OBS – Initial Setup

OBS is the most-common broadcasting software. It does a great job of combining your game capture, webcam, plugins, and various parts of your stream into one encoded feed that uploads straight to Twitch.

Here’s the quick guide.

Install OBS – https://obsproject.com

As I shall illustrate with this gif, this takes almost no time at all. Just download, next, launch:


Give your profile a name under Settings ->Settings:



Video Encoding

  1. Leave “Use CBR” checked
  2. Leave “Enable CBR padding” checked
  3. Max bitrate would be 3300 or 80% of your upload throughput, whichever is lower. Recommended bitrates for different resolutions are listed below.
  4. Buffer Size is recommended to be equal to the max bitrate.​Recommended bitrate for 1080p: 3000-3500
    Recommended bitrate for 720p: 1800-2500 (This is my recommendation)
    Recommended bitrate for 480p: 900-1200
    Recommended bitrate for 360p: 600-800
    Recommended bitrate for 240p: Up to 500

Advanced reading on bitrates, resolution, and quality can be found here: Reddit Post

Audio Encoding

It is recommended that you use AAC with a bitrate of 64 or 128.

Encoding tab will probably look a lot like this:vXmuLip

Broadcast Settings

  1. Mode: Live stream
  2. Streaming Service: Twitch
  3. Server: Closest geographical server. If you are having issues with dropped frames, and you are sure your throughput and CPU are sufficient, try changing this to the best server for you, which you can find with this tool.
  4. Play Path/Stream Key: Go to your Dashboard and click the “Stream Key” tab. Direct link: http://www.twitch.tv/broadcast/dashboard/streamkey. From here you can show your key by clicking the show button. (Caution: Do not show your stream key publicly).gP2CVWo
  5. Autoreconnect: Recommended checked.
  6. Auto-Reconnect Timeout: 10 seconds
  7. Delay: 0. We do NOT recommend delay.
  8. Minimize Network Impact: Recommend unchecked.
  9. Save to file: If you’d like a version which  you can edit to upload to YouTube and have sufficient space for video files, this is the place to save those.
  10. Keep recording if live stream stops: If you selected the above option and you’d like to make sure recording keeps going if you get disconected, check this.
  11. File Path: Select a file path for where you want to save your local files. Not needed if you do not save a local file.

An example of what this would look like is below:


Video Settings

  1. Video Adapter should be set by default. If you have more than one, select the adapter you are playing your game on.
  2. Base resolution typically is your monitors resolution. You can alternatively select a monitor to use it’s resolution. Common/recommended is 1920×1080
  3. Resolution Downscale is the resolution that you send to the servers. Lower resolutions will consume less bandwidth overall, and use much less processing power. Common/recommended is 1.5 downscaling, which equals 1280×720, otherwise known as 720p.
  4. Filter should be “Bilinear” unless you have issues with blurring in your downscaling. Bicubic and Lanczos are both supported, but will take additional processing.
  5. FPS is recommended to be 30, but you should know that 720p at 60 frames per second for some games will look better than low-bitrate 1080p at 30 FPS. 720p is better for non-partnered streamers with the limitations Twitch has for uploaded bitrate, but this is an area you can do some experimenting with. Raise your max bitrate as you raise your FPS, but remember that raising bitrate will cause some people to constantly buffer and there is a max of 3300 for the ingest servers.
  6. Aero is recommended to be disabled only if you are using monitor or screen capture. (Do not turn off Aero if you are using layered windows, window capture, or game capture. Windows 8  and 10 cannot disable aero)


Audio Settings

      1. Desktop Audio Device: We recommend that this be set to your “Default” playback device. To change this, right click on your volume slider, then click playback devices. Then, right click on the audio device you’d like to make default and select “Set as Default Device.” Two images will show that process below:
      2. Microphone/Auxiliary device: Set this to your headset or microphone
      3. Push to talk delay: Time after key is released and OBS is still recording your mic.
      4. Desktop Boost (multiple): Force OBS to boost your desktop audio. 1 is “100%”
      5. Mic/Aux Boost (multiple): Force OBS to boost your microphone audio. 1 is “100%”
      6. Mic Time Offset (ms): Default 0. Use this if you have sync issues.

An example of this page filled out is below:2QFfvjG

Advanced Tab

Careful on this tab, because the main reason to touch anything in here is if you have been instructed by Twitch staff or you are trying to fix a syncing issue, which you’d want to read a more advanced guide to troubleshoot. Usually the things changed here are: 

  • Change “scene buffering time” to 400.
  • Change encoding profile to “main”.
  • Change “keyframe interval” to 2.


Microphone Noise Gate Tab

I recommend leaving this at defaults

Hotkeys and Scene Switcher Tabs

The hotkeys that you set to switch scenes and start/stop audio and broadcast can all be configured as you wish them. I recommend you use keys that you NEVER USE in any game, such as the number keypad on the right-hand side of most keyboards. We will cover how to setup scene and game capture in another tutorial.


This tutorial was adapted and updated to current OBS features from a post by Xangold in the Twitch customer portal, found here: http://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/articles/1262922-open-broadcaster-software

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