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How to stream PC games on Twitch

Not so long ago there was almost one way to communicate with a video game: you sat down and played it. You may have seen an older friend or brother or sister playing while pointing out all their mistakes, but gaming was never what you were a & # 39; viewing sport & # 39; would call.

That has changed in recent years thanks to YouTube gaming celebrities, the huge popularity of e-sports professionals, and especially the online game streaming service Twitch. Starting a stream and seeing someone else play a thousand miles away is now a completely legitimate way to enjoy a game. Best of all, everyone is free to participate on both sides of a Twitch stream ̵

1; PCWorld even has its own Twitch channel. If you want to play for a live audience, you can start this today for free.

This is how you 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, to start, you play your game and upload video and audio at the same time. There are many Twitch professionals who actually use two PCs to achieve this – one for streaming and one for gaming – but that is a complex configuration that is beyond this beginner's guide.

Twitch recommends that your PC have at least one 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 must be at least compatible with DirectX 10. But if you want to play a modern game, DirectX 11 or 12 is required. (See our guide for the best graphics cards for PC gaming.)

Please note that these are the minimum specifications and a more powerful PC will naturally perform better. Also don't forget your internet connection. According to the Twitch guidelines, you need to deliver around 4,500 to 6,000 kilobits per second to deliver 1080p with 60 frames per second and 3,500 kbps to 5,000 kbps for 1080p with 30 fps.

Getting started with OBS Studio

To start broadcasting to Twitch, you need two extra things: desktop software that can record and stream images from your gaming computer, and a Twitch account. We start with the software.

Plenty of options for desktop streaming software. You can find debates about relative earnings online, but we recommend a broadcasting package that is free and easy to set up – and that integrates well with Twitch. The program is called Open Broadcaster Software Studio (often abbreviated to OBS Studio), which is the replacement of the traditional OBS software.

We discuss the OBS Studio client for Windows, but Mac and Linux versions are also available. [19659014] obsstudio 1 "width =" 700 "height =" 476 "data-imageid =" 100731071 "data-license =" IDG "data-original =" https://images.idgesg.net/images/article/2017 /08/obsstudio-1-100731071-large.jpg "class =" lazy "loading =" lazy "/> Ian Paul / IDG

The OBS Studio interface at the first launch. (Click on an image in this message to enlarge it.)

After you have downloaded OBS Studio and run through the installation program, the client is started. You will see a window with an empty letterbox screen and at the bottom a bank with options. Here you set the "scene "and sources for your broadcast. The scene in OBS Studio is the end product you show on Twitch, while the sources are all the different elements that make up your scene.

Most Twitch game streams are not just a simple screencast of the game itself, they usually contain multiple sources, such as a player's picture-in-picture webcam feed, a watermark and sometimes even geani more screen overlays. Animations are beyond the scope of this beginners' tutorial. We stick to the four basic sources: the game, the webcam, the audio from the player and the watermark.

Source 1: setting the game stream

We start by adding the most important element to the scene: renaming the game window

  obs Brad Chacos / IDG

Before we do that, let's get our scene, however, something more memorable. Under the letterbox, right-click Scene in the leftmost panel at the bottom of the OBS window. Select Rename and give it a better name. In my example I am going to stream The Witcher 3 ($ 40 on Amazon) so I will give my scene a title with the name of the game.

Now let's add the game feed. Start your game and once it is active, press Alt + Tab to navigate back to the OBS window. It does not matter if the game is in full screen mode or in a window.

TIP: Users with multiple monitors should place OBS Studio on a secondary monitor during the installation process to more easily see what is going on.

  obsstudio 2 Ian Paul / IDG

Select Game Capture in the source window to start.

Then you add a new source. Click the plus sign in the panel Resources and select Game Capture from the menu that appears. This will open a second window, but just click OK to open another third window.

  obsstudioproperties Ian Paul

Geralt waits patiently while we set up OBS Studio.

This is the properties window and where we add the game. Click at the top of the drop-down list next to Mode and select Capture specific window. Then set the drop-down list Window in menu to the executable file of your game, which must be mentioned because it is being executed. In my case it is witcher3.exe.

Once you have selected your EXE file, you should see a preview of your stream in this pop. There are also a few options that you can adjust here – experiment with it if you want. Now click on OK to return to the main OBS Studio window.

  obsstudio 3 [19659035] Ian Paul / IDG </small><figcaption>
<p>  View an example of a game stream in OBS Studio on a secondary monitor. </p>
<p>  At the moment, you see an example of your stream running in OBS. It must be surrounded by a red outline. If not, mark <em> Game Capture </em> in the panel <em> Resources </em> or click on the game feed itself. </p>
<p>  You can use the outline to change the size of the game window. In my case I had <em> Witcher 3 </em> at 720p, because my external GPU setup could not process this game at 1080p. That meant that I had to drag and expand the outline to have the game fill the entire letterbox window. </p>
<p>  Because OBS Studio is so flexible, Game Capture is not your only option. You can also stream your entire desktop instead of just a single program using the <em> Display Capture </em> option in <em> Sources </em>. This is a good tool for broadcasting something that uses multiple programs, such as a self-study about screencasts. </p>
<p>  In the OBS Classic days, a number of games would not work with the standard OBS game capture mode. Instead, you had to broadcast your entire desktop. During my time at OBS Studio, however, I did not encounter that problem. </p><div><script async src=

Source 2: How to set the webcam feed

Adding a webcam stream gives your gameplay a personal touch. The webcam feed is standard for Twitch streamers. If your PC does not have a webcam, the Logitech C922 ($ 80 on Amazon) is a great one that you can add to any PC. It is very popular with streamers.

To set it up, click the plus sign again in the Sources box and in the context menu select Video Capture Device . Again, a small window appears that you can almost ignore. Simply press OK to go to the new properties window.

  obs video recording Ian Paul / IDG

Properties window for video recording from OBS Studio.

OBS Studio must automatically choose your webcam. However, if you have two or more options, simply choose the correct option for your broadcast. You can mess with the settings in this window, but as long as your webcam is selected in the drop-down list at the very top, it should work fine.

The most important thing is to decide on the angle for your webcam. Do you want it to photograph you from above, as if it were on top of your display? Or would you prefer a straight-on shot or something from below? To get an idea of ​​webcam placement, see what others are doing on Twitch and discover what works for you. Also pay attention to lighting to ensure that you are clearly visible.

Although the use of natural light is the easiest and cheapest way to illuminate yourself, you probably want a little more control. You can find bulb-based lighting kits on Amazon for reasonably cheap, but there are some drawbacks, including heat and breakable build quality. Or you can opt for LED-based systems that are usually more expensive – but with extras such as color temperature control and no heat emission. You can even use a desk lamp such as the BenQ ScreenBar that not only works as a great lamp, but can also act as a light for streaming!

If you prefer not to have the background of your home office or a pine to appear, you need to use a chroma key to get that green screen effect. You can actually make this happen with nothing more than a sheet or a large curtain and some even lighting, although basic green screen settings can be found online for just $ 20. To play with chroma key settings in OBS Studio, click with Right-click Video Capture Device in the panel Sources and select Filters> Effect filters> Chroma Key.

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

  obsstudio 4 Ian Paul / IDG

Hello, webcam!

After your webcam is turned on as a source, you can choose where it will be displayed in the last broadcast. The default setting is the top-left corner, but you can adjust this by dragging the window around the letterbox area in the main OBS Studio window. You can also use the red border around the webcam to adjust it as desired. Many Twitch streamers place their webcam feed in a small area in the lower right corner. However, that is far from the rule and the elements on the screen of the game that you are streaming will likely determine where you place your webcam feed.

Next page: Mixing audio, setting watermarks and the last stream

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