Twitch is a streaming service that first opened its doors back in 2011, and offered a way for gamers to showcase their talents to a live audience. Today, the website see’s over 10 million active users every day and boasts over 2.2 million active content creators on a monthly basis.
Livestreaming gameplay has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and with eSports picking up traction, game-streaming services like Twitch and YouTube Gaming are set to become more popular than ever.
But how can you get involved at home? Anybody that has eagerly signed up to Twitch with hopes of livestreaming gameplay will already know that it’s not as simple as you’d first expect.
Don’t worry though; here, we show you how to stream on Twitch using OBS, a free-to-use streaming app. Those looking to stream gameplay locally, say via a TV, should take a look the Steam Link.
How to stream on Twitch: Open Broadcaster Software
The cheapest way to stream on Twitch is to use the free-to-download Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
While the software looks like something straight out of Windows 98, it’s fully compatible with Windows 10 and provides a rather in-depth streaming experience, although it’s nowhere near as user-friendly as paid options like XSplit.
Configure Twitch stream
- Right-click OBS and select Run as Administrator if you’re using the software on Windows, as it’s necessary to have admin permissions when using Game Capture software on PC.
- Click File > Settings and select the Stream tab on the left-hand side.
- Select Twitch from the dropdown list of Streaming Services.
- On your tv dashboard, select Settings > Stream Key > Show Key, agreeing to on-screen prompts warning you not to share your key with anybody else.
- Copy and paste the Stream Key into the Stream Key box in the Broadcast Settings menu in OBS, then click Apply.
Set up your broadcast layout
Once you’ve got your Twitch stream configured, it’s time to start thinking about the aesthetic of your stream. Do you want to include graphics? Do you want to include a Picture-in-Picture mode showing your webcam and reactions to the game?
There are many options available, although the exact features will be down to your personal taste and what you’ll be streaming.
- In OBS, right click the Sources box and click Add > Game Capture.
- Select ‘Create New’, and click OK.
- Select ‘Capture Specific Window’ in the Mode menu, and select your game from the Window menu. Depending on the game, it might have to be running in the background before being detected by OBS.
- Go through and enable/disable any other options you’d like to include, and click OK to save the settings.
- If you want to include other sources, you can do so. Right-click the Sources box and add any other elements, from Video Capture Device (webcam live stream) to Monitor Capture (everything on your display) to simple text and images.
- Once you’ve added all your sources, you’ll want to play around with the layout. Select the source you’d like to rearrange/resize from the Sources menu, and drag-and-drop the source in the stream preview box. You can resize by dragging the circular icons in each corner, or simply move it from one area of the screen to another – it’s completely up to you.
Image courtesy of PCWorld.
Once you’re happy with the layout of your livestream, and have successfully configured OBS to stream via Twitch, the last step is to click Start Streaming in OBS to commence the broadcast. You’re now live, go free and game on!