A good attitude, entertaining content, time, patience, and persistence. What do all of these attributes have in common? They're all something you need if you want to be a YouTuber.
Having a gaming YouTube channel requires a lot more than the things I've already mentioned. Being something of an authority on the subject (I'm already on YouTube as BlackTideTV), I've constructed this gift guide so those of you buying for an aspiring content creator will know how to make them smile.
The guide features some pretty expensive equipment, so I've included extra slides with cheaper, starting variants of those items. It will be up to you, the buyer, to decide which level of gear your loved one needs at the moment.
For example, I'm currently resting at 220 subscribers and I've been able to get this far without Sony Vegas, a high-tech microphone, or a PlayStation Eye Camera. But they're all future purchases on my list.
I've included "subscriber recommendations" at the beginning of every slide, so you can get a general idea of how many subs your YouTuber-in-training should have before you buy specific items.
Without further ado, you may click the Next button to get started!
This one is obvious. Before someone gets started with a gaming channel on YouTube, they'll need to have some background knowledge and relevant games. Depending on the type of gaming channel your loved one plans on having, you'll want to buy different games. Each different style of channel poses different needs for your holiday shopping.
Current Games: This is the more popular side of YouTube gaming. Popular, hip, right-now games are what people want to see on YouTube and will pull more views on a daily basis. To buy for this kind of player you'll need to stay on top of recent video game releases (get up-to-date on your GameSkinny articles, people). Having content out even a day before the competition can mean everything on YouTube.
Games that fit into the "popular" crowd this season are Halo 5: Guardians, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Fallout 4, Star Wars: Battlefront, Just Cause 3, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Seige.
Retro Games: If you are buying for a retro-gaming YouTuber, you'll have extra trouble finding specific games that might make it to their wishlist. Combing through flea markets and sketchy online sites that may or may not steal your credit card information are two of the slim choices of routes to take for this one. Sites like GOG offer lots of older and obscure games. Kijiji or other buy-and-sell sites work great for attaining pre-owned games as well.
The days of setting up a camcorder in front of a player's television to record videos are gone.
Depending on the player's preferred system, this can be a great gift, or a slightly unnecessary one. For example, PlayStation 4 has a built in livestreaming and sharing ability, making the Elgato Gaming capture card slightly redundant if a YouTuber is just starting out. At around 100 subscribers, this makes for a great gift no matter what.
Viewers expect clarity in the videos they watch, and the 1080p 60 frame-per-second picture that the Elgato offers is sure to please. If you keep an eye out around Black Friday, these bad boys tend to drop in price and you can pick one up for $20 to $50 off.
Remember: capture cards are often system-specific. The HD60 works well for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but you'll have to buy the standard HD if your YouTuber is still using PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.
Additionally, consult the next page before you consider buying this item for your loved one.
For a laptop with all the bells and whistles a YouTuber could possibly need, I would recommend the HP Envy. This laptop (which I'm writing this article on) has 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive storage, and a 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 processor. That's computer language for: really good and worth every penny of the expensive price tag.
To run the Elgato software on an HD60 (the item on the previous page) a computer needs a minimum 4GB RAM, and 2.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor, but upgrading the basics allows a YouTuber's computer to really perform.
The HP Envy is regularly compared to Apple's MacBook Pro in everything from performance, to feel, to cosmetics. Of course, this computer won't cost as much as a Mac once all of the same upgrades are applied to it.
For this item I won't be giving a cheaper variation, because computer choice really depends on the player. Personally, I believe everyone should own a computer of this quality by today's standards. Obviously this would be a one-and-done sort of gift for most families out there, but it could really change a person's life.
If the previous slide made you and your wallet cry, just go ahead and skip this one. This is only recommended for those of you with deep pockets and lots of love for whoever is going to get this gift. Sony Vegas is an editing software for hardcore YouTubers only. It really does cost $600.
There are plenty of cheaper editing softwares out there (one of which we'll discuss next) that make for much easier gifts. However, for the sake of variation, this is essentially the best editing software on the market.
You can stop crying now. Filmora is a much more affordable video editor that offers the essential editing tools any average-joe YouTuber could need. Cropping, picture-in-picture, volume adjustment, voice recorder, overlays, effects, filters, titles, it's all here. Filmora, previously Wondershare Video Editor (which I use), is available as a free trial, but can be purchased with a lifetime license for $50!
As long as your aspiring YouTuber doesn't need to get too crazy with added sound effects, pop-ups and other shenanigans in their videos, this is an upstanding video editor and a great starting gift.
A basic gaming headset (preferably Astro or Turtle Beach) is a requirement for almost any gamer anyways, but once a gamer evolves into a YouTuber, it's time to up the ante.
Viewers can stand a little bit of white noise in a YouTuber's commentary when their channel is just starting out, but eventually the audience will start to get frustrated by it.
For live commentaries or streams, players often use their headsets rather than USB microphones (which we'll get into in a minute). The Turtle Beach Ear Force 800 is the number one item on my wishlist this year, and for good reason. Let's take a look at the features:
If you need more proof that this gift would make your loved one's day, show the list of features to any other gamer or media-oriented person you know; they'll be sure to geek out.
Make sure you buy the correct model! When it comes to Turtle Beach, each headset model is for a different system. Generally, you can find a different set, nearly identical for each platform; ex. Elite 800 for PS4, Elite 800X for XB1.
For the shopper on a lower budget, the P12 makes a great starter headset. Made for PS4 (you can easily find the comparative Xbox One headset on Amazon) this headset offers the basics:
As stated in the previous slide, a cheaper headset only lasts so long before viewers begin to criticize mic quality. Make sure your aspiring YouTuber is within the "subscriber recommendation" bounds before buying this gift.
The Blue Yeti is praised in the industry for being so effective, yet so affordable. Available in three colors (black, silver, platinum), this mic plugs directly into a computer's USB port and is compatible with any software.
The Yeti features four different recording modes (Stereo, Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional) so any recording scheme can be captured by it. Are you buying for a duo or a team of YouTubers? The mic can pick up multiple voices and sounds from all directions, based on which recording mode you choose.
The microphone features a headphone jack that allows real-time playback, headset volume controls, mic gain controls, and an instant mute button.
This is a great gift for a YouTuber who creates gameplay/commentaries or podcasts. Even musicians would love to unwrap this little guy! I recommend this microphone for YouTube channels over 500 subscribers. Most laptops (especially the one mentioned on slide 4) have great built-in mics that'll work fine until your loved one really decides that they are into YouTube.
Where the Xbox One comes with the Kinect camera, the PlayStation 4, despite its affinity for sharing content, does not include the PlayStation Eye. The PS4 Eye Camera can record a player in real-time while they livestream straight from the PlayStation 4.
Depending on the system (obviously it has to be PS4), and the style of their videos (do they make face-cam flicks?) this may be an essential item on your loved one's wishlist.
Last but not least, a sponsorship. Yes, you can buy a sponsorship, though you'll have to work with your aspiring YouTuber to buy it.
There are three primary ways to make money on YouTube:
Advertising won't make a YouTuber any money until they really start drawing in a ton of views. Likewise, fan funding will only occur if someone really, really likes a YouTuber's content. Sponsorships however, will consistently earn a content creator money if they promote them enough. If you pick this gift you'll essentially be buying your loved one a way to make money.
First things first: big sponsors are off the table. Until your aspiring YouTuber starts reeling in the views, big sponsors like Elgato, Monster Energy, and Gfuel will never support them. What you need to aim for is what I call starter sponsors.
For an example, let's talk CJGrips: one of my starter sponsors. CJGrips sells analog stick grips, among other items, to any and all consumers who'll buy them off of Tictail. Any players that get sponsored receive a savings code between 5-15%. When players bring CJGrips business with their code, they are repaid the amount that the buyers saved.
So how do you help your YouTubing friend get sponsored? Simple, just buy CJGrips! CJGrips is a growing business so the only way for them to expand is through word of mouth. The only way for them to get word of mouth around is to give everyone savings.
Generally, with the purchase of any "mystery box", "gamer box", or other surprise packages (around $10+ value), CJGrips will give purchasers the option to acquire their own code, or in other words, a sponsorship. This is a super quick and easy way to start making a little bit of money on YouTube, and the actual product purchased makes for a great gift.