Equipment You Are WASTING Money On – STOP!
Welcome to the best Streaming Setup 2021. You finally decided to join the world of content creation and start your journey as a streamer, but wait, where should you start in regards to equipment? It is easy to get lost in the vast variety of streaming equipment and especially when you are starting out, it is important to make smart decisions. So let’s talk about what to upgrade and what not to upgrade!
The first thing that came to mind when I thought about equipment was my webcam. A nice crisp DSLR that can record and stream in 1080p 60fps would look great for my stream, but hold on a minute.
Of course a DSLR looks better than a cheap webcam, especially during the year of 2020 where webcams are difficult to come by, but there is something that you already own, that looks even better than a DSLR with the stock lens on it. YOUR PHONE. Most phones on the market have better cameras built into them than any webcam, so before spending more money, use your phone with a phone stand, which you can pick up for less than $25 on Amazon. Click here!
One last thing to consider when upgrading your facecam in the future is that your facecam, in most cases, only takes up about 15% of your screen, the rest is gameplay footage, do you really need to invest $800 into 15% of your screen and viewer experience?
If you are ready to invest in a DSLR, I’d recommend the Sony A6100, because of its great price! Click here!
Audio, audio, audio, the most controversial piece of equipment out there. While most streamers argue that good audio is CRUCIAL, I would argue, do not buy a microphone, use your gaming headset when starting out.
Just as confusing it can be to choose the right webcam, it can be to choose the right microphone that will fit your needs. There are hundreds of different microphones on the market ranging from $30 all the way up to $2000 and more. When you are first starting out, in most cases no one is watching your live streams and it takes time until you reach the first few viewers, but what if you decide that streaming is not your thing and stop, before you get there?
I always recommend to start out with what you have before buying any equipment and test if streaming and content creation is really your thing. Once the first viewers keep coming back to your live stream and you decide you want to move forward with this adventure, I would recommend the Blue Snowball as your very first microphone, which you can pick up on Amazon for $50. Click here!
Once your live stream is generating some income, I would recommend upgrading your microphone again, to the Elgato Wave 3, which you can pick up on Amazon for about $130. Click here! The Elgato Wave 3 is the best microphone on the market as of right now, because of the software it comes with, and is completely replacing the need of a GO XLR. Of course if you have the money, you can skip the Blue Snowball and go straight for the Elgato Wave 3.
Now that we have figured out which equipment to buy and what not to buy, it is time to take a look at visuals. Visuals like overlays and alerts can make your stream really stand out, or drown in the sea of everyone else using the exact same overlay.
Before choosing an overlay, it is important to take a look at the current market trends. Right now, minimal overlays are more popular than big crowded overlays. Too many streamers are using the same overlays with big animal inspired esports logos and alert boxes and labels that take up most of the stream, and the actual gameplay gets lost in the background.
Choose an overlay that you like from any free marketplace like StreamElements, Nerd or Die, Visual by Impulse, etc and make it your own. Overlays should be used as a baseline and inspiration of what you want your stream to look like. Grab yourself a free overlay and add parts or take parts out that simply do not make sense for your stream.
A quick example I see a lot is smaller streamers taking up screen space with labels for last sub and bits, when they have not unlocked affiliate status yet and cannot earn either of them. This is space occupied that does not add any value to your viewers.
Make Smart Decisions
In conclusion, it all comes down to making smart decisions. Think about the added value of the piece of equipment you are about to purchase and ask yourself if it is providing at least as much value to your stream as you are spending on getting it. If it does not add value and you are not making enough money to purchase it, maybe hold off for another month.
Equipment does not make or break a stream. Equipment does not make you a better or worse streamer, at the end of the day viewers come and stick around because of you and the entertainment you provide. It is better to invest in yourself first in marketing skills for example, than to waste money on equipment you might not even know how to use to its full potential.
If you are interested in my 2020 ultimate budget streaming setup, check out my article right here.