I’m new to streaming / need help with my stream! Tips please!!
1. Before we get into it, always remember this:
STREAMING IS NOT ABOUT BECOMING FAMOUS, IT’S ABOUT MAKING CONTENT YOU ENJOY AND ARE PROUD OF.
If you want to become a streamer to get famous like Ninja or Shroud, then you’re going about this the wrong way and will likely be disappointed. Streaming should always start as a hobby, something you want to do for fun and to have a good experience with. Success and financial support will potentially find you, it might not. This is something you need to be okay with.
2. What content am I going to stream?
If you’re sticking with PC gaming, then all you need to stream is OBS, and a mic and camera if you want to use those! If you want to stream off of a console, then you’ll need a capture card as well to get the game feed into your PC. Other than that, you have free reign to decide what content you want to stream to share with others! Make it about what you enjoy, not what you think others will want to watch.
3. Okay, so what equipment do I need?
Please, if you’re starting stream, don’t break your budget on equipment. Full-time streamers may have intense looking setups, and that could seem appealing, but it’s not necessary. We all started simple and improved our setups over time! There are great affordable cameras and mics that you can get that are affordable but still look and sound great! Here are my recommendations:
1. HD Capture Card: AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini – $80
2. Microphone: Razer Seiren Mini USB Streaming Microphone – $50
3. Webcam: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 – $80
4. Lighting: 5.7″ Ring Light with Tripod Stand – $36
There are cheaper options out there that you can try, but I have not tested them and can’t personally recommend any on my end, so that’ll be up to your discretion to try! Also if you’re only streaming PC games, you probably don’t need a capture card.
4. How do I set up OBS?
Check out my links below for a good video on a basic OBS setup!
1. Basic Forum Tutorial
2. How To Use OBS (Beginner’s Guide) Video
3. OBS Studio Tutorial (Make Your Streams Look Pro) Video
5. Do I need a bot?
I think it’s nice to have something easy on hand if you want to use any special commands for your chat, or just to help with modding in case your moderators aren’t really around. You can grab easy prefab bots like Moobot or Nightbot for a basic but comprehensive addition to your channel. But the choice to have a bot at the end of the day is up to you! It’s not necessary to have one!
6. It’s my first stream and I’m nervous! What do I do?
Just play the game and relax! If people show up and say hi, say hi back and try to include them without forcing them to talk a ton. Finding a way to spark natural conversation is always the best bet to get people to want to come back. If chat is silent for a while, just work on your reactions to the game, and make sure you’re having a good time playing no matter what!
7. But seriously, what should I play?
Whatever your heart desires! Don’t play games to try and grab viewers, play what you actually enjoy. It makes your content so much better. If you try to grow your stream by forcing yourself to play games like Fortnite, you’re going to struggle since games like that are already so saturated. But hey, if Fortnite is what you love and want to stream, then go for it! As long as you’re picking content that you enjoying playing/doing, then that’s what honestly matters most.
8. How do I grow my stream?
Ah yes, the question that plagues us all. There are many things you can try to encourage stream growth, though nothing is guaranteed, and that’s something to keep in mind and be okay with. Either way, here are a few good tips that are likely to help growth over time:
1. A consistent stream schedule is important so your viewers know when to expect you.
2. Networking is important, but should always be done RESPECTFULLY. You want your stream out there, but you never want to encroach on another streamer’s boundaries. Use social media to share your stream, or any other approved space that streamers might offer to share your stream. Just don’t overdo it!
3. Always do your best to offer a welcoming space to anyone who stops by!
4. A good presentation for your stream isn’t necessary, but it can show potential viewers that you’re putting effort into your stream and your brand. Customizing your layouts, notifications, stream panels, etc. can help plant your image and what you want your viewers to share with your stream.
9. What’s the best way to moderate my chat and community?
This answer will be somewhat different for everyone, but there are some overlapping things that anyone with a good community tends to share. Don’t let people advertise themselves in your channel. Don’t let people treat your community like trash. Don’t let people take advantage of you as a streamer (or a person for that matter). Whether you purge people, time people out or flat out ban them right away is up to you and whether you want to give people a second chance. Create your own philosophy on what kind of environment you want your stream to have and then enforce it in a direct way. No need to be overly harsh, just be direct, take care of yourself, and pick moderators who see your vision for your stream and will help enforce it. The best moderators are ones who will take the flack for people who disagree with your stream vision and allow you to stream without worry.
10. Do I need a Discord?
That’s up to you! A Discord server could be a good place for your community to gather when you’re not live. You can offer multiple channels and feature events outside of the stream through Discord if you think it’s something that you want to throw in to what you do. If streaming is your main focus, or the idea of managing a separate server feels like too much, then don’t worry about it. It’s all about what you want to offer.
11. How do I stay motivated?
I personally always make sure to be enjoying whatever content I’m pushing out to the stream. I feel like that’s top priority and the best way to keep streaming. Numbers at the end of the day shouldn’t be your motivator. I try to make sure I’m taking care of myself physically and getting enough rest so I can come to the stream with the best energy. If I’m having a bad day, stream can often help distract me and make me feel better. Though I will say, on a VERY bad day, I know better than to try and stream, and will take the night off to take care of my mental health. Knowing when to push to stream and have fun, and when to take a break and focus more on yourself are very important when it comes to keeping your enthusiasm up for streaming.
12. I want to get into speedrunning! What game should I start with?
I always recommend starting with a game that you grew up playing and enjoy! You can also watch speedruns and see if anything seems appealing. Then all you need to do is just start playing it! No need to be nervous, every runner starts from the basics and works their way up to a higher level of skill! There are usually guides available for runs that you can use, and even if not, runners are almost always happy to offer help on strats! Keep an eye out for a discord server or other group where people share new strats all the time!
13. I’ve been getting trolls and I don’t know how to handle them. Help!
There are a few ways to go about this, but the main thing is tried and true: Don’t feed the trolls. You can take different measures to deal with people who are being rude, such as making light of the situation and joking around, or just cutting out their behavior right away. People are going to use their anonymity to try and make you feel bad, to take advantage of you and to ruin your day for their benefit/enjoyment. That’s never okay, and don’t let them get the best of you. They don’t know you, they don’t care about you and they don’t deserve your attention or your time. Always remember that.
14. Anything else?
I’ve put some other great resources down below for you to check out!
Other Helpful Stream Resources
1. Stream Viewing 101 – How to Interact in Chat as a Viewer
2. The Problem Might Be You – Tips on Building an Audience
3. Gaming Careers – Youtube How-To Channel for Streaming
4. Aaron Mahnke post – Podcasting (& Youtubing) Tips and Tricks
5. Ultimate Guide to Twitch: The tips, tricks and gear you need
6. 5 MORE FREE TOOLS to become a more successful streamer!