1 The most important things in a nutshell!
- Your streaming PC or laptop should be powerful enough to stream current games with good frame rates.
- A good mouse/keyboard combination is extremely important for streamers, because these input devices often decide about victory or defeat in online matches.
- A webcam should not be missing in any streamer setup! We recommend you to choose a special model for streamers.
- Microphone & headphones in one. Ideally in an excellent quality - these are the characteristics of a good gaming headset. When buying a headset, make sure that it is well padded so that nothing pinches or disturbs you even after a few hours of streaming.
- To be able to offer your viewers the best possible picture quality, you will inevitably need a good Internet line with an upload speed of at least 7.4 Mbps.
- The free program OBS Studio is the most common and best streaming software.
- Your gaming chair should be comfortable and easy on your back, even during long sessions. Don't save money at the wrong end!
- Because your streaming equipment will take up a lot of space, you should look for a desk that is large enough.
2 Must have streaming equipment
We will first introduce you to streaming equipment that you should not do without when streaming. From the basics like PC / laptop to the niceties that will help you stand out from other streamers in the future.
2.1 Gaming Laptop / Gaming PC
In order to show what you are capable of in your streams, you logically first need an operational and, depending on your requirements, high-performance gaming PC or gaming laptop. This component is the center of your streamer setup and serves as the hub of all activities. In order to provide not only your viewers but also yourself with a smooth and exciting experience, you should look for a PC that is capable of playing current video games in their full glory, because a stream with the game running at 30 fps on low graphics settings is hardly something anyone wants to watch, even with a good will - neither you nor your viewers. Good gaming PCs or gaming laptops, which can also display demanding games without problems, can be found on the Internet at relatively low prices. Especially in the field of 1080p gaming there are often good offers. When buying, we recommend that you don't look at the last cent, if your wallet allows it. Current games are becoming more and more hardware hungry and the last thing you want is to have to buy a new graphics card or CPU after a short time. It's better to invest properly once, because a contemporary PC will accompany you for a few years at best.
What you should look for when buying a gaming laptop and how you can find the perfect gaming laptop / gaming PC for you is revealed in our gaming laptop review.
2.2 Keyboard / Mouse
The best gaming computer is nothing without the right mouse/keyboard combination, because only with the ideal input devices can you show your viewers how you can really get away with gaming. Streamers should be especially careful when choosing a keyboard, because if the keys are too loud when typing, it can have a negative impact on the overall image of your stream. Should it be a wireless streamer setup or rather the wired variant? Gaming mice or keyboards with additional function keys, for example, can make it much easier for you to control your stream with cleverly assigned hotkeys. With OBS and the right input devices, you can get the most out of your stream. The gaming market is now huge and the selection can be overwhelming at first glance. So that you are not alone in your search for the perfect keyboard and mouse, we would like to recommend our comprehensive guides. Here we answer all your questions about gaming mice and gaming keyboards.
An essential part of every stream is the webcam. You use it to film yourself while you are broadcasting live and facing your viewers, so to speak. Of course, the image quality of your webcam is also extremely important, because what good is it if you offer excellent image quality during gameplay, but your webcam is not good enough to film you reasonably even in less good lighting conditions? So, we advise you to look for a dedicated streaming webcam designed for streaming purposes. These webcams offer some useful additional features that should be especially interesting for streamers.
You can find out what to look for when buying a streaming webcam in our streaming webcam guide.
Next to mouse & keyboard, the gaming headset is probably one of the most important parts of your Twitch setup, because you naturally want to hear every enemy from a distance while gaming. Gaming headsets, which are specifically designed for gaming, provide a full and realistic surround sound. As with the mouse and keyboard, you can choose between wired and wireless models for the gaming headset. Of course, you can also use the built-in microphone of your gaming headset as a streaming microphone, but if you want to give your viewers a good time on an audiovisual level, you should get a decent streaming microphone, which you integrate into your streamer setup in addition to the headset. More about this below in the "Streaming Microphone" section.
We'll tell you how to find the perfect gaming or streaming headset in our two articles:
2.5 Internet speed
Not a physical object but elementary important: the internet speed. To start your own stream, you obviously need a stable and, in the best case, even fast internet line. If you want to broadcast in the best possible quality, you should have an Internet line with an upload speed of at least 7 Mbps. Basically, the faster your Internet, the better the image quality you can offer your audience. Be careful not to overdo it with your OBS settings, as this can quickly cause your stream to lag and stutter, which won't go down well with your viewers. The best thing to do is to do a speed test beforehand and, based on the results provided, slowly feel your way towards the issue. If your line isn't quite ready for Full HD streaming, downgrade the quality a bit, because a smooth stream is more important than a stream with good quality but constant connection problems.
To set up your stream properly and to control it afterwards, you need special streaming software. This software is used to pick up the corresponding scenes, to manage the audio signals, to include overlays, and so on. Without software, you will have a hard time getting a competitive stream to work. The software used by most streamers is OBS Studio. The completely free program has proven to be a powerful tool in the last years and offers many possibilities to personalize and customize your stream. In combination with our plugin OWN3D PRO, OBS Studio offers you everything you need to make your stream visually convincing from the start.
A valid alternative to OBS Studio would be the program Xsplit, which needs much less time to get used to, but also has to be paid for.
2.7 Chair & Desk
A good gaming chair belongs in every Twitch setup, because if you're streaming for hours on end, you want to sit as comfortably as possible and not cause additional damage to your back. Gaming chairs are specially adapted to the needs of streamers and, in contrast to conventional office chairs, offer some advantages for which it is worth investing the extra euro or two. Again, it's better to buy quality than twice.
In order to best accommodate your streaming equipment, you will hardly be able to avoid buying a sufficiently large desk. Since there is often not enough space on compact standard models, it is advisable to look at what you want to put on your desk before buying. The placement of the following items could sometimes be very tricky on a desk that is too small:
- At least 2 monitors
- Gaming mouse pad
- Gaming keyboard
- Gaming mouse
- Microphone / microphone arm
As you can see, the amount of streaming equipment that sits on your desk is not negligible.
3 Nice to have streaming equipment
In addition to the main components of a streamer setup, there are also products that, while not necessarily necessary to stream successfully, can be quite important. They usually serve to make your streaming day easier or to offer your audience something more.
While you may already have a working microphone on your gaming headset, the audio quality of common headset microphones is less than optimal. Twitch fans like it when the streamer has a pleasant sounding voice that is picked up by a good microphone in a good sound quality. You can get decent USB microphones that surpass the quality of a gaming headset by worlds on the Internet for as little as about 50 €. Definitely a worthwhile investment!
You can find out what to look for when buying a streaming microphone in our streaming microphone guide.
It is not uncommon to see Twitch streams where the facecam is so dark that you can hardly see anything of the face of the person sitting in front of the camera. Gamers in particular love to sit in dark rooms while playing their favorite games. Therefore, it might make sense to think about the lighting of your streaming room. In the meantime, there are some affordable solutions that will help you to properly illuminate the room so that your webcam can do its job and reach its full potential.
Your room is not really nicely decorated right now, you don't want to reveal anything of your private area and only want to insert your head or upper body into your stream? No problem! With a greenscreen this can be done without any problems. Depending on how high your demands are, how much work you want to spend on the installation or how high your budget is, you can find greenscreens from 50€ to 500€ on the internet. We can only warmly recommend the retractable greenscreen from the streaming experts at ELGATO. It can be deployed and stowed away within seconds, is versatile and, at just under 150€, is actually quite inexpensive compared to the cost and effort of a permanently mounted greenscreen.
3.4 Stream Deck
Hardly any big streamer wants to do without his Stream Deck anymore, because these small devices can make streaming significantly easier. For example, the freely configurable LCD buttons can be assigned so that your stream starts or pauses with the push of a button. The connection to OBS Studio is very easy to set up and the operation is self-explanatory. A Stream Deck is the ideal addition to your Twitch setup and makes you a true Twitch professional.
3.5 Design elements (overlays, emotes, panels, banners)
To stand out from the crowd, design elements for your stream are the perfect way. They add value to your channel so that viewers immediately see that they are dealing with someone who means business. In our OWN3D Shop you'll find a huge selection of design elements for your stream - always in the right format and instantly downloadable. For the ultimate experience, we'd like to introduce you to our newest product: OWN3D PRO - an OBS Studio plugin that allows you to install new overlays, alerts and other design elements in a flash and change them at any time.
3.6 Capture Card
To be able to include the signal of your game console into your stream, you need a so-called capture card. This element of your streamer setup is connected to the console, your PC and the monitor or TV and transmits the signal loss- and delay-free to your output device, so that you can also gamble while streaming. You can now insert the image of your console as a scene in OBS Studio, present it to your viewers and still control the stream via your PC. Capture cards are especially useful for console gamers. If you only want to play PC games in your stream, using a capture card is not absolutely necessary.
3.7 Mixer (Mixing Console)
The icing on the cake that turns your Twitch setup into an absolute command center is the mixer. It allows you to mix multiple audio signals, add effects to your voice, and control all audio-specific settings in analog. For crystal-clear voice recordings, studio microphones that are only operated via the XLR connection are particularly suitable - to connect this type of microphone to your PC, you need a mixing console.
4 Frequently Asked Questions about Streamer Setup
How much does a streamer setup cost?
You can buy a simple, functional streamer setup (incl. PC & monitor) for about 1500€.
Can I buy a complete streamer setup as a set?
Yes, there are some webshops that offer bundles.
Do I need a webcam to stream?
No, you can of course stream without a webcam.