Twitch: How to stream your games

Join the game-watching boom that has made Twitch insanely popular. The software you'll need is free, and we'll walk you through the setup.

Credit: Rob Schultz/Adam Murray/Ian Paul/IDG

Source 3: The watermark

To give a stream that extra veneer of professionalism, you can add a watermark—the ghostly little logo that appears in the bottom corner of TV broadcasts. For this example, I pulled a sample logo off Freepik.com.

OBS watermark Ian Paul/IDG and Freepik.com

Click the plus sign again in the Sources box, select Image, and click OK to get to the third window. Choose your image from your PC and then click OK again.

Going back to the main window, click on the watermark image in the letterbox window and it will be outlined in red. Now adjust it for placement and size. If you want to make the image transparent, right-click the image and select Filters > Chroma Key. Then choose a numeric value (out of 100) in the Opacity option to make it more transparent. You can also play around with the various sliders to get your desired affect.

twitchpreview Ian Paul/IDG

The finished product with game, webcam, and watermark (lower left).

Now that we’ve got a watermark, preview the complete stream by starting your game. Looking good? Then it’s time move on to the Twitch side of things.

The full stream

twitchdashboard Ian Paul/IDG

The Twitch dashboard.

Twitch is simple to set up. Just visit the site and create a user account. Click your user name in the upper-right corner, then in the drop-down menu that appears, select Dashboard.

You can preview your stream from the Dashboard, but it won’t actually appear until you connect your OBS client to your Twitch account. To do this, click on Settings in the left rail of the dashboard. On the next page you should see an option in the main part of the window titled “Stream Key.” Choose that and on the next page, select Show Key. Copy the code to your clipboard.

obs stream studios Ian Paul/IDG

OBS Studio’s Stream settings.

Next, open OBS and click Settings in the lower-right corner. In the next window that opens, select Stream. Under Stream Type, select Streaming services, then under Service, select Twitch.

At this point OBS Studio may run a test to find the best Twitch server suited to your location. If it doesn’t select a server close to you, you can choose one manually from the Server drop-down menu. Finally, copy the streaming key to the field marked “Stream Key.” Click Apply and OK, and you’re done.

Now go back and preview your stream in OBS Studio one final time.

Before we start streaming, go back to your Twitch Dashboard and click Live in the left rail.Under the sub-heading “Stream Information,” enter a title for your stream and the name of the game, then click Update Information.

Now it’s time to go live.

twitchlivestream Ian Paul/IDG

And we’re live!

Back on your desktop, click Start Streaming in the main OBS window. You’ll see the stream appear in your dashboard back at Twitch, which means you’re up and running. Congratulations!

There’s much more to explore in the settings for both Twitch and OBS, such as the desktop program’s volume settings for both the game audio and your webcam microphone. But at this point you have everything you need to run a successful broadcast. Have fun showing off on the big stage!

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Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
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