How to Stream to Twitch

If you love video games, chances are you've stumbled upon a Twitch stream or two. The world's biggest destination for live video game broadcasts, Twitch attracts roughly 100 million unique monthly viewers, who devour a staggering 16 billion minutes of gaming content every month.

Photo: Jeremy Lips / Tom's GuidePhoto: Jeremy Lips / Tom's Guide

But Twitch is more than just a place to watch. The service boasts over 2 million monthly broadcasters who stream everything from Minecraft to Mario, and anyone can get in on the fun. The PS4 and Xbox One both have built-in streaming capabilities. If you game on PC (or want to stream from Nintendo Switch or older consoles via a capture card), all you need is decent hardware, streaming software and a free Twitch account to share your gameplay antics with the world.

Once you're all signed up, here's how to go live on gaming's biggest broadcasting platform. For more in-depth tips on becoming Twitch's next superstar, check out our Ultimate Guide to Twitch Streaming.

Setting Up Your Twitch Page

1. Install a broadcasting app on your PC. Two common solutions are Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), which is available on Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as XSplit, which is built for Windows. OBS is free and open source but requires a bit more setup, while XSplit is highly intuitive but requires a paid subscription for some of its better features.

2. Log in to Twitch.tv.

3. Select Dashboard from the drop-down menu at the top-right of the screen.

4. Search for and select a game you want to play under the Playing tab.

5. Enter a title for your broadcast.

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Using OBS

Configuring Your Stream

1. Right click OBS and select Run as Administrator (this is necessary for using Game Capture).

2. Select Broadcast Settings from the settings menu.

3. Select Twitch as your Streaming Service and click Optimize on the bottom-left of the menu.

4. Return to your Twitch dashboard and select Stream Key.Follow the prompts to receive your special streaming code.

5. Copy and paste that code into the Stream Key box in the Broadcast Settings menu. Select OK.

Setting the Scene and Going Live

1. On the main OBS interface, right-click the Sources box and select Add > Game Capture.

2. Select Your Game of choice from the drop-down menu and select OK.

3. Right-click the Sources box again to add any additional feeds. You can add images and text to customize your layout, use Monitor Capture to show anything on your display or select Video Capture to use your webcam.

4. Select Preview Stream and Edit Scene to tweak your stream layout to your liking. For example, you might want to feature your gameplay stream prominently, with a small box in the corner that shows your webcam feed.

5. Select Start Streaming on the OBS dashboard. You're now live!

Using XSplit

Configuring Your Stream

1. Open XSplit.

2. Select Broadcast >Add Channel > Twitch

3. Select Authorize and enter your Twitch username and password.

4. Select Finish. XSplit will automatically set an optimal resolution. 

5. Edit your stream properties and click OK.

Setting the Scene and Going Live

1. On the Screen Sources section on the bottom left of the XSplit interface, select Add.

2. Hover over Game Capture and select your game of choice.

3. Select Add again to bring in any additional sources, such as images or your webcam feed.

4. Drag and resize each source to your liking. For example, you may want to feature your Game Capture feed prominently, with a small box in the corner that shows your webcam feed.

5. Select Broadcast > Twitch. You're now live!


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