Streaming video game play has become something of a boom industry in the past decade. The most well-known game streaming platform is Twitch, which e-commerce giant Amazon now owns – offering a clear indication that this is very big business.
That means people who love video games like VR and other devices are genuinely knowledgeable about them, can potentially turn live streaming their play in a full-time paying gig. It is mostly games that people stream, although the types can range from RPGs to trending online casino poker games where you can test yourself in popular variants like Texas Hold’em and other unique games against real-life opponents.
Of course, not everyone can make a success of it as a games streamer. It is important to have an engaging personality and be able to connect with the audience watching, to maintain their interest.
It is also essential to have good quality equipment, so that the streams are of a standard that people will tune into. Here are the best bits of kit to invest in right now if you want to give it a go.
First let us look at what the key streaming set up consists of:
- A streaming device
- A video source
- An audio source
This is the first thing that anyone who wants to embark on a career as a streamer needs and it means either a computer connected to the internet or a console. Which you choose will depend on whether you want to be a PC or console games streamer.
A computer is likely to be a Mac or Windows PC, while a console will be a Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft one. As the games vary depending on which device you use, it is important to know the audience you are pitching to with your streams.
This is where things start to get a little more complicated in terms of equipment. There are several video source options:
This is an ideal cost-effective option for those who are new to the game and looking to get in on the streaming boom. An external webcam is easy to attach to a computer and a decent one will provide resolution of at least 720p. The Elgato Facecam is a good example.
- DSLR Camera
This is one step up from a webcam. They are light and affordable and – as long as your streaming space is properly lit – will provide perfectly acceptable image quality. The Canon EOS Rebel T100 will be the best pick, with its CMOS Sensor offering 18MP APS-C and 30p resolution in full HD.
If you have reached the point where you can make streaming your job, upgrading to a camcorder will improve your visual quality. Most have resolution of 4K and HDMI output that is of the highest clarity. Canon leads the field in streaming camcorders right now, particularly the R800.
This has 57x advanced zoom, excellent DV4 image processor, 32x optical and Super Range OIS among other outstanding streaming specifications. Well worth the money if you are serious about it.
- Action camera
The ultimate in video source streaming kit is an action camera. These are the best for capturing imagery in RPG, sports and other immersive types of gaming.
The DJI Pocket Creator Combo comes with 64MP CMOS Sensor, camera measuring 1.7 inches and four microphones.
This means both the microphone that is used to talk to the audience and the headset. The cheapest option for a microphone will be the one built into the computer, but the sound will be very poor if you use that.
It makes sense to invest in a good quality microphone so people can hear you clearly. The Blue Yeti is a popular choice among streamers because its cardioid pattern setting works perfectly for the job.
The fact that it is a USB mic also means that it is simple to plug into a rig for use. It offers excellent audio at the best possible price.
A headset needs to combine quality with comfort. The best for that is the EPOS Sennheiser Game One. The sound is sharp and clear, but the frame ensures that your ears will not become squashed or overheat during long streaming sessions.
It retails for a similar price as rivals like the HyperX models, but is easily the best for streaming.
There are some other pieces of equipment that a streamer ideally needs, notably a video encoder. That works to compress the video files to produce the footage.
You can manage without it, especially when first starting, but it cuts down on frustrating buffering during streams.
These are the basics that anyone who wants to get a start in streaming must invest in and with the business looking certain to continue growing, it is worth considering for passionate games fans.