Do you need a gaming capture card to become a streamer? Well… no. But you will need one if you plan on taking it seriously and building an audience.

If you’re streaming on a budget or you want to dip your toes in before you invest money into a streaming rig, then this method of streaming can do the job. It is not ideal if you’re a pro streamer with tons of activity on your channel but it suffices to get you started.

You can do this by streaming your console straight to YouTube as an unlisted video and then use Streamlabs to capture that video and push it to wherever you would like it to go.

Now, you can just stream your consoles directly to YouTube or Twitch although you won’t be able to use overlays or alerts that most streamers use. This method allows you to take advantage of all of the extras that come with Streamlabs such as new followers, donations, cheers, and subscribers.

Please note: in order to do this method you will need somewhat of a decent internet connection as you will be running two streams at the same time. One from your console to YouTube and the other from your PC to

Stream Your Console To YouTube As An Unlisted Video

The first thing that you’re going to need is to download Streamlabs OBS and install it on your PC.


Once it is installed you then want to stream your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One to YouTube.

For PlayStation 4:

  • Open up the game you want to stream.
  • Press the Share Button on your controller.
  • Select Broadcast gameplay.
  • Select YouTube and login to your YouTube account.
  • Complete the Broadcast Gameplay page with these recommended settings:
    • Do not include video, microphone or display messages as you can add this in when you’re setting up in Streamlabs.
    • Set title and description to whatever you like, these will not be seen in the end stream that your viewers will see.
    • Set the quality to 720p – High (60fps) if your bandwidth can handle it – you will want this stream as best quality as possible as it will be compressed when setting up the second stream.

For Xbox One:

  • From the Xbox dashboard hit the Xbox button in the middle of the controller.
  • Go to the menus to the right until you get to the tab Broadcast & Capture.
  • Select Broadcast – set up your broadcast and choose Start broadcast.
  • Get your mobile phone and install Mixer as well as YouTube Gaming on your iOS or Android device (I know this is Mixer and not YouTube, we’ll get to that).
  • Open Mixer and search for your username
  • Click and your name and select Watch Stream – it should start playing.
  • Now open the YouTube Gaming app and press Start – you’ll probably need to log in if it’s your first time.
  • Hit the icon in the top right that looks like this
  • Follow all of the prompts to start a stream. When it comes time to select an app you’ll need to select Mixer.
  • Fill out the stream name and description and allow it everything that it requests – and that’s it.
  • If you need a video tutorial of this process you can see this video.
  • Don’t forget to grab the stream link!

Streaming The Unlisted Video Through Streamlabs

Setting up an entire stream with Streamlabs OBS doesn’t take too long but is a bit finicky to workout by reading a blog post.

Instead, you should check out the video below on how to set up a stream in Streamlabs. You’ll be able to set up all the bells and whistles in no time at all.

At 7:15 of the video where he is adding a video source you will select Display Capture. You’ll be screen capturing your unlisted stream that we just set up.


Is It A Good Idea?

Pros of streaming  without a capture card:

  • This method doesn’t require a game capture card.
  • You don’t need a powerful PC to be able to stream.
  • There isn’t a lot of equipment requirements and the setup process is easy.
  • This method can be used for any console as well as PC.

Cons of streaming without a capture card:

  • Quality won’t be the best.
  • A decent delay for your viewers – it will take a fair bit of time for alerts to appear on screen for your viewers once that have gone off.
  • You will need a decent internet connection to pull this off.

If you would like to get started in streaming to see how you like it but don’t want to put up the initial investment that it costs for a setup, this method is for you. You are able to have all of the benefits that Streamlabs software uses such as alerts and overlays.

This method is not recommended for the long-term if you want to become a serious streamer as the quality is not up to scratch as there is a high barrier to entry if you want to create a quality stream.

If this post was tricky to follow at times, I have included a video below that explains how this process works. It will run through some of the similar ideas that this post has explained.