streaming setup

Let us talk about the best streaming setup in the context of a starting gaming streamer in 2021. A lot of people stream a lot of things like music, hosting a podcast, or just chatting, but let our short read be all about gaming.

After how the 2020 pandemic has thrust live game streaming into the entertainment mainstream forefront, game streaming has never been followed by the masses than ever before. Along with this arose the need for every streamer to stream through the best media streaming setups that their money can afford. Our favorite Twitch pro streamers did not just get to where they are now by luck. They are at the top of the streaming game thanks in big part to the stream setup they use.

How to stream like the pros, you may ask? A good stream is as good as the setup you stream with, really, and we’re here to give you tips on what gear you need to be at par with the best Twitch streams out there. Your setup need not break the bank to stream like the best especially if you are just beginning to learn how to start streaming on the Twitch TV platform.

Basic Streaming Setup for 2021: Streaming for Beginners

Your Computer: You most likely know that playing the latest and best games these days demands high-performance CPUs (central processing unit) and GPUs (graphics processing units). Titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DoTA 2, Valorant, League of Legends, Apex Legends, and Fortnite are the most played and most viewed games in Twitch and to stream these games at the same time require you to use high-performance computer parts particularly in the CPU and GPU end of things. These parts are not exactly cheap but there are CPU and GPU options that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

CPU: Using one computer for gaming and streaming is not optimal but if you want a separate gaming and streaming machine, then just choose from these budget-friendly CPU’s that can handle the job:

  • Core i5-10600K made by Intel – optimal as a streaming machine.
  • Ryzen 7 5800X made by AMD – best budget gaming machine.
  • Ryzen 5 3400 made by AMD – cheap, but really good. Won’t let you down.

GPU: More commonly known as your video card or graphics card, these computer parts’ prices have skyrocketed due to cryptocurrency mining. Luckily some graphics cards have good performance and are also affordable.

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 TI
  • Radeon RX 570

RAM: 16 GB of RAM will meet the minimum requirements for your gaming or streaming machine. If you want to, you can upgrade to higher RAM when you eventually garner some success as a game streamer.

Multi-Monitor Screen Setup: Having 2 monitors is not just a frivolity if you wish to be a game streamer. One monitor is for your Twitch chat and technical shenanigans and the other monitor is solely for your gaming. Imagine having both your game and your Twitch viewer chat on one monitor. It just won’t work.

Pro tip: Have your Twitch chat and technical monitor in portrait orientation for an easier time reading your Twitch chat from top to bottom.

Gaming Monitor: An ordinary office monitor will not do. Its refresh rate is too slow and that means that an office monitor will take a fraction of a second longer to show what is going on in the game. And in competitive gaming that margin will mean the difference between winning and losing. You don’t want that and you will want to have all disadvantages eliminated to give you all the chances of winning. Your viewers, followers, and subscribers will probably prefer that you win your games, anyway.

Best bang for the buck gaming monitors and their specs:

  • Gigabyte M27Q
    • Get this if you have a little more to spare. Still in the budget range, but more within the pricier side of the budget spectrum, this will please even the most demanding of gamers out there.
    • Size:27”
    • Resolution: 2560×1440
    • Max refresh rate: 170 Hz
  • ASUS Pro Art Display PA278QV
    • If you prefer a gaming monitor that can meet the demands of gaming and work, then this monitor will be best for you. This monitor will not have the fastest refresh rate like other monitors in this list, but this monitor does come with a built-in speaker system and input ports for your other peripherals and dongles to make cable management minimal. Versatile and cheap for that jack of all trades in you. 
    • Size:27”
    • Resolution: 2560×1440
    • Max refresh rate: 170 Hz
  • Acer Nitro XV340CK Ultrawide
    • For the best game immersion experience, go for this monitor. With a 21:9 aspect ratio, you will get a wider field of view. Unfortunately, this is not for gaming in the dark as it does not get that bright. Game in a moderately lit room and you will enjoy a true ultrawide experience at a budget price.
    • Size: 34”
    • Resolution: 3440×1440
    • Max refresh rate: 144 Hz
  • Gigabyte G34WQC
    • If streaming in the dark is your thing, then the Gigabyte G34 could just be your jam. It has a great contrast ratio on a curved VA panel that produces the deepest blacks for the best dark room gaming experience.
    • Size: 34”
    • Resolution: 3440×1440
    • Max refresh rate: 144Hz 

Twitch Chat Monitor: Your old monitor or any functioning office monitor would do but the best one would be any office monitor that you could orient vertically for an easier time glancing at Twitch chat.

USB Microphones: Get a separate mic and do not use your headset’s microphone as these tend to crackle and pop when you laugh, get excited, or breathe into them. You can get professional-quality USB microphones for less than $100. Forego the XLR microphone because it is less convenient and bulky as they require XLR cables and an audio interface. USB mics can be easily powered by your computer and setting them up is less complicated.

  • Blue Snowball Ice
  • $50, tripod desk stand, 40hz to 18kHz frequency response, great sound quality.
  • Mackie EM-91CU
  • $50, best for spoken word, gives body to feminine voice.
  • Samson C01U Pro
  • $90, 20hz to 18kHz frequency response, background noise canceling.

Webcam: Viewers appreciate a streamer’s efforts to show their face in their streams. It puts a face to their stream star’s personality, and viewers just love it when they see a streamer’s genuine reactions during in-game.

Do not use your built-in webcams if you want optimum visual quality for your streams. Instead, buy a separate HD webcam. Some choices are cheap but as good or even better than the hyped-up brands out there.

  • Logitech C922 Pro HD
  • Logitech C270i HD
  • Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 
  • Razer Kiyo

Gaming and Other Peripherals: Complete your streaming setup with these peripherals:

  • Cheap But Good Gaming Headsets – Avoid hype and go for performance!
    • SteelSeries Arctis 1: comfortable, good sound quality, removable built-in microphone.
    • HyperX Cloud Stinger: Very affordable, great controls, great audio quality.
    • Astro a10: Great sound, very affordable, good-looking, durable.
  • Cheap But Good Gaming Mouse – The best ones can also be the cheapest! A gaming mouse is a must especially if you stream first-person shooters or real-time strategy games as a gaming mouse has a responsiveness that is incomparable to an ordinary office mouse.
    • Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless
    • $50, RGB, 10,000 dpi.
    • Razer Viper Mini
    • $20, 61 grams, 8,500 cpi.
    • Roccat Burst Pro
    • $60, 16,000 dpi, 68 grams.
  • Capture Cards – These devices facilitate your ability to translate raw footage of your gameplay into a language a video player like YouTube can understand. Capture cards pretty much “download” Twitch videos of your stream for you to play in a video-sharing service. Capture card budget options:
    • LEADNOVO Video HDMI Capture Card
    • DIGITNOW HDMI Capture Card
    • GiantMatrix Video Capture Card

Other Things You Will Also Need:

  • Green screen – Use a green screen if you don’t want your room to be seen by the masses. Make your green screen.  
  • High-speed internet connection – Why? One word: lag. Lag will not let you play your game and forget viewers or subscribers if your stream is erratic and lag-y.  
  • Streaming Software – Take time to learn how to use streaming software now that you plan to commit to a career on streaming platforms such as Twitch. Twitch Studio and Streamlabs OBS are two of the leading streaming apps you could use.

Preparing for Live Streaming

  1. Set a streaming schedule – Set a weekly live streaming schedule your viewers and visitors can see. Be sure to be consistent with your schedule; if your stream schedule is every day from 11 am-5 pm, then by God be there every day. You will get more followers if people see you are consistent with your stream schedule.
  2. Study your game – Watch the gameplay of your past games. Take note of the things you could have done better and improve on them. Playing to get better will go a long way in your career.
  3. Aim for the stars – Be the pro player you’ve always wanted to be. The biggest Twitch streamers are all pro gamers. Join an Esports team and play and win the biggest tournaments around to make it to the pros.

Commit and Never Look Back

Now that you have all the stuff you need to begin your career on twitch, summon in you the fortitude and the passion to commit to this most blessed of careers. The way will be paved with a lot of challenges but remember to soldier on and endure and your few viewers and followers will eventually become the droves you have dreamed of.

Maddie Schultz

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