The evolution of video games to online platforms has opened up a whole new world for gamers.
As more and more people are migrating to this new and exciting innovation, the possibilities that stem from being part of an online gaming community are endless.
However, to fully enjoy the benefits of live streaming, you will need a reliable platform, which is where Twitch comes in.
What once started off as a simple platform has now grown into a diverse community of content creators with access to well over 2 million viewers every day.
Twitch is no longer used to just stream video games but has expanded to a diverse range of content where there is virtually something for everybody.
If you want to start streaming and be part of this live stream community, then you are in the right place. This article will teach you everything you need to know about live streaming on Twitch.
Find Amazing Twitch Streams
It seems that nothing was spared from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Twitch used to be the exclusive domain of online gamers before the enforced lockdown measures opened up platforms such as this to a wider audience.
These days, there is no limit to what content you can stream on Twitch as long as it follows the community guidelines set by the developers.
The live streaming platform prohibits certain kinds of content that have been deemed to be harmful, such as violence, harassment, private information, self-destructive behavior, and anything that breaks the law. Everything else…is fair game!
While Twitch is mostly thought of as a platform for streaming gameplay, the most popular content on the platform doesn’t involve video games at all.
“Just Chatting,” which showcases talk shows and chat room, is now the largest category on Twitch.
Getting Ready To Stream on Twitch
Live streaming on Twitch is very beginner friendly and one of the reasons they are the top streaming platform. By the end of this article, you will be ready to go live on your first stream.
There are rooms for every video game you can imagine and topic, so whatever your passion there is a place for your as a viewer or streamer.
How To Create a Twitch Account
When you are ready to stream on Twitch, the first thing you need to do is create a Twitch account. The process takes less than five minutes and I’ll walk you through it right here.
Read the TWitch Guidelines
To prevent having your account suspended for breaking the rules regarding unauthorized content, it is best to read and understand the guidelines. The Twitch guidelines are frequently updated and you should check periodically for rule changes.
Sign Up for TWitch
The sign-up process depends on the type of device you are using to open your account.
If you are using a desktop computer, you need to go to the Twitch website and fill in the online form. Mobile phone users can download the Twitch app from the Play Store.
In both cases, you will be asked to create a Twitch username and password. You can use your email address or phone number and date of birth to verify your identity.
This hardest part of the process is choosing a username that you will be excited to be known by for your entire streaming career. As a security precaution, please do not use your real name.
Secure Your Account with 2FA
If you’re going to be streaming as a business, you want to protect your account and the best way to do that is to turn on a second layer of security.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication using a second app on your phone. To login, you’ll need both your password and the code that changes every 30 seconds. Without physically holding your phone in their hands, no one else can access your account.
Pick Your Software Before You Start Streaming
Most streamers use another software tool in between their computer and Twitch. These tools give you access to multiple camera angles, studios, effects and graphics.
There are a few options to choose from. To make things easy, we’ll start with the best streaming software.
OBS is the most popular tool for streamers because it’s free. It’s unbelievably powerful for the price and this is where you should start before looking at the other available solutions. You can have multiple scenes with multiple cameras and easily switch between them to keep your stream interesting.
You can jump from the camera in front of you to a second camera to the side with a single keystroke. OBS is our favorite streaming software becuase it is constantly updated and releasing new features that keep it at the front of the pack.
OBS works on Linux, Mac, and Windows.
Second on our list is xSplit, a streaming platform that is well known for providing users a more powerful option for streaming at a high upload speed. It also has a user-friendly interface that makes video content easy to stream to Twitch platforms.
The downside to using xSplit is that it is only available for Windows and if you want to experience the best features of the software you will have to get the paid version, which ranges from $200 to $230 for a lifetime license.
While vMix is not necessarily the most difficult platform to use, it is usually preferred by professional streamers who want to stream higher-quality videos. It is available on Windows and has advanced features, such as live mixing, recording, and 4K video streaming.
While most streaming software platforms are only compatible with specific operating systems, Lightstream is more adaptable because it is a cloud-based broadcaster.
It is the preferred choice for many users due to its good audio quality and high upload speed during gameplay and live-stream sessions.
Essential Hardware Needed for Broadcasting on Twitch
To fully enjoy the immersive feeling of Twitch streaming, will need to build a video studio.
Your Streaming Devices
One of the first things you will need is a device to stream from, such as desktop computers, game consoles, or a Smartphone.
The device does not need to have a lot of advanced settings and features for you to start streaming, because you don’t need a lot of computer power to stream on Twitch.
Your only concern is if you wish to stream gameplay and live videos at the same time, which may prove overwhelming for a low-end desktop computer’s CPU.
While gaming console streaming and using Smartphones are becoming popular streamers’ choices, PCs are still the preferred option because of the level of control it offers.
Advanced streamers, who want to play cutting edge games, have no choice but to use a PC because of their processor requirements.
Your audience will expect to see you on camera. T
Many laptop computers and consoles come with either a built-in webcam or PlayStation camera. However, these low quality camera’s will quickly turn off viewers with high-speed internet connections. At the very least you’ll want a 4K Webcam like the Facecam from Elgato.
To get truly high quality video, you’ll want to move from a webcam and into a DSLR. You can connect one of these cameras to your computer via the same capture card you use to connect your consoles.
These are a jump in price, but will be worth the investment as your channel grows.
A good starter camera from Sony is the ZV-E10, which uses interchangeable lenses while staying quite affordable. When you outgrow this camera, it will still be great for your side angle.
The next step up is the Sony A6400. It reasonably priced this camera for the high quality 4k video that it can record. This uses the same lens mount as the ZV, so any lenses you buy can connect to either camera. Your audience will notice when you jump to this camera, so be prepared for a lot of compliments.
Lighting is really important and choosing the right lighting can be overwhelming. The best lighting for streamings is the Godox ES45. This flat led light has diffusion, which will keep the light from being too harsh and an amazing remote that will let you adjust the settings without moving away from your desk.
If you can only afford one light to start with, this is absolutely the one you want to get. It even comes with a mount to attach it directly to your desk and position perfectly.
A good microphone is even more important as a camera when it comes to producing a high-quality webcam feed. People will watch videos with bad visuals much longer than they will endure bad sound.
Your audience expects you to talk while you’re playing, so you want them to be able to hear you.
The most important thing about your setup is avoiding mixing audio signals. If your microphone picks up the sound of your video game, the sound can get muddy or even cause a feedback loop.
A good microphone will remove background noise, echo and other unwanted noises while making your voice clear and understandable.
You don’t need to invest a lot of money into a microphone that will help you sound amazing. We have two awesome choices, based on the type of room you record in, that are both under $200.
If you have a sound treated room, this USB microphone is all that you need to sound amazing. It’s designed by Elgato specifically for beginning streamers and it sounds great. If you have a room with echo, then you can either buy foam to attach to the walls or go to a slightly more expensive microphone.
Presonus REvelator Dynamic
This microphone is one of the best sounding USB microphones on the market and it’s only slightly more expensive than the Elgato. The Revelator comes with very powerful sound processing, so you can remove background noise, add depth to your voice and basically sound amazing live.
Make sure to get the Dynamic version of the microphone for the warmer sound. This microphone works great even when you’re in a room with wooden floors and a lot of echo.
Other Streaming Essentials
As you grow your Twitch channel, basic broadcasting software and hardware will no longer be enough. You will need to think bigger, and invest in the following:
- A green screen if you want to stream more creative content
- A capture card for a two-computer setup, streaming console gameplay through your PC, or using a DSLR as your webcam
- A Streamdeck to control your setup with the push of a button
Building Your Own Customized Twitch-streaming PC
The centerpiece of most Twitch studios is the gaming PC. If you’re going to play cutting edge games and stream them, you need a computer that can handle that load. If you’re going to play console games, then you only need a computer powerful enough to handle multiple video streams inside of OBS Studio.
Rather than looking for a brand name computer, you want a computer that comes with brand name parts. A system integrator is a company that will assemble these components for you and deliver a working system.
You should only pay $150 over the price of the components for a computer built in this way. Look for a company that has a reputation in the streaming space, such as NZXT.
If you want to cut costs even more, you can build the entire system yourself and there are entire communities built around this hobby.
How to Stream on Twitch Using a Desktop Computer: Four Steps
There are four steps to starting your first stream.
The first thing you will need to do is set up your own Twitch studio. You can gather all the essential hardware that will be required, and make sure that it is all connected properly before you start streaming on Twitch.
Once you have connected your microphone, webcam, lighting equipment, and gaming pc, you can run a quick diagnostics to make sure everything is running smoothly. Be ready to update your drivers for each peripheral you connect to your computer.
Your computer will need a high-speed Internet connection as you are sending a lot of video data through the Internet in real time. The faster the connection the better.
Install OBS Studio. This will connect directly with Twitch and allow you to control what appears on your audience’s screen. Do you want to show just your face? A closeup? The game screen with you in the corner? This all happens in OBS.
Here’s how to get OBS and Twitch working in less than five minutes.
Open OBS Studio and click on “Settings”
Click on Stream, select Twitch as your Service from the drop down menu and then “Connect Account”
Log into Twitch with your username and password. Then accept the connection and grant permissions. That’s it. You’re ready to stream to Twitch!
Alternatively, you can connect using a Stream Key from the same settings, but that is more complicated.
Add Broadcast Sources
Your broadcast sources are your method of uploading the content you intend to stream on Twitch. These include gameplay, microphone, and webcam feed.
Connect each different camera, screen, capture device and microphone as a Source in OBS. You can then use these to create different “scenes.” Scenes is where you adjust the different screen sizes and decide which content will be shown. You can start with one scene for now.
Adjust Streaming Settings
The quality and upload speed of your Twitch stream will be determined by the settings that you choose.
You can adjust various aspects of your files by Twitching a few settings, such as resolution, audio levels, and frame rate.
There are three important things that you need to consider when adjusting your streaming settings, which are:
- The upload speed allowed by your internet connection bandwidth
- Your intended video quality
- How powerful your processor is
The Twitch platform has a few tips and recommendations on its drop-down menu regarding the ideal streaming settings for users to have the best live stream experience.
As a basic rule of them, the slower your Internet the lower the resolution you can push. If you want to stream 4k at 120 frames per second, you’ll need a very fast computer and a gigabit Internet connection.
Using Console Streaming for Twitch
Many streamers play games on a console, such as a Switch, Playstation 5, or Xbox Series X. Each of these has options to stream directly from the console to Twitch. This is not the best option because it’s hard to manage your chat and camera settings without a computer.
You can try using the built-in apps on modern consoles to connect to Twitch if you don’t have the budget for a gaming pc.
As always, you need a Twitch account that is secured by two-factor authentication because hackers can still access your details, even through your console.
Video Capture Card
The most important part of your setup will be your capture card. This is where you pull HDMI signal into your streaming computer from your video came consoles and external cameras. The best capture cards are made by Elgato, who has really focused on creating products specifically for streamers.
When you upgrade to a DSLR camera or want to connect your other video game systems to your computer, a good capture card is critical. The card takes the super high quality video signal from your game or camera and converts it into a format that OBS can manage.
Elgato makes the best capture card right now.
PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
If you own a Sony PlayStation, then you can access Twitch in the following way:
Your PlayStation does not come pre-programmed to be used as part of a Twitch studio. In particular, you need to make sure that the HDCP is disabled; otherwise, you will be unable to link your console to the Twitch account.
In the device settings of your console, you will be able to configure the PlayStation camera icon and the headphones or microphone that you are using.
Unlike using a PC for streaming on Twitch, PlayStation will not allow you to connect any other camera besides the built-in lens it comes with.
Next, you can adjust your audio settings depending on the quality of content you wish to produce in your Twitch studio. You can also select your chat room preferences by clicking the advanced settings icon.
Connect Console to Twitch
Your controller’s share button will allow you to link your console to the Twitch account by selecting the “broadcast gameplay” option. The console will require you to confirm the platform you wish to use; in this case, it’s the Twitch account.
Twitch’s website will allow you to link to your console by entering the code provided, or you can choose the easier method, which is to scan the QR code that appears on the screen.
When all seems in order, you can run a final check of all your hardware and internet bandwidth, then simply select “broadcast gameplay” and tap “start stream.”
The Twitch app can be installed from the Xbox Store because Xbox consoles do not come with a pre-installed Twitch app.
The installation process is simple, and after a few clicks, you will be ready to stream to Twitch users directly from your console.
You will be given a stream key, which is a six-digit code that you will need to manually input on the Twitch webpage. This stage requires a PC or Smartphone because you cannot do it using your console.
Connect Console To Twitch
Connection to your Twitch account is easy using Xbox because it is compatible with external cameras and microphones. You can adjust your privacy settings as well for an added layer of security while you are online.
The last thing you will need is a title for your Twitch stream, or Twitch username before you can stream games using your console.
In terms of features and usability, Xbox compares very well with PlayStation, but neither comes close to what you can do streaming through a PC.
Using a Twitch App on Smartphones (iOS and Android)
If you have a 5G cell phone connection, you can take your streaming on the go and even stream games straight from your phone using the Twitch app. This gives you a way to stream from the beach and stay in contact with your audience.
Though it’s not the best way to stream, as it’s hard to see what your viewers are saying in the chat, Twitch has really improved their app recently.
Four Benefits of Using Twitch
There are a lot of places where you can livestream. While Mixer failed, YouTube and Facebook are still competing with Twitch for streamers and viewers. You can stream on TikTok and most other social networks. But there are a few reasons Twitch is the dominant platform.
Get Paid to Stream
Whether you are using the twitch mobile app, streaming from a console, or streaming via OBS on your computer, Twitch is where you can get paid. They have many ways for your viewers to support you built into the platform.
Viewers can donate to your channel or subscribe and you can become a Twitch affiliate once you cross 50 followers.
Direct Communication Between Gamers and Viewers
You no longer have to game in isolation. You can find fans and and make new friends who love the same games that you do every time you stream on Twitch.
Accessing Your Favorite Streamers Is Easy
Twitch’s user interface is designed to separate all the content on its platform into different categories. This makes it very easy to quickly search for your preferred content and locate your favorite streamers.
While this might seem like an obvious feature to have, other streaming platforms do not have that feature, and viewers are forced to manually input the usernames of the streamers they wish to follow.
There Is An Option for Advertising
Regular streamers who meet the minimum requirements, such as having a large number of followers, are allowed to sell their personal merchandise whenever they stream to Twitch users.
This gives streamers with a large following the opportunity to benefit from their popularity by charging for the chance to advertise alongside their gameplay.
Chance To Improve Your Skills
The popularity of Twitch means that each day, you will have access to different, experienced gamers, and you can learn from watching their twitch streams.
This is an invaluable resource for players who engage in highly technical games, especially if you manage to ask the experts a few questions about difficult areas of the game.
Great Tips for Streaming on Twitch
Before you launch your first stream, there are a few tips that you can benefit from to make your streaming experience more enjoyable, such as:
Choose the Games You Stream Carefully
The temptation will be to stream one of the more popular games on the platform because they have a lot of viewers.
However, the downside of this is that these games are usually already packed with established streamers who have a large following already.
Rather than competing with the biggest streamers on the Twitch app, jump on a new game that has let competition. There are fewer viewers but you are more likely to get found. As the game grows in popularity, so will your viewership.
There are also apps to help you choose a game to play such as Twitch Tracker, which can help you identify which games are hot at the moment, allowing you to get a head start on your competition.
It’s Easier to Stream Content That You Enjoy
If you regularly watch Twitch streams, you will eventually be able to tell the difference between streamers who genuinely enjoy the game, and those who are in it for the money.
When you stream games that you love, your audience will be drawn to your content because of the enthusiasm they can sense in you.
Streaming content that you find enjoyable will also help you to continue working hard even during those early days when you have very few viewers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Live Streaming on Twitch Free?
Yes, Twitch does not charge their streamers. You can create a professional livestream using OBS Studio, an open source platform that natively integrates with Twitch.
Can I Make Money Streaming on Twitch?
Yes, streaming is one of the best ways to make money playing video games and can become lucrative as your following starts to grow. You can make money via donations on your very first livestream.
Your ready to STream on Twitch
We are big fans of Twitch and look forward to hearing about your success. Please share a link to your channel in the comments below so we can be your first followers.