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How to Stream on Twitch [PC, Xbox, PS4 & Switch]

Last Updated on Dec. 9, 2021 – by David Morgan
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How to Stream on Twitch

Live streaming makes it possible for everyone to share their own unique content. Various platforms are available for content creators, with Twitch being one of the most popular.

Twitch is a highly flexible live streaming platform providing streamers with several ways to monetize their content. Whether your live streams relate to gaming, DIY, or scambaiting, selecting Twitch as your primary platform comes with several benefits.

Knowing how to stream on Twitch is integral to becoming a successful live content creator. This guide takes a comprehensive look at how to set up a live stream to Twitch from your PC or gaming consoles.

What You Need to Start Streaming on Twitch

This section discusses everything you need for your live streaming setup. If you want to stream from multiple sources to Twitch, you need the correct components to record and broadcast your content simultaneously. Later on in this guide, we explain specific livestream configurations, including how to stream PCs on Twitch.

Primary Streaming Device

The first thing you’ll need is a streaming device. Twitch users typically use PCs, Macs, mobile devices, and gaming consoles, such as PS4 or Xbox, to capture and broadcast their streams.

While you can use any streaming device, most streamers prefer to use a computer or laptop for broadcasting while creating the content using their mobile device or gaming console. Using a computer lets you integrate a high-end broadcasting solution into your stream, making interesting effects and overlays possible.

If you are using a computer as your primary streaming device, high-end screen recording is critical. Screen Recorder 4 available as a plug-in within the video editor PowerDirector is a viable option, thanks to its professional recording options and Twitch-specific streaming features.

When using a computer, ensure that your processor is powerful enough to handle gaming and encoding simultaneously. An i5 processor with 8GB RAM should be sufficient to ensure a decent upload speed and video quality.

Additional Audio and Video Sources

Adding video and audio sources to your streaming configuration allows for multi-level interaction with your audience, making your content more engaging. A microphone lets you add commentary to your stream or chat with your followers. Ideally, you should invest in a high-quality microphone instead of using the built-in mic of your earpods or webcam.

A webcam or camcorder lets you show your face while adding commentary to your stream. With a microphone signal input via your camera, you can embed the audio into the video as a single source, simplifying your streaming configuration.

Video Encoder

RAW audio-visual feed is bulky, and streaming this signal online will result in lagging video, causing your audience to click away. A video encoder compresses your content’s audio-visual feed into a digital, web-friendly format. Due to the time-sensitivity of live streaming, you need an encoder that is powerful enough to process your content feed in real-time.

Two types of encoders exist: hardware and software encoders.

Software Encoders

A software encoder is an application you install on your computer for compressing and streaming video online. Various professional encoding software products are available. Video encoding is CPU-intensive, and you might need to upgrade your hardware if you don’t want to downscale your output resolution or reduce your frame rate.

Hardware Encoders

A hardware encoder is an external device for capturing, encoding and streaming audio and video files to platforms such as Twitch. Depending on the model, a hardware encoder can be compatible with multiple input formats, including HD-SDI, HDMI™, DVI, VGA, 3.5-mm analog audio, and XLR.

Capture Card

Most video sources, such as cameras, have HD-SDI, HDMI™, or component outputs that computers can’t recognize. If you are using a software encoder, you can’t connect these outputs directly to your computer.

A capture card is an external hardware device you need to connect to your camera to convert its output signal into a recognizable digital format. You also need to connect the capture card to your computer typically via USB.

Most high-end hardware encoders feature a built-in capture card, allowing for a direct connection with your video source. You also don’t need a capture card if you are using a USB camera or mic.

Twitch Account

Before you can start streaming on Twitch, you need to open a Twitch account, a relatively straightforward process consisting of the following steps:

  1. Reading the community guidelines
  2. Completing the sign-up form
  3. Enabling two-factor authentication

Stable Internet Connection

A stable, high-speed internet connection will prevent your stream from buffering or freezing. Consider an ethernet line instead of a Wi-Fi or mobile connection to prevent fluctuations.

How to Stream on Twitch Using PC

This section looks at how to stream on PC using broadcasting software. Twitch recommends doing extensive research to find a broadcasting application that fits all your streaming requirements.

Screen Recorder 4 is available in PowerDirector 365 for Windows, and it is among the most effective options for all types of streaming content. If you are new to Twitch streaming, try this software to start streaming engaging content today.

Streaming Setup

After downloading Screen Recorder 4 to your computer, launch the software by selecting the program from your start menu.

Before streaming your video to Twitch, you need to set up all the elements you want to capture.

Screen Recorder 4 - Record

Click on the Record tab on the top left of the window. Here, you can choose to stream your entire screen or a custom-size desktop area. You can also lock the stream to a desktop app, stream from a connected device, such as a gaming console, or broadcast a game directly from your computer.

Preparing For Your Twitch Video Stream

Screen Recorder 4 - Choose Streaming Platform

After setting up your stream, select the Stream tab to the right of the Record tab. Then, click on the check box above the Twitch icon. If you want to stream to multiple platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook, you can check these icons as well.

Click on Login below the streaming platforms’ icons and follow the on-screen instructions to sign in to your Twitch account and enable the streaming session. After you sign in and authorize your Twitch account, the software will automatically retrieve the stream key you need to broadcast your feed on Twitch.

Once you’ve signed in to your Twitch account, click on the gear icon on the top right of your screen. Then, select the server you want to use and enter your video’s title.

Screen Recorder 4 - Select Streaming Server

Next, you need to set your recording options from the drop-down menus in the Record tab, including the video resolution and framerate. If you want to share your video’s URL to your social media, copy it from this window below the video framerate drop-down menu.

Configure Your Stream Inputs and Overlays

Before going live, you need to include your additional audio and video sources and add overlays, such as your logo.

Screen Recorder 4 - Stream Overlays

At the bottom of the Stream tab, you’ll find webcam, microphone, and overlay buttons. Start with the webcam button to configure your cam feed, including its source, size, and location. Under Webcam Settings, you can use the chroma key function to replace and customize your webcam’s background.

Next, select the microphone icon to enable audio from your microphone in your video stream. Using the slider, you can adjust your mic’s volume.

Lastly, click on the + icon next to the overlay icon to upload a logo or other PiP image to your video stream. Under the overlay settings, you can adjust the opacity of your logo and webcam feed.

Start Streaming to Twitch

Screen Recorder 4 - Go Live

Click on Save streamed video to disk to save a copy of your stream to your local storage. Then, click on Live to start your stream. When reaching the end of your stream, click on the Stop button.

How to Stream on Twitch With Xbox One

Xbox One doesn’t offer built-in Twitch support, so you’ll need to download the official Twitch Studio app from the app store on your console.

When you launch the Twitch app for the first time, it will provide you with a six-digit code. Using your computer or mobile device, visit Twitch.tv/activate to enter this code and connect your account to the Twitch app.

You can use any off-the-shelf microphone and webcam for Twitch streaming with Xbox, provided that it supports NV12 or YUY2 format.

To start streaming from Xbox, open your settings menu and select Account. Under this menu, open Privacy and Online Safety, and select Xbox Live Privacy. Under View Details and Customize, you’ll find everything you need to make adjustments and start your broadcast. Follow the steps below:

  1. Select Online status & history, and then select Everybody under Others can see if you’re online.
  2. Open Game Content.
  3. Select Allow under You can broadcast gameplay.
  4. Select Allow under You can share content made.
  5. Enter a title for your stream, and select Start Broadcast!

Streaming directly from your Xbox will limit the control of your stream. If you want full control including the ability to use any high-quality webcam and mic we recommend using Screen Recorder 4.

Follow the steps below to set up your Xbox One for streaming to Twitch via a Windows PC:

  1. Connect your Xbox’s dock output to your capture card’s input using an HDMI cable.
  2. Connect your capture card’s output to your TV or computer monitor using an HDMI cable.
  3. Connect your capture card to your PC via USB.
  4. Launch Screen Recorder on your PC.
  5. Screen Recorder 4 - Recording Tab
  6. Click on the Device option in the Record tab.
  7. Screen Recorder 4 - Input Device to record
  8. Select the capture card from the Input Device drop-down menu.
  9. Screen Recorder 4 - Device Setting
  10. Click on the gear icon on the top right of your screen to configure the capture card’s input settings.

After connecting your Xbox to your PC, follow the steps we included in our section on streaming to Twitch from your PC.

How to Twitch Stream on PS4

This section looks at how to stream PlayStation on Twitch after creating your Twitch account.

Setting up your PS4 requires the following steps:

  1. Select System under Settings. Then, uncheck the Enable HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content protection) box. If you don’t disable this feature, you might experience interruptions in your stream.
  2. Connect devices such as a mic and PlayStation camera to the AUX ports at the back of your console. Then, select them in Settings > Devices.
  3. Launch the game you want to stream, and press the Share button on your controller, opening Sharing and Broadcasting Settings. Under Broadcast Settings, select Advanced Settings and go to Audio Sharing Settings. Here, you can enable your microphone’s sound for the stream.
  4. If you want to view comments from your viewers, check the box next to Display Messages to Spectators and Spectators’ Comments under Advanced Settings.

Connect Your PS4 to Twitch

After pressing the Share button on your controller, you can choose the platform where you want to stream. Select Twitch from the available options. Scan the QR code on your screen using your smartphone to connect your console to Twitch, and then start your broadcast.

Streaming directly from your PS4 will limit the control of your stream. If you want full control we recommend using Screen Recorder 4.

Follow the steps below to set up your PS4 via a PC for streaming to Twitch:

  1. Connect your PS4’s dock output to your capture card’s input using an HDMI cable.
  2. Connect your capture card’s output to your TV or computer monitor using an HDMI cable.
  3. Connect your capture card to your PC via USB.
  4. Launch Screen Recorder on your PC.
  5. Click on the Device option in the Record tab.
  6. Select the capture card from the Input Device drop-down menu.
  7. Click on the gear icon on the top right of your screen to configure the capture card’s input settings.

After connecting your PS4 to your PC, follow the steps we included in our section on streaming to Twitch from your PC.

How to Stream Switch on Twitch

Nintendo Switch doesn’t have built-in streaming capabilities, but you can broadcast your gameplay using a capture card. First you'll need to dock your Switch, as you can only stream gameplay in docked mode.

Follow the steps below to set up your Switch for streaming to Twitch:

  1. Connect your Switch’s dock output to your capture card’s input using an HDMI cable.
  2. Connect your capture card’s output to your TV or computer monitor using an HDMI cable.
  3. Connect your capture card to your PC via USB.

The streaming software you need to use for broadcasting Switch gameplay depends on your capture card. If you are using Screen Recorder 4, set up your stream by doing the following:

  1. Launch Screen Recorder on your PC.
  2. Click on the Device option in the Record tab.
  3. Select the capture card from the Input Device drop-down menu.
  4. Click on the gear icon on the top right of your screen to configure the capture card’s input settings.

After connecting your Switch to your PC, follow the steps we included in our section on streaming to Twitch from your PC.

Start Streaming on Twitch With Free Download

Twitch stands out as a versatile, flexible platform for streamers who want to provide their audiences with engaging content. To stream video content live, you need a streaming device, camera, microphone, and encoder. If you are using a software encoder, you need an external capture card to ensure that your computer can recognize the feed format.

You also need high-end broadcasting software for your PC. PowerDirector 365 is great for cutting highlight reels of streams, and it comes with Screen Recorder 4, a robust plug-in that is ideal for Twitch streaming.

The latest features of Screen Recorder 4 include streaming video to custom servers and multiple locations at once and including video overlays, such as images or logos, in your streams. You can also preview and adjust your webcam video’s location and size and customize your video’s streaming bitrates. Using the chroma key to replace your webcam’s background is another high-value feature for Twitch streamers.

If you want to stream high-quality, engaging content to Twitch, you need user-friendly but professional broadcasting software. Screen Recorder 4 is easy to learn and compatible with most external devices and multiple audio-visual inputs. Download PowerDirector with Screen Recorder 4 today.

Streaming on Twitch FAQs

How do I save Twitch streams?

Downloading your Twitch streams to your local storage is a quick and easy way to keep your interactions with your community on record. By saving your streams, you can revisit previous content, prevent duplications, and formulate ways to keep your online content engaging.

If you are using Screen Recorder 4 and want to save your streams to your hard drive, click on the gear icon and select the File tab. Under Default locations, click on the Export folder to set the location where you want to save captured media.

Before going live, check the Save streamed video to disk option, and Screen Recorder 4 will save the content in your designated export folder.

How do I record and edit gameplay?

Using PowerDirector and Screen Recorder 4, you can record games directly from your gaming PC or a gaming console, such as Xbox or PS4. You just have to connect the console to your computer via a capture card and select the capture card as the input device on Screen Recorder 4. Before you start playing, click the Save streamed video to disk option to save the video to your hard drive.

After recording your gameplay, you can edit the video using PowerDirector’s professional video editing tools. This software enables you to add background music, transitions, and various engaging effects to your video content.

What is the best video editor for cutting gameplay videos?

You can use various video editors to cut your gameplay videos, with the most popular including Corel VideoStudio, Pinnacle studio, and Vegas Movie Studio. However, many gaming content creators prefer PowerDirector 365 with its extensive editing features and user-friendly interface.

PowerDirector offers everything you need for gameplay editing, including professional effects, various motion graphic titles, and a library of Shutterstock royalty-free images you can use as overlays.

Using PowerDirector, you can also integrate and configure multiple audiovisual sources, including a webcam and mic. This software allows you to adjust the size and location of the webcam as part of your content during post-production.

What features should I look for in a streaming software?

When shopping for streaming software, consider products offering the following features:

  1. A user-friendly interface
  2. Multiple-platform streaming, including Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook
  3. Webcam size and location adjustability
  4. Webcam overlay configurations, including opacity
  5. Chroma key functionality to replace your webcam background
  6. Customizable video settings, including resolution and framerate
  7. Customizable keyboard hotkeys to quickly make video adjustments or carry out other actions

Should I pay for streaming software?

Before buying streaming software, consider your needs carefully. Various professional-level programs are available for Twitch streaming, but you should make sure their features cover all your requirements.

Research the features a software program has available before downloading it. If you don’t find free software offering the features you need, buying a higher-end product might be worth your while, especially if you are looking to monetize your Twitch content.

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