streaming tips

10 Helpful Tips On How to Start Streaming

streaming tips

Many people are finding themselves with extra time at home nowadays and you may be looking to find a way to pass the time. Video game streaming can fit this role perfectly. It can be an exciting hobby or even a full time career, but either way it will be very rewarding and enjoyable, but requires work and effort. There are tons of information out there on where to get started. However, a lot of the videos or blogs I've come across focus on the technical and hardware side of things.

While these are very important, I think there are a lot of things that new streamers miss and in the end just get frustrated and give up. Here are my top 10 tips to help get you started and cover some of the overlooked aspects of streaming. I was able to get my Mixer channel up and running quickly and I became partnered within my first year following this guidance and overall mindset.

10 - Just Get started!

You can get bogged down when researching and reading about multiple stream setups, lighting, overlays, multistreaming, etc. The truth is that all these things are beneficial, but not absolutely necessary. Baby steps! Do you have an OK internet connection? Great! Put everything else aside and practice going 'Live'. Current generation consoles make it so easy to stream. Link your accounts and you are ready to go, with or without camera. Lets face it have a face cam is more personable and will help draw viewers, but as the tip mentions: Just get started! If you are cam-less, focus on saving for one and just get comfortable with the setup you currently have. Streaming from a PC is fairly simple as well and you can get yourself setup with my other tutorials.

9 - Play games YOU enjoy

Down the road, you may come to a point where you decide if you will be a 'variety streamer' or you may focus on a specific game/genre. Don't worry about that now. Play what you enjoy and don't try and follow hot game niches just to try and leech some of the viewership. Sure it may work, but it will be short term and not what you want. Remember, you are trying to build a community. A lot of your fans will be fans of games you like and play. It just gives you more to talk about and play and gives people a reason to come back. Playing games you enjoy will also help you relax more and probably help you open up more and show your true personality compared to forcing new games.

8 - Be Consistent

You will probably be balancing work, family, friends and just life overall. Trying to find consistency in a schedule is very important and will help your fans know when you will be going live. Try hard to set a schedule and stick with it. If there are any short term or long term changes, make sure to let people know on social media. Don't forget to let your relatives know as well! Family can be a great motivation and those extra one or two viewers can help the stream too! Just don't do anything to embarrass Mom while you are live :).

7 - Become a viewer

This is a very important point that I feel a lot of people miss. When people start streaming they push and push and try to maximize their hours online. While this is good motivation, it is not everything. In fact, I feel the mix between viewing and streaming is closer to 50/50, especially when you are just starting and trying to get your name out there. Believe it or not, streaming is a social platform. Making friends (and avoid making enemies) is a huge part in building your community. Your online community will always be your main viewer base as opposed to filling your stream with random people.

Find like minded streamers. Find streamers that play similar games or game genres. Focus on fellow new/newer streamers. While some of the bigger established streamers do a great job of interacting, you will have better chances with smaller and less populated streams. This also takes time so don't expect meet dozens of people the first few streams. Remember, most people seem to forget the importance of networking or paying attention to viewers so its typically hard to get noticed by people in your same situation.

6 - Be Yourself

There are a lot of internet personalities out there and while it may be your end goal to create a certain character or persona for your stream self, focus on just being yourself and let your personality flourish on stream. Be genuine. Your audience will notice and appreciate it.

5 - Interact at all times

Lets face it, when you are just starting out your viewer numbers will be low. You will probably end up with some zero or single digit viewer streams. Don't pay attention to these numbers. Focus on your game. Speak your mind...literally. Do it verbally. It may seem weird at first, but speaking to your 'audience' will help you get comfortable in your skin and help you adapt to this new endeavor. Random viewers may also be coming in and out of your stream so if you are constantly interacting, you give viewers a reason to interact back or at least a chance to see you doing your thing.

4 - Start Thinking About Branding

Whether you will be doing this as a hobby or look to do this part-time or full -time, you will want to eventually focus on your branding. So what is a brand exactly? Branding is promoting yourself, your stream, your content. You want to eventually stand out from the crowd and give people a reason to want to come back. When you are just starting out, branding could be as simple as a theme for your channel, a specific font, color scheme, you name it and it probably counts.

3 - Social Media/Discord

Social Media is going to be a great outlet to reach out to your followers and potential viewers. You are probably already on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc with your personal and pet accounts (be honest. You do have a pet Instagram account, right?). It may be good to create separate social media accounts for your streaming persona. It actually may even be necessary for work or other personal reasons. Get those accounts created and linked together in the bios. Remember branding? Use similar fonts, images and eventually your logo(s). All this stuff is related and is very important. Trust me, people notice and appreciate it. When you get to the point of applying for a platform partnership program, it gets even more important to have all this established and coordinated so its good to start early!

Creating a dedicated Discord channel is also key. Discord will be your hangout for before and after the streams. Live streams are great, but there is something about kicking back, chatting or sharing memes outside of streams. It just makes it that much more personal.

Tying into #7, joining other streamers Discords is another great way to network. Your Discord app could great cluttered quick, but it is well worth it. I think at one point I was in over 80 servers just from my Mixer communities.

2 - Be Realistic!

Setting goals for yourself and your channel can be a great motivation. Keeping the goals realistic is also important because no one likes to fail. Maybe set your goals low to begin with. A goal of 'Getting a $1000 donation' probably isn't very realistic. How about maybe a $1 donation or even better....set up a donation page and link your PayPal! Setting up channel viewer goals or follower goals can also be great motivators and can be shown graphically via overlays once you start adding those to your stream.

1 - Patience!

As you have probably noticed, getting up and running, established and popular takes time. This stuff doesn't happen overnight. Streaming can be a lucrative hobby/career, but it will take work and dedication. If you are looking for a 'get rich quick' deal, then chances are this isn't the right hobby for you. Be patient!

Follow these tips and build upon them. Stay focused. Once you start to build a small community, try expanding on it by maybe offering more interactive gaming streams, giveaways, etc. Once you have a baseline branding, expand it! Work towards that killer logo. Merch? Affiliate and partner programs? The possibilities are endless.


So there you have it. It was hard for me to limit the list to ten as there is so much more involved. Streaming is also a highly evolving as platforms are competing with one another to earn your business and call their platform home. While this is great for streaming in general, it forces you to keep up with all the changes and trends. You will constantly be working on your branding and channels behind the scenes. Feel free to leave comments below or message me directly on Discord if you would like additional pointers or want to discuss your channel or branding.

streamlabs setting up a donation link

Streamlabs: Setting Up A Donation Link For Live Streamers

streamlabs setting up a donation link


While I don't think pushing for donations should ever be a top priority for streamers, I think it is wise to get a donation link setup in case someone asks. It is also a good idea to put a link within your live streaming profile. There are many options to choose from when creating an account for donations. Take a look at the options out there and weigh the benefits. Keep in mind that some sites take a portion of your donations, including PayPal.

I personally use Streamlabs as it is simple to setup, links to a PayPal account, has options to add credit cards as a donation option and Streamlabs does not take a percentage of your donations. I also use a Business PayPal account as tracking for tax purposes is easier and it also allows you use a business entity name within your correspondence. If you were to use a personal PayPal account, the name on your account will be included in email correspondence. This may be a concern for some.



Setting up the Streamlabs donation link is fairly simple. Head over to the Streamlabs homepage and click the 'Login' button.


Streamlabs login


Select your account login of choice. In this example, we are logging in via Mixer. If you've completed any of the other Streamlabs guides then you should already have your permissions setup, but if not go ahead an accept all the permissions  to continue logging in.


streamlabs login mixer



  1. Once logged into Streamlabs, click on 'Donation Settings' 
  2. You will see a link in gold, which will be your direct link to your donation page. It should simply be Copy this link and use this in your profile, bot, etc.

You should then see the available accounts you can link to your Streamlabs account. I personally use PayPal and also setup the Credit Card option as those seem to be the most popular donation methods in my channel.


Streamlabs Donation Setting



Linking PayPal with Streamlabs 


Linking PayPal is simple. Click on 'PayPal' and just enter your PayPal email address. Ensure that you have a PayPal account already created or go ahead and create one prior to completing this step. Remember to weigh your options of a personal vs. business PayPal account. Once you enter your email and click 'Submit', it will appear on your Donation settings page.


Streamlabs PayPal setup



Disconnect or Change PayPal account from Streamlabs


If you ever want to remove or change your PayPal account, just click the PayPal option again and click 'Disconnect'. You can then re-add a PayPal account.


Streamlabs disconnect PayPal



Accept Credit Card Donations in Streamlabs

To accept donations via credit card, click the 'Credit Cards' option and fill in the required information. Keep in mind there may be fees associated with credit card donations. They will most likely be taken out prior to you receiving your cut. Once setup, you should see 'Available Balance' and 'Pending' under your 'Donation Settings'. Remember that credit card payments will not be sent to your PayPal account. For me, the credit card donation will be pending for a few days then eventually switch over to your available balance (minus fees). These funds will sit within your Streamlabs page until you link a bank account and transfer the donation to your bank.


Streamlabs credit card connected


Note: When setting up credit card donations, you may receive an account verification popup.

Streamlabs verify account

If this is the case, head over to this Streamlabs support page and follow their guidelines to verify your account. While this may be a hassle to do, bravo on Streamlabs for keeping account security a top priority.



You should be all setup and ready to go. Again, use the unique Streamlabs donation link found in  your 'Donation Settings' page. Copy and paste this link wherever you see necessary. Some potential locations would be within your live streaming profile, a command within your bot, a bot message on a timer, etc.

Your link is now live and set to accept donations. The last thing you want to do is miss a donation during a live stream. You can follow this guide to get your Streamlabs donations notifications to pop up on stream.


2018 PC Build rgb Title

Custom AMD Gaming PC: [Ryzen 2700x, Radeon RX 580, RGB]

2018 PC Build rgb Title


As you have probably noticed, I mainly game on my Xbox One S console, however I am still a PC builder/hobbyist at heart. My full PC build was back in 2016. This was a backup i3 gaming PC that was built mainly with leftover components from other builds along with the cheapest deals I could find.

My current Streaming PC is a custom build I did at the end of 2012. A pre-built 2012 machine nowadays would probably not yield much performance, but because I built this from the ground up, its still alive and kicking and it can still take on upgrades to keep it even more relevant by today's standards. Again, it is decent enough that I am currently using this machine as my streaming PC and don't push much more than 10-20% usage in OBS and it also runs all my real time programs and web apps needed for my live streams. I use a 2017 iBUYPOWER MSI Gaming GE72 as my current Gaming rig and it is connected to my Streaming PC via an Elgato Capture HD card.

While the gaming laptop is a very capable machine, I figured it was time to go all out and put together another beauty of a build for my main gaming PC and save the laptop for travel and work/gaming on the go. So lets get started with this build, shall we?

When I start any PC build, I never go all out and rush to get components. I start with an overall budget and scope out a few of my favorite websites to snag components when they are on sale. Building a PC this way will definitely save you money if you are patient and I would always recommend this method if its not necessarily a priority to go out and buy everything that day. Plan ahead and save cash!

Slickdeals and Reddit/r/Buildapcsales are my go to sites as they are based on user-posted deals that are voted based on popularity. Your front page or 'hot' deals will typically be the best sales and worth looking into.

Disclaimer: Links on this page contain affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

2018 Ryzen RX 580 PC build



Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Mid-Tower Gaming Case (Black and Red)

Corsair Carbide Spec 04 Front

Since my last build was years ago, I never really had been part of the RGB lighting crazy and open case displays. I figured why not? Lets jump right in with a Mid ATX case- not too big, not too small and will allow for some future expansion. The full tempered glass side panel will give us some nice ambient lighting once everything is put together.

I love the front panel design of the Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 case and I especially like it in red. The rest of the case is fairly standard and plain, which is what I was after. Decent air flow was also something I was looking for and this case seemed to fit the bill.


Corsair Carbide SPEC-04 Mid-Tower Gaming Case (Black and Red)



Gigabyte X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WIFI 

X470 Aorus Gaming 7I've always been a fan of Gigabyte and MSI for motherboards as they have bother treated me well over the years. And if I ever had problems, RMA's were never an issue and problems were always resolved quickly. If there is one component I would splurge on, it would be the motherboard as this will help future-proof your purchase and will extend the life of your machine. With that said, my two choices were socket 1151 for Intel or AM4 for AMD. I don't really have a bias towards Intel, but my last few builds (whether my own or for friends) have been Intel as performance has always been top notch. However the generation 2 AMD Ryzen processors totally intrigued me with its performance and price point. The AMD chip also then narrowed it down to AM3 or AM4 motherboards. The first gen AM3 Ryzen boards supposedly work fine with a BIOS update and I could have saved some money, but again, with a new build and a little spending cushion, I figured why not go all out with the latest gen 2 AM4 boards. I ultimately went with the Gigabyte AORUS series honestly because of the loads of features, the built-in RGB design, and the overall sleek look of the board. The AORUS' RGB Fusion seem to have decent compatibility with other components I was looking at. I went with the higher tier Gaming 7 model which include the following features:

  • Supports AMD Ryzen™ 2nd Generation / Ryzen™ 1st Generation
  • Dual Channel ECC/ Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • 10+2 Phase IR Digital PWM Design
  • Fins-Array Heatsink & Direct Touch Heatpipe
  • 2-Way CrossFire/ SLI Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable™ Design
  • Intel® 802.11ac Wave2 2T2R WIFI & BT 5
  • ALC1220-VB Enhance 114dB(Rear)/ 110dB(Front) SNR in Microphone and Built-in ESS SABRE DAC with WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • Dual Ultra-Fast M.2 with NVMe PCIe X4 with Dual Thermal Guard
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-zone LED Light Show Design, Supports Digital LED & RGB LED Strips
  • Swappable Overlay for Accent LED
  • Intel® Ethernet LAN with cFOS Speed Internet Accelerator
  • USB DAC-UP 2 with Adjustable Voltage
  • Integrated Base Plate & I/O Shield Armor
  • Rear Power/Reset/Clear CMOS Button
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save Power with a Single Click

Gigabyte X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WIFI



AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler

AMD Ryzen 2700xWhile the 2nd gen Ryzen's are still fairly new at the time of this writing, the reviews are in and the benchmarks look fantastic. The 2700x definitely holds its own against the 8700k relative to price and performance. The Ryzen has its pluses and minuses, but what basically sold me was the additional cores hence better multi-threading performance. The Intel 8700k still wins out with faster clock speeds and slightly better gaming performance, but you cant get wrong for the money. Plus I was able to knock off an additional $50 off with a flash eBay coupon. Score.

While the included Wraith Prism cooler looks great, I set this aside for now and opted for an all in one water system.

Once You Know, You Newegg


CPU Cooling

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB AIO CPU Liquid Cooler 120mm Radiator

Cool Master ML120L Installed

Again with this being my first build in a few years, I have not had the privilege of having consumer water cooling options available. Although the stock Ryzen RGB fan is pretty sweet, I figured why not jump into water cooling. The Cooler Master fit the bill as it was on sale and of course the RGB Fusion compatible RGB helped sell it. With some modifications, the Spec 04 case could handle a 240mm cooler, but I decided to just stick with a 120mm.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB AIO CPU Liquid Cooler 120mm Radiator


Video Card/GPU

MSI Armor MK2 Radeon RX 580 8GB GDRR5 Graphics Card

MSI Armor MK2 RX580

At the time of this writing, GPU's are still fairly overpriced due to cryptocurrency mining although deals for MSRP are starting to pop back up, as sad as that sounds. Again with GPU's you have the choice of Nvidia vs AMD. I've usually gone the Intel/Nvidia route, but this time around I figured lets match up and go with the Radeon RX 580x. I can save a little cash by going with the AMD card, but I would be suffering a bit in performance as the RX 580x relates to the GTX 1060 line. I also wanted to try out the AMD FreeSync capabilities in my main display. Best Buy was running a sale for $250 plus a $20 rebate on the MSI version so I had to jump on it. Unfortunately this card doesn't have and fancy RGB lighting on it, but lets see if the overall build can compensate for it. I would have shelled out another $100+ for the matching Gigabyte AORUS RGB Fusion card, but I decided to put that cash elsewhere in the build.

MSI Armor MK2 Radeon RX 580 8GB GDRR5 Graphics Card



G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3000MHz (PC4 24000) Desktop Memory

G.Skill TridentZ RGB 8 GB x2RAM was a pretty straight forward purchase in this situation. RGB was a must to go with the overall theme along with AORUS Fusion compatibility to allow full color control. Some other specs I was after:


  • 8 GB (x2)
  • 3000 MHz minimum
  • 16-18-18-38 timing

3200 MHz boost seemed fairly negligible and not a premium I am willing to pay at this point.

So with this criteria, I was left with a few options on the cheaper end. It was between G.Skill and Team T-Force memory with the current available sales.

Both sets of RAM ran sub $200, which again is pretty insane considering I paid half that cost during my last build. But RAM is kinda a big deal so I went with the G.Skill TridentZ, mainly because I liked the simplicity of the top profile of the RGB panel.

G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3000MHz (PC4 24000) Desktop Memory


Power Supply

Corsair CS Series, CS650M, 650 Watt, Semi Modular Power Supply, 80+ Gold Certified

Corsair CS650M UnboxedA simple power supply calculator put me in the ballpark of where I need to be with some breathing room for future upgrades. To be honest, I just went with one of the power supply brands I've used in the past and trust- Corsair. I went with what was on sale and was at least semi-modular. The Corsair CS650M fit the bill at the time had a rebate that brought it down to $50.


Corsair CS Series, CS650M, 650 Watt, Semi Modular Power Supply, 80+ Gold Certified



Mushkin Reactor 960GB Internal Solid State Drive

I've got gigs of available network storage for days and SSD prices have been on their way down so I didn't feel the need to go out all and throw gigs and gigs of storage in this build. A simple 1 TB 2.5" SSD at a sale price would do fine for handling my OS and games. The AORUS board has dual M.2 expansion, which will be nice to experiment with down the road with an M.2 Raid, but again for now a 512 GB M.2 will also do.

Mushkin Reactor 960GB Internal Solid State Drive


Inland Professional 512GB 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 x2 Internal Solid State Drive

M.2 512 GB HD NVMEI wanted to take advantage of the M.2 slots so I went out and picked up a 512 GB NVME card. Installation was simple and it was nice that the motherboard came with the hold down screw as well as some heatsinks. I am excited to check out the blazing fast read and write NVME speeds.




Inland Professional 512GB 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 x2 Internal Solid State Drive


Optical Drive

LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable DVD

Rewriter External Drive

I didn't want to bother crowding up the case with a bulky 3.5" DVD or Blu Ray drive so I went with a simple USB DVD Writer to get the OS installed and just to have a portable optical option. We also run some Macbook Airs in the house and as you may know, there aren't optical drives in these so this will come in handy.



LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim Portable DVD Rewriter External Drive



PCCooler Corona Angel Eye AURA RGB Gigabyte/MSI/ASRock RGB Sync Supported - 120mm Super Silent Cooling

2-Pack PCCooler Corona Angel Eye AURA RGB Gigabyte/MSI/ASRock RGB Sync Supported - 120mm Super Silent Cooling Fan with Slimline LED Halo Ring, Hydraulic BearingMost of the top name RGB case fans are ridiculously expensive as you are forced to pay for the RGB premium at around $30+ per 120 mm fan. I decided to take a risk and go with a lesser known brand that had decent reviews and worked with AORUS Fusion software. I decided to try out the PCCooler Corona Angel fans. One thing I really liked was the fact that the RGB is a single strip that gives off more of a low key ambient glow.

PCCooler Corona Angel Eye AURA RGB Gigabyte/MSI/ASRock RGB Sync Supported - 120mm Super Silent Cooling


Accent Lighting

Phanteks: RGB LED Strip Combo Set

Phantek RGB Light StripI wasn't sure if additional case lighting would be overkill or not as I wasn't sure what to expect with the motherboard lighting, cooler and case fans. I went ahead and picked up some LED strip lighting to run along a portion of the inside case perimeter to add to the ambient effect. This set is fully compatible with AORUS Fusion software when connected via the motherboard controller pins.

Phanteks: RGB LED Strip Combo Set


LED Splitters and connectors

Each RGB product came with some RGB cables and connectors, but I went ahead and grabbed some extras just in case I ran into to any length or input issues. This splitter will also allow me to gang multiple runs together into a single motherboard input. My board has multiple RGB inputs but only a limited amount of the 3 and 4 pin adapters. Plus its always a good idea to have some additional connectors on hand because they are pretty easy to lose track of.





2 pcs black 4 Pins LED Splitter Cable LED Strip Connector 3 Way Splitter Y Splitter for One to Three RGB 5050 3528 LED Light Strips with 8x Male 4 Pin Plugs -30cm/12inch Long (1 to 3 Splitter Cable)


JACKYLED 6.6Ft 60 LED Backlight Strip USB Lighting RGB w/ Mini Controller (Desk accent lighting)

Lets wrap things up with some additional accent lighting for the desk. This controller will run independently from the motherboard lighting obviously, but I figured it would be a good way to tie the stream station into the room.



JACKYLED 6.6Ft 60 LED Backlight Strip USB Lighting RGB w/ Mini Controller




Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Brown Switch

Corsair Strafe RGBSince I am on this RGB kick, I am going to go all out with the accessories. A new mouse was in order anyway and I wanted to go to a full keyboard from my 10-keyless so I went with the Corsair line. While the software won't sync up with the RGB Fusion of the build, the Corsair CUE software will sync up everything on the outside of the tower. I've been a big fan of Brown mechanical switches because I like the tactile feel of Blues but cannot stand the click sound. Browns are essentially Blues without the click: Problem solved. There was a great deal on a refurbished keyboard so I went ahead and picked it up.

  • Cherry MX Brown Mechanical
  • Selectable 8ms, 4ms, 2ms, 1ms and BIOS mode
  • 100% anti-ghosting and 104 Key Rollover
  • On-board Memory
  • FN key multimedia keys
  • WIN Lock
  • Detachable soft touch wrist rest
  • USB Pass-through port
  • FPS and MOBA keycap sets
  • RGBShare Community for custom lighting maps for games and animations

Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Cherry MX Brown Switch - RGB LED Backlit



Corsair Glaive - RGB Gaming Mouse - 16000 DPI - Aluminum

My trusty Razer Naga started having right click issues so I took this opportunity to get some more RGB in my life. Enter the Corsair Glaive. Fully compatible with Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software.


  • Contoured shape: Designed so you can game longer without fatigue
  • Custom, gaming grade 16000 dpi optical sensor:  settable to 1 DPI steps
  • 3 Interchangeable thumb grips
  • Onboard profile storage: Saves lighting effects, macros and DPI settings for universal access to your profile on any PC
  • Surface calibration tuning utility: Optimizes sensor precision and responsiveness for your playing surface
  • All-new, high-performance Omron switches rated for 50 million clicks: Custom tuned for gaming, providing an ultrafast response and reliability over time
  • Dynamic multicolor 3-zone backlighting: Customizable backlighting immerses you in the game by providing nearly unlimited lighting adjustability

Corsair Glaive - RGB Gaming Mouse - 16000 DPI - Aluminum


Mouse Pad

Corsair MM800 Polaris RGB Mouse Pad

Corsair MM800 Polaris Mouse Pad

The matching RGB mouse pad was a must since the mouse and keyboard are Corsair. The Polaris hard surface is great for tracking and is large enough for most gamers. The accent RGB lighting is pretty solid. The thickness of the RGB band is a bit bigger than the headset stand so it stands out a bit more, which is a little annoying, but I'll get over it.


Corsair MM800 Polaris RGB Mouse Pad


Headset Stand

Corsair ST100 RGB - Premium RGB Gaming Headset Stand with 7.1 Surround Sound Headphone Audio

Corsair ST100 Headset Stand RGBSure I wanted something to rest my headset on other than my desk or monitor, but was this really necessary? Absolutely. This thing is built like a tank and the two USB 3 ports will come in handy. I don't know if I will have much use for the simulated 7.1 , but I will give it a try at some point.






Corsair ST100 RGB - Premium RGB Gaming Headset Stand with 7.1 Surround Sound Headphone Audio

Dual Monitor Mount

WALI Universal Dual LCD Monitor Fully Adjustable Desk Mount Stand

WALI Universal Dual LCD Monitor Fully Adjustable Desk Mount Stand


Operating System

Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit OEM - PC Disc

Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit OEM - PC Disc


Main PC Display

BenQ ZOWIE 27 inch eSports Gaming Monitor - 1440p, 144Hz , 1ms (XL2730)

I was never really a big display freak and typically just bought monitors that were on sale at the time whenever I needed one. My current setup consists of an archaic Viewsonic 24" IPS display and an LG Ultrawide. The Viewsonic is my secondary and it serves a dual purpose of PC and console displays. The Ultrawide is my current main display on my streaming PC. I decided to grab two more monitors and step up the size to 27". I've heard nothing but good things about BenQ refurbs and they were running some sales so I jumped on it. The RL eSports console series is very well known and respected so I went ahead with that for my console display. For my main PC display I wanted to also upgrade to a 27". The main features I was looking for were 1440p, 144 Hz and of course FreeSync to take advantage of my AMD components. The BenQ XL eSports series fit the bill here.

BenQ ZOWIE 27 inch eSports Gaming Monitor - 1440p, 144Hz , 1ms (XL2730)


Console Display

BenQ ZOWIE 27 inch eSports Gaming Monitor - 1080p, 1ms (RL2755)

I was looking to upgrade my monitor for my console gaming as well, going from 24 to 27 inch. Since graphics settings are limited by the console, I settled for a 1080p 60 Hz eSports monitor with a nice quick response time of 1 ms. I debated on going all out for a full 4k monitor now in case I upgraded to the Xbox One X or even wanted to take advantage of the Xbox One S 4k up-converting, but decided to hold off for now.

BenQ ZOWIE 27 inch eSports Gaming Monitor - 1080p, 1ms (RL2755)



discords stream announcement bot m8

Discord Live Stream Announcement Bot

discords stream announcement bot m8


A great tool to help attract and keep people in your Discord is the use of an auto announcement bot to shout out your live streams. This can help out streamers by providing a bigger audience over the percentage of their actual followers from Mixer or Twitch. I've discovered great streamers via this method and I think this should be a staple to all live streaming Discord communities out there. The bot in this example is M8 Bot, which is a powerful resource with additional commands and tools built in.

This guide will show you how to invite the bot to your server, set it up with the proper permissions and edit some basic settings for stream announcements.



Pro Tip: The first step is to ensure that you have 'manage server' privileges on the Discord server you are trying to invite M8 Bot into.


Head over to


m8 bot logo


Scroll down the page and click the 'Get M8 Bot' button.




Authorizing and Inviting Bot:

An authorization pop up will be displayed. Click the pulldown and select the server you are inviting M8 bot too. Again, ensure you have 'manage server' privileges to the server, otherwise this will not work. You can leave all the options checked, then click 'Authorize'.




M8 should now be in your Discord server. Find the bot on your viewer list, left click it and you will see that it is given the M8 bot role with the permissions you allowed. I also went ahead and added M8 Bot to my 'Bots' role which group it with my other channel bots.


m8 bot discord



To Add Streamers:

Head to the channel that you would like your announcements displayed in and use the following command:


!addmixer [streamer] for Mixer

!addtwitch [streamer] for Twitch


For example: !addmixer spammarino

You will then get a similar confirmation after you add each streamer:



To Delete Streamers:

Head to the channel that you would like your announcements removed from and use the following command:


!delmixer [streamer] for Mixer

!deltwitch [streamer] for Twitch



Disable @here Pings:

By default, @here pings are enabled. What this means is that members with access to this channel will receive a notification for each message. Pings can be a touchy subject to some especially if they add up quickly. Personally, I do my best to minimize pings on my server and leave pings mainly to important announcements. To disable pings, type the following command. FYI: This is case sensitive.


!set edit livePing false



Change Announcement Message:

If you would like to change the default announcement message that shows up in the M8 bot messages use the follow command:


!config edit liveMixerMessage {{streamer}} is now live on Mixer!


The part after 'liveMixerMessage' is what is displayed as the message. Use the '{{streamer}}' variable to display the streamers account name.



To Verify Your Settings:

run the !config command

M8 bot config

The livePing setting should be set to 'false' to ensure @here pings are disabled.

Your modified liveMixerMessage should also be updated and displayed here in the config settings.



Go Live and Confirm The Bot is Working:


Now all you or your added streamers have to do is go live and M8 bot will do the rest.



The announcement message is a nice clean message showing your Mixer avatar, a screenshot of the game you are streaming, game title and some of your current stats (follower count, Mixer level, total views) along with a timestamp of when the message was posted.



Clean Up Old Messages:


If you run a large Discord server, your M8 announcement messages can add up pretty quickly. To delete old messages, simply run the following command. Enter an actual number, up to 100 at a time.


!purge [number]


General Tips:

  1. Create a separate channel dedicated to stream announcements so your General Chat doesn't get clogged up.
  2. If you have a public Discord server, add regulars and your loyal supporters as opposed to just anyone. Your goal is to to create a community, so ensure your streamers are giving back and supporting your cause.
  3. Encourage members to actively view your announcement channel and check out some streamers they might not yet follow. To be honest, I use my Streamer-Promotion channel as my main notifications when looking for streamers to watch since the Mixer notifications can be hit or miss at times.
  4. Since you must execute commands directly within the channel, when I am making bulk changes (adding a lot of streamers, etc.) I temporarily disable the channel, again to avoid excess alerts to members (even if @here pings are off).
  5. Scroll through some of the older announcement messages and make note of some of the listed stats. This is a nice quick way to see your follower and total view growth.
  6. To check out the full list of commands and options that M8 has to offer, head back to and check out the setup, commands and help sections. This tutorial just cover a small portion to get you and your streamers added to M8 bot's auto announcement.







mixer free sub

Mixer: Free Subscriptions Now Available For Use. Support Your Favorite Partner!

As you may have heard, Mixer has been going through some site growing pains. They’ve been working around the clock to keep things up and running and they have also offered community members free 1 month subscriptions that they can use on their Mixer Partner of choice as long as you complete the steps in the following tweet. This is a full $5.99 savings and you will still reap all the benefits from subscribing, including custom emotes, double XP and Sparks in their channels and more.


As of Wednesday, April 19th 2018, the free sub codes have been applied to accounts and are ready for use! Be sure to go support a Mixer Partner soon as the free sub code will expire within 30 days if unused. Don’t miss out!





Head over to a Mixer Partner’s channel, click the subscribe button up top and then click the ‘Redeem Gift’ button. Enjoy!


mixer free sub


On Xbox

Head over to a Partner’s Mixer channel and click the subscribe button on the top of the screen.






Native Xbox Mixer Streaming with Lightstream Studio

Direct Xbox Streaming: Setup A Lightstream Studio Overlay

Native Xbox Mixer Streaming with Lightstream Studio


OK so now comes the fun part! Laying out and design your own scenes for your Xbox One streams.

If you have yet to link and authorize your Mixer account to Lightstream Studio, make sure to follow this guide first before continuing on.

After everything is setup, it is up to you and your creative talents to put design an eye-catching stream layout. Or is it? If you don't have design in mind or if you don.t have the time to put one together, fear not- Lightstream Studio has plenty of free templates that you can start off with.

This guide will walk you through the process of setting up a pre-built overlay design. I really dig the Mixer themed overlay so lets use that in our example. Once you are comfortable with the process, feel free to experiment with any of the other layouts or you can even venture into create your own design content with the website upload feature.

While you do not need a computer when you are streaming, you will need access to a web browser to do all the setup work.


Head over to Lightstream Studio or click the 'Enter Lightstream Studio' button in your Mixer channel settings in a web browser. Login and authenticate if needed.






You should be in your 'My Mixer Project' if not, click the top left menu icon - My Projects - 'My Mixer Project'. This is the project that contains your Mixer feed as an available layer so ensure you select this project. 

Lets choose our 'Starting Scene' from the scene selection area. Lets take advantage of the 'Starting Scene' and use this as an intro/'starting soon' page. I've discussed this in another article, but a Starting Soon page gives time for viewers to join the stream and there is a sense of anticipation as well.


Lightstream Mixer Interface


  1. Click the '+' Arrow in your Layers section
  2. Select 'Image'


Lightstream Mixer Add Layer


An Image menu will open up on the left side of the screen. There will be a lot of templates to choose from as well as an upload button for custom design. For this tutorial we will focus on the pre-built Mixer template. Scroll down the Images list and click 'More Overlays >' in the Mixer Overlay section.


Lightstream Mixer Starting Scene


Click the 'Mixer Overlays' folder then click 'Select'. Again, lots of pre-built options to explore when you are comfortable setting up your own overlays.


Lightstream Mixer More Overlays


There are multiple options of 'Starting Soon' graphics. If you scroll down you will see a folder containing many more. I like the first one shown so lets click on it and hit 'Select'.


Lightstream Mixer starting soon


The image will load into your project and will be displayed as a new layer. This layer should be above your Mixer Feed layer as you want. You will also want to mute your Mixer Feed layer so no game audio or sounds are playing during your intro screen. Click the mute icon in the bottom left Audio Mixer corner.


Lightstream Mmixer Live Soon Splash




Lets add a new scene that will act as your main overlay scene that will be used for your gameplay. You will switch from your Starting Soon scene to this one, once ready.

Click the Add Scene button at the button. I went ahead and renamed my new scene to 'Main Scene'.

  1. Click the '+' Arrow in your Layers section
  2. Select 'Mixer Feed' to add your main Xbox display scene.



Lets add your overlay layer next.

  1. Click the '+' Arrow in your Layers section
  2. Select 'Images'.


Lightstream Mixer main overlay


An Image menu will open up on the left side of the screen. There will be a lot of templates to choose from as well as an upload button for custom design. Again, for this tutorial we will focus on the pre-built Mixer template. Scroll down the Images list and click 'More Overlays >' in the Mixer Overlay section.


Lightstream Mixer main overlay


Click the 'Mixer Overlays' folder then click 'Select'.


Lightstream Mixer main overlay


Again, there are multiple graphics options for you to experiment with. In this example lets select the first overlay layout then click 'Select'.


Lightstream Mixer main overlay


The image will load into your project and will be displayed as a new layer. This layer should be above your Mixer Feed layer.


Lightstream Mixer main overlay


I love the clean, simple look of the layout! You can repeat the steps to create additional Scenes for 'Be Right Back' and 'Ending' Screens. Go through the pre-built graphics again, and you will see multiple options to choose from.

All your progress should be auto-saving as you work so no need to manually save. Once you are happy with your scenes, you are ready to start streaming off your Xbox with your new overlays!

If you would like to take this a step further and add alerts and an alert history event list, head over to this tutorial to add the respective Streamlabs Alert Box and Event List widgets. Just add these are additional layers to this scene.

Lightstream Mixer BRB Lightstream Mixer Thanks For Watching



Your overlays and alerts will always be active once you toggle the 'Send my Mixer video feed to Lightstream Studio' in your Mixer settings via a web browser. If you would ever want to disable Lightstream, just head back to your Mixer channel in a web browser and toggle the button off in your settings. Toggle it back on whenever you are ready to use them once again. Nice and easy!


Lightstream Mixer toggle


Native Xbox Mixer Streaming with Lightstream Studio

Stream From Xbox One With Overlays And Alerts Via Lightstream Studio

Native Xbox Mixer Streaming with Lightstream Studio


Xbox One streamers, the moment you've been waiting for is finally here! Native Xbox One streaming with overlays and alerts without the need for a PC connection (no capture card or Xbox app needed). That right, you can now live stream directly from your Xbox One S or X and can customize your stream display with graphics and alerts!

This game-changing technology is all made possible via Lightstream Studio's direct Mixer integration. This web based software will allow you to customize your streams with scenes, overlays and alerts for a more professional looking stream. You will need to access the website via a web browser to configure and modify your scenes, but is not necessary when you go live.

As of this writing, this feature is currently available to Mixer Partners and Mixer Pro members, but will be open to all Mixer streamers in the future.



To get started you will need to authorize Lightstream Studio to be used with your Mixer channel.

Head to your Mixer channel in a web browser and make sure you are logged in with your streaming account.

  1. Click your icon in the top right
  2. Click 'Manage Channel'.


Mixer manage channel


Under the Broadcast tab, in the 'Lightstream [Beta]' section, click the 'Authorize Lightstream Studio' button.


Mixer Lightstream authorize


'Approve' the necessary permissions to continue logging in.


Mixer Lightstream permissions


The Lightstream Studio page should open up, but if not, head over to in a web browser to begin customizing a project. You should be greeted with a welcome screen. Click the 'Get Started!' button.


Mixer Lightstream splash


TIP: You may receive a warning to disable your ad blockers for the website to function properly. Make sure to do this to ensure everything is setup and working properly.


You will then see a sample project with a Starting Scene. This is the project you will want to modify as it includes your Mixer feed already. Here is a quick breakdown of the Lightstream Studio UI:

  1. Main menu which give you your settings, project selection, FAQ and a log out option.
  2. Your Layers section, which work similar to Photoshop layers. The layers above will have visual priority and will be displayed on top of the subsequent layers. The automatically created 'Mixer Feed' layer is your Xbox stream. This is your live feed and should be your lowest layer as you want your alerts and overlays above.
  3. Audio Mixer section - Lets you control the audio level of various layer elements.
  4. Scenes Section - Here you can create different scenes and switch them out in certain situations. You can swap scenes via web browser or mobile app.
  5. Display Output Window - This is your display layout that you create. What you see if what you get on your stream.


Mixer Lightstream UI


Again, this is your default Mixer project that will be output to your stream so lets go ahead and customize our Mixer project. Feel free to work with this as your main scene.



In a web browser, head back to you Mixer page - Manage Channel - Broadcast Settings.

Click the 'Send my Mixer video feed to Lightstream Studio' toggle. This needs to be enabled before you go live on via your Xbox. This only needs to be toggled on once as long as you are happy with the Lightstream integration. To disable Lightstream Studio, just come back to this settings page and click off the toggle. If you want to make edits to your Lightstream scenes you can click the 'Enter Lightstream Studio' button as well.


Mixer Lightstream send feed


Congrats! Streaming directly from your Xbox with now interface with Lightstream Studio and display your created overlays on stream. There should not be any noticeable delay in your stream and you should still be able to interact with your viewers in real time with FTL (low latency) technology.


Lets head back to Lightstream Studio and start populating your default scene. Lets add the two most basic overlay elements:

  • Alert Box:  Real-time follower, subscriber, donation and host alerts. You can choose to include sounds and animated graphics, custom colors, fonts, etc.
  • Event List:  A history of your recent alerts. This can also be customized with animated transitions, fonts, backgrounds, colors, etc.


  1. Click the '+' Arrow in your Layers section
  2. Select '3rd Party Integrations'


Mixer Lightstream Studio add source


You will see all the available third party integration options. In our example, we will use Streamlabs. Click on the Streamlabs logo.


Mixer Lightstream Studio 3rd party


You will have two new items on screen. The first being a box for you to enter your Streamlabs alert widget URL.

The next  item will be the actual output window that will be displayed on stream. Feel free to click on this box to adjust and relocate this on screen.


Mixer Lightstream Studio Streamlabs


We now need to head over to Streamlabs to setup and some widget.

Check out this tutorial to setup a simple Alert Box in Streamlabs. Once you've set this up and generated your unique URL, copy it and head back to this section. Ignore the OBS setup section as that is for PC streaming only.

Paste the Streamlabs Alert Box URL in the box back in Lightstream Studio. I also went ahead and renamed this layer 'SL - Alert Box' for better scene management.

You should then get a pop up letting you know that the link was entered properly and accepted.


Mixer Lightstream add Streamlabs source





With both Lightstream Studio and Streamlabs browser pages open, click 'Test Follow' in Streamlabs-Widget-Alert Box. If setup properly, the alert should appear in Lightstream Studio. Go ahead and test out the subscribe, donation and host as well.


Mixer Lightstream Studio Alert Box test





Now lets add an Event List that tracks some of your recent alerts you previously set up.

  1. Again, lets click the '+' Arrow in your Layers section
  2. Select '3rd Party Integrations'


Mixer Lightstream Studio add source


You will see all the available third party integration options. In our example, we will again use Streamlabs. Click on the Streamlabs logo.


Mixer Lightstream Studio 3rd party


Check out this tutorial to create an Event List in Streamlabs. Once you've set this up and generated your unique URL, copy it and head back to this section. Once you've set this up and generated your unique URL, copy it and head back to this section. Ignore the OBS setup section as that is for PC streaming only.


Paste the Streamlabs Event List URL in the box back in Lightstream Studio. I also went ahead and renamed this layer 'SL - Event List'. Keep things organized!

You should then get a pop up letting you know that the link was entered properly and accepted. I've adjust the Event List box window to be in the top right corner of my stream display. You can manually click and drag the handles to adjust the size or click inside to move it. You can also manually enter values in the Size and Position prompts below the window.


Mixer Lightstream Studio Event List



Similar to the Alert Box, lets test this new widget out. With both Lightstream Studio and Streamlabs browser pages open, click 'Test Follow' in Streamlabs-Widget-Event List. If setup properly, the alert should appear in Lightstream Studio. Go ahead and test out the other alerts if you would like. feel free to customize the look of your Event List within the Streamlabs website.


Mixer Lightstream Studio Event Enlarged



As long as you have Lightstream Studio toggled ON in Mixer via a web browser, these scenes will load and be active every time you stream directly from your Xbox One. Enjoy!

Tweak your other settings (camera, quality, mic, controller sharing) via Xbox One as normal.