Sony has made a lot of quality-of-life improvements for live-streaming games from its newer consoles. YouTube has made similar strides toward making live broadcasts more convenient and accessible for content creators.

The PlayStation 5 is the last word in console gaming right now. But the PS4 still carries a lot of clout. And with the current global shortage of current-gen machines, many streamers don’t have a choice but to stick with their PS4s a little bit longer.

In this guide, we’ll go through several methods on how to stream to YouTube from PS4. Some ways are slightly more complicated than others but the payoff in terms of content quality is worth it. Let’s get started.

How to Stream on PS4 to YouTube

A PS4 streamer setup can be both simple and sophisticated. The following tutorials will help you broadcast straight from your console to YouTube and indirectly through a computer.

If it’s your first time streaming on YouTube, you have to verify your account before you can broadcast live content. Do the following before anything else.

  1. Log into your YouTube account.
  2. On your home screen, click on the camera icon on the upper right of your screen. On the drop-down menu, select “Go live.”
  3. You will not get a notification saying you have to verify your account through a working phone number.
  4. After performing the verification process, you’ll be informed that you have to wait for 24 hours before you can go live.
  5. Wait out the approval period then check back in. If you can get into YouTube Studio when you click “Go live”, then your account is active and allowed to live stream.

Now, let’s get to the meaty parts.

Streaming Straight from Your PS4 to YouTube

  1. Turn on your console.
  2. Go to the settings menu and then to “Sharing and Broadcasts”.
  3. Select “Link with Other Services” then choose YouTube.
  4. Sign in to your YouTube account, and select the channel through which you want to stream.
  5. Grant PlayStation Network access to your Google account.
  6. Your PS4 is now linked to your YouTube account. Go back to “Sharing and Broadcasts” in the settings main menu.
  7. Once there, go to “Broadcast Settings” then “Advanced Settings”.
  8. If you have a PS4 camera and want to have a facecam in your live stream, check “Include Video from PlayStation Camera in Broadcast”.
    • The PS4 only supports official Sony cameras for consoles, unlike Xbox, which supports most off-shelf USB webcams.
  9. Go to “Camera Video Settings”, and set up the appearance of your facecam. From here, you can set your facecam’s position, size, background, etc.
  10. Exit out then select “Audio Sharing Settings”, and set whether or not you want to share audio from your PS4’s microphone as well as your multiplayer voice party chat to the stream.
    • Always inform other players in multiplayer that their voices are audible on your stream if you have party chat enabled.
  11. Back in “Advanced Settings”, set whether you want to have your chat displayed by checking or unchecking “Display Message to Spectator and Spectator’s Comments”.
  12. Exit out to your PS4’s main dashboard and start your game.
  13. Press the “Share” button on your controller.
  14. Select “Broadcast Gameplay”, then choose YouTube.
  15. You’ll have quick-action checkboxes for your facecam, mic audio, and chat. Check or uncheck these as you see fit.
  16. Title your stream and add a description.
  17. For the quality, we recommend “720p - Standard”.
    • Set it to “720p - High”, which streams at 60fps if your internet connection can sustain upload speeds of at least 5 Mbps.
  18. Hit “Start Broadcasting”, and you’re live!
  19. To stop live streaming, press the “Share” button again, then “Broadcast Settings”. Select “Stop Broadcasting”.

This method is so favorable that there are third-party apps that allow ​​streaming video to PS4 from mobile devices. The idea is to take advantage of the easy-to-use streaming system of the console to broadcast games exclusive to mobile devices.

Streaming From PS4 to YouTube Using OBS Studio

Broadcasting directly from your console to YouTube is super convenient and quick. But having a computer as a middleman between your PS4 and the video-sharing platform allows you to use streaming programs, like OBS Studio. With a third-party streaming application, you can vastly improve the quality of your broadcasts.

We’ll teach you two methods: 1.) mirroring your PS4 through PS Remote Play and 2.) a wired setup using a capture card.

Using PS Remote Play

  1. Go to “Settings” on your PS4.
  2. Go to “Account Management” and activate your machine as your primary PS4.
  3. Back to “Settings”, head to “Remote Play Connection Settings”.
  4. Check “Enable Remote Play”.
  5. Exit and go to “Power Save Settings”, then to “Set Features Available in Rest Mode”. Check “Stay Connected to the Internet” and “Enable Turning on PS4 from Network”.
  6. On your computer, download and install PS Remote Play. It’s available for PC and Mac.
    • Make sure your computer and PS4 are on the same network. Wi-Fi is good but hard-wired is much better.
  7. Run Remote Play and pair it with your PlayStation controller.
    • Remote Play supports both wired and wireless controller connections.
    • When using Remote Play, your controller will communicate with the computer and not the console even during gameplay. The computer will send control signals to the PS4 through the network.
    • You can also use your mouse and keyboard to control certain PS Remote Play features.
  8. Go to “Settings” and sign in to your PlayStation Network account.
    • This will make it easier for your computer and console to find each other on the network.
  9. For quality, select “High (720p)” as your resolution. Your frame rate will depend on your internet upload speeds as mentioned above. “Standard” for 30fps and “High” for 60fps.
  10. Click “OK”.
  11. Press the “Options” button to link Remote Play on your computer to your PS4.
  12. If successful, you will see your PS4’s screen on your computer through the Remote Play app.
  13. Download and install OBS Studio.
  14. Give OBS administrator access to minimize connectivity issues.
  15. Run OBS and cancel the “Auto-Configuration Wizard”.
  16. Go to “Settings”.
  17. In “Videos”, set both “Base” and “Output” resolutions to 1080p. Click “Apply” then “OK”.
  18. Go to “Output”, then “Output Mode”, and select “Advanced”.
  19. On the “Streaming” tab, select your dedicated GPU (Nvidia, AMD for PC; Apple VT 264 Hardware Encoder for macOS) for the encoder.
    • Set the bitrate from 4500 to 9000 for 1080p 60fps. Your internet connection must be able to sustain an upload speed of 11 Mbps to handle the upper limit bit rate.
  20. Click “Apply” then “OK”.
  21. OBS’s main dashboard, label the auto-added scene by right-clicking and selecting “Rename”. Change it to something that will be easy for you to manage.
  22. On the “Sources” box, add your gameplay video source by clicking the “+” sign or right-clicking, then “Add”. Select “Window Capture”.
  23. Select “PS4 Remote Play” from the choices in the “Window” drop-down.
  24. Your PS4’s display should show up on OBS’s preview screen via Remote Play mirroring.
  25. Right-click on the Remote Play feed on the preview screen. Go to “Transform”, and hit “Fit to Screen” to expand Remote Play to fullscreen.
  26. For your facecam, add another video source in the same scene and select “Video Capture Device”. Select your webcam if you have one connected to your computer.
  27. Resize and crop your webcam by clicking and dragging the red border. Hold down the ‘alt’ key to crop. Drag your camera to wherever you want it on your scene layout.
  28. OBS should detect your microphone automatically if you have one connected to your computer. Its controls will appear on the “Audio Mixer” panel.
    • You can also add your mic manually by going to “Settings”, then “Audio”. Select your microphone from “Mic/Auxiliary Audio”.
    • Remote Play will also send your computer’s mic audio to your PS4. Hover your mouse to the lower part of the Remote Play app and check if the microphone icon is muted or not. If muted, the PS4 will use the audio input device connected to it instead of your computer’s mic.
    • To make sure that your PS4 can receive mic audio from Remote Play, go to your console’s settings, then “Devices”. In “Audio Devices”, check if “Input Device” is set to “Microphone on Remote Play Device”.
    • It will send the party chat audio to your computer as well. All audio from your PS4 will register together with your desktop sounds on OBS.
  29. Set your audio levels/volume.
  30. Go to YouTube Studio and schedule a stream.
  31. Set up your broadcast settings, title, description, tag, etc. Set the category to “Gaming”. Copy the stream key.
  32. Go back to OBS and into “Settings”. On the “Stream” tab, select “YouTube - RTMPS” from “Service”. Then paste the stream key. Click “Apply” then “OK”.
  33. Double-check your video layout and audio settings, then prepare your game on your PS4.
  34. Click “Start Streaming” when you’re ready.
    • Click “Start Recording” if you want a copy of your broadcast in its native quality.
  35. Go back to your YouTube Studio’s dashboard and click “Go live” to begin your live stream.

Using a Capture Card

You may be wondering why we’re bothering you with instructions for PS4 streaming through a capture card OBS when the companion computer app is incredibly convenient.

Not everyone has a stable enough network to handle the demanding communication requirements of mirroring your PS4 onto your computer via PS Remote Play. If there are a lot of people using the internet in your household or office, your network’s stability might get affected. This may result in communication issues between your console and the PS Remote Play app.

Through a capture card, you’ll send audio and video signals to your computer directly through a wired connection. This will not put any further stress on your network.

You will need additional hardware, though. Here’s the grocery list for this method.

  • A good-quality capture card. Elgato’s HD60 S is a good choice.
  • An HDMI cable
  • A USB cable if your capture card doesn’t come with one

Once you have everything, here’s how you do it.

  1. Connect your PS4’s HDMI out to the capture card’s HDMI in.
  2. Connect the capture card’s HDMI out to your TV or monitor.
  3. Connect the capture card to your computer via USB.
    • Use a USB 3.0 port or later on your computer or the signal will not come through.
  4. Install the latest driver for the capture card on your computer.
  5. Run OBS and use the same initial setup procedures as with using PS Remote Play.
  6. In OBS, instead of selecting “Window Capture” as your gameplay video source, choose “Video Capture Device”. If the capture card is installed properly, it should show up in the “Device” list on the “Properties” window. Select your capture card as a source then click “OK”.
  7. Turn on your PS4. OBS should now display your console’s screen if the capture card is working properly.
  8. From this point on, just follow steps 26 and onward from the set of instructions for using Remote Play.
  9. For the sounds, the capture card will only transmit game audio. Your PS4 mic and party chat will not go through. This is one downside of using a capture card for live-streaming console content. You can still provide commentary through your computer’s microphone and OBS.

Wrapping Up

It really is great to have more than one option for setting up a PS4 stream to YouTube. It’s also brilliant that each one has its own set of advantages, which apply to a variety of users.

The direct method is outstandingly convenient and easy to execute. In the case of using the two OBS-based approaches, you unlock a vast array of customization options. These include custom overlays, filters, alerts, and a whole lot more. And you can apply these to all of your video inputs. The same goes for audio modifications. You also get access to a host of engagement tools that go beyond chat boxes.

Whichever method you choose, don’t get too caught up in the technicalities of live-streaming mid-broadcast. Remember that you have an audience to cater to. Have fun, and don’t forget to give your viewers some love.