We’ve all thought about starting a gaming stream, right? Did you know that you don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars to set up a professional streaming studio? That’s a myth.
Now, you technically don’t need any equipment at all to start streaming on Twitch. But we all know that looking good is half the battle! The better your stream looks and sounds, the easier it’ll be to get loyal viewers. So, I’ve prepared this quick guide to help you set up your own streaming studio for less than $150.
Don’t neglect the speed of your Internet when deciding if you want to become a streamer. Twitch suggests 3 to 3.5 Mbps upload speed. Technically you can stream with an upload speed below 3 Mbps, but you might suffer lag or stuttering.
- DroidCam for Android. Considering some modern-day phones have better cameras than actual cameras, using your phone for your stream could be a great cost-cutting idea. This app, which you can download on Google Play, turns your phone into a wireless webcam. You can use it for Skype, Google+, and most importantly, for streaming. Best of all? It’s free.
- Microsoft LifeCam HD3000. This camera offers great quality for a reasonable price–you can get it for $25 on NewEgg. Don’t waste your time buying super-cheap cameras on eBay or other sites. Their images are grainy, and they break easily, which just leads to frustration and wasted money. The LifeCam is adaptable to most monitors and is very flexible so you can adjust the view. It’s easy to use with super-simple plug-and-play functionality.
- Logitech C920. The holy grail of streaming webcams, the c920 is praised on every single tech website you’ll read. You can get it for about $55 on Amazon, or buy refurbished for a lower price.
- PylePro’s PDMIC58 workhorse mics. For just $14 this cardioid mic is a very cheap bargain with some stellar sound for the price. They use XLR connectors instead of 3.5 mm inputs–the cables are readily available on Amazon and in stores. A 20′ cable would run you about $5.
- Behringer XM8500 Dynamic Mic: Often compared to Shure’s SM58, this powerhouse is a remarkable bargain for ⅕ the price of the SM58. This option is better if you have a lot of background noise or live with other (loud) people. If you’ve maxed out your budget, get an XLR to USB cable and download Voicemeeter Banana, a free virtual audio mixer. If you have the choice between this and the Blue Yeti, most people recommend the former. $27. (Some gamers do recommend Blue Yeti, but I’ve read a lot of poor reviews about their mic. What do you guys think?).
#4 Mic Stand
- Neewer NW-35 Scissor Mic Stand. At just $17 this offering from Neewer suspends the mic above you so that you can adjust it to your height. It comes with a shock mount to prevent vibrations and an XLR cable built right into the stand.
- Neewer Adjustable Scissor Stand. This stand is even simpler than the previous one and doesn’t come with the XLR cable. $12.50.
- Neewer Pop Filter. Pop filters help eliminate extra noise and protect your mic from moisture damage due to spit. This one is cheap but comes with a lot of rave reviews. $7.
- OnStage Mic Windscreen. This super-affordable $3 foam cap for your mic does what you’re paying it to do–block spit and “plosive” (harsh “p” and “s”) sounds.
#6 BackDrop/Green Screen
- The DIY option. Green posterboard, green bedsheets, green blankets. Or paint your entire wall green. Why? Because you can.
- Prism Backdrops by Ravelli. This is still a pretty cheap option, and you can fold it up so you won’t have to stare at its eye-burning color while trying to go to bed. It’s $18.
- Ikea Tertial Lamp. At $10 this little adjustable desk lamp is a steal. You’ll be able to use it for streaming and schoolwork, and since Ikea generally makes some pretty reliable products, you won’t have to worry about it faltering on you. Some streamers recommend using two or three points of light to properly illuminate your face and stream, so three of these would do the job pretty well.
- FancierStudio Green Screen Kit. This $84.99 kit comes with a green screen, two umbrella light-stands, and a backdrop support system. If you get this kit, you won’t need to purchase a separate green screen.
- Open Broadcast Software (OBS). Almost everyone recommends this app for beginners because it’s free to download and use, and it’s straightforward.
- XSplit Gamecaster. The basic version of this software is free and has limited features, including a watermark that can’t be removed (unless you pay). You can purchase a subscription or a lifetime premium plan.
And with that, you will be ready to start streaming. Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section!