Game streamers are always looking for ways to grow their Twitch and YouTube audience.
From simple tweaks to their show to using powerful technology like a head tracking app, the streaming journey has many avenues. One such path is exploring other Twitch categories.
When it comes to picking games to stream, there’s no straight answer. Popular titles are oversaturated, but there’s a bigger audience to tap into. On the other hand, going live in a small category can mean more exposure within a less sizable pool. The only proven formula is getting in from the ground floor while certain games and genres are still niches yet on the rise. One such category is simulator games. While it may sound daunting getting into streaming games that are all about realism and expensive controllers, there are simple steps you can take to become a sim streamer.
What are Simulator Games?
Whether it’s taking to the skies, driving through tracks, or even emulating real-life, sim games are about providing realism. From the moment you boot up a simulator title, you’re thrust into the experience of being a driver or a pilot. Forget the more lenient handling of the Need for Speed series. Playing Microsoft Flight Simulator isn’t like Ace Combat, where you can ignore the laws of drag and lift.
We’re not going to lie. Playing sim games is going to feel like an alien and unforgiving experience to a traditional gamer. Stick with it, though, and your stream can benefit from the switch.
Why Stream Sim Games?
Simulation games are a mix of titles from various genres that make up their own niche and are currently growing in popularity on Twitch. As with any title or game category, sims have their own audiences, likely looking for more streamers to follow. And you could be one of them.
The main benefit here is that you’ll tap into a new crowd of gamers. Sim enthusiasts, in particular, are pretty keen to help new people out. So, if you’re new to the genre, you’d have immediate opportunities to show off your chat interaction chops.
Because the sim space is quite broad, you’re also not locked into one particular title (unless you want to be). You can play Formula 1 for a while, then switch it up with Dirt Rally 2.0 or even some Euro Truck Simulator 2.
Finally, sim gamers are known for having elaborate setups to make their experiences as immersive as possible. Your newly found followers will, therefore, be eager to check out your gear, giving you a chance to run a house or setup tour stream. Sim games also open you up to showcasing new technologies, such as head tracking apps.
Head Tracking App – The Secret Sauce to Sim Game Streaming
In a previous article, we’ve looked at how head tracking software can enhance your sim gaming experience. Suffice to say, it’s a game-changer. It enables you to use your head as your camera’s look control, effectively giving you a VR-like experience without the bulky hardware.
It’s pretty simple to get started. Eyeware Beam is an early release head tracking app that you can download to an iPhone and iPad with FaceID. Beam makes use of 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) technology to deliver accurate head movements to your game.
Get started by downloading Beam head tracking on the App Store here.
What makes the technology particularly good for sim streamers is how immersed the audience becomes. They see the head movement instantly being translated to looking around cockpits, and it’s like watching the game through their eyes. Streamers like nightmare_se are already using Beam in their sim game streams and you can see how immersive the experience looks by checking out their stream.
If this is all sounding exciting yet quite daunting, fear not. Becoming a simulator game streamer is relatively straightforward.
Steps to Becoming a Sim Games Streamer
Find the Right Sim Game and Stick to It
When you start as a sim gamer, finding games that resonate with your taste is essential. Before committing to any big purchases, it’s vital to give a few games a try. After all, if you’re not having fun with your game, your audience will be able to tell. There are many great simulator games for PC to choose from, so there’s bound to be something out there that you’ll enjoy.
Once you’ve found a sim game you like, stick to playing it both on and off stream. Don’t be afraid to be a noob, as your sim followers will be more than happy to lend a helping hand.
Watch Other Sim Streamers
What makes a good stream is always a matter of personal taste, and the same goes for sim games. However, it’s never a bad idea to get a feel for what the audience is accustomed to and put your own spin on it.
To that effect, you should check out a few sim streamers out there, even those streaming different games from your own. PaulKozinski, for instance, is a Microsoft Flight Simulator streamer who dresses up as a pilot when he takes to the virtual skies. Some streamers get into the spirit of things with steering wheels like Tiametmarduk does when he plays F1 2020.
Join Your Sim Game’s Community
Once you start exploring the simulation games space, you’ll notice how friendly and welcoming everyone is. Because of how tightly knit each sim title’s community is, players are always eager to dispense knowledge to newcomers. This level of openness allows you to join your chosen games’ communities to get help and showcase your progress.
Carve Out Your Sim Game Niche
Because of how open-ended sim games are, there’s a lot of room for creativity. The streamers we mentioned earlier have carved out their own little niche audiences, and you can do the same. Find what you enjoy the most about playing sim games and make that the focal point of your streams. If head tracking in games is your thing, then you can be the streamer that focuses on the tech side of simulators, for example.
Start Small with Gear
As we discussed in another article, streaming gear should be something to acquire slowly. The same applies to simulation game streaming. Don’t go overboard from the very beginning, buying up all the best stuff. Start with the bare essentials, and then gradually work your way through our handy priority list below.
Simulator Games Streaming Gear Priority Order
Head Tracking App
[bctt tweet=”Since the sim games streaming space is still quite niched, using a head tracker is an excellent opportunity to stand out. ” username=”eyewarebeam”]
Head tracking with an iPhone is quite simple, as we mentioned above, so head over to the App Store to get the early release of Eyeware Beam for free.
On top of your head, Beam is also eye tracking software, so you can potentially also use it to show your audience where your eyes are focusing.
Sim Game Controllers
Once you’re confident you’ve found a game or several games you enjoy playing on stream, you can splurge out for a specialized controller. Steering wheels and flight sticks come in many shapes and sizes. What you’ll want to pay attention to is whether they fit your setup.
Twitch audiences love to see more than just your face. If you’ve managed to pick up a decent wheel or joystick, your next step is to show it off with a multi-cam setup. You don’t even need to buy an extra camera, as apps like Epoccam by Elgato can turn your phone into a decent webcam.
Streamers like the nightmare_se mentioned above make their sim streams a lot more immersive by green screening. There are some excellent options that are pretty pricey, but if you don’t want to break the bank, you can make your own green screen on the cheap.
Finally, the big pièce de résistance for your sim streaming setup is a simulator rig. This nifty chair contraption is the absolute last thing you should consider because getting a decent one is pricey. Once you’ve firmly stepped into the world of sim gaming, though, and you can save up some money, this can be an absolute showstopper when combined with multi-cam streaming.