Over the past few years, the video game industry has become a billion dollar industry with consumers spending $23.5 billion on gaming in 2015. In fact, according to Big Fish Games, 155 million Americans played video games regularly in 2016, and 4 out of 5 households own a video game console.
The rising popularity of video gaming has also increased the popularity of video game reviews, strategy guides, and walkthroughs. In the past, most of these were written and published in either books or video game magazines. But gamers are now turning to video-sharing sites like YouTube to share this information with other games. In fact, Swedish gamer Felix Kjellberg’s YouTube channel, PewDiePie, has become the most subscribed YouTube channel in the world, with a staggering 11.9 million subscribers.
So, have you ever been watching your favorite streamer and thought, “I can do that, can’t I?” If a million people will watch CaptainSparklez play Minecraft, how many would watch you? There’s no question that breaking into the live streaming scene is hard. So we wanted to give you some help on how to get started. We asked ImOn employee and avid gamer and streamer, Jacob C., to be a guest blogger and provide a few tips on what you need to be a video game streamer. Here is what he has to stay….
Level Up Your Gear
First things first – if you don’t have the right equipment, you can’t play the game. Try taking down Ganon without the Master Sword and you’ll see what I mean. Your equipment boils down to a few simple parts that come together to make streaming magic. Here’s what you need:
- A decent computer
- A Capture Device
- Capture Card: A capture card is a device used to capture, or record, the video signal from an external gaming device. You will need a capture card if you plan to capture video and stream from a game console. Although some of the newer game consoles, like XBOX One and Playstation 4, can stream directly to Twitch.TV, you may find the options to be a little lack luster. By using a capture card, any HDMI device can be used for streaming on your computer.
- Thankfully, the popularity of game streaming has created a large demand for capture devices – driving the options up while keeping the cost low. AverMedia and Elgato have been making products just for gamers for years now. Here are a few tried and true options from them:
- Streaming Software
- Once your hardware is squared away, you’ll need the right streaming software to make it tick. It seems like everything comes with some kind of streaming software already included these days, even new graphics cards! Some options include XSplit, Gameshow, and OBS Studio. You really can’t go wrong with whatever software you have, but I’ll be focusing on the free and open source streaming software option: OBS Studio. OBS is literally made by gamers for gamers. If you’ve seen some flashy pop ups or crazy sounds on a stream, you will be able to integrate them using OBS. For more information about different streaming software options visit: https://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/articles/792761-how-to-broadcast-pc-games
- Once you’ve downloaded the broadcast software of your choice, I recommend taking the time to explore the setting and experiment. Stay tuned because I will be doing a future blog post on how to configure your OBS settings for the best quality possible.
- Fast Internet
- Hardware? Check! Software? Double check! What could possibly be left? How about the most important part of all, an Internet Connection! A fast and reliable ImOn Internet connection will keep you streaming for hours without worry. There are many different options (http://www.imon.net/residential/Internet/) when choosing your Internet speed. With Internet speed, the upload speed is a big factor if you are planning to stream directly to sites like Twitch.TV. You will want at least 3Mb upload speed for streaming to sites like this. If you have a lower upload speed you could experience low video quality and possible stuttering in the video feed.
- I would recommend to have at least 80Mb Internet speed for streaming. This will give you the 80Mb download speeds and 4Mb upload speed. If you need help finding out what speed you have, give ImOn Customer Care a call at 319-298-6484. They’re right here in Cedar Rapids and can help make sure you have what you need to stream!
Pick Your Platform
Finally, you will need to decide where you want to stream to. Would you rather be one of the 2 million streamers on Twitch.tv or be an up and comer on a newer platform like BEAM? Maybe you have a YouTube channel and would rather stream there. What if I told you there was a way to stream to these sites and more all at the same time? I know, you’re mind just exploded… I’ll give you a minute.
First you will need to set up your account on the sites you’d like to stream to. The most popular options are: