Do you have a gaming PC and want to stream yourself playing games? You might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and how expensive it can be for a simple setup. Fortunately, it is possible to put together a perfectly decent streaming setup without spending a ton of money. In this post, we'll go over some of the essential components of a streaming setup and how you can get them for less than $200.
Software - Free
Right away, you can get the core of your streaming setup for free. OBS, or Open Broadcaster Software, is a powerful and popular program that allows you to capture footage from your desktop or webcam, mix in audio, and broadcast it live to your viewers. OBS allows you to stream to Twitch, YouTube, and other popular platforms.
Camera - $20
What if I told you that rather than spending money on a webcam, you have a free camera that you can use at your disposal? And what if I told you that the camera tends to be better quality? I think you know what we're getting at - you can use your smartphone as a streaming cam!
Multiple free apps for iOS and Android allow you to transform your phone into a webcam for streaming use. You'll just want to make sure it's plugged into power, so it doesn't shut off.
You might need to spend money on a phone stand or mount so that it can hold up during your stream. Here's a link on Amazon to phone desk mounts that are under $20.
Microphone - $130
One of the most integral part of your stream is the microphone. You don't want to cheap out on a budget mic, but you also don't need to spend hundreds on an expensive audio setup. We recommend our own NZXT Capsule Microphone for your audio setup.
It does become the most important part of the setup at $129.99; however, it's well worth it. It's a simple plug-and-play microphone that comes with a cardioid audio pattern to eliminate sounds from keyboard clicks or noisy fans.
Lighting - $30
We have about $50 left to spend on the setup, which will be just enough for a beginner LED lighting kit. While you can get some pretty amazing lighting options by moving up in pricing range, we think this 2-pack of Dimmable LED Lights from Neewer is perfect for starting off your stream.
For only $30, these are a great option for budget streamers - they come with multiple settings for brightness and even have some optional color filters that you can use as well. Most importantly: some lighting is better than none when it comes to a stream. Lighting is important to help set the tone and make sure your viewers can see you clearly.
And this setup comes in at - $180 total! Even though it's a budget setup, you'll have great audio quality and an amazing starter video quality. This should be just enough to get you off the ground, and when your stream gets more viewers, you can always start upgrading from there.