Everything you need to start streaming on Twitch

Twitch.tv is easily the top streaming platform right now, with millions of viewers tuning in to their favourite creators daily. Streaming certainly isn't for everyone, but if you're looking to get stuck in, you'll need a few things first.


by Ryan Houghton |

This is a comprehensive guide on everything you'll need to get streaming on Twitch as soon, and as easily, as possible.

While Twitch is largely dominated by gaming streamers, it's also expanded out into a plethora of sub-categories, so if you're not an avid gamer, you've still got some more technically light-weight options to choose from.

This guide is specifically going to focus on equipment needed to stream gaming content, so it'll be a little more expensive to get up and running than other alternatives, but it'll be worth it.

Despite the crucial tech that you need to stream, the absolute most important part of streaming is your personality. If you want people to watch, you must entertain them!

Professional streamers are often juggling being great gamers and great entertainers, and it's not as easy as it looks. So get practising! But most importantly, be yourself and enjoy it.

Is streaming on Twitch free?

Twitch is a totally free platform to stream on, there's no cost to upload videos whatsoever, so rest assured, regardless of your budget, you can stream. But if you want a professional-looking stream, keep on reading.

Hardware requirements

First thing's first - if you're looking to stream some games, you'll need to ensure your hardware's up to scratch.

Twitch recommends at least 8GB of RAM and at least an Intel i5 CPU, as well as Windows 7 or newer. Remember, this is an absolute minimum - if you're streaming and gaming, your PC must be able to handle both well.

We've got a great selection of the finest budget gaming PCs for under £1000 if you're looking to get stuck into streaming but need some beefier hardware, but don't forget room in the budget for your peripherals.

If you've got cash to splash, our picks for the best graphics cards are going to give you faultless performance while streaming, guaranteed.

Another overlooked yet crucial consideration is your monitors. If you're gaming and need to see Twitch chat simultaneously, you'll need at least two monitors. Our list of the top gaming monitors is a great place to start looking.

Streaming microphones:

After hardware, microphones are one of the most important streaming peripherals you'll need. It's the direct line to the audience, letting them know who you truly are.

Overview:

Audio-Technica is well known for their fantastically priced and extremely high quality microphones, and the AT2020 is far from the exception.

An absolute favourite of streamers worldwide, this relatively inexpensive microphone is absolutely perfect for streaming with high clarity.

You'll also need to grab yourself a boom arm. We've included a cheap and cheerful arm that is incredibly well built and includes a great pop-filter, which will protect your listeners from any grating plosive sounds.

If you're streaming directly from console, it may be worth picking up a headset instead.

Stream decks:

While not a total requirement, they're great for multitasking. With a stream deck, you're able to program each button with some great little shortcuts to save you a ton of time. For example, if you need a break, simply switch to 'Take a Break' mode instantly with the push of a button. It's that simple.

Overview

An absolutely perfect stream deck for your convenience. Yes, it's a little on the pricey side, but it's got all the functionality you'll ever need; big, clicky buttons, solidly built with 15 macro buttons with LED lighting, it's perfect.

Webcams:

Another undervalued yet crucial component of streaming is the webcam. While it isn't a total necessity, most streamers tend to show their faces on stream to build up a proper connection to your viewers. While, yes you can definitely use a standard 720p webcam, it's better to invest in some proper equipment so your stream looks as good as it gets.

Overview:

The beautiful Logitech StreamCam kicks out 1080p at 60fps, crushing most of the competition with its ridiculous quality. It can be orientated in portrait or landscape positions and can link with a range of software for top-notch versatility. There's even a screw for attaching the StreamCam to a proper boom mount. This webcam is the be-all-end-all for streamers, you won't need to upgrade again for a long while.

Plus, it's not ludicrously expensive, so you can get streaming without breaking your bank. You can read our hands-on review here.

Streaming Software

While Twitch actually has a built-in editing software, it's totally worth looking into some premium editing software to give your stream a professional look. This is obviously not a necessity, and you can stream with little-to-no editing at all.

However, if you want to create a premium, professional stream, then editing software is a must.

Overview:

Adobe has been at the absolute head of the game for many, many years now, and yes their service is pricey, but if you're looking to earn money from streaming, consider this a business expense.

Premiere Pro is an extremely powerful editing software that is intuitive, and packed with a ton of amazing editing options. Once you pick Premiere Pro up, your streams will look exponentially better.

FAQ's

How does Twitch work?

Twitch is essentially a live streaming platform, users can broadcast their gameplay directly to the site by sharing themselves or their gameplay with users online. Users can subscribe to the streamer, giving them a monthly payment to avoid having to watch ads and getting some chat bonuses such as emoticons.

What about streaming on consoles?

Twitch has a great app that is available on most consoles, including the Xbox One X/S and the PlayStation 5 (as well as the previous console generations). Streaming via console is as easy as using the built-in Twitch app and using sharing your stream straight to Twitch.

If you want to stream from your Nintendo Switch, you'll need to use a capture card as there is no native app for direct streams.

Overview:

Before making Stream Decks, Elgato has always been well-known for their capture cards, and the HD60 S+ is their best one yet. Capable of 4K 60fps recording from consoles, this lightweight capture card is the difference between a grainy stream and a stream fit for true streaming professionals.

Who is the biggest Twitch streamer right now?

The biggest Twitch streamer as of this year is Ninja, who found his fame from playing battle-royale shooters such as Fortnite, PUBG, and Call of Duty Vanguard.

Why is my stream echoing?

Stream echo can be narrowed down to a few things. First, are you wearing headphones? If not, get a pair of headphones, they'll prevent speaker audio from being caught on stream.

Otherwise, have you got the stream open in your browser? This is another cause of echoing, make sure it's closed or muted.

Finally, check that your webcam microphone isn't picking up any sound, you'd be surprised how often this happens.

Ryan is a tech writer and reviewer for What's The Best, specialising in PCs and gaming. He is a keen PC gamer and an avid reader.

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