Want to know how to record Twitch streams on a PC? Want to record your own streams while broadcasting them? Want to record the streams of another streamer so you can watch later? You can do all those things and more with a free tool and a little patience. This tutorial shows you how.
Twitch is huge. If you’re a gamer, you will have watched or broadcast on the platform. It has millions of users from across the world and is growing all the time. You can watch games of all kinds from World of Warcraft to PUBG and lots of random games you have likely never heard of. It’s a streaming service that you watch live but there is also an archive feature to watch older streams.
If you don’t want to depend on your favorite streamer keeping an archive of their old streams or you want to record your own, you can. Recording your own stream also means you can upload it to other sites too like YouTube or edit it before publishing.
Set up your Twitch stream
I’m not sure whether recording or downloading streams is against the Twitch T&Cs but it is likely that it is. The obvious exception would be if you are recording your own streams of course but if you’re recording someone else’s I imagine it is against the Twitch terms. I’m going to assume you want to record your own streams so you can edit or publish them elsewhere.
You will need the excellent and free, OBS, Open Broadcaster Software to make this happen. There is a version of OBS for Windows, Mac and Linux so you should be covered.
- Install OBS onto your computer.
- Log into Twitch and select Settings.
- Select your Twitch Dashboard and select Stream Key.
- Select Show Key and copy it.
- Open OBS and select Settings in the bottom right.
- Select Broadcast Settings and Streaming Services.
- Select Twitch as the service and paste the key into Play Path/Stream Key.
Now you have linked OBS with Twitch and you will be able to stream to Twitch once you begin. OBS takes a little setting up so we need to tackle that next. We need to set up the sources, i.e. the game and your webcam if you want to been seen while playing. We also need to set up the scene which is the broadcast people will see which includes those sources.
- Open the game you’re planning to stream.
- Open OBS if you closed it.
- Select the ‘+’ icon under the Sources box.
- Select Game Capture and give the stream a descriptive name.
- Select ‘Capture any fullscreen application’ under Mode so OBS will capture the game. You can use Windowed if you play in windowed mode here.
- Select the window of the game to link OBS with it.
- Select OK to save the settings.
- Repeat Steps 3-7 if you want to use another source such as webcam showing you playing. Just switch on your webcam, then add it as a windowed source as above.
- Select Start Streaming when you’re ready.
Record your Twitch streams
You have two options to record your Twitch stream. You can do it within Twitch or you can configure OBS to do it. Both achieve the same goal but one copy is saved on the Twitch servers while the other is saved locally on your PC.
Archive Twitch streams:
- Log into Twitch and select Settings.
- Select Channels & Videos.
- Scroll to Archive Broadcasts and check the box.
Twitch will save your broadcasts for 14 days before wiping it. You can export directly to YouTube from your Settings menu. If you want to save videos for longer than 14 days, you will need Turbo subscription which saves them for 60 days.
Using OBS to record your Twitch stream:
- Open OBS and select Settings.
- Select Broadcast Settings from the left and File Path.
- Enter the location you want to save your broadcasts.
- Select ‘Automatically save stream to file’ and then OK.
- Begin streaming your game.
To watch or edit your broadcasts, select File and Open Recordings Folder from within OBS. Or you can open the file with your video editor of choice to edit the video before uploading it.
OBS does take a little setting up but I think it is definitely the best way to record Twitch streams. The software is free and fully featured and once set up should continue working without having to configure every time. You may have to periodically refresh your Twitch key but is otherwise set up for good.
Know of any easier ways to record Twitch streams on a PC? Know of any software as good and as free as OBS? Tell us about them below if you do!