Startup Streamer Setup Basics
1. Streaming PC
Most streamers are streaming from a PC at this point. You may be asking “what about all the console streamers?” well if they are serious they are connecting their consoles to a capture card and streaming it through their PC’s. So if you are serious about streaming your best bet is to get a decent PC. What is a decent PC? Depending on how CPU and GPU intensive the games you play are, that will determine how beefy of a computer you need. If you are streaming a game where graphics are not HD and the levels do not need a huge amount of rendering process power (i.e Minecraft) you can get away with a basic PC with an i5-7th Gen or AMD 1500x or better. As for a graphics card you can have an entry level GTX or RTX Nvidia card (i.e. GTX 1550 Ti or RTX 1660 Ti) or a AMD Radeon 590. You will want 16 GB of ram at a minimum.
Most people think that you need to have an amazing expensive camera in order to look professional while streaming. That isn’t the case really. Most standard USB cameras like the Logitech 920 HD camera will get the job done. What can make a basic USB camera look professional and crisp on stream is.
Get yourself some light on your face to brighten it up and separate yourself from you background. The difference a $15 light shining on your face while streaming is insane. You are more visible and you standout from your room or wall behind you.
Audio is a huge deal when it comes to streaming. Your audience needs to hear you and hear you clearly or else they are just staring at your well lit face and listening to a scratchy muffled conversation you are having with yourself or your teammates. While using your headset is where most people start (and there are some pretty good gaming and streaming headsets that do a good job in noise cancellation and voice enhancement, you are going to want to get a separate microphone.
Depending on your budget and streaming setup, there are a few different options to capture audio correctly. Your basic USB microphones are great to star out with. The Blue Yeti is a great go to for your first Microphone as well at the HyperX Quadcast. The next step up is to use microphones with a mixer (more on that in the next section). These microphones are going to need an XLR or ¼ audio connector. USB microphones will not work. You will also need audio cables to attach your microphones to your mixer/laptop, and these are sometimes sold separately. Some good entry level microphones here are the Audio-Technica ATR2100x or the Samson Q2U.
5. Audio Mixer
Audio mixers allow you to add other audio sources to your stream as well as other microphones. It also allows for you to adjust audio levels right on the mixer. When determining what mixer to purchase you should first think about what you want to add now to your stream and perhaps what you will be adding later on. You will want to purchase a mixer that has enough inputs. As for a basic starter mixer you can go with something like the Behringer Xenyx Q502USB or the Yamaha MG06. You should also look for a mixer that has a USB output, as this is the easiest way to get the audio to your computer.
6. Streaming Software
This is where the heart of your stream is made!
This is what allows you take all that great new hardware and turn it into a well polished and professional looking stream. There are a very large variety of streaming software out there with the most widely known to be OBS: Open Broadcast Software. Others include Streamlabs OBS and Xsplit Gamecaster to name a few.
7. Internet Access
It should go without saying, but you are going to need a good internet connection to stream. A wired connection is best and WiFi should be avoided at all costs. Most recommend an upload speed of 5 Mbps or better. NOTICE: This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission on qualifying purchases. Thanks. ALL PRODUCTS MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND HERE Michael Bollhardt is the co-founder and CEO of We Are Hazard. Check him out on Twitter and Twitch!