How to start streaming on Twitch from your PC

Admin, Thursday, July 21, 2022
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If you’re new to Twitch, your first stream can be pretty daunting. You need to conceptualize it and plan out what you want to accomplish during the stream, all the while paying attention to the timeframe. That said, streaming on Twitch can be a ridiculous amount of fun, and it can also be quite rewarding if you’re a Twitch Partner or Affiliate. Today, we want to make your life easier by walking you through how to start Twitch streaming from your PC. You focus on getting all the necessary stuff ready for your stream, and we’ll take care of all the technical stuff.

READ MORE: How to start streaming on Twitch from your PS5

THE SHORT ANSWER

To start Twitch streaming on PC, download a streaming application like Twitch Studio, OBS, or Streamlabs. After downloading it, open your streaming software and set it up. To start Twitch streaming, you can connect your Twitch account to your streaming software or paste your Twitch stream key into your streaming software. To go live on Twitch, start streaming through your streaming software.


KEY SECTIONS

What do I need to start Twitch streaming on PC?

If you’re a PC gamer wanting to start Twitch streaming, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll walk you through how to set up your first stream.

It definitely can be, especially if you don’t have the necessary parts kicking around. If you have to start from scratch, subscribing to faster internet, getting a mic and webcam, and then purchasing a high-end capture card can be a significant expense. However, if you take things slow and accumulate parts over time, you can space out your spending.

A single-PC setup has its boons and is the better option if you are running low on space and want to keep your setup compact. However, if you are serious about your stream and will be doing a lot of game streaming, a dual-PC setup is the optimal option.

Single-PC setup

A single-PC setup is great if you want to save some money and conserve desk space. However, running a stream from the same computer you’re gaming on will have consequences.

SINGLE PC SETUP

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As we’ve pointed out before, you want the game to be the only program running while gaming on a PC. If you have other processes open on your computer while gaming, your CPU, GPU, and RAM will have to work harder to keep them running in the background while you’re gaming. If your PC isn’t equipped to handle all of that, this can cause overheating issues, frame drops, and, in some cases, even cause your computer to crash.

You do not want your computer to crash during a stream.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Necessary:

  • A multipurpose PC (gaming/streaming)
  • A strong internet connection (8+ Mbps recommended)
  • At least two monitors
  • Streaming software (like Twitch Studio, OBS, or Streamlabs)
  • Twitch account

Optional:

To run a single-PC setup, you will need a powerful multipurpose PC that can handle gaming and streaming simultaneously. For this, we recommend having more than 16GB RAM, at least a Ryzen 5 (or Intel Core i7) processor, and a GPU that supports the latest iteration of NVENC hardware encoding.

Of course, if you have a gaming computer, we’re assuming you already have a proper keyboardmousewebcam, and microphone.

upload speed test

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It will also help to have a strong enough internet connection to support a consistent stream. Twitch claims that if you want to broadcast at 1080p and 60FPS, you must have an upload speed of at least 8 Mbps. If you want to test your internet connection, go to speedtest.net.

You will also want a second monitor to check your chat and oversee your stream as a whole. Most Twitch streamers utilize at least one other monitor to manage their stream.

Once you’ve set up your PC, you can move on to the next section, where we discuss the streaming software necessary for streaming to Twitch.

Dual-PC setup

The dual-PC setup is the safest option that most Twitch streamers opt for. The reason for this is that, as we previously mentioned, having your dedicated gaming PC also handle the Twitch stream can be a lot—too much, even.

dual pc setup

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Running two separate computers allows you to divvy up the stress of streaming and gaming. Your live gameplay content will come from your gaming PC, which connects to your streaming PC with a capture card. The streaming PC will mirror the gameplay content, all the while running separate functions like your microphone and webcam.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Necessary:

  • A gaming PC (GPU-intensive)
  • A streaming PC (CPU-intensive)
  • A capture card
  • At least two monitors
  • A strong internet connection (8+ Mbps recommended)
  • Streaming software (like Twitch Studio, OBS, or Streamlabs)
  • Twitch account

Optional:

How to start streaming on Twitch (Twitch Studio)

On the computer you will be streaming from, go to the Twitch Studio website. Click Download Now to download the Twitch Studio streaming app.

download twitch studio

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After it’s finished downloading, install Twitch Studio on your computer and run it. When prompted, log into your Twitch account.

NOTE:

If you’re already logged into Twitch in your browser, Twitch Studio should automatically recognize your account. If this is the case for you, click Continue.

continue to your account on studio

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You’ll be redirected back to your browser to a page titled Activate Your Device. Enter your device code, then click Activate.

activate your device

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On the following page, click Authorize to authorize the connection between your Twitch account and the Twitch Studio application on your computer. It’ll also make it so that you don’t need to copy and paste your Twitch stream key into the Twitch Studio app.

authorize twitch studio

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Return to the Twitch Studio app, which is now connected to your account. On the Welcome to Twitch Studio page, click Get Started to proceed with the setup process.

get started twitch studio

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On the Microphone Setup page, select the microphone you want to use for your stream. For it to show up when you click Change Mic, you must ensure that the microphone is plugged into your computer.

twitch mic

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You can further customize the sound of your mic by clicking the Personalize button. Here, you can adjust the loudness of your mic and add or remove certain filters.

twitch personalize

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When ready, click Continue to Scenes.

continue to scenes

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On the Scenes page, you can check out a few of the preset scenes that Twitch Studio—at least in its current beta form—provides. On a lot of other streaming software, preset scenes aren’t offered, and you must start from scratch. Twitch understands that most beginners don’t want to fiddle with stuff like overlays, inputs, outputs, and plugins. You can customize scenes and add more later.

Click Continue to Settings after reviewing the Gameplay, Be Right Back, and Chatting scenes.

you can set these up later

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On the Stream Quality Settings page, Twitch will test your internet connection and choose the optimal stream quality settings for your setup. When ready, click Continue to App.

continue to app

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And that’s it! Go ahead and customize the preset scenes and add more if you feel like it. If you want to edit the name and details of your stream, click the pencil icon underneath the playback area. Play with your stream setup until you’re satisfied and ready to go live.

start stream button location

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When ready, click the Start Stream button to stream to Twitch from your PC.

How to start streaming on Twitch (Open Broadcaster Software)

On the computer you will be streaming from, visit the OBS website in a browser and download the OBS application.

download the app

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After the download has finished, install OBS on your computer and run it. When met with the Auto-Configuration Wizard pop-up, select Optimize for streaming, recording is secondary, then click Next.

optimize for streaming

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On the Video Settings page of the Auto-Configuration Wizard, use the dropdown menu to select a Base (Canvas) Resolution and FPS for your stream. When ready, click Next.

continue on to video settings

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Under Stream Information, you have several options. Next to Service, select Twitch. After that, you can select Connect Account (recommended) or Use Stream Key.

connecting to twitch

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To connect your Twitch account to OBS, click Connect Account (recommended).

connect account

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In the Twitch Log In pop-out, enter the username and password to your Twitch account.

log in in the popout 1

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Click Authorize to connect your Twitch account to OBS.

authorize twitch studio from the pop out

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Once logged in, click Next at the bottom of Stream Information.

prefer hardware encoding

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OBS will test your streaming PC and connection to optimize your stream quality. On the Final Results screen, click Apply Settings.

click apply settings

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And with that, you’re just about ready to start streaming. In the Stream Information box, you can add details for your stream as it appears on Twitch. You can also see your Twitch chat in the Chat box.

When you’re ready to go live, click Start Streaming.

start streaming

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TIPS AND TRICKS

Before you start streaming, you will want to set up your scenes. These are different layouts you can switch between on-stream. For example, most gamers will have a gaming session on their stream. Then, when they finish, they will enter a “Just Chatting” mode, where they stop gaming and interact with their Chat. These are two separate scenes.

Use the Scenes box in the bottom right to customize different scenes for your stream. For each scene, you must provide Sources. This will allow you to control what viewers see and hear during your stream. Remember that, if you’re running a dual-PC setup, this is where you connect your gaming PC (running through the capture card) to your streaming PC. Your streaming software will be running on your streaming PC, and you must select the capture card—or gaming PC—as a display or game capture.

Sources include:

  • Audio Input Capture (for your microphone)
  • Audio Output Capture (where you choose what the audience hears)
  • Browser
  • Color Source
  • Display Capture (where you choose which monitor you want to show on-stream)
  • Game Capture (where you determine the program that is displayed on-stream)
  • Image
  • Image Slide Show
  • Media Source
  • Scene
  • Text (GDI+)
  • VLX Video Source
  • Video Capture Device
  • Window Capture

If you want to get fancy with your stream, you can download—or commission—a custom overlay for your stream. You can apply these overlays to scenes and further organize the look and feel of your stream.

You will need a powerful PC (or two dedicated PCs: one for gaming and one for streaming), two monitors (one for game streaming, one for monitoring your stream), streaming software, a microphone, and a webcam. This is assuming you already have a mouse and keyboard. If you are running two PCs, you will need a capture card.

720p is a safe bet for Twitch. However, let your streaming software decide. During the setup process, you can have the software determine what your device can handle output-wise. This will optimize your stream automatically.

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