So what do you need to start a gaming channel on YouTube? We'll be honest, it does require a good deal of effort to start up a channel succesfully.
Nearly 5 billion videos are watched daily on YouTube, so we understand you may feel like you'd be a small fish in a big pond.
There are a few different ways you can go wrong when making a channel, too. That's why we want to introduce you to some ideas and tips for best practices to get you off to a great start on YouTube.
This article will cover the following topics:
- Gaming channel name ideas
- Equipment setup suggestions
- How to set video goals for growth
- How to grow through collaboration
If you've been hesitating about starting a gaming channel on YouTube, now is the time to move forward with your plans.
Let's jump right in and take the first step towards creating your brand new gaming channel!
YouTube Gaming Channel Ideas: How to Start from Scratch :
1. Idea: Choose your category
Try answering the below questions according to which category of gaming you will pursue:
- Let's plays: Do you want to specialize in one type of game or play a mix of genres? Will you upload long videos or a series of short videos? How will you appear on-screen—voice only or voice plus camera recording?
- Tutorials: Think of the games you have mastered (make a list!), which ones could you successfully teach to others? Will you comprehensively reveal all game secrets or generally teach how to play the game? What other kinds of tutorials are you interested in making—do you have some expertise such as game design?
- Livestreams: What kind of games will you stream? What will your streaming schedule be like—daily, weekly, at night, long streams or just a couple hours? Will you primarily stream on YouTube or Twitch—do you want to split your time between both platforms?
Note: A common method is playing part of a game on Twitch live, and then recording yourself playing the rest to upload to YouTube.
- Reviews: How comprehensive will your reviews be—in-depth discussions or casual conversations? What kind of review format will you use—will you record gameplay then review, or only review after playing off-screen? Do you have a genre you'll focus on or do you want to be a variety gamer? What are your favorite gaming review channels—what is it you like about them specifically?
- Other (a mix of the above): Will you have a primary focus—reviews, let's plays, tutorials? Or will you be a true variety channel with a little bit of everything? What gaming channels give you inspiration and what do you like about them?
2. Idea: Think branding—name ideas
Before creating any content at all, you'll want to think about your branding and come up with a cohesive brand image for your channel. This includes a channel name, channel artwork, and logo (basically). You should also consider opening other social media accounts to accompany your new YouTube channel, such as Twitter and Instagram. It's good to be available to viewers in more than one place.
Creating a channel name can be one of the trickiest parts of starting a gaming channel. See our ideas below for inspiration!
YouTube gaming channel name ideas
- If you don't have a specific gaming category, use something short without too much specificity. That's because you want your name to be applicable to a wide range of game types since you're not planning on catering to a single gaming niche. We suggest your name plus game. So if your name is Sarah, then SarahGame or SarahGaming is a great choice.
- If you do have a specific gaming category, choose something simple and easy to pronounce that viewers will be likely to remember. For example, if your category will be Minecraft tutorials, then MinecraftTutorials would be the simplest name you could invent!
Note: It may seem boring, but you don't want to use a bunch of random words and numbers in your name. If you do, viewers will have trouble remembering your channel.
- If you're still having trouble thinking of a name, we recommend trying a username generator. Below we've listed two that we think are fun! One is based on your interests or keywords and the other creates usernames based on word forms like adjectives or verbs.
Username generators we like
Below you can see a few names we discovered just from playing around with these generators for a few minutes:
3. Idea: Consider equipment
Below we'll dive into some setups from real gaming YouTubers, including channels of three different sizes to get an idea of what type of equipment is being used by channels from smaller to supersized.
Equipment examples from real YouTubers
Less than 50k subscribers: NotVali's setup
NotVali, 46k subscribers, 43 videos uploaded
Channel description: Content Creator/ Entertainer on YouTube
- PC: Custom build PC - EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC (GPU) & AMD Ryzen 7 2700X (CPU)
- Recording: Streamlabs OBS open broadcasting software for live streaming
- Audio: Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone
Over 100k subscribers: NoisyButters' setup
NoisyButters, 331k subscribers, 286 videos uploaded
Channel description: Hey yall! My name is Butters and I like to make videos on gaming, tech, vlogs, and other topics I find interesting. Positivity and Happiness!
- PC: Custom build PC - MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (GPU) & Intel i7 8700k (CPU)
- Recording: Logitech C920 Webcam
- Audio: Blue Blackout Spark SL XLR Condenser Microphone
Over a million subscribers: Jacksepticeye's setup
Jacksepticeye, 21m subscribers, 4,090 videos
Channel description: Top of the mornin’ to ya, laddies! Welcome to my channel, my name is jacksepticeye. I am a very energetic let's player with a big heart who just wants to have fun and make people happy. Subscribe if you are into daily gameplay videos as well as live action and sketch comedy videos.
- PC: Custom build PC - EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN X (GPU) & Intel i7 4770k (CPU)
- Recording: Sony a7R II Alpha Mirrorless Digital Camera
- Audio: Neumann U 87 Ai Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Did you notice some similarities between the lists? This might give you a hint that many YouTube gamers have similar equipment, so there is definitely some gear, like the EVGA GeForce GPU, that has gained popularity among gamers.
Take a look at the full Jacksepticeye tour below, if you're curious!
4. Idea: Set video goals
For gaming, you'll need to consider quality and quantity. Gaming YouTubers are known to be prolific uploaders, most popular channels having thousands of videos. You'll face the challenge of uploading frequently while keeping the quality up to par. Before uploading any videos, consider what your schedule will be like and set realistic upload goals.
You should avoid uploading videos here and there with no rhyme or reason. Even if you only have time to make one video per week, viewers will come to expect that weekly upload, and that anticipation is what you want.
How often you upload will really vary depending on what type of channel you have. Livestreaming versus video game reviews require entirely different types of time commitments, for example.
If you play an entire game off-screen for a single review, then you can't be expected to upload one video per day, for example.
Consider what is possible according to your daily life and try to stick to your uploading schedule as best as you can, especially once you start gaining subscribers.
We recommend uploading a lot at first. As much as possible, really. You need to build a base of content for your channel so potential subscribers can see what your channel is all about at a glance. If you only have a few videos uploaded, then it's hard to fully grasp your channel's theme—plus having an inactive channel is a proven way to turn off potential subscribers.
Our last reason for setting an upload schedule is that it will benefit you just as much as your subscribers. It's way too easy to procrastinate without a schedule, which can became a dangerous pattern leading to inactivity. If you know you're committed to uploading every Friday, then throughout the week you should be preparing for that upload, and you'll feel great once you get the video done as you planned!
5. Idea: Reach out
Once you've established a solid foundation of videos on your channel and gained some loyal subscribers, you should consider reaching out to other gamers in your YouTube neighborhood. This means other YouTubers who have a similar number of subscribers and upload a similar quality and quantity of videos.
The reason why it's important to reach out to similar YouTubers is that your likelihood of successfully collaborating will be much higher. If you try to collaborate with a channel having millions of subscribers when you are still gaining your first thousand, chances are you won't get a response.
We definitely still recommend reaching out to your favorite YouTubers even if they do have a much bigger subscriber count, but just be sure to contact similar size channels while you're at it to increase the odds of hearing back from someone.
Below we will go more in depth concerning what it takes to pull together a successful collaboration on YouTube.
Your first gaming collaboration: What to know first
1. When you decide who you want to contact, find their email address (it can usually be found in the YouTube About page), and use appropriate email etiquette. Address them by name and say why you want to collaborate with them. Be sure to provide some collaboration ideas too so they don't have to come up with everything on their own.
Note: You can also get in touch with other YouTubers through social media, of course, but an email is a little more personal.
2. Once you've found another YouTuber who is ready to collaborate with you, set a deadline for making the video. It's no good if you both say you want to collaborate but have no firm plan or day in mind. Try to be as concrete as possible. Plan exactly the type of video you'll make (funny, serious, or informative? something else?) and set a date!
3. After filming a collaboration video, you need to decide how you will both release the videos. Most likely you each have a different video to upload to your channels separately. We recommend releasing one as "Part 1" and the other as "Part 2", and direct your audiences to each other's channels to view both parts. This will generate the most traffic across both of your channels.
4. It's important to also discuss how you will promote each other's channels to your audiences. This is important because you may be disappointed if you sincerely make an effort to send your audience towards your collaborator's channel but they don't even tweet about it. Make sure you're both on the same page before releasing your videos.
5. Lastly, consider timing. Will you both release the videos on the same day or will you make viewers wait for the second video to build anticipation? Either way is OK in our book, but just be sure to discuss your approach ahead of time.
6. Time to get started
Now that you've read this article, we hope you have the information and motivation you need to start your gaming channel!
YouTube can always use more creative, dedicated content, so we're sure you'll make a fantastic contribution to the platform.
Once your channel is up and running, if you want to find out how to get more views, check out our article about Markiplier that will teach you how to improve your channel the way Mark did.