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How To Stream PC Games On Twitch



Not so long ago, there was pretty much one way to interact with a video game: sit down and play it. You might have watched an older friend or sibling play while pointing out all of their mistakes, but playing was never what you would call "spectator sport" E-Sport, and especially the online streaming service Twitch. It is now a perfectly legitimate way to enjoy a game when you start a stream and watch someone else playing a thousand miles away. Best of all, everyone can participate in both sides of a twitch stream – PCWorld even has its own twitch channel. If you want to be the one to play in front of a live audience, you can do it for free today.

How To Stream Your Games On Twitch.

PC Requirements: The absolute minimum.

This guide assumes that you have a PC with a discrete graphics card and a processor that is powerful enough to stream games. At least start your game and upload video and audio at the same time. There are many twitch pros who actually use two PCs to accomplish this – one for streaming and one for gaming – but this is a complex set-up that goes beyond this beginner's guide.

Twitch recommends that your PC have at least an Intel Core i5-4670 or the AMD equivalent and 8 GB of RAM. Your graphics card is not that important for streaming, but Twitch says it should be at least DirectX 10 compliant. If you want to play a modern game, DirectX 11 or 12 is required. (See our manual for the best graphics cards for PC games.)

Note that these are the recommended minimum specifications and a more powerful PC will obviously perform better. Do not forget your internet connection. Twitch's broadcasting guidelines require you to deliver approximately 4,500 to 6,000 kilobits per second to deliver 1080p at 60 frames per second and 3,500 to 5,000 kbps at 30 frames per second.

Getting Started with OBS Studio

To start broadcasting on Twitch, you need two extra things: desktop software, the material from your game computer and stream, and a Twitch account. We start with the software.

There are many options for desktop streaming software. You can find debates about the relative merits online, but we recommend a broadcast suite that's free and easy to set up – and that integrates well with Twitch. The program is called Open Broadcaster Software Studio (often abbreviated as OBS Studio) and replaces the classic OBS software.

We will discuss the OBS Studio client for Windows, but there are also versions for Mac and Linux. [19659014] obsstudio 1 "width =" 700 "height =" 476 "data-imageid =" 100731071 "data-license =" IDG "/> Ian Paul / IDG

The OBS Studio interface at its first Start. (Click an image in this post to enlarge it.)

After you download OBS Studio and run the installer, the client launches, and you will see a window with an empty mailbox and a series of Options Here you set up the "scene" and sources for your broadcast The scene in OBS Studio is the final product you'll be showing on Twitch, while the sources are all the different elements that make up your scene.

Most Twitch gaming streams are not just a simple screencast of the game itself. They usually include multiple sources, such as a player's picture-in-picture webcam feed, a watermark, and sometimes even animated screen overlays. Animations go beyond the frame this tutorial for beginners. We'll stick to the four basic sources: the game, the webcam, the player's audio, and the watermark.

Source 1: Setting up the game stream

We will first add the most important element to the scene: the game window.

  rename obs Brad Chacos / IDG

But before we do that, let's rename our scene a bit more memorable. Under the mailbox, right-click Scene in the left pane at the bottom of the OBS window. Select Rename and give it a better name. In my example, I stream The Witcher 3 ($ 40 on Amazon) so I name my scene with the name of the game.

Let's add the game feed. Start your game and press Alt + Tab after the start to return to the OBS window. It does not matter if the game is in full-screen or windowed mode.

TIP: Users with multiple monitors should put OBS Studio on a secondary monitor during the installation process to make it easier to see what's going on.

  obsstudio 2 Ian Paul / IDG

Select Game Capture in the source window to begin.

Next, add a new source. In the Sources section, click the plus sign and select Game Capture from the displayed menu. This will open a second window, but just click here OK to open another third window.

  Obsstudioproperties Ian Paul

Geralt waits patiently while setting up OBS Studio.

This is the Properties window where we add the game. Click the drop-down menu next to Mode and select Capture specific window. Then place the drop-down menu window on the executable of your game, which should be listed since the run. In my case it's witcher3.exe.

After selecting your EXE file, you should see a preview of your stream in this pop-up window. There are also a few options that you can customize here – experiment with them if you so desire. Now click on OK to return to the main window of OBS Studio.

  obsstudio 3 Ian Paul / IDG

Preview of a game stream in OBS Studio on a secondary monitor.

In this case, you can see a preview of your stream running in OBS. It should be surrounded by a red frame. If not, just highlight Game Capture in the Sources or click on the Game Feed.

You can use the outline to change the size of the game window. In my case, I ran Witcher 3 with 720p, since my external GPU setup can not handle this game at 1080p. This meant I had to drag and expand the outline so that the game fills the entire letterbox window.

Because OBS Studio is so flexible, Game Capture is not your only option. With the option Show Capture in Sources you can also stream your entire desktop instead of just a single program. This is a good tool for transferring content that uses multiple programs, such as: A screencast tutorial.

In OBS Classic days, some games do not work with OBS 'default Game Capture mode. Instead, you had to transfer your entire desktop. However, during my time with OBS Studio, I did not encounter this problem.

Source 2: Setting the webcam feed

Adding a webcam stream adds a personal touch to your gameplay. For twitch streamer, the webcam feed is standard. If your PC does not have a webcam, you can add the Logitech C922 ($ 80 on Amazon) to any PC. It is very popular with streamers.

To set it up, click again on the plus sign in the Sources field and select Video Capture Device from the context menu. Again, a small window opens that you can almost ignore. Just press OK to get to the new properties window.

  Watch video recording Ian Paul / IDG

The Video Capture Properties window of OBS Studio.

OBS Studio should automatically select your webcam. However, if you have two or more options, just choose the one appropriate for your shipment. You can experiment with the settings in this window, but as long as your webcam is selected from the drop-down list at the top, it should work fine.

The important thing is to set the angle for your webcam webcam. Would you like it to shoot from the top as if it were on your display? Or do you prefer a direct shot or something from below? To get an idea of ​​the placement of the webcam, see what others are doing on Twitch and what works for you. Also pay attention to the lighting to make sure you are clearly visible.

Although using natural light is the easiest and least expensive way to illuminate yourself, you probably want more control. You may find lamp-based lighting kits on Amazon for fairly cheap, but there are some disadvantages, including heat and fragile workmanship. Or you can rely on LED-based systems, which are usually more expensive – but come with benefits such as color temperature control and no heat dissipation. If necessary, you can also use a desk lamp like BenQ's ScreenBar, which not only functions as a great lamp, but also as a streaming light!

If you do not want the background of your home office or study to be displayed, you must use a chroma key to achieve the green screen effect , In fact, you can accomplish this with nothing more than a leaf or a large curtain and some uniform lighting, though basic green screen setups are available online for as little as $ 20. To play with the Chroma Key settings in OBS Studio, right-click Video Capture Device in the Sources panel and select Filters> Effect Filters> Chroma key.

If you need detailed help to set that up, there are countless tutorials on YouTube – like this one – showing the process.

  obsstudio 4 Ian Paul / IDG

Hello, webcam!

Once your webcam is enabled as a source, you can choose where to show it in the final broadcast. The default is the upper left corner. However, you can customize this by dragging the window in the main OBS Studio window around the letterbox area. You can also use the red border around the webcam to adjust the size to your liking. Many twitch streamers place their webcam feed in a small area in the lower right corner. However, this is far from the norm, and the screen elements of the game you're streaming probably determine where to place your webcam feed.

Next page: Mixing audio, setting up watermarks and the final stream


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