So you’ve decided to start streaming… Whether you’ve decided to make this your new hobby or are exploring a potential career, beginning can be a daunting task, especially with so many streaming options available. To make it simple, here’s a complete list of what you’ll need to kick off your first live stream – and continue to grow your audience afterwards.
1. Plan – What will I stream? How often? Keeping a schedule will help you maintain and attract regular viewers. In large part, your schedule will depend on your goals: why are you streaming? As a hobby or as a potential career? To inform or to entertain?
2. Hardware – Do I have the equipment to stream?
For PC gamers: Can my computer handle streaming?
- Core components to check:
- Processor (CPU)
- Graphics card (GPU)
- Peripherals – Since these aren’t shown on screen, you can wait to upgrade later. All that matters now, is that they work! Pro tip: If you’re a Pipeline member, you can check out our partner pages for the latest discounts on gear from CORSAIR, RAZER, and more!
- Microphone: headset or standing?
- Webcam (optional)
For console gamers: Xbox and PlayStation users can stream directly from their console to Twitch and Youtube (Xbox users can also stream to Mixer).
For mobile gamers: Youtube, Twitch, Mixer, and Facebook all support broadcasting directly from your phone. The quality of these streams will depend heavily on your device’s specs and output power, so mobile streamers may want to consider purchasing a dedicated gaming phone or tablet.
3. Internet Connectivity – Go to https://speedtest.net and figure out the upload speed of your home router. Start streaming at minimum graphical settings and slowly increase them to ensure your computer can handle the increased workload.
4. Software – Below are a few basic software options for streaming to various platforms. Without software you can start streaming on a console or even a phone, if you have the internet speed for it (3-5 MB upload).
- Xbox One
- PlayStation 4
5. Platform – Where can I stream? Where else can people watch and interact with me? And for those considering multiple accounts, do the names of my accounts match? Are they linked to each other?
6. Branding – Can I do anything to improve my viewers’ experience? These, of course, are not necessary for your first stream, but you’ll definitely want to consider them once you’ve established your stream, your goals, and a regular audience.
- New follower/subscriber on-screen notifications
- Personalized stream overlay