Everything you need to start streaming on Twitch and YouTube

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Michael McWhertor/Polygon

Video game streaming has gone from a niche subgenre to a cultural phenomenon in just a few short years, with vast communities dedicated to specific platforms, games, and personalities.

Professional streamers can make it look easy (and it can be!), but if you want your stream to look and sound great, you need to make some investments. A professional microphone, for example, goes a long way in making your show stand out from the crowd. And there’s plenty of free, easy-to-use software that will add professional-grade features to your feed.

This guide is aimed primarily at newcomers to streaming who want tips to get started, and casual streamers looking for tips on devices and software updates. For our purposes we will assume that you will be streaming video games. However, the advice is similar if you’re streaming board games., a talk show or your dinner.

Stream where: Twitch or YouTube?

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youtube

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tick

The first thing to determine is where you will be broadcasting. You will probably choose between Twitch and YouTube, the two biggest live streaming platforms. Microsoft’s mixer is also easy to use on Windows, Xbox One, and Android devices. (Switch and PS4 users can stream to Mixer with a capture card.) There’s not much of a difference when it comes to downloading your content, especially since the streaming companies have borrowed many features from each other. However, there are some small differences.

YouTube recently launched a new games hub aimed at making it easier for viewers to discover new creators. YouTube Gaming has the benefit of a familiar interface (it’s very similar to YouTube itself) and most people already know how to navigate YouTube. It’s also easy to upload pre-recorded videos to your YouTube channel, a feature Twitch isn’t good at yet.

While YouTube is a larger platform in general, Twitch was built specifically for streaming. There are other tools for customizing channels on Twitch as well. If you’re only interested in streaming and have no plans to download compilations or pre-recorded videos, Twitch is probably the way to go. And of course the biggest streamer in the world is on Twitch.

Twitch and YouTube also have different monetization structures that should be considered if you’re hoping to make extra money from streaming. Both Twitch and YouTube have affiliate programs that allow streamers with large audiences to earn money by showing ads. And the most popular streamers use sponsorships, affiliate programs, and viewer donations to supplement their income. However, it may take years to reach this level.

For new streamers, the Twitch affiliate program is the easiest way to make some money. Twitch Affiliates can earn a small income from subscriptions and “bits” (a type of Twitch currency) from viewers, we’re talking cents at a time.

audio visual equipment

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polygon

We’ve provided more detailed advice for streaming to individual consoles below, but no matter where you’re streaming from, you need a way to deliver audio and (probably) video.

If you’re streaming alone, you can probably use a good quality headset and microphone. The Polygon Guide is a great place to look if you don’t already have a gaming headset. We recommend the SteelSeries Siberia 840 as the best cross-platform option because it can connect and switch between multiple devices at the same time.

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Steel series Siberia 840

  • $300

Prices at time of publication.

  • $300


    a Amazon

If you want a little more control over your audio, a stand microphone gives you extra flexibility. If you’re streaming with someone else in the room, multiple microphones will pick up each other’s voice (assuming you don’t have professional audio software to filter it out). The Blue Yeti is a favorite among streamers and podcasters – I use it at home and love it. It connects via USB and is quite intuitive to use.

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blue yeti

  • $129

Prices at time of publication.

  • $129


    a Amazon

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Source : polygon.com

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