The easy way to stream content on Twitch

Not a long time ago, videogame play was rather a personal activity. You would launch the game on your computer or console and become the sole witness to the action taking place on the screen. Yes, we did play multiplayer games too, but you only shared the game arena, not your game screen.

Live streaming and broadcast have become a trend today. We can go live with anything, anytime, anywhere. That, we could do with video games too. The apps like Twitch and Ustream let you broadcast your gameplay to the world allowing you to become a celebrity of the sort.

Twitch is an undeniable leader in game streaming. Whether it’s your computer (PC or Mac) or gaming consoles (PS4 or Xbox One), you can have the world witness your gaming skills anytime you want. In this guide, we will learn how to stream on Twitch from various devices.

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STREAM PC GAMES ON TWITCH

INSTALL A BROADCASTER CLIENT (PREFERABLY OBS)

PC and Mac do not offer the built-in capability to live stream videogames or the desktop. This is why we will need a third-party application that can link the gameplay to your Twitch account. Yes, you will also need a Twitch account, but that’s something we will talk about later in the article. Let’s first have a look at the broadcast client.

There are plenty of live streaming desktop clients out there and it usually boils down to the personal preference of a particular user. The opinions about such applications are so diverse making judgment could get a bit difficult. You may try a few of these programs and determine which one suits you the best. We have picked OBS or Open Broadcaster Software because it is free and very stable. It is indeed one of the best you can find.

In the following text, we will cover streaming over Twitch using OBS on Windows. OBS also has a Mac version and the broadcast steps are more or less the same.  

The very first thing you need to do is get OBS from its official website https://obsproject.com/

You will download the installer from here, which you can run to quickly install the desktop application. It is a pretty straightforward installer. Just follow the simple onscreen instructions and you will have OBS ready to use in no time.

ADDING THE SOURCE AND GAME STREAM

Of course, adding the live gameplay feed is the most important aspect of broadcasting over Twitch. So, let’s get started.

You need to have the game running on your computer to allow OBS to detect it as a potential source. So, launch the game and press the keys ‘Alt’ and ‘Tab’ together to switch and bring the OBS window to the foreground. Whether or not the game is open in full screen mode, this method will work fine.

The OBS home screen appears to be pretty bland with a blank space for most part. Only at the bottom you will see some buttons and boxes huddled up. You should be able to see the Sources box on the left. If you are not streaming anything yet, it should be empty. Right Click inside the ‘Sources’ box and select ‘Add’ followed by ‘Game Capture.’

Another window will open up on which you can see the list of all the apps/programs currently running on your computer including the videogame you wish to stream. Select the game and click ‘OK.’

The OBS home screen will start showing the preview of the stream once you click ‘Preview Stream’. This is exactly how your game will be live streamed. Note that if the game is in the full screen mode, the preview screen will appear black. That’s nothing to worry about. Once you switch back to the game the feed will show the game play.

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Why isn’t my game streaming?

If your game is not working with the client, there is a chance it doesn’t stream on OBS through ‘Game Capture’. Again, nothing to worry about! Instead of Game Capture, we will use the option to broadcast the entire monitor/desktop. There are many games that don’t work with this mode. To stream the monitor, on the OBS home screen, right click inside the Sources list. Select ‘Add’ and then select ‘Monitor Capture’ instead of ‘Game Capture.’ This should definitely do it.

ADD THE WEBCAM STREAM

Want to make your game stream a little more interesting. OBS lets you add the webcam stream alongside the game stream. This is a great way to directly interact with your audiences. Here is how you can do it.

Once you have started the game stream, go back to the OBS home screen and right click in the ‘Sources’ box again. Select ‘Add’ on the popup and click ‘Video Capture Device.’ Select your webcam from the dropdown list right on the top.

You will see a plenty of options on this screen. You can explore and experiment with them. Just make sure your webcam stays selected in the dropdown and you won’t go wrong.

Another great thing about OBS is that not only it adds the webcam feed to your videogame broadcast, it also lets you pick where it is displayed. All you need to do is select the button ‘Edit Scene’ and choose the position for webcam feed. You can drag and drop the feed in the desired part of the frame. OBS also lets you resize the webcam window. Just make sure that webcam feed doesn’t take up too much space so that it begins to block the game visuals.

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ADD THE WATERMARK

Adding a watermark to your broadcast is a great way to ensure no one claims it as theirs later. Watermark also adds a touch of seriousness to the job and makes you appear more professional.

First of all, you will need to create a watermark and save it in the image format. You can use the most popular formats such as PNG, JPEG, etc.

Go to the OBS home screen again and right click the Sources box. Now go to ‘Add’ followed by ‘Image’. Navigate to the folder where you saved your image you wish to use as watermark. Double click the image to add it to your feed.

You can alter the opacity of watermark after adding it. You can also position the watermark wherever you desire by choosing ‘Edit Scene.’

Preview Everything before Starting the Broadcast

To make sure everything looks exactly as you want, it would be a good idea to preview the display before beginning the broadcast. In order to preview, you need to click the button ‘Preview Stream’. If all is good, you can proceed with the broadcast. If you need to make any adjustments, just go over the three steps again.

GETTING STARTED WITH TWITCH

Now that we have it all ready in OBS, it’s time to get integrate it with your Twitch account. If you don’t have a Twitch account already, visit https://www.twitch.tv and click ‘Sign Up’ on the top right. Connect with Facebook or fill in the usual details to create the account.

Once signed up, log in to your Twitch account. Here are the easy steps you need to follow to start streaming your game through OBS:

  1. Click on your name on the top right
  2. Click Dashboard from the dropdown menu
  3. Dashboard will appear and will show you the preview of the stream. However, the stream hasn’t begun yet. You need to connect the Twitch account to the OBS client. Click the tab ‘Stream Key’
  4. Now click on ‘Show Key’
  5. A code will appear on the screen; copy it to the clipboard
  6. Go Back to OBS home screen and click ‘Settings’ on the bottom panel
  7. This will open the ‘Broadcast Settings’ window. You need to click on the dropdown labeled ‘Streaming Service.’
  8. Click ‘Twitch’ from the list of the available options
  9. Paste the copied key in Step 5 in to the ‘Play Path/Stream Key (if any)’ field

You will now see a series of warning messages saying that OBS client is not optimized to work with Twitch. That’s no big deal. Locate the ‘Optimize’ button on the bottom and click on it. This will optimize OBS automatically to stream using Twitch. If you are not satisfied and wish to do some manual adjustments, there are settings you can alter.

Now take a final look at the stream in OBS before getting it live. If you are not satisfied, you can make adjustments. If the stream overshoots the frame, you can bring it back to the center.

Once you are convinced with the preview, you are all set to make the stream live. All you need to do is click ‘Start Streaming’ option on OBS screen. The stream will instantly synch with the Twitch dashboard. Now you can add captions, tags, and details in Twitch to allow your target audience to find your stream easily.

You are all set to show the world your gaming prowess!

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STREAM PS4 GAMES ON TWITCH

Streaming PS4 game on Twitch is way easier and straightforward than the PC games. You don’t need to install any third-party client like OBS. PS4 offers built-in capability to stream games over Twitch as well as Ustream. Make sure you create a Twitch account first. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Start playing the game on PS4
  2. Press the button called ‘Share’
  3. Choose ‘Broadcast Gameplay’
  4. Choose Twitch.tv from the list of available broadcast services
  5. Link your Twitch account to PS4
  6. Choose the streaming title and other streaming options
  7. Hit ‘Start Broadcasting’

This will start the streaming instantly.

STREAM XBOX ONE GAMES ON TWITCH

You can stream the Xbox one games as well. The process is simple but you need to download the Twitch app on your Xbox One.

Open your Xbox console and go to the Store from the home screen. Select the option ‘Apps.’ Look up for ‘Twitch’ in the search box. Follow the onscreen instructions to download the app.

If you are using Twitch for the first time, you will need to create a Twitch account. Launch the app and select ‘Sign up’. Fill the required details and create a username and password. Alternately, you can connect with your Facebook account.

Note: You will also need a mobile device or computer to log in to Twitch.

Follow these steps to start streaming:

  1. Log in to Twitch on the mobile or computer with the same username and password you created earlier
  2. Launch the Twitch application on your Xbox One console
  3. Click ‘Log in’ and log in to Twitch on the console
  4. Now on your mobile or computer, go to twitch.com/activate and note down the 6 digit key code
  5. Return to Twitch on the console and enter the key code to link Xbox One to the Twitch account
  6. Go to Profile on Twitch on the mobile or computer and ensure that you are ‘Online’ (else the broadcast will not appear)
  7. Open settings and go to ‘Privacy and online safety’
  8. Select ‘Everybody’ in the ‘See if you’re online’ section
  9. Set ‘Allow’ in the ‘Broadcast gameplay’ section
  10. Go back to Settings again and navigate to ‘Preferences’
  11. Make sure that you check ‘”Allow broadcasts and Game DVR uploads’
  12. Now navigate to ‘Kinect’ in Settings
  13. Choose ‘Allow’ for ‘Share content made using Kinect’
  14. Launch the Twitch app on Xbox One
  15. Twitch will perform the network test and recommend the bitrate suited for your network
  16. You can choose the recommended bitrate or pick the one manually (not recommended unless you really know what you are doing; choosing the wrong bitrate will affect the stream quality)
  17. Once you have chosen the bitrate, you can select whether you wish to allow picture in picture. You can also choose which part of the screen the embedded picture will appear. If you are choosing this option, make sure you place the picture strategically so that game view for the audience does not get affected
  18. Choose ‘Enable Kinect’ if you want to show yourself to the audience
  19. If you want your audience to be able to hear you, select ‘Enable Microphone.’
  20. There are a few other options you can choose or ignore. For instance, you can set the volume of the microphone. You can choose whether or not the chat window will appear along with the game play. You can give a title to your broadcast as well.
  21. Once you are satisfied with everything, choose ‘Select Broadcast’

The game play will thus begin to broadcast to your audience.

Conclusion

Twitch is one of the most popular game live streaming services. It lets you live stream games from PC, Mac, PS4 and Xbox One. Live streaming from your computer could get a little tricky as you need to install a third party app, such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Thankfully, apps like OBS are free and easy to set up. With PS4, it is an easy sail as you don’t need to download anything extra. To live stream the game from Xbox One, you will need to download Twitch app on the console.

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