Twitch has 9 million regular monthly visitors out of 140 million active users as of 2022, according to EarthWeb.com. It has all sorts of users including live entertainment programs, professional e-sports gaming, casual cooking shows, and living room DJ sets, as well as some questionable ASMR streams. The Amazon-owned streaming platform has grown to be quite popular, and it’s more than a website to also watch video games. You can start a Twitch livestream yourself via the guides outlined below.
However, if you want to create a more polished setup, it may take slightly longer than an hour. You can use your gaming PC, laptop, console, or even your mobile phone to stream. Here is everything you need to know about how livestreaming on Twitch works, whether you’re merely trying your luck or it’s something you’ve always wanted.
Choosing the streaming software encoder
Various software encoders exist that you can use for livestreaming on Twitch, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Some more common ones are:
- OBS Studio—OBS Studio is a free, open-source streaming software that can be used on any platform. The learning curve may be steep if you’re new to live streaming.
- Streamlabs—If you’re looking for ways to monetize your channel and make some money, Streamlabs is a great option that might be more user-friendly than OBS. However, it’s only available on Windows computers. You can read about the difference between OBS and Streamlabs to decide which one is right for you.
- XSplit—For streamers who want to test out more powerful Twitch live-streaming software, XSplit is a fantastic option. However, it only shines if you invest in the premium edition.
- vMix—If you’re looking to step up your content quality and become a professional streamer, consider using vMix.
Accessories you can use to start a Twitch livestream
If you want to take your Twitch live stream to the next level, you’ll require some additional hardware and accessories. While most people can get by with only a webcam and microphone, other options are available if you want to improve the quality of your broadcasts. Here are some additional things you may want to consider:
- Green screen–If you want to add some visual effects or change your background, a green screen is a must-have.
- Lighting–Good lighting can make a big difference in how your broadcast looks. Ring lights are a popular option for Twitch streamers.
- Webcam–A webcam is essential if you want people to be able to see you on your live stream. Look for a webcam with HD video quality.
- Microphone–You’ll need a microphone if you want to let viewers hear you on your live stream. A headset with a built-in microphone is a good, affordable option.
- Game capture card–If you want to broadcast your gameplay, you’ll need a game capture card (alternatively, another computer). This captures the video signal from your gaming console and sends it to your computer.
With the right accessories, you can take your Twitch live stream to the next level and engage with your viewers in new and exciting ways. Experiment with different combinations of hardware and software to find what works best for you.
Use OBS to start a Twitch livestream from a PC
Download Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) for free. Now:
- Once it’s finished downloading, open the program and log in with your Twitch account information.
- On the main screen, press the “+” sign under “Sources.”
- A drop-down menu will appear–select “Display Capture.”
- A new window will pop up asking you which display you want to capture. Select “Monitor 1” and hit “OK.”
- Now, go to File > Settings. In the new window that appears, go to the “Stream” tab on the left-hand side.
- Under “Service,” select “Twitch.”
- Enter your stream key–you can find this by logging into Twitch and going to Dashboard > Stream Key. Copy and paste it into the appropriate field in OBS.
- Make sure the “Mode” is set to “Live Stream” and hit “OK.”
- You should now see your desktop appear in the main OBS window. To start streaming, click on “Start Streaming” in the bottom right-hand corner.
- To end your stream, simply go back into OBS and select “Stop Streaming.” That’s it. You now know how to stream on Twitch from a PC.
Steps required to live stream on Twitch using a mobile device
The streaming process on Android and iOS devices differ slightly. First, you should get the app installed on your mobile devices. The rest of the process goes like this.
Streaming on Twitch via Android
Download the Twitch app from Google Play Store. Then:
- Log in or create a new account. You will need to provide some basic information, such as your name, email address, and password.
- Once you’re logged in, tap the profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Select “Settings.”
- Scroll down and tap on “Stream Key.” This is what you will use to set up your live stream.
- Copy your stream key and paste it into a text document for safekeeping. You will need this later when you set up your broadcasting software.
- Now that you have your key, it’s time to download a broadcasting app. Open Google Play Store and search for “broadcasting apps.” There are many broadcasting apps, as mentioned. We’ll opt for OBS for consistency, plus it’s free to use.
- Once you’ve downloaded and installed OBS Studio, launch the app and sign in with your Twitch account.
- Tap on “Settings” and then select “Stream.”
- Paste your stream key into the “Stream Key” field.
- Select the resolution and frame rate that you want to stream at. Choose 720p at 30fps (depending on your device hardware).
- Select “OK” to save your settings.
- Now it’s time to set up your scene. This is what your viewers will see when they tune in to your stream. Press the “+” icon in the “Scenes” section and give your scene a name.
- Now, you need to add some sources. Select the “+” icon in the “Sources” section and select “Media Source.”
- Give your source a name and press “OK.”
- A new window will open. Select the “Browse” button and locate the video or game that you want to stream. Then, choose “Open.”
- The video or game that you selected will now appear in the preview window. You can resize and reposition it as you like. When you’re happy with your scene, press the “Start Streaming” button in the bottom-right corner of the OBS window.
- You’re now live on Twitch. To end your stream, tap the “Stop Streaming” button in OBS.
Utilize your iOS device to begin a Twitch livestream
The first step is to sign up for a Twitch account on their website. You’ll need to create a username and password, as well as provide some basic information like your email address. After you’ve registered, you may need a capture card, so search for one of the following (merely examples):
- Gameshow by Logitech
- Elgato Game Capture HD60 S+
- 4K 60FPS Capture Card
Once you’ve found the one that suits your needs, go ahead and buy it, then download a recommended app from Apple iOS/iPad App Store. Launch the app and log in with the Twitch account you created. After you’re signed in, the app will give you some options for how to set up your stream. If you’re using an iPhone 8 or earlier, use a Lightning to USB adapter compatible with your capture card to initiate a Twitch livestream. No adapter is necessary for iPhone 8 models and later, thanks to the built-in support for 4K 60FPS recording. After getting your hardware all set up, it’s time to start streaming.
Make sure you’re in a well-lit area, so your viewers can see you, and try to find a quiet place, so they can hear you clearly. When you’re ready, hit the “Start Streaming” button in your app. You can now start playing your game. As you play, you’ll see a Twitch chat window pop up on your screen. This is where viewers can come to talk to you and each other while you’re playing. To interact with them, type into the box at the bottom of the chat window.
When you’re done streaming for the day, hit the “Stop Streaming” button in your app. This will end your broadcast and take you back to the main menu. From here, you can view your past broadcasts, manage your settings, and more.
Instructions to livestream on Twitch on macOS
You’ll need OBS software if you want to broadcast from your Mac or play games on your PC. OBS. However, Twitch now offers its own free Twitch Studio software to get you started on PC or Mac. If you’re starting, the default option is probably better than spending money on a third-party program or learning the more challenging OBS software. To live stream on Twitch from your Mac, you’ll need to download and install the official Twitch desktop app. The process is similar to installing any other software on your computer.
- Go to Twitch Downloads.
- Under the ‘Download for macOS’ section, hit the “Download” button.
- Run the installer and follow the instructions.
- Once installed, open the Twitch app and sign in with your account credentials.
- Press the “Go Live” button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Select the game or activity you want to live stream from the list.
- Enter a title for your stream.
- Select whether you want to enable donations and subscribe.
- Repeat step 5. Your live stream will now start broadcasting to your viewers.
You can end your live stream anytime by pressing the “Stop Streaming” button in the app. You now learned the steps necessary to livestream on Twitch using your Mac.
Using a console for Twitch livestreaming
We’ll demonstrate general steps for Xbox One or PlayStation 4. We can expand on it if our readers request that since they’re similar.
- Create a Twitch account or log in to an existing one.
- Go to your console’s settings and enable streaming.
- Download the Twitch app on your Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
- Open the app and sign in with your Twitch details.
- Start streaming by going to your home menu, selecting “Broadcast,” and then choosing “Twitch” as your service.
- Configure your stream quality and other preferences.
- Hit “Start Broadcasting” when you’re ready to go live!
- To end your stream, go back into the “Broadcast” menu and select “Stop Broadcasting.”