Getting Started With OBS
Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is free, easy to use and has the ability to stream high-quality and professionally on Twitch. This guide will cover the basics as to how to get your stream up and going, and also include a few tips to help with overall quality.
Opening OBS for the first time will present you with a semi-blank screen where you can organise scenes and sources to stream directly to Twitch. Everything that you will see here is what your viewers will be seeing when you stream online. So firstly add a ‘Scene’ by right-clicking and then do the same on ‘Sources’ to add the source of your game – whether it be on PC or even on your console.
Selecting ‘Monitor Capture’ will immediately capture your desktop and you can edit this on the pop-up screen for opacity and colour. Once done, you can return to the original screen and select “Preview Stream” for the image to immediately appear.
Go ahead and add your webcam or any other game sources you require, and press “Edit Scene” to re-shape or rearrange your various sources.
Now things get slightly technical, and it would be good to have an idea of your average upload speeds. Click “Settings” on top of the screen and head down to “Encoding”. Don’t be alarmed by the various numbers and gibberish, and focus on the ‘Max Bitrate’ figure that should be adjusted to your appropriate upload speed. Quality of the stream depends on Bitrate and whether you can handle a HD livestream is down to your upload speeds.
It would be wise to adjust this figure to about 80% of your overall upload speed, or even a bit lower, for the best quality and connection. In my case, I have an upload speed of 0.8mb/s, and so I’ve set the “Max Bitrate” around 650 kb/s.
Next up is “Broadcast Settings” which is all the administration work to actually connect your stream to the global Twitch servers. Select your nearest location on “FMS URL” and then discover your “Stream Key.”
To discover this code, head over to your Twitch account dashboard and select Stream Key for it to appear. This won’t always stay the same, so make sure to double-check it each time you decide to stream.
The “File Path” is where the livestream will be saved. OBS automatically saves your streams locally so you can re-watch and test the quality of your overall stream. Keep in mind this also allows you to upload and use the footage elsewhere, such as YouTube.