If you live stream video games professionally, having the perfect setup is key. While that might sound obvious, making certain errors in the preparation process is easy. Even professional streamers make slipups with their gaming setups, but, thankfully, those slipups are avoidable. To ensure your playthroughs go smoothly, read this complete guide to the perfect gaming setup for streamers.
Don’t Mistake Comfort for Luxury
Don’t skip out on a good gaming chair because you want to cut costs. If you plan on streaming for hours, you have to think about personal comfort. Chairs hindering ergonomics take their toll on your body over time, resulting in aches and pains while you game. To remain healthy and energetic for your stream, choose a chair that provides ample support. Of course, you shouldn’t buy a chair solely because it’s expensive—stick with reliable vendors offering high-quality chairs at realistic prices.
Additionally, your desk plays a key role in maximizing comfort, so find one that meets your height and space requirements. We’ll get more into spacious desks below, but desk height is more important than some people initially realize. Don’t use a desk that requires you to constantly hunch over while you play. To put it simply, build a setup that promotes a healthy posture.
Convenient Mic and Camera Placement
The same principle goes for equipment such as mics and cameras, too. Sometimes, having a microphone on your desk can get the job done. However, no setup is the same—in some cases, having an adjustable arm for your mic offers more flexibility while you stream.
Instead of leaning toward the mic, you can easily pull the adjustable arm closer to you, ensuring consistently crisp sound for your audience. Likewise, don’t over hesitate to invest in a good camera stand. Designing your gaming setup to account for camera stand placement will help you produce high-quality, stable images for the audience.
Finding the Right Keyboard and Mouse
If you’re gaming with a PC, buying a comfortable keyboard is a must. Unfortunately, those unfamiliar with professional gaming aren’t always familiar with the different keyboards on the market. With Xbox and PlayStation controllers, your options are much slimmer.
That said, there are certain features in different keyboards that make them more suitable for professionals. Such features include key rollover, wrist rests, lights, and macro-keys. Wrists rests will certainly help with comfort, but key rollover and macro-keys offer invaluable levels of convenience during gameplay.
Finding a mouse is fairly simple, with comfort being a top priority. However, certain factors can impact your performance, depending on the games you play. For games like Rainbow Six: Siege and Battlefield, aiming precision and reflexes are key. If the games you’re playing require such attributes, find a mouse responsive enough to keep up. Unlike your video camera or keyboard, a good mouse doesn’t need all the bells and whistles—it just needs to get the job done well. At the end of the day, it mainly comes down to matching a mouse to your playstyle.
Buying the Gaming Hardware
We touched on purchasing equipment above, but there are far more factors to consider. There are quite a few boxes to check when buying hardware, such as graphics cards, keyboards, or consoles. Below, we’ll dive into the process of finding the right gaming hardware.
Finding a Video Camera
If you don’t already have your streaming camera, now is the time to find one. Not all streamers use video cameras, but if you want to, aim for professional-grade equipment instead of a smartphone camera. Professional streaming relies on great audio and image quality, so find a camera delivering high resolution (4K or 1080p output) and a smooth frame rate. With enough patience, finding a reliable, professional-grade streaming camera is very straightforward.
Think About Your Audience
One of the most important factors video game streamers must consider is who they’re trying to appeal to. For example, do you want to focus on players with high-end PC gaming setups? On the other hand, do you want to exclusively `aim for the Xbox gamers? These aren’t your only options, but it’s a good idea to determine what approach you want to take so you can buy and organize your gear accordingly. One helpful tip is to buy a desk that provides ample space for your gear but can accommodate any upgrades or expansion in the future.
Once you solidify what console and computer hardware you’re using, choosing the right desk will be much easier. Suffice it to say, your desk has to support the hardware. On the other hand, if you play games on the couch in front of a TV, that’s absolutely fine, but you have to adjust the streaming camera placement sufficiently. However, setting everything up on the desk makes managing stream logistics convenient and straightforward.
Knowing the audience you’re aiming at will make flourishing in your niche much simpler. For example, professionals who want to stream Xbox games exclusively should invest in the most modern version of the console, the Xbox Series X. That doesn’t mean you can’t play on classic consoles, but focusing on the cutting edge is always a great way to boost stream quality and relevancy.
PCs are a bit more complex because consoles come as they are, but anyone can build a PC from the ground up. Building PCs is more complicated than buying a ready-to-go console, but it gives gamers a chance to tailor the system to their preferences. The customizability of PCs also makes them easier to upgrade as more innovative technology hits the market. There are many options to choose from when it comes to monitors, CPUs, and GPUs. Don’t be too quick with your choice because these components determine what you can play and how you play it.
Like keyboards, choosing the PC components relies on the performance you’re aiming for. If you want cutting-edge graphics, find a monitor and graphics card that can deliver. Although it sounds like an easy search, there are many options to choose from as mentioned above, so take your time. Before buying anything for a PC, do a deep dive into the technical specifications and determine how exactly they’ll impact your gameplay.
Following this complete guide to the perfect gaming setup will help you deliver high-quality content during live broadcasts. Remember, price isn’t everything—it all comes down to buying professional video accessories from reliable brands. Having the right tech by your side doesn’t just make production smoother, but also more engaging for viewers.