How to Twitch Stream from Your Windows PC

Fancy broadcasting your gameplay for the whole world to see? Here’s how to get started with Twitch, the most popular game-streaming platform.

Twitch is a hugely popular platform that allows people to broadcast their gameplay over the internet. Its popularity stems from the fact that it is easy to setup, allows you to interact with your audience and is available on a wide range of platforms.

This means you can stream from your PC, Xbox One or PlayStation 4, and your audience can view it on a number of different devices, including PCs, game consoles, smartphones and tablets.

The PS4 and Xbox One have tools to stream your gameplay to Twitch built-in, which makes it reasonably straightforward to get started. If you’re on PC, you’ll need to install some software to help you broadcast. In this guide, we’ll show you how to stream on Twitch on your PC.

Getting started

1. Set up a Twitch account

The first thing you should do is set up a free Twitch account. Head over to Twitch.tv and click on “Sign up” which is in the top-right hand corner of the webpage. Fill out your information and select a username which your audience can easily find you by. You can also sign in using your Facebook account.

2. Download broadcasting software

You’ll also need to download and install software to record and broadcast your gameplay. While there are a number of options out there, we recommend Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), which is a free and open-source application that offers a great selection of features without you needing to pay anything.

Once OBS is installed, load it up, and the Auto-Configuration Wizard will appear. Go through the steps to specify that you want to use OBS for streaming. Set the resolution of your gameplay stream. You’ll want the highest resolution your internet connection can handle, as you want your viewers to have an enjoyable viewing experience. If you don’t have a high upload speed, however, you may need to choose a lower resolution, but for most people 1080p will be ideal.

In the next window, you’ll be asked about your stream information. Make sure that Twitch is selected as your service, then where it says ‘Stream Key’, click ‘Link’.

This opens up your Twitch dashboard. At the top you’ll see ‘Primary Stream Key’. Click ‘Copy’, then go back to the OBS application and paste the key into the Stream Key text box. Click ‘Next’ and OBS will be connected to your Twitch account.

OBS will then configure itself depending on your Twitch settings and internet speed. Click ‘Apply settings’ to finish setup.

3. Add your game

You’ll now want to add the game you’re going to stream. Load it up, then switch back OBS. You can do this by pressing Alt + Tab on your keyboard. Under ‘Sources’ click ‘+’, then select ‘Game Capture’. Name it after the game then press ‘OK’.

In the next window, keep the settings as default and press ‘OK’. You should now see the game in the preview window (which takes up most of the OBS screen). If not, go back to your game, then switch back to OBS.

If you’re playing at a higher resolution than OBS will broadcast at (such as 1440p), you may see the image is too large. You can either set the in-game resolution to match your broadcast resolution (such as 1080p), or drag the red square to resize the image.

4. Add a webcam

Many Twitch streamers also add footage from their webcam, which gives a more personal touch. If you have a webcam, make sure it’s plugged in. Then, in the ‘Sources’ box, click ‘+’ and select ‘Video capture’ device. Choose your webcam from the list, then click ‘OK’. You can then move and resize the video from your webcam so that it is not getting in the way of your gameplay.

In the Mixer part of the window you’ll see your audio inputs. You’ll want to adjust this so that the sound from the game, and the sound from your microphone are at the correct levels. Some webcams have built-in mics, but if you’d rather use an external microphone, or one with a gaming headset, make sure that is selected under ‘Mic/Aux’.

5. Begin broadcast.

Once you’ve set up how your stream will look and sound, click ‘Start Streaming’. Switch back to Twitch (in your web browser) and you should see your stream. Now, go into your game and start playing, and your gameplay will be shown to anyone who visits your Twitch profile.
Once you’ve finished, click ‘Stop Streaming’.

This covers the basics of how stream on Twitch from a PC. To become a successful Twitch streamer with a wide audience, you’ll want to play around with the settings in OBS and on your Twitch dashboard to make your streams look more professional, as well as display a custom message when you’re not online. A good tip is to use the offline message to advertise what time you’ll next be online and streaming.

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