You don’t need much to call yourself a Twitch streamer, but getting subs will be easier if you can invest in a good setup.
How much does it cost to stream on Twitch?
It doesn’t cost a cent to stream on Twitch. You can sign up to Twitch for free right now and start streaming using just your smartphone. However, spending a bit of money on things like a mic, camera, and lights will help you engage and maintain your audience.
Buy these things to improve your Twitch stream
Yeah, you can stream on Twitch for free but, if you don’t want to be limited to just chatting on your smartphone, you should consider investing in a few of the things highlighted below.
If you want to make money from Twitch, it’s worth remembering that one of the reasons people donate to Twitch streamers is because they appreciate the time, effort, and money put in to creating entertaining content.
Aside from finding the right game to play on Twitch, I think the essentials for any serious streamer are: a good microphone, camera, and lighting setup, plus fast internet. Everything else is not required but will lift your live content to the next level.
A quality mic
No one’s going to hang around if they can’t hear what you’re saying. Or even if they can hear you fine but they hate your popping p’s or the overall sound quality.
Of all the things worth investing in to support your Twitch streaming career, a good quality microphone is top of the list.
Fortunately, you won’t have to break the bank to get your hands on one: For example, this AudioPro USB condenser mic is perfectly good enough for beginners. I personally like the slightly more expensive (and much better quality) Rode NT-USB:
Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone
What I like:
✅ Amazing sound for the price
✅ Literally no setup is required
✅ Comes with a pop filter
✅ Headphone output
✅ Looks great
A solid camera
Things like rising energy prices mean that streaming on Twitch is getting more expensive, but if you’re committed to this hobby you may as well look good while you’re doing it.
Without a high-quality camera, you’ll probably find yourself stuck in streaming purgatory with no subs even if the rest of your setup and content blows other Twitch streamers out of the water.
In this day and age, a top-quality camera doesn’t necessarily have to cost you top dollar. If you’re on a tight budget, this EMEET 1080p webcam will be levels better than built-in laptop tech. My pick, though, is the Elgato Facecam:
What I like:
✅ Uncompressed video
✅ Mount on a monitor or ¼” thread
✅ Lots of customization options
✅ Privacy cap included
If you already have a fancy DSLR camera, you could also simply pick up an Elgato Cam Link 4K to connect it to your PC or Mac for use as a webcam.
You can find budget ring lights like the Weilisi 6.5” which offers plenty of flexibility for the price with three different color temperatures and 10 brightness settings.
If you are going to invest in a light, though, I think it’s worth saving a few weeks’ extra pocket money for the real deal. A couple of Elgato Key Light Airs, for example, will really help your stream.
Elgato Key Light Air
What I like:
✅ Nice and compact
✅ App control options
✅ Stream Deck compatible
✅ Multiple mounting choices
Last but definitely not least in the ‘Twitch streaming essentials’ category is fast internet.
Some of you will, unfortunately, have to put up with whatever you can get in your local area. But if you do have the chance to upgrade to a faster connection, you’ll be able to stream in much higher quality.
The minimum upload speed required to stream on Twitch in 1080p is 6mbps.
Stable, fast internet is super important in this business. It’s one of the reasons why so many streamers move to Texas – residents in the Lone Star State can access some of the fastest and best value internet options in the entire USA.
Just get the best plan you can afford.
If you want to just chill and chat with your viewers or you’re happy to stick to PC games, you can ignore this one.
However, if you want to expand your streaming repertoire, a capture card is a great investment. It gives you the possibility to stream games from pretty much any console you can think of (with the right cables). If you don’t want to stream emulators on Twitch, your only option for retro consoles is a capture card.
You can also use a capture card to stream from multiple cameras simultaneously.
The Elgato HD60 X External Capture Card can manage everything you need a capture card to manage. I promise I’m not a secret Elgato employee – they really do make nice products for streamers:
Elgato HD60 X External Capture Card
What I like:
✅ Driverless setup (plug and play)
✅ Works with OBS & Streamlabs
✅ Stream Deck compatible
✅ No subscription required
The Stream Deck can be used for a whole range of different applications but, as the name suggests, its purpose is to make life easier for streamers.
For a long time, I thought the Stream Deck was something people talked about if they’d misheard the name of Valve’s groundbreaking handheld PC.
Now I know it’s one of the most useful pieces of kit that any Twitch streamer can buy. You can control all sorts of things with it (like lights or cameras), use it to launch programs or switch windows, send messages, and lots, lots more.
Elgato Stream Deck
What I like:
✅ Map macros to single keys
✅ Seamless integration with OBS
✅ Easy drag-and-drop software
✅ It looks great on my desk
Overlays, alerts, banners
Ever wondered how your favorite streamer gets all those fancy graphics to appear around the edge of their screen? Chances are they’ve got a sweet pack of overlays, alerts, and banners to enhance their content.
So far I’ve only talked about the hardware you can buy to improve your Twitch streams, but overlays are a really affordable way to take your stream from poor quality to professional (you can even get them for free if you know where to look).
There’s an endless amount of different sites where you can buy overlay packs or individual banners, panels, and emotes. Own3D has great options, including officially licensed graphics from specific games.
Don’t get angry at backseating on Twitch – just fire off a custom emote and laugh it off!
Subscribers love to feel like part of the community and one of the best ways to help them with that is to buy or create your own custom sub badges.
When a viewer pays to subscribe to your channel, a sub badge will automatically be displayed by their name in the chat.
You need subs, not viewers, to make money on Twitch, and sub badges are a little thing that gives a little back to the people who’ve given a little to support you.
Own3D has plenty of premade badges, plus a custom badge maker tool.
One final cost-effective feature for enhancing your Twitch streams is a library of stinger transitions.
Stinger transitions are short animations that make switching between different scenes in your stream a million percent prettier.
If you’re feeling brave, you can even make your own custom stinger transitions. There are several good tutorials on YouTube – I think this is the best of them:
How much does it cost to stream on Twitch? (Summary)
It doesn’t cost anything to stream on Twitch. However, if you want to make your stream stand out from the rest, it’s worth spending a bit of cash on some or all of the below:
- A quality mic
- A solid camera
- Fast internet
- Capture card
- Stream Deck
- Sub badges
- Stinger transitions