Over the last few years, video game fans have found a new favorite pastime: Watching and creating live-streaming gaming sessions. Twitch.TV has emerged as an industry leader in making game streaming painless for those looking to share their Starcraft matches or Fallout mods.
Here are five handy steps to get started on your path to being a streaming celebrity.
Sign up for a free account
Getting started with a free account is as simple as creating a user name and password. During this process, you’ll also need to provide contact information and verify your age. Once that’s out of the way, the fun begins, and this is where things get a bit more complex.
Make sure your PC is powerful enough
If you’re unsure what you’ll need, Twitch has recommended a few PC hardware specs on its site.
For the most part, if you’re already gaming on your PC, you should be ready to stream, but it’s worth making sure you have the right equipment. Streaming from a Mac is a bit less demanding, so many models meet the system requirements
For consoles, get a capture card or device
For older game consoles like Nintendo Wii or Sega Dreamcast, you’ll need to stream through your computer. To do that, you’ll need to install a capture card or a capture device onto your system. Capture cards allow you to connect older A/V devices to your computer through an HDMI cord, component cables, or even composite cables.
For the current generation of game consoles, streaming to Twitch is a breeze. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One offer built-in Twitch support, so you can share your latest virtual exploits with the push of a button. Each respective console offers a Twitch app, and once inside, you’ll be prompted to enter your Twitch login, or create a new account on-the-fly. Once that’s done, you’ll be ready to stream.
Get broadcast software
Broadcast software is essential, and while there are many great options available, it basically comes down to your own personal preference. Finding the right interface and price is essential, so read user reviews and test a few out to see which ones you enjoy most. A few recommendations from the Twitch community include: XPlit, FFSplit and Wirecast.
Get a good microphone
Lots of computers and consoles come with built-in microphones, but they’re not intended for high quality streaming. Think of the audio quality when talking over a PlayStation 4 headset; the garbled taunts of that punk who keeps spawn-camping you in Destiny is about as good as it gets. Instead, get a dedicated USB microphone for your computer, so you can pump up the volume and control the quality of your voice.
What do you like to stream? Do you like to co-op with friends, or are you a competitive gamer? Do you enjoy creating new content with game level editors, or do you prefer a good single-player adventure? Would you prefer to show off your skills, or find new gamer friends? We’d love to know!