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Start your own livestream on Twitch with our full guide

How to livestream to Twitch on PC

Livestreaming on your PC isn't as simple as Microsoft and Sony have made it on their new consoles, but getting your PC games on Twitch isn't as complicated as you might think. Here's how to get started.

What you’ll need:

  • A computer
  • A game to play
  • A stable internet connection
  • Webcam (optional, but highly recommended)
  • XSplit Gamecaster

Your PC setup

So, how do you go about setting up your very own stream? It’s easy, but you need the right tools and a platform like Twitch. The type of game you want to stream will determine what kind of PC you’ll need. You do need a decent CPU to host a good quality stream and a minimum of 4GB of RAM. An i7 or i5 CPU will likely get you going with no problem if you're streaming a game like Titanfall or StarCraft 2.

As for internet, you’ll want to check with your provider to see what speeds it has available. Upload speeds of 3-5 mb/s would be fantastic, but you can also get away with 1-2 mb if you adjust your settings in Xsplit (a program we'll detail later). The lower speeds won’t enable the highest quality stream, but it’s still doable.

Setting up your stream

To get a stream going on your PC, you're going to need a streaming program. Xsplit is one of the easiest programs to use and set up. The free version has lower picture and audio quality, but will do the job if you’re just getting started. (If you’re going to be making money off your streams at some point, you would need to purchase a license for higher audio quality and a better feature set.) XSplit allows you to tweak your settings to set up the best stream possible, and has a convenient option for you to notify your social networks that you’re ready to broadcast.

To get Xsplit set up to stream follow these steps:

  • Once you launch XSplit, start your game and press the control and tab keys on your keyboard to bring up the XSplit overlay. You can click the stream button immediately to start streaming, but make sure you check out all of the options first. If this is your first time streaming, a window will automatically appear and ask you to login to your Twitch account which will sync XSplit to Twitch.
  • Before you start, its a good idea to make sure your audio is good to go. The XSplit interface allows you to adjust your audio from the overlay. Generally, what you hear over your speakers is what your audience will hear.
  • The XSplit overlay also has several options that allow you to customize your stream with extra features such as adding a webcam or annotations. You can also access to more advanced settings from the overlay menu which you should definitely check out.
  • Now you're ready to stream! Just open up the XSplit overlay, click Stream, and you're LIVE.

14 comments

  • PervasiveBurn - August 7, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    Doesnt work with visual boy advanced. :( I guess people can watch me play minecraft at 2fps.
  • g1rldraco7 - June 7, 2014 2:35 a.m.

    Finally I can start doing livestreams, maybe tuesday when Lucas use to do them.
  • JMarsella09 - June 6, 2014 6:56 p.m.

    Of course, none of this works if you have a Mac. Yay... I hate my computer...
  • daniel-prewitt - January 11, 2014 12:28 a.m.

    How do you set up a stream on gta v
  • chambies2015 - March 11, 2013 2:49 p.m.

    When i open Xsplit, i try to log in and it says failed to connect to xsplit servers, nesscary for first login.
  • brickman409 - June 21, 2012 10:09 p.m.

    on the internet, no one knows your a dog
  • FiggisFiddis - December 10, 2013 3:40 a.m.

    Noone...
  • GOD - June 6, 2014 8:46 p.m.

    You knew?... Then how did you know?!
  • regalado7 - June 21, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    Is that a dog playing Minecraft? lol
  • GR_SophiaTong - June 21, 2012 2:39 p.m.

    Yeah... mine. lol.
  • McSpermie - June 21, 2012 1:50 p.m.

    Damn I only got a mb of upload, guess I won't be streaming any time soon.
  • GR_SophiaTong - June 21, 2012 2:02 p.m.

    You still can, just won't be as good.
  • oryanbelt - June 21, 2012 1:07 p.m.

    I had a big smile when I saw this article. Been going to JTV/Twitch since I saw E3 hosted on its site a couple years back. If you made a in-depth guide on optimizing stream settings (bit rates, quality, types of capture cards) for various platforms, internet, or PC specs; I believe it would be very informative and helpful.

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

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