So if you want to get started with YouTube, especially as a gaming channel you might not want to spend a fortune on equipment just to try it out. I mean it’s the same with every hobby. You don’t start archery and buy the best bow on the market, but you don’t start with the cheapest toy either.
In this guide, we will talk about some core factors of getting started with a YouTube channel producing gaming related content and how you might be able to reduce expenses for yourself.
Remember though: It’s always advised to upgrade your equipment to meet industry standards if you want to go semi-professional or even full time.
All of these are FREE:
- Video recording: OBS, Shadowplay (Nvidia) & Xbox GameBar are free recording tools and OBS as well as Shadowplay are even able to stream
- Video editing you can use DaVinci Resolve but have a look at this thread as well https://www.reddit.com/r/youtubegaming/comments/ghapmc/the_best_video_editor_for_gaming_videos/
- for thumbnails or overlays, you can use the following
Budget for software: 0,00€
- PC. If you want to play some basic games and do a little video editing this setup could be interesting to you. If you are a console player, well, you still need it in combination with a capture card for recording and editing. The base for the PC would be an AMD Ryzen APU (~80€) this could be paired with either a B550 motherboard (~140€) or a B450 with an UPDATED BIOS (~90€). For video editing you should get at least 8gb of RAM (~35€) and because it is an APU it has to be a bit faster than the minimum which can be easily upgraded by buying a second stick of RAM. Pair this with a low-priced power supply like this Xilence (30~50€) with a budget casing such as this LC-Power (20-30€). As for storage, a simple 500gb HDD by Western Digital (~25€) will do just fine but that depends entirely on your needs and workflow with video data.
- Capture card. For console players capturing their gameplay is a big task to get around. Most HDMI consoles can be grabbed and looped with a simple AVerMedia or Elgato capture card ranging from 20-120€. For retro consoles, you might want to look for a SCART/Composite/YPbPr Grabber (Hauppage).
- Audio. Audio is the most important thing for a channel. You can get away with a slightly blurry video (many people still watch in 480p anyway), but you cannot get away with poor audio quality as even the shittiest smartphones have a decent speaker or in-ears included nowadays. As for the model, anything not totally cheap which isn’t a headset will probably do, but here are two examples for mics in the upper and lower end of the spectrum:
- Røde NT-USB-Mini ~120€ (stand and pop filter incl)
- t.bone SC300 ~30€ (stand and pop filter not incl)
Budget for essential hardware when you still need a pc: ~330,00€ up to ~600,00€Budget without the pc: 50,00€ up to 240,00€
Optional / nice to have:
- Better GPU/CPU. If you want to play video games that are more intense than your favorite block game you can always add a GPU (~150€) but on the bright side you don’t need an APU and can go with a better performing CPU (~125€)
- Facecam. Adding emotion to your first Victory Royale or getting that sweet Penta Kill in an early League of Legends invade makes the difference between boring and engaging content. Sure you can scream the whole house down but a facecam with some tears of joy will do the job without causing permanent hearing damage. Usually, a go-to solution when it comes to facecams would be the Logitech c920 (~110€ usually) or something similar from Microsoft but due to current shortages, you might want to actually look at your local tech store instead of paying horrendous prices online. Or look for second-hand alternatives.
- Lighting. If you are using a somewhat cheap webcam, you want to give it as much light as possible so the lack of sensor quality doesn’t affect you as much. The darker your face/background the grainier the image recorded will be. A cheap way to get yourself lit 🔥™ would be softboxes. Those can usually be bought for about ~20€ ppc and any product will do as long as it has a light diffuser. As an alternative, you can look into getting LED panels which often are more expensive. Or you can go redneck engineering style with construction spotlights and baking paper. As an alternative to buying lighting, you can look into Facerig (~15€) which gives you the option to replace your real recorded face with a virtual one.
Remember eBay is a good place to look for 2nd hand gear as many kids try YouTube as their hobby and give up after a couple of weeks. So usually you can find nearly new equipment below the normal market price. Of course, due to corona, the market is relatively empty at the moment, but this will change in the future.
I hope we could give a quick overview that you don’t need a fortune to get started with a classic gaming YouTube channel. You may already have some parts at home, so you might even get away a bit cheaper. We haven’t touched mobile gaming so far, cause that is a whole other story. But please let us know if you are interested in learning more about that as well.
YouTube also released a video with some tips on making videos look good with little to no equipment: