How to Stream on Twitch: The Complete Guide to Success
After having watched many live streams from a multitude of American steamers, or even created their own YouTube channel, who didn’t want to start streaming on Twitch?
Whether it’s to share your passion for video games, different artistic creations, or any other passion, streaming is a unique experience. A moment of sharing with a community of more or less small size, allowing not only to entertain, to share but especially to engage.
In short, it’s impossible to know if you like it before you even try it.
Getting started on Twitch – How to Stream on Twitch
Although the process remains simple in itself, to get started on Twitch as a steamer and no viewers, requires to perform many steps, whether in the installation, but also the equipment. In order to do this as well as possible, here is a guide that we hope will be as complete as possible to accompany you in these beginnings.
How to create a Twitch account to start streaming?
Creating a Twitch account is simple, but we recommend you follow these extra steps to get a clear idea of what you’re getting into:
1. Read the community guidelines
In order to have a clear idea of what is and isn’t possible on Twitch, reading the rules of conduct guidelines is not a bad idea. And this, especially when you start. It may even be advisable to keep it aside because these rules are regularly updated.
2. Register on Twitch
To create an account is no more complicated than clicking on “register” and following the contact form. Be careful though, on mobile, you will have to download the application first.
3. Secure your account with double authentication
You should know that it is impossible to stream without having the double authentication or “2FA”. So don’t hesitate to have a look at the Twitch documentation to activate this from your computer. Note that this can not be activated from the mobile application.
Which streaming software to start a Twitch live?
To start streaming in a classic way from your computer, the first thing to do is to get video encoding software.
More affordable than a classic encoder, the software will allow gathering the different audio and video sources for streaming: camera video, microphone, video from the PC screen in a single compressed video so that it can be sent to Twitch and shared live.
Nowadays, there is a lot of software for streaming. Namely, each software has its advantages as well as its disadvantages. But if you want to choose one of the most famous software in France, here are the most used ones:
- OBS Studio – One of the best choices for a beginner streamer, OBS Studio is a free and open-source streaming software whose advantage is its multi platform compatibility.
- StreamLabs OBS – Partly made with OBS, StreamLabs is also a popular software in the field, trying to be more complete though, available in MacOS & Windows 10.
- Xsplit – An excellent program, however usually used by non-beginner streamers. For the good and simple reason that Xsplit becomes interesting once in paid mode.
What configuration and setup to start on Twitch?
When starting as a streamer, there is no need to have all the best setup directly in your possession, not at all. On the contrary, it’s important to test before really investing in accessories and equipment which, although excellent, are quite expensive. However, there are some essentials that you should have from the very beginning.
1. What accessories and setup for streamers?
Accessories are the most important thing for streamers. Whether it’s for the practical side and a better animation or simply to provide a stream of the best possible quality. In order to provide quality lives and have a chance to attract more viewers here are the main accessories:
- Microphone ➞ Guide to the best microphones for streamer/gamer
- Webcam / Camera ➞ Guide to the most popular webcams among streamers
- Green background ➞ Guide to the best green backgrounds
- Lighting / Lightning
- Stream Deck ➞ Elgato: the best brand of stream deck
To learn more about the ideal setup to have when you are a steamer, we have made many guides and information to compose the best streamer and gamer setup.
2. What PC configuration to be able to do Twitch lives?
The main element of a streamer’s setup is the PC, the console, or the laptop you use. When you start with consoles like PlayStation 4-5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, or the latest cell phones, setting up a stream is rather simple, not requiring much thought about the components and software to choose.
However, desktops are nowadays the most used for streaming. And this is mainly due to its compatibility with a wider variety of hardware, the use of scenes or overlays. In the end, it is not uncommon for a streamer on a console to use the PC to broadcast the image.
In short, to make good quality streams, it will be almost inevitable to use a PC. In terms of components, however, it will not necessarily be necessary to have the latest and most deluxe hardware to support video games and streaming. On the other hand, it will be necessary to enter the medium-high or even high-end. Among the most important components, we will find :
- CPU / Processor: The central piece on which you should not hesitate to put a slightly higher budget. Indeed, it is the one that will manage all the instructions required for video games and video encoding.
- GPU / Graphics Card: Far from being the most important for video encoding of the streaming, but an important component when we go to the side of video games.
- Hard Disk / SSD NVMe: Essential but not essential, we strongly recommend to equip yourself with a basic hard disk / SSD NVMe or even add a classic SSD. And in the case of video editing, do not hesitate to add good storage.
How to stream on Twitch from your PC?
When everything is ready in terms of equipment, you have an exact idea of what you want to stream / how you want to interact with the viewers and you have installed your video encoding software: it’s time to launch the live stream on Twitch via the OBS Studio software.
Launching a Twitch live via OBS on PC
In order to have a vision of how to start a Twitch live on PC using OBS, here is a quick step by step overview:
- Download OBS Studio or StreamLabs OBS: Go get the software here for OBS Studio or here for StreamLabs OBS here.
- Selecting the automatic configuration wizard: to have a better understanding of the software, it’s better to opt for a manual installation in order to configure it yourself so as to better understand these important aspects in streaming.
- Twitch stream key: go to file > settings > stream and select the “Twitch” service. Then add the stream key corresponding to your Twitch account (to find it, go to Twitch > Settings > Channel and videos).
- Adding audio & video sources: for that, you have to go to File > Settings > Audio and connect the sound of the PC and the sound of the microphone. The video sources will be added in the “video” tab using the “+” button.
- Streaming settings: The classic stream is 720p 60fps, requiring a bit rate of 3000 kbps. However, depending on the internet connection and the power of the PC, it may be interesting to go up to 900p or 1080p. To dig on the subject Twitch has made a very good guide on encoding that we recommend.