Streaming games has become a popular hobby and even career for some online gamers. Every genre and style of game has an audience, from first person shooters to Zodiac based games promoting discussion over action.
Options such as Twitch, Discord, YouTube and even Facebook have made streaming more accessible, and all completely free! These are the four options you should take a look at to get started.
Discord is one of the most popular communication programs used by online gamers and communities alike, including Zodiac gaming. The company began offering livestreaming within Discord servers, giving players a smaller audience and more control over who tunes in.
This is an excellent option for beginners looking to get adjusted to life on camera. Discord, servers and livestreaming are all completely free and get set up in just minutes. Once everything is up and running, simply join an existing server or create one and start sending your friends invite to watch you game in the new hangout.
Where Discord offerings suffer is monetization for streamers. If you’re looking to start a career with streaming games, the money won’t be origination from Discord unless your friends send you donations for your time. Discord is solely for streaming to viewers for the sake of streaming. Twitch or YouTube Gaming will be the better options for running ads and getting subscription dollars.
Easily the biggest name in livestreaming, Twitch hosts millions of viewers every single day watching thousands of livestreams. Some of the biggest games include League of Legends, CounterStrike, Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone. These games will put you in a popular section but with more competition.
If you don’t play the most popular games you still have immense opportunities to create a following. Some of the most successful streamers are “variety” streamers which means they play a slew of games and have viewers there for the community and personality instead.
Twitch is completely free to use but takes a bit to get everything set up just right. The best part is that many recording programs have Twitch integration allowing for seamless streaming. OBS Live and StreamElements are two huge tools you’ll find save you time and headaches.
Newer to the arena, YouTube Gaming sprouted up after the immense success of Twitch and eSports as a competitive and commercially viable venture. Completely free just as Twitch is, YouTube Gaming focuses on simple channel creation and streamlined analytics. This is to let you get to streaming games as quickly as possible.
This simpler process comes at the price of some customization. Many streamers new to the scene choose to start with YouTube for the more convenient setup and migrate to Twitch once they get a better understanding. Doing so means they learn the ropes before moving to a platform that allows them to get the perfect settings, a path you may find works better too.
YouTube Gaming may also be your perfect fit if you have existing content on the web as your following will be excited to watch you play live after enjoying your edited content. If you plan on posting YouTube videos as well as streaming anyways, then starting on the one single platform may keep everything simpler for ease of access.
Relying on the social word of mouth aspect of marketing, Facebook Gaming appeals heavily to the mobile gaming crowd. It has ways to play in real time against viewers or other streamers, making real time battles between communities possible. The monetization options are limited though, but creating a social media following can bring in ad revenue other streamers don’t have access to.
Another benefit of Facebook Gaming for streaming games is that your existing friends list is a free pool of possible viewers. Discovering streams is handled by Facebook’s algorithm for suggesting pages and accounts for you to like. It takes your existing interests, those of your friends and then matches your stream to viewers in the discovery phase.
Getting viewers with similar interests makes it easier for them to stick around and support you for months or even years to come. A loyal fan base has value far beyond the monetary, it means consistent income when they subscribe or pledge money on a regular basis.
All Free, All Feasible
Each platform will get your stream in front of people that want to watch it. Categories and targeted demographics are available through each option, so finding your perfect niche is all you have to do now.
Trying different platforms is never a bad idea either, just be careful if you get a large following that you don’t jump ship as they won’t always follow you to a new platform. Either way, it’s time to boot up your favorite game and get streaming!