Streaming on Twitch: A Comprehensive Guide
- Create an Account on Twitch. If you don’t already have an account, sign up on the Twitch website.
- Set up the necessary streaming software. Install a streaming software like OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS or XSplit.
- Connect to Twitch. Connect your streaming software to your Twitch account.
- Prepare your hardware equipment. Ensure you have a good quality microphone, webcam and a stable internet connection.
- Do a test stream. Test your stream to make sure that your equipment works properly. Check that your audio and video quality are good. Also check that the chat function works.
- Start streaming. You can choose to play a video game or create content in the “Just Chatting” category.
- Engage with your audience. Respond to your viewers in real time, answer their questions. Keep them entertained!
- Monitor your analytics. Watch your analytics such as views, followers, concurrent viewers. Observe how your channel performs and adjust.
- Improve and grow your community. Take time to improve on your content delivery while fostering stronger bond between your followers.
What is Twitch and Why it’s Important.
Streaming on Twitch has become a popular way for newly emerging content producers from the likes of gamers, artists, and content creators to share their passions and connect with audiences from all over the world.
With millions of active users and an engaged community, Twitch offers a unique platform for these groups of content creators to showcase their talents and build their personal brands. Twitch has been the go to platform for audiences to watch anything from gaming to talk shows and even sports.
Whether you are a seasoned streamer or a newbie, fret not! There are several steps you can take to get started with streaming on Twitch, from setting up your account to optimizing your stream for maximum engagement and reach.
In this article, we will explore the basics of how to stream on Twitch and provide tips and tricks to help you build your audience and achieve success as a streamer. Rest assured that you’ll be a pro Twitch streamer in no time!
Background Information of Twitch
Twitch is a popular and one of the most popularly known live streaming platforms worldwide. When it was launched in 2011, it was initially for gaming streams. However, as the community quickly grew, so did the creative content that was built around it.
Now, in 2023, the live streaming platform caters to 30 million daily active users, with streaming content varying anywhere between gaming, sports, traveling, and even just casual chats. Beyond this, there are also 140 million monthly active users as of 2021 – that’s very huge compared to its figure of 3.2 million users in 2011!
Twitch streaming has also become lucrative as its streamers are able to earn through donations, subscriptions, or ad views. Moreover, with the platform’s quick integration with content creation in general, its users can also make money through partnerships or deals with other brands or organizations.
As Twitch has gathered over 11 million streaming channels over time, some of the most popular Twitch streamers that rose to popularity are Ninja, Tfue, auronplay, Rubius, shroud, among others. Despite the platform branching out from being a purely game-streaming platform, its most-watched categories is still gaming.
League of Legends is the top-watched game with over 42.55 billion hours watched, followed by Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, GTA Auto V, and DOTA 2.
How to Create a Twitch Account?
1. Agree to the Community Guidelines
Before being able to create a Twitch account, the user must first agree to the platform’s Terms of Service, Privacy Notice, and, of course, the Community Guidelines.
Violation of these would subject the accounts to a penalty or suspension. These are supposed to protect Twitch’s community, services, and purpose. The Community Guidelines, therefore, would also apply in creating an account – one must make sure prior to creating an account that accounts created for the purpose of abuse or harm is considered against the Community Guidelines.
Usernames with threatening terms will also be suspended or penalized thereafter.
2. Creating a Twitch Account
To create an account on Twitch, one must first fill up the Sign-Up form.
This can be done through Desktop or Mobile. In the Sign-Up form, the following details are required: Username (4-25 characters in length), Password, Date of Birth, and Email (For mobile sign-ups, users will be allowed to use their phone numbers).
It is recommended to add both the phone number and email address for easier account recovery in case the account access is lost. After completing the Sign Up form, a phone number or email address confirmation will be sent requiring the user to enter a verification code.
After creating and verifying the account, the creation of additional accounts under the same email address/phone number will be disabled. To create an additional account, the user can go to the Security Settings to enable additional account creations under the same email address/phone number.
3. Enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA allows users to protect their accounts from unauthorized access. It does this by requiring both the password and mobile phone to log in to the user’s Twitch account.
The 2FA can be enabled on the Security and Privacy Settings page by confirming the phone number and entering the 7-digit verification code that will be sent to the number.
If an authenticator application is preferred, a QR code will need to be scanned to generate a 6-digit verification code. If all of these steps are followed, 2FA will be activated.
What Software to Use for Live Streaming on Twitch?
The streaming software needed for Twitch streaming is not built-in to any available system. External softwares can be downloaded to be able to stream on the platform. Because of this, one may find themselves having a hard time deciding which software to use among the many options available online.
Here are the top three of the most recommended software for Twitch streaming:
1. Twitch Studio (Beta)
Twitch Studio is created by Twitch itself to offer seamless integration when streaming in the platform. It automatically configures the ideal settings based on the setup used for streaming.
A camera and microphone are automatically detected and is already sufficient for streaming with this application.
However, there is little space for additional settings/customization in this application, making it only ideal for new streamers. Twitch Studio is only available on Windows and Mac and is free to use.
2. OBS Studio
OBS Studio is an open-source and free streaming and video recording software that is highly customizable and functional.
It can be used for other streaming applications aside from Twitch, but its customizability despite the lack of a technical support team may require more effort in navigating through the application.
It is recommended for more advanced streamers who know their technical equipment well. OBS Studio is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
3. Streamlabs OBS
Streamlabs OBS is often compared to OBS Studio as the more advanced streaming software.
It offers more features and options for customization through multiple themes or overlays for a better streaming experience. Its tip jars and sponsor banner features make it ideal for professional streamers.
A free version of Streamlabs OBS is available, but a subscription to Streamlabs OBS Prime is also available for more advanced features. The software is only available on Windows and Mac.
Regardless of which software you choose, it is important to have a good internet connection and a decent computer to ensure a smooth and high-quality stream.
It is also a good idea to test your setup before you go live to ensure that everything is working properly.
What Hardware is Required for Live Streaming on Twitch?
Aside from software, Twitch streamers also need to set up their hardwares to stream. Worry not, because this hardwares are found in basic device setups.
Probably, the biggest concern right now is if the hardwares need to be of the latest versions in order to smoothly stream in Twitch.
To that, here are the following details you have to consider for your hardwares in Twitch streaming:
A device to stream from is the most important thing when streaming on Twitch. PCs are the most popular choice of device, but streaming can also be done from consoles or even a smartphone.
The recommended specs are an i5 processor (Intel Core i5-10600K), 8 GB of RAM, a decent graphics card (Nvidia RTX Graphics), and an Operating System (OS).
These, of course, are just minimum recommendations. Further improvements in the quality of streaming would also require better specs for the setup.
Investing in a good camera allows for streamers to improve their in-stream reactions and communication with their audiences.
A good camera quality would greatly complement a streamer’s layout or graphics coming from their software.
For quality webcams, some of the recommended hardwares are
- Logitech C920 – It’s dependable and cheap, but overall a simple hardware.
- Logitech C922 – Excellent quality, but some performance issues with background replacements.
- Razer Kiyo – Modern aesthetic and LED lights, but on the costly side.
- Microsoft LifeCam Cinema – Cost-efficient and 360-degree, but auto-focus does not pick up quickly.
- Logitech 4k Pro – Wide and beautiful quality, even in low-light, but the price is on the higher side and the clip for attachment to devices doesn’t hold tight.
Microphones improve the audio quality coming from the streamers. This allows for high-quality interactions with their viewers, better reactions, and better streams in general. For starters, built-in microphones from their devices would suffice.
However, if streamers want to upgrade their microphones, some of the microphones that would work well for their prices are Zalman ZM-Mic1, Blue Snowball, Sony ECM-CS3 or the Razer Seiren X.
Additional Streaming Equipments for Twitch Streaming
While the basic streaming setup would be enough to get someone started on their streaming journey on Twitch, along the way, they may want to pick up from there and go up a notch.
Here are some additional pieces of equipment streamers may add to their setups:
A good camera plus good lighting leads to excellent video quality. It also adds depth to the stream and helps the viewers see you in a flattering frame. The Elgato Key Light is a recommended professional LED panel that would provide good quality lighting.
Other good lighting materials that you can consider for a great streaming setup are ring lights, clamp lights, and more.
2. Green Screen
A green screen helps in removing the streamer’s background and replacing it.
It also helps cover up any unnecessary items on the background that might distract both the streamers and viewers in-stream. Some streamers use the green screen to utilize themes in their streams or to incorporate their design with their stream layout. This is highly recommended if you want to build a strong and memorable brand.
The tripod is useful in stopping the camera from shaking. Unlike clip-on webcams, a tripod would help the camera be more stable and provide good camera framing leverage.
The BC Master Camera Tripod is a 75-inch tripod that can take videos at any angle. This, among many other tripods, would help the streamer in improving their stream quality in Twitch.
Above all, it is also important to have a good internet connection to ensure a smooth and high-quality stream. It is a good idea to test your setup before you go live to ensure that everything is working properly.
How to Stream from a Desktop Computer?
Here are the steps to stream from a Desktop Computer in Twitch.
Step 1: Set up your hardware
Before you set up your software, make sure that your pc/console, webcam, and microphone are all working properly and connected. Part of preparing the hardware is making sure that when they work, there are also no distractions that could disrupt the stream. To do this, it is ideal to do a test stream beforehand to prepare for any contingencies that may arise.
Step 2: Connect your software with your hardware
After installing all the necessary software, continue with the setup and configuration of the software alongside your hardware.
Here, you test the audio, your camera background (if there are any), and how the video will appear with the software and hardware connected to each other. It should be noted that some software, such as OBS Studio, have automatic configuration settings.
Step 3: Find your perfect stream settings
Stream settings are usually done in conjunction with the software as well.
Here, you make sure that everything goes smoothly without any lags from your software and hardware. Stream settings, therefore, are for resolution, frame rate, and bitrate.
Step 4: Configure your audio & video sources
In your streaming software, you will need to add your audio and video sources, such as your microphone and webcam. You can also add other video sources, such as gameplay footage or a screen capture.
Step 5: Set up overlays and alerts
Many streaming software programs allow you to add overlays, such as logos and graphics, as well as alerts, such as donation notifications. Set up these elements in your software to customize your stream.
Step 6: Test your setup
Before you go live, it is a good idea to test your setup to ensure that everything is working properly.
This may involve doing a test stream or simply checking that your audio and video sources are functioning correctly.
Step 7: Go live
When you are ready to start streaming, click the “Go Live” button in your streaming software to start your stream.
Once these are settled, the streamer can now proceed to stream on Twitch.
How to Stream from a Console?
Here are the steps to stream from a Console in Twitch:
How to Stream from a PS4 or PS5.
1. Connect the PS4 or PS5 to your Twitch account.
When streaming in Twitch from a PS4 or PS5, make sure that the HDCP is disabled, and that the devices are set up. External devices for webcams aren’t supported aside from the Playstation Camera.
Next, the streamer must allow audio sharing and chat in the settings in order for them to be able to speak to the microphone and be part of the messages.
After this, click Share on the controller and press Broadcast Gameplay using Twitch. The streamer will be connected to Twitch after scanning the QR code or entering the code on the screen.
In simpler terms,
Enable streaming on your PS4 – Go to “Settings” > “Account Management” > “Privacy Settings” > “Broadcasting and Video Sharing.”
Enable the “Broadcast Gameplay” option and select your preferred streaming service (i.e. Twitch).
2. Test the stream and start
Choosing the stream quality and picking a title are the final steps in streaming. From here on, the streamer can now broadcast from the PS4. A test stream could help check the smoothness of the stream.
How to Stream from an Xbox
1. Enable streaming on your Xbox
Go to “System” > “Settings” > “Preferences” > “Broadcast & Capture.” Enable the “Allow Play to be Broadcast” option and select your preferred streaming service (e.g., Twitch).
2. Connect your account to Twitch
After installing the Twitch app on the store, the user will have to put in a six-digit code that they can access using a desktop or a smartphone. After this, succeeding uses of the Twitch app in Xbox will no longer require the code.
3. Connect your hardware
Any external webcam or microphone can be used when streaming from an Xbox. When connecting the hardware with the Xbox, make sure that the hardware is compatible with each other. Other adjustments in the settings can be done through the “Xbox Live Privacy” category in Settings.
4. Start broadcasting
Set the title for the stream and begin broadcasting using the Xbox. As always, a test stream is also important when broadcasting for the first time.
What Types of Content Should You be Streaming on Twitch?
The content creation aspect of streaming can sometimes put streamers in a tricky situation. As mentioned, Twitch is no longer just a game streaming platform, but also of a wide variety of categories. When the pressure on what to stream starts to creep in, keep in mind these tips to ground yourself on what types of content you should stream on Twitch:
1. What do you enjoy doing?
It’s very helpful to ask yourself the question, “Do I see myself enjoying when I do this type of content years from now?” From the start, make sure that you know your interest and love for streaming would sustain in the long run. It’s hard to force a stream if the streamer does not have a genuine interest in what they’re doing. It’s also a way to build genuine connections with the viewers who most likely have a genuine interest in the game, topic, activity, or anything else the stream is about.
2. Where do you feel connected with your viewers?
Streaming helps build a community, no matter how big or small. Doing something that would make your viewers and yourself feel part of a special community is helpful in keeping the interest for streaming alive. Find a common ground, a mutual interest, and build on from there. Beyond this, doing activities in-stream that gives space and time for interaction is also helpful. For example, playing long and intense games that would require full attention may sometimes come at the compromise of less connection with the viewers. Finding the right balance is helpful.
3. Will you stick to one thing all throughout your stream?
There are no rules to streaming. But, having consistent branding helps in building your own identity as a streamer. Therefore, you should know if you are a streamer who will do different things or someone who will stick to doing one. A variety streamer may do different things throughout their streams, while a gamer, for example, would stick to gaming always. Know which type of streamer you will be according to your hobbies and interests.
4. What types of content will last?
Knowing if a certain thing is a trend or a fad will help when new streamers try to ride on the hype train. Part of the sustainability aspect of streaming is through the sustained interest of the viewers for the stream. When deciding which certain game a game streamer would play, it would also help which games do not lose popularity over time. With this, a streamer can survey other existing streams on a certain thing and see for themselves if their supposed content would last.
5. What types of content aren’t oversaturated?
At the same time, popularity and viewership are not the be-all and end-all of Twitch streaming. If the goal is to create a niche community, then staying away from mainstream games or topics would help in building a unique brand of the stream that seems exclusive from the rest. This, however, may not apply to streamers who want to gather thousands of streams.
6 Tips on How to Make Your Live Twitch Streaming Better
Moving forward in your streaming journey, there will always be room for improvement. Here are a few tips one should always keep in mind as they stream on Twitch:
1. Always abide by Twitch rules
Being community-friendly and obedient entails a pleasing personality that does not harm others. Abiding by the Community Guidelines also prevents you from unintended penalties or suspensions.
2. Be familiar with your software and hardware
Know how to navigate through your stream devices and applications. This is very helpful when configuring the content of the stream quality and in fixing problems in case unforeseen circumstances arise with the software and hardware.
3. Create a genuine bond with your community
A good streamer is one who is always pleasant to their viewers. The community can lift or sink a streaming career, so always consider how people will perceive the stream when deciding on what to do.
4. Do not settle for mediocre, aim for the stars
Never settle on a certain content or gimmick. Always find spaces for improvement – either content-wise or stream quality-wise. This also helps in making the stream unpredictably good. A good surprise is never bad.
5. Always be prepared
Do not stream without any preparation beforehand. It’s better if you have specific goals or trajectories for each stream. This way, the streamer avoids the dangers of burnout or endless streaming. It also helps serve as a guide for the viewers on what to expect in the stream.
6. Have off-screen presence
Utilizing other platforms such as social media apps can help you get in touch with other people who may have not seen your stream yet. Promotion is a huge aspect of a successful stream. It is also helpful in being noticed by other streamers or organizations who you could potentially work with in the future.
How do you build a great Twitch channel?
A great Twitch channel is a stream that has a consistent branding or image. Prior to starting your streaming journey, finalize first what appeal or unique proposition your channel could offer to your viewers.
If you’re a gamer playing a popular video game, you should know what would set your stream apart from other streamers. At the same time, if you are streaming a niche or unique content with few viewers, you should also know how you can compete with other streamers of the same category.
When deciding on how you will market your stream, it’s best to know what you are good at, what you enjoy doing, and what the current streamers are lacking that you can fill. Finding your space in the community means doing the work of surveying where you could fit in Twitch – a platform of millions.
Once these have been ironed out, you can proceed on to having the same branding outside Stream. Having a consistent off-stream presence also helps in making your community feel involved at a deeper level.
A great Twitch channel is not limited to content creation, but also to community building. As a platform where social relationships are also cultivated, make sure that your channel’s identity gives off a “home-y” vibe.
At the end of it all, a great Twitch channel is one which bridges content and community – a channel or middleman for people and ideas.
How to Make Money with Twitch Live Streaming?
The initial way to earn through Twitch is not through the number of your streams or subscribers (assuming you are starting with no existing support) but through donations to Paypal or Patreon accounts.
However, if your stream has a constant upward direction in terms of growth, then you might be offered one of the two programs: the Affiliate and Partners program. The minimum requirements to be part of either of these programs are a constant number of stream duration, average growth, and content.
The affiliate program is more suited for smaller channels, while the Partners program is for bigger channels who are required to keep up in terms of a high number of viewers and unique content. In the Partners Program, streamers can earn through ads, and transaction fees are covered as well as a more equitable distribution of earnings.
For both programs, streamers can earn from channel subscriptions and bits. Subscription tiers can be set up ranging from $4.99 to $ 9.99 to $24.99. Profit from these is split after other deductions (such as tax). Bits, on the other hand, are used by viewers to cheer on streamers.
The general cost of one bit is a penny, but these are often bought and given in bulk. Bit emojis are sent whenever Bits are given to streamers, with the emojis changing as the amount increases.
Streamers can payout their earnings after a certain number of days and after they have reached a certain amount. The earnings will go straight directly to the streamers’ accounts.
Commonly Asked Questions About Twitch Streaming
Is it better to stream on Twitch compared to other platforms?
Streaming platforms have their respective communities and features that differ from one another. Twitch is most known for its gaming content and the customization of the streams. Other platforms, on the other hand, are known for having an easier experience in terms of audience growth. Streaming on Twitch depends on the streamer’s goals.
Do I need to have high specs for my hardware?
No. The recommended specs are an i5 processor (Intel Core i5-10600K), 8 GB of RAM, a decent graphics card (Nvidia RTX Graphics), and an Operating System (OS), which are all mid-tier specs. Higher specs are only recommended for professional-quality streams.
What is needed to stream on Twitch?
The softwares (streaming applications), hardwares (webcam, PC/console, and microphone), and a Twitch account are all that are needed to stream on Twitch.
Is Twitch streaming a good source of profit?
Building a huge community and unique content come before larger payouts arrive for Twitch streamers. Twitch streaming can become a good source of profit if there is a constant effort on the part of the streamer to improve their streams and engage with their subscribers and viewers. If not, Twitch streaming is not an instant source of revenue.