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How to Stream on Twitch – With Detailed How-to Guides

Previously the preserve of gamers out to showcase their prowess and also to interact with fellow enthusiasts, Twitch has grown beyond expectations. With over 31 million users daily and up to 140 million unique visits, it would be naïve to ignore this massive platform.

Twitch has also morphed from a primarily gamer hangout to hosting content serving diverse audiences. Apart from gaming content, users can now access ASMR streams, music or cooking shows, and the list keeps growing as more people join the platform.

The platform’s growth statistics indicate three things: people love the content on the platform and want more of it, there’s a low barrier to entry (if any) for creators looking to join the platform, and the incentives to create amazing content on the platform are worthwhile.

That aside, you need to get it right with how to stream on Twitch. The fact that it’s lucrative means competition among creators is stiff and about to get even more fierce. A solid strategy built around best practices, from creating a Twitch account to optimizing content, could be a key differentiator that sets you apart from the competition.

Read on to find out what it takes to be not just a basic Twitch streamer but an exceptional one.

How to Create a Twitch Account

You’ll need a Twitch account to create content on the platform and engage with your fans. This step is fairly simple and can be done from any device that can connect to the internet.

On PC or Mac

  • Visit the official Twitch website on your browser.
  • Hit the sign-up button and proceed to fill in your details as prompted.
  • Confirm your new Twitch account by opening the link sent to your email. Your Twitch account is now ready to use.

On a mobile device

  • Download the Twitch app on Appstore or play store and install it on your device.
  • Open the app and create a new account.
  • Fill in your details, and preferably sign up with your phone number. Twitch recommends this, and you can always add your email later. Signing up with a phone number also makes it easier to complete two-factor authentication, which is required later on.

Remember to go through Twitch community guidelines and understand them before completing the sign-up. This can help you avoid things like copyright infringement, or streaming banned content which could lead to temporary or permanent account suspension.

What Hardware You’ll Need

At the most basic level, you need a camera, microphone and a device to stream your feed. All these are available on most smartphones, PCs, Macs and consoles.

Aside from the data input accessories mentioned above, an encoder is the most vital component of your streaming. Encoding refers to the process of converting media into a format that can be transmitted and later decoded back into an intelligible format. 

There are two types of encoders, hardware and software encoders.

Although the former is more powerful, it comes at a steep price point and thus is less used by most streamers. Software encoders are a suitable alternative if you’re starting or need a less resource-intensive setup.

It’s worth noting that while software encoders are equally up to the task, they’re extremely dependent on the hardware capabilities of the devices they’re on. 

You’ll need the following to ensure your Twitch streaming is a success:


Since you’re showcasing something off your computer, a monitor is the most important hardware you have to stream effectively.

It’s where your eyes are, so it needs to be clear and bright. The human eye can only see so much at once, so you’ll want something that has a high resolution (more pixels) and refresh rate.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your monitor’s resolution below 1920 x 1080 and its refresh rate above 60Hz; these values will help prevent motion blur in games or movies when playing back footage from Twitch’s video player.

You’ll also want a good contrast ratio between dark areas of your image and light ones—this lets viewers discern what they’re looking at even if their viewing angle changes based on their distance from the screen

Sizeable desk

You will need a desk that is big enough to fit all your equipment and can be easily assembled. You want to see the screen clearly, so it should be in front of you when playing games on Twitch.

The more comfortable you are with your setup, the better your chance of staying focused on what’s happening on the stream.


A microphone is the most important equipment you can use to stream. It will determine the quality, clarity and volume of your audio. It would be best if you bought a high-quality microphone that has noise cancelling technology, pop-filtering and shock mounts included on it as well.

Also, go for one that’s adjustable so you can quickly and easily position or retract it without having to worry about picking up too much background noise or having it get in the way while talking.

If possible, try out different microphones before buying one; this way, you can see what works best for your content and style.

Lighting appliance

Unless you plan only to stream your screen contents, it’s essential to have some lighting setup. Since you’re trying to stand out, take advantage of any lighting setup that can flatter or accentuate your face.

Also, ensure that your light isn’t too bright or casts too many shadows. Remember, the camera angle also matters. If it isn’t right, you can get some pretty intense shadows even with lighting, so experiment with various settings until you achieve the best visuals possible.

There’s no need to go overboard with this if you’re only starting. A simple ring light should suffice, and you can gradually move to more advanced setups as your channel picks steam.

Add-on Webcam

As the primary video input accessory, your webcam can affect your Twitch stream’s performance. You can always use the built-in webcams with most PCs and Macs. Still, you should upgrade to superior aftermarket accessories if you want better video quality and resolution for your audience.

The best type of webcams for Twitch streams are those that record at least 720p resolution, has autofocus, and have a minimum record starting from 15 frames per second.

Alternatively, you can plug in a DSLR camera to act as your webcam for even better results.


Although it’s not completely necessary, the right headset can improve your productivity while you stream. It can also be repurposed for different functions. Whether it’s noise cancelling to help keep you focused on the stream in a noisy and distracting environment; or function as an alternative audio input and output device on the cheap.

To ensure you get the best, look for the following when buying a headset. It should:

  • Be comfortable to use, i.e., have an adjustable headband and soft earcups to help you comfortably get through those long streaming sessions.
  • Have a decent microphone that can pick up sound without too much background noise.
  • Easy to use, so you can jump right in and focus on your Twitch streams.
  • Preferably wireless with extended battery life so you can stream for as long as necessary without struggling with cables or charging it. PC or Mac

To stream effectively and achieve the best results on Twitch, you must have a powerful computer to run the necessary software and hardware.

When you’re streaming a gaming session or some other activity like android development walkthroughs, it’s expected that your device (Mac or PC) is under some strain from the running processes, so it has to be capable of handling encoding and other concurrent processes without jamming up.

To avoid any issues, get a computer with enough RAM; about 8GB should do. Whenever possible, pick SSD over HDD as it has faster memory retrieval and, by extension, performs better.

A core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor should handle the most intense gameplay and Twitch streaming.

However, if you’re starting, feel free to use any computer at your disposal and upgrade gradually as your channel grows. 

Can’t access any of this? Don’t worry; you can still create excellent Twitch streams right off your smartphone, and there’s even a mobile app to make it easier.

Capture Card

A capture card is a device that captures video and audio feed from your sources into another device for streaming, recording or editing.

As with the other hardware mentioned above, feel free to work with your budget and experiment with different options until you find the best one that works for your content and audience.

Choose Software

If you’re streaming from your smartphone, there’s no need to go through this since the Twitch mobile app has inbuilt functionality to cater for this.

However, you’ll have to use third-party streaming software on Macs or PCs. The most common and easy-to-use options are OBS and XSplit. Recently, Twitch released Twitch Studio as its version of streaming software for PCs and Macs.

There are numerous paid and free streaming software, but this should help you get up and running in no time.

It’s worth mentioning that while paid software may have more convenience and ease of use, free, open-source streaming software offers more functionality and capabilities once you learn how to use them properly.

How to Stream on Twitch from PC with OBS

OBS is a free, open-source streaming software. If you’re starting out, it can be the best option, but be warned; it has quite the learning curve.

Here’s how to use OBS to stream from your PC:

  • Download and install OBS

Visit the OBS official site and select an appropriate setup file for your operating system.

Complete the installation by following the mostly straightforward wizard prompts

  • Configure and connect OBS to your Twitch account

Once the installation is complete, open OBS on your PC. It can also launch by default as you exit the installer.

Select “Optimize for streaming, recording is secondary” on the auto-configuration wizard prompt and hit next.

Leave the base resolution and FPS values as they are, although you can change them if they’re inadequate for your streaming needs. For best results, choose a higher base resolution, as it will be later scaled down when streaming.

Select “Twitch” in the service section and connect your Twitch account to OBS. Fill in your Twitch account details in the browser prompt and hit “Login.”

  • Launch your first stream

Get your recording gear ready and click “Start Streaming” to transmit your first Twitch stream. Since you’re just starting, invite friends to watch your stream or go at it solo until you feel confident enough.

How to Use Streaming Software for Twitch is a one-of-a-kind video marketing platform that offers numerous paid and free tools. One of these is streaming software, which is entirely web-based, meaning you won’t have to install anything on your devices and is easy to set up quickly.

Here’s how to use it:

1. First, open on your computer and sign in to your account. Alternatively, sign up for a free account. Also, you can’t use this tool on mobile devices.

2. In case you’re redirected to the “My Projects” page, navigate to the homepage by clicking on “” at the top right corner.

3. Hover the cursor above “Live Streaming” and select “Live Streaming Software” from the dropdown menu.

choose live streaming software

4. Hit the “Live Stream” button on the next page, then follow it up by clicking “Setup Live Stream.”

hit setup live stream

5. Fill in your new Twitch stream details and select a folder where you want to store your stream. You can also upload a thumbnail that acts as your poster for the Twitch stream if you want to share it on social media.

enter stream details

6. Hit the “Setup destinations” button. Click the plus sign and select Twitch as the stream’s destination. This tells the software that you’ll be streaming on Twitch.

choose twitch as destination

7. Fill in your account details to connect streaming software with your Twitch account. Grant access to your Twitch account.

8. Toggle the switch next to your Twitch account as shown below, and when ready, hit “Create Live Streaming” to begin your first Twitch stream.

create live stream

Copy the link to your new live stream and share it with friends.

On the free plan, you can host a maximum of six guests, but you can always upgrade your account to increase the number.

How to Stream on Twitch from a Console

Thanks to cross-platform support, you can just as easily stream on Twitch from your console as you would on a computer. Generally, PS4 and Xbox can stream directly to Twitch, but you’ll need third-party hardware and software with the Nintendo Switch.

Here’s how to stream with each console:

PlayStation 4

The first step is to connect your console to the internet. This can be done by plugging in an Ethernet cable or hooking your PS4 to Wi-Fi.

Once it’s connected, launch the game you’d like to stream to Twitch.

Hit the share button on the controller. Look for “Broadcast Gameplay”, click on it and select Twitch as the broadcast destination.

Link your Twitch account to your PS4. You can log in to your Twitch account by scanning the QR code on your screen or pasting the random code on

Toggle with the video options; if your PS4 has a camera, you can add it as a video feed.

When you’re ready, start your stream and invite friends to join in. Twitch will automatically place you in the appropriate category based on what you’re playing.

To ensure you have a larger audience, you should consider switching on options like go live notifications to alert viewers via the mobile app.


Unlike PS4, Xbox doesn’t support Twitch streaming by default. You must download and install the Twitch app from the Xbox store.

Once the app is installed, link your Twitch and Xbox accounts. Again, you’ll have to input the code on your screen to this website:

Go to your Xbox settings and toggle the following options to allow: “You can broadcast gameplay” and “You can share content made using Kinect or other cameras.”

To ensure your viewers know when you’re online, change your “Online status & history” settings to “Everybody.”

Navigate back to the Twitch app and select your desired broadcast video options. Add a title for your stream, then enable camera and microphone inputs if you like.

When ready, hit the “Start Streaming” button and launch the game you’d like to stream on Twitch.

Invite friends to your stream by sharing the link on your socials.

Nintendo Switch

While there is a Twitch app for Nintendo Switch, the console doesn’t support streaming to Twitch or other platforms natively. This is usually attributed to Nintendo’s strict rules on IP rights and what users can do with their products.

At the most basic level, you’ll need a PC or Mac, a video capture card, and streaming software to stream on Nintendo Switch.

You can also use a webcam, lighting apparatus, microphone or headset, but it’s completely optional. As mentioned above, there are no minimum specifications, but the more enhanced the features, the better your stream quality will be, which could translate to better audience satisfaction and channel growth.

Connect the peripherals

First, dock your Nintendo Switch.

Connect the video capture card to your Nintendo via HDMI and, at the same time, plug the video capture card into your computer using the USB cable attached to it.

Plug another HDMI cable into the video capture card’s out port and connect the other end to your television’s HDMI slot.

With this done, the capture card will receive the feed from the Nintendo Switch and relay it to your main display/television and the computer, which transmits it to Twitch via the streaming software. 

Broadcast via a streaming software of choice

Choose an appropriate streaming software, download and install it on your device. In this guide, we’ll use OBS.

Launch OBS and link it with your Twitch account, as discussed above.

Next, connect the feed from the video capture card to OBS. To do this, right-click on any part of the window, select “Add,” then click “Video Capture Device.”

select video capture device

Name your source and hit the “Ok” button.

create new capture device

Next, scroll down the list of video capture devices identified on your computer and select the video capture card device you connected to your computer.

choose video capture card device

Scroll down the “Properties for ‘Video Capture Device’” menu, adjust video settings, and choose whether you’d like to capture audio from the device. When you’re done, hit “Activate” and click “Ok.”

If you did everything right up to this point, you should be able to see a live feed from your Nintendo Switch.

Finally, launch the game you want to stream and hit the “Start Streaming” button on OBS. 

How to Stream to Twitch from Your Smartphone

This is the simplest method of streaming to Twitch. Here’s how to go about it:

Download and install the Twitch application from Appstore or play store.

Open the application, log in to your Twitch account, or sign up if you haven’t already.

Once logged in, tap the video/camera icon at the top of your screen. Choose whether you want to stream IRL or a game, and follow the app prompts.

Grant Twitch access to your microphone and also permission to overlay content. You’ll only have to do this when you use the app for the first time.

Fill in your stream information and hit the “Launch Game” button on android devices. On iOS, hit the record button in red.

With iOS devices, you’ll have to manually switch to the game once you’ve initiated the screen record. On Android, however, you’ll be asked to select the game you wish to play in the initial setup, and when you hit “Launch Game”, you’ll be redirected to the game while it streams to your audience.

Extra Tips for Better Twitch Streams

As a content creator, you probably aim to be a top Twitch streamer and possibly earn from your work. If this is the case, simply being on the platform and creating content won’t cut it. Besides having great content, you need first to convince viewers to watch your stream, they should have all information they need about your streams, and lastly, the channel should have convenience built into it for viewers.

By implementing these tips, you’ll be way ahead of your peers and on track to achieving your goals of being a top Twitch streamer:

Create an Eye-Catching Twitch Banner

As a first-time Twitch streamer, you bear the burden of convincing viewers to visit your channel and watch your videos.

You may have the best content on your streams, but first, people need to know that it exists. A visually appealing banner that’s been expertly designed first sends a message that you’re serious about what you do and provides a summary of your content.

Aside from creating a visually appealing banner, you should also resize it to match Twitch’s recommended size. This ensures it won’t be distorted when rendered on viewer’s devices.

Add Overlays

Overlays are a great way to add a personal touch to your stream. They can be used for all sorts of things, from displaying information about what time you’re live and where to customizing the chat experience with emotes and adding extra content like polls or challenges.

Creating overlays from scratch can be quite tiresome, given the amount of work and detail that goes into it. However, with live stream overlay maker, you can create the most outstanding overlays even if you’re just starting out as a streamer, and the best part is it’s free.

Create a Welcome Screen, a BRB Screen, and an End Screen

The welcome screen is where you introduce yourself, what you do on camera, and your channel’s purpose in general.

The BRB screen lets viewers know when you need time away from your computer, whether it’s running an errand, preparing another stream or anything that takes you from your computer. It should be brief, show a bit of your personality and maybe build anticipation among viewers.

The end screen is the final piece of the puzzle, letting viewers know when you are about to end the stream for good and what time they can expect your next one. This is also where you can give out information, such as links to social media profiles and other content related to your brand/channel and any live event tickets that may be available.

Check Out Twitch Extensions

Extensions are add-ons that help you stream better. They can be anything from a chat window to an extra viewer mode, but they all serve the same purpose: adding functionality and convenience to your Twitch experience.

The best way to find out what extensions are available for your platform is by visiting the official Twitch extension page

Set Up a Chatbot and Stream Alerts

It’s no secret that Twitch chat is the heart of your stream. If you want to make sure your viewers stick around, you need to give them something else to talk about besides their favorite gameplays.

The best way to do this is by setting up a chatbot and letting it respond naturally in real-time. This will help keep people engaged with what’s happening onscreen while giving them more opportunities to interact with each other.

Stream alerts also help you ensure your top viewers don’t miss out on any action by reminding them when you’re about to go live.

Final Thoughts

With that, you should now understand how to stream on Twitch. Starting may seem complicated since most things are new, but they get easier over time and with consistent use.

The most important thing is you’ve taken the first step by getting started with your first Twitch stream. Twitch is a fun platform in many ways, and the community is generally very friendly. It’ll take some practice streamers, but once you’ve made it through, there’s no telling how far you can go.

Best of luck, and happy streaming!

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