Welcome to the beginners guide on twitch streaming. This is the ultimate beginner list to ensure your stream is up and running! These aren’t in order of importance although #1 can be considered as the most important. Start gaining more viewers and building your following!
1) Internet Connection – This is probably the most important step on the list. Without a high enough upload speed, your stream will be low quality, choppy, and viewers will leave. We recommend 5Mbs + upload speed to stream 720p comfortably without any interruptions. You can check your current internet connection at speedtest.net.
2) Laptop or Computer – You need one if you want a custom stream. Twitch recommends an Intel Core i5-4670 processor or an AMD equivalent, 8GB RAM with Windows 7 or newer. I recommend a Nvidia GeForce or AMD Radeon graphics card, especially if you are streaming computer games. The CPU is the most important component since streaming relies heavily on computing. If you are on a budget, I recommend checking out this guide on gaming laptops under 1000.
*IF you are console streaming, you simply download the Twitch App on the console and go through the setup process. You will NOT be able to customize your stream!*
3) Stream Software – The fun part! (Almost) In my opinion, the best streaming software is OBS. Given this free software, OBS has all the tools a streamer needs in an easy to use interface. Even better, it is beginner friendly with TONS of how to videos on Youtube! Another popular streaming service is xSplit but you must pay a fee per month for a license.
4) Mic– This one should be a no brainer. Of course you need a quality mic, how else would you interact with your viewers? I recommend the blue yeti snowball mic because of its high quality sound without breaking the bank. You can use the mic on your webcam if it has one, but it is strongly discouraged due to lack of sound quality.
5) Webcam – Your viewers are very curious and want to interact with you (beleive it or not). Nobody wants to watch a boring stream. One of the key ways to build a following is showing yourself and interacting! That keeps your viewers interested and prompts them to come back. A logitech webcam (or any webcam) with 720p capabilities or above is recommended.
6) Headset – A gaming headset will allow you to channel game sound to your ears without your mic picking up the sound from your speakers. The last thing you want is your stream to output double the game sound, making your every viewer cringe and leave.
7) Custom twitch graphics – A unique stream will attract viewers and help build your following. These graphics can be everything from overlays, panels, custom alerts, to even animated scenes! You can either build your own graphics using free software such as Canva or pay a monthly fee for Adobe photoshop. I suggest Adobe photoshop for the variety of available tools. You may need to watch beginner Youtube videos to find your way through the program.
8) Stream schedule – Every established (or soon to be) streamer needs a schedule. This lets your followers know when you will be streaming so they can tune in. Trust me, if your stream is very engaging, fun, and/or unique, followers will adjust their own schedules to make sure they can attend your stream.
9) Chat bot – These are very nifty pieces of code that can be programmed to moderate comments on your Twitch chat. Nightbot and moobot are the most popular. You can give them commands to help secure and keep your chat clean while also giving a very nice welcome greeting to new viewers on your stream.
10) Invite friends and family – The best way to get your Twitch stream up and running is to invite friends and/or family to provide feedback on your stream. Is the mic too loud? Is there background noise? Is the webcam blurry? Little tweaks to each of these elements can help your stream stand out. After all, you want to provide your viewers with the best possible experience and hopefully gain some followers in the process!
Hopefully this helps anyone who is just starting out!