Ready to go live? A Beginner’s Guide to Game Streaming with OBS – PCMag | Hot Mobile Press

If you watch streamers on Twitch, you may have heard someone mention a program called OBS, or Open Broadcaster Software. This free, open-source program is the top choice for streaming content online. It brings every part of your stream together so you can control your microphone, camera, streamed content, graphic effects, and settings from one place.

While programs like Twitch Studio simplify online streaming, many streamers praise the amount of control they get from OBS and encourage newcomers to learn the program. It might seem complicated at first, but overall OBS is an intuitive program. It’s also free and supported by a motivated community. So why not take the time to learn it?


How to set up OBS

(Source: PCMag/Francisco Lahoz)

First you need to download OBS(Opens in a new window). The program is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. After installation, the automatic OBS configuration wizard will open and help you customize the program to your needs. It will scan your PC and make any necessary adjustments to the settings, although you can change all of these settings afterwards if you don’t like the way they’re set up.

If you’re using OBS to stream via a live streaming service like Twitch, you’ll also need to link your stream key. Each Twitch streamer has an individual Stream Key that authorizes OBS to stream through your account. To find your stream key, log into your Twitch account and navigate to Account Settings > Channel & Videos > Stream.

Add stream key

(Source: PCMag/Francisco Lahoz)

Your key is at the top of this screen. Copy your code and go back to OBS. Open File > Settings and click the electricity Tab. Select your streaming service from the dropdown menu (we’re using Twitch here), click use the stream key, and paste the copied code.

click connect account, log in to your account and authorize access. OBS should now be configured to stream on your Twitch account.


Adjust the stream

OBS home screen

(Source: PCMag/Francisco Lahoz)

Now that your account is linked to OBS, you can start streaming. However, you should take a moment to familiarize yourself with the interface and controls. Along the bottom row you will find several boxes that serve different purposes.

That scenes box allows you to quickly switch between your source video and whatever you want to show your audience (e.g. an AFK screen or a countdown timer until your stream starts). That source In the section you can add different content sources, e.g. B. Your gameplay or face camera. These sources are tied to the scene you’re in, so they don’t affect anything else.

Your audio mixer In the segment you can manage your audio for these different sources and all the microphones you use. That scene transition In the section you can add an effect when you switch between scenes. Under control Here you can start your stream, record videos, access settings and much more.

The OBS home screen with chat and stream info will be docked

(Source: PCMag/Francisco Lahoz)

Open the Docks menu to add more sections to the OBS display or remove the ones you don’t need. Some items you might want to add include a stream chat box to review messages from your audience and a stream information box where you can add a title, bio, category, and any tags that the could make finding your stream easier.

press the settings Button in the lower-right corner of the OBS window to access additional options so you can use the program like a pro. For example, you can click the Hotkeys tab to assign tasks to different keys on your keyboard. Things like stopping and starting the stream, your webcam, and transitions can all be set by clicking on the appropriate black bar and pressing the button you want to use.

OBS hotkeys menu

(Source: PCMag/Francisco Lahoz)

There are countless things you can do on OBS to differentiate yourself from other streamers with proprietary software. Luckily, the team at OBS has a resource forum(Opens in a new window) where you can ask questions, support other streams, or even communicate with the OBS team if you have requests for new features.


Start your stream

obs streaming

(Source: PCMag/Francisco Lahoz)

When you’re ready to start your stream, open the PC game you want to broadcast. You should make sure you’re streaming the right program, so press the plus (+) icon in the Sources section and select game recording.

Open the source you just added and use the drop down menu to select Capture a specific window, and then select your game from the list of open programs. Press OK and the preview window in the middle of the screen should show the game. You can then resize the game window.

You can also add a webcam (video capture device) and microphone (audio input device) through a similar process. Just select the appropriate device and OBS will set it up. You can then adjust your video to fit your screen.

When you’re ready to go live, hit the Start streaming button in the lower right corner of the program. They will then stream straight to your Twitch stream.

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