We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Best streaming setup for beginners 2024

Get into streaming with our easy-to-use gear and software recommendations.

A capture card, webcam and microphone as part of the best streaming setup for beginners

Streaming has quickly become the epicenter of the online gaming community, and the best streaming setup for beginners can give your content an edge right from the off if you want to join the crowd.

We’ve picked streaming gear that’s affordable and easy to set up. You’ll want to look at the best webcams, the best gaming microphone, and the best capture card for recording game footage. While you probably have a webcam and microphone built into your laptop, we recommend investing in dedicated peripherals for better-quality audio and visuals.

Once you have these in place, you’ll have your basic setup, but there are a few other bits and pieces you’ll almost certainly want to get. Have you considered lights for streaming? How about streaming software? We’ve got some expert product recommendations here that we hope will be helpful to any budding streamers.

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At PCGamesN, our experts spend hours testing hardware and reviewing games and VPNs. We share honest, unbiased opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam

Best streaming webcam for beginners

Today’s best deals


Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam specifications:
Max resolution 1080p
Focus ‎Autofocus
Lens type Glass
Built-in mic Stereo (up to 1m in range)
Field of view 78 degrees
Connection type USB-A
Dimensions (H x W x D) 43 x 94 x 71mm
Reasons to buy
  • Affordable price
  • Good capture quality
  • Great autofocus
Reasons to avoid
  • Mic quality not great
  • Framerate could be higher

Does the Logitech C920 HD Pro webcam offer the best audio or visual quality? No. The footage it captures comes out in low framerates (max 30fps) and the mic quality can be a bit tinny. We still love it though, because it’s a great entry-level choice that is reasonably priced and, despite not being the very best, it still has a pretty decent capture quality.

Nobody’s first stream is going to look perfect, and while you might want to invest in a pricier option further down the road, this oneis a great place to start. Besides the affordable price, it’s also very user-friendly and offers lots of easy ways for you to tweak the focus, brightness, and contrast of the footage you’ve captured.

We wish it had a lens cover (nobody likes the beady eye of their webcam watching them all the time) but it’s easy enough to buy or make your own. That’s about the only legitimate criticism we could aim at it. This is a webcam that’s been around for years, and its longevity is a reflection of its usefulness.

Read our full Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam review.

HyperX SoloCast

Best streaming microphone for beginners

Today’s best deals
HyperX SoloCast specifications:
Sample rate 96kHz
Bit rate 24-bit
Frequency response 20kHz
Polar patterns Cardioid
Connectivity USB
Reasons to buy
  • Good price
  • Good sound quality
  • Compact and portable
Reasons to avoid
  • No special features
  • Short stand

While some new streamers may be satisfied with the microphone capabilities of their webcam, many others are going to want to buy a dedicated mic. If you’re one of those streamers, then we recommend the HyperX SoloCast. It’s a bit of a simple choice, but it’s a step up from the built-in option and isn’t too expensive.

The SoloCast was made specifically for use with streaming and works on a basic plug-and-play principle. Compatible with both PC and Mac, once you’ve got it connected, it’s easy to start recording and it works with popular streaming platforms like Streamlabs OBS, OBS Studio, and XSplit.

Its compact design is also in its favor. It fits with 3.8-inch and 5.8-inch threaded setups and can be used with the majority of mic stands or boom arms, meaning that however you want to position yourself and your microphone on the camera, you should be able to do so without too much trouble. Its own stand is fully adjustable and can even fit under monitors on most desktop setups.

Finally, as a sweet little cherry on the cake, it uses a simple tap-to-mute sensor with an LED light that indicates whether or not your microphone is on. So if you find yourself with any unwanted disruptions while live streaming, you’re just a tap away from total audio privacy.

Elgato HD60 S+

Best streaming capture card for beginners

Today’s best deals
Elgato HD60 S+ specifications:
Capture quality 1080p at 60Hz
Passthrough quality 4K at 60Hz
Connections HDMI In + Out + USB
Reasons to buy
  • 4K HDR playthrough is fantastic
  • User-friendly
Reasons to avoid
  • No HDR preview or playback
  • Not so good at higher framerates

If you plan on streaming PC games, then you don’t really need to worry about capture cards, but if you’re planning on streaming the best PS5 games or the best Xbox Series X games, then a capture card will be essential. For this, we recommend the Game Capture HD60 S+ from Corsair.

Unlike other capture cards, which can be somewhat difficult to set up, the HD60 S+ is relatively simple to use. You just connect an HDMI cable from your console to the capture card, then another from the capture card to your PC and then you’re ready to go. It’s as simple as that and is ideal for anybody who just wants to start streaming without any hassle.

It’s a pretty comprehensive package and it’s a really convenient place to start capturing your console gaming exploits.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Best streaming editing software for beginners

Today’s best deals
Adobe Creative Cloud specifications:
Compatible with Windows, MacOS
Multi-camera editing Yes
Payment type Subscription
Free trial 7 days
Reasons to buy
  • Professional level
  • Loads of editing apps
  • Robust service
Reasons to avoid
  • Requires subscription
  • Other services come close
  • Adobe is not great

Editing is a huge part of the streaming process. Not only is it important to create graphics and logos to promote yourself on whichever platforms you like to use, but it can also help to clean up the quality of the footage you capture. For this, we recommend a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

If you get Adobe Creative Cloud, you’ll gain access to Photoshop (which is ideal for refining photos or creating logos), Premier Pro (video editing software), Illustrator (for creating a channel mascot, or custom Twitch emotes), InDesign (which you could use to make flashy social media posts to promote your streaming channel), and much more.

The Creative Cloud package includes a total of 27 apps that can also enhance your streaming content, from animation tools to visual effects. Plus, if you’re a student, you can get it at a discount price.

Another Adobe product that might serve you well is Adobe Stock – the wealth of stock media files that open of a world of possibilities. From custom emotes to royalty-free music, the Stock Library offers a broad range of multimedia assets that can be used to create a more professional and exciting streaming experience.

You can trial the entire library for free for 30 days, meaning it’s a cost-effective way to experiment with the look and feel of your streaming channel.

Joby Beamo Studio Key Light

Best lighting for streamers

Today’s best deals
Joby Beamo Studio Key Light specifications:
Color temperature 3,200 / 6,500 / 5,600K
Light output 650 lux at 0.5m
Connections USB-A
Dimensions 7.5 x 10 x 37-inch light, adjustable 27 – 37-inch stand
Weight 1.64kg
Reasons to buy
  • Top-notch light quality
  • Great magnetic remote control
  • 4 x excellent cold shoe mounts
Reasons to avoid
  • Connects via USB type-A
  • No full color temperature range
  • Less powerful than others

The Joby Beamo Studio Key Light is an appealing choice for anyone looking to light their first stream. It has three color temperatures and ten brightness levels that make it easy to get just the right level of lighting for your streams. Admittedly, you can find more powerful options in our list of the best lights for streaming, but they do carry a bigger price tag.

It comes with a handy 1.8-meter cable that makes it very easy to position the light in different spots throughout the room. This gives you the freedom to experiment and try different setups for your stream so that you can get it looking as swanky as possible. It’s also easy to put in most positions due to its small footprint and has lots of attachments for microphones.

It may not have as broad a color temperature range as others, or even quite as many connection options as we’d like. But if you’re looking for an affordable choice, and don’t yet have a solid idea of what your setup is going to look like, this is the one for you.

Read our Joby Beamo Studio Key Light review.

Streamlabs OBS

Best streaming software for beginners

Today’s best deals
Streamlabs OBS specifications:
Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux
Auto-mixing Yes
Integrated chat Yes
Included themes 250
Reasons to buy
  • Very user-friendly
  • Auto-optimization
  • Easy setup
Reasons to avoid
  • Some features locked behind subscription
  • Windows only

Streamlabs OBS is the streaming software that everyone should start out with. Not only is it pretty darn easy to use, but it’s completely free too. You might progress to more advanced options like OBS Studio later (which is built on the same open-source code), but this is the perfect software to use to get to grips with streaming without having to make any kind of financial investment.

It might like features like flashy overlays, graphics, and so forth that can help make your stream pop. But not everybody will want these, and if you do eventually decide that that’s something your stream needs, you can subscribe to Streamlabs Prime, which unlocks lots of customization options like these.

It’s free and it’s open source, so we’re reluctant to criticize it too harshly. Yes, there are a few bugs in the software here and there, and the way it stores stream footage can clog up your system memory a bit – but this is the software most streamers use as their starting point. It’s definitely the best for beginners, even if it’s not the best streaming software overall.-

Which streaming platform should you use?

Once you’ve built your streaming setup, all that’s left to do is choose which streaming platform you’re going to use. For more information on choosing a streaming platform, check out our guide on how to stream on Twitch and YouTube, but here’s a quick overview of your main choices:

  • Twitch: A hugely popular platform that’s synonymous with gaming and completely free to use. If you ever want to upgrade to a Turbo account (providing more chat rooms and exclusive emojis) you can.
  • YouTube Gaming: while it has yet to reach the peaks of Twitch, YouTube Gaming is certainly growing in popularity and builds off the back of the YouTube brand. This one is also free to use and allows you to stream in 4k and at 60fps.
  • Facebook Gaming: Facebook is the largest social media currently in existence, so by using this platform, you have the chance to tap into that large audience pool. Again, it may not be as well established as Twitch, but it’s free and simple to use and provides some particularly insightful analytics tools.

We hope this helps you get started in your journey as a streamer. Once you’ve found your feet, you might want to invest in a green screen or a stream deck, but those are something to consider further down the line. For some inspiration, look at our guide on the biggest Twitch streamers. You also might like to read our guide on the best gaming chairs, if you want to complete your streaming setup.