With 15 million daily active users, Twitch’s popularity has exploded in the seven years since its inception. Its superstars are making millions of dollars and have fans around the world. You may have found yourself dreaming of following in their footsteps, and while becoming a streaming celebrity might be a long shot, getting your own stream set up certainly isn’t!
Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know to start streaming your favourite Nintendo Switch games online. And, if you have your heart set on carving out a career on Twitch, we’ve included a few top tips that might help.
What You Need to Get Started
The good news is that it’s possible to become a streamer without breaking the bank. Although you do get what you pay for when it comes to hardware, there are plenty of different options available for different budgets.
First up, you’ll need a Nintendo Switch. Shocking! If you’re reading this article in the first place, then it’s highly likely you’ve got this step covered. If not, what are you waiting for?
The next step is where being a Nintendo streamer differs slightly to those using a PS4, Xbox One, or PC – you’ll need to pick up a capture card. On the bright side, streamers that use those other devices will still need to shell out the cash for one if they want to stream at the best resolution available to them. As the Switch maxes out at a resolution of 1080p, you won’t have to pay as much to share the highest quality available to you. Elgato have a superb reputation for their capture cards, but by all means shop around to see what fits your needs and budget.
Hooking up your capture card is pretty straightforward. However, as the card connects via HDMI, you will need to keep your Switch docked while you stream. Once you’ve linked your card to your Switch, TV, and PC, you can use the card’s software to connect to your Twitch account. If you haven’t created your account yet, this would be the time to do so!
In terms of peripheral hardware, you can get going without paying megabucks for a top-of-the-line webcam and microphone, but try not to skimp too much. If people can’t see you properly, or the sound quality is too poor, new viewers will leave pretty quickly.
Here are some of our suggestions:
So, you’ve got your capture card linked up and ready to go, the mic and webcam are on – you’re good to go, right? Hold your horses. Before you jump straight in, there are a few legal bits and bobs you need to know about first, or you could find yourself with a frustrating ban from Twitch.
Things to be aware of before you start
Despite the temptation of jumping straight into your first stream session, you should brush up on Twitch’s Community Guidelines. If we’re honest, most of these are common sense; however, there are some rules that might vary depending on where you are. The prohibition of things like hateful conduct, threatening or self-destructive behavior, sexual conduct, and fraud applies regardless of your location.
Things are a little murkier when it comes to drinking alcohol, vaping, smoking, and cursing. Personally, we feel that streaming should be about the gaming experience, but if you’re compelled to do any of the above, they’re permitted as long as you aren’t breaking your local country’s laws. You’ll also need to slap a “Mature Content” warning on your stream.
Additionally, you have to be careful about any music you choose to accompany your stream. This won’t be an issue if you’re streaming the game with its stock soundtrack, but you won’t be able to play any music that you don’t have a license for. If you do, once your stream is available for playback, Twitch will mute your audio, which is less than ideal. If you keep breaking their rules on licensed music, you may face temporary or permanent ban. The good news is that there’s plenty of stream friendly music out there you can use to add a personal touch to your videos.
Lastly, you’ll want to take a look at Nintendo’s Game Content Guide. The good news for Nintendo streamers is that the company greatly relaxed its stance on streaming recently. As long as you don’t claim to be an official representative of Nintendo or stream any leaked content, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
How Do You Attract Viewers?
We could easily fill another few articles with tips on how to boost your stream’s profile and who knows, maybe we will – but for now, here are a handful to get started.
What makes the best streamers stand out from the crowd? They all engage with their viewers – people come for the games, but stay for your personality.
For this reason, you’ll want to maintain a great community within your streams, so we recommend checking out software like Moobot to moderate chat and let you focus on the important part – playing games!
It’s also worth checking out bonus features that can give your channel a competitive edge, like alerts that make your viewers feel appreciated, or overlays that can make your stream more visually appealing.
Lastly, never forget that streaming video games should be fun, not just for your viewers, but for you as well. Plus, if people can see that you love what you’re doing, they’re much more likely to keep tuning in.
And that’s a basic guide on how to broadcast your gaming experiences to the world! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll see if we can help you out.
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- Belinda Cubitt