How to Record Let’s Play Commentaries That Don’t Suck

Let's Play Commentary

After the last article you’ll now have your hardware and software chosen, bought and set up, you’ve chosen what game you want to play and now it’s time to get to it. So whats the best thing to do whilst commentating? Well, allow me to direct your attention to the lists below that we have put together of some of the do’s and don’ts of commentating. Lets start with the things that you SHOULDN’T do.

Don’t force the funny

Wanting your Let’s Play to be funny is a natural thing. You want to be entertaining to separate yourself from the millions of other Let’s Players on the internet. The problem comes when a person thinks they need to be funny. When you force jokes on a situation that isn’t funny, it’s just going to be awkward for everyone involved.

Protip: Be yourself. Your sense of humor will be conveyed to the audience naturally. If your show is unscripted, just be yourself and have a conversation with your audience. If you need the show to be funny, then write a script. Most people need to work at being funny and you might be no different.

Don’t film with a potato

Never aim your smartphone camera at the television and call that a Let’s Play. It’s lazy, it looks like crap and no one will care. Though it is true that most people care about content more than production value, you will turn away more potential viewers with bottom-barrel production. If you are strapped for cash, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives, but never skimp out. You get what you pay for, and this case, you are paying for a chance to entertain.

Let’s Listen

Visuals are important when conducting a Let’s Play, but don’t forget your viewers will most often be listening as well. Remember to pay close attention to sound quality and distracting noises.

Pay too much attention to subscriber and view count

As much as Youtube is directing a lot towards statistics you’d be better off not looking at them all too often, especially if you’re just starting out. If you’re only doing the lets plays for the views and subscribers then you need to go away and reassess what you’re doing. Sure it’s nice to have people constantly viewing and enjoying your videos but it’s not what lets playing is all about. It’s really just about having fun and taking the viewers on a journey with you.

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Now as much as the list above may seem very obvious, you’d be surprised at how often you’ll find lets play videos on Youtube doing one or all of the above. Not to take away from the negativity, lets get on to the list of things you SHOULD do.

Stick to a schedule

One of the biggest deterrents that many viewers find is when they start watching a lets play and the episodes appear randomly. Wither you’re looking to upload every day or just 3/5 days a week you should really stick to a steady schedule.

You should also set aside days for recording and editing your videos. It gives you something to look forward to in terms of recording but also gives you lots of time to do your editing to help minimize any possible mistakes you could make.

Take your time

The last thing you want to do it sit and just spend all your time recording and editing. Take your time and record when it feels right, if you feel like you’re doing a chore when it comes to it then put everything down and walk away. It’ll save you from producing a lower quality of video compared to the rest of them.

With editing you don’t want to rush the production of your video. You’ll forget several things such as cropping, sound mixing and so on. It’s very easily done but it makes a huge difference.

Play games that aren’t widely known of

This is where people make their biggest mistake. Most lets players make the mistake of thinking that if they play the latest big release or the latest bandwagon game that they’re going to get loads of subscribers and views. Well, you’re wrong.

You need to remember that there are already much bigger lets players out there who will be doing the same thing and if you think that you’re going to get noticed in the insanely big pile of them then you’re clearly rather delusional.

My recommendation to this is that you play games that haven’t received as big an audience, it will make people come to your channel since most other people wont be playing it due to the bigger releases and if you really enjoy the game it’ll give the commentary a much better vibe about it.

[Written by contributor Declan McGeachey and Matthew Papayanopulos]

  • Awesome! – I made a couple of let’s play/game guides once and man are they horrible. Good advice. :)

  • Ettina

    The stick to a schedule bit is unfortunately not possible for me, because of my disability.

    • If you record an average of X videos per week, but there’s no telling when you record them, the solution is simple: upload them and schedule them. Videos can be published at specific times on specific days, so even if your recording schedule is all over the place, your publishing schedule can be consistent.