With the popularity of streaming on services like Twitch growing every day, and the fact that so many people have actually made money playing games this way, it’s easy to see why so many people want to get in on the action. To be a great content creator, though, you need great equipment–which is why I’ve compiled this list of the top five pieces of equipment every streamer should have.
1. Capture Card
If you plan to stream console games, the capture card that connects to your console and allows for video upload may just be the single most essential piece of equipment you purchase.
If there’s a place you should splurge, this just might be it. However, keep in mind that what you purchase should reflect your needs as well.
For example, if you’re going to stream a lot of vintage games, your demands will be completely different from what you’ll need if your streaming mainly focuses on newer HD first person shooters or MOBAs.
2. USB Microphone
While the capture card may be the most important piece for console gamers, and the computer itself the most vital for PC streamers, a microphone is a close second for both.
Think about it–the microphone is what allows you to interact with your fans and bring character and commentary to your stream. While there are probably gamers out there who are better than you, there isn’t another one with your personality. Your humor, knowledge, and ability to put together a story are what make your stream stand out. With a plethora of options in the market, choosing the best one can be a daunting task. Some great choices of USB microphones can be found in this guide by ProGamerReview.
On top of that, plenty of viewers won’t even give you a chance if your microphone quality is poor.
Getting a headset is key for interacting with your fans as well. While there are plenty of models out there that integrate the headset and microphone, these really have a lot more bearing on communication with your team during online gaming sessions than with content creation.
When it comes to creating amazing streaming content, you’ll almost always want a separate headset and microphone. Built in mics simply don’t live up to the power and capability of condensers and other USB microphones.
I know, I know: there are plenty of top streamers out there who don’t use a webcam. However, including a webcam is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make your stream more personal than ever.
I won’t tell you that you have to use a webcam to create great content. However, if you choose to use a webcam, be sure to get a good one. No one wants to watch a blur.
Of course, your upload speeds have to match or exceed the quality of your webcam. It doesn’t matter how great the hardware is if the upload speeds just aren’t there.
This one may be a bit obvious, but for PC gamers the computer itself is essentially the most important thing. While all this equipment can get expensive, don’t forget to maintain and regularly upgrade your computer as necessary.
Even if you’re a console gamer, a computer can provide you with a lot of tools to take your content to the next level, so this isn’t an area to slouch.
With the right equipment and a little practice, anyone can become a great streamer!
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