How to stream on Twitch from a console

From Xbox One to Nintendo Switch, there's a method for everyone.

Image via Twitch

Streaming your console on Twitch might feel like a difficult task, but it’s actually easier than you think.

If you want to take it to the next level, however, there’s some initial investment needed to turn Twitch streaming into a long-term hobby, or even a career.

You have two options for streaming on a console. You can either stream using a capture card with a PC, or you can use a built-in Twitch app on the console. The method for streaming on each console is obviously different. Some, like the Switch, don’t have a native Twitch app.

Before you begin, just remember to create a Twitch account.

Xbox One guide

Image via Twitch

Before using the Xbox One to stream gameplay, you need to get your stream code from the Twitch website. You can find it in the Twitch options menu.

Once you have your code, just follow these quick and easy steps.

  • Find and download the Twitch app from the Xbox Store.
  • Open the app and login with your Twitch account.
  • Enter the six-digit code that you can find on your Twitch dashboard.
  • Select the “Broadcast” option to start streaming.
  • (Optional) Enable your Kinect device to allow your video and headset to work for your viewers.
  • Enter a title for your broadcast and then click the “Start Broadcast” button.

PS4 Guide

Screengrab via PlayStation

It’s easier to stream from the PlayStation 4’s native app, however. The PS4 has built-in streaming functionality, which means it can all be accessed through the click of a button.

These are the steps you need to take to go live on Twitch using your PS4.

  • Start the game.
  • Press the “Share” button on your PS4 controller.
  • Select the option “Broadcast Gameplay.”
  • Select the Twitch option.
  • Login to your account if you haven’t done so already.
  • Set the title and options for your broadcast.
  • Start streaming.

You can also end the stream at any time by pressing the Share button and choosing the option to end your broadcast.

Nintendo Switch Guide

The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have a native streaming app like the PS4 or Xbox One, so the only way to stream games from the console is to use a capture card, which is detailed down below.

Problems with native gaming app streaming

While a streaming app can be an easy solution for someone looking to jump into a stream without any additional hassle, it has its setbacks.

Games on PS4, for example, can sometimes block streaming and recording entirely. Multiple companies, such as Atlas (Persona 5) and Bandai Namco (Dragonball series), have included in-game functions that stop their titles from being streamed after a certain period of time.

There’s no real way to tell which parts of the game will be cut either, and streamers often find it out the hard way. There’s also no way to disable it.

Streaming with a capture card

Capture cards are physical devices that link your console with your PC and a TV, allowing you to stream your game onto a piece of software like OBS, Xsplit, or Elgato Game Capture. This software then broadcasts or records your gameplay and audio to Twitch or other streaming websites.

There are many different capture cards that you can use depending on your setup, but the Elgato HD60S is arguably the best and cheapest device around. It’s easy to use. You can just take it out of a box, connect the cables into your PC, and you’re ready to go. Then you simply need to choose your streaming or recording software and click record.

When you have everything set up, take some time to explore the settings for each broadcast software in order to find the one that suits you best. Try hosting a few practice streams to see how things look on your channel.

What are the minimum specifications that a PC needs to stream?

In order to use your computer to stream onto Twitch, you need to have a specific build. Twitch recommends that streamers have these components in order to stream through a capture card or on PC.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 (Compare your CPU)
  • OS: Windows 7 Home Premium or newer

You can check to see what your current PC requirements are either through PC config or by typing “msinfo32.exe” into the search bar on a Windows 10 PC.

The main issues with capture card streaming

The first problem that comes with capture card streaming on Twitch is the cost.

Not only do you need a PC, but you also need to invest in the capture card itself. The Elgato costs more than $100 at retail, and a good PC to stream from could set you back hundreds or thousands of dollars.

There’s also a level of experience needed to know how to stream on a PC and how to set up the look of your stream. Most of the basic information and guides for streaming with a capture card is available online, however, in places like Elgato’s official YouTube channel. You can also find guides for each piece of broadcast software on Twitch.