You’re ready to start streaming on Twitch but don’t know where to start? In this guide, we’re going to show you how to set up a stream with software options and overlay choices.
When you think of streaming, one of the biggest names that may come to your mind is Twitch. After all, it is one of the platforms that’s been around the longest since its original inception as JustinTV in 2007.
Amazon owns it now, allowing the Seattle-based company to add hundreds of features to help its growth.
It can be complicated setting up a stream on the purple-themed platform, so we’re here to give you a rundown on setting up your stream — whether it’s gaming or another category you may be interested in.
Creating a Twitch Account
The first thing you need to do is set up an account on the platform, which will give you your channel name to allow people to find you.
- Read the Community Guidelines: There are quite a few rules to follow on Twitch, so check out the Guidelines to make sure you have a rough idea of what you can and cannot do on stream.
- Create an Account: When you first visit Twitch.TV, you’ll be met with the “Log In” and “Sign Up” buttons at the top right corner of the site. You’ll want the Sign Up option.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Twitch won’t allow you to live-stream without 2FA enabled for security reasons. Once you create your account, click on your display pic in the top right corner, go to settings in the drop-down menu and you’ll be met with a “security and privacy” tab. Two-Factor Authentication is about halfway down the page from there.
Choose software to live-stream on Twitch
The easiest way to stream on Twitch via PC is to choose an encoding program. These programs allow you to easily apply what you want to stream and it does all the hard work when it comes to displaying the stream onto your channel.
There are a few options to choose from, so we’ve picked the most popular:
- OBS Studio: The top choice for many creators, OBS Studio is a free and open-source streaming software with cross-platform compatibility. It does have a bit of a learning curve, but there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube to help you figure it out.
- Streamlabs OBS: The second most popular option for streamers, Streamlabs OBS has a lot of features built-in that you would have to find separate from OBS Studio. However, it’s only available for Windows PCs.
- xSplit: The least popular of the three options. However, it only shines if you’re willing to invest in the paid version.
Twitch also has been building their own proprietary program in-house, it’s still in beta, but it’s worth the honorary mention.
Where to find stream overlays for Twitch
When it comes to designing the look of your stream, there are dozens of websites that offer full stream packages as well as bits and pieces like webcam overlays and alerts. Nerd or die and Visuals by impulse are two that offer full packages, but you can create your own on place it.
If you opt to use Streamlabs OBS as your encoding software, there are dozens of overlay packages built into the program for you to use.
Set up your live stream software for streaming from PC
One of the aspects of live streaming that has allowed for its boom in popularity is accessibility. All of the software mentioned above provides easy and well-explained setup options for beginners of all kinds.
- Plan the content you want to stream: While Twitch does have a rather large gaming community, the platform doesn’t limit you to just that. Plan out whether you want to game, craft, or any of the hundreds of categories offered.
- Acquire, Connect, and Setup your gear: Live-streaming from a PC doesn’t just require software, it also means you need a bit of gear as well — the most common accessories for streaming are microphones and a webcam.
- Connect your software to Twitch: Once you have the software of your choice installed onto your computer, you need to connect it to your Twitch account. All three of the options listed above offer a quick and easy connection process when you install it. This will likely also include basic settings for stream quality once your account is connected.
- Add your visuals and audio: In your software, you will see boxes labeled “scenes” and “sources.” Click the + beside each of these boxes to add any of the listed options to display for your viewers.
Live-streaming can be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience, but getting discovered can take some time.
Don’t stress about starting, small but make sure to enjoy yourself!