The games industry has never been as big as it is today. Whilst Africa remains on the cusp of emerging as a major player within the development scene, there exists a subset of personalities within the streaming segment that have been catapulted to fame. Here is a brief guide to getting started from an African perspective.

According to a 2021 study commissioned by the South African gaming site Carry1st and the games analytics company Newzoo, there are 186 million gamers in sub-Saharan Africa, up from 77 million in 2015. South Africa leads the continent with 24 million gamers, with 40% of its people playing, followed by Ghana (27%) and Nigeria (23%) in second and third-place rankings, respectively. Kenya and Ethiopia come in fourth and fifth on the continent with 22% and 13% of their populations, respectively, participating in gaming

Why is this important?

People enjoy playing video games and watching others play them. Streaming has emerged as the next big thing in the video game business with the growth of online streaming platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook (Meta). The best gamers from Africa are participating at the highest levels in practically all international competitions. Top African gamers include Dangerous Dave (South Africa), Sirlucem (Nigeria), Queen Arrow (Kenya), GeeMax (South Africa) and AliasV, a female gamer also from South Africa .

Many gamers desire to be able to support themselves financially through their hobby. One method to achieve it is by streaming, but in a world where everyone is already streaming, you need to stand out from the crowd. Depending on the gaming devices you use, different equipment is required for streaming. Do you intend to stream PC or console games separately, or both? When weighing these possibilities, keep the following in mind: 

If you were to consider what the pro streamers are doing, you might believe that an effective streaming setup requires an expensive rig with a branded microphone, a complete lighting setup, and more. While investing in dependable equipment can be helpful, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started, and expensive equipment won’t guarantee the success of your stream. So, what can a tight budget get you?

Getting Started

Streaming Software – 0 Dollars

There are a few excellent options you can get for nothing at all, which is great news for those on a tight budget. To record, encode, and broadcast what you’re doing on Twitch or YouTube, you’ll need specialist software. The open-source Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is accessible on Windows, Linux, and macOS. Because of its adaptability, customizability, and variety of plugins and features, many streamers are fond of it Source My Republic.

Readily available gadgets already in Kenya

A good webcam is 30 – 60 dollars

You will also need a good webcam. As you play, your audience wants to see how you respond and maintain your “game face.” A good webcam can record your emotions and adds a face to the name literally and figuratively. 

Microphone 40 – 60 dollars

A dedicated microphone is also necessary for your commentary so that your viewers can hear you. Some headphones do come with built-in mics. Quality headphones are at least 80 dollars and can act as a substitute for Microphones however, the audio quality will not be as clear.

Interfaces and mixers 0 dollars.

The use of audio interfaces and mixers can help you clarify your sound. Additionally, they can add other effects like reverb and echo. You can combine several audio sources, such as audio clips, in-game sound, background music, your voice, and any other extra inputs, to create a seamless stream with clear audio using a mixer-interface combination.

If you want a proper mic, but can’t afford the rest of the hardware (mixer), you can grab an XLR to USB cable and download VB-Audio Voicemeeter, a free virtual audio mixer.

Optional Accessories (Lighting and Green Screens) 0 – 150 dollars

Green screens allow you to stream console games through a PC while changing what is seen behind you. Other accessories such as An LED ring light or a soft box could provide you with improved lighting, which will enhance the quality of your image and allow your viewers to see you more clearly. The gentle light these sources generate flatters your face, and many of them have adjustable intensities. To cut costs you can always try the setup in a well-lit room but the problem with sunlight is it is sometimes inconsistent. 

As you can see, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to start streaming. But if you want to take your streaming seriously, there are some things you might want to save up for and buy (particularly camera and audio equipment).

If you’re just getting started, don’t stress about having everything perfect; upgrading your hardware as you develop your gaming and streaming abilities is part of the process.