Live Streaming Tutorial
If you go to YouTube’s homepage right now, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it filled with lots of new creators and upcoming channels that are vigorously uploading dozens of new videos each week in hopes of making it big. Whether it is small, independent creators trying to find their voice, big media houses and corporate entities looking to expand their base, or even celebrities and superstars looking for a way to stay connected with their fans; the recent lockdown has given them all an opportunity to create a unique identity in the already saturated online world, as they find a global captive audience unlike ever before. This has been a rising trend for quite some time now, as the infinite reach of a free platform like YouTube has increasingly become a must-explore avenue for entertainers of all types, who simply cannot ignore the millions of people that go to it daily, looking for entertainment. However, what is different these days is the increasing number of live streams that are popping up all over the place, with people not being afraid to go off the script and improvise their interactions based on what the audience demands.
While this may be a new thing for creators who are used to published polished, short-form content with proper production value and lots of people involved, it is certainly not a new thing for the platform itself, as gamers have been carrying out entertaining and action-packed streams from almost the beginning of the platform, and have been consistently rewarded by it through a loyal fan base; to the point where the biggest private creator on the platform is still a gamer-turned-entertainer, who is still fighting head-to-head with the biggest music production company in India. Considering that the lockdown has just been extended for another two weeks and we are all dying from boredom, this is probably the best time for you too, to start working towards your dream of becoming a global entertainer like PewDiePie. We are here to help you achieve this dream, with a simple step-by-step guide to begin your own streaming journey. To keep it simple, we will only focus on PC gaming for now, and YouTube as the intended platform for streaming.
1. Select Your Game: This is probably the most overlooked factor when people begin to imagine their own gaming channel. However, YouTube metrics have shown over and over that certain games have a lot more potential to draw eyeballs, over others. Thankfully, as long as you have a good enough PC setup, you can play most games on at least a 1080p setting. No need to worry about going 4K just yet, since most users on the platform stream videos in 1080p or less, so you are covered nonetheless. For starters though, it would be a safe bet to stick to action-packed shooter games, like CS:GO, PUBG, Fortnite, Overwatch, Apex Legends and others. If you have the talent to make it fun, there is a lot of potential in Minecraft as well, which has been attracting a lot of top gamers to its servers lately.
2. Find Your Voice: Even more important than finding the right game for you, is finding your own unique voice. There are thousands of streamers on various platforms that have been unable to consistently draw even three figures when it comes to streamers, even though they have been at it for years. Make sure that you have a way of sticking out; whether through silly jokes, high-skill gameplay, or even skits and impressions. It is up to you to create a hook that will make people stick around for more than a few minutes.
3. Create an Account: Once you have figured out your game of choice and a unique approach to it, the simplest step is to create a YouTube account for streaming. To help keep a layer on anonymity, make sure you create it under a separate name and email address, so even if it gets hacked or locked out, you still have your personal ID to fall back on. Do make sure that the account has been verified with a phone number, which is crucial to start live streaming.
4. Download and install OBS: Streaming requires a proper software setup to enable various effects, and help merge different audio and video sources. For people just starting out, OBS, or Open Broadcaster Software is a free-to-use, open-source platform that lets you do just that, even though it comes with a rather bland interface. This software is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, as well as Linux, so you can use it on any type of computer you have available.
5. Begin a Stream: Once you have gone through the basic steps of setting up your games and tools, head to the YouTube Studio Dashboard, and click on the Create icon. From there, click on the ‘Go Live’ button in the drop-down menu. In the following screen, select the ‘Stream’ option on the top, and add the relevant details; like the stream’s name, its privacy settings, a simple description, and the category it falls under, which for this case would be gaming. If the game you pick has adult content in it, be sure to select an age limit so you don’t get into trouble later. Once you have done all that, click on ‘Create Stream’ to continue.
6. Copy the Stream Key: On the next screen, you will get a control panel that will have a preview window that shows how your stream will look, as well as tabs for stream settings, analytics, and stream health. In the stream settings section, you will see the Stream Key, which will be used to begin your work in OBS. Copy the key and make sure no one else has it, or else they will be able to stream on your account even without permission.
7. Set your OBS video settings: Open the OBS software and click on the settings button. Here, you can set the frame rates, resolution, and bit-rate for your stream, which will become the default setting for your output. Make sure you pick the best according to your personal setup, as the higher the stream settings, the more resources it will consume.
8. Paste your Stream Key: In the settings menu, you will see a tab for ‘Stream’. Here, select YouTube as your preferred service and paste your unique stream key.
9. Set your Audio: Since you will be streaming as well as talking, you will need to include both audio sources in the stream. On the ‘Audio’ section of the settings, set the Desktop Audio to your system’s audio output. Then go to the Mix/Auxiliary Audio Device menu and select your microphone from the drop-down. Make sure you click on Apply to save all the settings you just decided on.
10. Start Game Capture: Go back to the main window and click the ‘+’ icon in the Sources tab, located at the bottom. Select the Game Capture options, and your preferred settings, depending on whether you want to showcase a full-screen display or a specific window. You even have the option of force scaling at a specific resolution of your choice. Once you are done, click OK.
11. Add your headshot: Like most gamers, we are sure you want to add yourself to the stream through an external camera. Click on the ‘+’ icon again, and select Video Capture Device. Select your camera from the ‘Device’ drop-down menu and choose your preferred quality and FPS settings. Once you are done, click OK.
12. Start Streaming: Once everything is said and done, go back to the main menu and click on ‘Start Streaming’. Switch to your YouTube Studio Dashboard and click on the ‘Go Live’ button to start projecting your game stream to your channel. There might be a slight delay between real life and when it is streamed online, but you’ll soon learn to ignore it.
With these simple steps, you will be able to start your very own streaming channel and begin playing your favourite games for a global audience. Just remember that this is just the start, and it is up to you to find a way to attract people to watch your streams, whether you do it through organic word-of-mouth sources, or even paid promotion. At the end of the day, the only thing limiting you is your ambition. So make sure you give it all, and maybe the next PewDiePie will be from India itself.