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11 Killer Tips for Starting a YouTube Gaming Channel in 2022
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Starting a gaming YouTube channel is no easy feat. Millions of people play video games in their free time, so naturally, the competition is stiff.
You have famous creators like PewDiePie, Mumbo Jumbo, and DanTDM dominating the space with billions of YouTube views. The MrBeast Gaming channel has a whopping 25 million subscribers. Beyond that, you have thousands of small channels worldwide to compete with.
That makes it difficult for new creators to stand out, let alone go viral. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
How to Start a Gaming Channel: 11 Killer Tips
Is it worth starting a gaming channel in 2022? We’d say yes. Here’s how to grow your gaming channel fast in 11 powerful steps.
1. Focus On One Game to Grow Your YouTube Channel
It’ll be tempting to play every game you own when you start your YouTube channel. You may upload some Fortnite videos because of the game’s insane popularity. Two weeks later, it may seem like a good idea to sprinkle in some Minecraft content.
But heed our warning, creators. If you want to grow your gaming channel, choose just one game to play on YouTube.
From a technical perspective, this is solid advice. YouTube’s algorithm is sophisticated but seems to reward a simple content strategy. If it knows you’re a gaming creator making videos about Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for instance, it’ll have no problem recommending your videos to like-minded viewers.
To prove that, we asked the vidIQ community about their gaming experiences. We were happy to learn that in 2020, several creators grew their channels fast while playing one game.
The list includes channels like:
2. Get the Right Equipment for Your Gaming Channel
What equipment do you need for a gaming YouTube channel? Not much, but a few items will make your videos more enjoyable:
- Microphone for YouTube videos: Many gamers add voiceover to their videos, especially when actively playing a game. Invest in quality audio so viewers can follow the action.
- Screen-recording software: As you play games, you need software to capture the action on your console (PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, etc.).
- Digital camera: This can be a DSLR camera, mirrorless camera, or webcam. You’ll need one to record yourself playing games.
- Lighting for YouTube videos: Don’t leave viewers in the dark. Create a well-lit shot if you plan to show your face.
- Green screen: Lots of gamers use a green screen for live streaming. It removes the background behind the streamer so only their figure shows up against the gameplay.
3. YouTube Gaming Channel Names: Focus on Keywords
Naming your channel is one of the most important things you’ll do on YouTube. For gamers, the process isn’t that tough. If you follow our first tip (build gaming content around one title), then you have the perfect starting point already: the video game you’re playing.
So what do you want to play? Minecraft? Roblox? Pokémon Go? When you’ve settled on a game, use its title to develop unique YouTube names for your channel.
Example 1: The 100 Percent Zelda channel that posts Zelda gaming tutorials.
Example 2: The Poke Daxi channel that shares Pokémon Go hacks.
Using the name of your game as a YouTube keyword helps your channel rank higher in search results.
Additionally, here are tips for creating good youtube channel names for gaming:
- Make it easy to spell.
- Make it easy to remember.
- Let it reflect the game you play.
- Make it fewer than 70 characters.
- Use good keywords.
- Avoid profanity and offensive language.
4. Avoid the ‘Let’s Play’ Trap
So many gamers love posting let’s play videos. We can’t blame them, either. They’re fun to make and easier to edit than other types of videos.
For example, watch the video below from iJeven. Most lets plays are similar to that one, where the player streams a mission in the game. Some creators split missions into “episodes” to increase their uploads – even if episodic video titles aren’t the best strategy.
But that’s not the biggest problem with let’s plays. The real problem is getting decent views from that type of video.
If you’ve just joined YouTube, it’s unrealistic to expect 200,000 views on a let’s play. Big channels succeed with that plan but not new creators with zero subscribers. No one knows who you are yet.
Most of the time, viewers are searching for specific aspects of a game – not an episode of gameplay. So if you decide to do a let’s play, make the video searchable. Include a tutorial or a hack so you can write a good title for YouTube’s search engine.
5. Join a Gaming Community to Find YouTube Video Ideas
Brainstorming video ideas is the most challenging part of growing on YouTube. But the solution is simple: Don’t try to go it alone. The best way to start a YouTube gaming channel is in the company of other gamers.
To start, try joining an online community like Discord. Find a group centered around the game you play, then pay attention to what people say.
- Significant updates coming to the game
- Which aspects of the game excite people
- Questions newcomers have about the game
These three points can lead to exciting video ideas – especially the last one. If newcomers have questions about a game, you can answer via YouTube tutorials.
Also, don't forget about the gaming communities on Reddit and Steam!
6. Upload Weekly Gaming Videos
Before you create a gaming YouTube channel, make a pact with yourself to upload consistently. You should post at least once a week to build and grow an audience on YouTube.
Why this number? Well, YouTube has gotten good at serving content to the right audience. So whether you post four videos a month or one video a day, YouTube will repeatedly recommend your content.
Don’t burn out by following an insane posting schedule. Go slowly. That way, you’ll understand how YouTube fits into your life, whether that’s striking a balance between school, work, or family time.
7. Make Your Video Introductions Brief and Entertaining
On YouTube, audience retention is everything because low retention sends a negative signal to YouTube’s algorithm. It indicates your video may not deliver on its promise and shouldn't be recommended over someone else's.
To ensure this never happens, create a strong introduction for each video. Instead of showing your game’s menu screen as you talk, get to the meat of your content. Move your character(s) around the game’s landscape as you explain the point of today’s video.
The goal is to make it impossible for someone to click away. The title of your video makes a promise to viewers, and you should deliver on that promise early and often.
8. Create Enticing YouTube Thumbnails and Titles
Video titles and thumbnails are what genuinely bring in viewers. They convince people to click on your content, so this powerful pair should be optimized 100% of the time.
A video title isn’t just for display; it can also help you climb YouTube search results. If you can find popular keywords on YouTube that aren’t too competitive, you’ll be one step closer to creating fantastic, click-worthy titles.
But ranking higher on YouTube is half the battle. Once you’ve done that, your video’s thumbnail should encourage more clicks.
To do your best in this area, keep the graphic simple but eye-catching. It should be easy for viewers to understand in seconds, like this one:
9. Research Video Topics Before You Press Record
Before you make a video, brainstorm some title options. This may seem weird at first but trust us: You need this hack. You’re better off brainstorming titles and seeing which keywords are popular for that topic.
This plan forces you to make the best video without even knowing it. First, you’ll optimize your content for YouTube’s algorithm by finding valuable keywords. Then you’ll run some YouTube searches to see what other creators posted. All of that research will tell you if the video is worth making.
10. Turn Gaming Trends Into YouTube Videos
A trending topic presents a huge opportunity to get more views on YouTube. You can take advantage of pop culture, holidays, gaming news, or anything that adds something positive (but relevant) to your channel.
And once again, we’ve got a tool for that.
After you’ve downloaded vidIQ, check our most viewed videos tool within the extension. It’s a helpful little gadget that lets you see topics trending in your niche.
In the vidIQ extension, you can quickly access the tool via the real-time stats bar. Here's what that looks like:
If you click the drop-down menu and select Most Viewed, this window will open in your browser:
When you think you have your next video idea, input some keywords you might rank for in this tool. You may discover that no creators have posted about the topic in months.
Depending on how many views per hour the topic is getting, you may have an opportunity to compete with older videos on YouTube.
11. Experiment with YouTube Shorts
Shorts are for people watching YouTube on their phones. They’re great for making funny videos, brief explainers, or anything that’s not a long, traditional video.
They’re also perfect for the gaming community. YouTube Shorts capture those hilarious, gut-busting moments in a game: a character tumbling off a ledge or random, unexpected glitches. Even when you have nothing funny to share, you can film tutorials.
When you’re ready, post a few Shorts to your YouTube channel. We've seen gaming channels grow with this content, and we’re not talking about small spurts here and there. It’s possible to start with a few hundred subscribers and gain 1 million in three months.
Now you know exactly how to start a YouTube gaming channel. To learn more about each tips, watch the video below.
And don’t forget: The best YouTube gaming channels have:
- Popular keywords
- A catchy name
- A strong focus
- Frequent uploads
- Attractive thumbnails and titles