Update 3.45 p.m. ET, April 6: A link has been added to the new Streamlabs for MacOS OBS software that was recently launched. This post has also been updated to take into account that the Windows game bar no longer allows transmission.
Streaming video games is something that many enthusiasts and casual gamers want to participate in, but it can be tedious to get a stream up and running on your favorite gaming platform. Streaming gameplay lets you share the games you play and your reactions in real time to a distant audience. It's like bringing the entire internet into your game room as you try to beat that final boss.
Twitch is currently the most popular streaming platform in the world. However, there is competition in the form of YouTube games on mobile devices and mixers, a Microsoft-owned streaming service for Xbox and Windows.
Here's how to stream your gameplay from any device you may be playing on, whether it's a PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, or even Android or iOS. The only thing I can't teach you is how you can get better at video games and / or be entertaining. That takes practice.
Before we go into the specific settings for each platform, here are the most basic requirements for starting a stream, regardless of what you're playing on: a gaming device, an external microphone or gaming headset, a webcam, a fast internet connection ( upload and download), Twitch / YouTube gaming / mixer accounts and of course at least one game title.
Streaming with Twitch
If you are trying to reach a large audience (or to be discovered and find the love of your life), Twitch is the best choice. Be prepared: if you want to send your video game sessions to the largest game streaming service in the world, you need to install some apps.
First, you need to sign up for a Twitch account and copy your stream key, a unique code that is used to link and stream your profile from the free broadcast apps recommended by Twitch. (Don't share it with others.)
Now decide whether you want a “simple” stream that consists of a live video recording of everything you are playing, in-game audio, your webcam and your microphone. In this case, you can download a simple broadcast app like Open Broadcast Software (OBS). It's a powerful app, although it doesn't have the most beautiful user interface. After installation, you will be asked to enter your stream key so that OBS can communicate with your Twitch channel and actually stream something.
From there, you can choose your source if you want OBS to stream from a specific window, your entire desktop, or whenever a full-screen app (game) is detected. Other options such as audio level, stream quality and the like are available in the submenus.
If you'd like a more "professional Twitch partner" aesthetic, I would recommend downloading the Streamlabs version of OBS instead. It's also open source software, but offers a much more user-friendly interface for beginners and overlay templates for donations, branding, twitch emotes and even transition animations. Streamlabs recently released a version of its OBS software for macOS.
Streamlabs OBS options
The setup wizard is simpler than the Bare Bones OBS app, but you still have access to relevant information such as the desired stream quality, video and audio sources. Once you've completed the setup process, you can click the "Stream" button and go live with any customizations for each show.
It's a great app that requires some experimentation, but the results are worth it. You want to be the next ninja, right?
Streaming with a mixer
Picture: Alex Castro
Streaming directly from a Windows gaming PC to Mixer, Microsoft's broadcasting service competing with Twitch, used to be very easy. All you had to do was start the Windows game bar by pressing the Windows key + G and click Broadcast to start it. Microsoft has since removed this feature from its game bar, and now streaming to Mixer is very similar to streaming to Twitch. That said, the quickest and easiest way to do this is to use the same software as Streamlabs & # 39; OBS to get started.
Log in with Mixer directly through Streamlabs OBS
You must first log in through a blender account website. Once you've done this, you can log in to the account through Streamlabs OBS, which offers native integration. During setup you will be asked to enter a stream key. Currently Mixer creates one in less than 24 hours that you can enter. You can then stream from your Windows 10 or MacOS computer.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Streaming with a mixer
Due to the takeover and integration of the video game streaming service Mixer by Microsoft, this is included as a standard streaming option for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. On Xbox One, Mixer has a clear advantage over Twitch in that it's more tightly integrated with the Xbox operating system and supports third-party USB microphones and cameras. Don't twitch.
If you don't have a mixer account yet, we recommend that you sit on a PC or Mac and sign in through the website instead. It's a far less painful experience than using the Xbox on-screen keyboard.
Once your account is set up, start streaming with Mixer by starting a game, holding down the Xbox button, going right to the "Transfer" tab and clicking "Start Transfer". The app assistant offers options if you want a second player to come to you, adjust the broadcast quality, switch your microphone / camera on or off, etc. From there you can click the "B" button and start your game session .
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
Streaming with Twitch
There are a few more steps to get Twitch up and running on Xbox One. First of all, you have to stop by the Microsoft Store and download the Twitch app. Once that's done, open the app and you'll be greeted by a unique code that needs to be entered on your desktop via your Twitch administrator account.
If you haven't already, you can now sign up for Twitch from the website on a Windows 10 or MacOS computer. After that, you can go back to Xbox One to stream Twitch from the app instead of mixer. Note: You cannot use a camera via USB other than a Kinect (which has been discontinued). It's far from ideal, but doable.
Streaming with Twitch
The PlayStation 4 may be the easiest way to start streaming because the DualShock controller has a dedicated release button.
To start streaming for the first time, press the "Share" button on your controller, followed by "Broadcast Gameplay", select Twitch (the service offered) and then link your Twitch account information to a PC on the website or Mac. To capture your reactions while playing, you need the Sony PlayStation Eye camera. The video settings menu allows you to adjust the image field that overlays your gameplay.
Once that's done, you'll need to repeat some of the steps again: press the "Share" button, then "Broadcast Gameplay", choose your preferred service, title the show, decide whether to enable comments, and comment You in the game (open mic), set a video quality and finally select "start broadcast". To end the stream, click the "Share" button again.
Streaming with YouTube
To stream your gameplay on YouTube, click the "Share" button on your DualShock controller, select YouTube, and enter your login information. If you want to add a facial reaction camera to your YouTube stream, you'll also need to buy a PlayStation Eye camera.
Once logged in, you can adjust your broadcast settings such as quality, stream title and comments before clicking the "Start Broadcasting" button to start the stream.
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge
Hold your horses, link
So you want to stream from your Nintendo Switch right away? Too bad there is no official support for streaming to third party services like Twitch and YouTube Gaming. It is possible to set up a stream. To pull it off, however, you'll need to purchase an external HD capture card that will need to be connected to a PC and your switch dock.
In addition, you can only stream in docked mode. Take this into account too.
A capture card I recommend is Elgatos HD60 ($ 179), which you can also use with a PS4 or Xbox One. From there you need to install broadcast software on your PC that supports the capture card you purchased, e.g. B. OBS or XSplit.
In both broadcast apps, you need to select your source (the capture card with the docked switch), add your stream key, set broadcast details such as video quality and a title, and click the broadcast button to start streaming.
Of the current generation of game consoles, Nintendo has made the Switch by far the most difficult to stream and reach an audience.
YouTube gaming setup on Android
The YouTube game route
It is surprisingly easy to stream mobile games from your Android phone to YouTube. First, download the YouTube gaming app from the Play Store, choose the broadcast button and choose your preferred stream quality (720p HD or 480p). From there, the app will ask if you want to record your gameplay locally or stream live on YouTube.
After the initial setup, select the game you are streaming (or scroll down and expand the list to filter only the apps you have installed). Give your stream a title, description, and copy the share link to share on your favorite social media.
Now you can go back to the game of your choice, where you'll notice an overlay that includes shortcuts to settings, muting your microphone, turning your front-facing camera on and off, comments, and of course the centered stream button.
(One important note: everything you do on screen is sent to your viewers, including text, passwords, and personal information that you'd prefer to keep private. In this case, I would recommend the "do not" option on your Android -To use interference mode to avoid interrupting your stream and spilling your beans.)
The Twitch route
As with the Nintendo Switch, it is difficult to stream gameplay from an Android phone to Twitch. First, sign up for a Twitch account from a computer. Next, you need to pay a visit to the Settings app, go to "Over the Phone", tap your build number ten times to unlock the developer options, and enable USB debugging in the list of development options.
While you may not have to spend money on an external HD capture card, you'll need to find a decent app to display your phone screen in a window on your computer. Vysor is an app that can be downloaded and tried for free, but the quality is below average. Instead, get the $ 10 annual subscription that lets you control bit rate and resolution, and thank you later.
After you have activated USB debugging, an app to display your phone screen on your PC and a Twitch account (with stream key), you have to do one more thing: Download OBS for your desktop. You can use the OBS app to link your Twitch account, your webcam, your microphone and a video source (the Vysor desktop app). Finally, you can click "Broadcast" and stream to Twitch from your Android phone.
The mixer route
Create Mixer for Android
Mixer Create broadcast settings
If you want to stream gameplay to the most interactive streaming service, you can first download the Mixer Creator app from the Play Store. To access the app, you must link your mixer account to a Microsoft account. Start by creating a mixer account through the website, accessing your account settings, and clicking the gray "Link Microsoft Account" button in the top right. Enter your Microsoft login and you can access the Mixer Creator app.
To start streaming, tap the pink broadcast icon at the bottom of the screen. You will be taken to a preview screen where you can switch between camera streaming and screen streaming of your playback.
The Mobcrush route (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, etc.)
For example, if you want to stream Fortnite from your iPhone, you need to turn on screen capture in Settings (which is available for iOS 11+ devices). Next, download the Mobcrush app from the App Store, which you can use to redirect your screen capture to the app and then to Twitch.
I don't like that you need to create an account with Mocbrush to use the app. However, you can log in with your Google, Twitter or Facebook accounts. Note: When you log in with your Facebook account, Mocbrush can automatically link to Facebook game streaming (if you want to go that route). Regardless of which login method you use to log in to Mocbrush, you must link a streaming service such as your Twitch account (with your stream key) separately.
However, we are trying to stream Fortnite on iOS on Twitch. So go to the Control Center and hold the screen capture icon to select a supported app on your phone. Select "Mocbrush", activate the "Do not disturb" mode of your iPhone, set your stream title and click the send button.
To stream your iOS gameplay on YouTube, you can mirror the setup process described for Twitch. Instead, log in with your Google account, choose YouTube as your preferred streaming service, set a broadcast title, save your changes and you're done.
The mixer route
First download the Mixer Creator app from the App Store. Next, you need to link your mixer account to a Microsoft account to access it. First create a mixer account through the website, then go to your account settings and click on the gray "Link Microsoft account" button in the top right. Enter your Microsoft details and you will be determined.
Now tap the pink broadcast icon at the bottom of the screen to start your stream. You will be redirected to a preview screen where you can switch between streaming from your cameras or broadcasting your ad.
The ReplayKit route
Apple's ReplayKit solution allows you to stream supported iOS apps and games live, but stricter requirements apply. Every app that uses ReplayKit to stream has slightly different steps to get the ball rolling. However, all of them include a dedicated release or capture button that lets you search for links to a streaming service.
For example, if you want to use ReplayKit for the live stream to YouTube, you need at least 100 subscribers and the latest version of the app. If you want to stream to Twitch, you still need an app or game that supports it, such as: B. Asphalt 8: Airborne.
Also, don't forget to turn on Do Not Disturb mode. You don't want notification banners to hinder your start into the mobile gaming career.