Ever wondered how to stream to Twitch, YouTube, or other popular streaming platforms? Well, in this guide, we’ll explain exactly how to do that. We’ll walk you through every step so you know exactly what to do.
By the end of the guide, you will be set up and ready to start your first live stream. Be sure to read everything carefully to avoid mistakes.
We’ll walk through the following steps:
- Choosing your streaming software
- Optimizing your settings
- Choosing your streaming platform
- Configuring up the key of your broadcast.
Step 1: Choose your broadcast program
There are several different streaming apps available right now, but we recommend one of the following. All of these streaming options are completely free to use.
- OBS Studio – high quality advanced streaming software
- Streamlabs OBS – OBS with prettier interface and more integrations
- Nvidia Shadowplay – streaming transfer powered by exclusive NVIDIA GPU without any overlay setting.
If you want maximum customization and don’t mind playing around in the settings menu, choose OBS Studio. If you want an easier way to manage overlays, screen alerts and add-ons, choose Streamlabs OBS.
If you just want to stream game footage quickly and nothing else, use NVIDIA Shadowplay in the GeForce Experience software. (For NVIDIA GPU owners only.)
Second step: optimize your settings
When you optimize your streaming settings, you change the settings according to two requirements – good frame rate and resolution depending on your hardware performance and stable stream depending on download speed.
If you have a good computer, you can potentially stream video games in 1080P resolution at 60 frames per second. However, most users will be happy with 720p 30fps streaming. If the value is lower, the quality may look terrible.
Your bitrate can be adjusted according to your network. Bitrate is essentially the amount of data sent per second. The higher the bit rate, the higher the image quality. The lower the bitrate, the more compressed the video will be.
To make the higher resolution look the way it should, you need a higher bitrate. For this reason, streaming with higher quality and frame rates requires a good network speed and a good computer. You should also use the maximum bitrate, because if you increase it, the average user won’t be able to download your stream fast enough, which will result in buffering and latency.
To check which resolution and frame rate is best, use the record button in NVIDIA Shadowplay, OBS Studio, or OBS Streamlabs.
- First open the settings and then click the “Video” tab.
- Find the setting for FPS and base / scaled resolution.
- To start, put these up to 60fps and 1920 Ã— 1080.
Then open the game you want to record. Next, you need to select the source of the game. This is done automatically in Shadowplay. In OBS Streamlabs and OBS Studio, you need to add the source.
The image above explains the process. After adding the source, record the complete game. Then, when you’re done, watch the video play. Did he stutter at all? If so, try a lower setting. Keep trying until you find a middle ground.
What about bitrate? Well, this can be determined by checking your network connection. Go to speedtest.net and run the test. Pay attention to the download speed. A good rule of thumb is the bitrate should be 75% of the download speed. This gives you enough free bandwidth to browse the web, download files and play online.
As an example, my test returned a download speed of 6.20 Mbps, so I can potentially set my bitrate to 4650, which equates to 4650 Kbps. However, as mentioned above, the maximum bit rate should be used. Twitch offers 3500 kbps.
To set the bitrate, follow these steps.
In OBS Studio and Streamlabs:
- Click Settings.
- Click Output.
- In Bitrate Settings, enter the number you get based on the information above.
On NVIDIA Shadowplay:
- Open GeForce Experience.
- Click the Settings button in the upper right corner.
- Click Settings under the in-game overlay.
- Click Live Stream.
- Click Twitch or Youtube.
- Use the slider to select the correct bitrate.
Step 3: Choose your streaming platform
Now that you’ve set up your streaming software, it’s time to sign up for the platform of your choice. There are several options online including Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer.
Twitch and YouTube are by far the most popular, so we’ll be focusing on them in this guide. After registering, you will need to go to the live stream control panel. To access it, follow these steps.
- After logging in, click your name in the upper right corner.
- From the drop-down menu, click Control Panel.
Here you have all the information you need to know about your live stream. From here, you can select the stream title, game category, tags, view the chat and check the stream’s performance.
- After logging in, click your profile picture in the upper right corner.
- Click YouTube Studio (beta).
- On the left, hover over Other Functions.
- Select live broadcast now.
You will now be in the live stream control panel. Here you can select a broadcast title, select a game, add a description, check your chat, view monetization options, and more.
Step 4: set up the broadcast key
In order for your streaming software to stream directly to your Twitch, YouTube or other channel, you will need a Stream Key. This is a secret authentication key that you should never share with anyone else.
With this key, you give the streaming software permission to download and stream directly to your channel as soon as you hit the Stream button. Below are instructions on how to find a broadcast key for YouTube and Twitch. Other platforms will have similar options for finding the stream key.
- From your Twitch dashboard, click Channel in the settings section on the left.
- On this page, click Copy for the Private Stream Key.
- You can also click Show and copy manually.
- Scroll down the YouTube Live toolbar.
- In the Encoder Configuration section, click Show next to the stream name / key.
- Copy the string of numbers that appears.
Now that you have your stream key, it’s time to insert it into your streaming program. Follow these steps for each streaming software:
For OBS Studio or OBS Streamlabs:
- Open the settings menu.
- Click the Stream option.
- On this tab, paste your key into the Stream key section.
- Make sure you have selected the correct platform in the Service section.
For NVIDIA Shadowplay:
- Go to GeForce Experience.
- Click the settings button.
- Click Settings under the in-game overlay.
- Click Connect and select a platform. to which you want to stream.
Now that you have completed the steps above, you are ready to start.
Step 5: Live Broadcast
You are now ready to go. Pressing the Stream button in OBS Studio, OBS Streamlabs or NVIDIA Shadowplay will automatically start your stream. You can then view your dashboard on your streaming platform to track your flow and your performance.
Remember to click the Stop Streaming or End Streaming button in your streaming software when you’re done streaming.
Hope this guide was helpful. If you have any questions about this tutorial, please leave a comment below and I will try to answer you as soon as possible.