Microsoft hasn’t released an official figure for how many units of Xbox Series X and S have been sold so far. But it’s estimated that it’s already close to 7 million collectively since they launched in early November of 2020. The tech giant said that the Series X/S are their fastest-selling consoles; outselling the previous two Xbox generation consoles within the same time frame.
Despite the claim, many still can’t get their hands on current-gen consoles. The ongoing global situation makes parts like chips scarce, directly affecting production as well as distribution. Add to that the growing problem that is scalpers—opportunists who buy units in bulk whenever stores get restocked. They often use bots that sweep online marketplaces and place multiple orders faster than any human buyer can.
As a result of this shortage, many of us are stuck with last-gen consoles like the Xbox One. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, the machine’s age is starting to show. But that’s only true when compared to what the series X/S are capable of. Xbox One is still a hardware beast. Playing games on it remains to be an enjoyable experience. And the same goes for live streaming from the old-timer.
In this guide, we’ll teach you how to stream from your Xbox One to YouTube. Unlike PlayStation consoles, Xbox doesn’t stream to the platform natively. We’ll use two methods: through a capture card and via the Xbox Companion App. You’ll need a computer for these tutorials as well. Let’s get started.
How to Stream on Xbox One Using a Capture Card
There are tons of capture card options available. But for reliability, price, and availability of support and resources, we recommend Elgato capture cards. The HD60 S streams at 1080p 60fps. It’s an external device, so you can use it for different computers on the fly.
For this guide, we’ll use OBS Studio as our live streaming software. We’ll also use a capture card with one HDMI in, one HDMI out, and a USB connection. Lastly, these instructions apply to both Windows and macOS computers.
- To begin YouTube streaming from your Xbox One, create an account on the platform, and set up your channel.
- On your YouTube homepage, click on the camera icon on the upper right. On the drop-down menu, select “Go live.”
- Complete the verification process. YouTube requires a working phone number for authentication. There’s a 24-hour waiting period after verifying your account before you can start streaming. After this, you can access YouTube Studio.
- Using an HDMI cable, connect the console’s HDMI out to the capture card’s HDMI in.
- Connect the capture card’s HDMI out to your TV or monitor using a second cable.
- Link the capture card to your computer via USB.
- Be sure you use a USB 3.0 port or later on your computer or the signal will not come through.
- Turn on your computer. If the capture card doesn’t install its drivers automatically, download them from the manufacturer’s website and install.
- Always check for the latest driver version for new devices from the maker’s website since pre-packed installers are outdated usually.
- Download and install OBS Studio. This software links your live stream from your computer to YouTube.
- Give OBS administrator access. Otherwise, you might encounter connectivity issues.
- Run OBS and cancel the “Auto-Configuration Wizard”. Go to “Settings”.
- In “Videos”, set both “Base” and “Output” resolutions to 1080p. Click “Apply” then “OK”.
- Go to “Output” and select “Advanced” under “Output Mode”.
- 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.
- Turn on your console and monitor. The capture card should split audio and video signals from the console to the computer and monitor/TV.
- In OBS, label the auto-added scene by right-clicking and selecting “Rename”. Rename it to something appropriate for its purpose, like “Game and webcam”.
- On the “Sources” panel, add a video source by clicking the “+” sign or right-clicking, then “Add”. Select “Video Capture Device”. The capture card should show up in the “Device” list on the “Properties” window if installed properly. Select your capture card as a source then click “OK”.
- Your Xbox One’s display should show up on OBS’s preview screen. If it doesn’t, quit OBS, move the USB cable to another USB 3.0 port on your computer. Restart OBS.
- If you’re using a webcam, in the “Sources” panel again, add another “Video Capture Device” source and select your webcam.
- 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.
- OBS should detect your microphone automatically if you have one installed. It will register on the “Audio Mixer” panel next to “Sources”. You can also add your mic manually by going to “Settings”, then “Audio”. Select your microphone from “Mic/Auxiliary Audio”.
- OBS’s mic input is just for the commentary on your live stream. The program does not pick up group chat audio from your console by default.
- Set your audio levels/volume.
- Go to YouTube Studio and schedule a stream.
- Set up your broadcast settings, title, description, tag, etc. Don’t forget to categorize it as “Gaming”. Copy the stream key.
- Go back to OBS and into “Settings”. On the “Stream” tab, select “YouTube - RTMPS” from “Service”. Then paste the steam key. Click “Apply” then “OK”.
- Confirm your video layout and audio settings, then ready up whatever game you’ll be playing.
- Click “Start Streaming.” Also, click “Start Recording” if you want a copy of your broadcast in its native quality.
- Go back to your YouTube Studio’s dashboard and click “Go live” to begin your live stream.
How to Stream on Xbox One through the Xbox Console Companion App
This one is just for PC users as it requires downloading an app from the Microsoft Store on a Windows computer to stream from the Xbox One to YouTube Gaming. Both your console and PC must also be on the same network for this to work properly.
- The Xbox Console Companion app should be available on any PC with the latest Windows build. If not, download and install it from the Microsoft Store.
- Turn on your Xbox One. Go to “Settings” from your profile tab on the main dashboard.
- Go to “Devices & connections”, then select “Remote features”.
- Tick “Enable remote features”, then click “Xbox app preferences”.
- Under “Xbox app”, select either “Allow connections from any device” or “Only from profiles signed in on this Xbox”.
- Under “This Xbox”, check “Allow game streaming to other devices”.
- Connect your Xbox controller to your PC via Bluetooth or USB.
- Run the Xbox Console Companion App on your PC.
- Log in using the same Microsoft account that you used for your Xbox One.
- Click on the console icon on the left sidebar. It’s the second one from the bottom, above the settings gear icon.
- Select your Xbox One from the detected devices.
- Click the “Stream”.
- Your Xbox One’s display should show up on your PC. You also have full control of your console using the controller that’s linked to the computer.
- Provided you’ve verified your YouTube account to permit you to live stream, the same instructions from using a capture card apply from here on, starting from step 8. But use these instructions for setting up your source.
- Instead of using “Video Capture Device” as your gameplay feed source, select “Game Capture”.
- Choose “Capture specific window” from “Mode”. Select “Xbox Console Companion” from the “Window” dropdown. Then hit “OK”.
- Using the app also allows you to stream your Xbox One party chat to OBS. Here’s how to do it.
- In your Xbox One console’s “Settings”, go to “General”.
- Select “Volume & audio output”, then go to “Party chat output”.
- Select “Headset” if you’re using a headset that’s connected to your PC. Select “Headset and Speakers” if you’re using two headsets that are connected to the computer and the controller.
- In the Xbox Console Companion on your PC, join the party chat that you want to be heard on your live stream. OBS will now detect the audio from your party chat.
- You can now stream to YouTube from your Xbox One without using additional hardware.
A Few More Things to Consider
Now that we have the basics out of the way. Here are several more pointers that may help you with live streaming Xbox One to YouTube.
- Both methods will mirror your entire Xbox One console’s display onto your computer. If you don’t want your audience to see you fiddling with your console’s dashboard, we recommend setting up another scene with just your webcam on fullscreen. Switch from scene to scene by highlighting them on the Scene panel. OBS also accepts static images as a source. You can use those as placeholders while you tweak your console.
- In using the capture card method, a separate monitor or TV is not required. But we recommend having one. You can see and hear your Xbox feed from the computer through the live streaming software but it will be a lot smaller than ideal. It will affect how you play. A bigger, dedicated display ensures you’ll get the most out of the game.
- Unlike streaming games straight from your PC, the console handles a game’s processes, so the computer isn’t as burdened. If you don’t have a dedicated GPU on your computer, you can use the CPU (any of the choices that don’t indicate a brand). But ultimately, we recommend always using dedicated hardware for encoding on OBS.
- Xbox One, OBS Studio, and YouTube allow streaming in 4k. The recommended bitrate is 20000 to 50000. However, you’d need upload speeds of 25 and 62 Mbps to juice up such high bitrates. You’ll also need a much more powerful capture card, like the Elgato HD60 PRO. But it’s an internal card and only works on Windows. It’s something to consider if you want your Xbox One YouTube streaming to have the best quality for more discerning viewers.
- You can connect most USB webcams directly to your Xbox One and have it over your gameplay from the console and to OBS. But customization is very limited. We suggest using a webcam that’s connected to your computer for a much wider range of modifications.
- Always use high-quality HDMI cables that support the resolutions at which you want to stream. Buy from trusted brands that have had their merchandise certified. They don’t have to be the most expensive. There are reasonably priced cable brands that are also well-reviewed. It’s a matter of looking hard enough. You’ll plug, unplug, and bend these cables a lot as a streamer. It’s best to invest in good quality ones. It also wouldn’t hurt having one or two spares around.
Streaming with a capture card doesn’t pick up party chat. But there are workarounds for this issue using special audio cables. Watch out for our tutorial for it soon.
Xbox One Isn’t Going Anywhere Yet
The console’s lifespan is far from over. The Series X/S’ high demand and low supply are even making sure that their older brother and other previous generation consoles will still have a solid place in many people’s living rooms for years to come.
A lot of developers, both big and small, are dedicated to putting out new Xbox One-compatible games. There’s hardly any concern regarding the lack of potential content for live streamers who still haven’t upgraded for whatever reason. And with Microsoft’s acquisition of major development studios, like ZeniMax (Bethesda, Arkane, id), you can expect tons of Xbox exclusives. So fire up the old dog and stream away!