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How to Make the Best "Let's Play" on YouTube

Before YouTube and Imgur became hubs for gaming advice, players had to read GameFaq.com, Nintendo Power, and message boards to learn how to beat video games. This is a better world now, full of Let's Play videos and images that entertain as well as inform

Shaun Chatman

May 27, 2015

4 Min Read

Before YouTube and Imgur became hubs for gaming advice, players had to read GameFaq.com, Nintendo Power, and message boards to learn how to beat video games. This is a better world now, full of "Let's Play" videos and images that entertain as well as inform. You want to take part because you know that it's a lucrative way to monetize your gaming habit. Here are five things you need to know about making the best "Let's Play" videos on YouTube.

Let's Play Defined

Gamers have created walkthroughs since the days of 8-bit consoles. Video game magazines became popular in the 1990s, and GameFaqs.com debuted in 1995. All of them had a common trait. They taught gamers how to beat certain parts of levels, an especially useful trait for role-playing and puzzle games.

The innovation of streaming video on services such as YouTube fundamentally altered the landscape. Players suddenly possessed the ability to demonstrate exactly how to accomplish specific tasks by showing their own gameplay. It was a spectacular advance in gaming, and many popular users capitalized by developing their own YouTube channels. They are generally not "Let's Play" videographers, though.

In order to make a "Let's Play" video, you need to record your own gameplay, but you must level it up to differentiate yourself from the competition. The way to do that is to offer entertaining commentary that places your personality on display for the viewer. By showing off your sense of humor, you change into a performer, a kind of online street artist selling your wares to build your brand.

Planning to Make Videos

Since you want to start your own "Let's Play" video and earn money with minimal effort, here's what you need to know. There are a few modest start-up costs involved, as is the case with any other business opportunity. You'll obviously need a video game console, and if you're serious about your craft, you'll probably want all three of the major ones: the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and the Nintendo Wii-U. You should also own a PC or Mac to have the ability to play any major release.

The other cost is the one area where you'll want to spend the majority of your budget, your editing software. Do not try to cut corners here. Owning the best video editing software, likeSony's Movie Studio Platinum 13, is the difference between running an average "Let's Play" channel and owning a channel that can earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Sony's Movie Studio Platinum provides you with the ability to personalize every touch of your video, the definitive way to make your clips a reflection of yourself. It also performs high-end rendering tasks at a fraction of the cost of some of its competitors, making it a wonderful option for an ambitious gamer with a modest budget.

The way you set yourself apart from your competitors in the "Let's Play" market is by providing the best cutaway effects, splashy graphics, and entertaining sound effects. You'll want Sony's top of the line video editing software to achieve this goal.

Starting Your Channel

Think commercially when you make your first set of videos. During the early days of video creation, it's easy to get deterred by apathetic feedback and low channel view totals. As you pick your "Let's Play" games, focus on the titles that you know are popular at the moment. You may love Battletoads and even have the ability to beat it, but that was a poor-selling title when it was new. Unless you can bring something truly entertaining to the table, most people will look for something current.

Your best bet is a viral title like Blizzard Entertainment's Heroes of the Storm if you're into PC games. If you're a bigger fan of console gaming, Destiny dominates the landscape now. Make an entertaining video of dominating Crota using Sony's Movie Studio Platinum, and you'll immediately boost your reputation as a gamer.

Practice Making Perfect (Videos)

No matter how hard you try, your first few "Let's Play" videos are unlikely to go viral. That's good news because you'll have a lot more time to improve your craft. Operate as your own worst critic during the early days.

Think about the videos you like as well as how you can adapt these styles to your own personality. Then, work to mesh proven "Let's Play" concepts with your own personality. You'll quickly discover your voice as a content creator, and positive buzz will spread among potential viewers.

"Let's Play" videos are wildly popular. To run your own popular channel, all you need to do is follow these steps. You can capitalize on their success to earn a lot of money doing what you love.

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