Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is open source software used by streamers and gamers to record their gameplay and stream it online. Due to its ease of use and advanced options, it is the most popular software used by amateurs and some of the biggest streamers on Twitch and YouTube.
Streaming is arguably a simple hobby, but if you want to become a pro, you need powerful hardware and software to support you and make the whole process smoother. Hardware can include an internal capture card, stream deck, top-of-the-line camera, microphone, and two-PC setup. However, to actually stream a gaming session seamlessly, this hardware setup needs to be accompanied by equally capable software. Therefore, this article covers how new streamers can stream with OBS Studio on an average PC.
Just stream with OBS Studio
1) Install the software
Go to the official website by searching “OBS Studio” and clicking on the first link. The software is available for all common operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux. Once downloaded, install it by running the downloaded file. The latest version will be installed, but users should check for updates regularly.
2) Set up OBS Studio
When users launch the installed software for the first time, an automatic configuration wizard runs, giving them two options. One option is “Optimize for streaming” and the other is “Optimize for recording”. For streaming, users should choose the first option, which configures the settings to prioritize streaming over recording.
3) Setting up the main game screen
In the Scenes window, click the + button at the bottom right and label it Game Scene. Then users need to add a source to that scene. To do this, click the “+” button in the “Sources” window, select “View Capture”, select “Create New” and click “OK” and you can label it whatever you want.
A new Properties window will open where you need to select the monitor you want to play on and click OK. Usually there is only one option, but if you have a dual monitor setup, choose the main monitor that will be streaming on the platform.
4) Set up audio
After the display is selected in the scene, users must select the audio input. To do this, click the “+” button under the “Sources” window, select “Audio Input Capture”, select “Create New” and click “OK”. Users can also label it as they like.
After the Properties window opens, you need to select the main device you will use to communicate with your audience. Once selected, click OK. To confirm that the correct microphone has been selected, you can check the Audio Mixer window at the bottom of the Audio Mixer window to see if the audio levels increase when you speak into the microphone.
You can also adjust the volume of your PC and microphone using the slider in the Audio Mixer window. This doesn’t change your volume, it changes the volume in the stream.
5) Set up the camera
If you have a webcam connected to your system, you can add it to your main scene. To do this, click the + button under the Sources window, select Video Capture Device, select your webcam device when the Properties window appears, and click OK.
You can place the webcam window anywhere in the scene by resizing and moving it to your preferred position on the screen.
6) Optimize settings
You need to adjust some settings in OBS before you start your stream. Go to the OBS Studio settings on the bottom right, click on “Output”, next in “Video Bitrate” enter 6000 Kbps which is ideal for 1080p, select “Software” next to “Encoder” and uncheck “Enable advanced”. Encoders” and click OK.
7) Connect to your platform
To connect OBS to the platform you will be streaming on, click Settings on the right side of the Controls window, then click Stream on the left and enter your stream key.
When you stream on Twitch, you can get your stream key from the creator dashboard. If you’re streaming on YouTube, you can get the stream key by going to the Live Streaming tab in Creator Studio and scrolling down.
Users should note that the stream key should not be shared with anyone as it is a unique code generated individually for creators.
8) Start streaming
To finally start streaming, simply click on “Start streaming” in the lower right corner and you’ll automatically go live on your channel on the selected platform.