How to stream video games: All you need to know

If you want to be a game streamer, you'll need to choose a decent setup, streaming platform, software, and more. This guide covers everything, from beginner tips to monetizing your content.
How to stream video games

Video game streaming is a big business. The market is worth $13.65 billion and has 1.3 billion users. The biggest streamers on Twitch — Ninja, Auronplay, and Ibai — have millions of followers and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from streaming each month. If you landed on this article, you likely already know that streaming video games is huge. And it’s probably why you’re interested in getting in on the action. 

This guide covers how to start streaming games, including building a basic streaming setup, making money from your streams and more. What we can’t teach you is how to get good at video games. That just takes practice. If you want to learn how to stream video games, though, you’re in the right place.

What do you need to start live streaming video games?

If you want to live stream video games, you’ll need some basic gear. You’ll also need to decide which platform to stream to (Twitch, Kick, YouTube, etc.) and choose a live streaming software.

Basic gaming setup for live streaming

For a basic live streaming setup, you’ll need:

  • Computer or laptop: If you aren’t streaming from a console like an Xbox or PS5, then you’ll need to stream from a computer. The more powerful your machine is, the higher quality stream you’ll have. The low-budget hardware recommendation typically includes an Intel Core i5-4670 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a Nvidia GTX 650 series or higher graphics card.
  • Webcam and microphone: Don’t underestimate your audio quality. Many viewers simply listen to live streams, rather than actually watch them. You can check out our list of recommended webcams for streaming and our list of the best mics for live streaming for more details.
  • Stable internet connection: An ethernet connection is preferable instead of a wireless one. Also, check your upload speed, as it determines how much information can be streamed each second. You should have an upload speed of around 5 Mbps to have decent-quality live streams.
  • Gaming chair: If you’re going to be gaming in front of the camera for hours on end, you need a comfortable chair. Read our list of recommended gaming chairs for live streaming to get some ideas.
  • Lighting: Lighting and other accessories like green screens are extra — you don’t necessarily need them for a basic setup. But if you want to significantly improve the quality of your stream without spending too much money, get a cheap ring light. When you’re well-lit, you can also get away with a lower-quality webcam.

Gaming platforms for live streaming

Twitch is undeniably the most popular video game streaming platform, but it’s not the only one worth looking at.

  1. Twitch: You can’t consider live streaming video games without considering Twitch. It’s the biggest live streaming service in terms of viewers and channels. It has a robust live chat feature to help you keep your audience engaged, several monetization options to earn some money from streaming and it’s very easy to use. The biggest downside is that the competition is fierce — there were over 7.3 million channels streaming on Twitch each month in 2023. Read our guide to Twitch streaming for more details.
  2. Kick emerged as the latest competitor to Twitch in early 2023. Its interface is mostly the same, but Kick streaming can earn you more money than streaming on Twitch. Kick also has more lax rules than Twitch. Although the new platform has managed to attract some top talent away from Twitch, its viewer and channel numbers come nowhere close. Fewer users could be a good thing, though, if you’re just starting out as a gaming streamer. There are fewer viewers on Kick, but there are also fewer streamers to compete with. We’ve got a guide to streaming on to help you get started if you decide it’s the right platform for you.
  3. Facebook Gaming: Facebook could be a good place to start live streaming video games because of the sheer size of its user base: 3.05 billion monthly active users. It’s also the easiest platform to stream mobile games on. You can monetize your streams, easily edit and store recorded versions of your live videos (something Twitch sorely lacks), and get detailed analytics about your streams. Unfortunately, it can be more difficult to make money streaming on Facebook Gaming than on Twitch or other platforms, as Facebook requires you to have 10,000 followers and 600,000 minutes viewed in the last 60 days to activate in-stream ads. Get more details about how to live stream games on Facebook in our guide.
  4. YouTube: Although YouTube Live is home to live streams of all genres, the platform does have a hub for gaming content, including a section for “top live games.” As a platform primarily dedicated to video hosting and viewing, YouTube Live has some great features when it comes to analytics, editing, and sharing your stream. It’s also one of the only major platforms where you can realistically stream in 4K (Twitch allows 4K too, but its other required stream parameters make 4K streaming impractical). Like other major platforms, YouTube also has monetization options to help you earn money from your live videos. Find out more about live streaming on YouTube by reading our detailed guide.
  5. TikTok: Yes, TikTok is known for its super-short video clips, but longer videos are becoming more popular, as are hour-long live streams. The platform also encourages gaming content, as you only need 1,000 followers to go live if you’re a gaming content creator — creators in other niches need 10,000 followers. TikTok is also a good platform to try if you want to stream mobile games, as it’s a mobile-first app. The downside to streaming games on TikTok is shareability. It’s more challenging to share your streams on other platforms to promote them. Read our guide on how to stream on TikTok LIVE for more info about how to get started.
  6. Trovo: Trovo is a web-based live streaming platform that started in 2020 and is mostly dedicated to streaming video games, like Twitch and Kick. However, it has significantly fewer users, so it could be a good place for beginners to start out and get some experience with video game streaming. About 90% of Trovo streamers and viewers are non-English-speaking, so if you stream in English you might have comments in the chat in other languages. While you may not have to fight for viewers on Trovo, it’s also difficult to make any real money streaming on the platform.

Best streaming software for gaming

If you want to live stream games from your computer, you’ll need streaming software as well. This software takes your gameplay and converts it into a digital format that’s suitable for online streaming platforms. There are countless options out there, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

Restream Studio is a browser-based live streaming software that doesn’t require you to download anything — you can go live and start streaming your games right from your web browser. You can also multistream to several platforms simultaneously, as Restream integrates with over 30 live streaming platforms. 

Some other features that make Restream Studio a good choice for gamers are:

  • Cross-platform live chat for when you’re multistreaming
  • Easy-to-add graphics, including backgrounds, captions, logos and more
  • Streaming in Full HD
  • Inviting up to nine guests to your stream
  • Picture-in-picture streaming with the click of a button
  • Saving and trimming your previous live streams to post on other platforms later

You can also use Restream’s multistreaming plug-in with OBS Studio. Simply choose as your destination in OBS, add your preferred platforms to Restream, and start multistreaming.

How to make money streaming video games

The top streamers on Twitch earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. Ninja’s estimated monthly earnings are $500,000, Auronplay’s are $204,000, and Rubius makes around $183,000. Earnings from live streaming come from several different sources, so it’s difficult to calculate exactly how much streamers make based on followers and subscriptions, but we can get a good idea. 

Are you going to make that much money if you start streaming video games on Twitch? Probably not. But you can still earn decent money if you invest time in building a community on Twitch, especially if you use multiple streams of revenue to bolster those earnings. There are several ways to earn money streaming video games:

  • Donations from fans: Almost all major streaming platforms have a donation system that lets viewers send you one-time tips during your live stream. Most require you to meet certain thresholds, like follower count, before you can activate this feature though.
  • Paid subscriptions: Platforms like Twitch and YouTube let you offer paid subscriptions to viewers. These users pay a monthly fee to the platform and you get a percentage of that fee. You encourage people to subscribe by offering exclusive benefits, like special emotes in the chat.
  • Ad revenue: If you have enough followers and stream often enough, some platforms let you run live ads during your streams. You get a share of the revenue from these ads. Note that for now, Kick doesn’t let streamers do ads.
  • Brand deals: You can earn money streaming games without the platform’s help too. If you have a big enough audience, you can approach brands and ask them to sponsor you in exchange for promoting them on your streams.
  • Affiliate programs: Brand deals usually go to the biggest streamers, so if you’re still relatively new, then an affiliate program might be more appropriate for you. You join the program and then get a custom link or discount code. When your viewers make purchases using your link or code, you get a small commission.
  • Merch: If you have a big enough community, you could create merchandise that represents you as a streamer and sell it to your audience. Some streaming platforms, like YouTube, let you easily sell custom merch to viewers.
For more ideas on how to make money streaming, read our list of tips.

How to become a successful game streamer

Of course, if you want to make money as a streamer, you’ll have to get some followers first. If you want to be a successful streamer, try these tips:

  1. Make goals: Set a specific goal, like getting one new follower each month or streaming for at least three hours at a time. Make it small and make it measurable. When you hit it, make another, slightly bigger goal. Keep working your way up until you get enough followers and view time to unlock monetization options.
  2. Find your niche: There are millions of other streamers out there — why should people watch you? It sounds harsh but you have to ask yourself this question. What makes you and your content different? Find a niche that’s distinct but still appealing enough to attract viewers. Also, a particular video game is not necessarily a niche. Yes, you can stream League of Legends if you want, but how is your stream different from the thousands of other LoL streamers out there?
  3. Show off your personality: People show up to your stream to watch you. Entertain them! Be funny or clever or silly, whatever makes you you. Viewers who relate to your personality will want to watch you and keep coming back each time you stream.
  4. Create high-quality content: Make sure you have decent audio and video quality, and that your viewers can see and hear you well. Check your internet upload speed, to ensure your connection is strong enough to handle gaming and live streaming at the same time. Also, you’ll want a PC that’s powerful enough to game and stream, if you’re planning to stream from a computer.
  5. Follow the rules: Don’t be disrespectful to your viewers. Don’t use hateful language, don’t spout off discriminatory opinions, and follow the community guidelines of the platform you’re streaming. Your video game streaming career will be cut short really quickly if you don’t follow a basic code of ethics when you’re live.
  6. Be consistent: Go live on a regular basis so your viewers know when to expect you. Try different times of day and different days of the week to see what works best for you, then stick with it.
For more tips on being a successful streamer, including stories from real-life video game streamers, read our guide.


How can I make money gaming?

You can make money streaming video games by getting donations from viewers, subscriptions, paid ads, affiliate marketing and more. Keep in mind that most monetization methods take time to unlock — when you’re starting out, focus on making great content and forming connections with your viewers. Over time, you can start monetizing your live streams.

How do I stream video games on TikTok?

To live stream video games on TikTok, you need at least 1,000 followers. If you’re streaming from a PC, you’ll also need live streaming software such as Restream Studio or OBS Studio.

How do I stream video games on YouTube?

You can start live streaming video games on YouTube for free, all you need is a verified YouTube channel. You can either go live using YouTube’s proprietary live streaming studio and a webcam, or you can opt for streaming software like Restream Studio. When you broadcast on YouTube, you can select a gaming category so YouTube knows where to put your content on its platform.

How do I stream video games on Twitch?

It’s completely free to make a Twitch channel and start live streaming video games. Depending on which game you want to stream, you might need a console or computer. You may also need a microphone and webcam so you can interact with your viewers.


With the right tools and some motivation, you can become a successful video game streamer. Choose a game you would like to stream and commit to it. Be consistent with your schedule, and don’t forget to interact with your viewers. You can skip the hard choice of a streaming platform and multistream with all of them via Restream. Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Have fun, meet new people and just keep streaming.

Get started today.

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