Twitch is one of the most user-friendly platforms for live streaming gaming. Plus, compared to most other platforms, it pays streamers well. The new Xbox Series X came out November 2020 and gamers are looking to streamers to show them gameplay and walkthroughs of new releases like Cyberpunk 2077. The situation creates the perfect opportunity for you to gain new fans and subscribers.
To help you prepare, we have put together everything you need to know about how to stream Xbox Series X to Twitch. Let’s start by checking out Xbox Series X streaming features and what you will need to live stream your gaming.
Live Streaming with Xbox Series X
The Xbox Series X’s design enables it to render 4K games and deliver 60 frames-per-second (fps) while streaming. That’s far more than previous Xbox consoles could provide.
Before you can begin streaming your Xbox Series X games to Twitch, you will need the following:
Any Xbox Series X console
Lightstream broadcasting software
A Twitch account
For glitch-free streaming, we recommend having internet speeds of at least 3 to 3.5 Mbps. That level of internet quality will let you live stream high-resolution HD videos, which is what most viewers want. If your internet is around 1.5 to 2 Mbps, you can still stream, but it will be the lowest quality HD resolution.
Creating a Twitch Account
If you don’t already have a Twitch account, you can create one on the Twitch website or app. The app is available for Android or iOS devices, and you can use it to monitor your account, adjust your stream settings, and more.
After opening an account, customize your Twitch channel so viewers can tell you apart from other streamers. Use a display picture, username, and bio that best represents your brand.
If you want to take things a step further, log in to your account via the Twitch website and set up your Moderation and Safety settings. Skipping this step may lead to trouble managing your subscribers, viewers, and commenters as your followers grow.
How to Stream
So how do you stream Xbox Series X to Twitch? There are two ways: You can use Lightstream or the Twitch App.
How to Stream Xbox Series X with Lightstream
The new Xbox supports all the Xbox apps you know and love, including Lightstream. Lightstream is a cloud-based software that offers streaming tools for broadcasting live gaming on Twitch and other various platforms. Note that Lightstream has free and paid plans, and the cheapest paid plan is about $8 per month.
If you choose to stream from your Xbox Series X with Lightstream, here’s how to do it:
Set your DNS server to 126.96.36.199 and leave the other server field blank.
Customize your stream by setting your overlays, alerts, and more.
Save your video quality preferences and other settings.
When you are ready to stream, find the Twitch Share integration button on your Xbox screen and click it.
Your game will start streaming to Lightstream, which will then send it to your Twitch channel.
How to Stream Xbox Series X with the Twitch App
If you want to cut out the middleman, you can stream to Twitch directly from your Xbox Series X. It is free, but you will not have access to some graphics, alerts, and other features that Lightstream offers.
Here’s how to start streaming directly from your Xbox:
Download Twitch on your Xbox Series X. You can find it on the online store in the top right corner of your Xbox’s home screen.
Once you find the app on the store, press A on your controller to start the download.
After the Twitch app has downloaded and installed, start the game you want to stream.
Once the game starts running, hit the controller’s Xbox button, and find the Twitch app.
On the Twitch app, navigate to Broadcast and hit A.
Enter a name for the streaming session in the Enter Title bar, then hit Start Streaming.
Go back to the game, and within a few seconds, your session will start streaming live.
While streaming, your stream time and number of viewers will be at the bottom of your screen.
The Xbox Series X console is backward-compatible, so you can play many of your favorite games from older Xbox consoles and live stream them. It is a great way to get viewers who are hungry for nostalgia.
Is Twitch free?
With a free Twitch account, you can contribute to chats on most streams and follow channels. You can also live stream yourself playing.
Can I stream on the Xbox Series X without a capture card?
If you don’t have an Xbox compatible streaming software, you will have to play and record your game, put it on a capture card, and load it to a PC. From the PC, you can upload the game for streaming online.
Since Lightstream and Twitch are both compatible with every Xbox Series X console, you don’t have to buy a pricey capture card. However, if you are using the Twitch app directly on your Xbox, you will not have access to overlays, alerts, and other features. A cost-effective way to rectify this is using Lightstream to upload your stream to Twitch. You can also use third-party software to stream without a capture card.
Are PCs better for streaming?
Streaming with a PC has several advantages, such as the ability to manage chats, multiple screens, and more with greater ease. The Xbox Series X is cheaper than most gaming PCs and user-friendly. Unless you are a full-time streamer, you are better off sticking with the Xbox Series X for streaming.
Now you know everything there is to know about how to stream Xbox Series X to Twitch. The system’s backward compatibility will let you play and live stream some of your favorite games. If you are new to live streaming and want an easy and affordable way to start, the Xbox Series X is worth buying.
Discord started as a group-chatting platform where gamers can hang out with like-minded people. In June 2020, Discord expanded its horizons, welcoming users with interests in other activities. The rebranding led to a rise in the number of Discord users, which currently sits at over 200 million – a far cry from its 2017 count of 8.9 million users.
If you are a gamer, streaming on Discord is a great way to reach a wider audience. Even Ninja has a Discord account. Would you like to learn how to stream on Discord and improve your brand visibility? Below is everything you need to know.
How to Set Up Streaming on Discord
You can access Discord via its app for Android, Mac, Windows, and iOS devices, but you can only stream with the Windows version.
Launch Discord for Windows, then pick the server you want to stream on. Remember, each server represents a different community. If you like, you can set up your own server and community, but you have to get people to join your community.
After picking the server for your streaming, start running the game you want to stream. If Discord recognizes the game, hit the Go Live button beside your avatar and username.
After hitting Go Live, you will see a menu. If Discord did not recognize your game, select Change from the menu. Choose your preferred voice channel for streaming your session, then click Go Live.
Your stream should be live now. If it is, a preview of your streaming will show in a small window on the Discord screen. Place your cursor over the preview window and click the cog icon. The icon will take you to the Stream Settings menu, where you can adjust your stream’s frame rate and video quality.
Note that free users can only stream at 60fps and 720p. If you want better video quality, like 1080p or higher, you have to pay $9.99 per month for Discord Nitro.
Adding a Game to Discord Go Live
The game you are trying to stream must provide access to the Go Live icon. If it doesn’t, you can add the game yourself by opening the Settings menu. Hit the cog icon on the bottom left of the screen, then choose Game Activity from the list on the left of the screen. Click the blue Add It option in front of “Not Seeing Your Game.”
Select your game from the provided list, then return to your server. When you click the Go Live button, the game should start streaming.
How to Watch a Discord Stream
If you want to watch someone else stream on Discord, place your mouse over the user’s name and click Join Stream. To know when a user is streaming, check the voice channel for a red Live icon next to the user’s name.
Follow these simple steps to start streaming on Discord. If you stream on Twitch or YouTube, you can sync your accounts with your Discord account, allowing you to stay connected with all your subscribers from the other platforms and grow your Discord community.
An active Twitch account can get hundreds of comments every day. Not every interaction will be friendly or useful, but many are valuable. Do you remember that helpful tip from a commenter about how to improve your Twitch channel? No? Well, it’s a good thing you can dig up that conversation from your old Twitch chat logs.
Before we show you how to check Twitch chat logs, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of reviewing your chat history.
Importance of Checking Twitch Chat Logs
Your Twitch chat logs are archives of every conversation had on your channel. Maintaining and checking your chat history can help you with the following:
Identifying Inappropriate Comments
If your channel becomes a haven for trolls and other online bullies, viewers may start avoiding you. Even worse, ignoring offensive comments might lead people to assume you agree with the offending party, which can affect your brand image. Inappropriate comments that breach Twitch’s Terms of Service (TOS) can also lead to your channel getting blocked.
Regularly review your chat history to identify offending commenters and take necessary actions.
Evaluate Disciplinary Actions
If you believe Twitch has penalized you or one of your viewers unfairly for an alleged statement, you can appeal the punishment. Find the pertinent conversation within your chat logs and show Twitch what really happened.
Gather Useful Data
Your chat log is a treasure trove of new content ideas from your viewers. Other useful data your viewers might intentionally or unintentionally leave in your comments include:
Feedback on how to improve your streaming
How to grow your brand
Who your top competitors are
What type of content your viewers want to see
Regularly read your chat logs to see how you can give your viewers a more satisfying experience and increase your number of followers.
Big streamers sometimes drop invitations to collaborate with upcoming streamers within their chats. Avoid missing great opportunities by frequently checking your chat logs.
Get to Know Your Community
As your community grows, your loyal followers will develop lingo and inside jokes that only those who follow your channel will understand. Use the slang to communicate with your fans and share jokes. Otherwise, you might alienate your followers. Also, staying in the know about your loyal viewers shows you care, fostering even more loyalty and engagement.
How to Check Your Twitch Chat History
Twitch is constantly improving its moderation tools, but finding your chat logs on the platform can be tricky. If you are having trouble finding yours, here are some of the best ways to get it done:
Watch Your VODs
Twitch recently added a VOD chat recording tool to its app. It lets you record streaming sessions, and it’s the best method for viewing old chats in their unedited form. For example, if a user made a comment and later edited or deleted it, watching your VODs will reveal the original comment, not the edited version.
If you don’t want to slog through hours of chats, Twitch’s in-app VOD recording lets you view chats sent by specific users during past streams. Note that affiliates can only access VODs from the last two weeks of recordings; non-affiliates can view VODs from only a few days ago.
Use Chatty or Another Third-party Program
The chat tracking tools provided by Twitch are useful but not the most robust. An open-source, java-based tool like Chatty offers more options for monitoring and tracking old and new chat logs. Note that Chatty stores chat logs for only a few weeks, after which they get deleted.
Learning how to use the tool may take a while, but once you master it, you can log your chats and review them for various purposes. Chatty also lets you store Twitch chat logs locally for review later.
User Search Command
Are you looking for a comment from a specific user? On Twitch, you can type a user’s name into your channel’s chat search box and get useful data about that person. Some of the information Twitch will provide when you use this method include:
All the comments the user left on your channel
All the comments your moderators left about that user
When the user created their profile
The number of messages the user has sent on your channel
The number of times the user has timed out in your chat
The number of times Twitch has banned the user
The user search command is particularly useful for confirming if a banned user is utilizing a different account to comment on your channel.
Nightbot and other Twitch chatbots can moderate and filter your chat on your behalf. The automated software makes logging your chats a breeze and can even help you create a searchable log of every comment in your chat. Some chatbots also let you store your chat logs locally on your computer. Don’t forget that your chatbot will only work after activating it.
Twitch’s data-sharing rules do not permit posting chat logs online. If you have chat logs stored locally, do not share them publicly. Otherwise, like OverRustle Logs, you could get bad news from Twitch’s legal team.
Become a Moderator
Moderators can view the chat logs of each user. When logged in as a moderator, click on Moderator View (the sword icon on the bottom right of your screen) and the name of the user you want to review. Every comment that user made will appear, and you can also view various useful information about that user, such as if they have any active bans or reports.
Twitch is the fastest growing game streaming website, and reviewing your Twitch chat logs has numerous benefits, from flagging inappropriate behavior to content improvement and moderation. Of all the above methods, using a chatbot is probably the easiest way to track and monitor comments from specific users. Keep in mind that each chatbot is different, so make sure you choose one with features that can achieve what you want.
In this how to stream on Twitch guide, we are going to breakdown how you can prepare your setup, set live your first stream and begin to build a successful streaming career.
Depending on your budget and time restraints you will need to decide on the gear you would like to use, the games to play and the schedule you’re going to stream with.
Preparing for Twitch
To first get the full functionality as a viewer you’ll need to sign up to Twitch with an account. This is completely free and will unlock some additional functionality that non-members don’t have such as following channels and making a profile.
Make sure you know the guidelines
Everyone always skips this part of any sign up process however as Twitch is notoriously known for having extremely strict terms of service (ToS) and community guidelines – it’s vital you give these a read through at least once.
Make your account
Creating an account only requires very basic info – your name, a chosen username, email address, date of birth and password.
If you’re signing up on a mobile device via the app then you can simply use your mobile number.
Extra security for your account (2FA)
This is what you’re going to use to keep your account on lock down.
There are a lot of people that will try and hack accounts that have large follower bases in order to show their own content or steal information.
For this you’ll need to head over to the desktop app and use your mobile number to confirm the code that they send you. From now you’ll need to confirm the one-time-code they send you each time you want to login to your account.
Best software for streaming on Twitch
When it comes to encoding your stream you are going to have a few options which all have their benefits and downfalls.
Most new streamers are going to go with OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS). SLOBS is a tool built on top of OBS Studio with additional functionality with overlays and monetisation tools.
There is a clear winner between the two which is why we recommend that you start your streaming career with SLOBS (as will most other Twitch affiliates).
There are some secondary streaming software solutions such as XSplit which is a paid alternative. Their main selling point is that there is less setup pre-stream however both OBS Studio and SLOBS can be set up pretty fast with a quick online tutorial – and it’s free.
Another alternative is vMix – we don’t recommend this for first-timers.
As you will be a new streamer you will want to have the ability to lookup any issues with a quick Google search which won’t be an option as their user base is much smaller.
What gear/hardware will you need to broadcast to Twitch?
Hardware is one of the primary components that will determine the quality of the your stream’s output.
From the quality of your microphone to the speed of your CPU – this will all have a direct impact on the look and sound of the stream.
This is where most people set themselves apart in streaming for the rest of the crowd.
Nothing screams that you’re a serious streamer than a HD camera.
For high-end set ups you’re going to want to use a DSLR camera which will allow you to have a high resolution and crisp video.
New streamers are going to want to go with a more budget friendly option such as the Logitech C920 which is one of the most used webcams – ever!
Along with this, you’ll definitely want some sort of headset or headphones.
The two main reasons you’re going to want a high-end microphone 1) your voice will be cleaner, clearer and much more pleasant to listen to and 2) it will stop your speakers from sending feedback through your mic and prevent echo.
If you’re on a budget you can go wrong with a Blue Yeti or a Snowball however USB mics are cheaper for a reason – they often output lower quality.
You can definitely stream with any mic that connects to your computer but if you’re going to use low quality Apple Earbuds then you will sound extremely nasally with horrible playback.
When looking for a monitor to stream on you’re going to want something that is good for gaming – this is what you’re going to probably be doing for most of the time.
An optimal gaming monitor for streaming has a high refresh rate, high resolution (at least 1080p) and is colour accurate.
If you’re on a budget we recommend the Benq 144hz gaming monitor and if you’ve got a larger budget we would go for a Dell Alienware 25″ Gaming Monitor.
Note: If streaming is going to be your primary activity then you will want to avoid ultra wide monitors if possible. The reason for this is that it becomes tricky when trying to record a monitor and display it to people who do not have an ultra-wide monitor. It can be done but will change depending on your make and model – just do a quick Google search.
Streaming PC 💻
Twitch does give some guidelines on what people should have as a baseline in their PC and it’s a good starting point. Ofcourse, the more powerful the better performance you will get however most people won’t start with a $4000+ setup.
You should have as a minimum an Intel Core i5-4670 (or something similar in the AMD product line), 8GB of RAM and a graphics card that is DirectX10 or higher compatible.
While the graphics card recommendations are low, you will want to have at least a GTX1060 so that you can play games at medium-high graphics settings.
Streaming is very CPU intensive because all of the encoding is handled by this component. It would be better to increase your budget for your CPU and get a worse GPU so your video output can maintain a 60fps stream.
Gaming consoles 🕹️
If you’re not going to be streaming PC games then you will need a gaming console to play games from.
Most streamers will be using the latest gaming console whether that be a PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch.
On Twitch there are categories of people playing older games if you’re wanting to experience some childhood nostalgia.
If you’re interested in Twitch streaming and reading this article then changes are you already have a gaming console.
Capture card 👾
Capture cards are used to capture and encode your video and audio.
These are most often when streaming games from a console (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo) as it will connect to the device and then send the video and audio data to your PC.
Our recommendation for a capture card is the Elgato HD60s as it has a HD 60 frames per second output which can be set up very easily.
If you are just streaming PC games then you are able to use software to encode the video and transmit it to your stream. There will be quality loss if you decide on this method but it is also a free alternative.
There are more nice-to-haves and won’t have a direct impact on the quality of your stream.
Get a quality mouse which has a high dots-per-inch DPI for greater precision in games – this is most important in first-person-shooters as you need to lock onto a target as fast as possible.
Along with this get a mechanical keyboard that is responsive. Keyboards are for the most part preference – some people prefer long travel, clicky keys while others like shoft travel with mushy keys.
Streamer controls 🔘
Most streamers have a stream deck or an alternative that offers the same functionality.
The premium option for this is the Elgato stream deck. It comes in a variety of sizes with 6, 15 and 32 button options. They all offer the same functionality of being able to assign macros to each button – each just have a different amount of buttons that you can map.
Streamers use stream decks to quickly execute functions while they’re streaming – you’re not going to want to be manually doing things while you’re in the middle of streaming – eg. changing scenes, playing audio, changing music, switch overlays.
These devices are expensive so there are stream deck alternatives that can give the same functionality such as using a keypad as a MIDI controller and mapping the buttons.
We recommend while you’re first getting started to just use a free software alternative where you can have a virtual stream deck on your phone to control your stream.
The visual appeal of your stream will influence how many users click through to your stream from the discover pages.
One method of adding a vibe and color to the stream is adding LED lighting in the background of the stream. These lights will make your thumbnail stick out more and set an overall mood for the stream.
You will also want some regular white lights to put behind your camera or webcam so that your face is fully visible to the camera. The same way that TV shows and movies have bright lights on the subject’s face – you will want to create a similar setup so your face isn’t dark.
Green screens 🟩
If you have seen Twitch before you will notice that a lot of streamers have a transparent background for their stream.
To get this effect you will need to get a green screen set up in your background.
Once you have the physical green screen setup you can then go into your streaming software and configure what you would like your background to be – an image, colour, video or transparent.
Gaming chair 💺
Most of the streams that you are going to make will be many hours long which is why it is vital that you get an ergonomic chair.
First of all a gaming chair is better for health reasons. SItting in a chair that is not optimized for gaming/office work can lead to long term back issues.
A gaming chair will also help you create longer streams as you will be more comfortable than if you use any chair.
With the ability to create longer streamers you will over time accumulate a larger audience with more hours streamed.
We recommend using a racing gaming chair such as a Secretlab Omega or a ThunderX3.
How to live stream to Twitch from a PC
Depending on your level of involvement and time commitment, you’re going to be starting with a different quality stream.
To kick things off you don’t need to have a professional setup but you will need to have something decent enough to have your thumbnail on the Twitch discovery page look appealing.
Once someone then clicks through to your stream, the stream needs to look presentable enough with at least a 720p video and a USB microphone so your voice doesn’t sound like a potato.
As there is a low barrier to entry for streaming on Twitch the market is oversaturated with content creators.
To stand out from the rest of the other creators you will need a unique aspect to your stream and a regular streaming schedule.
Let’s get into the exact steps for setting up your first stream.
Decide on the content of your stream
If you explore the Browse section of Twitch you’ll soon find out that the streaming content you can put out is endless.
Twitch is no longer just a hub of video games – it now has categories of art, music, writing, coding, in-real-life (IRL) streaming and just chatting.
While the bulk of it is video game streaming, you now have the ability to do just about whatever your creative outlet feels like.
Once you decide what you want to stream then you can build your streaming rig around this.
For example, if you want to become a World of Warcraft (WoW) streamer then you know that your primary focus will be on making sure that your streaming setup is equipt to output a high quality video and audio.
Most WoW streamers have eye catching backgrounds with LED lighting so if you want to compete with these streamers on the Browse page you are going to need to have an element of ‘pop’ in your thumbnail.
A different example is if you want to have a drawing stream – for this you may want to use multiple DSLR cameras to show the audience what you are doing from different angles.
Build your streaming rig
As mentioned above once you have an idea of what it is you are going to stream, you can then put together all of the gear and prepare to go live.
As a bare minimum you should have a PC, microphone and camera.
From here, depending on what you’re going to stream, it will depend how much of an investment in money and time you are going to make in order to output the content you are creating.
If you are hesitant whether you will be doing this long-term then it will be better to invest as little as possible to see if you like it – that means you can get started with just a laptop.
Configure all of your software for your streaming setup
Now that you have all of your hardware put together and you can turn your PC, let’s get all of the software installed ad setup so that you can send video and audio through streaming software and stream to Twitch.
First things first, pick which streaming software you are going to use (as outlined above) – we recommend OBS Studio.
Each piece of software will have a different set up process.
Essentially you are going to connect OBS Studio (or your preferred software) to Twitch with a stream key.
This is what will connect your computer to your Twitch account and allow you to push content to your Twitch account.
Optimise your settings
Depending on the hardware that your computer uses, you will want to adjust the settings and optimise the software to ensure you are getting optimise performance and output for your stream.
While it’s highly probable that no one will be watching when you first stream you should still complete a test stream.
To do this you should set a stream live on your channel as if you were going to start your first stream.
Once this is up and running get another computer or your mobile phone and open up the stream.
Now you will be able to view the stream as if you were a viewer.
Go through this checklist of tasks and confirm everything is working as it should:
Make some noise into your microphone, make sure your lighting is good
Boot up a game and play it for 10 to 15 minutes so that you can make sure that the video stream remains stable.
Cheer bits to check that stream alerts are appearing on screen
Now that everything is working you can now schedule your first real stream and start your streaming career.
How to livestream to Twitch from a mobile phone or console
A large segment of Twitch is mobile and console streaming – to stream these devices there’s a little more set up involved in order to get the video and audio to a PC.
Streaming these devices also opens up more content that you are able to produce with exclusive games and apps.
For example, if you want to stream Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 then you will need a PlayStation console as it is an exclusive title.
Many gamers also prefer console streaming vs PC streaming whether that be due to the online community, the controller or the overall ease of use and set up.
How to set up your PlayStation for live streaming
As you’re not streaming directly from a PC you have 2 options to get the video from the console to your Twitch stream.
Stream directly from the console
Link your PS4 to your Twitch account:
Go to ‘Settings’ from the home dashboard.
Select ‘Account Management’.
Go to ‘Link with Other Services’.
Select ‘Twitch’ and follow the signin instructions.
Use a game capture card to send the video to OBS Studio (recommended)
Set up your PS4 with your game capture card:
Plug in the game capture card to the console.
Download and install the Elgato game capture card software.
Disable HDCP on your PS4
Add the console as a source in OBS Studio for both video and audio
There are a ton of benefits for using the game capture card method to stream PS4 games to Twitch.
First is you will have more control over what your stream will look like with the ability to customize overlays and gain the full functionality of SLOBS.
You will also be able to have your stream alerts appear for donations, stream chat and design the layout how you want.
If you stream directly from the console then you will be restricted to just streaming the video, the PS4 webcam and using a USB microphone.
Capture cards are what pro-streamers use however if you don’t have any other gear then it’s a free, fast and easy alternative than paying for this piece of tech.
How to set up your Xbox for live streaming
Live streaming from a Xbox is a very similar process to streaming from a PlayStation. You can either stream to Twitch without a capture card via their app.
Alternatively, you can use a capture card to send the video and audio from the console to OBS Studio to gain the full functionality of streaming software.
Stream your Xbox to Twitch without a game capture card
From the home dashboard go to the ‘Store’ tab and search for ‘Twitch’.
Download the Twitch app and install it onto your Xbox.
Start the game that you want to stream and press the ‘Xbox’ button on your controller.
Open the Twitch app from this menu and select ‘Broadcast’.
Follow the set up instructions such as naming the streaming and configuring settings.
Stream your Xbox to Twitch with a game capture card (recommended)
Plug in the game capture card to the console.
Download and install the Elgato game capture card software.
Add the console as a source in OBS Studio for both video and audio
How to set up your mobile phone for live streaming
There are many subcategories of streaming on Twitch and one of these is mobile gaming. While console and PC gaming are the larger categories, streaming mobile games will allow you to create content for a niche audience on Twitch.
If you are going to stream directly from your phone with no PC then you will only be able to use the mobile camera.
In order to stream the screen on your mobile so that you can create content around mobile apps then you will need to take a few additional steps.
Download and install the Streamlabs OBS app for iOS or Android.
Launch the app and login in with Twitch – you will need to give the app permission to access your profile information.
Give the app full permissions to access the camera and microphone.
Once you can see the camera is turned on you will then need to click the computer screen icon in the top left hand corner.
Press ok when you are prompted with ‘Streamlabs will start capturing everything that’s displayed on your screen’.
Click the gear in the top left and select Edit Stream Info – here you can set the status and title the stream.
Hit the red button to go live in the bottom right hand corner, select ‘Stream Games’ and your stream will begin.
If you wanted to create an in-real-life (IRL) stream then you can also do this through SLOBS. Instead of selecting ‘Stream Games’ when you are about to go live you should choose ‘Stream IRL’.
How to set up your Nintendo Switch for live streaming
To stream Nintendo Switch games you are going to need an Elgato game capture card. Unlike the Xbox and PlayStation, there is no inbuilt app or supported functionality for streaming on Twitch directly from the device.
Once you have the game capture card you will plug that into your Nintendo Switch and then the other side of the cable into your computer’s USB port.
With a second HDMI cable plug that into your TV so you can see the video output.
From here you will need to launch OBS Studio and add the capture card as a source. When you add it as a source you will be able to see the gameplay output and drag the video into the OBS scene.
Now set up OBS to go live just like you would with another device and you are ready to go live.
How to build an audience on Twitch
Now that you have your first stream live, it’s time to start your journey of building an audience.
Over time as you establish yourself and put out more content you will inevitably begin to accumulate a follower base (if you content is quality).
Here are a few things you can do to begin building up viewers and followers on Twitch
Set a streaming schedule
Think about streaming as a TV show.
When someone wants to watch their favourite show as it airs on TV, they need to know what channel to find you on and at what time.
If you set a regular time to stream and do it consistently then people know that they can find.
If everyday is too difficult to stick to then why not Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 5pm – 8pm (just as an example). As long as you stay consistent then over time, your audience will grow, if you’re good.
The most important point here is to have a consistent streaming schedule so that people know when you are going to be online.
Improve the quality of your stream
Having high production value in your stream is a large part of what attracts people to a stream.
For viewers who have never seen or heard of you before, you will only have 5 – 10 seconds to impress them and keep them on your channel.
This means that you will need to make sure that your video and audio are high quality and crisp, the game you are playing is entertaining and people will actually enjoy looking at the stream.
You can improve the quality of your stream with hardware upgrades with better microphones, cameras, PC hardware (GPUs and CPUS) for better output from your computer.
There are some additional software improvements you can make if you are using SLOBS such as:
Notifications/Alerts – As you grow and become a Twitch Partner with a large audience you may want to only have notifications for subscribers, cheers, and donations.
On-screen chat + TTS – Your chat should be treated as a serious section of your stream and make sure you interact with it as much as possible. Read every question, statement or comment or have SLOBS do it for you so you can respond.
Overlays – Everyone has seen a streamer with a killer overlay and this really does add some production value to your final product. Streamlabs a huge selection of themes that is color coded meaning that you can have your branding created for you.
Music – Atmosphere is everything and can really set the energy for your stream. We recommend something as simple as Spotify or Pandora to create a vibe for the stream.
Start streaming in low competition categories
Entering into the Twitch community as a new streamer will mean that your viewership will begin at 0.
Twitch displays streamers on the Browse tab in descending order of viewers which means you’ll be at the bottom.
To increase the change of people discovering you then you can stream games that don’t have established streamers on them. This will make it more likely that your stream will rank higher for that category.
Stream at the right time
Streaming time slots are important in optimising the likelihood that your stream will rank higher in the recommendations sections of Twitch.
Streaming at non-peak times in your time zone (or the time zone of your target audience) will mean that there are less content creators on the platform for you to complete against.
If you stream during the day then there will be significantly less people on Twitch then 10pm at night.
Network with other content creators
The fastest way you are going to grow your channel is by cross promoting your stream with other streamers.
This is going to mean engaging with the community that you want to be a part of so that other streamers know who you are.
Build a community with streaming friends and join the chat of other content creators. When you engage and make yourself know to other people in the community then people will take notice and be familiar with your brand.
One common practice on Twitch is to raid another streamer at the end of the streaming sessions.
Raid other streamers
Raiding is when you send all of your concurrent viewers at the end of your stream to another stream.
This is a good idea to do because if you start to do it to fellow streamers then they are likely to do it to you another time when they finish.
If you have a community of streamers then each of you can take turns at raiding each other’s streams and cross-promote each of your audiences to each other.
This can be done by running a /raid command
Start a Discord server
Discord is an instant messenger app that is heavily used in the gaming community.
You can create a Discord server for your channel and have a chatbot promote it throughout your streams.
In the Discord server create different channels for the community to interact and engage with.
When you set your Twitch stream live you can then make an announcements tagging @channel to notify everyone that you are going live.
Sending out notifications of you going live will fill up the stream when you first go live and increase the concurrent viewers on your stream.
What is the best content to stream on Twitch?
Streaming content on Twitch is a huge task in itself so if you are going to be doing it for long amounts of time you want to stream content you enjoy.
Most streamers build their channel around a single game as they become skilled at a game. This can be both good and bad depending on what you are interested in creating.
Below are a range of advantages and disadvantages for being a single game streamer on Twitch:
Becoming skilled at a single game will make you known for that game. People who are researching a game or who are die hard fans will be looking to experts in the game for tips and tricks.
By playing a single game you will build a stronger community because each time that you stream you will most likely have the same audience coming back to watch the content.
Being a single game streamer you are going to get good enough at the game for ESports competitions which will give you more exposure in tournaments and competitions.
Once you have built a community around a game it is difficult to transition away from that game. You can pigeonhole yourself into a game or category and if you get tired of it then changing games can cause your concurrent viewer numbers to drop.
Playing the same game or category can cause fatigue and burnout – without variety in content it’s easy to be very repetitive with content.
Content can become stale. If you are creating content for a game that rarely gets big updates then the content you stream will often be the same – this is less entertaining for the audience and yourself.
The best content to stream is something you enjoy.
When you are creating content that you enjoy then the audience will see that and be more engaged with your stream.
This will also allow you to stream for longer periods of time.
Twitch rewards content creators who put out a lot of content with many hours of streams – the more hours that your stream is live then the larger the audience you can grow.
How to make money on Twitch
Twitch monetization is something that you will eventually be able to start once you have a large enough viewership.
Once you do have income and cash flow from your stream then you can re-invest this money to improve the quality of your stream and scale the channel.
There are six primary methods of monetization.
Twitch has a huge donation culture.
Most people who are unfamiliar with Twitch streaming are often surprised by the amount that viewers donate to their favorite streamers.
Think of donations as tips for providing entertainment to viewers – in return for giving them a good time with your stream, people can send you money as a thankyou.
If you are using SLOBS then there is in-built functionality for donations so you can just drop a link in your chat for people to click through to and donate directly to you.
This is Twitch’s inbuilt version of donations.
Users can purchase bits directly from Twitch and then cheer (donate) you these bits.
For a basic conversion rate 1 bit equals $0.01 so if someone cheers you 100 bits then they are donating you $1.
Running ads on your stream can be a large source of revenue if you have a large viewership.
There are different placements for ads such as:
Pre-rolls before someone watches your stream.
Display banners around your stream.
Video ads during your stream
Ads are paid on a CPM (cost-per-thousand-impressions) basis.
Depending on the time of year, the category you are streaming in and the amount of advertisers bidding on placements for advertising then you will have a CPM rate.
This is how much you will receive for every 1000 impressions on ads.
When you are well known enough, brands will approach you for sponsorships deals.
You will be given a pay cheque to promote a company’s product.
Especially on Twitch this is a big opportunity as there are so many physical and software products that streamers use to play their games and stream.
From gaming headsets, PC parts, video games, keyboard, gaming mouses and desk setups – brands want to have streamers promote their products because they know audiences trust their favorite streamers.
When you go to any big content creator’s stream on Twitch you will see that they are recommending a lot of products in their description.
They will link out to Amazon or other company’s websites to products that they use and recommend so that people can purchase the same gear that they use.
When someone clicks one of these links and purchases a product then the streamer will receive a commission for the sale.
The more expensive the item then the larger the commission will be that they receive.
Viewers can subscribe to a Twitch streamer’s channel for USD$4.99 per month.
Once someone subscribes to a channel they will unlock benefits such as not having ads on the stream, emoticons and badge icons in chat.
Streamers make between $2.50 – $3.50 per subscription depending on whether or not they are a Twitch Affiliate Partner – if you are a partner then you will receive a larger portion of the donation.
Advanced tactics and additional resources
There are some additional features that you can add to your stream that will increase the quality of the stream, promote engagement and interaction from the viewers and make the stream look more professional.
Building a brand on Twitch is going to have a huge impact on how memorable your stream is to viewers.
Your Twitch name, colors used on the channel, music, pre-show screens, post-show screens, scene transitions will all play a part in your branding.
If you’re not good at design then you can get your whole channel branded for a good price on Fiverr.
Be sure to select a unique and brandable Twitch username – you want a name that is easy to read and say so that it’s memorable. A username like PogChamp3948392green21 will make it very hard for someone to remember who you are.
Overlays and alerts
Overlays are the designs and banners that will be placed over your stream with information and messaging.
If you are using SLOBS then there are a ton of overlays already included in the streaming software.
For more professional branding and a unique look we recommend that you have your own created.
By paying a designer to create assets for the overlays then you will have a much more unique look to the stream.
Turn alerts on so that when a user follows you, subscribes to the channel or donates to the stream then a message or sound will play to notify the entire stream – this will increase engagement and interaction for the stream you will have.
Post Twitch clips and highlights to a YouTube channel
You are able to increase the reach and visibility of your stream if you brand out to other channels.
YouTube is a great platform for discovery as it has the recommendation feature so once the YouTUbe channel has some momentum then videos will start to get recommended to people watching similar content.
When uploading to YouTube just upload short highlights to grab people’s attention where they can then click through to your Twitch channel.
This channel can be used to promote other social channels as well such as Discord, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Once you have a viewership you can then start introducing incentives for people to donate.
With more donations you will be able to continuously improve your stream and scale your audience up.
There are a few things you can do to encourage people to donation:
Use a chatbot to have your donation link sent out in the chat at a set interval – this will give people easy access and know where they can go to donation.
Use text-to-speak (TTS) so that donation messages are read out to the entire stream – most people will want to donate so they can interact with the stream. Using TTS will make it so the entire stream can hear the message from the donation which you can then respond to.
Have donation goals and rewards – setting a donation goal at the start of the stream is a good idea. You might not always hit it however if you have a ‘reward’ for something that you will do eg. giveaways, shoutouts and adding viewers as friends on different gaming platforms eg. PlayStation, Xbox or giving them a follow on social media.
Show to the top donations for the stream – use a data overlay so that viewers who have donated the most are displayed on screen throughout the stream. If someone wants their name on stream then they will donate enough to get up there.
A final note
When it’s all said and done, streaming is all about doing it because you love it.
If you’re not enjoying yourself then your audience will be able to tell.
Aside from them seeing straight through a fake personality you will burn out quickly if you’re only in it for the money.
You won’t have 10,000 concurrent viewers after a month of streaming (unless you have a secret magic trick, in which case comment below!
In 2013 everyone wanted to be a full-time YouTuber – in 2019 being a Twitch star is the new best thing.
You are able to make a job replacing income from Twitch and in this, we’re going to breakdown with case studies how the biggest streamers do it.
There are key staples to any streamers income:
How Do Twitch Streams Make An Income?
In this post, we’ll go through the top 6 methods that streamers use to make an income from Twitch although there are endless ways to monetize a stream depending on how creative you can get.
A common way that broadcasters begin to generate revenue is through donations from viewers.
Streamers can receive donations from their viewers through a number of tools such as Streamlabs and Paypal.
People encourage their viewers to donate to them by allowing the person to interact with the stream directly through their donation. For example, if some donates $X then the streamer will answer a question, read a comment, display their username on screen or even shout them out.
Donations are very common practice and can make up huge portions of streamer’s incomes – DisguisedToast said that he brings in about $2,500 a month in donations from his viewers which is about 13% of his monthly income.
Another way that users can donate to streams is through ‘cheering’ bits. This is essentially another medium to donate money to streamers although to do so you first need to purchase tokens called ‘bits’ from Twitch which you are then able to donate (cheer) to them.
When you convert the donation – 1 bit is equal to $0.01.
The downside of using this to donate is that Twitch will take a portion of the donation. If you buy 100 bits then it will cost you $1.40 – that’s a 40% commission that they’re taking. Although, the more bits that you buy then the commission becomes a smaller percentage of the bits that you purchase.
If a streamer takes donations through a service like Streamlabs then they will receive the full donation amount as it does not go through Twitch.
Subscriptions are one of the main revenue drivers for Twitch streamers.
Subscriptions are an extra that are offered on Twitch that will give the view perks on a streamer’s channel such as special emotes and no ads. Quite often these are promoted by broadcasters with shoutouts when someone does subscribe.
A huge strategy is to encourage users to subscribe using Twitch Prime. This is a program offered by Amazon where if a user has Amazon Prime then they will receive Twitch Prime for free which comes with 1 free subscription per month. This is great because it doesn’t cost the user any extra money if they already have Amazon Prime and the broadcaster can still make revenue.
A subscription without Twitch prime typically cost $4.99 and streamers make $2.50 – $3.50 per subscription that they receive depending on their partner status.
Ad revenue can be another huge revenue driver for broadcasters. Streamers will receive a flat rate for a CPM (cost per mille – 1000 impressions) which will change on the time of year it is. For example, there are a lot more advertisers running ads at Christmas time so ad revenue will increase as more people are wanting to show their ads on broadcaster’s streams.
The main way that streamers make money from ads is the pre-roll whenever someone goes to their livestream – usually a 30-second ad will show where the streamer will receive a portion of that ad revenue.
Streamers also have a button that they can click whenever they are in the middle of a stream which will again show ads to their viewers – the more times they hit this button to show ads then the more money they will make.
Although, while they can show endless ads, it doesn’t make for a good stream to have ads ever 2-3 minutes which is why most people use it very sparingly.
Brand deals and sponsorships usually come into play when a streamer is big enough for it to make sense for a brand to sponsor broadcasters.
For example – Hershey’s & Reese’s sponsored Ninja & DrLupo for brand exposure. For this sponsorship, the pair held a 12-hour stream to promote the product. For brands, this is huge as this as the potential reach to their combined 21 million subscribers.
Affiliate marketing is huge and is even one of the ways that this site is monetized (check the footer of this blog).
This involves streamers placing links or giving out codes to their viewers to promote a product. When people go through the link or use the code when they purchase then the broadcaster will get a slice of revenue from that sale. Here is an example of affiliate links in Towelliee’s Twitch box:
The commission changes for different products across different brand and often if a streamer is big enough they will have a personalised commission structure.
By far the most popular affiliate program that streamers join is Amazon Associates. In this program, whenever a user clicks on an affiliate link and purchases a product from Amazon within 24 hours of clicking the link, the streamer will receive a commission on that product. The commission rate for Amazon is standard and can be seen below.
For most products that streamers promote they will call into the PC components with 2.50%. Although, many streamers do promote Amazon coins as they can be used for game purchases such as Hearthstone where they earn 10% commission on all coins that are brought.
How Much Money Do Twitch Streamers Make?
There is no ceiling to how much streamers are able to make – Tyler Blevins (Ninja) makes an estimated $500,000 a month.
Jeremy Wang (Disguised Toast), who is making $20,000 a month, broke down exactly how much and where Twitch streamer’s revenue comes from in an extremely in-depth YouTube video.
Paul Denino (Ice Poseidon) has shown months where he makes over $200,000 a month.
Although, he was banned from Twitch a few years ago and now lives on YouTube with 700K+ subscribers as of writing this.
As much as no one likes the answer – it depends.
If you’re a fresh streamer then you’re most likely going to be earning little to nothing.
Although once you begin to grow an audience then you are able to slowly build your income along with it.
TimTheTatMan is a famous Twitch and YouTube star who has built a mass following of close to 5 million followers across YouTube and Twitch.
His primary sources of revenue are donations, Twitch subscriptions, advertising and sponsorships.
Here is Tim making $4000 in half an hour from donations. Wow.
We are able to do some basic calculations to get an estimate of how much Tim is able to earn from each of his different channels.
Having a look at his Social Blade we can see that he is averaging about 320,000 views a day on YouTube.
The cost per mille (CPM) that creators are paid on YouTube ranges from about $2-$5.
There is a range of factors that influence how much this will be such as content type, advertisers bids on the placements and click-through-rate of the advertisement.
With 320,000 impressions a day on ads he would be making $640 a day with Google Adsense. That’s $230,000 per year if he receives a $2 CPM as well as assuming that there is no channel growth(which is extremely unlikely).
Twitch subscriptions are another huge revenue source for Tim.
Viewers are able to pay $5 a month to be subscribed to a Twitch channel. This will give the user perks such as badges, emotes, engagement in ‘sub-only’ chats and the ability to watch the stream ad-free.
Top-tier Twitch partners earn 70% of the revenue generated from a user subscribing. That’s $3.50 for every subscription.
As of writing this TIm has about 58,000 subscribers – that comes to a whopping $203,000 a month.
Another revenue source that we are unable to estimate is his affiliate earnings.
A lot of Twitch streamers will put affiliate links to products that they use, most often Amazon Associates.
Here is an example of his Twitch panel below to give you an example.
People who use these links will earn a commission every time someone clicks on one of those links and then buy from Amazon within 24 hours.
It’s actually one of the methods that this site makes an income.
Payouts do vary depending on the product and the cost of it but for most Twitch streamers they will be linking computer peripherals.
These typically pay out a commission of about 2.5% which means if someone buys a $1000 GPU then they will earn $25.
There are more income sources where he is also making money such as brand deals where the exact income for these is rarely shared with the audience.
Sodapoppin is another old school streamer who started back in the day with World Of Warcraft PvPs and PvE streams. He has accrued over 285,000,000 Twitch channel views and over 1,000,000 YouTube subscribers. These days he streams pretty much anything from games to mailbox openings.
In 2017 he accidentally revealed that he had been donated $230K+ although that’s not really a surprise seeing that he is one of the largest Twitch streamers out there.
We can also do some basic calculations to estimate he’s monthly income from revenue streams such as ad revenue and subscriptions with a quick look at his Socialblade.
At the time of writing this, he received 3.56 million monthly reviews – with a $2 CPM that is $7120/month from Google Adsense.