I Get Paid Thousands To Livestream Video Games: Here’s My Exact Game Studio Setup

by posted in MAKE MONEY, Passive Income Ideas, Remote Job Opportunities, Side Hustle Ideas

Yes, you really can get paid to play your favorite video games. Because I do just that.

With the rise of social media platforms like YouTube and Twitch, there’s never been a better time to turn your hobby into a side hustle. And the cool part is, I didn’t start as a pro. I was a casual gamer and got better as I played.

All you need is a realistic strategy, a strong gaming studio setup, and a passion for all things Xbox, and you’ll be smiling to the bank!

Here’s how I use my gaming studio to monetize my passion through streaming video games on YouTube and Twitch.

How Does Live Streaming Work?

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Social media channels like YouTube and Twitch support streaming, so you don’t need a complex setup.

Many start at the beginner level, using a smartphone or tablet.

As a hobbyist, I played the video games I was passionate about before turning my playtime into a professional, income-generating opportunity. This helped me improve my skills and techniques as I moved up the ranks.

First, here’s my exact Acer Nitro 5 setup:

  • 15” Full HD Widescreen
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10300H Processor (Up to 4.5GHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Graphics
  • 256GB NVMe SSD (1 Slot Open for Easy Upgrades, 1 Available Hard Drive Bay)
  • Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11ax
  • Backlit Keyboard With Twin Fans and Quad Exhaust Ports Design
  • Three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, HDMI, Ethernet, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Windows 10 and Windows 11 Home

What I like about this setup:

  • The graphic interface runs high-demand modern games with no issue
  • The computer never gets hot, even when running for many hours
  • Affordable in comparison to other gaming computers

What may not work as well for you:

The computer is heavy and somewhat cumbersome to carry around. For the best gaming experience, it should be on your desk.

Here’s how I livestream on YouTube and Twitch.

Live Streaming Video Games on YouTube

I needed a verified account and the right equipment to get into YouTube’s streaming action, and I was ready to make magic! Setting up the livestream was complicated, but I only went through the setup process once.

I verified my YouTube account through a voice message, downloaded the encoder (streaming software), and used the “live streaming” option. Then, I stream with the simple push of a button every time.

Live Streaming Video Games on Twitch

Despite millions of viewers, becoming a Twitch-famous streamer isn’t easy. The secret recipe? Staying committed. Regarding streaming speed, Twitch recommends having a laptop with an Intel Core i5-4670 processor (or its AMD equivalent), 8GB of RAM, and Windows 7 or higher- don’t worry, I’ve streamed from a Mac, too.

Your internet connection and upload speed (ideally 3Mbits per second) are as important as your computer specs. The game graphics card should also be strong enough to support Twitch’s streaming options. This means streaming from a desktop computer as it comes with stronger components.

For the best performance, I use the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card as recommended by Twitch itself. It’s powerful, boasts a 2.52 GHz speed and 24 GB of advanced memory. It’s the best card you’ll find for creative streaming.

If you choose the laptop route, you may experience overheating as your components are much closer to each other. To minimize this, I close all background apps while streaming.

Twitch’s streaming system is less forgiving. Playing graphically intense games while streaming will strain your computer. I remedy this by using two PCs simultaneously, one for gaming and another for live broadcasting.

Other Components You’ll Need

Live streaming video games professionally needs a robust setup that comprises the following:

Streaming Software

Also known as an encoder, streaming software transmits your device’s video and audio input to your chosen streaming platform. Many streaming software programs exist, but my all-time favorite is Restream Studio.

Setting up and running Restream directly from your web browser is simple. With a microphone, webcam, and internet connection, Restream enables streamers to record, edit, and customize live videos, use multiple screen layouts, and play local video files from their computer.

A Microphone

Even without the highest-quality camera, you’ll need a decent microphone. A standing or shotgun mic should get the job done if you’re sitting at your desk, and a lavalier mic attached to your shirt collar is convenient for moving. Depending on my streaming location, I use the Shure SM7B and Blue Yeti USB mics.

A Computer

As a professional, I know streaming from a laptop or desktop computer rather than a cell phone is best. Connecting an external webcam to my computer is easier as it’s the most powerful streaming tool. Streaming from your smartphone means an unsteady wireless connection.

My secret tip is connecting an ethernet cable when streaming, as it works better than WiFi.

Good Internet Connection

Uploading video and audio transit in real-time means a solid internet connection. Be sure your upload speeds are at least 3Mbps (megabits per second) or faster.

Extra Gear and Accessories

Accessories and extra gear are unnecessary initially, but they’ll drastically improve the quality of your stream. When I was ready to make an upgrade, these were my must-have accessories:

Lighting

Combining good lighting and streaming the light from your computer’s built-in webcam will drastically improve the quality of a livestream. LED lights brighten up my stream as they emit the right amount of light. Other types of light come across too bright and portray washed-out images.

Green Screen

My green screen lets me replace my real background with a virtual one. However, you’ll need a webcam and streaming software that accommodates this feature.

Headphones

Hosting other talented gamers on my livestream requires quality headphones on the broadcast to eliminate echo and promote clear sound.

Capture Card

As the name suggests, a capture card is ideal for streaming footage from various gaming devices, such as a computer, camcorder, and console. I find myself swapping between the AverMedia Gamer Ultra 2.1 and the Elgato HD60 capture cards.

They seamlessly sync with my computer components and perform brilliantly when recording footage.

Video Switcher

A video switcher lets you choose between multiple video cameras during a livestream. It’s a must-have accessory when using more than one video camera.

As a beginner, I didn’t invest too much in equipment. Instead, I focused on providing the best gaming content and building an audience. As Dale Roberts, the creator of Live Streaming Tech, advises, don’t plunk down thousands of dollars of equipment immediately!

How Much Do I Earn From My Side Hustle?

Live streaming on YouTube generates $18 per 1000 views. Thousands of gaming enthusiasts participate in my livestream, which promises up to $180 for every 10,000 views.

The amount doubles up fast when more viewers join the session. As a streamer, I earn the same amount from ad views, receiving 55% of the revenue from watching ads during the streaming session.

Twitch works a little differently when it comes to payment. At mid-level streaming, I earn anywhere from $1500 per month for 100 average views to $5000 per month for 1000 average views.

The most important factors affecting earnings include streaming hours, content quality, follower count, audience engagement, and the ability to stick to Twitch’s policies.

Live Streaming Tips and Tricks- What I Wish I Knew First

It took me nearly two years to understand how streaming works and what it entails to make a living from playing video games online. I wish I had learned sooner that earning a decent living by streaming and investing in the business was possible.

While I invested substantial money to access good equipment, it wasn’t necessary initially. Spending time playing the games and building a community will pay off greatly in the long run.

Most importantly, I wish I was more consistent with my streaming hours. Streaming sporadically made me lose many subscribers, ultimately taking time to regain.

The Things I Would Do Differently if I Were Starting Over

There are a couple of things I would do differently for better results.

In addition to streaming, I would monetize gaming content through ads, sponsorship deals, and subscriptions. There’s nothing more important than maximizing your income stream.

I would also consult successful streamers, as their advice is worth its weight in gold. With someone to show me the ropes, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time understanding the ins and outs of video game live streaming and would have made the most of the opportunity from the get-go.

Parting Shots

I’ve played video games since the glorious Nintendo was released in 1983, and from the looks of things, I’ll play my favorite games for as long as I’m here.

When done right, live streaming on YouTube and Twitch is a lucrative side hustle. Remember, gaming is a lifestyle. You can make a substantial amount of money playing what you enjoy!

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