From your device’s screen to the monitors of viewers all around the world.
As another chapter of the ongoing Livestreaming boom enters Mobile Game streaming has been all the craze with both big and upstart streamers targeting a new audience composed of a good mix of both the hardcore gamers and casual fans. While back in the day setting up a livestream may seem equivalent to rocket science, these days setting up can be a breeze with equipment made widely available in the market, and the as well as the presence of many helping hands from the community most of which are eager to share a thing or two about setting up livestreams.
Still, even with streaming games from a PC or a console may seem to be as easy as 1-2-3, Mobile Game livestreams can get a bit tricky and getting the proper setup can have you spending more money than you should have without proper guidance. As there are already step by step guides available out there, this quick (or more like lengthy) How To will aim to help you more in terms of deciding how your setup should look like as we compare and contrast different methods to have your Mobile Gameplay broadcasted over the internet (and perhaps earn you some Subs too! or is it called Stars now?)
Disclaimer: No, this guide will not help you earn subs or stars 🙁
Your PC Build
Wait? Aren’t we talking about Mobile Game livestreams? What’s up with the PC? Well essentially, your PC will obviously be the supporting workhorse of your setup, handling half the task with encoding and broadcasting your live video and as well as running your broadcast software complete with overlays, inserts and all of the custom stuff that appears on your stream. Since we are talking more about Mobile Games your broadcast PC build doesn’t have to be overkill so you can stop thinking about selling a kidney for that lovely RTX 2080 unless of course playing the latest AAA Glorious PC Master Race video game offerings is up your alley. Essentially, the main thing to consider for a broadcast build is Processor strength and as well as Memory capacity and quite frankly, if you really just wanna focus more Mobile Game livestreams then something like an Intel Core i7 Skylake would be a good starting point, paired with 16GB of RAM. As for your GPU, a GTX 10-series card would be more than enough with the GeForce GTX 1060 being the preferred model since it will also let you take advantage of any NVENC Video Encoding support that your broadcast software might have. Still if you’re in it for the long haul, getting straight to a Coffee Lake or maybe even an AMD Ryzen 5 isn’t all that bad provided that you wish to maximize your stream quality and of course invest in broadcasting more games in the future.
iOS or Android? iOS and Android!
There has already been some good arguments regarding which mobile operating system is better or has more features but for Mobile Game Livestreaming it usually boils down to device power. Although the Android may offer a wide variety of devices to choose from, the iOS side is a common preference for the majority of pre-existing streamers simply because of the horsepower that many of the latest iOS devices offer. It’s quite obvious that despite maybe just recently mimicking many Android features, iOS devices, the latest ones released from the past 2 years at least pack a punch when it comes to work power letting you maximize your game’s graphical quality without sacrificing your output quality, from mirroring your screen to the output of your own broadcast. Android phones are not completely left in the dust however with its wide variety of choices and with mid-range devices already sitting close to flagship brands in terms of processor and graphics capacity. For instance an Oppo A57, previously a mid-range device but now getting close to becoming an entry level smartphone, despite being only equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 and 3GB of RAM, can still offer decent screen mirror and event direct from device stream output, also, the presence of new high-end Android devices such as the ASUS ROG Phone and the Razer Phone opens up a new demand for the Android field as gamers and creators alike are presented with new products that lean towards their interests. Now speaking of mirroring.
Screen Mirroring and Direct-from-Phone
Screen Mirroring is the process of duplicating your Smartphone device screen via an application to a window in your Desktop which makes game capture easier, Direct-from-Phone on the other hand is a term that we invented since we don’t know what to exactly call streaming your games directly from your device via an App from the PlayStore or the iTunes App Store. Now take note that mirroring will still require you utilizing an Application but would require less phone resources although you would need to purchase extra equipment to just to get it right. Various applications such as Apower and Vysor enable you to mirror your screen using a USB Cable or through WiFi connectivity although commonly, the mirroring process is only limited to Video output as Audio is locked behind the freemium paywall. With hardware and network connectivity in-play the mirrored output can also be subject to delays with the data being transmitted from your phone to your PC which is why high speed data cables should be greatly considered and as well as 5Ghz WiFi connectivity, not just on your WiFi router but for your device as well. Livesreaming directly from your phone is another story however as, once again, it all boils down to the device’s overall horsepower if it can handle the load of rendering game graphics, encoding video and broadcasting live all at the same time.
Applications such as the Omlet Arcade are available for free, and while most applications are initially only limited to broadcasting what is shown on your screen, some are slowly upgrading with options such as adding overlays and even using your phone’s front camera as if it was your streaming webcam is being made available. Picking the right device for the right job is key with the Direct-from-phone setup, with elements such as Processing Power and RAM capacity being your main deciding factors. Mid-range devices with at least 2GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 can handle the job pretty well based on my experience paying around with my lowly Oppo A57 smartphone although you will be subject to heating issues as the device will be doing 3 or more major things at the same time namely; the game, encoding the video and launching the broadcast.
So Mobile Gaming livestreaming is all about playing a Mobile Game on a live broadcast which means that Emulation or the use of Emulators such a Bluestacks gets an easy pass as it means that you will only have to invest heavily on your Gaming and Broadcast PC and worry less about your phone preference. Setting up your equipment also involves lesser factors and may feel easier than one with a mobile device as it mimics your typical PC Game Livestream setup, capture the emulator screen, put in overlays and voila. However, streaming using Bluestacks or any other Emulator can also be dependent on what games you want to play, turn-based RPGs, or maybe even Point and Click RPGs and as well as Card Games will have it easy, whereas MOBAs are a whole different scenario as you have elements such as Linear and Vector Targeting and as well as different Ability Casting options to consider. If you’re really up to the task of playing and streaming MOBAs on an emulator though, then you could up the challenge by also incorporating a gamepad because why not?
Should you get a Tablet?
Ask a mobile game streamer, any of them, especially the big stars here locally, as to what device they’re using and almost everyone, or at least a good majority, would respond with something like an iPad Pro instead of flagship smartphones or actual phones. Maybe that’s how they’ll respond or maybe I’m wrong but choosing tablets over actual handheld smartphones can make a lot of sense. The smartphone’s nearly inherent design choice of putting cable ports either on top or at the bottom end of devices could be annoying, if not, straining on the hands and fingers especially during prolonged livestream sessions as you have to adjust your landscape orientation grip to make sure that you don’t accidentally bend or break your cables and ports. Enter the tablet and a stand and you don’t have to worry too much about gripping your device for more than 2 hours with all the pesky cables attached. While one might say that phone stands might also help deal with the smartphone situation, tablets offer more screen real estate even when put on a table allowing you to maneuver through your games with ease and helping make sure that you still get that clip-worthy play. Still though, handheld smartphones may come closer to dealing with the cable problem as ASUS ROG’s solution which involved an attachment for the ROG Phone that allows the charging and audio ports to be put on the side of the device away from your fingers when handling the phone on landscape seem to have inspired some new 3rd Party accessories that also allow the same capability, so we’re sorta seeing a nearly-cable-free future ahead.
For real, this is the MOST IMPORTANT part, content creation can be tedious, harsh, a hit or miss, you could land on a sweet spot or be in it for the long haul and it may take a while before you find your own niche and lay the foundation of fans that will soon become hordes that will watch all of your livestream shows, but aside from having an actual plan of taking advantage of this booming interest, never forget to have fun in what you do and enjoy all the good stuff that comes with it.
Now go out there, have people Subscribe to you and earn those stars.