Growing a gaming channel on YouTube isn’t a piece of cake. The platform introduces plenty of changes every year and trends also come and go quickly, so cranking out gaming content without the right equipment and strategy isn’t going to cut it.
That’s why with this article, we have created the ultimate YouTube Gamer Setup Guide that will help you choose the right video production gear and decide the type of content you’ll post. We also share pro tips to grow your channel in 2023, so make sure you stick around till the end. And once you have your setup and ideas ready, you can go ahead and use InVideo’s games video editor to put your footage together and create stunning gaming videos.
Here’s what we’ll be covering in this article:
A. Finding Your Niche
B. Finding The Right Gear For Your YouTube Gamer Setup
C. Pro Tips For Starting Your YouTube Gaming Channel
Let’s start with finding your niche!
A. Finding Your Niche
There are 547,000 channels on YouTube Gaming Live and if you want to build a discoverable channel that stands out from the crowd, picking your niche is the first step. Finding a niche helps you focus your energy in one area and thereby establish yourself as an expert in that particular area. Here’s what you need to know in order to find your niche:
1. Selecting your genre and games
The first step to selecting your genre is understanding what types of games do you enjoy playing the most. Choosing games you enjoy will help you stay consistent with creating content. Most popular advice tells you to look for popular games and understand their update schedule – but unless you enjoy playing that game, chances of you being able to stick with creating content for it are pretty slim.
Another problem with popular games is that they are super competitive to rank for. So you will have to slog for much longer and a lot more consistently if you want to do that. A workaround for this is to start playing and uploading content for a popular game while it is still in its pre-launch phase so that when it launches you stand the chance to rank for its search terms.
This is a strategy Typical Gamer applied when he started covering GTA5 series pre-launch. He grew from just a few thousands subscribers to 12 million after the game became popular. But the risk here is that not everyone will have the same luck – something that happened with Neon Arcade, who covered the Cyberpunk 2077 series in detail but didn’t grow because the game itself didn’t do well.
A good idea therefore is to choose 2-3 games in total and pick one that is really popular while others that are still on the rise but don’t have a massive following. This ensures you can create content consistently over multiple verticals and thereby grow your channel without solely relying on something that’s trending. You should ideally also create a different intro for each of the different games you plan on including, in order to build recall. And this is something you can do by using InVideo’s intro templates.
2. Gameplay Type
Choosing a gameplay type may not seem like the most important step when it comes to setting up your YouTube channel. But If you look at your favorite YouTube creators in the gaming space, you’ll see their videos follow a specific format like walkthrough, speedrun, or live streams, and their channels are well-known for creating videos in that format.
For example, Thunder, a YouTube gaming channel, has 143k subscribers and they’ve built an online community by only posting one type of video on their channel i.e. Fortnite gameplay videos.
There are different types of genres and subgenres within the types of gaming videos you create. For example, walkthrough videos and let’s play videos are sub genres of gameplay videos and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost because of all the options. To help you choose, we’ve listed the most popular gameplay types below:
- Walkthroughs: You can show all the special tricks and techniques in a game by taking viewers through the entire game. These videos are most useful for gamers looking to learn new techniques and polish their skills to play better. Here’s an example of a walkthrough video:
- Tutorials: These types of videos are mainly ‘How to’ videos, that focus on teaching something specific like the weapons and techniques you need to win the leg of a game. Gaming tutorial videos are very popular among beginners trying to get the hang of the game and level up in it. Check out this in-depth guide on how to create gameplay videos for a better understanding.
- Reviews: You can play different games and review your experience about the game and its features in these videos. These videos are popular as they give viewers a fair idea of the game and tell them whether or not it’s suited for them.
- Game highlights: The best parts of the game engage viewers and bring you more subscribers as they’re exciting and entertaining to watch. To create highlights, you can play your game and edit the footage to include the best parts of the game in the video. Check out this resource to create your own gaming highlight video even if you’re new to video editing.
- Live streaming: Live streams are popular as viewers get to interact closely with the gamer by either chatting or playing with them directly. Plus, you can upload your live streams without many edits, so you save a lot of time. Check out this in-depth guide on recording gameplay videos for YouTube for a better understanding:
3. Deciding your gaming persona
Up to 37% of internet users are gamers! That is a huge group and while on the surface it may seem like it is dominated by a particular type of people, in reality the group of gamers is surprisingly diverse.
This means that when you’re creating gaming videos or building a gaming channel, you cannot realistically cater to every single gamer out there. This is where building a gaming persona comes in. You want to ideally decide what category of gamers you fall into and what category of gamers you want to cater to.
While gaming personas themselves can be divided into several categories, the popular census shows around 9 categories such as mobile-only gamers, cloud gamers, gaming influencers among others. When deciding your persona you want to focus on a couple of things:
- Whether or not you want to come on camera?
- Whether or not you want to have narration or voice over in your videos?
- What device/console are you playing your game on?
- Do you want to have single player or multiplayer games?
Answering these questions will help you determine the kind of audience you’re catering through your gaming videos and thereby also tailor your content for them. This helps in increasing engagement and viewership.
For instance, Block Facts are a fact-based channel that only caters to Minecraft players. They’ve managed to reach a whopping 1.4 million subscribers despite being fairly new to the YouTube space.
Now that you understand how to find your niche for your gaming youtube channel, let’s go ahead and pick out the best gear to help you kick things off.
B. Finding The Right Gear For Your YouTube Gamer Setup
Now that you’ve decided on the nitty-gritty details about your channel like the games you’re going to play and the gameplay type, it’s time to take a look at the equipment you’ll need to create a YouTube Gamer Setup with high-quality videos and crisp audio to keep your viewers from being distracted due to audio or video quality issues.
Here’s everything you need to know
1. Choose your hardware – PC or Console?
Whether you want to have a personal computer or a gaming console like PlayStation or Xbox is the most important consideration when it comes to creating the perfect YouTube gamer setup.
Now, there’s no right answer but if you want to play a wide variety of games with cool graphics, multiplayer modes and upgrade options, a PC is your best option. Choosing a PC initially is also easier on the pocket. On the other hand, if you want to play games that are exclusive to consoles, you will need to invest in a console.
In addition to the kind of games you want to play, another factor to consider while building your YouTube gamer setup is the overhead costs that come with both PC and console-based setups. Things like subscription fee, payment costs to upgrade, any hardware additions you might need such as a graphics card in order to keep things running smoothly – these are all super important considerations. You also want to factor in the cost of games on PCs vs Consoles.
Here are a few specifications you should consider while investing in your hardware of choice:
Here’s an article from Intel that provides an in-depth explanation into the other factors you’ll have to consider when it comes to buying a PC. But if you like tinkering and want a decent system within your budget, you can also build your own PC. Here’s a video that will help you:
2. Recording Equipment And Software
Choosing the right recording equipment and software is crucial in ensuring that you don’t end up with jittery videos and terrible audio as this can set back the growth of your channel. That’s why, in this section, we’ve put together a list of the most common recording equipment and the factors you need to consider to choose the right recording equipment for your YouTube gamer setup.
While there’s no competing with cameras in terms of video quality, webcams are definitely a more affordable option for gamers who do livestreams and talking head videos so they’re a part of every gamer’s YouTube gaming starter kit. So, here’s what you must look for in your webcams
(1) Price: The most important factor while buying a webcam is your budget. But as it is going to be an investment for your YouTube channel, you should find the right balance in features and pricing rather than compromising with one. If you want a webcam with a ring light, you’ll have to spare close to $30 but if you just want a decent webcam that shoots videos in 1080p resolution you’ll get one for as low as $11-$15.
(2) Resolution and Frame Rate: Having a 1080 p video resolution is a minimum requirement if you want to churn out videos with a decent quality. But if you’ve got the budget and processing power to render 4k videos, go for it
(3) Frame Rates: Frame rate is the number of images shown per second in a video. This means a 20 fps webcam will show 20 images per second. Generally, cameras with lower FPS tend to capture choppier videos than the ones with a high FPS. So, having a camera with at least 30 FPS is a standard practice.
Which webcam is best for YouTube gamers?
If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly option and don’t want to invest in an external light, Razor Kiyo may be the best pick for you. It has an attached ring light which can adjust brightness and contrast automatically, and can record video at 1080p with 30 fps.
However, if you want a reliable camera with a robust build the Logitech streamcam and Logitech C922x Pro are perfect for you. And if you’re looking for 4k webcams with decent frame rates of 30 fps, Logitech Brio is your best option. You can also check out this video for the top gaming webcam picks of 2023
Although webcams help you stream your content in 1080 p resolution,they don’t match the audio quality and the crisp resolution that high-end cameras provide. So, if your channel’s growing you’ll need a better option to shoot your videos and that’s where cameras come in handy.
Cameras come with various add-ons and features so, it’s easy to get confused with all the options available in the market. Before you choose a camera for you YouTube gaming setup, here are some points to keep in mind:
(1) Resolution and Framerate: Cameras that shoot 1080 p videos are great to start with if you’re a beginner. You can later upgrade to 4k or buy a 4k camera but use it in 1080p till you are comfortable with handling large video files. The framerate can be 30 fps or 60 fps depending on the resolution.
(2) Audio input: While you want to invest in a microphone and record your audio separately, having good audio support and the option to attach an external mic to your camera is a huge win. This can drastically cut down your editing time and allow you to create great videos on a budget.
(3) A flip screen: Although flip screen cameras aren’t a necessity, they come in handy to keep track of your facial expressions, the frame, lighting and focus while shooting.
Based on the features mentioned above, Canon M50 and Sony ZV-1 could be great options. Here’s a video that explains how to choose cameras in detail:
c. Screen Recording Software
There are plenty of screen recording software out there, but if you don’t choose the right one, the recorded video will suffer from lags and affect the flow and quality of your gameplay video. So, we’ve compiled a list of screen recording software you can use as part of YouTube Gaming channel equipment.
(1) OBS: OBS(Open Broadcaster Software) is used by top gaming YouTubers to record gaming videos on PC. It provides great quality screen capture, even for low-end PCs. And the best part is that you can download it and set it up for free.
(2) Bandicam: Bandicam is a high quality screen capture software that’s specifically made for gamers. It helps you record talking head videos on your PC (even if it’s low-end)or console. There’s a free version but the lifetime license is also pretty affordable as it retails at $39.95.
(3) Icecream screen recorder: Icecream screen recorder is another software popular among gamers. It’s easy to use and allows you to capture a part of the screen as well. You can either opt for a free version, which has a 5 minute time limit or upgrade to the pro version at $29.95 to eliminate this limitation.
3. Audio Equipment And Software
As a YouTube gamer, you will need to record your voice in the form of commentary and narration. For this you will need a microphone that records your voice with clarity and also minimizes unwanted noise from the background along with other youtube gaming setups.
Here are some factors one must consider when choosing your mic for your YouTube gamer setup.
#1 - The Polar pattern: Since you’re a YouTube gamer, you’ll need a Cardioid polar pattern as it picks up sound in front of the mic and hence is perfect for streaming and narration. It also rejects the rear sounds, making your voice clearer and crisper.
#2 - The Budget: Spending around $100-$250 will get you a microphone with decent audio quality for your gaming channel if you’re just starting out. As you grow, you can upgrade to more expensive condenser microphones which cost around $1,000-$1,500
#3 - The type of Mic: Different types of mics fit different purposes, you must choose the one that fits your purpose the best. Here are some types of microphones:
- Dynamic Microphones: They are the most affordable and durable among all categories and give good sound quality. The Shure SM57 is the most popular in this category.
- Condenser Microphones: These are the professional microphones and provide selectable polar patterns. They are more sensitive, hence better in terms of voice clarity. The Audio-Technica AT2020 is popular in this category for content creators.
If you are just starting, you might want to go for a more budget friendly option like the Rode VideoMicro. If you are looking to record your audio on your phone, Rode SmartLav can do that for you. Later on you can move on to advanced microphones like Shure SM7B and Rode NTG3B Shotgun Mic.
Here’s a video that gives an in-depth explanation of the audio setup you need for your YouTube gaming channel, especially if you want to live stream:
4. Editing Software & Equipment
Software like OBS and Bandicam do a great job of recording gameplay videos. But you can’t really get ahead if your videos aren’t well edited. To ensure you create engaging gaming videos, you need to add music, voice over, media, as well as trim and put clips together to create a cohesive story.
There are many video editors in the market so it’s easy to get confused. So, here are a few things you should look out for if you want the perfect gameplay quality
(1) Shorter learning curve: Unless you want to take up professional video editing, you don’t want to choose a software with a steep learning curve and spend hours on editing videos when you should be producing content or interacting with your community to grow your following. That’s why you should go for a software with a smaller learning curve.
(2) Creative editing tools: If you want to make your YouTube videos engaging for viewers, it’s a must to choose an editor that allows you to add text, transitions, music, media, voiceovers, and special effects with ease, without having to spend hours doing this because
(3) Stock Library: You’ll need a stock library with plenty of stock videos and music to add music to your gaming videos as well as supplement it with stock media whenever you’re explaining or need to make a point.
While most pro gamers use editors such as Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, those editors have a steep learning curve. To make your work easier, you can supplement your video editing process with a tool like InVideo that allows you to add advanced edits such as transitions, text effects, overlays, your personal branding, and more – completely online in a few easy steps. To learn more about the different types of games video editors, check out this blog. And if you want to learn how to edit your videos faster, check out this video tutorial:
C. Pro Tips For Starting Your YouTube Gaming Channel
Now that we’ve discussed the equipment you need to start a gaming YouTube channel, here are some pro-tips you can use as you’re creating your video gaming channel.
Pro Tip #1: Focus On One Game
It is recommended to focus on just one game in the beginning to build a loyal following who will subscribe to your content and opt to get notified whenever you upload new content.
Playing more than one game means splitting your audience into smaller chunks and increasing the likelihood of them dropping off your channel. For instance, if you’ve 3 subscribers for 3 games you play on your channel, one of them might drop off because they’re not interested in the other two games you play.
However, this doesn’t mean you can never play more than a game on your channel.
Once you’ve grown your channel, you can try games you’ve never played before or react to them to get a lot of engagement and continue growing your channel. You can also create a video playlist for each game you’ve played as your content becomes more diverse.
Pro Tip #2: Maintain Consistency
Once you’re ready with your gaming setup and have decided to take the plunge, you want to stay focused and be consistent with producing high-quality videos.
When you post your gaming videos consistently, you also learn about the Youtube algorithm and making videos- both of which are necessary for success. It’s like hanging out with a friend, the more time you spend- the closer you get and the better you understand each other.
By showing up regularly, you also get feedback from the audience that helps you improve your video content and creates a loop where you are growing as you go.
Pro Tip #3: Hook Your Audience From The Beginning
Since most viewers don’t spend more than a few seconds to decide if a video is worth watching, it's important to create videos that will hook your audience from the beginning.
You can do this by keeping your intros short, starting with a question, dropping an amazing video game stat, showcasing a few seconds of insane gameplay or creating an amazing intro using one of these InVideo templates. It doesn’t take you much time and you can customize this with your channel’s logo and add music and media as you like.
Pro Tip #4: Work On Your Titles & Thumbnails
Your title and thumbnail for the gaming video should entice the viewer to click your video and get them excited for what lies ahead. So, it should be catchy but not give it all away. To make such thumbnails, use strong visuals, eye-catching fonts, and an attention-grabbing title. You can also add elements of contrast to make your thumbnail stand out.
Here’s an example of a catchy thumbnail with an attention-grabbing thumbnail:
As for titles, keep them crisp (within 70 characters) and include the search term organically within the title. Promise value or quality entertainment in your title but don’t make it click-baity where you don’t give what’s promised in the content.
Pro Tip #5: Create YouTube Shorts To Boost Your Channel
YouTube Shorts have become a proven booster for any YouTube channel as they grab your audience’s attention and give them bite-sized entertainment. Also, the YouTube algorithm is big on shorts since short 15-second videos have exploded in popularity thanks to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
So, not including Shorts in your video would be a blunder as you’d miss out on views and engagement. To make Shorts a part of your strategy, you can promote your upcoming videos on Shorts or add highlights of your best games to amass lots of views and engagement.
To create Shorts that invoke curiosity in a jiffy, use online video editors like InVideo. It has more than 5,000 templates which you can customize in a flash to add logos and music. Here’s a template you can use to create shorts for your channel
And if you want to learn more on how you can make Shorts for your YouTube channel, check out this video.
Starting a gaming YouTube channel is no easy feat. Millions of people play video games in their free time, so naturally, the competition is stiff. But that doesn’t have to mean you cannot successfully grow a gaming channel in 2023. Start with the list of ideas we have shared and hone your editing skills with the help of this guide to create stunning gaming videos.
Once you’re a little bit advanced, experiment with different gears and styles and you will grow super quickly. Also, if you prefer learning video editing for your channel via videos, you should definitely check out our YouTube channel, where we share daily video creation tips and tricks, the latest video trends and ideas, and help you make more money as a video creator.
This post was written by Mrignayni and edited by Adete from Team InVideo