How to Live Stream Video Games

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Most people actively play, or have played, video games at some point in their lives. It's a fun way to relieve stress, or distract yourself, from school or work. If you’re like me and grew up in the early 2000s, playing video games were one of the main activities that kids participated in. Once my friends and I were done with school and sports, we’d go to each other’s houses and play on their Xbox, PlayStation, or, if they were lucky enough, on their PC.  

As time went on, and as the internet became more prevalent in our lives, video games moved from offline to online. With the rise of online gaming, a necessity for content and information grew as well. Naturally, with a vast and new sphere of entertainment, communities of fans grew, and people started connecting with each other online. One of the most popular ways for these communities to connect with one another is through live streaming.  

With the help of this blog, we hope to share valuable and insightful information on how to capture your game, how to set up a face cam, what equipment to use, and finally, what streaming software to use.  

 

Table of Contents 

  1. How to capture your game 
  1. How to set up a face cam 
  1. What equipment to use 
  1. What streaming software to use 

 

How to Capture Your Game 

A person playing video games while live streaming

Capturing your game is going to depend heavily on the streaming software that you use. For most streaming software out there, the process is going to be adding either a window capture source or a display capture source. From there, you’d want to select the game that you’d like to capture or the screen that you’d like to show. 

While both get the job done, it’s important to realize the differences between the two. Display capture does record your game, but it also records everything that you show on your desktop. This means that if you were to tab out of your game, then all the other information on your screen would be shown too. Some people might be okay with this, however, if you would like to hide certain windows or information, then window capture would be the best for you since it only shows the game and nothing else. 

 

How to Set Up a Face Cam 

Adult male playing strategy game in a purple room

Face cams, while not integral to gaming live streams, can be important when trying to create a community online. It helps build more of a connection with your viewers since your interactions with them are mostly limited to what’s shown on the stream and a chat box. 

In nearly all streaming software, adding a face cam would typically be adding a video capture source or camera capture source. Sometimes, depending on the camera, this process is easier said than done. For the best results, looking at your specific streaming software’s instructions or FAQ about setting up a camera would be the best course of action.  

If you’re using a DSLR or mirrorless camera as your face cam, look at your camera’s supported software on the manufacturer’s website. A lot of major camera companies like Canon, Sony, and Nikon offer free software to directly plug your camera into your computer and capture video footage. This means that you don’t have to depend on a capture card to connect your camera to your device while streaming. 

 

Equipment 

African woman talking into microphone with a monitor in the background

If you’re ready to take your live steam to the next level and have a budget to do so, then upgrading or adding new equipment could be a great idea, especially if you’re more dedicated to streaming.  

One of the most beneficial upgrades to get if you want to take your gaming streams to the next level is upgrading your PC. Upgrading your PC not only improves your live streaming quality, but it also helps give you that extra boost in FPS. 

Aside from your PC, upgrading your microphone would be one of the more noticeable ways to enhance your game streams. Having a higher quality mic will allow your voice to sound buttery smooth and, depending on what features come with your microphone, you can dial in your voice and tone through a mixer to get just the sound you want. 

Another piece of equipment that you can upgrade would be your camera. Getting a better camera for your live streams drastically improves the overall quality and could take your streams to the next level. This is especially true if you’re a streamer who has dedicated talking portions during a live stream. This time could be used to thank your new supporters or just to simply have a discussion with your audience without a game in the background. 

Remember, at the end of the day, the equipment does not make the stream. Your streams and the entertainment that you bring to your viewers is what’s most important. In the past when I first started live streaming my games, I thought I needed a ton of professional equipment to make amazing content but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  

 

Streaming Software 

Man in front of a computer screen with white background

Streaming software might not be on the minds of most game streamers but it’s something very important to consider since it could seriously affect your performance in game.  

With downloadable streaming software, they can suck up a lot of processing power to capture your live stream leaving you with lower fps and worst performance in game. This is especially true for more demanding games like the ones running at a higher quality or even running ray tracing. 

Luckily, with software like Zeacon Live Studio, there is no need to worry about performance loss because it’s all ran from your browser, leaving you with one less program to run and more performance to utilize. Not to mention the ease-of-use features that are built directly into the platform. 

On ZLS, adding a face cam, selecting a camera or microphone, and capturing your game footage is as easy as clicking on the “Go Live” button. With drag-and-drop, you can place your camera feed right into the preselected spots in your live stream feed and your face cam is ready to go. With cameras and microphones, the ZLS platform will automatically detect your inputs and they will be ready to use for your stream! Finally, capturing your game is easy with our share screen function. Simply click on the share screen button in the studio view and you can choose to display a specific application or your entire monitor. 

 

Conclusion 

Live streaming, within the past five years, has become one of the biggest forms of digital media and that’s thanks to the enormous community of gamers that pioneered the medium. In fact, to this day, 54% of the live streaming content that is broadcasted on the internet is related to esports and video games as reported by Restream in their State of Live Streaming blog. Just a few years ago, this number would have been drastically bigger since live streaming is now moving more into the mainstream media. 

As the demand for live gaming content grew, so did the issues that came with the industry. One of, if not the biggest, issue with live streaming video games was the fact that it was incredibly difficult to set up. With little to no places to find information about what the best settings are for live streaming, what the best practices are, or even where to stream to, users were left to pave their own path if they wanted to live stream. 

Through the Zeacon Live Studio platform, we used patent-pending technology in order to make sure that live streaming your games is as easy, simple, and efficient as possible. We want to enable gamers to share their skills and capture unbelievable moments with their audience online.  

Sign up for a 100% free Zeacon Live Studio account today to utilize the features and capabilities that help you connect with your community. 

 

About the Author:

David Vo is a Yale University graduate with a certificate in Digital Marketing and a Bellevue College graduate with a Bachelor's in Digital Marketing. He is a co-founder of Bellevue College's first gaming club and has previously worked in real estate, IT, and video production before coming to Zeacon as a marketing intern. David actively participates in Olympic-style weightlifting and provides coaching in powerlifting as well.