September 4

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Best Twitch Streaming Software To Kickstart Your Live Streaming Career

By Hanson Cheng

September 4, 2021


Becoming a Twitch streamer is not an easy task. It takes time, effort, and dedication to become popular on this platform, but the rewards are worth it.

The first thing you need to know about streaming on Twitch is that there are two ways of doing it - as a professional or as an amateur. If you want to make money from streaming, then you will have to be prepared for lots of hard work and some financial investment. 

We've created this ultimate guide with all the information you might need when starting your very own channel. In this guide, we'll speak about everything from the software used to stream on Twitch, to the things you'll need to be a successful streaming professional. Read on to find out more.

Top 7 Streaming Software for Twitch

Finding and using the right video streaming software is crucial to becoming successful on Twitch. You need to find the right software that is easy to use but also has all of the features necessary for creating a great streaming experience for your viewers.

This is our list of the best twitch streaming software tools to use on Twitch:

OBS is one of the best software encoders with a powerful engine that offers extensive scene builder features and can allow the user to produce many different types of scenarios in a short period. It works under low CPU usage and developers can easily drag and drop scenes with custom Transition and Timing effects across different scenes. This software is compatible with Linux, Mac, or Windows.

It offers a huge range of incredible options for the creation of customizable rich video clips to allow viewers to enjoy an amazing experience with each video sequence. Since as we mentioned it runs on multiple platforms including Linux. Mac and Windows, you will be able to run it on your operating system without needing to install additional software to make it work. 

The user experience of online games for people everywhere around the world varies depending on the streaming software used. By using OBS, the user can enjoy unique features and very helpful settings that are intuitive to understand. Also, OBS supports many different languages for users so this makes it easier to understand all about the functionality of this software.

Vmix is an efficient professional-level live production tool that possesses a huge collection of 3D accelerations with several HD sources that can be managed with less CPU usage than other software. Vmix can satisfy your live streaming needs for your desktop streaming platform. It allows users to capture the signals from their input devices including phones, webcam, API apps, tablets, web feeds,etc.

It can also support multimedia applications which makes it easier to integrate with other commonly used software. Users can quickly access an infinite amount of animations/effects and transitions for personalization. Vmix  is a multimedia source for various needs where users can process music and videos with ease for the development of an interesting live stream.

The StreamLabs OBS software is known as a version that comes from OBS (discussed previously) and provides numerous customizable features. 

Users could design active alerts from polls, chat, labels, graphics alerts, donations, etc as well as get data (including video files) from multiple platforms simultaneously. The intuitive drag-and-drop functions make it much easier for Twitch users to add overlays.

There’s an easy way to switch images, sound layouts and colors using StreamLabs.

You can add recurring notifications or add friends/followers to your favorite blogs without any complicated processes.

As such, it is highly recommended for any quick broadcasting needs as it has a very easy navigation system.

Gamecaster recently-launched their recording and streaming application that provides multiple overlays and notifications for YouTube, Twitch, as well as Facebook. 

By following the Gamecaster tutorials, you may start establishing a file stream with optimal setup. Based on your PC setup (including Nvidia graphics card), the right settings will be configured.

This software also gives you themes with set alerts, which means that you can easily have a professional-looking Stream in minutes without any vast experience. 

In fact, you can easily record videos, choose your streaming destinations, and share your content with the world. The themes provided by Gamecaster come with easy to use themes including ones such as “Starting Soon”, “Intermission” and “In-Game” theme. All these work well without needing further changes - however, there are also a lot of options when it comes to customization. 

Above and beyond all that, you can make custom transitions and modify your favorite colors (as well as many other settings) during your stream.  In addition, you can view chat messages, manage events, and manage the live video feed or game you’re currently playing.

If you’re a content creator and want to live stream or record a virtual event, this is one of the best software for you. It allows you to create video content and share it with the right people in an easy to use interface. 

You don’t even need a computer; this software allows you to use your phone as the video source while sharing what’s in front of you with the world.

You can even use your phone to create amazing presentations (with rich media included) that will definitely get the job done.

NVIDIA Shadowplay is great for gamers that want to record as well as stream their gameplay from the source: their GPU. It can easily capture key moments on a gameplay platform, and lets you use it to share your pictures with your friends in your Twitter, or other social media profiles.

ShadowPlay uses NVENC encryption software. This means the GPU is responsible for the encryption of each video and not the CPU. Unlike other streaming software applications, there is little customization available except for Live streaming.

Lightstream provides unique streaming solutions by using cloud encoding. All this works directly in your web browser without the need of any additional tools. The free streaming platform version is limited at 720p and 30 FPS while the premium version (priced at $89 per month) removes these limitations. Lightstream can shine even more in podcasts and talk shows especially when you’re on the road with limited connectivity.

Lots of limitations are in place on the free version. This, coupled with quite a heavy price to remove such limitations, means that other streaming software might be more appropriate if you are just starting out. Livestream is an interesting option, with great potential applications for podcasts in particular, but some might say that it is also lacking in other fields.

What is Twitch and why should I care?

Twitch is the most popular platform for live streaming video games. It has over 140 million monthly users. It was officially released in 2011, and then further down the line as a spin-off of Justin.tv, but it quickly became the focus of its parent company's resources and activities. 

At first, people only streamed their gameplay videos, but eventually, people started broadcasting other things as well and it turned into a social platform. Almost everyone interested in gaming has heard about Twitch, as streaming is becoming more and more popular every day. It's a great way to make new friends and share your passion for games with others from all around the world.

Do free streaming software exist?

Almost every streaming software available has a trial version or free version. For many of them, the free version is limited and they will try to push you into buying a premium license. 

However, most of the good ones are still free, like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS Studio). 

OBS is still by far the best choice for open source software that does not cost any money. And if we compare it with paid services like Xsplit, there is no real difference in terms of features on Twitch.

What is the best streaming software for Twitch?

Streaming platforms like YouTube Live and Twitch have become the new source for entertainment where gamers can broadcast their gameplay events, contents, and stream live feeds of their everyday life.

The best streaming service for you will depend on your needs and preference. For example, if you are looking to record and stream videos regularly, then OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a good choice for you.

Finding completely free software is also smart as there is no risk or investment, so you can test first before going to a paid streaming software.

An open-source streaming solution, OBS provides live recording streams and sharing ability. It contains powerful features that allow you to personalize and customize your broadcasting experience.

Using OBS is also compatible with most third-party plugins, free or premium, that can enhance your Twitch streaming experience.

What can I stream on Twitch?

Almost everything is allowed to be streamed on Twitch. You can also become a partner and make money from ads or donations, but that takes time and is not everyone's cup of tea. For now, you have to stick with streaming for fun and see where it leads you.

This means that the majority of Twitch streamers are playing games and interacting with their audience. It could be almost any kind of game as long as it is something that the audience might enjoy watching, such as first-person shooters, role playing games, real-time strategy, or MOBAs like League of Legends.

By the way, professional gamers have made it onto Twitch and make a living on the platform. However, you should know that streaming takes a lot of dedication and can quickly take over your life.

Another case where Twitch could be helpful is if you want to share something more personal with others. It could be anything from cooking shows to vlogs that show the everyday life of someone else, or even a webcam tour showing animals at the zoo - the sky is literally the limit.

Let's go into detail about some the most popular topics that people are streaming on Twitch nowadays:

Gaming Videos

Gaming is probably what we think first when we hear Twitch. There are many different games you could play, ranging from Minecraft to World of Warcraft and more.

As long as your audience is interested in the game you're playing they probably won't mind what you stream. If you want to start streaming but have no idea about which game to pick, then check out the games that people are speaking about the most, as these will be the ones that are mostly in demand.

Webcam

This approach requires a webcam connected with USB or directly built into your computer. It gives your audience the chance to see who they're listening to and interacting with on-screen, while also allowing you to see yourself at the same time. 

The addition of a face camera can add more energy and emotion to your stream, or it can be distracting. This depends on you.

Before starting to stream you should have a good microphone connected with either USB or a 3.5mm jack.

Image Credit: http://thenextweb.com

You need to talk to your audience and explain what's going on so they know why they're watching and the background of what is happening. A good microphone also enhances the excitement and authenticity of your broadcast, especially if done right. It will make your viewers feel more engaged if they can see you clearly over the stream. You can also consider this list of the best video tutorial software if you’d like to stream yourself showing how something is done through your computer screen.

Gameplay lives

Streaming gameplay lives means that many things might go wrong during the stream. Sometimes it may not look as smooth and well performed when streaming compared to offline on your PC / console.

This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about, but there are some things you should keep in mind before going live.

Tips to follow before streaming gameplay lives

Make sure your game is optimized for streaming. You don't want it to lag during the stream. Read up on stream optimization if you would like more details on this particular topic.

Get familiar with the game and its mechanics before going live. New games take time to learn but it’s all worth it in the end. 

Make sure you know all the basics, have good strategies set up, and that everything runs smoothly without any bugs or glitches coming from your system (hardware). If something goes wrong then just stop streaming until you've fixed it.

Use good recording software. Always run a local recording of your stream when testing as well. It will help if you figure out any bugs that might arise during gameplay and do your best to solve them before you go live. The last you want is for your game to crash while you are live on Twitch. 

You should also keep track of the performance of all your hardware and start optimizing things such as CPU usage, network delay, and more. 

Keep in mind that even though all the above software encodes your streams as needed and makes it simple for you to share what you're doing, you still need to give yourself the best chance of succeeding.

Giving yourself the best shot at success

Speaking of giving yourself the chance, keep in mind that becoming a professional gamer is not easy... at all. 

You need to grow a massive following on social media, either through Twitter, Facebook, or both. If you are going for YouTube then you'll need to create a trailer for the channel by playing the game you’re going to focus on and recording such a trailer, then upload that video on YouTube. 

If you are looking to stream live on Twitch then you'll need a full streaming set-up with a webcam, microphone, suitable games, and software. In other words: A good professional gaming setup - and this will cost a lot of money.

But let's say you've got all that stuff sorted out and have grown your following through social media; What now? You still can't just jump into either YouTube or Twitch streams right away. Streamers who make any kind of living off doing this, need to prove themselves worthy of their followers' time watching them. 

This is done through consistency. Show up to stream every single day (at least 5 days a week) and you might be able to get people interested in your content.

If you are looking to go all out then you'll need a very strong social media presence with thousands of fans at least watching your streams on Twitch or YouTube. The marketing aspect of this is extremely important; You can be the best streamer and gamer but without followers, likes & shares it will never work.

Time for some real talk with you: Being a professional gamer isn't easy at all. It requires an endless amount of effort, time, and dedication that most gamers simply do not have enough of. While we wish everyone good luck trying to become one, we want to make sure you know exactly what's up ahead before you even start.

What streaming features should I look for in a professional live streaming software?

The truth is that most streaming software will give you some features that will make life easier when it comes to working with a video file and video editing. The best software will allow you to upload your streams to both paid and free streaming platforms, do live streams and give you the right encoding software to get the job done. 

Open-source software might also be something that you consider because this means that the software’s user base can make it even better.

There are then more advanced features including advanced live production, unlimited streaming, video recording, scene preview editors, and additional features that make it easy to use these software tools.

What's the best Twitch streaming software - Open Broadcaster Software or XSplit?

In terms of free software that allows you to stream live video over an internet connection, most would agree that XSplit is one of the best software options out there.

And although Open Broadcaster Software also has its advantages, it's not as popular as XSplit. This means that there are more tutorials and guides about how to use XSplit than Open Broadcaster Software. XSplit is also easier to set up and use if you're a beginner.

If you just want to start seeing what it takes to become a better streamer, we'd say try using XSplit first before OBS (Open Broadcaster Software).

Which streaming program should I use to live stream on Twitch?

This would depend on where you are in your Twitch journey. If you have no idea how to set up a live stream and have not decided whether or not you want to become professional, then using XSplit is the better choice.

As mentioned earlier, there are more tutorials available about how to use XSplit than Open Broadcaster Software so it will be easier for beginners.

Another downside of Open Broadcaster Software is its lack of advanced features which may make things complicated when you are used to more advanced features.

Can I stream games using Open Broadcaster Software?

However, the question still remains and must be addressed. Yes, you can use OBS to stream games without a problem. Open Broadcaster Software is an open-source streaming software that can live stream, record, or even broadcast your video gameplay on Twitch. 

If you're looking for a free way to get started with Twitch streaming, then OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) may be the best option for you.

What's the difference between Open Broadcaster, XSplit, and VidBlaster?

All three of these software programs are designed to help gamers easily live stream their content on Twitch or other platforms like YouTube Gaming. 

They also allow them to upload pre-recorded videos, in addition to live streams so viewers can watch their content later.If you are going with the pre-recorded videos route, why not include transcriptions to make it easier for your viewers to follow along? Here is a list of the best transcription software that you can make use of.

On the flipside, all these software differ in terms of features and usability. 

XSplit is quite user-friendly so users can easily edit and access most functions without any coding knowledge. It's also easy to install as well and there are even video tutorials available so beginners can easily use this software program.

VidBlaster is another paid broadcasting software that allows users to record videos or live stream games but the best feature about this software is its ability to automatically edit videos which is great for gamers who don't want to spend lots of time editing their video footage.

Your Computer Plays An Important Role When Streaming On Twitch

Keep in mind that having a computer that can stream successfully is also important. Your computer capture card needs to be able to support the action that is happening. Widgets (or even hotkeys) can also be enabled on your computer to allow you to perform the actions you want quickly. 

Video streaming is not the easiest thing to get right (case in point would be those gaming instant replays which look super cool) but once everything is in place, it is well worth the effort. 

Also, keep in mind that you need to get a bit technical to make it all come together. Things like a good Geforce graphics card, green screen, chroma, and bitrate are all keywords that need to s+

Conclusion

If you aim on becoming a professional Twitch streamer then you'll need to learn how to use a wide range of streaming software for Twitch. At the beginning, this might be challenging for users who don't have much experience with live streaming but it’s all part of the process.

Also, keep in mind that becoming a professional streamer is more than just a little streaming software - make sure that you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into. Remember to also invest in good quality equipment like a high-quality webcam, microphone, and headset to improve the overall video quality of your content.

We hope that this article has made it a bit easier for you before you decide to hit that button and go live!

Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by Hanson Cheng

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Hanson Cheng

About the author

Living in Bali with my Fiancee and puppy, (Alina and Pickles). Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter. Always happy to hear from you, so find me on Instagram if you want to say hi!

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