It has become hard to discuss live streaming and gaming without mentioning Twitch. As the largest live-streaming platform, with over 1.645 billion hours watched per month, gamers across the globe are harnessing this platform to share engaging content and build online communities. However, you may be asking yourself how should I start streaming on Twitch? Well, it is not as hard as you might think! We’ve put together this list of tips on how to become a successful streamer in no time.
What is Twitch?
Twitch is a live-streaming platform designed for gamers and other lifestyle creators. Streamers ‘broadcast’ their gameplay and activities by sharing their screen to live watchers. You can use Twitch as a streamer, or to watch broadcasts you find interesting.
How to start streaming on Twitch
Create a Twitch account
If you want to learn how to start streaming on Twitch, you will need an account first. Make sure you’ve read the community guidelines then click the ‘sign up’ button. Creating an account is very simple. Fill in the online form, and you’re all set.
Add to your profile
Make sure to fill out as much of your new profile as possible. Twitch users may come across your stream, but not know anything about you. Help users engage with your channel by providing interesting profile information. Fill out as much profile information as you can. Remember, you can always add to your profile as you get more familiar with Twitch. So don’t worry if you can’t fill out all this information at the beginning.
What do I need to start streaming on Twitch?
We recommend that you consider the following technical aspects for live broadcasts.
1. Use the right software
If you are a beginner, we suggest that you use software encoders. You can also use hardware encoders if you have these available. The choice between the two comes down to your budget and technical skills.
There is a range of software encoders available on the market, all of which have their pros and cons. Make sure to look at the specifications of each when making your decision. Some of the most popular ones include:
- OBS Studio – This is a free, open-source streaming option and is one of the most popular choices for beginners and novice Broadcasters. The OBS Studio has cross-compatibility with a range of live streaming platforms such as Twitch.
- XSplit – As a paid software option, the XSplit software has many pros for live streaming.
- vMix – A comprehensive paid option. Not recommended for beginners, but if you’re looking to go pro then worth considering.
- Streamlabs OBS – This is Streamlabs’ version of the OBS Studio and is only available for Windows. But it has some handy features which can help you to monetize your Twitch channel.
4. Consider your hardware
As the largest live streaming platform, it is interesting that Twitch doesn’t support 4K streaming like many of its competitors such as YouTube. Because of this, Twitch is accessible to a range of users with varying qualities of hardware. But, this isn’t to say that you can stream with just any run-of-the-mill gear. Your equipment does need to be of reasonable quality. Many Twitch users have noted that when broadcasting a video game, encoding and gaming simultaneously, it can be too much for their low-quality computer’s CPU. Here are a few hardware considerations for your PC:
- What type of PC you use is an important consideration. You can use a standard desktop, pre-built gaming PC or a high-quality laptop.
- The CPU – A reasonably decent CPU is needed to be able to withstand simultaneous gaming and encoding.
- The GPU: Some GPUs have built-in hardware encoders which can be used with a variety of software. The Nvidia GTX graphics card is a great example.
- Get creative with your set up. You could use a computer for gaming and another to for encode and broadcast. If you decide to use 2 PCs, the one with the best CPU should be used for encoding.
The better equipment you can invest in, the better your content production will be. But this isn't to say that some budget options won’t allow you to broadcast successfully. Just keep your expectations reasonable. If broadcasting on Twitch is something you want to take seriously, then invest in your gear.
5. How to stream on Twitch pc with audio and video?
Lights, camera, action! You’re nearly ready to start streaming on Twitch. But before you do make sure you have a decent microphone and camera.
Many players will add audio commentary at the very least to their broadcasts to ensure that Twitch users remain engaged with their content. Not everyone will sit through a broadcast for the gaming itself. An audio overlay also relieves the need to respond to users questions by typing in the chat window, leading to a smoother experience for your viewers.
To ensure your viewers can easily understand you, you should ideally invest in a stand-alone microphone. Built-in headset microphones act as a very basic entry-level microphone. But an independent microphone will give your content the best finish. There is a wide range of mics available to suit all budgets. Here are some of our favourites:
- Zalman ZM-Mic1
- Maono AU-04 USB Microphone Kit
- Blue Yeti Nano
- Samson G-Track Pro
- Blue Yeti X
Looking at cameras, you don’t need to splash out to get the best results. Remember, Twitch does not currently broadcast in 4K. This means that you can attain decent video streaming using a webcam! Here are a few popular options:
- Logitech HD Pro C920
- Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
- Logitech C922 Pro Stream
- Razer Kiyo
- Logitech Brio 4K
Using tips 1-5 will give you a decent setup for streaming on Twitch. But, if you’re looking for a more professional setup, you can also consider the following additions:
- Lighting – Many broadcasters will use lighting to achieve a consistent and flattering video. Using a few softboxes with small LED light panels will ease those dark circles, whilst keeping your gaming environment cool.
- Green screen – Some gamers change their background, and others use it for promotion. Either way, a green screen can be a convenient addition. What's more, most encoders will automatically recognize a green screen. So it is very easy to install and use during broadcasts.
- Game capture card – If you’re looking to use two computers, or if you want to stream console games via a computer, you will need to invest in a game capture card. There are two options available, an external and an internal game capture card. However, be aware as these can be an expensive extra.
- Stream deck – A stream deck is a touchscreen that lets you trigger commands. It's a useful tool for a variety of actions such as switching between scenes and even adjusting audio levels at the swipe of a finger.
7. Select your sources
Now you’ve got everything ready you may be wondering how to go live on Twitch. But before you can hit the stream button, you’ll want to make sure you have installed your software and gear. We’ll use the OBS Studio as an example. Head to File > Settings > Stream in OBS Studio. Set your service choice as Twitch, then either connect your Twitch account to OBS Studio. You can also do this by connecting Twitch using the stream key.
To set up your stream via your Twitch account, all you need is your login details. For the stream key options, head to Twitch and navigate to Settings > Channel and Videos. Once in this area of the setting, copy the primary stream key you see and paste it into OBS Studio.
Once you have set up your stream, make sure you’ve got the correct audio and video devices selected. Every device you want to use must be specified as a source using OBS. This even includes the game you want to play! If you wish to use it in your stream, you must add the source in the settings.
A great feature of the OBS Studio is that it will often recognize your external audio and video sources. If it doesn’t automatically detect these, go to File > Settings > Audio/ Video and select your devices.
8. Get broadcasting!
Now you know how to become a streamer, and how to go live on Twitch, it’s time for the fun part! Log in to your Twitch account, start broadcasting and engaging with other online users.
Live streaming can be incredibly rewarding, enjoyable and even profitable. Whether you intend to make new friends, foster business opportunities or want to show off your gaming talents, streaming with Twitch is the perfect platform.