How to stream on twitch effectively?
How to stream on twitch?
You can't talk about live streaming without mentioning the Twitch platform as it has become an absolute benchmark in live streaming. This platform was created as a subsidiary of the famous Justin TV platform. It doesn't matter if it's a dedicated video game platform, learning how to stream on Twitch will always be a must for anyone who wants to enter the foreign but nonetheless exciting world of live streaming.
In 2019, Twitch's share of the live streaming platform market was 73% (based on viewing times). This could be down 2% from last year in terms of market share, but up 20% in terms of viewing hours.
Twitch has not lost any of its vitality even though 2019 was marked by some high-level transfers to competing platforms. The platform, however, leader in its category, even with YouTube, Facebook and Mixer which are slowly catching up. Twitch 'is the place to be - and we can help you not only learn how to stream on Twitch, but thrive on the platform as well.
Prepare to broadcast on Twitch
To fully enjoy twitch, you might as well start off on the right foot by creating an account. In order to be able to be part of the content creators from now on. This is where we will start. After that, we will cover the software, the equipment and the streaming process itself.
How to create a Twitch account for live streaming
Creating an account is easy. Even though Twitch has an extra step for those who want to stream live on the platform. This will all be done in three steps:
- Make sure you have studied the community rules. You don't have to read the entire legal section of the Twitch website. But you should read the community guidelines before you even create the account. Bookmark the page as well, as the guidelines receive occasional updates.
- Create an account.
On a desktop computer, all you have to do is click on the "Register" button and complete the form.
On mobile devices, you need to download the Twitch mobile app. Twitch recommends signing up with your phone number initially and adding an email later.
- Enable two-factor authentication. (2AF)
Here's the kicker: you can't actually stream without turning on 2FA, and you can't turn on 2FA on mobile devices. So, head over to a desktop, log into your account, find the security settings, and turn on 2FA. You will need a mobile phone to do this.
What software to use for live streaming on Twitch?
When broadcasting to Twitch from a desktop computer, ideally beginners would start with software encoders unless they have hardware encoders. There are many reasons for this, but they really boil down to the ease of use and the very, very affordable.
Each software encoder comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. You should take a closer look at them when choosing. If you are interested in some of the more popular options these are:
- OBS Studio - The first choice for many novice content creators, OBS Studio is free, open source streaming software with cross-platform compatibility.
Streamlabs OBS - The Streamlabs version of OBS has some cool features that could help you monetize your channel. However, it is only available on Windows.
- XSplit - A common solution for broadcasters who want to try out paid software, it only shines if you're willing to invest in the paid version.
- vMix - Consider this option when deciding that you are ready to become a professional streamer.
You might want to keep a close eye on Twitch Studio, Twitch's proprietary streaming software currently in open beta. For even more options, you should also check out Twitch's streaming software suggestions.
If you want to simultaneously stream on platforms other than Twitch, you will need to add an additional software solution to your roster.
- Restream, the multi-stream software that integrates streaming, chat, and analytics, can help. It's easy to set up, it starts with a free plan, and it can be a great ally even if you become a Twitch affiliate and are subject to the platform's exclusivity clause.
What kind of material should I use when streaming on Twitch?
You don't need the latest generation of processors or the latest DSLR model to stream on Twitch. The platform isn't on the cutting edge in video quality - it doesn't support 4K streaming like YouTube does - so you might get away with inferior material.
However, the only obstacle that many Twitch content creators face is that when streaming a video game, the encoding and playing can be too heavy for a computer's processor. So you can't just start streaming on Twitch with just any kind of gear - it has to be decent. Let's go through one item at a time.
A computer / console / smartphone
The central part of the hardware in any streaming setup is the computer, console, or smartphone, depending on what you're using. Gaming consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are viable options, as are smartphones. They also provide an easy entry into the world of streaming, as you don't need to think too much about software and additional hardware.
However, desktops haven't become the most popular choice for streaming by accident. You can use a wider variety of hardware with them, and the streaming software allows for cool features like creating scenes and using overlays. In fact, desktops are so useful that even people who stream from consoles often use the consoles to game while they stream from a PC.
PCs are pretty much inevitable for high-end streaming, but they'll also give you the most options. Here's what you need to consider when creating a streaming desktop:
The processor: it must manage simultaneous play and encoding. You will need a fairly powerful processor.
The GPU: An Nvidia RTX graphics card has built-in hardware encoders, and you can use it with OBS Studio to give the CPU a helping hand.
Platform: you can use a PC but also a Mac or even a laptop. You will need a voucher if you want to use it for gaming and streaming.
Computer Setup: You can use one computer for gaming and the other for encoding and streaming. The one with a more powerful processor should be in charge of the encoding.
All in all, you can start streaming with an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a solid internet connection. However, the more you expect from your content, the more you will need to invest in basic equipment. The same rule applies to all other equipment that you will be using for broadcasting, as you will see in a moment.
A microphone and a camera
Unless you are an elite gamer able to attract and retain an audience just by playing games incredibly well, you will need to offer something more to keep your viewers loyal. Audio commentary is the least you can do - it allows you to show some personality and connect with your audience.
Microphones are always a good investment for streamers because audio quality is very important. You want people to be able to hear you clearly and at least understand what you are saying. It's possible to get away with a gaming headset's built-in microphone for a while, but it would be best to go with a standalone headset right away. From the lowest prices to the highest prices, some popular choices are:
- Zalman ZM-Mic1
- Maono AU-04 USB microphone kit
- Yeti Nano Blue
- Samson G-Track Pro
- Yeti Blue X
Now, if you think you should add facial expressions and other forms of non-verbal cues to your list of communication tools, you'll want to invest in a camera as well. You can get pretty good results with webcams, and they don't require a capture card. Here are some popular choices:
- Logitech HD Pro C920
- Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
- Logitech C922 Pro Stream
- Razer kiyo
- Logitech Brio 4K
Choosing the cheapest options for each will cost you around $ 100 in total, but it will ensure that your Twitch viewers can hear and see you well. For a basic setup, that's all you need.
Additional streaming material
The basic configuration will not get you far, you will need optimized gear. Whether you want to add another computer to your setup or just want to look better on the camera, you'll need to get some additional hardware.
Here are some of the equipment you might want to consider:
- Lighting - Since you're already broadcasting with a camera, why not use a flattering light that also makes you easier to see? A few softboxes with LEDs will provide soft lighting without cooking you alive in the process, thanks to the low heat output of the LEDs.
- Green Screen - Whether you want to add or remove your background, a green screen can be really handy. Best of all, most encoders will recognize it, so it's easy to learn how to use chroma keying in your streams.
- Game Capture Card - If you want a dual computer setup or want to stream console games through one computer, you will need a game capture card. You have two options: external and internal. However, it can be difficult to find a game capture card lower than the price of 150 euros.
- Stream deck - Basically a touchscreen that lets you trigger commands with a brush of your finger, a stream deck is a handy tool if you have a lot of scenes you want to change while streaming or want an easier way to do things like like adjusting audio levels.
As you become a more experienced Twitch content producer, you will begin to determine what additional gear you will need. Always strive for the best value for money.
How to live stream to Twitch from a desktop
One of the driving forces behind the boom in live streaming is the accessibility of the form of content - for both the consumer and the creator. All you need is an internet connection and a device with a screen to watch the live streams. The fact that there are a large number of people with access to both bodes well for your broadcasting career.
When it comes to becoming a content creator, however, the bar can be set a bit higher, especially if you want to be successful. But it takes a little more than a decent streaming platform and the willingness to get wet. Here are the basic steps to start broadcasting on a desktop computer.
- Get an idea of the content you want to broadcast.
Back in the days when there was only one video game streaming platform behind us, Twitch is now home to many different types of content. We'll cover all of the cool stuff you can stream live a bit later, but for now, you should understand that different types of content may require you to use different equipment.
That's not the only reason to adopt a content plan, and we'll get to that a bit later, but it makes sense to point out due to practical implications.
For example, creating good ASMR content requires at a minimum high quality microphones or even specialist equipment like the 3Dio Free Space Binaural Microphone. This type of equipment might not be readily available at your local store, and if it is, it could be expensive. This is something you have to plan for.
- Gather, connect and set up your gear.
As a novice broadcaster, it may make perfect sense to use the minimum hardware required for a stream. It's possible to stream whatever is on your screen, so you don't need a webcam. You can try chatting with your audience through text chat, you don't even need a microphone.
However, you will generally find that you really need to use both.
Before you start setting up your streaming software, make sure that all the hardware you need is connected. This means connecting your webcam and microphone to your computer. If you are planning to add an extra computer monitor to your setup or want to use a green screen, now is the time to get it ready.
- Install the software and connect it to Twitch.
Any of the software choices we mentioned earlier will work fine for Twitch. For the purposes of this guide, however, we'll be using OBS Studio for all examples and explanations. After installation, OBS Studio will ask you whether or not to run the automatic configuration wizard. You might consider opting for manual configuration. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with some important aspects of streaming.
To get started, you'll want to head to File> Settings> Stream in OBS Studio. Choose “Twitch” as the service, then connect your Twitch account to OBS Studio or connect Twitch using the stream key.
Screenshot of OBS Studio. File, settings, stream
For the first one, you'll just need your Twitch account login details. For the latter, you need to go to Twitch, go to Settings> Channel & Videos, and copy the primary stream key you see there. Paste it into OBS and you're done.
- Add any audio / video sources and visuals you plan to use.
Anything you want to show in your stream should be added as a source in OBS. Your microphone is a source, and so is the game you want to play, as is your webcam feed and whatever is on your desktop. If you want to display it, you need to add it as a source.
The advantage of OBS Studio is that most of the time it will recognize your audio sources. If not, you can go to File> Settings> Audio and find the devices you want to use for audio. Usually that means having a device for desktop sounds (the sounds you play on the computer) and a device for sounds coming from your microphone.
Screenshot of OBS Studio. File, settings, audio
Regarding video sources, you will see the "sources" field in the main panel of OBS Studio. Clicking the "+" button opens a menu that allows you to add a variety of sources, including games, your desktop, web pages, images, and text files. Keep in mind, however, that the sources appear on the screen as they appear in the “sources” box, one on top of the other. Moving a source in the list will make it visible above the other sources.
Screenshot of OBS Studio. Main panel: Sources
- Find the broadcast settings that work for you.
The streaming settings you need for Twitch will largely depend on the download bandwidth available, the power of your encoder, and the type of content you want to stream. Higher bandwidth, a powerful processor, and being able to dedicate it only to encoding all result in better quality settings.
If you're looking for hard numbers, Twitch's own guide would be a good place to start. There you will learn that for a base stream of 720p at 30 fps, you will need a bit rate of around 3000 kbps. If you are looking for a list of good download speeds for streaming, you will see that this translates to a download speed of around 5 Mbps.
Keep in mind, however, that this is the easiest way to go about setting up your OBS studio for the first stream. This will surely help you get through it, but you might always want to consult a more in-depth guide when the time is right for you to get things done.
How to live stream on Twitch from consoles or smartphones
Streaming live on Twitch from a PC might not be the perfect option for you. Maybe you prefer to play your games on consoles. Lots of people do. You might enjoy watching shows live on consoles - a lot of people do too - and you don't see any justification for having separate devices for streaming and viewing. Or you may not want to go through the awkward process of setting up a gaming PC when there is a perfectly suited console that you can use for gaming and streaming.
For one reason or another, console users are probably familiar with Twitch and streaming. The fact that Death Stranding and Days Gone, two console games, were among the top ten new games in 2019 by number of hours viewed clearly shows this.
Set up PS4 to stream on Twitch
How to stream on Twitch from a PS4
If you want to join the less crowded Twitch console streaming space, here's how to set up your consoles after you've created a Twitch account and enabled 2FA. We'll start with the PlayStation 4.
- Set up your PS4 for live streaming.
There are a few settings that you should pay attention to before you turn on your game and connect the console to your Twitch account. What you really want to do is:
Make sure HDCP is turned off. You will find this option under Settings> System. You'll need to turn it on when watching content from services like Netflix on your PS4. When streaming, it should be turned off.
Configure your devices. In Settings> Devices, you can find options for audio devices as well as the PlayStation camera. This is where you can adjust the levels of your microphone or headphones. The PlayStation 4 does not support any webcam other than the PlayStation Camera.
Configure audio sharing. When you launch the game, press the “share” button on the controller and go to Sharing and streaming settings> Streaming settings> Advanced settings> Audio sharing settings. This is where you activate the sound broadcast from your microphone.
Activate the chat. In Sharing and delivery settings> Delivery settings> Advanced settings, you can check "Show messages to viewers and comments from viewers" to enable chat.
- Connect your PS4 to the Twitch account.
When you click the "Share" button on your controller, you will see the option to stream the game. The PS4 will ask you which platform you want to use, and after selecting Twitch, you will need to connect the console to the account. You can do this by:
Scan a QR code that you will see on your screen, or
Go to twitch.tv/activate from a computer or smartphone and enter the code you will see on your screen.
- Do a final check and start the broadcast.
After connecting the console to Twitch, you will be able to choose a title for the stream, activate the camera if you have connected it, and select the output quality. When you're done, you'll be ready to start streaming on Twitch from your PS4.
It is a simple process; you don't even need to install the Twitch app to do that, although you will need it if you want to watch other people's streams on a PS4.
Set up Xbox to stream on Twitch
How to stream to Twitch from Xbox
Xbox, on the other hand, is not compatible with Twitch. The device is developed by Microsoft, the company which also owns one of Twitch's biggest competitors, Mixer. So if you want to stream to Twitch from an Xbox, your journey begins in the Xbox store.
- Install the Twitch app.
Go to the store on your Xbox, find the official Twitch app, and install it.
- Connect the Twitch app to your account.
The principle is almost the same as on the PS4: after running the app for the first time, you will get a six-digit code that you will have to enter manually on twitch.tv/activate. You will need a desktop computer or smartphone to access this address.
- Connect and configure your devices.
You can use any regular webcam with an Xbox One, and you can use external microphones and headsets as well. Connect everything to your Xbox and make sure the microphone and webcam are enabled in settings. You'll also want to fine-tune some other settings. So go to Settings> Account> Privacy and online security> Xbox Live privacy> View details and customize, then:
Go to Game content and enable the options “You can stream the game” and “You can share content created using Kinect or another camera”.
In Online Status and History, select "Everyone" under "Others can see if you are online."
- Create a title and start the broadcast.
Once you've set a title for your stream, you'll be ready to launch a game and begin streaming.
How to stream on Twitch from a smartphone
While consoles are more focused on streaming gaming content, smartphones are generally useful for anything but that. This is because Twitch's smartphone app lets you stream only from your phone's camera. If you want to stream mobile games, you will need to play with third-party apps. Here's how you stream live on Twitch from your smartphone.
- Download and install the Twitch app.
First of all, the app must be installed on your smartphone. Go to the App Store or Play Store to get it.
- Log into the app.
You will need to go through the entire two-factor authentication process to log into the app.
- Tap your profile picture button in the top left corner.
This will bring you to the screen where you will notice the “Go Live” button.
- Press the “go live” button.
You will need to allow access to your camera and / or microphone before you can live stream to Twitch through the app.
- Configure the stream and go live.
There are a few simple steps you need to follow before you finally go online:
Give your feed a name.
Select one of the content categories from the drop-down menu.
Choose the camera you want to use.
Share a link to your feed through the apps you have on your phone.
With that, all you have to do is hit the "Start Stream" button and you'll be online.
Streaming live on Twitch isn't too demanding for a novice. You can go from basic equipment and general IT knowledge to live streaming your content on Twitch in minutes. It's that easy to learn how to stream on Twitch, if your goal is just to stream live.
How do you get good at streaming on Twitch?
A very limited number of the best streamers, four thousand of them, get three quarters of the hours of live viewing. Twitch has around 3.6 million monthly streamers, so the math is obvious: a lot of people don't have that many viewers.
You'll need to put in a little more effort than learning how to stream on Twitch if your goal is to find a place among successful streamers. The best place to start determining your strategy for success is in the most important aspect: the content.
What kind of content should you stream on Twitch?
In-game content is what originally kicked off Twitch. Even today, people seem to log in primarily to watch game content. The most popular categories, in terms of viewing hours, are two game categories: League of Legends and Fortnite.
It's important to note, however, that third on the list, with over 650 million hours watched and an annual growth rate of 42%, was the Just Chatting category - a category that doesn't necessarily need to be watched. 'have anything to do with games and players. culture.
So what does this mean for you? A number of things including the fact that you don't have to be content with just producing bad game content if you're much better at something. Here are a few tips that should help you settle into a great content category - or a few.
- Determine if you want to be a variety streamer or stick to a category.
Some people will jump between games, chats, and streaming. Others will focus on chatting alone, creating art, playing a single game. As a variety streamer, your personality is the main draw.
- Post what you like.
Chances are, you'll spend time broadcasting to a small audience. Beginnings can be tough, and streaming can sometimes seem like an uphill battle to win over one viewer at a time. The best way to stick with it is to broadcast something you really love to do, whether it's your hobby or a game you love to play.
- Choose carefully the games you want to stream.
The most popular games have a lot of viewers, but also many established channels flock to them. New releases can arrive quickly, as witnessed by the success of Apex Legends in 2019. A good tip is to use tools like Quizzical Pixel's What to Stream to find games that have a good audience but very few channels. diffusing.
- Think of an inter-game niche that people will find interesting.
You don't have to stick to just one category to become a highly respected streamer with good following. You can be a speedrunner who wants to complete games as fast as possible. You could be a very competitive player who only masters the games for dueling. You could thrive as a community guru who learns about game mechanics and helps others get big in games.
- Select the content that you can generate on a regular basis.
Because consistency is essential when it comes to streaming, the best way to do it is to try and stick to a schedule as much as possible. If the content you want to create does not allow you to stream regularly, it is best to avoid streaming this type of content. It is, of course, if you don't plan to add some other type of content to your portfolio that can fill in the gaps.
How do I make my twitch stream look and sound perfect?
Your gear and upload speed play a crucial role in the quality of your feed, but that's not all that matters. Content also affects quality, albeit in a different way. You can add other effects to your flow, as well as special parameters that you can pay attention to, which can make a big difference.
If you want your stream to look like some of the more popular streamers, you need to consider the following:
Set up scenes in OBS Studio before the stream. Scenes are different layouts of the content you want to display on screen, and they're essential to running the flow smoothly.
Prepare a home screen, brb screen, and end screen. These can be static images that tell people that you're starting to stream content soon, that you must have stepped away from the stream, or that the stream has ended.
Start using overlays. Overlays can help you customize the look of your feed. Free, premium, and custom overlays are available.
Add alerts to your feeds. Alerts are audio-visual packages triggered by specific actions, such as someone subscribing to your channel. They are provided by third party services such as StreamLabs, Muxy and StreamElements.
Check out some Twitch extensions. These are basically apps that can interact with your feed and, for example, provide real-time statistics on your game's performance. You can also use them to let your viewers play mini-games.
Add music to your stream. You'd be surprised how empty a stream can sound without music. While some people are successful in streaming music while they are live and have their VoD turned off if they are playing copyright protected music, you can be careful using music services that are compatible with the Internet. streaming such as Pretzel.
Pay attention to audio synchronization. Audio sync issues are quite common if you're broadcasting on Twitch. Process it in OBS Studio using the Audio Sync Offset setting which you can find in the audio mixer settings.
If you want to add power to your streaming setup to better handle whatever game you want to throw at it, adding a dedicated streaming PC is a great way to do it. If you're running a two-PC setup, you'll want the one with the most processing power to handle the streaming. And you will need a capture card.
Capture cards are available in internal and external variations. Internal cards must be physically installed on the motherboard of the streaming computer and then connected to the gaming PC via HDMI. External cards connect via USB to the streaming computer on one end and via HDMI to the gaming computer on the other end. After that, you just need to add the capture card as a source in OBS.
If you are using a PC-console setup, the main difference is that the capture card is located between the console and the TV or computer monitor. Use the HDMI "in" port to connect the console to the card and the HDMI "out" port to connect the card to the screen or television. Again, just add the map in OBS Studio as a source, and you're good to go.
What are the Twitch etiquette rules that will help me engage audiences?
Like any other place people tend to congregate, Twitch has its own list of dos and don'ts. Some of these are codified by Twitch in the Community Rules, and yes, now is the time to read them if you ignored them at the beginning of the article.
But there are also some practices that could boost your engagement and generally help everyone who watches your stream - as well as you as a streamer - have a good time. This is the Twitch etiquette, and the most important rules to follow are:
1-Say "hello" to the viewers who frequent your channel. It will show them your appreciation and give other viewers something to work on.
Stick to your broadcast schedule. Don't leave your viewers hanging, and try not to surprise them too often with impromptu broadcasts. People have lives.
2-Use social networks. You need to work on establishing a social media presence to engage more with your audience and seek out business opportunities.
Network with other streamers. You don't do this in a vacuum, so play games with other streamers or co-stream with them every now and then.
Say "thank you" to the people who support you. Neglecting this is one of the worst ways to treat people who support you financially.
3-Do not access other people's feeds to promote yourself in the chat room. It goes beyond bad behavior, and chances are your efforts will be blocked by mods.
Hire mods. Moderators want your feed's chat to be clean and user-friendly.
You want your channel to be a fun place where people can meet and enjoy the show. As a streamer, you have to be welcoming. You need to take your viewers' time and attention seriously. Never miss an opportunity to engage with your audience, whether that's by saying "hello" when they join or creating content that specifically speaks to your audience.
Twitch and multistream
When you're just starting your live streaming career, sticking to one platform can feel like you've put all your eggs in one basket. And that's sort of - there are other platforms out there, and you might want to stream them as well. This is exactly what Restream is for.
If you want to multistream to Twitch and other platforms, you can - but only up to a point. Once you become a Twitch Affiliate, which allows you to start generating income from your streams on Twitch, your content will be subject to a 24-hour exclusivity clause. This means that your content will be exclusive to Twitch while you stream it and for 24 hours afterward.
At this point, you can still use Restream to stream your current VoD content to other platforms and take advantage of the analytics and chat features it offers. But you'll have to decide whether to switch to Twitch first or keep all of your cards open and multi-stream for a while.
Let's get it over with!
Live streaming can be an incredibly rewarding experience. If you are able to create broadcastable content out of something you love to do, you can benefit from starting to broadcast. Whether it's making new friends, finding new business opportunities, or just exercising your performance skills, streaming can only do you good.
When it comes to where you can stream entertaining content, Twitch is an obvious first choice. It is the main platform that has successfully opened its doors to all types of content, from gaming and ASMR to full body makeup tutorials. The platform is so popular and huge in the market that learning how to stream on Twitch is almost a rite of passage for future content creators.
However, Twitch is not the only platform on the market. Most of the tips for broadcasting on Twitch also apply to other platforms. As you learn how to be a successful streamer on Twitch, you'll learn a thing or two that could help you thrive on other platforms as well. If you are looking for a way to deliver your content across multiple platforms, Restream is the tool you should use.
Source: Translation of the original article: How to stream on Twitch: the ultimate guide