With the Movement Control Order (MCO) getting extended again, this means you’ll be staying at home for longer. If you don’t have to work from home, and have a lot more time to game, perhaps you have considered live streaming. It’s one way to spice up your gaming experience if you like interaction with others while you’re at it.
But before you actually go live and start playing your favourite games and chatting with strangers about it, you’ll have to make a decision on a few things. Today, we’ll be talking about what those things are, from your chosen streaming software to the platform you want your stream to be on.
Actually, there’s also the matter of where you’ll be streaming on, be it the PlayStation 4, or on PC. The former is the easiest of the two, so let’s start there.
Live streaming on the PS4
One benefit of streaming on a modern day console is that the console takes care of almost everything for you. All you need to do is just to sign into your YouTube or Twitch account, and you’re set. Even starting your stream is as simple as holding down the Share button on the DualShock 4, and selecting Broadcast Gameplay. Stopping is equally simple, by selecting Broadcast Settings, followed by Stop Broadcast.
If you have a PlayStation Camera, then you can also have your face in the broadcast, so your viewers know the person behind the stream.
The option to stream to Facebook though requires the use of a capture card. This also means that you’ll essentially be streaming from the PC, and will have to go through the following process. But you may find that it’s worth the extra steps needed for it, as I’ll explain shortly. For now, we’ll move on to the process of setting a stream up on PC.
(Image: Business Insider)
As mentione defore, you’ll need to be a lot more involved in the process of live streaming your games on PC. And the first thing you need to decide on is which streaming software to use. Two are generally the most popular.
The standard Open Broadcast Software (OBS) is uite feature rich for a free streaming software. Streamlabs OBS adds more features relevent to video game streaming. These include social widgets like donation and subs tracking, as well as chatbox. You also get real-time troubleshooting and Discord support.
Streamlabs OBS is free and opensource.
(Image: Streamlabs OBS)
Another popular one in the game streaming scene is XSplit Gamecaster. This has a free and paid option, with the former having expected limitations like watermarks on streams above 720p. If you can live with that, chances are you won’t need the premium version.
Of course, if you’re willing to spend, you’ll be able to get more advanced features like multistreaming. Though if you’re a Mac user, then this is probably not the option for you, as it’s only available on Windows.
You can get XSplit Gamecaster for free, pay a monthly subscription or even a lifetime license.
(Image: XSplit Gamecaster)
Where you stream can be as important, if not more important, than the software you use. After all, this determines who will watch your content, and what you can do to expand your reach to new audiences.
It goes without saying that in the international scene, one stands far ahead of the others. But if you’re looking at only local audiences, things are a little different.
As you’d expect, the biggest name in the business is here. Undoubtedly, this is where to go if you’re shooting for the stars. But the problem with streaming here is just that: it’s too big.
There are just so many streamers here, from the big, established names to the ones trying to make it big. And if you’re one of the latter, then getting an audience to begin with can be challenging.
As you can see from the homepage, channels most likely to be features are the ones that have already been well established. It takes a lot of luck, as well as hard work in promoting, for a new channel to get an audience. And as mentioned, these are of the international variety, who may or may not like the Malaysian accent, or even language.
All things considered, if you want to grow your audience quickly and effectively, Facebook is likely where you want to stream. This is for a number of reasons.
For one, there are plenty of Facebook groups for the many different games, be they international or local. Chances are you’re already one of them. Promoting a stream is as easy as sharing them here. Your doing so will allow it to show up on other group members’ timeline as they scroll, so part of the luck challenge can be averted.
Visibility of your stream is also better this way, since people do scroll through Facebook anyway. You can technically do the same for other streaming platforms, but by streaming on Facebook itself, you do everything under one metaphorical roof.
Of course, you can stream your games to YouTube as well. But for the most part, you’ll be facing similar challenges as if you were streaming on Twitch. And there’s no clear advantage to streaming on YouTube rather than Twitch either.
Since we’ll mostly be stuck at home anyway, live streaming can be a new hobby that you can pick up. There are other options that you can explore, but these should be enough to get you started on your streaming journey.
(Featured image: TechCrunch)