How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet

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How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
Twitch; Alyssa Powell/Insider
  • You can stream on Twitch from your Mac or PC by downloading a streaming app like Twitch Studio.
  • The Twitch mobile app has streaming built into it, so you just have to tap an icon.
  • As you stream on Twitch, you'll be able to see new chat messages in real time.
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With millions of daily viewers and thousands of streams running at once, Twitch is one of the biggest streaming services around. But that content doesn't come out of thin air - it's almost all broadcasted by regular users.

Streaming on Twitch used to require complicated software and hardware setups. But now you can start streaming on Twitch with just a single download. Or if you're using the mobile app, just a few taps.

Here's how to stream on Twitch from your Mac, PC, iPhone, or Android.

How to stream on Twitch from a Mac or PC

Before you can start streaming from your desktop or laptop computer, you'll need to download a streaming app. Twitch supports almost a dozen different apps, but the easiest of these to use is Twitch Studio.

Twitch Studio is Twitch's first-party streaming app, and is specifically designed for streaming beginners. It's still in beta, but features everything you'll need to get started. Once you've got a handle on it, feel free to upgrade to more advanced streaming apps like Streamlabs OBS.

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1. Head to the Twitch Studio website and click the white Download Now button to save the download file, then open the file and install it onto your computer.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
Download Twitch Studio onto your Mac or PC. Twitch; skitching by William Antonelli/Insider

2. Once Twitch Studio opens, log into your Twitch account and authorize the app to connect to your account.

3. On the Welcome to Twitch Studio screen, the app will ask whether you want a setup tutorial. Click Get Started.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
Select the "Get Started" tutorial option. Twitch; skitching by William Antonelli/Insider

4. Set up your microphone and webcam. These are optional of course - you don't need either to stream on Twitch - but most streamers have at least a microphone. Twitch Studio will default to whatever your computer's default devices are, but if you have multiple devices connected, you can change between them.

Quick tip: On the microphone screen, you can also click Personalize to finetune your audio settings and do a sound check. These options can be edited later too.

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How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
Twitch Studio would use your computer's default microphone and webcam. Twitch

5. On the Scenes page, you'll be given three default scenes that most streamers use. Scenes are preset layouts for your stream - for example, you can have one scene that has the game you're playing in the middle of the screen with your webcam on the side, and another that centers your webcam and minimizes the game.

6. The Stream Quality Settings page will analyze your hardware and internet connection to pick the best video quality and framerate for the stream. You can rerun the test, click Tweak Settings to pick your options manually, or click Continue to App to finish.

You'll now be brought to the streaming home page. This is the page you'll see whenever you open the app from now on, and is where you'll control your stream settings and eventually go live.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
The Twitch Studio homepage features a stream preview, chat box, and more. Twitch

You've got a variety of options to configure. Here are the most important ones.

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Main Screen Share, or picking what to stream

In the top-left corner you'll find the Main Screen Share option. This is where you'll choose what you want to stream, whether it be a game, your internet browser, or your entire screen.

Click the option to open a pop-up menu. You've got three main options:

  • Automatic will capture any application that's being run in fullscreen mode. Otherwise, it'll broadcast a black screen.
  • Window lets you pick a specific app to stream. It'll stream everything that happens in that app, even if you're not focused on it.
  • Display will broadcast everything on your monitor.

You'll usually want to be using Window or Display. Those are the options that give you the most control over what's on your stream.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
You can stream nearly any app. Twitch

Scenes

You've got three default scenes to start: Gameplay, which focuses on the app you're streaming; Be Right Back, which puts a message on screen saying that you're taking a break; and Chatting, which puts your webcam in the center of your screen. Just click one in the list to switch to it.

Note: All of these scenes include Alerts by default. Alerts are notifications that'll appear on stream whenever someone follows, subscribes, cheers, hosts, or raids the channel.

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You can also click Add Scene and then Blank Scene to create a new one. Once you've added a Blank Scene, click Edit next to it.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
Create a new scene and then click "Edit." Twitch; skitching by William Antonelli/Insider

In the scene editor, click Add Layer. This will open a menu where you can add a variety of features to the scene, including a countdown timer, text, pictures from your computer, and more. Once you've selected a feature to add, use the options on the right to customize it.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
Edit your scene, and then add the features - or "layers" - you want on it. Twitch; skitching by William Antonelli/Insider

When you're done, click Save at the bottom of the screen.

Starting the stream

When you're ready to go live, click Start Stream at the bottom of the screen.

Quick tip: You can also click the arrow and then Record Video to record your computer screen and save the video without going live.

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In the window that opens:

  • Pick what you want to stream and which scene you want to start with.
  • Under Stream Info, click the pencil icon to write your stream's title, pick its Category (what it is that you're actually streaming), add tags, and pick the language.
  • Under Go Live Notification, click the pencil to edit your stream notification. This is the message that will be sent out to all your followers when you start streaming.

Once everything is ready, click Go Live. You'll start broadcasting immediately.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
This screen lets you preview your stream, pick its category, and more. Twitch; William Antonelli/Insider

When it comes time to end the stream, open Twitch Studio again and click End Stream.

Your settings

Finally, you can click the gear icon in the bottom-right corner of Twitch Studio to edit your stream settings. These include configuring hotkeys, changing your quality options, designing scene transitions, and more.

You'll find more options - including account options - on Twitch's actual website.

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How to stream on Twitch from the mobile app

Streaming from Twitch's mobile app is much different than streaming from a computer. It doesn't take any extra downloads, but you won't have as many features to control.

1. If you haven't already, download the Twitch mobile app (available on both iPhone and Android) and log into it.

2. On any page, tap the camera icon at the top of the screen.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
Tap the streaming icon at the top of the app. Twitch; skitching by William Antonelli/Insider

3. You'll have two options here: Stream Games and Stream IRL. Pick the first if you want to broadcast your phone's screen, or the second if you want to stream your phone's camera.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
Choose how you want to stream from your phone. Twitch

4. Give Twitch permission to access your phone's camera and microphone - if you're trying to stream your screen on Android, you'll also need to enable "Overlays" - and agree to the mobile streaming rules.

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5. If you picked Stream IRL, choose your stream name and category, then tap Start Stream. You'll start streaming your phone's camera immediately.

How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
Set a title and category, then go live. Twitch; William Antonelli/Insider

6. If you picked Stream Games, pick which game you're playing and review the Streaming Tips page, then click Next.

7. Pick your stream title, tags, language, and Go Live Notification, and then also pick your stream's microphone and device volume.

Important: You can't change the volume of your stream using the volume buttons on your phone. When you want to change your stream volume, you'll need to return to this menu and change the volume sliders.

8. Once you're ready:

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  • On an iPhone, tap the purple recording button at the bottom of the screen.
  • On an Android, tap Open Stream Controls, then tap the Twitch logo in the top-left corner. Once you've opened your stream controls, tap the white button at the bottom of the screen.
How to start streaming on Twitch, the biggest livestreaming platform on the internet
On an Android device, you'll need to use the Twitch overlay to go live. Twitch; skitching by William Antonelli/Insider

9. Confirm that you want to start broadcasting.

10. You'll start streaming. You can now close Twitch and open the app you chose as your category.

When it's time to end the stream, return to the Twitch app and tap the recording button again.

Note: If you're using an Android, the Twitch overlay will stay at the top-left corner of your screen until you open your settings and turn it off again, or tap and drag it to the trashcan at the bottom of your screen.

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