How to Stream on Twitch (and Where to Find Your Stream Key) | Tom’s Guide
Over the last few years, twitch has attracted more than 9 million unique users, while also hosting a wide range of live entertainment channels: from professional esports games to casual cooking shows and DJ sets in the living room as well as some questionable asmr streams. The Amazon-owned streaming platform has become immensely popular and has become more than just a website for streaming video games.
If you want to start streaming, in theory all you need to do is a computer and a somewhat stable internet connection. The entire process itself is so simple that you could set it all up before you get to the end of this article. however, if you’re interested in putting together a more polished setup, you can do it in an hour, whether you’re using your gaming computer, laptop, console, or even your mobile phone.
If you want to try your hand at twitch or if you’re already sure that the journey to internet stardom is something you definitely want to pursue, here’s everything you need to know about streaming on twitch.
how to stream on twitch: choose your software
Thanks to its ability to enable streaming from a variety of platforms, streaming on twitch is actually a lot easier than you might think. But some of the most common places to broadcast twitch are gaming PCs, as well as reasonably powerful gaming laptops. and to do so, you’ll need the right software to get your stream up and running.
The two main options are xsplit (opens in a new tab), which is a windows 10 centric tool, and open broadcaster software (obs), (opens in a new tab), which is available on mac, linux and windows. With an intuitive interface, xsplit is the easiest to use, although it does require you to pay for it. obs is a great free alternative and is probably one of the most popular pieces of streaming software out there, but it will require you to roll up your sleeves and do a bit more initial setup.
Custom versions of obs are also available, including streamlabs obs (opens in a new tab) and streamelements obs.live (opens in a new tab). these programs sync with streamlabs and streamelements respectively to allow you to easily set up custom layouts, alerts and more.
Those new to surfing can take a look at Twitch Studio (Opens in a new tab), Twitch’s own streaming app that’s designed with beginners in mind. This app is free and offers guided setup for the main devices in your streaming setup, such as your webcam and game feed. also offers customizable templates to get your streaming career started quickly.
how to use obs
configuring your stream
1. note open
2. select the configuration.
3. select transmission.
4. set the service to collapse and click connect account for the fastest setup.
5. log in to twitch with your username and password. everything is ready! (Skip to set the scene and go live if you do this. If you prefer to use a stream key, follow step 6.)
6. If you don’t want to connect your account directly, you can link Twitch to Obs via a stream key. To do this, go back to your twitch control panel and select the stream key. follow the prompts to receive your special streaming code.
7. copy and paste that code into the stream key box in the stream settings menu. select ‘accept’.
Setting the stage and broadcasting live
1. in the main interface of obs, right click on the source box and select add, then capture the game.
2. select the game you prefer from the dropdown menu and click accept.
3. right-click the font box again to add additional fonts. you can add images and text to customize your layout, use monitor capture to display anything on your screen, or select video capture to use your webcam.
4. select the preview stream and edit the scene to adjust the layout of your stream to your liking. for example, you might want to feature your game stream in a prominent place, with a small box in the corner showing your webcam feed.
5. select start streaming in the obs panel. you are now live!
how to use xsplit
configuring your stream
1. open xsplit.
2. select stream, then add channel, then twitch.
3. select authorize and enter your twitch username and password.
4. select finish. xsplit will automatically set an optimal resolution.
5. edit your stream properties and click ok.
Setting the stage and broadcasting live
1. in the screen sources section at the bottom left of the xsplit interface, select add.
2. Hover over the game capture and select the game of your choice.
3. select add again to bring in additional sources, such as images or your webcam feed.
4. drag and resize each font to your liking. for example, you might want to highlight your game capture source, with a small box in the corner showing your webcam source.
5. select transmission, then contraction. you are now live!
layouts, alerts and more
Once you have the basics of obs and xsplit, you can start customizing your stream with custom layouts and alerts. There are a couple of popular toolsets to improve the look and feel of your stream: streamlabs and streamelements.
streamelements is an all-in-one browser-based tool that lets you design full layouts (or choose from a variety of pre-made layouts) complete with widgets, animations, and more. once you’ve created a theme, you can easily take it to obs or xsplit with simple browser code.
streamlabs offers a variety of customizable widgets, such as an alert box that displays notifications on screen when viewers do things like subscribe to your channel or make a donation. You can also use streamlabs to set up bots to help moderate your chat room.
how to stream to twitch from ps4, ps5, xbox one and xbox series x/s
If you have a ps4, ps5, xbox one or xbox series x/s, you can stream directly from your console without having to worry about any external hardware or software.
To stream on twitch via ps4 or ps5, simply press the ‘share’ button on your controller, select stream the game and choose twitch. once you’re logged in, you can get up and running with the push of a button.
meanwhile, streaming on twitch via xbox one or xbox series x/s is just as simple, however you’ll need to download the free twitch app from the xbox store before begin. Once you have the app and are signed in, turn on the game you want to stream. then open the twitch app and select stream from the main menu.
both sony and microsoft also allow you to chat with your viewers directly from your headset, as well as stream your webcam via playstation camera or microsoft kinect. You won’t be able to customize the look of your stream like you can on a PC, but console streaming is a great way to test the waters of twitch and start building your audience.