Twitch’s phenomenal success is irrefutable proof that gamers are not antisocial creatures. This streaming service was founded in 2011 and acquired by Amazon in 2014, and as of 2018, it has 2.2 million monthly broadcasters, 15 million daily active users, and over 100 million unique users per month. Twitch’s partner program allows ambitious users to monetize their channels, making it a nice side hustle for passionate gamers and a full-time gig for a select few individuals.
For most users, however, Twitch is simply a way to connect online with other players who share their gaming interests and chat in real time with interactive communities. Signing up for Twitch is free, and users can watch and stream at their leisure. If you’re ready to make your name in the Twitch and web universes, check out the following tips.
Setting Up Your Account
Twitch’s help section is robust, detailed, and far more helpful than many websites’ bland FAQ pages. You can find tutorials for setting up your stream, community guidelines, partnership opportunities, and information on connecting with other users. It’s worth watching a few streams before setting up your own channel.
Once you’ve signed up, flesh out your profile with your avatar and banner. Share a little bit about yourself and what kind of gamer you are. Let other users know who you are and why they should tune in to your channel.
Making a High-Quality Broadcast
A good broadcast starts with a computer suitable for the games you plan to stream. At bare minimum, 8 Gb of RAM and an Intel i5 processor (or equivalent) will work for PCs. A decent graphics card capable of running DirectX 10 is also recommended. Gamers can stream from Macs, which have strong specs to begin with; consoles such as the Xbox One and PS4 that have Twitch streaming apps; or by using capture cards for any console with HDMI outputs. Adding on high-res cameras and microphones will improve the quality of your broadcast, though your built-in camera and mic will do the trick if needed.
A fast internet connection is also important for reliable, high-quality streams. Twitch’s requirements of 3 Mbps upload speed is fine for basic streams, 6–8 Mbps is recommended for 1080i streams.
Attracting and Maintaining an Audience
All the hardware in the world won’t help you if you’re not entertaining to your audience. Top Twitch streamers are funny, engaging, humble, skilled, and appreciate their audience. Develop these traits and be consistent with your desired persona. A serious channel should also be as reliable as a beloved television show. Post streams once a week or three times a month, so long as you upload videos regularly. One final tip: finding a niche beyond popular games is a great way to make a name for yourself.
Whether you’re in it to make a few bucks or just to share your love of gaming with the world, Twitch is the best place to build your channel and connect with other passionate gamers. Use the above tips to get started.