Going live on Twitch for the first time can be a scary experience. There are many things to think about: making sure your set-up works, choosing a game that people will want to watch, keeping an eye for anyone popping up in chat and trying to involve them in conversation.
Even after over five years of streaming with my other-half, I still get nervous each time before we press the button and things still go wrong. Sometimes we’ll have sessions where nobody feels like chatting and it’s a very quiet affair; bots turn up to annoy us with their offers of followers or rude comments occasionally; and sound issues seem to follow every streamer regardless of how good their set-up is. These are all problems you learn how to deal with but it can take a bit of time, and a few streams, to get used to handling them.
Fear not though: after introducing you to bloggers-who-stream on Monday, some of them have been kind enough to share their best advice for people who are new to streaming or considering giving it a go in the near future. You may have already seen my post about picking the right games for your streams and that’s a good start, but these wonderful guys are here to top up your knowledge and inspire you to give streaming a try. I’ve given links to their Twitch channels below too so you can go see them in action.
Brandon from That Green Dude
“Since I started streaming in the last week of April, I’ve learned a lot about live-streaming and how cool it is but also how tough it is to grow. My first bit of advice is to not think you’re going to be become a super huge streamer within a few weeks. It won’t happen, and it’s something you have to work for and have patience for. I’m nearly ready to become a Twitch Affiliate now and it has taken me from April til now to get there.
“Another bit of advice is not to fret too much about not having the latest top-of-the-range equipment. I stream via my PS4 using its streaming capabilities which is a good starting point for anyone wanting to become a streamer. Do I want stream the normal way by using PC, capture card and various other things? Sure I do but I’ve got to make do with what I’ve got. A way I look at it, is that when the time comes for me to upgrade to a more traditional set up, people will notice the technological upgrade even more.
“Last bit of advice is not to worry about using a camera. I don’t use a camera for streaming and I’ve been getting on fine. There are also tons of big streamers that don’t use a camera, so don’t stress about needing to use a camera. Does a camera add another layer of connectivity between the streamer and audience? Yeah it does but make sure, that you only start to use a camera when you feel comfortable doing so.”
Jett from In Third Person
“Interested in streaming? Start today.
“The streaming barrier is lower than ever. Most modern consoles have built-in streaming capabilities. If you play on PC, you can download OBS for free and start in a matter of minutes. If you have a laptop or a desktop PC made within the last decade, you probably have a computer with enough juice to stream, even if it’s at the bare minimum for quality settings.
“Odds are, the biggest barriers you need to overcome are those you’ve created. Such barriers include (but aren’t limited to):
‘I’m scared that no one will watch me.’
‘I don’t know how to set up any of the cool technical tricks that other streamers use.’
‘I’m not good enough at games to be worth watching.’
‘I’ll look into it during the next full moon.’
“Don’t psych yourself out of it. If you have the desire to stream, just do it. You won’t know how exciting and fulfilling this hobby can be unless you give it an honest try. You don’t have to be a pro-streamer to start, either. Push forward with what you have and build from there.
“And if things don’t work out? That’s okay too! At least you’ll know for certain that this hobby isn’t for you, versus having the ‘what ifs’ linger in your mind forever. There’s no better time to go live than right now!”
Frostilyte from Frostilyte Writes
“I think that the most important thing is to just do it.
“There will be technical issues. You will not be a Streaming Superstar right out the gate. But that’s fine. Start streaming, collect feedback, and improve. You can only get better as you continue to practice. But if you never start then you can’t start getting better. So get off your butt and start streaming.
“Or… get on your butt and start streaming?”
Nathan from Gaming Omnivore
“As someone who’s pretty new to streaming, I don’t have a lot of advice stemming from my experiences. I’ve been playing games on Twitch here and there since February and making an effort to stream at least once or twice a week the past few months. My main area I’ve been focusing on is simply getting more comfortable while streaming. I’ve started out by primarily streaming games that I’m familiar with, like Resident Evil 4, Far Cry 5, or Overwatch – games that I can play pretty easily while managing to mutter something coherent. My main focus at the moment has been simply to build up my comfort level and experience while streaming and just take it from there.
“I guess my best advice to others can be summed up by simply saying – just try it. You don’t need the expensive set up just to get an idea of whether or not it’s something you’d enjoy. Consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have the ability to stream directly from them, like I did. I am glad I nudged myself just far enough outside my comfort zone to even give streaming a chance. I don’t necessarily have any sort of long-term plans for my channel and I’m just taking everything kind of moment-to-moment and managing expectations. For now, I’ve been having a lot of fun just playing games and interacting with other members of our gaming community.”
GD from The Gaming Diaries
“My advice to new streamers or people wanting to try it out is to go for it. Make it as simple as you can just to get going and play something you really like or know really well. My first test streams were Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy, which I restarted and dipped in and out of levels because I knew it would be fun even if I died 50 times. There was something quite relaxing for knowing the game, even if I’m not always skilled at it, and being able to try out streaming. It won’t all go perfectly, even now with a few months of streaming most days behind me it doesn’t always go well, but taking that step and trying it is so worth it. If you are worried about confidence reach out and get someone to come along as moral support or try to go live at a quieter time but your confidence does grow as you stream. It is so worth it and even if you don’t have all the fancy stuff or have everything looking professional it doesn’t matter. Your stream can be amazing because of you.”
Luke from Hundstrasse
“I’m sure that there are probably boatloads of streamers out there who can offer a little more insight than me, but as someone who sits at the dabbling end of the streaming pool, an activity reserved for special carefully planned events, maybe I can say something that will inspire those who would also like to dabble. Don’t let tech stand in your way! From the outside looking in, there seems to be a culture of needing to have some kind of space-age technical setup to even get your foot in the door, but the truth is that it doesn’t really take that much to get started. Try not to get hung up on the resolution or frame-rate that you can deliver, but instead focus on what people actually tune in for; your own personality and enthusiasm!”
Dan from nowisgames.com
“Don’t be afraid to try something and fail. Streaming is something that can be as simple or difficult from a technical perspective as you make it.
“You don’t need all the fancy gear; you can download free software on PC and use the default options to go live the first time. Consoles have built-in or simplistic Twitch integration to get you started.
“Iterate on your setup over time. Experiment as you go and seek advice from the community if you get stuck on something. Most of all, have fun!”
Much love to everyone who contributed to today’s post. These guys are truly awesome, not only as streamers and bloggers but as friends too, so please do go and check them out. If you’re a streamer and have some top tips you can add to our list, feel free to leave them in the comments below along with a link to your channel so we can come say hello when you’re live!
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.