How to Configure Your Twitch Stream Right

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People streaming for people is the trend that follows the YouTuber trend. Even large companies are seeing that now. Amazon acted very cleverly when they acquired Twitch in 2014. Maybe now Google would wish they grabbed that one when it was still “affordable” at $970m in cash. Instead, Google pushed out YouTube Gaming in 2015 and hoped for it to take off just like Twitch would.

Easy on consoles but not on PC

When I started using Twitch for streaming gameplay from the Xbox One I thought this was all rather simple. Nearly no configuration happens when you are using the almost natively integrated apps on gaming consoles. Sometime later, not long ago, I was looking into video game streaming from a PC and found out that this is not anywhere near as easy to set up. You need special software that is not just a Twitch app and it doesn’t hurt if you bring some understanding of digital video signals and distribution. Who knew that you need to be a video broadcast engineer to stream on Twitch, right?

Kinguin Amazon Booth Gamers Gamescom Cologne Young Teen PLaying Games HP Omen Headset Gear How To Set Up Twitch Config OBS

Why is it important to get the configuration right? Nobody likes to watch a poor quality video of someone doing something at a terrible resolution and the video starts buffering every 4 seconds. Users who make it to your channel while you’re live will simply leave.

Your audience wants quality and personality

Let’s face the facts here, the game streaming audience is no different from the audience who watches neatly produced on-demand videos on YouTube. They expect crystal clear audio, video feed from your game in high resolution and they rather watch in 60 fps than 30 fps or less. They also favor streams that feature the gamer in front of a camera, so don’t neglect this aspect.

What else do you need? You should bring some good hardware and a stable data upload rate with a good speed. It doesn’t have to be full 6000 kbps as upload rathe but it would help. You can check your download and upload speed at test sites such as Speedtest by Ookla.

If you’re on a Wifi and can’t get a good score, try using a cable. That can help a lot in some scenarios. If you think about streaming from a laptop, you should make sure it’s a badass gaming laptop like this magical device.

Twitch streaming software

There are a few options for what software you could use in order to configure and push out your video feed as a stream in your Twitch channel. I have used OBS (Open Broadcast Software) so far because I like open source solutions but there are a few out there:

Finally some config recommendations

Twitch doesn’t want you to have a bad start. They are trying really hard to explain you all possible options and ways to configure everything so your stream looks cool and enjoyable to the users. Yet, it took me a long time to find all these resources that they are offering as learning material and references for your configuration. To save you the search I have compiled everything to quick learning bites in this article. If you want to read the full briefing on everything you can do so on the Twitch broadcast settings website.

Gamers testing agents of mayhem razo headset gear how to configure obs for Twitch optimal config data info

If you tried getting that all together on your own sometime back, got frustrated and quit, you should give it another go. Reading through the older material, all of this had been significantly improved by the Twitch video engineering staff.

1080p60
  • Vertical Resolution: 1080
  • Bitrate: 4500 to 6000 kbps
  • Framerate: 60 or 50 fps
  • Keyframe Interval: 2 seconds
  • AVC (h.264) Profile: Main/High
  • AVC (h.264) Level: 4.2
1080p30
  • Vertical Resolution: 1080
  • Bitrate: 3500 to 5000 kbps
  • Framerate: 30 or 25 fps
  • Keyframe Interval: 2 seconds
  • AVC (h.264) Profile: Main/High
  • AVC (h.264) Level: 4.1
720p60
  • Vertical Resolution: 720
  • Bitrate: 3500 to 5000 kbps
  • Framerate: 60 or 50 fps
  • Keyframe Interval: 2 seconds
  • AVC (h.264) Profile: Main/High
  • AVC (h.264) Level: 4.1
720p30
  • Vertical Resolution: 720
  • Bitrate: 2500 to 4000 kbps
  • Framerate: 30 or 25 fps
  • Keyframe Interval: 2 seconds
  • AVC (h.264) Profile: Main/High
  • AVC (h.264) Level: 3.1
480p60
  • Vertical Resolution: 480
  • Bitrate: 1500 to 3000 kbps
  • Framerate: 60 or 50 fps
  • Keyframe Interval: 2 seconds
  • AVC (h.264) Profile: Main/High
  • AVC (h.264) Level: 3.1
Config for low bandwidth streamers
  • Vertical Resolution: 480/360/240
  • Bitrate: 400 to 1200 kbps
  • Framerate: 25 or 20 fps
  • Keyframe Interval: 6 to 10 seconds
  • AVC (h.264) Profile: Main/High
  • AVC (h.264) Level: 3.0

Still not sure how it’s looking? Check the free stream health tool from Twitch called Inspector. You just need to associate your Twitch login with it and follow the instructions there. You can then tell how healthy your Twitch stream is and what you could do to improve it.

Learn more with the Intel Streamers Bootcamp videos

Do you want to learn more about managing a cool Twitch channel that people enjoy following? A few months ago, Intel did a really informative tutorial series together with popular streamers. In 10 clips, with a total length of about 40 minutes, they explain to you how Twitch works and how you can get the most out of broadcasting your gameplay. Here are the clips:

Overview (with CohhCarnage)

Your First Stream (with AnneMunition)

How to Setup an Overlay (with BadNewsBaron)

Green Screen with No Green Screen (with BadNewsBaron)

Chroma Key vs Depth Sensing (with EposVox)

Hyper-Threading, Live Streaming, and Multitasking (with EposVox)

Multi-Cast on Twitch (with missharvey)

Twitch Highlights (with missharvey)

Bit Rates, Frame Rates, and Processors (with AnneMunition)

Gameplay Types (with CohhCarnage)

Streamer crews

Just as a little side note I wanted to let you know about the #TeamEmmmmsie. That is a merry gang of people who stream with a lot of passion. They are all very positive about what they do and how they support each other. They are doing really enjoyable streams and conversations on Twitter and Discord. If you want to know more you can check out Emmmmsie, the founder, herself on her Twitter profile or on Twitch.

A most subtle plug

It won’t get any more subtle than this so brace yourself. Of course, we also have a Twitch account and we try our best to live stream as often as possible. When we review new games we want to share our experiences with you as well. Sometimes we also just stream for fun and it might not be a new game, but it’s always worth dropping by. Don’t miss out any future shows and follow us today. You rock! 😉

Photo credit: Parker KnightMarco Verch
Source: Twitch / Intel Streamers Bootcamp / Ben Popper (Verge)

Christopher Isak

Christopher Isak

Managing Editor at TechAcute
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. I love readers who leave a comment. 😉
Christopher Isak

@ChristopherIsak

Tech Journalist ✖ Founder of @TechAcuteCom Magazine ✖ Geek and Gamer ✖ Love LOLs and Tea ✖ INTJ ✖ 爱茶
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Christopher Isak

Christopher Isak

Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. I love readers who leave a comment. ;)

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