If you want to start streaming, you’ll have to ensure you’re patient and passionate about the content you want to share with your followers.
But you’ll also need to have some important streaming essentials so that you can achieve quality content and earn popularity online.
What are some of the most essential streaming items? A webcam, headset, and mic are musts, but these are just some items you should acquire before you start streaming.
With that in mind, let’s explore the most important things you need to secure a streaming hobby or profession. If you want to make a name for yourself and provide your audience with quality streaming, you will want to get your hands on this gear.
What Streaming Gear Do You Need?
You can’t stream unless you have the right gear.
While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed about the equipment you need when you want to start streaming, it’s good to focus on the essentials.
These will keep your costs down and help you to see if streaming is right for you without making any big investments.
With that in mind, here’s a rundown of the most important essentials to ensure your streaming will be a success.
Strong Internet Connection
While you’re so busy trying to get all the right gear for streaming, don’t forget about your internet connection. This is the most essential thing you need!
Note that even if you have a fast download speed, you need a strong upload speed for good image quality.
For Twitch, for example, you need an upload speed of between 3 and 3.5mbps, so ensure that you have that otherwise your feed is going to stutter and stumble.
You need a fast and powerful PC that will enable you to stream gameplay.
Most streamers invest in a PC that allows them to play at full HD, and the benefit of this is that it’s less intensive for your computer while it gives you higher frame rates to keep your gameplay nice and smooth (via PCMag).
Some of the most essential specs you need to ensure your PC meets include having an i7 processor with 16GB of RAM. You should also ensure that your CPU has the most threads/cores so that your streaming will be of the highest quality.
What are cores and threads? CPU cores refer to hardware components of the computer, while threads are the virtual components which enable you to manage your tasks.
It’s worth noting that different CPUs have different thread-to-core ratios. For example, two 8-core CPUs could have different threads, but it’s your best bet to choose the one with the greater number of threads (via Stream Geeks).
This is because more cores and higher threads give you better processing times and make it possible for you to multitask with ease, such as if you’re running cameras and computer programs simultaneously.
You will need to use broadcasting software that lets you show your gameplay to your audience.
Twitch has its own streaming software called Twitch Studio that serves the same purpose: it lets you produce multiple scenes with different audio and video sources (via Tom’s Guide).
Some of the best streaming software includes:
- XSplit Broadcaster – You can use this software to stream and record in 4K at 60fps and broadcast to many streaming devices simultaneously. It also has live status displays so you can keep an eye on how many subscribers and new followers you have. Best of all, it has a feature that allows you to edit your video scenes before you broadcast them live.
- OBS – This is open-source live streaming software that offers high-quality video recording and streaming. It comes with filters to improve your streaming videos, such as color correction. It’s also got an intuitive audio mixer so you can suppress unwanted noise. Since its settings are so smooth and interactive, this enables faster processing times.
A webcam is obviously one of the most important pieces of equipment you need to start streaming.
Choose a high-quality webcam that has a full HD glass lens so that you always look clear and sharp, but another feature worth investing in is automatic light correction. This will compensate for poor lighting.
Finally, it’s worth purchasing a webcam that allows you to make use of it in portrait and landscape mode, especially since some sites, such as Facebook, don’t allow for the traditional 16.9 format.
You can have the most expensive webcam or digital camera in the world, but it won’t mean anything if you’re streaming footage in a room that’s casting a glare or shadows on your screen.
This is why it’s crucial to invest in good lighting that makes your streaming quality professional. Here are some tips to ensure good lighting:
- The light source should be in front of your face but not directly in front of your eyes. So, opt for placing it above your head or to the side. This will ensure that your audience can see you clearly. Avoid putting the light underneath your face or behind you.
- You shouldn’t just light up your face but also your background. This will provide balance and give your frame more depth.
- A clip-on light that you put above or to the side of your camera can be useful, but some lights just don’t have the power to shed light on your background. So, to kill two birds with one stone, invest in a strong LED light, like a ring light.
A good streamer will ensure that he or she has excellent audio quality, which is why a top microphone is required.
After all, viewers want to be able to hear what the streamer says and enjoy their commentary – this can be more important than the on-screen gameplay.
There are two types of mics to consider: dynamic and condenser mics. Basically, dynamic mics are known for being good at reducing background noise, while condenser mics are more sensitive so they enable better sound quality.
Bear in mind that a dynamic mic requires an extra USB interface, whereas condenser mics usually have a USB connection already, which makes them user-friendly for beginners.
You will need to ensure that your microphone is as close to your mouth as possible, so you should invest in a mic stand. You can also buy a boom arm, which gets attached to your microphone stand so that you can move it horizontally.
Don’t underestimate these essentials as they will make you feel more comfortable while streaming, which will translate into a smoother streaming experience for you and your viewers.
Sometimes, despite your best intentions, you end up with some unwanted noise getting into your stream. This can make your streaming quality less than ideal, so it’s essential to invest in a pop filter.
This blocks interference from your voice so it can’t reach your mic. Pop filters reduce plosives such as P and B sounds, and reduce hissing and popping sounds.
They also prevent moisture from getting on your mic, therefore increasing its lifespan. You can use a pop filter with dynamic and condenser mics.
A headset will give you a good sense of your gameplay surroundings so that you can create a more immersive experience. It should be comfortable to wear and lightweight, while also giving you clear audio.
If you’re going to wear a headset for many hours at a time, it’s worth your while to invest in a headset that has wireless features so that you can move around your room easily.
Other important features to look for in a quality headset include 7.1 virtual surround sound so that you immerse yourself in the game, as well as passive noise cancellation. This ensures that outside distractions will be minimized so that you can focus on the game.
Since you’re going to be playing sitting down and might be streaming for many hours, you don’t want to become uncomfortable. This is why it’s important to choose a supportive chair.
Make sure the chair can be adjusted so that you get the best position based on your height, and it’s good to choose a streaming chair that’s made of lightweight materials so that you can move it around easily.
While ergonomic chairs are great, if you’re not a fan of them you should consider getting a chair that’s been made out of durable nylon mesh. This feels springy and comfortable while it helps to relieve back pressure.
Do You Need A Green Screen?
A green screen is usually recommended for streamers, but is it really necessary?
You want to focus on you and your gaming, so you don’t want the rest of your room (or any clutter therein) to take over and decrease the quality of your streaming. This is why so many streamers invest in green screens.
Some things to consider before choosing a green screen:
- You will have to give the green screen its own light. Large, soft light sources are good but ensure you have at last two lights.
- You will also need a high-quality webcam. Although green screens can work with most modern webcams, a high-quality one will provide enough camera resolution to separate you from the green screen much more effectively (via Gaming Careers).
- Your streaming might lack a bit of personality. Sometimes the unique traits of the room from which you’re streaming can give your streaming more personality and make you more relatable to your audience, so that’s something to consider before you go ahead and buy a green screen.
Can You Stream From Gaming Consoles?
If you want to bypass PC hardware, note that you can use PS4 or Xbox One to stream directly from a console, but bear in mind that you won’t be able to make your stream more personalized as you would when using your PC.
However, if you’re a beginner streamer who wants to test it out, then this is a great option.
You will, however, need a capture card if you’re streaming from any other console, such as your Nintendo Switch. This basically records your gameplay to your PC.
Other things to bear in mind:
- If you’re using Xbox to stream, you can’t stream directly to YouTube unless you have a capture card. You will have to stream to Twitch or Mixer.
- On PS4, you can stream to YouTube or Twitch. You’ll have to link your accounts in the “Broadcast Gameplay” settings of your PS4.
Can you stream without a camera?
You can do this, but it’s valuable for your audience to be able to see you. This will allow them to connect with you.
How can you prevent light reflecting off your glasses?
If you wear glasses, choose softer LED lights with diffusers that prevent reflections on glasses. You should also position your light further away or higher up to prevent glare.
If you want to start streaming games, you’re going to have to ensure you have all the essential gear you need to make it a success.
From chairs and computers to whether or not you need a green screen right away, there is a lot to consider.
In this article, we’ve featured the most essential streaming gear you need if you’re starting out as a streamer so that you can provide quality content and start making a success of your side hustle.