These days you don't just play games: you record the footage and post it online or even stream it live. The Playstation 4, Xbox One and even Windows 10 come equipped with video capture capabilities and can upload content directly to the web. You can read our guides to Recording Gameplay footage on an Xbox One, and How to Record games with GameDVR in Windows 10). Now there's a new version of YouTube called YouTube Gaming and here's how to use it.

Twitch, the Amazon-owned gaming portal, is most gamers' first port of call and has a huge collection of e-sports live streaming, play-throughs, and general gaming-related material proving very popular. YouTube Gaming will go head to head with Twitch in a battle that wouldn’t look out of place in Street Fighter V. The service is available through your PC browser, or dedicated apps for iOS and Android. Here we'll show you all you need to know about YouTube Gaming and why it’s a big deal.

What is YouTube Gaming?

So how is it different from the regular YouTube site? The answer is focus. While YouTube is the world’s repository for all things video, YouTube Gaming takes  game video and separates it from the general noise. There is also a subtle adjustment to the way that you find said content. Rather than subscribing to Channels (although that is still very much an option) there are Landing Pages that gather content together for specific games, so if you’re a fan of Fallout 4 or Halo 5 then you can go to its Landing Pages and not be bothered by videos about other titles.

What is YouTube Gaming

When you first arrive at YouTube Gaming you’ll be presented with the general content page. On the mobile apps you’ll see a main screen at the top with featured videos, then a red bar with three menu options. These (Games, Home, and Channels) behave in pretty much the same way as the desktop version. On the left is the Games column (with the outline of a game controller at the top on the PC variant).

Move your mouse over to this and a panel will appear telling you that you don’t have any games selected. To remedy this you can either scroll down through the list of trending titles, or go back to the main pane and select the Search bar at the top of the screen. Once you’ve found the game you’re looking for you’ll see another screen with three tabs at the top marked All, Games, and Channels.

To subscribe to the Landing Page for the title, go to Games, click on the artwork, then select the Add option on the right hand side. Now you’ll be able to go straight to your favourite franchise as soon as you reach the site, simply by going to the left-hand column and selecting the game.

Update 17 September 2015: YouTube has announced that Android live video streaming is coming soon to YouTube Gaming. There is no exact date set yet, but the service is coming soon along with a new YouTube Gaming app in Japan.

What is YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming channels

On the right hand side of the screen are the options for subscribing and accessing channels. This works in exactly the same way as the Games column, but with the added feature of allowing you to import your subscriptions from YouTube. Clicking on this brings up a list of any game-related channels found on your existing account, and you can favourite them to add them to the YouTube Gaming profile.

What is YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming live streams

If you see any videos on the site that has a red box with LIVE written inside, as you’ve probably guessed, that is a live stream. Clicking on it will bring you to the video, where you can watch the player die or succeed, while also adding your own comments to the stream appearing in the dialog box.

What is YouTube Gaming

How to broadcast on YouTube Gaming

If you want to create your own real-time content then the Go Live option at the top of the main screen gives you access to the YouTube Creator Studio where you can set up your channel and start a live stream. If you’d prefer to put up pre-recorded content then the option below Go Live is Upload Video, which does exactly what it says.