From Call of Duty to Overwatch, from Pokemon to online Chess, Minecraft, Fortnite, Mobile Legends – there are so many games out there just waiting to be played, be it alone, or with friends. Whatever your taste or interest is, the perfect video game experience is waiting for you.
But these days, video games aren’t just for fun anymore. Now you can have fun playing the games you love and make a legitimate living off it. Twitch and YouTube have evolved into a fair platform wherein gamers can stream themselves and their games, interact with viewers, and make money.
Some streamers can earn up to 6 figures a month – maybe even more! But before you quit your job and take on a dream-like career wherein you play games all day, you have to know that it’s not that easy. It’s not as simple as buying a decent camera and broadcasting your game. It takes a lot of work, research, self-promotion, savvy, and more than a little luck as the stars have to align for you.
With this guide, we’ll help you to get started on your professional gaming career – from where to begin, how to set up your channel, and how marketing and branding can push you closer to achieving your dreams.
Choose Your Adventure
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of becoming a streamer, you have to answer the question of what kind of professional gamer and steamer you’d like to be. First thing’s first: What are you going to play?
Are you going to go for a First Person Shooter like Overwatch or Call of Duty? Maybe you want to steam classic games for viewers, either from the PS1 generation or even further back, and go full Retro? Or perhaps you want to build on Minecraft or battle it out on Competitive Pokemon?
Your choice of game will dictate so much of your identity as a professional gamer. You’re not strictly limited to choosing one game, but it would be best to choose to specialize in and be known for it, and just have others you play on the side or as a palette cleanser at times.
After that, you have a whole next set of questions to answer.
Are you going to be a severe streamer whose goal is to make it to the top of the ladder? Are you more of a “for fun” kind of streamer, playing around with various games? Are you joining the competitive scene of your game of choice, or do you want a more relaxed, casual kind of stream?
You have to figure out the answer to all these questions before you can even begin to go down this path. Answering these questions will help you to figure out your next steps as a professional gamer and steamer.
These decisions are the proverbial start screen of your possible future career.
Equip Yourself with the Best
To back up who you want to be, you’re going to need to be well equipped for the task – literally.
Are you playing on a PC, a Play Station, an X-Box, or maybe a Switch? Do you have the best controllers and other accessories? What’s your monitor or TV set up? Are you running 4k resolution? Are you using your laptop webcam, or do you have a dedicated one?
If you want to take this seriously, and if you’re going to be taken seriously, you’ll need to invest in some serious technology. That’s not to say we think you should break the bank and only go the highest of high (although you can if you want). Instead, we just want to stress the point that this is important.
Much like how a knight wouldn’t go into battle without armor, why should you challenge the streaming world ill-equipped. So before you even think about taking this step, determine the budget you’re willing to work with and maximize it.
One quick pro-tip, though: If you’re going to invest a little more on a piece of tech, invest in the right sound equipment. There’s nothing like lousy audio to make a stream seem unprofessional after all.
What’s The Next Level
You always have to be looking at the next level, at the next boss or challenge you have to conquer.
Or, in layman’s terms, what are your goals?
Of course, the ultimate goal is to make an honest and fair living out of this, but getting there can be a rugged mountain to climb. You’ll have to take it step by step, one small victory after another as you reach every new milestone.
When setting goals for yourself, we suggest you start small and work your way from there. Do you want to stream a certain number of times a week? Do you want to reach a certain number of followers or viewers after three months and six months? By when do you want to be a twitch affiliate?
If you truly want to take it to the next level, you also have to think beyond the traditional or normal gaming tools and platforms. Look into online business tools, products and even courses. A good place to start exploring is www.ftknowledge.com — it’s a great resource for when you need help discerning what you need. You never know how they can help you.
Set realistic goals for yourself and make sure you do what you can to reach all of them. The more you do, the more little wins you will achieve. Before you know it, you’ll realize that you’re already pretty far ahead of the competition and closer to your dreams coming true.
Sell Your Brand of Gaming
You are what you sell.
And that’s truer than ever when it comes to the world of professional gaming and streaming. The final step you have to figure out is this: What’s your brand? Who are you as a gamer? What do you represent?
Honestly, you may not be able to answer this question at the start of your career, six months in or even a whole year in. You and your brand will grow and change as you experience more and more things and engage with your audience somehow.
We suggest you be aware of your brand, how it is now, and how it’s evolved and changed over time. Also, be mindful of how you see yourself and how people who engage with you see you. Is it aligned? Is it wildly different? Is that a good or a bad thing?
Grow, change, and be the professional gamer you want to be, and only good things can happen when you do.
Are You Ready to Go Pro?
So do you think you’re ready for this pro-gamer life?
These are just a few simple tips you can stick to and remember as you embark on your journey, and it is by no means a comprehensive guide. But it’s an excellent place to start, and we believe that if you listen to what we have to say, you’ll be on the right track to pressing start on your dream come true.