This is a guide to help all the potential streamers out there get the basics of getting a stream going! For this guide we will be using OBS Studio since it’s free, open source, and quite user friendly. To be honest getting started with streaming is quite easy and it’s a nice hobby to have, no matter how many viewers you end up with.
1. Download OBS Studio
Sort of obvious but first things first you need to have OBS Studio on your computer to get started, you can download it here, be sure to click Studio if it is not already selected.
Once you’ve downloaded it go ahead and install it and you’re on your way to stream town.
2. Create a Twitch account
I know that there are a great deal of streaming services out there, but currently it seems that Twitch is the go to for streaming content, especially for games. Go to twitch.tv, possibly while downloading OBS and create your account. Once completed, log in and go to your dashboard (you can get there by using the URL twitch.tv/YOURUSERNAME/dashboard), then click on stream key and copy the key that the page displays.
It’s very important that you keep your stream key private as anyone who knows it can stream to your channel.
3. Setup Your OBS Settings
First click file then settings. In the new window select stream. Here you want to pick Twitch as your service and select the nearest server to you. Then paste your stream key in the Stream Key textbox.
After this click on output, this is the most technical section of this guide. For the most part I get a pretty good quality stream at 2500 (Measured in kbps) it’s important though to not go over your upload speed, I normally aim at about half my upload speed so that I know I have plenty of wiggle room, especially if I’m using online services like Steam, Skype, or online multiplayer games.
Other than these I’ve left the other settings at the defaults and they seem to function fine that way.
4. Setup Your Scenes
Finally on to the creating what your streams will look like! I try and create separate scenes for each game I play on stream. This may not be the best way to do it, but it allows for nice transitions between games and I feel that it’s faster than messing with my sources. The main source you will be using is game capture, OBS Studio has a setting that allows it to capture any full screen application but I haven’t tested this one extensively, I prefer to pick which program I want it to display. To create a new Game Capture start the game you want to show, then go to OBS, right click on the sources box and select Game Capture.
Click OK with create new source, then either click OK, or if you prefer, deselect the “capture any full screen application” and select the game in the window dropdown.
After that continue to add more sources as necessary, video capture for facecams or don’t add anything at all. As for microphone settings OBS will automatically pick up audio, just make sure to set up your noise gate (just click the gear then filters and add a noise gate) or wear some headphones to help with audio quality.
5. Final Preparation on Your Twitch Dashboard
Once you have your OBS ready go back to your twitch dashboard (remember from when you needed to get your stream key?). Now we need to title our stream and tell the world what game we will be playing! Give a title in Title This Broadcast, and type the name of the game you will be streaming in Playing. You’re all set! Go my young streamlings! Stream into the stratosphere.
Tips & Troubleshooting
- Remember to publicize your stream! Posting to social media will help you gain viewers! It’s hard to get viewers if no one knows about your stream!
- If you start dropping frames try restarting your stream, if that doesn’t work for you, you may be trying to stream at too high a rate so try dropping that 2500kbps down.
- Don’t get discouraged by low viewer counts. I’ve been streaming to my personal channel for over a year and I still only average about 5 a stream! Just have fun with it.
- While it’s fun to stream the games that are at the top of the twitch page for viewer count remember that a lot of those games have people who are very established and will be hard to compete with for views. It’s best to just go with whatever you feel like playing because you’ll have more fun that way.
- Stick to a schedule. Keeping your stream regular (timing wise at least) is the best way to keep viewers coming back. If you only stream randomly people won’t know when to come back!
- Talk to your viewers, even if you don’t have any, about what’s happening in the stream. The sooner you get used to talking out loud the easier it will be to entertain your public.
- When you have got viewer, interact with them. Ask questions and remember to check the chat after the delay to see any replies or questions they have.