Whether you’re just a casual gamer or you’ve made a career out of it in streaming, there is no doubt that there are several important parts that make up the entire thing as a whole.
First of all, there is you. The start point. Then the rest of the steps fall into place, always remember though that its best to start small and slow. Do not run before you can walk. Gaming, in general, is an expensive hobby, and even if you have cash burning a hole in your wallet it’ll do you no good to dump it all on expensive equipment then burnout and give up early because you’re not getting the success you wanted or expected.
In today’s online world it is a very busy place with everyone trying to make a name for themselves, especially in the ever-growing streaming platforms of the internet. An important thing is consistency, and having the right equipment and gear to maintain that consistency and your motivation.
Below I’ll run through some common topics. If you understand it already then this article will likely not be for you, however for those new to the scene or looking to gain more understanding, read below!
What is gaming without a Rig?
For newbies to the hobby, you’ll find a rather apt term that has been coined about what you’re gaming on. A ‘Rig’ is essentially a desktop computer or a laptop. Now, could it include consoles? Of course, however, due to consoles factory-built processes, there is not really much you can change about them if it all, they can be rather generic.
However, a desktop or laptop can be built to your exact specifications. There are several ways to do this. You can either use one of the many online businesses that specialize in such a thing and put your own order in or if you have the know-how you can buy all the parts yourself separately and put it together.
Whatever method you choose, both are time and money investments so you must be prepared for this. You’ll find that some people laugh at the idea of a ‘Gaming Laptop.’ but laptops have come on leaps and bounds from the heavy paperweights they used to be. Battery life, graphics, sound, screen size, storage space, all are improving year-on-year and sometimes even month on month.
The importance of sound.
Unless you want your gaming or streaming experience to be like a silent movie from the past, the sound is going to be one of the key elements to what you’re doing. If you’re streaming, both your voice and the games own audio is going to be important. If you don’t stream however, your voice still needs to be clear and easily heard in case of talking to teammates or friends while you play.
Some ideas are listed below:
- Earbuds. Need no real explanation, they’re simple things that fit in your ear to allow music or gaming on the go. For standalone gaming, if you don’t want to wear a headset then these will be for you. There are many brands and styles out there that offer different experiences when it comes to audio quality. So be sure to read reviews to make the right decision for you.
- Headsets. As above but more! Headsets sit over your ears to block out the sound around you and enable you to focus more on what’s going on. Earbuds can do this too, but headsets have been the king of noise-cancelling for longer. It’s industry standard to have adjustable head straps, and basically all models will now also come with a microphone that may or may not be able to fold up out the way of your face when not needed.
- Speakers. Bog standard speakers, do what they say on the tin and project sound at you and the entire room. Not ideal if you don’t live alone.
- Microphone and Pop Filters. The microphone. While your headset might have a mic attached to it, a specialist microphone might still be an option for you, and in fact, many streamers have both. They allow for clear and precise voice recording, many if not all coming with their own software you install onto your machine. A pop filter on the other hand is an attachment to your microphone. Some mics will come with one already, however many you have to attach one. What is a pop filter? The name is pretty self-explanatory, but saying words that begin with or have the letter P in them tend to make a louder pop noise when spoken, this is heavily picked up by microphones and a pop filter removes this.
Controlling your way to victory.
There are many, many options out there to control your experience these days. Consoles obviously have their own branded controllers, however many of these can also be used to control certain games on a PC or laptop.
You, of course, have steering wheels, joysticks, mice, keyboards and now the real advent of VR has happened. Console controllers tend to be quite generic in their look and how they feel to hold and use. The same can be said for mice, however specialized gaming mice can come with many buttons on them to allow you full control over lots of things in a game at your thumb and fingertips.
Keyboards were once just basic things for typing but now they’re so much more. Depending on the brand, many will have backlighting that illuminates the keys and can be set to all sorts of fancy colours and patterns. Ideal for gaming in the late hours. They also may come with customization that you can change to make using them more comfortable as wrist rests and the like.
A controller is an integral part of gaming and streaming, and you need to make sure that you have what is right and works for you as everyone is different.
Software and its uses.
Modern-day computers have many advantages, one of them is something called plug and play. What this essentially is, is that you plug in your controller to your PC and the computer will install the software or ‘Driver’ needed to use what you’ve plugged in.
Of course, more sophisticated equipment may come with its own software for installation, or depending on what you’re doing you might need to download something to get something else to work. Just remember to be very careful when downloading programs and software and make sure to only do it from trusted sites, or you risk infecting your machine with malware and viruses.
For streaming, popular platforms like Twitch have their own software or software they link to that you can download onto your rig so that you can interface with the website and stream your content and record your screen and yourself too if you’re using a camera.
There is software out there for every use, and if it’s not included with the hardware, then you have to look for it.
The most important part is you.
At the end of the day, the most important part in all of this is you, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article. You’re the key that opens the door to the world of gaming and streaming.
Gaming is a fun, interactive and fulfilling hobby, no matter what some might say about it and you have the ability to make a wide range of connections with people from all over the world. I have made many friends with people from all over and speak to them daily. It’s a truly amazing way of making friends.
Just remember to be patient, polite to others, and enjoy yourself! Remember to stop if you find yourself getting angry or stressed.
Have fun gaming!
Founder of Venom Gaming.