So you want to start a Nintendo Stream? I don’t blame you. I would love to be a Nintendo streamer, and enjoy playing some Paper Mario for everyone to see. The problem is Nintendo did not make it to easy to stream on the Wii U. Lucky for you it isn’t that hard to setup a twitch stream, it just takes some time and knowledge. I’m here to teach you how to stream Nintendo games on Twitch (or Youtube!)
Internet Speeds Needed to Stream
Let’s go over the most basic requirement first: Bandwidth. Streaming is a very complicated technological feat and it requires relatively fast internet speeds. Hold your horses… keep reading before you call your service provider and ask for a faster internet speed. Most internet services offer large amounts of Download Speed and less Upload Speed. This relation is approximately 90% Download Speed to 10% Upload Speed or 10:1. So if you have a 10 Mbps download, then you likely have a 1 Mbps upload. (Yes that is Mega BIT per second, not Mega BYTE.) This means you receive a block of information at a fast rate, but you can’t send the same block of information nearly as fast.
Why does this matter? Well, for daily browsing you likely don’t care. Most only need to make small requests (upload) and receive larger website data (download). However, if you want to stream it means you need to be sending a lot of data every second through the internet. You broadcast a continuous video image to Twitch and then they broadcast it to anyone connected to your stream. This is why your internet connection needs to have an upload speed that can support pushing that much data every second. A high Upload Speed plan are sometimes referred to as Dedicated Internet plans. Some providers allow “synchronous” connections that keep a 1:1 proportion between your Download and Upload Speed.
To stream 1080p 60FPS, you would need around 5mbps of Upload Speed. That means that you would need a 10mb dedicated internet plan or a 5/5 synchronous plan. When contacting your service provider make sure you let them know what you need for Upload Speed. Also, when streaming always use an Ethernet connection. It doesn’t matter how fast and new your router is, it will never be as fast and stable as a Wired connection.
How to Stream Nintendo Wii U
I’ve been asked this questions many times. I’m not sure what Nintendo was thinking when they said, “Streaming isn’t fun”, but I believe they were hiding weakness in their platform. The Wii U can’t handle live streaming and running a game at the same time. The Wii U lacks a Twitch client to use within the console and it uses an HDMI output for video. The only way we can stream using the Wii U will be through a Game Capture device. Let me tell you something… You are going to need to spend some money.
It would have been great to have on-board streaming capability from a native Twitch application. We could use the Wii U Gamepad to preview streams, start and stop broadcasts, and more. The issue might be the internals missing the processing power to handle this, or more likely, Twitch not being around when the Wii U was designed.
Which Game Capture Device to Use
Game Capture Devices are probably the most important piece in learning how to stream Nintendo games. These small devices connect your HDMI console output and transfer the video out to a computer. They use specialized hardware and software to do this, but once you have the output on your PC you can send your feed into any streaming service. There are several options available, all with different capabilities, but there are only a handful I feel comfortable recommending.
The first company you should be looking at is “Elgato”. They specialize in game capture devices and cards, carrying some of the best customer reviews on the market. Their Game Capture HD60 is by far your best option for streaming Nintendo games on Twitch. It cost $150 to 170 (gotta spend some money) but it is very easy to set up. Just install the software on your PC and connect your Wii U. The great thing about this particular game capture device is that it will provide 1080p and 60 frames per second.
Another device to consider is made by Razer. They are a somewhat overpriced gaming peripheral company that make fancy devices with blinking LEDs. If there is anything the “colorful” gamer needs, then Razer has it. The Game Capture device Razer produces is called the “Razer Ripsaw” and it’s pretty promising. The Razer Ripsaw costs $180, a little more than the previous, but it has some cool features. You can mix audio input from your microphone along with a music source right into your stream. It also provides a 1080p and 60 frames per second output, which should be your priority for anyone playing modern games. If you are really wanting to gear up (and you don’t own a webcam already), Razer also has a special webcam for streamers (more below)! Keep in mind, while this will cost more than other products on the market, Razer does have some pretty useful tools and software to make setting up streams and peripherals easy.
If you have the money, the full package would be around $500. Those considering streaming professionally will consider it a good investment. It will make setting up your stream easier and save you time on learning to hack your own solution together. While the Razer Ripsaw comes with the necessary software to stream, on the Elgato HD60 you will need to download Open Broadcaster to stream.
Microphone quality is one of the most ignored features of new streamers. Many streamers do not use a webcam and do not show their faces. While this may be fine for many fans, not having a microphone, or using a poor quality mic, is absolutely unacceptable within Twitch. The only reason anyone ever watches someone who is not interacting with his audience is when the person is an absolute beast on the game. I’m talking South Korean Starcraft 2 level players, who either don’t talk while they play or we don’t understand a word anyways. But we watch them, hoping some of the skills will rub off on us. Even games that take 100% attention to play often have hosts commenting on the game.
Remember, if you are in the streaming business, then you are in the entertainment business. You NEED to entertain your audience. You are not a god, who people will watch in awe and be amazed at your average to masterful gaming. Using a mic lets you comment on what you are doing, what is going on, your thoughts in the game, and lets you reply to comments on your stream’s chat. A streamer who actively talks to his streamers is the standard on Twitch. The best microphones will cancel ambient noise and give an awesome clear input. Some of these can be expensive, I’m talking studio quality, and we don’t really need that. What we need is something good to start with. This means a good headset, that is correct, any good headset will have decent audio and won’t cost too much. Also you will look pretty cool wearing it if you also get a webcam!
Any headset from Razer, Steel Series, Roccat, or even Logitech will do the trick. (DO NOT, use your laptop microphone!) If you want my top 3 recommendations then they would be this ones:
- Steel Series Siberia 350 for $100
- Logitech G230 for $35 – great for budget shoppers!
- Razer Kraken Pro V2 for $80 – No surround, but who needs it
Webcams can be a huge plus for streamers as well. Just make sure you look decent, and the office/room in the background does as well. Lets be honest for a bit, many girls show some cleavage, play some games, and then get a sustainable source of income. Some are excellent gamers and are rolling in money. This is more of a reflection of the current state of Twitch and its customers, not a slight towards women!
I got a bit distracted there… Lets get back to how to stream Nintendo on Twitch. If you already have a webcam, you should try using it first. I would advise not to use your laptop’s webcam! Some are decent, some are trash – but you will always be stuck at an awkward angle and won’t be able to move it around. Ideally you will be using a webcam that can record you at least 720p 60 frames per second, anything more than that is overkill. You have plenty of options here as well, but I will give you a top 3 recommended webcams:
- Razer Stargazer for $150 – Well worth it, especially because of the software
- Logitech HD Pro C920 for $60 – Quality device and my recommendation
- Microsoft LifeCam Studio for $70 – the middle ground
My absolute recommendation is the Razer Stargazer, since it can remove all the thing in the background. This is something serious streamers do with green screens, so the viewers can see as much of the game as possible. The Stargazer has a function for it already in its software!
And finally lets talk about your PC (Or The PC that you need). It may seem confusing why you need a good PC, after all your Wii U is running the games. Well the thing is that the Game Capture software, microphone, possible background music, and that nice 720p 60 frames per second webcam can take a large amount of resources! So, in order to stream I would recommend a rig that has at least 8GB of RAM, an i5 or i7 Intel processor that runs at around 3ghz, and a video card with 2GB RAM, and any video card better than a Nvidia GeForce GTX 660.
Also it would be best if you run Windows 10 or Windows 8.1. I would recommend a budget $500 gaming PC, there are tons of guides on YouTube. That may sound like a lot, but it will run perfectly and you will be able to play a lot of things on it! Maybe even delve on Virtual Reality after you make all that Twitch money! I’ve seen people running great stream on MacBook Pro’s as well, so if you have the time to tune your machines and understand the broadcasting software, you can get results.
What Nintendo Games Should You Play On Your Stream
Here is my opinion on what you should do on your own Live Stream. First thing is first, games. You can’t play any game and expect to have viewers, there are two things you need to think of when you choose your game. First, is it a competitive game and am I good at it? People love to see competitive games, but they do because they want to learn and apply tricks they see on streams! You can’t just stream Splatoon and be horrible at it. No one would watch it, not talking to the small percent of attractive female streamers here. You have to be good and have some useful insight and comments about the matches as you play.
Second, Does this game have a following? Games like Fallout and Skyrim have active stream channels not because they are competitive games, but rather because they have huge followings. Players want to see others people play a game they love, especially if it has plenty of alternatives (on character skills or story lines). The are interested because they might just learn or see something in the game that they have never seen. If you get a game that has both these two factors then you might just hit gold!
Some of the best Nintendo Twitch Streams I’ve seen recently:
- Splatoon. A series on rising to S+ rating.
- Mario Maker. Literally tons of fun and chat interaction.
- Super Mario 64. A great following with old and new gamers.
I personally think Super Smash might be the perfect game to stream. Just make sure you can play your character well, and pull off some cool stuff on the stream! Remember this is show business – now that you’ve learned how to stream Nintendo, go and put on a show.