Do you want to try your luck at gaming and building a YouTube or Twitch gaming channel? YouTube gaming can become highly profitable when you build and retain a large following and fan base.
Today’s average YouTuber can receive $3-$5 per 1,000 video views. While the figure may seem small, it can easily grow into a huge profit when you become a hit and receive hundreds of thousands of views per video. Don’t forget that you may even attract sponsorships, sell merchandise, and get funds from live stream Super Chats.
Whether you plan to monetize your gaming channel or use it to make a name in the gaming community, continue reading. Below, we’ll discuss how to start a gaming channel. Our guide doesn’t only focus on making a YouTube channel. You can also use the process below on other gaming platforms like Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and more live streaming sites.
Plan Your Gaming Channel
Starting a gaming channel is like launching a business. You need to have a niche or genre. You need to know your audience, their demographics, and interests.
On top of these things, you need to provide them something unique and valuable. It’s not enough to learn how livestreaming works and launch a channel. Ideally, you should also fill a niche where you have the potential to succeed and connect with audiences.
You can find tons of commentary gaming channels on the internet today. Instead of copying what others have done, consider doing something different on your channel that nobody else has done. For example, try focusing on JRPGs, JTTRPGs, Japanese horror games, and all things Japanese gaming related. Remember how the US fan base for Japanese video games boomed in 2018.
Pick a Content Format
You’ve likely seen various gaming channels with vastly different content formats. Some players live stream content in the typical Let’s Play fashion. Others share videos focused on tips and tricks to finish a game or find easter eggs.
Pick how you want to approach your gaming content. The various gaming video formats include:
- Walkthrough. You play video games from start to finish and show other players how to complete the game. Some walkthrough creators are completely silent, so their audiences watch their videos like they’re watching a movie. Other creators include commentary to add more information about the gameplay.
- Let’s Play. This style of video gaming is the same as the walkthrough. However, most Let’s Play creators play the game without prior knowledge. They give genuine reactions to the events in the game, which is the point of a Let’s Play.
- Multiplayer. Multiplayer formats feature a person playing alongside other online gamers or against them in Player vs. Player (PVP) type games. This content format is also good for gaming channels with two or more owners.
- Speed Run. The goal of speed runs is to finish a game as quickly as possible, sometimes within only one run or take.
- Tips and Tricks. Gaming channels provide tips and tricks for playing a game, like crafting rare items, solving a puzzle, or sharing strategies to survive a PVP game.
- Reviews. Like product reviews, you feature a game that has yet to come out or has already come out and discuss its pros and cons. You also cover if it’s worth buying or if there are alternatives.
- Sketches or Music Videos. These are based on video games and are made to entertain audiences.
Remember, you can choose various content formats. When you pick different content formats, consider your gaming channel’s schedule.
For example, you’ll live stream a Let’s Play video on Mondays and Thursdays. On Saturdays, you release the walkthrough version.
Brand Your Channel
The next step is to create all the other elements necessary for your gaming channel. These include:
- Logo or profile image
- Persona (VTubers or mascot if you don’t want to reveal your face)
- Video intro or outro
It also helps to make a short tagline before you roll your intro or finish the video. Some creators call their audiences by a certain name. The most well-known example is Pewdiepie and his Bro Army. However, most creators don’t pick these elements until they’ve gathered a larger fan base.
Gather the Essential Tools
The next step is to gather the video editing tools needed for producing high-quality content. The following are all the essentials you’ll need to start a gaming channel:
High-end gaming PC
Modern games today require powerful PC hardware. On top of that, the PC will power your screen, webcam, and audio recording while you game or live stream. A mid-range gaming PC may crash frequently if you’re playing resource-demanding video games. Invest in a high-end gaming PC first.
You don’t need to start your gaming channel with a high-quality video camera right away. A decent webcam is enough for first-time gaming channels. However, you’d want to upgrade your camera eventually to make higher-quality videos.
Consider purchasing a microphone with good quality, so your commentaries or reactions come through clearly. You should also upgrade your microphone when your channel gains traction.
Good lighting is the key to creating a professional-looking gaming channel. You can have the best video cameras on the market and still get low-quality videos without good lighting. You can find a variety of lighting rigs to fit different budgets.
Screen capture and recording software
The good news is that Windows and Mac computers already have built-in screen recording software. Consider downloading a screen capture program if you want something more robust and flexible.
Video editing software
Post-production relies heavily on your video editing software, so use one that can make your vision a reality. Professional-level video editors include Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut, and Sony Vegas. However, you can also choose open-source or free editors like Shotcut and Lightworks as cheaper alternatives.
You may also need to use various video converting tools in order to get the files in the right format. Thus, if you wonder how to play a VOB file and use VOB content for your gaming channel, software such as Movavi Video Converter would greatly help you.
Finally, you’ll need a capture card to record what you’re seeing on your PC, Xbox, or other gaming consoles and save it as a separate video on the PC. Without your capture card, you’ll only have footage from your webcam.
When you have these items, you’re ready to play games and work on your first batch of videos. Other gaming accessories you may need include a gaming chair, a good headset, and a gaming desk.
Know the Gaming Platform and Its Limits
Notice how video game creators censor certain words or avoid certain actions. It is a consequence of using a gaming and video-sharing platform. After all, millions of kids make up the subscriber base of gamers on sites like YouTube.
Read the rules, regulations, community guidelines, and ad-friendly guidelines of the platform before you record anything. Also, learn how you can monetize your channel. For example, applying for YouTube’s Partner Program is how content creators earn on YouTube.
Play, Record, Edit, and Upload
Now is the time to sit down, hit records, and play video games. Play as you’d normally do while following ad-friendly guidelines.
Afterward, edit your videos. Try cutting videos down to bite-sized chunks, so your first-time viewers don’t get bored quickly. Keep your best reactions as highlights in the video to keep it entertaining.
Finally, upload the video to the video-sharing platform. If you’re using YouTube, use this guide to learn how to upload a video to YouTube.
Starting a gaming channel involves thorough planning, equipment preparation, branding, and familiarity with the platform. The work involved also includes post-production editing and uploading.