Video games have been around for decades. After all, we all grew up playing the classics like Super Mario Bros. and Zelda on our Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). However, the gaming industry has become a lot bigger today. In fact, reports suggest that it could be worth $138 billion by the end of 2018.
Apart from the size-factor, the trends in the gaming industry have changed too, as we see more and more multiplayer games, mobile games giving console games a run for their money, and professional gaming events around the world. However, there is one more thing that’s become a big buzzword in the industry which is Twitch.
What is Twitch?
Twitch is an online platform where you can watch and stream live video broadcasts in various genres including sports, music, etc. However, it’s most popularly known for the live streaming of video games.
Twitch has over 2 million streamers today out of which 17,000 streamers earn money via the Twitch Partner program.
If you love playing video games and think you can entertain others with your gaming skills or commentary, then you can set up your own Twitch channel and start making money through ad placements and paid subscriptions.
Steps to Start a Twitch Channel
To create a Twitch channel, you must have the following items:
A High-Speed and Stable Internet Connection
The Internet has become a necessity these days which is why most people have at least one type of Internet connection at home. However, if you want to create a proper Twitch channel, then you need a high-speed Internet connection that offers an upload speed of at least 3.6 Mbps. This will allow you to stream in 720p resolutions at 30fps. If you to stream in higher resolutions i.e. 1080p or 4K (although that’s an overkill), then you will need ever higher speed. So, you may want to check out the fastest ISPs of 2018 to pick the best connection available to you.
Other than high speed, you should also ensure that the connection itself is stable as frequent and long downtimes can hurt your channel’s reputation.
There are hundreds of thousands of Twitch streamers today and counting. In other words, there is a lot of competition on the platform. If you want to stand out, then you need to work on branding.
To make your Twitch channel attractive and professional, you need a unique logo along with some Twitch Overlays to spice things up. However, you don’t have to pay an arm and leg for it. You don’t even need to hire a proper graphic designer that may take up to a week to design a logo. Instead, you can use a free logo generator online which allows you to create a premium and attractive logo in just a few minutes. This is because it’s based on advanced Artificial Intelligence technology that’s capable of creating designs that are in accordance with your requirements but without compromising the quality of the designs themselves.
A Decent Gaming Gig
If you are streaming from a console like Xbox One or PS4, then you can skip this step. However, if you are going to use a PC, which the majority of Twitch streamers do, then you must make sure that it’s powerful enough to do the job and offer your viewers an entertaining experience.
Twitch recommends a computer system that has a Core i5-4670 processor (or its AMD equivalent), 8GB of RAM and Windows 7 or newer. Of course, if you can get better CPU, and more RAM, then it’s even better.
You also want a decent graphics card as most games need one. If you are going to stream at higher resolutions, better graphics, and higher frame rates, then you want to invest in a high-end graphics card like NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or 1080 (or their AMD equivalent). You can even go on step further and get the holy grail of graphics cards i.e. RTX 2080.
Webcam and Microphone
You can’t offer a quality experience to your viewers without quality equipment. So, don’t skimp on the camera and microphone that you will need to stream your commentary and video.
The webcam should support at least 720p resolution and it’s better if it has additional features like autofocus, light correction. As for the microphone, there are 3 types of setups:
- Headset: A standard headset is recommended when you plan to use Twitch casually or semi-professionally. It’s cheap, easy to set up and can provide decent voice quality. However, it’s usually never comparable to other professional setups like a desktop mic or arm-mounted mic.
- Desktop mic: Desktop mic is also an affordable option that you can consider especially when you want to keep your headset and mic separated. Moreover, there are all kinds of desktop mics in the market with different prices and sound quality.
- Arm-mounted mic: If you are serious about Twitch steaming, then an arm-mounted mic is what you need. These setups allow for maximum configuration as you can move the mic around however you like, and you don’t have to lean in to talk either. The only problem that you may with them is the price which is usually quite higher than your regular headsets. However, the sound quality of arm-mounted mic is way better than cheap headsets too.
You can’t stream your gameplay on your Twitch channel without a streaming software. So, you can install either XSplit or Open Broadcasting Software (OBS) which are two of the most popular streaming software. Both of these are completely free. However, to use some of the key features of XSplit you have to pay for a subscription service.
If you have arranged everything mentioned above, then you are all set! You can just create a Twitch channel with your logo, set up the streaming software, arrange the microphone, and just start playing your favorite games to share them with others. However, don’t keep your expectations high when you launch. It may take time for others to take notice of your channel. Just stay consistent and stream on a regular basis. Over time, with hard work and dedication, you can easily make your channel a success. Good luck!