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How To Broadcast & Stream a PC Game on Twitch

Posted by Jamie on June 6, 2017

Most gamers who don’t mind being called gamers will know all about Twitch. It is the world’s largest streaming platform that draws in audiences numbered in their millions. You can watch games being played all day long across all platforms but you can stream your own too. Today I will show you how to stream a PC game on Twitch.

You can stream PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch to Twitch too but as I don’t have any of those, I will concentrate on PC.

According to Twitch themselves, they have over 100 million unique visitors per month that devour over 16 billion minutes of content. Of those users there are around 2 million broadcasters streaming everything from basic games to competitive multiplayers. The site is clean and easy to use, which adds to its appeal.

Stream a PC game on Twitch

There are a few pre-requisites you will need to stream a PC game to Twitch. You will need decent PC hardware, a good connection and a Twitch account. The company recommends a minimum PC spec of an Intel Core i5-4670 or AMD equivalent and at least 8GB DDR3 RAM.

You will also need a stable internet connection with at least 2Mbps upload capability. More would be better but this is the least you require for decent performance.

You will also need a broadcasting app to make everything work. Three of the best are Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), Gameshow and XSplit. OBS is free and open source but needs a little configuring. Gameshow is supposed to be pretty good but I have never used it. XSplit is good too but needs a premium subscription to access its best features. I will use OBS for this guide.

  1. Set up a Twitch account and get a Stream Key. You will need this to be able to stream your games. Once signed up, you should see a dashboard, select the Stream Key tab and hit Show Key. Keep the page open for a minute.
  2. Download and install OBS.
  3. Open OBS as an Administrator and select Settings in the top left menu.
  4. Set up your name, default language and anything else you might like to customize.
  5. Select Encoding from the left menu and ‘Use CBR’ and ‘Enable CBR padding’. Use AAC with a bitrate of 128 for the audio codec. If you have a lot of bandwidth, you can play around with these settings a little if you wish.
  6. Select Broadcast Settings from the left menu of OBS.
  7. Select Twitch as the stream and hit Optimize.
  8. Add your Stream Key from Twitch into the box labeled ‘Play Path/Stream Key then hit OK.
  9. Close Settings.
  10. Right click Sources in the bottom center of the main OBS window .
  11. Select Add, Game Capture and select the game you want to stream from the Application dropdown box.
  12. Select Monitor Capture to display whatever happens on your computer monitor.
  13. Add a feed and select Video Capture to display you via your webcam as you play. This is optional but offers a bit more interest to the stream.
  14. Select Preview Stream to set everything up before going live. Make any changes you need and make sure your webcam is positioned correctly.
  15. Select Start Streaming in the main OBS dashboard to being your stream.

There are a ton of settings you can mess around with in OBS but the ones listed above will get you up and running in the shortest amount of time. If you would like to dig a little deeper into the setup, this Twitch page has everything you are ever likely to want to know about setting up OBS for Twitch.

Adding the extra source stream of you on webcam is optional but when you watch Twitch streams, those with the player commenting on camera are easily the most entertaining. Just make sure you have a good webcam and that you set it up so there is very little distraction in the background. Your audience will be dividing their attention between gameplay and your commentary so should not be distracted by goings on behind you.

OBS does take a little configuring but considering it is free, is a very powerful tool to use if you want to stream a PC game on Twitch. If you took a look at that Twitch configuration page, there are literally hundreds of settings you can tweak to enhance or customize your feed. The instructions above will get you streaming quickly but it is likely that as you gain experience, you will tweak these settings to suit.

Got any OBS specific settings to suggest to new Twitch users? Got any tips for creating interesting streams? Tell us about them below if you do.

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