Twitch Streamer Gear For Begginer, Intermediate & Pro Level
You’ve made the decision: you’re going to try to be a Twitch streamer and as any self-respecting budding gaming star, you want to use the right Twitch streamer gear.
While we could just go ahead and tell you all the best gadgets and gizmos used by the top celebrities and call it a day - might as well just stop here and let you hit up Ninja and Shroud directly - we’re going to be a bit more realistic.
Most people either don’t have enough green to fork over for a killer setup or they’re not sure if Twitch streaming is for them. It makes more sense to start small and grow from there when the viewership presents itself.
Frankly, as we’ve said in a previous post, it’s not about the gear and the shiny effects as much as it is about your personality and what makes you worth watching. Content is king, after all, and becoming a Twitch streamer is a journey.
To that effect, we’ll be giving you a streamer gear list for three levels of broadcaster, beginner, intermediate and pro, and give you a roadmap to your rise to gamer fame.
One Step At A Time
A quick note before we dive into the lists. The gear we’re recommending isn’t the end-all-be-all of Twitch streamer equipment. Finding equivalents that are more affordable or readily available where you live won’t impede your stream - unless you’re ordering from Wish.
You can also save money by using what you have. If, for instance, you have a headset with a mic, you need not splash out for the one in the beginner list. Instead, save yourself some moola and learn something in the process by searching for tutorials on making crap mics sound good.
When you’re ready to start upgrading from one level to the next, for the love of the Mother of Dragons don’t go for the complete overhaul. Instead, replace what will have the most impact for your buck for your stream.
A good rule of thumb here is to go for audio first as making your silky sultry voice even silkier and sultrier will keep viewers around for longer. The added bonus of upgrading little by little is that it gives you time to get acquainted with your new toys, ergo you learn more.
Got all of that? Great! Let’s get started with our streamer gear list for beginners.
Level 1: Seedling Streamer, aka The Beginner
Make peace with the plant metaphor for it’s profound and astute (yeah, my middle name is Cpt. Pretentious, sue me!). Growing on Twitch begins with growing as a streamer and we all had to begin from somewhere.
This streamer gear list is primarily focused on what you need to run a decent stream that people will want to stick around for rather than budget.
First things first, let’s talk audio. I’m guessing that you have some kind of apparatus that enables you to get sound to your ears but not necessarily to other people’s ears. Built-in mics don’t count. Those not only sound bad but also need a megaton more gain to catch what you’re saying, ultimately leading to audio cracking. Yuck.
Since good audio out is more important than good audio in, grab yourself an Antlion ModMic 4 with mute switch. This is a mic attachment that can be attached to any pair of cans if you have one.
Members of r/Twitch have had their voices described as “chocolate for the ears” thanks to this bad boy. For the earbud crowd, you can grab a pair of SteelSeries Wired Arctis 3 at a similar price. Both options can be used for console and PC streamers just starting out.
Our voice is out there. Now let’s get our sexy looks in view. I’m not going to beat around the bush with this one. It’s better to make do with a faceless stream and save up for the Logitech C920, the workhorse of the Twitch streaming business.
It does 1080p at 30 fps and 720p at 60 fps which is all you will need right up until Pro level. It’s been around since 2012 which means it’s often discounted these days so you may not need to wait long.
If you absolutely need a camera with the rest of your streamer gear haul, then the next budget alternative worth it is the Logitech C270 which does 720p at 30 fps.
Bare in mind that you don’t actually need your camera to be at a high resolution anyway as it doesn’t impact your gameplay. Console streamers are limited to their device’s respective proprietary cameras.
Last, but definitely not least, on our Twitch streaming gear for beginners is lighting. When it comes to looking crystal clear to your audience, there is no substitute for having decent lighting as even the best of cameras will look grainier than an 80s camcorder without it.
For the beginner Twitch streamer, a couple of desk lamps should do the trick just fine. Just shine those suckers right at you and adjust your camera settings for exposure. Personally, I’m sporting two IKEA Tertial Work Lamps and they’ve been amazing, even for green screening.
That’s pretty much all you need to get started as a Seedling Streamer. There’re some DIY options to further enhance your Twitch stream if you’re up for some tinkering, but the above is more than enough to get you started.
Level 2: Beansprout Streamer, aka The Intermediate
Let’s kick things up a notch. You’ve streamed for a while and gained a few regulars. Maybe picked up a donation or two. Now you’re ready to start cooking with fire by making a few choice upgrades to your Twitch streamer gear. We’ve got a few exciting options so let’s get cracking.
Here things are going to start getting divisive in terms of cost depending on where you’re starting from, console or PC. Console streamers will slowly want to start saving up for a streaming PC and a capture card as options for upgrading visuals are slim to none.
Fortunately, building a budget PC for streaming doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Check out Harris Heller of the Alpha Gaming channel for a recommended budget build.
Content is king and audio is its crown. As we said earlier, upgrading your audio should be the first thing to go for once you’re ready. Time to ditch the headset mic and move onto the other workhorse of the Twitch streamer community, the Blue Yeti USB mic.
In a previous article, we recommended the Blue Snowball as a good starter mic and if you’ve already nabbed one then it should be good enough for this level, saving you some money without sacrificing precious decibel quality.
USB mics are better than ever with plenty of pro streamers still making use of old faithfuls at their level. However, if your sights are firmly set on going Pro, then the XLR mic route you should take from here on out.
Enter the other workhorse of the general audio world, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen). This is an audio interface that connects via USB, allowing you to make use of XLR mics with your streaming machine.
This will give you extra versatility when you’re ready to move on to mixers and other audio devices. If you don’t already have an XLR mic, you can pick up the Scarlett Solo Studio which comes with the interface, a mic, an XLR cable and a pair of studio-grade headphones.
Camera-wise there are no more compromises at this point. If you haven’t picked up the C920 webcam already then grab it as soon as possible once your audio is sorted. The difference in quality is high enough to justify waiting for a sale or dropping some extra green. Plus, it will do a far better job if you decide to do some green screening.
The Intermediate level is where you’ll be making a lot more incremental upgrades to the flair and style of your Twitch stream as well as the quality of life gear that can make life that much easier.
Notable mention here goes to the Elgato Stream Deck Mini. Just for the extra buttons that allow you to switch scenes in your broadcasting software of choice is enough to justify purchasing this little miracle of Twitch streamer tech. It will still be useful even when you decide to buy one of the bigger versions because you can never have enough hotkeys.
Alright, Beansprout. Are you ready for the big time? Read on.
Level 3: Megazord Tree, aka The Pro
It’s tough to find a grandiose name of epic proportions for a tree, okay. You get the gist. As a Twitch streamer, you’ve paid your dues and wiped the sweat off your brow. It’s time to get serious and nothing’s going to hold you back.
Gather your hard earn resources cause things are getting serious.
Let’s start with the King; audio. Your Scarlett Studio mic isn’t going to cut it anymore and the interface itself, while great, lacks any sensible means of audio control beyond gain.
A better mic and a mixer are in order here to help you take the audio game to the next level. Luckily, TC-Helicon has created what I and other streamers consider to be the best thing since sliced streamer bread, the GoXLR. This baby packs all of the necessary features you need to manage all of your audio in one nifty box.
It’s pricey but if you aren’t going to be using sound bytes and voice changing features, there’s a Mini version that’s cheaper and carries only the mixing capabilities of its older sibling.
As for your mic, you have a few options ranging from pricey to second mortgage. The Rode Procaster dynamic mic is a solid pick with an attractive price tag. For a bit cheaper, you can pick up the Rode Podmic which is also quite solid and, as a bonus, doesn’t require a shock mount.
For those with deeper pockets, the Shure SM7B is one of the gold standards of the Twitch streamer gear world. Whatever you end up buying, make sure you pick up a dynamic mic as these have better audio rejection capabilities and keep the audio focused on your voice.
Moving on, let’s get your mug moving at glorious 60 fps because it deserves it and you can afford it...right? Here things are going to get even pricier as you’ll need a few more components.
You see, the webcam market is behind with the only option out there being the Logitech Brio which can do 1080p at 60 fps. This is the cheaper option. But you’re serious about being Pro so you’re going to go for the big guns and pick up a mirrorless camera and the Elgato CamLink.
Best bang for your buck is going to come from the Sony A5100 which will deliver clean HDMI output to your CamLink which will act as a second capture card. After this year’s CES, it seems that Canon has caught wind of how big Twitch streaming is and has developed a few more options for you to look out for.
Pros should also consider eventually ditching the trusty IKEA desk lamps for a pair of Elgato Keylights, especially the green screeners. These lights have some, frankly, rather unnecessary features that up their asking price.
However, they will spread light more evenly and reduce some headaches. Alternatively, you can pick up a couple of lighting panels from other manufacturers for a lower price.
Beyond all of this gear, if you’ve got some more money to burn on your already sharp-looking and crisp sounding Twitch channel, then get yourself a designer to put together a sick logo animated overlay to really help you pop. Sky’s the limit here on out.
Good luck and happy streaming!
About the Author
Yannis Vatis AKA AkibanaZero, is video game enthusiast and freelance gaming writer with over 25 years of veteran gaming knowledge. He actively streams on Twitch and regularly uploads gaming videos on YouTube.