Say Hello to Twitch! 👋
Twitch, to the uninitiated, sounds like the sudden movement of one’s body when one’s comfort has been compromised by something unexpected. Hardcore gamers and dedicated streamers know better than that.
Twitch is one of the most popular live video broadcasting platform which is giving YouTube gaming, a similar portal, a run for its money.
It started off as Justin.tv, an online reality show, but quickly turned into a live video sharing platform after being bought in 2011 by Twitch Interactive – a subsidiary of Amazon. Since then the channel had been rechristened from Justin.tv to Twitch.tv and had gained cult-like status among gamers and digital video enthusiasts.
While the focus of Twitch was originally on video games, which still remain popular, it has gradually expanded its avenue to include streams of artwork, music, chat shows, and an occasional TV series.
Live streams of popular videos games such as PUBG, Fortnite, Call of Duty, Warcraft and Counter-Strike draw vast swathes of gamers and viewers to the site which is increasing in popularity day by day since Amazon bought it.
To Twitch or Not to Twitch?
Anyone can Twitch.
If you are not shy of expressing yourselves in front of others and are in fact comfortable at doing so, then Twitch is just the place to be.
Here at Twitch the streamer, that is you, are the selling point, and with the help of your persona, you will have to engage your viewers so that they keep coming back to your channel. You must also keep in mind that not every viewer will be respectful of your persona and you have to be at ease when revealing your unique side to millions of viewers, some of who may judge you negatively.
Avid gamers can also sign up with Twitch as the platform is basically a second home for gamers where a player can interact with other players across the globe and join teams to take part in competitive gaming.
Dedicated streamers make millions of dollars each year simply by streaming on Twitch which goes to show that the platform is not all fun and games but productive as well if you are into it.
What To Twitch?
The contents of your live video broadcast can be anything from a playthrough of games to music sessions and from talk shows to ‘how to’ videos.
The choices are endless, but whatever the content of the stream may be, one must make sure it is relevant and exciting to the viewers. You can even livestream your workspace, but that is not advisable due to obvious reasons. Live stream of cooking is also another way to go.
Games are the most popular choice of streaming content on Twitch, and most streamers do so with a camera so that viewers can see the streamer’s response and reactions as they play the game.
Necessary Machine Specifications For Twitching
Now that you have decided what you want to stream for your viewers, here are the machine requirements to ensure that your first stream is trouble-free.
This article is meant for PC users mainly. However, all information given here is relevant for streaming on other devices such as consoles also.
1. A Good Internet Connection
First and foremost you will require a personal computer with a working internet connection. Poor internet connection is not suitable for streaming.
Here you should check for the upload speed rather than your download speed as your video will be uploaded to the internet for streaming.
A minimum of 5 Mbps upload speed is more than ideal for streaming 1280 x 720 resolution at 30 fps, but the reserve speed is suggested so that you do not max out your bandwidth. For more information on broadcast requirements, check out this guide on twtich.tv.
2. Hardware Requirements
For a smooth experience, for both streamers and viewers, you must use quality hardware of particular specifications on your PC.
- You will require at least 8 GB RAM to stream efficiently. Though a 16 GB RAM is usually recommended for optimum performance, 8 GB one often gets the job done.
- An Intel processor from 6th generation onwards will do the trick. The Intel i7 processor is preferred, and i5 with the turbo boost is the minimum one can do (or its AMD equivalent).
- Streaming live gameplay can cause your system to head up pretty quickly, reducing the performance and thus your stream quality. An efficient CPU cooling system, such as one from Corsair, must be installed to prevent overheating of the CPU due to continuous streaming.
- A graphics card is not required for streaming. However, a good graphics card is essential for smooth gameplay and also to enhance the frames per second (FPS) of the video.
Increasing the FPS helps to improve the quality of the streamed footage. As mentioned earlier a competent internet connection is necessary for uninterrupted streaming.
While one monitor is enough, it is recommended to use two so that you can play games on one and stream or chat on the other. It is not advisable to stream and play on the same monitor.
3. Other Accessories
The other essential accessories are a microphone, headphones and a webcam.
Although you can begin streaming without any of the accessories mentioned above, a microphone will make your voice clearer, and gentler to viewers and headphones are needed to ensure you can hear in-game sounds without creating echos for the viewers. The webcam is self-explanatory, and you can use either a 720p or a 1080p webcam, whichever your budget allows.
Join the Twitch verse
It is time to join Twitch, and you do so by signing in for free. Visit Twitch.tv and click on sign up button on the top right corner of the page.
- Choose an appropriate username as it will be the one people on Twitch will know you by.
- Do not use amateur or offensive usernames, although you can change them later on, they will stick to you and not gain you a lot of followers.
- After you have chosen a suitable username, you will have to enter a password and your date of birth.
- You will also have to enter valid email id, and it is recommended that you use a separate email other than your personal one.
- Create a new mail account with your Twitch username to get all Twitch related emails there rather than cluttering your personal email account.
Since you will be known by your Twitch username, it is beneficial to open social media accounts using the same username as it helps to build up your whole persona which as mentioned before will be your main selling point.
Once you have opened your Twitch account successfully, it is time to hook it up with the streaming software on your PC (more on it below).
- Select ‘Dashboard’ from your menu on the upper right corner.
- Once there, select ‘Settings’ and then select ‘Stream Key.’
- Click on ‘Show Key’ which will generate a new ‘key.’
- Copy the key.
- It will be required in just a moment.
Download And Install OBS
Open Broadcaster Software is free software which will let you record videos and live stream on Twitch, YouTube and Mixer.
The software is supported on Windows, Linux and macOS 10.11+ as well as supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. There are a lot of settings and features which may seem daunting at first, but you will get used to them as you go along.
Read on to know how to download, install and use OBS to stream on Twitch.
Step 1: Download OBS Studio for your specific operating system.
Step 2: Once downloaded, install the software on your PC.
Step 3: Open the software after installation finishes. Windows users right click on OBS and click on ‘Run as Administrator.’ Running the app as an administrator automatically allows the software to capture your games.
Step 4: Click on ‘Settings’ and get ready to maneuver.
Step 5: First you will see the ‘General’ tab. There is nothing much to do here so skip to ‘Encoding’ tab or the ‘Output settings’ tab.
Step 6: Next select ‘Software (x264)’ as the Encoder.
Step 7: Then set the ‘Video bit rate’ to 3500 and the ‘Audio bit rate’ to 160. Click on apply.
Note: Try not to use higher bitrates as lower bitrates make it easier for viewers to stream your videos.
Step 8: Jump to the ‘Video’ tab and choose the appropriate ‘Video Adapter.’ Select your game monitor if you have multiple monitors.
Set ‘Resolution’ to 1280×720. Choose ‘Bilinear’ as ‘Filter’ and 60 FPS.
You can also reduce your stream to 30 FPS as doing so will let more people watch your stream without buffering. This, in turn, will increase your viewership. Finally, do not disable ‘Aero.’ Keeping ‘Aero’ enabled enhances performance.
Click on apply.
Step 9: Next go to ‘Broadcast settings’ and choose ‘Live Stream’ as ‘Mode.’ Select Twitch as ‘Streaming Service.’
Step 10: Remember the ‘Stream key’ you copied from Twitch? Paste the key in the space for ‘Play Path/Stream Key.’ Click on apply. You can now stream successfully.
Step 11: Change other options as required such as ‘File Path,’ and ‘Auto-reconnect.’
Step 12: Go to the ‘Audio’ tab and choose your audio device and your microphone. The settings are done.
How To Stream Games?
If you are using Twitch, then you are most likely to stream games.
Step 1: To stream games go to the ‘Sources’ tab on OBS and click on the ‘+’ button. Select ‘Game Capture’ and then ‘Create New.’
Step 2: Type in the name of the game you want to stream. Next, open the game and choose ‘Capture Specific Window’ and press OK.
Step 3: Many Twitch users stream with a camera so that viewers may see them.
Note: To do so, select ‘Video Capture’ as your source and name the source ‘Camera.’ Choose the camera and press OK.
Step 4: Then you will have to place the ‘Video Capture’ above the ‘Window Capture’ in the source list and resize as required.
Step 5: Do not forget to add your microphone as ‘Audio Source.’
How to view your favorite
Hop on to the Twitch Bandwagon
In the OBS software, you will see tabs labeled ‘Scenes’ and ‘Sources.’
‘Scenes’ are what the viewer will see and there can be multiple scenes such as playing scene, waiting scene and break scene. Choose the scene depending on what you want your viewers to watch.
A ‘Source’ on the other hand is, as the name suggests, the source of the scene. Sources may be videos, game footage, overlays, live chat, and even webcams. The sources build up the scenes.
Overlays provide viewers with information to keep them hooked to your channel by letting you put data on top of your stream. You can be creative here and use overlays in several ways to your advantage.
Logos or branding help you build up your Twitch personality which is vital to gain popularity.
- You can add a static image by going to the ‘Sources’ tab. Once there click + and choose ‘Image.’
- Name the image source and click OK.
- Select an image you want to display and resize.
You can put up images of other players you may be hosting for a game on your channel so that users may know who you are playing with.
How Can You Earn Like Ninja?
Ninja is the most popular Twitch streamer and also the highest earner. He earns at least $350,000 per month from his over 50,000 subscriptions alone. You too can earn if you are serious about Twitch.
There are seven ways by which Twitch streamers monetize their channels and earn millions.
Viewers who subscribe to your channel will have to pay a onetime fee of $4.99. The total subscriber revenue is calculated by multiplying the number of subscribers to your channel to the subscription fee.
A streamer receives approximately 70% of the total revenue.
In addition to that, many brands tie-up with streamers and provide them sponsorships. But to avail one, you must be deemed credible enough by the sponsors based on your subscriber count and following. Sponsorships range from $20,000 to more than $50,000 per month. Ad revenue and bit donations also add to a streamers total income. Other sources of income are merchandise sales and sponsorships for professional gamers. Donations from Twitch followers also add to the value.
A dedicated streamer who has managed to build up a large following can easily earn over a million dollars annually.
The opportunities are endless and earning by playing games is a dream many of us dreamt during childhood.
Join Twitch today and play and earn at the same time.