I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I decided to give streaming another go. February 5th 2019 marks my One Year Twitchiversary and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, especially since starting university. So, to celebrate I thought I’d give a little advice about getting started streaming, my recommendations and have a giveaway.
The Basics – Picking a Name
In my opinion, always the hardest choice. Selecting a name is never as simple as you’d hope due to the fact that there are already millions of broadcasters streaming. The name you choose will ultimately become your brand and you’ll find that every other platform you use will also carry that name. So for me, I used ChammyIRL as that is already my brand across social media, YouTube and my gaming platforms; I did try ChammyGIRL for a while but separate accounts just became too much.
You don’t really want to go for a name that’s already chosen and have to add numbers to it, that is more than likely going to confuse your viewers. So if you want HappyBoy and it’s taken then HappyBoy69 isn’t really the best option, think of another name. BE UNIQUE!
The name could be a nickname, a play on your name, a current game avatar’s name or just some complete nonsense.
You’re a bit spoiled for choice these days with Twitch, Mixer, YouTube and Facebook all taking a slice of the streaming pie. At the end of the day, it’s whichever platform you like best which will determine where you stream. Hell, if you’re not affiliated with any one site then you can use something like ReStream to stream to them all…but that can get a little confusing. Each one has their positives and their negatives such as Mixer being great if you just want to stream from your Xbox or Twitch being the lead in streaming so has a larger viewer base.
Personally, I like being on Twitch. I’ve made many streaming friends there, built up a small following and know how it all works. But take some time to look at each one before you decide which you want to get started on.
Ok, so, this very much depends on what you want to stream and how. If you want to stream only Xbox One games on Mixer then you’re only really going to need the Xbox, mic and camera but if you an all singing, all dancing stream filled with emotes, gifs, music and plan to play anything from retro to MMOs then you’re probably going to need a rather powerful PC, including a capture card if you’re wanting to also stream consoles.
My stream setup consists of:
- LG 29-Inch Ultrawide IPS Monitor
- Acer 27-Inch Gaming Monitor
- Keyboard & Mouse
- Blue Yeti Microphone, Suspension Boom Scissor Arm and Pop Filter
- SteelSeries Arctis 7 Headphones
- Elgato Streamdeck
- Elgato Capture Card
- Nintendo Switch
- Green Screen
- PC Build – AMD Ryzen 5 1600 Desktop CPU – AM4/Hex Core/GHz/16MB/65W, Gigabyte Nvidia GV-N105TD5-4GD 4GB GDDR5 PCI-E – Black, Corsair CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4 3200 MHz C16 XMP 2.0 High-Performance Desktop Memory Kit, Black, Crucial MX500 CT500MX500SSD1(Z) 500 GB Internal SSD (3D NAND, SATA, 2.5 Inch), MSI B450M PRO-M2 AM4 DDR4 mATX Motherboard, Cooler Master G550M PSU ‘Semi-Modular, 80 Plus Bronze, 550W’ RS550-AMAAB1-UK.
Now for many, my setup is overkill but I’m able to play all the games I enjoy at an extremely good quality so for me it’s worth it. You’re really best taking some time to find out exactly what you need and remember, while your PC might handle the games you enjoy now at high settings, once you start streaming you might have to look at reducing settings or upgrading parts for a quality stream.
There are a few different streaming software out there and most are free. I would personally say not to pay for software unless they offer something that others don’t that you’re going to use. I’d recommend OBS or Streamlabs OBS, I use Streamlabs or SLOBS for short. SLOBS is a beta version of OBS with all the benefits that Streamlabs offer such as alerts, sound effects and other craziness that many streamers have come to love – myself included.
The streaming software is what captures your gameplay, camera and such to send it to your platform of choice. It allows you to customise exactly what your viewer sees on stream giving you the option to have multiple scenes such as starting soon, live and ending soon as well as adding fun images, videos and gifs.
Many streamers use a chatbot service to help moderate their channels. These services allow for a more interactive stream giving viewers the chance to use sound effects, request songs and play games. They also add alerts to the stream should someone follow or subscribe to you. Again, I use Streamlabs Chat Bot which is a separate piece of software to SLOBS though they are slowly integrating the two. Other chatbot services include StreamElements, DeepBot and NightBot.
If you go down the PC streaming route then you can apply overlays to your stream which make them look interesting. These can be made by yourself if you’re talented in that way, you can find some free (Streamlabs and StreamElements offer some nice ones) or you can hire someone to make them for you.
Alerts and Gifs and Fun OH MY!
There are lots of cool things that can be added to streams these days and most of them are used via the chatbot services I mentioned above. Sound effects that go off for an event and if someone types a command are very popular. If you’re not sure how a streamer does something then ask them, most are happy to help.
Streamloots is another awesome way to get your streamers to interact with you. They can buy chests which contain cards and these cards activate live on stream allowing the viewer to control what happens. This might be a challenge for the streamer, it might be a gif or if you’re unlucky you get the “This Card Does Nothing” card. You can check out what I offer my viewers here https://www.streamloots.com/chammyirl. They also offer an affiliate program which allows you to keep a bigger % of the sale – if you join up to that then make sure you let them know it was me who sent you *wink*.
If you’re wanting to get serious about streaming then you’re going to have to accept that you need a presence off stream too. Twitter is the social media platform of choice for many streamers and I personally feel is a must, followed by Instagram and lastly Facebook. From experience, Facebook isn’t all that great for Streamers.
Creating a Discord server that you can use to build up a community and chat with your viewers is almost a must. Joining fellow streamer’s Discords can be good for you two, making streaming friends is a great way for you to grow as a streamer.
Finding communities to be a part of is always a huge help as they can guide you, help with technical queries and are great to get ideas from. I’m personally a member of the Twitch Kittens and Team B42.
This was only a brief post about getting started streaming so if you have any specific questions then please feel free to ask, I can offer better advice on specific questions. You can comment below, find me on social media (likes at the side) or jump into my Discord server where I’ll be happy to help however I can (as will other members).
If you’re looking for people to watch on Twitch then check out these awesome people, some of my favouritist Twitcheroonies!
and if you want to check someone I love out on Mixer then give MrTogatsu a look.
Lastly, check out my giveaway below!
Giveaway – Snowball iCE Microphone
So to celebrate my first Twitchiversary I’ve decided to hold a giveaway which is perfect for anyone wanting to start streaming, or someone who wants to maybe upgrade their microphone. This Snowball iCE is a good mid-range microphone and perfect for someone looking to possibly move from a cheaper mic or their headset mic. It comes in white and has a stand though it can be mounted on a scissor arm. It currently retails for £49.99 on Amazon with Prime delivery.
The giveaway is open to UK residents only, I will only post to a UK postal address. All you have to do is simply follow the steps below. You can repeat the Tweet daily for an extra entry and if you sign up to Twitch to drop me a follow you can get 5 entries – if you weren’t aware Amazon Prime members get a free Twitch subscription every month to use on your favourite streamers so make sure you connect your Amazon Prime account and support someone for free!