Streaming Basics

Starting up your very own stream for the first time and need help? Check out the info below.

This page is an ongoing effort that will be added to over time.


Getting Started

“How to Broadcast PC Games”

“How to Broadcast Console Games”

Some very basic generalizations:

  • For ALL streaming, you need streaming software. On PS4 & Xbox One, streaming software is built into the console. Otherwise, you need a computer with the software on it.
  • “I want to stream PC games”
    • You do not need a capture card.
    • “I want to stream high quality” (HD/720p+)
      • You need a high end computer and good internet (3+ Mbps UP)
    • “I want to stream standard defintion (less than 720p) and/or retro games”
      • You need a mid range computer and decent internet (1+ Mbps UP)
  • “I want to stream console games”
    • Are you going to stream from PS4 or XBox One?
      • “Yes”
        • You can use the built-in streaming software, but your customization options are limited.
      • “No”
        • You need a capture card inside a PC to stream your gameplay. You will need to connect the video output of your console to the input of the capture card.

Simplest to most complicated:

Streaming using built in app on PS4/Xbox One.

Streaming PC games.

Streaming any other consoles.


Streaming Software

Open Broadcaster Software  (OBS)

OBS is free streaming software that will always be free because it is open source. It is probably the most popular streaming software, though some people have mixed results with it.


XSplit pre-dates OBS. It has both free and paid-for versions. It has more features than OBS, but you will have to pay for them.


Another option of free streaming software.


Chat Bots

Once your stream is up and running, you may want to add a bot to your chat room. Bots can automate many things for you, so you can focus on streaming. For instance, they can greet new arrivals, handle commands, kick out spammers, run raffles, and so on.

There are many bots available including:




and others.

Most bots are free for the basics, but also have premium options that you must pay money to use.


Follow Notifiers

You can also set up “follow notifications”. These will show up on your stream automatically when someone follows your channel. This gives you an opportunity to thank that person and gives them a few seconds of recognition on your stream.

Here are some examples of follower alert applications:







If you want to take donations on your channel, there are applications available that will display a notification Live on your stream whenever you get a “tip”.

Most of them take a small cut of the money for providing the service.

Stream Tip

Support the Stream

Donation Tracker




Twitch Status

Twitch has a lot of service hiccups. If you’re having trouble with your stream, it’s a good idea to check whether it is Twitch’s fault or not.

Bookmark Twitch Status and follow Twitch Support on Twitter to hear about outages/issues.


What’s Next?