are free options, Xsplit is the most popular tool amongst established Twitch streamers. Some streamers will even use two systems, one to focus its resources on playing the games, and a second system to run their streaming software and focus on uploading to Twitch.
Building your account
Setting up an account on Twitch’s website is relatively easy, but if you want to take streaming seriously, it’s wise to go even further than that. Having a social media account that can help you engage viewers and share stream news can help you work on building that viewership. While you should play games you’re passionate about, there’s nothing wrong with playing some games with viewing experience as a priority, whether it’s popular online games like Fortnite or Overwatch, or even asking viewers for recommendations for the next playthrough. Keep an eye on what games are trending on Twitch’s front page if you’re looking for ideas.
These are the basics of what it takes to become a Twitch streamer. Finding success, or even keeping a small community of viewers, isn’t easy, but if your passion for the games you play is strong enough and you put real effort into engaging your viewers, you have a real chance.