The purpose of this article is to share how to build a full PC game streaming setup from start to finish, including hardware requirements and setting up OBS Studio.
Beginners Guide Streaming Setup – PC Hardware
Building a streaming setup for a PC is not very complicated. For hardware, your PC should be setup with a good amount of RAM (16GB+) and a good GPU for the games you plan on streaming. That means you need to have hardware above and beyond the recommended system requirements for your games. That’s because your streaming setup will be using the same (and a lot of) the hardware your game uses. When gaming, you can expect to lose anywhere from 30 FPS to 60 FPS (frames per second). Most PC gamers stream in 1080p to reduce the performance hit on their PC.
Graphics Card Requirements
Perhaps one of the most difficult to understand hardware configurations is knowing what graphics card (GPU) you need. A compiled list of links below provides an understanding of where graphics cards rank for the most popular games on the market today:
- Selecting a Graphics Card for Halo Infinite
- Selecting a Graphics Card for Elden Ring
- Selecting an NVDIA Graphics Card for Fortnite
- Selecting an AMD Radeon Graphics Card for Fortnite
- Selecting a Graphics Card for Far Cry 6
- How to Select a Graphics Card for a Gaming PC in 2022
- Selecting a Graphics Card for Unreal Engine 5
Once you have your hardware setup for streaming your gameplay, you can look at everything else involved with streaming, like setting up your microphone, camera, lighting, and streaming software.
Beginners Guide Streaming Setup – Webcam or Phone
When it comes to setting up your webcam or phone camera for streaming, you will be capturing video of yourself talking and interacting with your audience while gaming. Most starting out can just use the camera on their phone as it’s a lower budget option than buying a webcam. If you plan on streaming video with your phone, one of the best investments you will make is getting a tripod. You can find a couple of Tripod’s below that will work well:
If you stream using your phone as video capture of yourself, then you also are not likely going to invest in a separate microphone. Having a secondary microphone, however, can improve the audio quality of your video.
Beginners Guide Streaming Setup – Open Broadcast Software (OBS Studio)
OBS Studio is the software behind what most streamers use to stream their live gaming and video feed. It can be downloaded from Open Broadcaster Software | OBS (obsproject.com).
Once you download the software, you need to setup the software so you can stream. Here are the steps to setting up OBS for streaming:
- Add your ‘Scene’ by pressing the plus sign in the highlighted dialog box as illustrated below. You can name it whatever you like. This is an all-encompassing capture of video, sound, microphone and stream of your desktop. You add your capture devices to this.
2. Next you will add your capture devices/sources by clicking the plus sign in the highlighted dialog box illustrated below. This is your monitor screen that will display to you the game you are playing, and whatever you will be using for webcam/microphone.
3. For this step, you will click Settings in the control dialog box highlighted and illustrated below.
4. In this next step, you will click into the stream tab and from your Twitch account enter the stream key. To find your Twitch stream key, log into your Twitch account and navigate to Settings >> Stream. At the very top you can copy your Twitch stream key. This key will connect your OBS stream to your Twitch live feed. Once you’re done here, hit apply.
5. In this step you will change your video bitrate to 6000 and make sure Output Mode is set to simple.
From here you should be all set.
Using iPhone or Android for your Camera
If you are going to use your iPhone as your webcam and microphone, then you should visit iOS Camera Plugin for OBS Studio | Camera for OBS Studio. This website will show you how to get the iOS or Android camera plugin from the Google Play store or the Apple App Store and add your camera feed to your stream.
The app does charge a monthly or annual fee for use, but you can use it for free as well. The free version has a watermark, so if you’re okay with that then it can be free for use. You simply need to connect your phone via USB to your PC and add your phone as a source device. Then, using the app and the Plugin for OBS studio, you can stream a live video of your face while streaming your gameplay.