Professional streaming is one of the fastest-growing careers out there right now. Thanks to platforms like Twitch and YouTube Live, people can stream themselves doing pretty much whatever they want. Whether it’s gaming, fashion tips, or just hanging out and vlogging, there’s a market for pretty much every type of streaming activity. If you’ve been wondering how to get off the ground as a streamer and you haven’t been able to make the jump on your own, we’re here to help. Here’s what you’ll need to become a streamer on a professional basis.
A powerful PC
The first and most important part of being a streamer is having a powerful PC, especially if you’re going to stream yourself gaming. Processing power and memory are crucial for keeping your stream smooth and glitch-free. The benefits of having a powerful machine at your disposal are many; it’s not just all about streaming. If you want to entertain yourself, for example, a powerful PC lets you visit a freshly established PlayLive casino and play some slots, or play some other browser-based games to unwind after a long day of streaming. Long story short: get yourself a powerful PC. You won’t regret it.
A high-quality mic
Have you ever seen a YouTube video about something you love where the host’s voice is crackly and unclear? Every time they hit plosives – “p” sounds or “b” sounds, et cetera – the mic pops and jumps. That’s because they have a bad-quality mic, and it kills the quality of their videos and their streams. You don’t need to have an expensive mic in order to have a high-quality one; shopping around for budget options will yield results if you’re smart. Just opt for a mic that brings your voice across clearly and without any technical issues or audio glitches.
A good webcam
Some Twitch streamers don’t opt to show their faces on their streams. That’s fine; if you’re concerned about things like privacy or protecting your identity, you can still make it big as a streamer without anybody knowing what your face looks like. If, however, you do want to show your face, opt for a webcam with full HD resolution and high image quality. The last thing you want as a streamer is a blurry facecam that doesn’t properly show anyone who you are or how you’re reacting to the game you’re playing. Again, you can opt for a lower-price webcam if you need to.
A Twitch account
Assuming that Twitch is the platform on which you want to stream (which it should be, or at least it should be one of them), a Twitch account is essential. It doesn’t take long to sign up; the service just needs a few details from you and you’ll be signed up before you know it. No matter which streaming service you use, though, you’ll almost certainly need to sign up for an account, so have the essential details ready. Once you have an account, it’s pretty easy to get started on most streaming platforms, so don’t let the initial signup process put you off.
A reliable internet connection
It might go without saying, but if you’re going to become a streamer, you need to make sure your internet connection is reliable and solid. If you drop out halfway through streaming on a regular basis, you’ll likely lose followers, not to mention the effect it could have on you if you’re playing an online game. Depending on your living situation, you may have no direct control over the internet speed, but you can talk to whoever controls this aspect of your home and see if you can work something out involving a new, faster or more reliable internet provider.
Good streaming software
There are lots of free streaming software packages out there to help you become a streamer. No longer do you need to pay for something that can easily be replicated by free alternatives. A program like OBS Studio is the perfect place to start when you’re streaming; it’s fairly easy to work in, offers unparalleled functionality and connectivity, and provides everything you could need to get started as a streamer. Remember that programs like OBS will start to take up quite a bit of system resource allocation when you’re streaming in high resolution, so make sure your PC is up to snuff (see above).
You’ll only need gaming consoles if you intend to stream from PlayStation 4, PS5, or Xbox One, Xbox Series X. Both consoles allow you to stream straight to Twitch without the need for a capture card; we’ve come a long way since the days of endless hardware connections to become a streamer.
The Nintendo Switch sadly doesn’t allow you to do this yet, so if you are intending to stream from that console then you will, unfortunately, need a capture card to do so. The same goes for any console prior to the Xbox One or PS4. Most capture cards aren’t too hard to use, though, and you can get a good one for fairly little money.