Streaming applications like Twitch are revolutionizing the way we perceive gaming. It’s no longer an activity you do alone or with a few friends at home. Now, you can share your gameplay in front of a bigger audience. Think global - that’s what Twitch does. It also lets you stream straight from your gaming console, particularly the PS4 and Xbox One. But you do need all the right equipment and software to do so.

This guide will focus on how to stream to Twitch from macOS or Windows using Open Broadcasting Studio (OBS) software. But we’ll also briefly discuss the other ways you can set up a live stream on Twitch.

How to Live Stream on Twitch PC

Smartphone and console streaming are a good entry point into the world of live streaming. But if you want more control over your stream, there’s no beating desktop streaming. It offers more computing resources and flexibility, making it the number one choice for streaming. However, streaming using your computer requires more consideration.

For starters, it’s a lot trickier to start streaming on desktop than on Xbox One or other consoles. That’s because most systems don’t come with built-in software to get you started. As a workaround, you need to use an encoding software to start a live stream on Twitch on PC and Mac. Plus, your CPU should be powerful enough to handle simultaneous encoding and gaming.

Step 1: Download a streaming software

Click on your profile icon and select the “Creator Dashboard”.

Click on the three horizontal lines on the upper left corner of the screen and select “Streaming Tools”. Download and install the encoding software of your choice.

Step 2: Set Your Encoder Stream Settings

When you’re just starting out, the only settings you need to focus on are the audio and video bit rate.

Go to OBS and click “Settings” at the bottom right corner of the screen and then select the “Output” tab.

Set the bitrate between 2,500 and 4,000 Kbps if you want to broadcast with resolution 720p at 30 frames per second (FPS). This should give you upload speeds between 3.2 Mbps and 5 Mbps. You can increase the bitrate up to 5,000 Kbps if you want to stream at 720p at 60 FPS. As for your audio bit rate, 128 Kbps is good enough regardless of your video resolution. You can lower this if your internet connection is not as fast.

Step 3: Enter Your Stream Key

To get your stream key, return to your Twitch creator dashboard and click on “Preferences” and then “Channel”. Hit the “Copy” button. Never share your stream key with anyone. If it gets compromised, you can always reset it on this page.

On OBS, click “Settings”. Select the “Stream” tab and then click “Use Stream Key” and enter the stream key.

Step 4: Ready Your Game

Now, it’s time to open the game you wish to stream. Find the “Sources” menu at the bottom of the screen and click the (+) button.

You can use either the “Game Capture” or “Display Capture” option to share your gameplay. However, do take note that when using “Display Capture”, anything on your screen could be shared—including sensitive information. So be careful when using this option.

Step 5: Ready, Steady, Stream!

When you’re ready to stream, just hit the “Start Streaming” button in OBS, and you’re live. Hit “Stop Streaming” when you’re done. And that’s it!

How to Start a Live Stream on Twitch Using Alternative Methods

Here are other ways you can stream live on Twitch.

Go Live on Mobile

Twitch is available on both Android and iOS, and it’s so easy to use. You can broadcast using your phone’s camera and start a “Just Chatting” live stream. You can talk about anything and everything under the sun. However, if you want to share your mobile game, you’ll need a third-party app for that.

Go Live on PlayStation 4

The PS4 and PS4 Pro have a built-in live streaming feature in their operating systems. You can broadcast straight from your console to Twitch with just a few clicks of your X button. However, the most notable downside of console streaming is that consoles don’t have all the computing resources needed for streaming. As a result, you may end up with a choppy stream.

Using the broadcast feature is the most convenient way to stream from your PS4. But it’s also very limited. If you want more control over your broadcast, we recommend that you use a capture card instead.

Go Live on Xbox

Streaming on your Xbox One is just as easy as it is on a PS4, but with a few extra steps. For example, you need to download and install the Twitch app on your Xbox One. You also need the Xbox Kinect if you want to have a “facecam”. Xbox supports all USB webcams. However, the Twitch app is only compatible with the Kinect. The Kinect has a built-in microphone, but it’s prone to cutting out when streaming on Twitch. It’s best to have your own headset if you’re using this option.

Takeaway

Twitch remains the king of live video streaming, so it’s a really excellent platform to start your live game streaming career.