Too often, YouTubers gamers find themselves in a Let’s Play rut, producing the same videos over and over. If you’re looking to change up the content you offer, walkthroughs offer a wealth of opportunities to diversify and grow your channel.
With so many new games released every week, posting endless Let’s Plays is an easy habit to fall into, but playing different games doesn’t equate to having diversified content on your channel. The games are varied, but the basic format of your video content isn’t. Walkthroughs could be exactly the change needed to grow your channel.
What’s the Difference?
At first glance, walkthroughs and Let’s Play videos don’t seem too dissimilar, as they both feature you playing through parts of a video game. The difference, however, is the intent behind the video and overall presentation.
Rather than only showcasing gameplay, a walkthrough aims to teach viewers how to maneuver through various stages of the game. From demonstrating the most efficient way through a level to navigating a particularly tricky puzzle, walkthroughs are about education.
Let’s Play videos, by contrast, are there to spotlight the gameplay, story and, most of all, your reaction. It’s all about the surface details, whereas a walkthrough is a deep dive into the content and mechanics. No matter how many different games you feature, a Let’s Play boils down to the same reaction based format. Walkthroughs offer unique content for each video because no two levels of a game will be conquered in exactly the same way.
Besides bringing fresh content, walkthroughs add value to your channel in other ways. Once a game has been out for a week or so, Let’s Play videos lose their attraction for audiences. A month down the road when the next major game launches, no one will be searching for — or interested in — your previous Let’s Play.
A walkthrough, however, enjoys longevity well beyond a game’s launch window. Tips and tricks on tough spots throughout a game will always appeal to players. Gamers just discovering a title years later can still utilize the walkthroughs you’ve created.
Crafting an Effective Video
Making a walkthrough video isn’t a simple matter of changing the voiceover commentary on top of a regular play session. There are key elements to include in order to give viewers what they need while still being entertaining:
Follow Along in Order: It’s crucial to ensure your walkthroughs follow a specific, clear order. If you’re going level-by-level, you should go in the order the game presents them. Skipping around will only confuse viewers.
Slow and Steady: You can’t play at your regular pace in a walkthrough. You have to slow down so viewers can keep up with everything. Don’t get into a situation where viewer has no idea where you are or how you got there.
Directions: Along with slowing things down, be clear in the voiceover directions. Whatever you do, explain to viewers why you did it that way. Detailing your method through a level or mission is what audiences are looking for, as the quirks and methods of play are what makes your strategy unique to you.
Clear Labeling: Lower thirds and other on-screen text should already be part of your videos, but in a walkthrough they become essential. They quickly alert viewers when you’re moving to a new area and highlight elements of a puzzle or boss battle. They can also spotlight secret mechanics or Easter eggs.
Get Discovered: Proper titles, descriptions and keywords are vital aspects of getting your walkthroughs discovered — especially for multi-video breakdowns. If you’re tackling a particularly notorious section of a game, include the level name in the video title and talk it up in the description. This gives you more visibility to gamers searching for specific levels or bosses.
Taking these into consideration will ensure you’re not turning potential subscribers away. How you play the game and the personality you bring will keep them there. Just because you’re doing instructional content doesn’t mean you can’t insert your own elements. Viewers can find boring walkthroughs anywhere, so make it your own — just don’t skip the basics.
Walkthroughs don’t have to be boring or fall into the same pattern every time. They aren’t necessarily limited to getting viewers through stages of the game. You could record bonus videos to highlight discovering secrets, tracking down collectibles, speed routes between zones or alternate strategies for bosses.
It’s possible to cover all of these within your main walkthrough series on a game, but they work exceptionally well in fleshing out your channel. Posting them after your primary walkthrough series ends gets more content out of a single game while subscribers have something new to enjoy.
Additionally, different genres require different approaches. Using the same walkthrough format on open world games won’t work for straightforward action titles. Walkthroughs on multiplayer specific games — fighting, MMOs, MOBAs, shooters — will focus on tips and tricks rather than working through a level. Strategy games are more about mastering mechanics and understanding options for the players — the list goes on.
No matter how you look at it, there’s a plethora of content you can add to your channels by introducing video game walkthroughs. The pointed content and longevity they have ensures they’ll continually bring in new subscribers while keeping your current ones happy.