How to Stream on Discord

How to Stream on Discord

Discord started as a group-chatting platform where gamers can hang out with like-minded people. In June 2020, Discord expanded its horizons, welcoming users with interests in other activities. The rebranding led to a rise in the number of Discord users, which currently sits at over 200 million – a far cry from its 2017 count of 8.9 million users.

If you are a gamer, streaming on Discord is a great way to reach a wider audience. Even Ninja has a Discord account. Would you like to learn how to stream on Discord and improve your brand visibility? Below is everything you need to know.

How to Set Up Streaming on Discord

You can access Discord via its app for Android, Mac, Windows, and iOS devices, but you can only stream with the Windows version.

Getting Started

  1. Launch Discord for Windows, then pick the server you want to stream on. Remember, each server represents a different community. If you like, you can set up your own server and community, but you have to get people to join your community.
  2. After picking the server for your streaming, start running the game you want to stream. If Discord recognizes the game, hit the Go Live button beside your avatar and username.
  3. After hitting Go Live, you will see a menu. If Discord did not recognize your game, select Change from the menu. Choose your preferred voice channel for streaming your session, then click Go Live.
  4. Your stream should be live now. If it is, a preview of your streaming will show in a small window on the Discord screen. Place your cursor over the preview window and click the cog icon. The icon will take you to the Stream Settings menu, where you can adjust your stream’s frame rate and video quality.
  5. Note that free users can only stream at 60fps and 720p. If you want better video quality, like 1080p or higher, you have to pay $9.99 per month for Discord Nitro.

Adding a Game to Discord Go Live

The game you are trying to stream must provide access to the Go Live icon. If it doesn’t, you can add the game yourself by opening the Settings menu. Hit the cog icon on the bottom left of the screen, then choose Game Activity from the list on the left of the screen. Click the blue Add It option in front of “Not Seeing Your Game.”

Select your game from the provided list, then return to your server. When you click the Go Live button, the game should start streaming.

How to Watch a Discord Stream

If you want to watch someone else stream on Discord, place your mouse over the user’s name and click Join Stream. To know when a user is streaming, check the voice channel for a red Live icon next to the user’s name.

Conclusion

Follow these simple steps to start streaming on Discord. If you stream on Twitch or YouTube, you can sync your accounts with your Discord account, allowing you to stay connected with all your subscribers from the other platforms and grow your Discord community.

How to Check Twitch Chat Logs [2020]

How to Check Twitch Chat Logs [2020]

An active Twitch account can get hundreds of comments every day. Not every interaction will be friendly or useful, but many are valuable. Do you remember that helpful tip from a commenter about how to improve your Twitch channel? No? Well, it’s a good thing you can dig up that conversation from your old Twitch chat logs.

Before we show you how to check Twitch chat logs, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of reviewing your chat history.

Importance of Checking Twitch Chat Logs

Your Twitch chat logs are archives of every conversation had on your channel. Maintaining and checking your chat history can help you with the following:

Identifying Inappropriate Comments

If your channel becomes a haven for trolls and other online bullies, viewers may start avoiding you. Even worse, ignoring offensive comments might lead people to assume you agree with the offending party, which can affect your brand image. Inappropriate comments that breach Twitch’s Terms of Service (TOS) can also lead to your channel getting blocked.

Regularly review your chat history to identify offending commenters and take necessary actions.

Evaluate Disciplinary Actions

If you believe Twitch has penalized you or one of your viewers unfairly for an alleged statement, you can appeal the punishment. Find the pertinent conversation within your chat logs and show Twitch what really happened.

Gather Useful Data

Your chat log is a treasure trove of new content ideas from your viewers. Other useful data your viewers might intentionally or unintentionally leave in your comments include:

  • Feedback on how to improve your streaming
  • How to grow your brand
  • Who your top competitors are
  • What type of content your viewers want to see

Regularly read your chat logs to see how you can give your viewers a more satisfying experience and increase your number of followers.

Opportunities

Big streamers sometimes drop invitations to collaborate with upcoming streamers within their chats. Avoid missing great opportunities by frequently checking your chat logs.

Get to Know Your Community

As your community grows, your loyal followers will develop lingo and inside jokes that only those who follow your channel will understand. Use the slang to communicate with your fans and share jokes. Otherwise, you might alienate your followers. Also, staying in the know about your loyal viewers shows you care, fostering even more loyalty and engagement.

How to Check Your Twitch Chat History

Twitch is constantly improving its moderation tools, but finding your chat logs on the platform can be tricky. If you are having trouble finding yours, here are some of the best ways to get it done:

Watch Your VODs

Twitch recently added a VOD chat recording tool to its app. It lets you record streaming sessions, and it’s the best method for viewing old chats in their unedited form. For example, if a user made a comment and later edited or deleted it, watching your VODs will reveal the original comment, not the edited version. 

If you don’t want to slog through hours of chats, Twitch’s in-app VOD recording lets you view chats sent by specific users during past streams. Note that affiliates can only access VODs from the last two weeks of recordings; non-affiliates can view VODs from only a few days ago.

Use Chatty or Another Third-party Program

The chat tracking tools provided by Twitch are useful but not the most robust. An open-source, java-based tool like Chatty offers more options for monitoring and tracking old and new chat logs. Note that Chatty stores chat logs for only a few weeks, after which they get deleted.

Learning how to use the tool may take a while, but once you master it, you can log your chats and review them for various purposes. Chatty also lets you store Twitch chat logs locally for review later.

User Search Command

Are you looking for a comment from a specific user? On Twitch, you can type a user’s name into your channel’s chat search box and get useful data about that person. Some of the information Twitch will provide when you use this method include:

  • All the comments the user left on your channel
  • All the comments your moderators left about that user
  • When the user created their profile
  • The number of messages the user has sent on your channel
  • The number of times the user has timed out in your chat
  • The number of times Twitch has banned the user

The user search command is particularly useful for confirming if a banned user is utilizing a different account to comment on your channel.

Chatbots

Nightbot and other Twitch chatbots can moderate and filter your chat on your behalf. The automated software makes logging your chats a breeze and can even help you create a searchable log of every comment in your chat. Some chatbots also let you store your chat logs locally on your computer. Don’t forget that your chatbot will only work after activating it.

Twitch’s data-sharing rules do not permit posting chat logs online. If you have chat logs stored locally, do not share them publicly. Otherwise, like OverRustle Logs, you could get bad news from Twitch’s legal team.

Become a Moderator

Moderators can view the chat logs of each user. When logged in as a moderator, click on Moderator View (the sword icon on the bottom right of your screen) and the name of the user you want to review. Every comment that user made will appear, and you can also view various useful information about that user, such as if they have any active bans or reports.

Conclusion

Twitch is the fastest growing game streaming website, and reviewing your Twitch chat logs has numerous benefits, from flagging inappropriate behavior to content improvement and moderation. Of all the above methods, using a chatbot is probably the easiest way to track and monitor comments from specific users. Keep in mind that each chatbot is different, so make sure you choose one with features that can achieve what you want.

Best PC for Streaming [2020]

Best PC for Streaming [2020]

It is not enough that your PC can play the latest games without lagging or overheating. Your PC must also be powerful enough to live stream your gaming skills to the ever-growing gamer community. If you are lucky, you could be the next Ninja or Pokimane and earn millions for streaming your content.

To make this dream a reality, we are going to show you the best PC for streaming, but before that, let’s look at what makes a great streaming PC.

What makes a good streaming PC?

The common misconception is the best PC for streaming must have the highest GPU possible. While having a high-end GPU is beneficial, it is not the primary requirement for live streaming. The GPU powers the rendering of the game and image creation, while the CPU transcodes the rendered game into videos for streaming online.

What does this mean?

A high GPU is necessary for the seamless playing of demanding titles like Fortnite and PUBG. If the CPU is low, the computer will struggle with transcoding your gaming session for live streaming.

The minimum CPU or processor a streamer’s PC must have is Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500. Either will let you stream at 720p without issues, but if you want higher-quality streaming, your PC must have at least Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 1700. These processors guarantee high quality 1080p streaming.

The higher the processing power of a streaming PC, the more it will cost. If you are on a budget, you can get a good streaming PC for around $1,000, but if you want the very best, be ready to pay $3,000 or more.

Aside from processing power, the best streaming PC must support fast internet speeds. At least 3MB per second is the recommended minimum download speed for smooth live streaming. The best internet download speeds come via Ethernet, not Wi-Fi, so your PC must have provisions for an Ethernet cable.

According to Twitch, other features your streaming PC must have are at least 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a Windows 7 operating system or the iOS equivalent. If you want a PC that can also perform 3D rendering, video editing, and other resource-intensive tasks, get a system with higher specs.

Is one PC enough?

In the old days, you needed one system for gaming and another for streaming, and not every streamer could cope with the multitasking or cost of owning two PCs. Fortunately, you can now find all-in-one PCs that are powerful enough to do it all. Here are the best of these systems and their strengths and weaknesses.  

If you wanted complete streaming set up you can also look at purchasing two PCs for a dual PC streaming setup.

What are the Best Streaming PCs?

Skytech Archangel Gaming Computer PC Desktop – Ryzen 5 3600 – The Best Budget PC for Streaming

Skytech products are popular for offering high performance and attractiveness at competitive prices. The Skytech Archangel, powered by a third-generation AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor and powerful GTX 1660 graphics card, is no different. The PC costs less than $1,000, but its processing power for gaming and streaming is on par with that of pricier PCs.

Its impressive aesthetics combine an RGB tempered glass case with attractive LED lighting. Unlike other gamer PCs that come without accessories, the Skytech Archangel comes ready to play with its own gaming keyboard and mouse.

The Ryzen 5 3600 Processor is a six-core, 12-thread processor. It guarantees no worries about ghosting, low frame rates, poor sound or picture quality, or stuttering while gaming or streaming.

Powering your gaming experience is a GeForce GTX 1660 GPU from NVIDIA. If you want, you can easily upgrade to a higher GPU, but this 16 Series GPU is powerful enough to play your favorite titles. The GPU also facilitates streaming by offering a dedicated hardware encoder that supports gaming and live streaming on your favorite platforms, including Twitch.

Since the Skytech Angel is a budget gaming PC, it is not the most powerful on the market. If you are streaming and playing a demanding game simultaneously, you may notice a drop in the system’s overall performance.

Other notable features of the Skytech Archangel are its 8GB DDR4 RAM and 500 GB SSD. The 8GB DDR4 RAM lets you launch and switch between programs with minimal lag, while the 500 GB SSD ensures shutting down and booting up within seconds. Combine the two features, and you have a smooth-running PC with superior responsiveness.

For internet connectivity, the PC has an Ethernet (LAN) port for steady online connection and download speeds. If you prefer wireless, the system has 802.11ac Wi-Fi, supporting up to 3.46Gbps internet speeds. The PC has 3x120mm RING RGB LED fans to keep things cool, which are efficient, silent, and pretty.

Skytech Archangel’s operating system out of the box is Windows 10, which is user-friendly. Lastly, the system offers NVIDIA Ansel’s fantastic photo mode, which is perfect for streamers who want high-grade snapshots of their gaming sessions. You won’t need any extra accessories or software to screenshot and share high-resolution, 360-degree, HDR images of your gaming.

Depending on the settings you choose, you can play games like PUBG and World of Warcraft at 1080p Full HD resolution with 60+ FPS. More demanding games, like Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, may not run as smoothly, but that is fair for a PC that costs less than $1,000. If you reduce the game’s graphic settings, you should be fine.

If you are on a budget and do not mind that the Skytech Archangel is not the best for gaming and streaming at the same time, you should get this PC, or you could go for one of the pricier PCs on our list.

Pros

  • Comes with a gaming keyboard and mouse
  • High-grade components
  • Sophisticated ventilation in a compact case
  • Satisfactory streaming and gaming performance

Cons

  • Reasonable price
  • Limited upgradability
  • Not the best for simultaneously streaming and gaming

CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC – The Best Mid-tier PC for Streaming

CyberPowerPC has pleased gamers and streamers for years with reasonably priced PCs that are reliable, fast, and just as important, fun to use. The highly regarded brand has won several awards over the years, including the PC Magazine 2018 Reader’s Choice Award for Overall Desktop PCs.

The CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC continues that heritage by being a competent system for live streaming your adventures. For a little under $2,000, the system comes ready to play with a gaming keyboard and RGB 7 color mouse.

Powering the PC’s superior gaming performance are a new generation Intel i7 9th Generation Processor and NVIDIA Graphics Processor. Both are leaders in graphics and computing processing and deliver sufficient power for some of the most demanding games on the market.

All of that power sits within a sleek chassis with tempered glass on the side so you can see the inner workings. The interior also has LED lights that give the entire setup a sci-fi appearance.

The 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor is an intelligent system that delivers faster performance. It yields significant power, but what is most impressive is its ability to share resources and send power where and when it is most needed. You can multitask with ease, meaning live streaming while you mow down enemies on Call of Duty or recover bounties in Red Dead Redemption will not be a problem.

You can live stream in 720p or 1080p, but a slight drop in performance may occur if you are running multiple demanding applications simultaneously.

For an impressive gaming experience, the PC uses the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Series. Combining NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture and RTX technology offers sublime graphics processing with real-time ray tracing, programmable shading, and artificial intelligence. Gameplay on the PC is among the best even when you are on ultra-high game settings and high resolutions.

The graphics card is so powerful it can even handle virtual reality gaming. Out of the box, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme is VR-ready and compatible with HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift for a fully immersive gaming experience.

Running all that power generates lots of heat, which would be a problem if not for CyberPowerPC’s high-performance liquid cooling system. The cooling system features a 120mm aluminum radiator, copper plating, and an integrated pump. The sealed mechanism prevents evaporation and leakage while providing quiet server-level cooling.

For internet connectivity, you can use the Ethernet slot or the 802.11 AC Wi-Fi. The operating system is Windows 10 with DirectX 12 gaming optimization for higher FPS and richer graphics. The PC’s components are easily upgradable, especially since the casing is easy to open.

Get the CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme if you want a reliable and powerful system that is not overly expensive and straightforward to upgrade. You will enjoy peace of mind with a 1-year parts and labor warranty and free lifetime tech support to protect your investment.

Pros

  • 1TB HDD and 240GB SSD for more storage space and performance
  • It can support 4K gaming and comes VR-ready
  • Attractive and ergonomic interior
  • Quiet and efficient cooling
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • The out-of-the-box mouse is not the best quality
  • A higher RAM would be better

Corsair One i164 Compact Gaming PC – The Best Value for Money Streaming PC

The Corsair One i164 is a pricey PC at over $3,000, but it could be a worthwhile investment if you want a compact and sturdy PC for live streaming your gaming sessions.

The Corsair One i164 has a subtle and compact exterior design that might make you doubt its capabilities. Its chassis is a 2mm thick aluminum shell that stands at just 19.25 inches. It has built-in RGB light pipes and comes with CORSAIR iCUE software for personalizing the lighting to suit your aesthetic preferences.

Since the body of the PC is small, you can place it on your desk without worrying about space. On the inside lies an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics processor, an Intel Core i9-9900k, and prized Corsair DDR4 memory. The three combined deliver incredibly fast performance for a wide range of demanding games.

The Intel Core i9 Processor is a modern 9th generation system. It delivers enough power to run games and hefty creative software without any significant drop in the PC’s performance. Multitasking, especially live streaming in 720p or 1080p, is smooth and satisfying.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Graphics card supports the Core i9 processor by letting you play games at their highest settings. The card also supports 4K displays on multiple screens and VR gameplay.

On the memory side of things, you have SSD storage and hard disk storage. The SSD offers 960GB of memory for fast loading speeds and quick boot-up times. The hard disk storage is 2TB for storing your videos and other files.

Separate from all of this is the graphics memory, which is 11GB. The standalone graphics memory ensures that GPU processes do not interfere with the system’s 32 GB DDR4 RAM operation.

Corsair One i164’s cooling system keeps the system running safely and smoothly while you work or play hard. Like the CyberPowerPC, the Corsair One i164 uses liquid cooling to achieve low temperatures with minimal noise and power consumption. The CPU and GPU each have their own radiators, ensuring maximum cooling on all fronts.

Consider getting the Corsair One i164 if you are not a fan of flashy PCs. It might be compact and pricey, but it delivers a top-quality gaming and streaming experience. Plus, it comes with a two-year warranty to protect your investment.

On the downside, compared to the less expensive PCs we have looked at, this Corsair One does not come with a mouse or keyboard. Considering the PC’s price tag, the lack of accessories is disappointing but not a deal-breaker since most gamers prefer pro gaming mice and keyboards.

Pros

  • Impressive 2-year warranty
  • Efficient and silent cooling
  • Powerful processor and graphics card
  • Ideal for multitasking
  • Small enough to fit into most spaces

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Does not come with a mouse or keyboard

Corsair One i160 Compact Gaming PC – The Best Top-End/Powerhouse Streaming PC

The Corsair One i160 takes everything amazing about the Corsair One i164 and improves it, including the compact size. The i164 is about 19 inches tall, but the i160’s height is under 15 inches. The i160 is also almost 10 pounds lighter than the i164.

Despite being smaller and slimmer, the Corsair One i160 is more powerful than the i164, offering more storage space and smoother performance. The smaller design and higher performance come at a higher price – approximately double what you would pay for the i164.

If you can afford the hefty price tag, features you can expect from the Corsair One i160 include an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Dewclaw graphics processor and Intel Core i9-9900K processor. NVIDIA’s new Turing architecture increases the speed and frequency of GDDR6 memory, leading to higher graphical power.

The Core i9 processor supports the graphics processor with enough power for demanding games and live streaming without slowing down. The processors also support multi-display viewing on up to three 4K displays. If you want a PC that can support virtual reality gaming, the Corsair One i160 is a great buy. You can pair the latest VR systems from various brands for the most immersive gaming experience.

iCUE performance from the i160 is something else to consider. The system uses a liquid cooling system and quiet fans to prevent overheating. You can adjust the fans, but not the liquid cooler’s pumping speed. It is not a problem since setting the PC to Extreme performance mode will cause the fans to generate up to 1,467RPM, which is enough to keep the CPU and GPU cool.

If you want to upgrade components and make this PC more powerful, you have limited options. You can easily reach the hard drive in the tray between the motherboard and the power supply. The RAM sticks are also accessible and easy to replace while getting to the CPU will require taking out the liquid cooler pump.

Upgrading the SSD or GPU is more of a hassle, but these units already offer significant streaming and gaming power, meaning they probably won’t need an upgrade.

For its high price, one would expect the i160 to come with Thunderbolt 3 ports, but it does not. Instead, you are stuck with USB 3.1 ports, which deliver limited transfer speeds. The Ethernet port on the PC is also underwhelming since it does not support 10GB Ethernet. These missing features are not deal breakers, but having them might make the extremely high price tag easier to swallow.

If you are looking to spend big on a small but powerful gaming PC for streaming, the Corsair One i160 is worth considering.

Pros

  • Two-year warranty
  • Compact enough to fit any work station
  • Sleek aesthetics
  • Powerful enough to satisfy the most demanding gaming and streaming needs

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Few upgrade options

New Alienware Aurora R11 Gaming Desktop: The Best Popular Pick PC for Streaming

Every year, at least one computer from Alienware pops up on lists for the best PC for streaming and gaming. That’s because every computer from the brand has something impressive to offer in terms of power, efficiency, durability, and speed. The Aurora R11 Gaming Desktop is no different.

The first thing about the Aurora R11 that will impress you is its aesthetics. It looks like nothing else on our list, and at first glance, you probably will not realize it’s a PC. The body looks like an otherworldly monolith, and the RGB LED AlienFX lighting really sets it apart.

After drooling over its exterior, the next thing that will impress you is its computing power. The Aurora R11 has 10th Generation Intel Core i7 10700KF processors combined with factory overclockable processors. The processors can handle hours of extreme gaming without any performance issues. Multitasking is a joy, regardless of if you are running multiple games or playing games and live streaming.

The graphics card is NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB GDDR6 – one of the best the market has to offer. The graphics processor supports real-time ray tracing, which delivers realistic shadows, lighting, reflections, and more. The increased realism makes for a more immersive gaming experience that most gamers can find only in VR.

Other features that make this PC a popular choice among gamers are its 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Boot) and 1TB 7200RPM SATA. It also comes with 16GB Dual Channel HyperX FURY DDR4 XMP. The HyperX FURY memory ensures faster performance and lets you utilize large data sets more efficiently in real-time.

Aside from being attractive to look at, the Aurora R11’s body prioritizes efficiency. Its unique design optimizes airflow, which keeps heating to a minimum. If you want to upgrade any of the inner components, the PC makes it super easy with a PSU swing-arm that you can open without tools.

The layout and lighting within the computer’s interior ensure that you can see everything clearly and upgrade components with ease.

Is the Alienware Aurora R11 expensive? It is not super affordable, but it costs far less than many other PCs on our list. If you want a mid-priced PC for gaming and streaming that will turn heads, the Alienware Aurora R11 is worth the money. Plus, it comes with a solid warranty, and the manufacturer offers exceptional customer service.

Pros

  • Lots of convenient upgrade options
  • One-of-a-kind case design
  • Reasonably priced for its quality

Cons

  • The fans get loud

Conclusion

The best PC for streaming will depend on your unique needs and preferences. As you can see from our list, several options are available to fit different budgets. Based on our experience and the average customer review, we believe the Corsair One i164 Compact Gaming PC is the best overall PC for its price.

It is compact and durable, meaning it can serve your gaming and live streaming needs for years without any problems. Its powerful features also guarantee that the PC can handle any demanding games that come out in the next few years.

Once you have your streaming PC set up you can then look at purchasing peripherals.

4 Alternatives to Elgato’s Capture Cards

4 Alternatives to Elgato’s Capture Cards

Are you looking for an easy and effective way to capture game footage from your PC, PS4, Xbox One, or other gaming consoles?  

While there are many options, the best way is to use a game capture card. Capture cards work by converting your gameplay into video formation and automatically saving it. You can then transfer the video to your computer or other storage devices. 

Elgato capture cards are perhaps the best in the market, but they can be costly. This article explores some of the best alternatives to Elgato capture cards. 

Why Use Game Capture Card?

You are able to stream without a game capture card, however, The primary purpose of capture cards is to record or stream what is running on your computer screen. It sounds cheaper to use an application like XSplit Broadcaster to do the same than investing in a third-party device. However, you should realize that the application utilizes your PC’s hardware resources.

As such, it takes up a lot of processing power of your CPU and a massive amount of memory from your RAM to work efficiently. If your PC lacks sufficient hardware resources to run the game and the streaming application, you’ll end up with a poor-quality stream.

It’s best to invest in dedicated hardware for capturing gameplay footage to ensure you have excellent quality streaming or footage regardless of your PC’s hardware specifications. That’s where game capture cards come in.

However, you’ll find a wide selection of capture cards on the market, so it can be challenging to choose the best one for your needs. Here are some of the factors to consider when looking for the best game capture card:

  • Image quality: Before you pick a capture card, look for the image resolutions it supports and the number of frames per second (fps) it can record. A good game capture card should record in at least 1080p or Full HD. If you want extremely high-quality footages, a capture card that records in 4K or Ultra HD is ideal. 
  • Input types: Before choosing a capture card, make sure it has the right input for the device you want to use for record. While most modern gaming consoles use HDMI, some older devices use component cables. If you want to capture gameplay from old consoles like the Nintendo 64, invest in a capture card with a component video input. 
  • Interface: A capture card’s interface is the way it connects to your recording computer. USB is the most popular interface, thanks to its ease of use. PCIe is another excellent interface, but it isn’t easy to set up. Other cards use the Thunderbolt interface. 

Now that you understand the significance of game capture cards and how to choose the best one for your needs, let’s explore some of the best options to consider.

Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+

Key Features:

  • Unencrypted HDMI input
  • Zero lag passthrough HDMI output
  • HDR 10-bit recording
  • In-built HEVC encoder
  • HEVC/H.265 HDR and AVC/H.264 encoding
  • Supports 480p 60FPS, 576p 50FPS, 720p 30/60FPS, 1080p 30/60FPS, and 2160p 30/60FPS resolutions
  • Dimensions: 32mm x 111mm x 142mm / 1.25in x 4.37in x 5.59in
  • Weight: 345g / 12.16oz

Elgato has become a household name in everything related to general game streaming and game capture cards. The company’s 4K60 S+ is one of the best high-end external game capture cards you can buy in 2020.

Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is ideal for content creators and livestreamers. If you’re looking to capture premium footage without compromising graphic quality, this capture card won’t disappoint. It can record and pass-through Ultra HD footage at 60FPS.

You won’t even require a computer to record. The capture card comes with a built-in, dedicated HEVC encoder, which allows you to record to an SD card. However, you’ll have to buy the SD card separately.

The onboard HEVC eases the burden on your computer’s CPU and keeps video files at manageable sizes, which is necessary for recording 4K 60FPS with HDR.

Another remarkable attribute of this Elgato capture card is that it can automatically adjust recording resolution, file format, and bit rate on any device it’s plugged into. That means you won’t spend a lot of time fine-tuning your settings.

Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+ is an excellent device for content creators who are always on the go and looking for a convenient way to record gameplay. So, if you usually travel while streaming and making content, this game capture card would serve you well.

One of the downsides of this capture card is that there’s 250ms latency during livestreaming. You’ll also need a high-spec computer for editing edit HEVC, MKV 4K60 HDR videos. Nonetheless, if you need an impressive game recording experience, the 4K60 S+ will deliver, thanks to its game-changing capabilities that you might not find in other capture cards in its class.

Pros:

  • HDR10 pass-through and recording
  • Ability to record 4K 60FPS HDR10 directly to a memory card
  • Support for MKV recording
  • No PC needed for recording
  • Onboard HEVC chip for capturing small-sized footage
  • Support for line-in recording
  • Excellent build quality and aesthetics
  • High portability

Cons:

  • 250ms latency in livestreams
  • High-end PC required for editing HEVC & MKV files
  • No support for 1440p in pass-through
  • Very expensive

Razer Ripsaw

Key Features:

  • Uncompressed 1080p 60FPS
  • 4K 60FPS pass-through
  • HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 connectivity
  • 3.5mm audio cable
  • Full audio mixing capabilities
  • Supports 480p, 720p, 1440p, 1080p, and 2160p resolutions
  • Compatible with PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One  
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 86mm x 17mm / 5.12in x 3.39in x 0.67in
  • Weight: 183g / 6.4oz

Are you looking for the best capture card for Xbox One? Maybe you’re fed up with lag and compromising your system’s performance while streaming? Then you might want to look at Razer Ripsaw HD.

This capture card is one of the best and cheapest alternatives for Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+. The Razer Ripsaw HD records your gameplay as uncompressed raw data and streams with virtually zero latency. The capture card also has a 4K pass-through, allowing you to play on your usual PC at high resolution without sacrificing your stream or gaming experience.

Many streaming devices use dedicated hardware to handle their audio, but this capture card can also handle basic audio mixing. It comes with a 3.5mm input and output, allowing you to easily plug in an aux-in music source or a mic-in enabled microphone to layer your stream with commentary.

While most game capture cards come with their software, the Razer Ripsaw HD works with some industry-leading broadcasting apps like XSplit and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). With this capability, you can use a wide selection of powerful tools to create high-quality content.

It’s worth noting that connecting the capture card to any broadcasting apps is a two-step process because the process splits video and audio into two separate channels. You have to add both audio capture and video capture to set up the Razer Ripsaw HD properly.

This game capture card comes with a USB 3.0 interface, allowing you to record game footage from your computer and consoles up to 1080p at 60FPS. Quality is impressive, capturing uncompressed 1080p video.

Overall, Razer Ripsaw HD is an excellent capture card for any streamer looking to get started with content creation. It’s simple and user-friendly, and it does everything the manufacturer says it can do.

Pros:

  • 1080p 60FPS video capture
  • HDMI 2.0 for 4K 60FPS pass-through
  • USB-C 3.0 interface
  • Ease of use
  • Compact design
  • Competitive price

Cons:

  • No high-frame-rate capture for PC
  • Capture software not included
  • No component input

AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt

Key Features:

  • HDMI 2.0 input
  • HDMI 2.0 output with lag-free pass-through
  • Thunderbolt 3 interface
  • Format: H.264 and H.265
  • Supported resolutions: Up to 2160p at 60 FPS, 1440p144 or 1080p240 and 140Mbps bitrate
  • Dimensions: 120mm x 120mm x 29.3mm / 4.72in x 4.72in x 1.15in
  • Weight: 348g / 12.27oz

AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt is another excellent Elgato capture card alternative. For many years, AVerMedia has consistently produced fascinating game capture cards, from simple configurations to more sophisticated 4K pass-through cards. The company’s Live Gamer Bolt is ideal for users looking to future-proof their gaming devices for 4K content frame capture.

This capture card is one of the best for streaming. If you want 4K 60FPS gameplay capture and your PC can handle it, you can’t go wrong with AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt. It is one of the external capture cards that can record 4K HDR at 60FPS, thanks to its Thunderbolt 3 interface.

Thunderbolt 3 can handle up to 40GB/s transfer speed. GPUs also use this port to connect to laptops. With this bandwidth, this capture card can push through the required video data to record a full 4K frame 60 times each second at bitrates of up to 240Mbps.

It delivers an exceptionally low latency level, at only a few milliseconds, making it ideal for games that require swift reflexes. It captures high-quality footage at either 1080p24 or 4Kp60 HDR.

Another remarkable attribute of Live Gamer Bolt is that it’s easy to set up. All you need to do is plug in your gaming device or HDMI switch box into the video-in, run a cable from the video-out to your monitor or TV, and the Thunderbolt 3 cable connects to your PC’s Thunderbolt 3 port.

The notable drawback of this capture card for streaming is that you need a Thunderbolt 3 interface. That means you can use it with only a few compatible gaming consoles and laptops. Be sure to check your system’s ports before you purchase the AVerMedia Live Gamer Bolt.

Pros:

  • 4K60 HDR capture capability
  • 1080p recording at up to 240FPS
  • Excellent quality footage
  • Hyper-low latency input
  • Almost zero impact on your system’s resources
  • Innovative design
  • Highly portable

Cons:

  • Requires a Thunderbolt 3 interface
  • Requires a high-spec PC for 4K60 HDR
  • Quite expensive

AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K

Key Features:

  • HDMI 2.0 input
  • PCIe x4 Gen 2 interface
  • HDMI 2.0 output with lag-free pass-through
  • Format: H.264 and H.265
  • Supported resolutions: Up to 2160p at 60 FPS, 1440p120 or 1080p240, and 140Mbps bitrate
  • Dimensions: 125mm x 151mm x 21.5mm / 4.92in x 5.94in x 0.84in
  • Weight: 208g / 7.33oz

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly capture card that allows you to capture 4K60 footage in HDR, you might want to consider the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K. This card offers support for 240FPS video capture and 1080p, making it ideal for PC gamers playing e-sports titles such as League of Legends.

Besides pass-through, it can also capture HDR. The Live Gamer 4K also comes with RBG lighting for visual customization. This feature comes in handy when your PC case needs a couple more lights. When it comes to build and design, this card is so compact that you can easily slide it into smaller and packed cases.

While the manufacturer mainly targets video game streamers with this card, you don’t need to be a gamer to benefit from it. The Live Gamer 4K is a powerful tool for anyone involved in computationally intensive recording and streaming.

The capture card saves files in MPEG4 format, which is compatible with most devices. The notable setback is that you can’t switch to alternative formats such as AVI, but that’s not a deal-breaker.

This capture also comes with CyberLink PowerDirector 15 and RECentral software. CyberLink helps you edit 4K video content. RECentral is AVerMedia’s streaming app that allows you to stream, configure, and record your content. This software offers the same level of customizability that you’ll find in major streaming apps. It allows you to set up your webcam, microphone, digital overlays, and other tools.

Pros:

  • Impressive HDR compatibility
  • 4K 60FPS support
  • Full HD, high-frame capture up to 240FPS
  • RECentral for streaming
  • Lighting customization
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Tendency to be slow when you’re changing settings
  • Quite expensive

Final Thoughts

A wide selection of game capture cards is available on the market, but the cards listed in this post are some of the best to buy in 2020. While Elgato capture cards tend to deliver the best gameplay capture experience, they’re often expensive and require high-end computers to work properly. So you can consider cheaper alternatives like Razer Ripsaw HD and AVerMedia’s Live Gamer Bolt and Live Gamer 4K. We, however, recommend the Razer Ripsaw HD as the best Elgato game capture card alternative because it offers almost all functions you would need in an Elgato card at a much lower price.

Best Headset For Streaming

Best Headset For Streaming

The best headsets for streaming allow for gaming, streaming videos, listening to music, and communicating comfortably. Plus, they ensure top directional surround sound, comfort, and high-quality audio in streaming and gaming sessions.

In this audio guide, we compare the top 5 best headsets for streaming and look at everything from their build, price, durability, and sound quality to enable you to choose the best one for your needs. 

What to Look for in a Streaming Headset

As streaming enthusiasts, there are several things to consider when purchasing the best headphones for streaming. Consider the factors below to separate the best gaming headsets from sub-par ones.

Audio Quality

Audio quality typically varies according to the price of the headset. Higher value headsets designed for gaming feature 7.1 Dolby surround sound, making the listening experience out of this world. However, you can still get decent quality sound with slightly cheaper headsets for a decent streaming experience.

Build and Durability

When choosing a headset, you should also consider its build, aesthetics, and durability. A good headset is built with quality materials that last to save you from replacing it every few months. You’ll also want a headset that looks and feels good and probably comes in a variety of attractive colors.

Budget

As with all purchases, you should consider your budget when looking for the best headsets for streaming. While not every gaming headset and microphone may be in your price range, you should aim to go for headsets that give the most features.

At the very least, consider headsets that have some steel construction over purely plastic ones. Also, look for units with decent audio quality, comfort, mic noise cancellation, and platform compatibility. Remember, when it comes to wireless connectivity and Dolby 7.1 surround sound capability, the price of your headset will likely increase. As long as the features mentioned above are present, you could pick a wired and regular sound headset if budget is a concern.

Comfort

Streaming and gaming, by their very nature, require that you wear a headset for extended periods. Because you want to feel comfortable, always pick a headset that includes features such as ear padding and adjustable sizing. Check the specifications of your chosen headset carefully to ensure that your choice will be a good fit.

Noise Isolation

Noise isolation needs may differ from streamer to streamer. However, it’s essential to note that the better the noise isolation, the better the sound quality when you stream. It would be best to go for headsets that feature superior noise isolation to enjoy better surround sound and positional imaging as you game and stream.

Mic Quality

Try to choose headsets with in-built streaming microphones over headsets that require additional external microphones. These all-in-one units not only save you the hassle of looking for an extra microphone but also feature a more precise mic quality that enhances the quality of your streaming session.

Platform Compatibility

Perhaps this factor is the most important to look for when choosing the best headsets for streaming. Some headsets are not compatible with all platforms (Xbox, Mac, PC, etc.), and you may end up buying a unit that’s not compatible with yours. It’s essential to check that the headset you intend to purchase is compatible with the platform you’re streaming or gaming on to avoid wasting your time and money.

Top 5 Best Headsets for Streaming

ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless With Charging Base Station – For PC, Xbox One and PS4

ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless With Charging Base Station

Best Overall Headset for Streaming

Built for extended streaming and gaming, the ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless Headset is at the top of our best headsets for streaming review.

These units feature remarkable audio quality across every frequency, a precise microphone, and a comfortable build for those long gaming and streaming sessions. They also have excellent mic quality that transmits voice without interruption. 

Additionally, these units feature Dolby 7.1 surround sound, making your streaming or gaming experience more immersive and realistic, coupled with several EQ presets and software. You can turn it off with the click of a button when you prefer the standard sound. 

The 5.0 GHz wireless technology ups the price of these units, but it’s worth it; as you stream or game, you won’t have to worry about lag. 

The Astro Gaming A50 also features a high-quality aesthetic, lightweight, ergonomic, and durable build, and comes with extended 15-hour battery life, extremely vital for long streaming or gaming sessions.

Furthermore, this unit comes with a convenient magnetic charging dock. Plus, it is compatible with two of the most popular gaming consoles – PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as your PC.

Key Features

  • Over-Ear Headphones Form Factor
  • Wireless Connection
  • Product Dimensions – 7.28 x 3.48 x 7.17 inches
  • Weight – 1.49 lb

Pros

  • Retains audio quality over low and high ranges
  • Incredibly comfortable even for extended wear
  • Comes with a charging station
  • Durable and lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some users find them too small

EPOS I Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset – For PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Smartphone

EPOS I Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset

Top Headset for Audio Quality

The EPOS I Game ONE headset by Sennheiser features extraordinary audio quality suitable for streaming and music. This premium headset has an esthetic build, durable quality, and a precise, responsive mic that will both enhance and upgrade your streaming experience.

Choose between a white or black model with red metallic features to highlight the design. All versions also come with a sturdy carrying case for safe travel and storage.

Additionally, these headsets allow for an immersive soundscape and unique sound experience, especially if you’re used to using closed-back headsets. While closed-back headsets cancel out much of the external and ambient sounds in noisier game environments, the open-back EPOS headsets are the better choice in quiet spaces. They produce a cleaner and more spacious sound that’s unlike anything you’ll have heard before.

Plus, they’re comfortable too! The velour ear pads are suited for extended sessions, and the plush breathable ear cups prevent overheating and unpleasant sweating.

The microphone quality is also excellent and transmits voice without breaks or crackles, resulting in a clean and clear sound. The mic’s flexible boom arm adjusts seamlessly for the best voice pick-up, and the microphone design cancels out ambient noise for clear communication and acoustic clarity. Furthermore, the microphone conveniently goes to mute when you raise the boom arm.

With all these features in hand, you’d expect to pay top dollar for these units. However, the EPOS I Sennheiser GAME ONE headset is quite affordable and represents excellent value for money. Competitive gamers may decry the lack of Dolby 7.1 surround sound capability, crucial for an immersive experience. Nevertheless, whether you’re a casual music listener or a professional streamer, this headset is one of the best headsets for streaming for the money.

Key Features

  • On-Ear Headphones Form Factor
  • Wired Connection
  • Product Dimensions – 2.44 x 2.5 x 9.25 inches
  • Weight -1.38 lb

Pros

  • Excellent noise isolation
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Ergonomic open-back design
  • Easy-to-use adjustable built-in microphone

Cons

  • Open back design allows some sound leakage
  • Bulky design

HyperX Cloud Flight – Wireless Gaming Headset – For PC, PS4, and PS4 Pro

HyperX Cloud Flight - Wireless Gaming Headset

Best for Long Multi-Hour Streaming Sessions

The HyperX Cloud Flight Wireless headset with impressive 30-hour battery life is our best pick for long-session streaming and gaming.

This premium headset with reliable, gaming-grade wireless connection and signature memory foam cushions allows the avid gamer to play uninterrupted without worrying about discomfort. 

With a closed-up design that allows for a fully immersive experience and a higher than average construction, plus a durable steel slider that can withstand wear and tear, you won’t have to worry about replacing this unit anytime soon.

What’s more, setting up these headsets is incredibly easy as they are plug-and-play. All you have to do is place the USB dongle into a USB port, turn it on, and you’re good to go. These headsets are easy to use with convenient controls for LED effects, volume, power, and mic mute.

Note, however, that this headset comes with its own mic level settings. You may need additional software to adjust the mic levels higher for better audio during your streaming session.

This headset is also quite versatile, compatible with PCs and PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles using a 2.4GHz wireless connection. The rotatable ear cups rest comfortably around your neck, making it seamless to break off your streaming or gaming session, and the detachable noise-canceling mic ensures crystal-clear communications and easy storage when you take a break.

All in all, if you’re an avid gamer or stream for long hours, this minimalistic, travel-friendly headset makes an excellent buy.

Key Features

  • Over-Ear Headphones Form Factor
  • Wireless Connection
  • Product Dimensions –  7.48 x 3.43 x 7.36 inches
  • Weight – 10.1 oz.

Pros

  • Incredibly lightweight and minimalistic
  • Detachable, travel-friendly microphone
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Extended 30+ hour battery life

Cons

  • Limited platform compatibility
  • Mediocre mic quality

Logitech G432 DTS:X 7.1 Surround Sound Wired PC Gaming Headset (Leatherette)

Logitech G432 DTS:X 7.1 Surround Sound Wired PC Gaming Headset (Leatherette)

Best Budget-Friendly Headset

The Logitech G432 DTS:X 7.1 Surround Sound Wired gaming headset is the most versatile and affordable headset on our review list.

These units are enhanced with premium Soundscape technology in huge 50 mm audio drivers that deliver an impressive sound. For maximum gaming immersion, the DTS Headphone: X 7.1 Dolby surround sound enables in-game positional awareness that promotes preemptive play and competitive advantage.

These headsets are also lightweight and minimalistic for comfortable extended wear during multi-hour streaming, music listening, or streaming sessions. Enjoy premium features such as a flip-to-mute mic and rotating ear cups for ease of use and multi-platform compatibility for versatility.

Additionally, the single 3.5 mm cable can work as headphones and a microphone coupled with your smartphone but just as quickly can hook to your PC using the USB adapter.

You won’t have to pay top dollar for these units. These headsets, even with so many features, are the most affordable in our review. However, you’ll find that the Logitech G432 does not have the same audio clarity and mic responsiveness as other headsets.

Additionally, the mic lacks noise cancellation and isn’t as precise at picking up sound, but users can enhance the voice quality in quieter environments. Also, the headset lacks Dolby 7.1 surround sound, but as with the microphone, some EQ tweaking can alleviate this issue to an extent. When you purchase your headset, you can download the G-hub software to change basic EQ settings like bass and treble to improve the sound quality if you find that it is not up to your expectations.

Another factor to consider is the limited durability. Despite an overall good construction, these headsets feature plastic joints that are more susceptible to breakage. Store them carefully, or you may find yourself replacing them sooner than planned. Users have also complained about the ear cups barely fitting on even on the highest setting, causing the headset to squeeze the head more. Also, users found the wiring to be of a mediocre quality, which caused it to break or get bent without much wear and tear.

So if you are a beginner streamer or gamer and you’re looking for the best gaming headset to start, we recommend this pick. They’re comfortable to wear, easy to use, feature decent audio and voice capability, and are affordable.

Just be aware that you may need to replace these headsets if you up your streaming game.

Key Features

  • Over-Ear Headphones Form Factor
  • Wired Connection
  • Product Dimensions –  7.2 x 3.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Weight -1.25 lb

Pros

  • Excellent for casual gaming and streaming
  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Large audio drivers provide an immersive experience

Cons

  • Mic has zero noise cancellation
  • Not as durable

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Surround Sound Gaming Headset – For PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, and Mobile

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Surround Sound Gaming Headset

Best Versatile Multi-Platform Headset

The Razer Kraken is a versatile headset that’s compatible with all the top platforms and gaming consoles.

This beautifully designed headset comes in three attractive colors – mercury white, black, and gunmetal grey, perfect for the discerning streamer. These units feature oval, gel-infused ear cushions that prevent pressure build-up and overheating and a retractable noise-canceling microphone that reduces background noises for excellent communication.

The headset also has Dolby 7.1 surround sound capability that allows users to hear what direction competitor gamers are coming from, giving them an added advantage. However, while the audio enhancer DAC easily connects via a USB connector to various platforms and consoles, the THX Spatial audio is currently available on Windows 10 64-bit only.

The large, custom-tuned 50 mm audio drivers deliver a richer, more immersive soundscape, and the retractable microphone makes this headset travel-friendly and easy to store. What’s more, the inline audio controls that include a mute mic switch and analog volume control wheel make this the most seamless headset to use on the market.

Although the headset has a reasonably heavy design, it is still lightweight, so it is comfortable enough for long sessions with periodic breaks. The large, noise-isolating ear cushions are replaceable with a variety of shape choices (sold separately).

We recommend this headset if you’d rather avoid the hassle of buying different headsets for different platforms and consoles.

The Razer Kraken Surround Sound Gaming Headset is okay to play on multiple platforms and consoles, including PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, and mobiles. However, note that with the Xbox One, you will need an adaptor.

Key Features

  • Over-Ear Headphones Form Factor
  • Wired Connection
  • Product Dimensions – 6.76 x 7.6 x 3.86 inches
  • Weight -11.4 oz.  

Pros

  • Compatible with almost all top platforms and consoles
  • Comes in three attractive colors – black, gunmetal, and mercury white
  • Excellent sound isolation
  • Fully retractable mic for easy storage or travel

Cons

  • THX needs manual activation for separate apps
  • Xbox One adaptor required

Final Verdict: Best Gaming Headset and Microphone

If you’re looking for the best headsets for streaming, we hope this review has made your search easier.

Apart from coming in on budget, your headset of choice should be comfortable to wear, impart Astro surround sound, limit noise interference, and maintain high-quality audio throughout your streaming session. It would help if you considered whether your unit comes with a built-in microphone. Also, check for compatibility with multiple platforms and consoles before you buy. 

Although no streaming headset is perfect, we’ve settled on the ASTRO Gaming A50 Wireless headset as it has all these qualities despite being slightly more expensive than others in its group.

Do you agree with our choice? We’d love to hear from you, so please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy streaming!