Point 7? Most Important.
1. No affiliate links are used in this thread.
2. I live in the UK. Some links are UK-based.
3. Don't buy from the links. Shop around for good deals.
4. The free links exist so you can get the free tools.
5. The links for paid tools exist so you can learn more about the tools
6. This is not a tutorial on how to become a YouTube gamer.
7. Tom is a beautiful hunk of man flesh.
8. This thread is a list of suggested tools for YouTube gamers.
9. Nothing is set in stone. Just my opinions and experiences.
10. Some tools are obvious. The intention is to be thorough.
11. Some tools (I hope) are very much not obvious.
Lara Croft's Buttocks.
14 out of 10 people who decide to turn a YouTube channel into a business will run a gaming channel.
(No no, don't argue, my capuchin monkeyservant assures me that statistic is accurate.)
Furthermore, YouTube gaming channels are quite popular.
The second most subscribed channel on YouTube is Gaming, with 77,775,274 subscribers.
51% of American male Millennial users watched, in 2016, gaming channels.
The most subscribed creator on YouTube, Pewdiepie, got his start as a gamer.
65% of American households in 2017 were home to occupants who regularly played video games.
90% of U.S gamers watched, in 2016, YouTube gaming videos at least once a week.
Gaming videos on YouTube? More popular than sheep porn in a Welsh farming community.
This offers part of the reason for the rise of gaming channels: a case of supply and demand.
It also explains why Welsh farmers think Will Ferrell is "Ooooooo, he's a bit of alright."
Are there other reasons for the rise of gaming channels, you scream? Of course, of course.
Is there another job that let's us spend 18 hours a day gazing at Lara Croft's buttocks?
I think not.
To Gaze at Buttocks, or Not to Gaze at Buttocks.
But this begs a question, doesn't it? Question being, should you become a YouTube gamer?
I feel the unanimous answer on Warrior Forum will be a resounding No. And that answer is not without merit.
One word: competition. It is. A bit. Tough.
1. There are more creators who own gaming channels than I own bottles of vodka.
2. Audiences are loyal and resistant to trying new gaming channels. (Not a fact; it's my own perception.)
3. The tech and ability requirements to compete can often be high.
4. Many keywords are dominated by long-standing channels.
If your marketing strategy is to run a gaming channel where the first hurdle is to get accepted on the YouTube Partner Program and the second hurdle is to earn an income from AdWords monetization, then (almost surely) you have a long road ahead.
Are the odds for success good? No, not remotely.
To be very clear, your chances of success are roughly the same chance of success that I have when I walk into the bedroom on a Friday night, resplendent in my best Hello Kitty undies, and give a cheeky wink to Mrs. A in the hopes that she'll . . . watch an Evil Dead marathon.
To be very very clear: the chances of success are really quite low.
So what should you do? On the one hand, you have the option to spend part of your day goggling at the glorious buttocks of Lara Croft. On the other hand? Well, on the other hand, you have some British git (that would be me) telling you - in not so many words - not to bother.
But am I really saying that? Well - yes and no.
If you care to take it, this is my advice:
1. Do Not Run a Gaming Channel.
|If your strategy is to eventually monetize with YouTube Partners, and if you wish a decent chance at monetary success, and if money is your only motivation, then (my advice) walk away.|
|If you can treat the running of a gaming channel as part business and part hobby, and if you are unconcerned about monetary success with the channel, and if you are motivated due to the prospect of fun and (if it happens, sure) perhaps monetary success in the future, then - yes - stick around, consider running a gaming channel.|
It's a long road.
The purpose of this thread, though, is not to convince you either way. The preamble so far is just my way of setting the scene. The real purpose here is to tell you about the tools required to run a gaming channel on YouTube, should you decide to take the plunge . . . into Croft's buttocks.
These tools? They fall into 2 categories:
1. Tangible tools.
2. Tip Tools.
And so! If you wish to consider running such a channel, or if you intend to dive right into (Croft) it, this thread aims to give you some useful tools.
If I forget to include any tools, please plop them down below for us.
(I'm sure I'm not the only member of WF with knowledge about the subject.)
Similarly, if you feel the need for more tools, you can either ask me in this thread or slap some searches into YouTube and Google.
Time for those tools . . .
We're going to look at tech tools in 2 categories.
1. The Obnoxious Git.
2. The Budget Creator.
I would absolutely recommend - to any newbies - that you opt for Budget Creator tools.
Unless you have money to burn? I think it's the prudent approach. Entirely up to you, though.
Furthermore, I'm about to represent two extremes here: high-cost and either low-cost or no-cost.
There is - obviously - middle ground for you to consider.
Lastly, in some cases I'll give specific recommendations and links, and in other cases I'll be giving you general specs to aid you if you go looking to buy.
The Obnoxious Git.
First up, the obnoxious git. So obnoxious, in fact, that NASA has said the following:
What a git. What an obnoxious git. He makes us feel like we're using an Acorn Electron from 1987. |
Source: NASA. Not to be confused with National Aeronautics and Space Administration, that would surely do to Tom, for fabricating a quote from them, what Welsh farmers are currently doing to Welsh sheep, but rather the other NASA, National Administration for Sheep Adoration.
- Intel Core I7/ I9.
- 64GB DDR4 3200mhz Memory.
- Nvidia (GPU) GTX 1080 Ti 11GB.
- 1TB SSD.
- 2 TB SATA3 SSHD.
- Liquid Cooling.
- Win 10
The above is overkill.
I can recommend the setup but I absolutely cannot recommend it to anyone starting a business.
It is (definitely) not required.
There are, however, elements and similar elements that I can certainly suggest, should you wish to run the business at quite an optimal level.
- 16/ 32GB DDR4.
- Nvidia 1060 to 1080/ 1080 Ti.
- At least a 500GB SSD.
- 1TB HDD with 7200/ 10,000 RPM.
- Win 10.
That rig is more than capable of being fairly obnoxious.
You can play games on Ultra.
You can edit videos.
You can stream.
And you can do all of that pretty well indeed.
I say this to anyone getting a rig for gaming:
|Buy what you can afford and focus on the base unit specs more than accessories.|
One element on that list may not be too obvious (it may; I have no idea).
You'll get faster load times and a smoother gaming experience with an SSD.
One other element to mention is the GPU.
If you can afford a 1080 or 1080 Ti (8GB and 11GB respectively) get one.
You don't absolutely need it, but you'll be somewhat future-protecting yourself and you'll have a smoother experience on Ultra.
- 1440P to 2160P
- 144 Hz, 1 ms.
V-SYNC ensures that your video card syncs to your monitor's refresh rate. G-SYNC will update your monitor, on a frame by frame basis, when the frame is sent from your video card.
Most YouTube viewers are still rocking 1080P. A 1080P monitor isn't obnoxious, but it's fine. Obviously higher resolutions are useful. You can still play games and edit in 4K but it helps not to be blind. These resolutions in a monitor are not necessary; just useful.
The faster, the better.
- Razer Mamba.
- BenQ ZOWIE FK1+ Mouse for e-Sports.
- A gaming mouse from Logitech.
- Glorious Extended Gaming Mouse Mat.
- Neewer Face Light.
- Razer Man'War.
- Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2.
- Logitech G413 Carbon
- Most Razer, Corsair, & Logitech gaming keyboards.
- Audioengine A2+
- Good makes: Logitech and Cyber Acoustics.
- HTC Vive (Best IMO).
- Oculus Rift.
- OR, 8TB
You'll need external storage for your video and audio files. (Though not so much for audio.)
- Rode NT1-A.
- Blue Yeti.
- Decent Pop-Filter. (Amazon)
- Decent microphone arm stand. (Amazon.)
- Pro Acoustic Foam Wedge Tiles.
- Adobe Premiere Pro CC
- Final Cut Pro X (Mac)
- Adobe Photoshop CC
PC Game Recording.
- GeForce Experience/ Shadowplay (Nvidia.)
- Open Broadcaster Software/ OBS Studio.
- Audacity (free).
I personally find the G2A Goldmine affiliate program to be a bit lacking.
Just my opinion.
However, G2A itself is an invaluable resource.
You can get legit savings on PC and console games. Oh, and software other than games.
You'll already have a Steam account; included just in case.
- Xbox One X.
- Or, Xbox One S.
- PS4 Pro.
To be truly obnoxious, get the X and the Pro.
Although I joke a little, to go high end on your gaming channel?
Get the Pro and the X if you can.
It boils down to the end result of how your video looks.
Even games not in 4K look crisper and play better (obviously).
And even if you downscale 4K footage to 1080P (the norm here) your 1080P footage from 4K (for games that play in 4K) will still look crisper than regular 1080P recorded in 1080P.
- 4K60 PRO.
- HD60 PRO.
- Cam Link
- Chat Link
- Game Capture Software
While not necessary, it doesn't hurt to have an external HDD, two controllers, and a 4K television for your consoles.
The second controller? So your mum can be a studio guest.
And tell your hard-earned COD audience that you peed the bed until you were 24.
The obnoxious git recommendation?
DSLR or Mirrorless.
But compact (point-and-click) cameras have their place.
Pros of compacts:
- Small: slip in your pocket.
- Cost: (relative terms) can be cheaper.
- Fixed lens: less to worry about.
- Big depth of field: foreground and background in focus (not always what you want, though).
- Newbie-friendly: intuitive and user-friendly.
- Functions: all the functions you'll need.
Cons of compacts:
- 4K: (usually) less 4K shooting duration.
- Overheating: (often) overheating can be an issue.
- Image Quality: less than DSLRs (though gap may not matter for you).
- Upgrades: harder to evolve; no lens additions, fewer accessories.
- Precision: less control over speed, aperture, etc.
- Canon 70D.
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.
- Canon EOS REBEL T7i.
- Sony A6500.
- Sony A6300.
- Sony a7S II.
- Panasonic Lumix GH5.
- Panasonic Lumix G7
- Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II.
- Sony RX100 V.
In the cases there without a flip-out LCD, you can tether your camera to a laptop (need the lead). Useful if you also vlog as well as stream. Only downside to the Sonys is Jelly Effect, but that's not an issue for a gamer, since you're not whipping around the camera to pan.
Can We Be More Obnoxious? Always.
That brings us to the end of Obnoxious Git.
Can you be more of an obnoxious turd? Always
You can be decidedly more obnoxious - and I'll probably beef up the list - but our list is still fairly obnoxious and includes necessary obnoxious tools.
Semi-joking aside, the above gear will allow for high-end production on your gaming channel, and you can not only cover a wide range of games but also gaming platforms.
I left out some popular consoles (like the Nintendo Switch) and retro game consoles, as well as omitting a bunch of other hardware that we could have looked at.
Those and other tools I may add to the list in the future. The initial intention here is to give you tools for a more widely popular/ common setup.
The Budget Creator.
This time around we look at tech tools for the budget-conscious.
- Desktop or Laptop.
A desktop is generally considered better than a laptop for gaming. Myself, I use a desktop for gaming, video editing, 3D modelling, and any other demanding software or activities that can put a strain on a computer system, and I use a laptop (as I am now) for everything else.
That said, when you're on a budget, just so long as the specs are up to par, you're good to go with either laptop or desktop. Just be aware that unless your laptop is high end, you'll get stuttering and lower FPS in-game (but you already know that; state the obvious, Tom).
These are comfortable minimum specs:
- 16GM Ram.
- 250 SSD.
- 1TB HDD.
- Nvidia 1060 (6GB)
- Win 10.
You can get away with an I5 (plenty of creators grew their channels on them) but I really wouldn't recommend it.
The above rig will comfortably play on Medium and will struggle a little on High and Ultra.
When I say struggle - you can probably play well enough, but when it comes time to edit, you're really going to notice every tiny little thing, and so will your audience.
If you're modding, especially, I would recommend no more than 100 mods on that system (not graphic-intensive mods, either) and absolutely do not go over 200.
That's a bit subjective (100 and 200), because it depends on the mods, but it's a fairly safe, general guideline.
Don't worry about pricey noise reduction or expensive mouse, keyboard, speakers, and monitor.
If anything? Put your money into the mouse.
If you can? Throw some money into whatever monitor you can afford.
The mouse is (obviously) more important (when on a budget) because it directly impacts your ability when playing the games.
Then we have external HDD and VR.
Do you need them? Absolutely not, no.
It depends on the size of your internal HDD, though. Give it a few months and you'll need an external HDD.
You can always use cloud, I suppose, but I'm old school and I prefer to keep video footage on storage in the office.
To save space, make sure you're junking your captured footage after use.
(Just so long as you feel it absolutely won't be needed again.)
(Saying that, I keep most of my footage; it's good for compilations.)
- Whatever you can afford.
- Faster response times are better. (Signified by MS)
- Anything nice from Logitech.
- Any halfway decent gamer keyboard.
- Or any keyword.
- Logitech is pretty decent.
- Anything by logitech.
- Anything (sound is sound on a budget).
- Forget this.
- Forget this (for now).
- Blue Yeti
- Blue Snowball (Cheaper but Tinny)
- Throw a blanket behind you. (It helps to literally blanket noise.)
- Shotcut (Free.)
- GIMP (Free.)
PC Game Recording.
- GeForce Experience/ Shadowplay (Nvidia.) (Free.)
- Open Broadcaster Software/ OBS Studio. (Free.)
- Fraps. (Free & Paid.)
- Audacity. (Free.)
- Steam. (Free to get account.)
- G2A. ((Free to get account.)
Same as last time - depending on your games, use the free mods on Nexusmods.
(You probably already do?)
- Xbox One S.
- Or, PS4.
I'll leave these as above. All are useful. Obviously, if you're not console gaming, it doesn't matter.
- 4K60 PRO.
- HD60 PRO.
- Cam Link
- Chat Link
- Game Capture Software
- Second-Hand DSLR or Mirrorless.
- 1080P/ 4K Compact.
- Logitech HD Pro C920.
Can We Be More Budget? Sure.
This is the score.
If you're on a budget, you can get started for even less than the above.
I include the above because I'm trying to be thorough.
Fact is, it obviously depends on your requirements.
If you're playing something like Minecraft or Survival Craft 2 on a PC?
You're not exactly going to need a killer rig.
If you want to get started, and if you're on a tight as hell budget . . .
Then this is what you need:
(We're talking bare-buttock minimum requirements)
- I5 Laptop/ Desktop
- GeForce Experience.
- Blue Snowball.
If you want to take the console route?
- I5 Laptop/ Desktop
- GeForce Experience.
- Blue Snowball.
- PS4/ XB 1 S
- Basic Elgato
Either of those solutions - Sir or Madam - will get you started.
Obviously, you're not going to be rocking COD WWII on your PC.
It'll get you started.
You have the tech tools. Now let me give you some tip tools.
Full stop: you are required to commentate your videos.
Video game content may be monetised if the associated step-by-step commentary is strictly tied to the live action being shown and is of instructional or educational value. |
Some studios don't require it, but YouTube can consider it a breach of Fair Use, so you're best off adding at least audio commentary.
2. Commercial-Use Rights.
When you make a gaming video, what you're doing is using the assets owned by one or more game studios.
You have 2 choices:
1. Join a gaming network (MCN).
2. Follow commercial-use rights.
I may add gaming networks (otherwise known as multi-channel networks/ MCN) to this thread in the future. I don't recommend them so - for now - I'll leave them out of the equation.
The best route - IMO - is the second option. This is debatable, I know; it's just my own preference/ experience. Without an MCN in the picture, whatever you earn is 100% your own, no contracts to sign (and argue over), no drama.
Question is, how do you know if you can use a game for your channel?
1. Find out the game studio behind the game.
2. Go to their website.
3. Find the commercial-use terms.
Failing the above 1 to 3, just whack a search into YouTube:
[name of game studio] youtube monetization
Chances are fairly decent that you can use the game, but each studio has different terms and you need to follow them.
Also, keep in mind that these terms can change at any time.
Bonus Tip: Turn the music off in the game settings. These assets are often not owned by the game studio and you can get strikes.
To get you started, let me just link you to some useful studio pages. This way you can get an idea of what you're looking for when you go searching for them yourself.
Game Studios That Allow YouTube Monetization:
1. Mojang. (Click "Commercial Usage Guidelines.)
2. Bethesda Softworks.
I may add to that list.
Golden rule: don't take my word for it, because those 3 example pages above can change literally at the drop of a hat. Do your due diligence - research.
3. Game Choice.
This is vital when you start out.
The first instinct? To play your favourite game.
It could be a good idea. It probably isn't.
1. Stick to one game initially.
2. If possible select a new title that will explode in popularity.
3. Find your niche in the game. Mods? Compilations? Etc.
4. Cover new developments for it. Updates. DLC. Etc.
A textbook example of a creator sticking to (primarily) one game: MrBossFTW.
4. Brand & Collection.
Make your channel look professional, give it character, and help it stand out.
1. Brand cover art and profile.
2. Brand your intro sequence.
Expand your audience reach and collect that audience.
1. Branch out from YouTube into Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
2. Have a strong presence on Reddit.
3. Collect followers.
4. Collect email subscribers.
You can make intro videos in Adobe After Effects, but the cheaper, low-tech option is to pay for one on Fiverr.
To stream or not to stream?
1. Get experience with publishing before streaming.
2. Stream (related to 1) at peek times in North America.
3. Use stream footage for publishing.
YouTube and audiences reward you for regular publishing.
1. Decide on a publishing routine.
2. State it on your channel (days of the week).
3. Stick to it.
1. Grab your audience.
2. Seek engagement.
2. Seek engagement.
3. Encourage further viewing of your content.
1. Post on Reddit a lot.
2. Follow the 1 to 10 Reddit rule.
3. Share your videos.
You won't get onto the YouTube Partner Program overnight.
And so? Squeeze money out of your channel from the get-go.
1. Affiliate Marketing - games, hardware.
2. Patreon - regular sponsorship.
3. Merchandise - when you have brand loyalty, use it (store).
4. Endorsements - when available, consider them.
A word on endorsements.
Don't accept the first deal thrown your way.
They're almost never good and lock you into a contract you won't enjoy.
You don't need endorsement.
If you get a contract?
1. Google other people who have the similar/ same contract.
2. Run it by family and friends.
3. Have a lawyer give it a look.
Most endorsement offers that come your way won't be under contract.
These are going to be other marketers looking for promotion in your videos.
1. Follow sponsorship rules on YouTube.
2. Consider what your audience will think.
3. Your audience comes first (because it's hard to earn and easy to lose).
Show Me Your Tool.
I am . . . keen . . . to see your tool.
Whip out your tool or - if you have multiple tools?
Show me all your tools.
As I say above, I'll probably add more tools. For now - enjoy!