There’s quite a long and tough road to becoming a Twitch streamer – especially if you want to perform at the highest level. From an investment into your hardware to spending time and effort creating content, becoming a Twitch streamer isn’t a decision you should make without a little thought. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide, to teach you how to stream on Twitch, and essentially to let you know how to ‘become a Twitch streamer’.
It’s a profession, these days – it’s a career that has turned the biggest creators in the world from average gamers to multi-millionaires. It’s little wonder why so many young people are looking to break into the industry and become the next biggest Twitch streamer. However, it’s a tough thing to accomplish, and there are many hurdles along the way. So, if you want to learn how to start streaming on Twitch, read on, as we’ve covered the entire journey from end to end.
Can You Really Make Money by Streaming on Twitch?
For the most part, potential creators start learning how to stream on Twitch because they want to make money. It’s a lucrative world out there, and at the top of the table, the biggest and most popular creators make millions of dollars by streaming. It’s not all about the Twitch streams, though – there are sponsorship deals, ad revenue payments, and donations to be secured, but it all begins with learning how to stream on Twitch.
There’s a little more to it than just signing up, creating a Twitch profile, and hitting ‘go live’, though. There are several steps that you’ll need to tick off before you can call yourself a Twitch streamer – even a small one. For instance, you’ll need to figure out what you want to stream when you want to stream it, what hardware you’ll need, and what type of streamer you want to be. Most new streamers start off very small and quiet, but ultimately, you’ll wind up spending thousands on your streaming setup – if you’re serious about it, that is.
Here are some ways that Twitch streamers make money using the platform:
- Brand affiliation
- Ad revenue
It’s a foolish thing to believe that every streamer makes money – in fact, the vast majority of them will never earn a penny. However, the potential to earn money is absolutely there, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t learn how to stream on Twitch and get started by trying.
How to Become a Twitch Streamer
So, you’ve made the brilliant yet daunting decision to become a streamer on Twitch, but where does it all begin? Firstly, you’ll need to make an account, get verified on Twitch and complete your profile – this is the first step on what may be an extremely long journey. When you’re ready, navigate to Twitch.tv and hit the ‘sign up‘ button that is clearly marked in the top-right of the page:
At this point, it’s important to pick an appropriate name but bear in mind that you can change it later if you don’t like it. If you’re serious about streaming, your Twitch profile name should be something unique that identifies you at least on some level. If possible, avoid using names that are awkward to write, impossible to remember, or that are seriously generic. So, avoid names like:
There are many steps to creating the perfect Twitch profile. For the most part, you can leave much of the customisation until you’re a more established streamer, but there’s plenty that you can do right off the bat. For instance, you can set up channel colour palettes and themes, your profile picture, channel banner, and bio. Everything is located in the same place, and as an easy platform to navigate, Twitch.tv proves to be a winner with new users.
Here’s a glimpse at what the customisation menus look like:
Bear in mind that there are several rules that you’ll need to follow before you can even get started on the platform. For example, if you’re wondering how old do you have to be to stream on Twitch, the answer is 13 years old – and it’s a strict rule!
How to Customise Your Twitch Profile
As the face of your channel and brand, your Twitch profile tends to be the first thing that potential viewers will see. Whether you’re online or offline, everything that you put on your Twitch profile can be seen by the platform’s tens of millions of users, and it can pay to invest a little in the many aspects of the service that you can customise. For instance, you could feature an attractive overlay on your stream, a customised ‘offline image’, or upload a well-designed channel banner.
It’s one of the best streaming tips we can offer: take care of your Twitch profile.
Typically, most advanced content creators will have a graphic design team that produces these assets for them. If you’re not at that level yet, then you can rely on friends or family with certain skills – or perhaps skills you have yourself – to create digital assets like banners and images. Otherwise, there are many platforms that exist to give users easy access to freelancers that will create customised content – for a fee, of course.
Here are some of the most basic things you should include on your Twitch profile:
- An offline video or a channel trailer
- A customised profile picture and channel banner
- Channel ‘cards’ that sit beneath the video player when you’re live
If your profile looks professional, then you’re one step closer to hitting the big time!
What Do You Need to Stream on Twitch?
Technically, you can make a Twitch profile and never stream – there are millions of viewers out there for a very good reason! However, you’re here to learn how to stream on Twitch, and a key part of that is learning what you actually need to set up a stream. There’s a lot of hardware, software, applications, and technology that you’ll need to produce a top-tier stream, but in reality, you can get started with very little.
At the bare minimum, you’ll need a gaming console, like a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X. These devices can stream directly to Twitch with no need for any extra equipment, but it’ll be a very basic stream with no graphics, and almost nothing in the way of anything ‘eye-catching’. If you want to put out the best stream possible, it’s advisable to have a PC and peripherals like a camera, a microphone, a headset, and spare monitors.
If you want to learn best how to grow on Twitch, you’ll need to start with some of this equipment in your streaming setup.
Best Microphones for Twitch Streamers
For streamers, the best microphones will be versatile, high-quality USB devices that boast a cardioid-type microphone. There are a few that are favoured by the streaming community, and they are:
- Razer Seiren
- HyperX Quadcast / Quadcast S
- Blue Yeti X
- Shure SM7B
- Rode NT-USB
While some of these devices are wallet-friendly, many of the best microphones will break the bank – and it’s only the beginning. That’s why, when you’re learning how to stream on Twitch, we recommend having an idea of your financial investment requirements ahead of time.
Best Cameras for Twitch Streamers
Like microphones, cameras are extremely important for someone looking to become a Twitch streamer. They enable your audience to get a good look at you, which deepens that sense of immersion and connectivity. Here are some of the most popular cameras on the market:
- Logitech C922 Pro
- Logitech StreamCam
- Elgato FaceCam
- Razer Kiyo Pro
- Logitech Brio 4K
Once you’ve transcended the levels of being a small streamer, you’ll want to move away from webcams, which is what we’ve listed above. What’s next is a DSLR camera, which can run you a bill of several hundred dollars or pounds, but it’s where to go if you’re serious about putting out crisp visuals:
- Canon EOS M200
- Nikon D3500
- Sony ZV-E10L
- Nikon D850
Other Equipment You’ll Need to Start Streaming on Twitch
There’s a lot more equipment that you’ll find yourself needing when you start assembling your Twitch streaming setup. It isn’t just a camera and a microphone that you’ll need, but also a PC, console, laptop, desk, chair, monitor, and so much more. Here are some of the more unique items that you might need:
- Lighting – it’s important to be lit up for all to see, and poor lighting can make for a miserable experience, especially for viewers that like to see who they’re watching. If you’re aiming to become a ‘Just Chatting’ streamer, you’ll need to worry about your lighting – both the lights on your face and any that sit behind you as a backdrop.
- Streaming gadgets – there are plenty of gadgets that you might need, from an Elgato StreamDeck to a GO XLR Mini. These devices make life much easier for the streamer, particularly the StreamDeck, which is a must-have for any live content creator.
- Green screen – if you want the best green screen effect possible, you’ll need… Well, a green screen!
- Capture card – for those streaming from a console and using a PC or those using a dual-PC setup, a capture card – like an Elgato HD60 – will be needed.
Read Also: Best Headphones for Streamers
How to Stream on Twitch Using Different Devices
Here’s a quick rundown of how to stream on Twitch using different devices.
🖥️ How to Stream Using a PC
To start with, you’ll need to assemble your streaming setup and then install any necessary software. At the top of your list should be broadcasting software, such as Streamlabs or OBS. This is of the utmost importance, as without it, you won’t get very far! There are pros and cons to using either piece of software, but ultimately, it’s a subjective discussion – it’s whichever platform you prefer, in truth.
Regardless of which software you use, you’ll be able to sign in using your Twitch profile, which instantly links the streaming app to your channel. If you use something a little older and less advanced, then you’ll need to secure your stream key from Twitch and paste it into the respective field on the broadcasting app.
At that point, it’s all about finessing what you’ve got – tweak your stream settings, your layout, and any sounds, scenes, and alerts. If you’re using StreamElements or something similar, there’s plenty you can do to create a visually-pleasing stream overlay, which can be linked with the press of a button.
🎮 How to Stream Using an Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Console
If you’re streaming from a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 console, you’ll simply need to link your PlayStation account and console to your Twitch account, and that’s basically it. It’s a case of hitting the ‘Share’ button and selecting Twitch for the broadcast option, and if your accounts are linked, you’re good to go. On PlayStation, you need to go into your global settings and deselect the HDCP option, otherwise, you’ll be broadcasting nothing but a black screen when you do go live.
There’s a similar path to follow if you’re streaming from an Xbox console. It’s a case of linking up your Twitch profile with your Xbox account and device, setting up any extra devices (like a camera) and hitting ‘go live’ in the Xbox Twitch app to start broadcasting your gameplay.
Now, it’s a little more difficult to stream gameplay from the Nintendo Switch, for example. For content creators using a Switch, a capture card – such as an Elgato HD60 – will be needed, as well as a PC or a laptop. The goal here is to link the console up to the PC through the Elgato, which allows a streamer to pull the gameplay from the Switch onto OBS or Streamlabs. It’s a similar story for a streamer using a PC and an Xbox or PlayStation console to stream.
📱 How to Stream Using a Mobile Device
If you’re an IRL streamer, you’ll spend your time streaming on Twitch using a mobile device, like a smartphone. It’s incredibly easy to learn how to stream on Twitch using a smartphone, as there are just a few simple steps to follow:
- Install the Twitch app
- Create a profile
- Find the ‘Go Live’ button
- Enter stream information, such as the title and category
- Go live and stream to the world!
What’s The Best Game to Stream on Twitch?
When you’re thinking about how to start streaming on Twitch, you may be asking yourself what kind of game you should play. It’s a seriously diverse platform and people will play basically anything – there’s always a market for it – but of course, not every game will be as popular as the next one. In fact, some of the most popular categories aren’t tied to games at all – Just Chatting is one of the most popular stream types on Twitch.
There’s nothing to gain from faking an interest in a game just because it’s popular, though. It’s important to play what you actually enjoy, as that’ll come through in your content. If you’re particularly talented at a game – such as Call of Duty Warzone or Fortnite – then that’s what you should probably stream. It can be tough, as the more popular the game, the more saturated the pool of streamers, meaning it’s harder to be discovered.
With that in mind, though, there are more potential viewers for you to draw in.
Some of the most popular games on Twitch are:
- GTA V
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- League of Legends
- Escape From Tarkov
- Call of Duty
Above all else, it’s worth bearing in mind that competitive multiplayer titles draw in much bigger audiences than single-player games.
Read Also: How to Save Twitch Streams
Top Tips For Streaming on Twitch
So, short of offering up a full guide for streaming, we’ll break down the top tips for streaming on Twitch itself. However, streaming on Twitch and streaming on YouTube are relatively similar practices, it’s just the platform itself that makes a difference. Here are the best streaming tips we can offer:
- Communicate with your chat. If you’re not talking to the people in your chat, they’ll leave very quickly. As you become a bigger streamer, this is less important, but when you’re starting out, it’s key to communicate.
- Build a network. Create a Discord server, join other servers, and use social media platforms to build out a network of like-minded creators and fans.
- Follow the unwritten rules of Twitch. If you’re going to be a viewer, never promote your own content in someone else’s streams – it’s poor form and while it isn’t against Twitch’s terms of service, it will paint you in a negative light.
- Try and be energetic. There’s a reason creators like Dr Disrespect have found so much success on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. They’re bursting with energy, their voice is raised, and they’re animated. For the most part, viewers love creators with bundles of energy, as it makes for a more entertaining watch than tuning in to a streamer sitting there in silence.
- Be consistent in everything you do. From the games you play and how you play them to the times that you go live, try and remain consistent at all times, producing content against a schedule that people can rely on. It’ll mean that prospective viewers know when you’re going live, and if they become a true fan, they’ll make time in their own day to come through.
Ultimately, learning how to stream on Twitch is a marathon as opposed to a sprint. There’s a lot of work involved and it can be dehumanising at times, pushing you to your lowest point, especially when you’re just getting started. For a while, it’ll seem as though nobody wants to watch your content. However, if you keep at it, produce top-tier content, and remain consistent, you’ll rack up viewers in no time at all.