How To Start Streaming On Twitch: The Equipment You Need

start streaming on twitch

Streaming on Twitch is an excellent way to quickly grow an audience and keep them engaged. It was started in 2007 with a single channel that its founder Justin Kan used to broadcast his lifecast.

Today, a staggering nine million broadcasters use it at least once a month. Some of whom have become millionaires from using the platform. If you would like to join them, just read on to find out what you will need to get started.

A decent broadband connection

Top of the list is a good quality broadband connection. Without that, it will be impossible to reliably stream anything. You can´t afford to go offline at a critical point in the game that you are broadcasting. If that happens, people will click away and never come back.

So, you need to be careful to sign up with the right provider. You can use cheap broadband for streaming, but only if it is fast enough. But it is important to realise that when streaming to Twitch, it is not just about download speeds.

The role ping plays in the quality of your broadcast

Ping matters when streaming to Twitch, but mostly because a high ping rate will stop you from playing the game you are broadcasting properly. If it is above one hundred milliseconds (MS) the chances of you being able to play your game without lag are low. Leaving you with no choice but to broadcast stuttery gameplay to your audience, which no one is going to want to watch.

A reliable internet connection

You need to have enough broadband to play your game, broadcast data-dense high-definition imagery, and interact with your audience. For that, you need a reliable upload and download speed. So, before you sign up, read a few reviews to make sure that the ISPs´current users already get a consistently fast connection.

How fast your upload and download speeds need to be

For Twitch streaming having enough upload speed is critical. If you do not have enough uploading bandwidth your videos will upload too slowly. Plus, you will be limited to only being able to steam low-quality images. It is, therefore, usually best to take a cautious approach and pay for a little more speed than you need. 10 MBS upload is enough to handle most streams and give you a little spare to deal with chat and gameplay.

Download speed is not as important, but you still need enough to play the game. Plus, quite a bit spare. You don´t want your mum´s downloading or watching a movie to suck up so much capacity that you can´t play the game properly. Plus, if you use VoIP while streaming that will use a fair amount of download MBS.

Set your kit up properly

As well as contracting the right broadband speeds it is especially important that you set up your kit correctly. If you do not do so, no matter how fast your connection is, the data will not flow smoothly. There will be bottlenecks. Luckily, Twitch provides good guidance regarding this. You can read it here.

A decent computer

You need a computer or laptop that works fast enough to exchange all of that data without overheating or stuttering. The graphics card has to be able to handle fast gameplay at a high resolution. Again, refer to Twitch´s site to get the most up to date information.

The right router

Most modern routers will handle streaming to Twitch OK. The only problem is that the vast majority of us rarely update our routers. It is not something Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are too keen on us doing. Largely because in most markets they provide the router as a part of the package. So, giving you a new one when the one you have works OK is not on their agenda.

However, most are OK with you buying a modern router and being walked through the installation process by them. So, you will be able to upgrade yours should you need to do so. 

Other equipment

In theory that is all, you need to get started with Twitch. But it is also worth considering investing in a gaming headset and a decent microphone. Elgato streaming lights and a green screen can also be a worthwhile investment. They will both help you to set the scene and give your broadcast the right aesthetics.

As you can see, most people can get started with streaming to Twitch, without having to spend too much money to do so.

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.