Twitch is slowly turning into the biggest thing in video games since augmented reality. Twitch is a live streaming video platform that is used to live stream and watch people playing video games. As surprising as this may sound, there are millions of people who enjoy watching these games.
So what’s the deal with this streaming site? Why is it so popular? Well, for viewers, Twitch offers a kind of entertainment not readily provided elsewhere. Instead of watching Sunday Night Football, people sit around and watch people play the latest Madden video game. As for the gamers, the website opens up their doors to lucrative opportunities that can easily rival those of professional athletes. We’re talking millions of dollars. Some of the most popular pro gamers who broadcast their games get paid by sponsors and followed religiously by hundreds of thousands of people on social media. This is all very unexpected for anyone who used to sit around playing video games all day.
If you want to watch the hottest video game tournaments live or get a shot at internet stardom at Twitch, here’s what you need to know:
First, create a Twitch account.
Before you get to take part in all the action, you have to sign up for a free account at Twitch. Having an account lets you interact with other users, create your own videos, follow your favorite streams, and more.
If you’re planning on uploading content on Twitch when you sign up, go to the Twitch settings > “Channel and Videos” tab and then check the “Automatically archive my broadcasts” box. While doing so won’t save old streams forever, they will be stored on your channel for the next two weeks.
Next, select a platform.
Now, the fun is about to begin! Before everything else, though, you have to decide what streaming platform you’ll be broadcasting from: a XBox One, a PlayStation 4, or your PC. In general, you’ll have no problem streaming games directly from a PlayStation or Xbox game consoles, but you may need additional software when you broadcast from a computer. Here’s how to stream from each console:
Twitch streaming from Xbox One
Here’s What You Need:
- Xbox One (duh.)
- An Xbox One Kinect camera
- Xbox One controller
- a stable Internet connection
1) Sign into your Microsoft account.
2) Download the Twitch app from the Xbox Live store.
3) Install the app.
4) Open the app and click on “Broadcast”.
5) Once a 6-digit code appears on the screen, enter it at Twitch’s website to activate the device.
As you are about to broadcast your game, set Xbox’s privacy setting to “Adult” first. Do this by going to Xbox settings > clicking on “Privacy & online safety” > and then selecting the “Adult default” option. Also, in the “Preferences” section on the settings, make sure the “Allow broadcasts and Game DVR uploads” option is enabled.
When you’re ready to broadcast, open the game you want to play and then say “Xbox broadcast”. To stop it, use the voice command “Xbox stop broadcast”. It’s that easy.
Twitch streaming from PlayStation 4
What You Need:
- a PlayStation 4 (duh.)
- a PlayStation 4 camera
- a DualShock 4 controller
- a stable Internet
1) Log into your account.
2) Select “Broadcast Gameplay” > “Twitch” > “Go to the Twitch website”
3) Log into your account.
4) Press the ‘Share’ button on the controller as you play a game to start broadcasting.
That’s how you set up initially. To begin the actual broadcast, press the Share button, select “Broadcast Gameplay”, then “Twitch” and finally click “Start Broadcast”.
Streaming from a PC
Before you begin, you need to know that streaming a PC game isn’t as easy as it is with the consoles. It’s also important to know that not every computer is capable of handling a live stream.
In some cases, you’ll have to consider getting a hardware upgrade (even purchase additional software) to produce a good stream quality. However, before we go any further, let’s go over the basics:
What You Need:
- a capable computer processor (e.g. 2nd generation Intel Core i5 or i7)
- 4GB of RAM
- a powerful graphics card (Radeon or GeForce with support for DirectX 10.1)
- a decent camera
- a headphone with built-in microphone
- a stable Internet
To begin, you need to install a broadcasting app on your computer. For beginners who can’t afford to buy a new software at the moment, the only option may be to set up the free Open Broadcast Software (commonly known as OBS), which is readily available on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Once you’re done installing, here the next steps:
1) Log into Twitch.
2) Go to Dashboard from the drop-down menu (top-right section).
3) Search and select a game you’re about to play on the “Playing” tab.
4) Enter a name for your broadcast.
After this initial setup of your Twitch account, next part of the process is to configure the stream on OBS. Here are the steps:
1) Right-click OBS, select “Run as Administrator” so you can use the ‘Game Capture’ function.
2) Select “Broadcast Settings” from the settings menu.
3) Choose “Twitch” as your streaming service and click “Optimize” (bottom-left of the menu).
4) Go to the Twitch dashboard and choose “Stream Key”.
5) Follow the subsequent prompts to get the special streaming code.
6) Copy-paste the code into the Streak Key box. Click ‘OK’.
Now the last part of the process is going live. To do this, follow these procedures:
1) Right-click the “Sources” box on the main OBS interface. Choose Add > Game Capture.
2) Choose the game you’re playing from the drop-down menu. Click OK.
3) Right-click the Sources box to add any additional feeds. At this stage, you may add images and text to customize your stream layout, use Monitor Capture to show your display or choose “Video Capture” to use any installed or built-in webcam.
4) Go to Preview Stream > Edit Scene to change how you want your stream to look like.
5) You can finally go live by clicking “Start Streaming” on the OBS dashboard.
An alternative to the complex OBS is the XSplit Gamecaster, which is easier to use. However, unlike the OBS that’s an open source software (meaning free), the Gamecaster broadcast software requires a paid subscription for you to use some of its better features.
The truth is that game streaming is slowly becoming a huge part of the internet. That’s exactly why Amazon spent enormous sums to acquire Twitch in the first place. If you’re curious why so many people are watching and broadcasting their games on the site, there may be no better way to find out the answer than to visit the site itself. Just don’t do it while you’re at work.