Twitch Tips bio photo

Twitch Tips

An unofficial source for tips, tricks and tutorials for the game streaming platform, Twitch.

Twitter Github

Getting Started

After downloading OBS, navigate to your settings by clicking Settings > Settings. A screenshot demonstrating this is below:

General Settings

  1. Select your language, and set a profile name.

Encoding

Video Encoding

  1. Check “Use CBR”
  2. Check “Enable CBR padding”
  3. Max bitrate should 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. Setting this lower will have the encoder closer to the targeted bitrate. We do not recommend changing this unless you know what you are doing.

    ​Recommended bitrate for 1080p: 3000-3500
    Recommended bitrate for 720p: 1800-2500
    Recommended bitrate for 480p: 900-1200
    Recommended bitrate for 360p: 600-800
    Recommended bitrate for 240p: Up to 500

Audio Encoding

  1. We recommend AAC with a bitrate of 64-128, although this is up to personal preference and bandwidth constraints

Your encoding tab should now look a little something like below;

Broadcast Settings

  1. Mode: Live stream
  2. Streaming Service: Twitch/Justin.tv
  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.
  4. Play Path/Stream Key: Go to your Dashboard and click the “Stream Key” tab. From here you can show your key by clicking said button. (Caution: Do not show your stream key publicly).
  1. Autoreconnect: Recommended checked.
  2. Auto-Reconnect Timeout: 10 seconds
  3. Delay: 0, but if you need delay set locally you can do this to prevent “ghosting.” We do NOT recommend delay.
  4. Minimize Network Impact: Unchecked. If you are an advanced user, or are having issues with your network settings, use this setting.
  5. Dashboard Link: http://www.twitch.tv/dashboard or blank.
  6. Save to file: We HIGHLY recommend you keep local recordings on your computer as we make changes to our VOD storage, to ensure you always have easy access to your broadcasts.
  7. Keep recording if live stream stops: Again, HIGHLY recommended you keep this enabled just in case you get disconnected, you’ll have a local recording to share later on
  8. 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.
  9. Start Stream Hotkey: Custom key to start stream with.
  10. Stop Stream Hotkey: Custom key to stop stream with.

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 default this.
  3. Resolution Downscale is the resolution that you send our servers. Lower resolutions will consume less bandwidth overall, and use much less processing power. (Note: Refer back to the encoding section to get the bitrate for a downscaled resolution)
  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. Note that 720p at 60 frames per second for some games will look better than low bitrate 1080p at 30 FPS.
  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 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:
  1. Microphone/Auxiliary device: Set this to your headset or microphone if you have one.
  2. Use Push to talk: Set this if you want push to talk set to a custom key.
  3. Push to talk delay: Time after key is released and OBS is still recording your mic.
  4. Mute/Unmute mic hotkey: User preferred hotkey to toggle mute settings for the Microphone/Auxiliary device.
  5. Mute/Unmute Desktop Hotkey: User preferred hotkey to toggle mute settings for the Desktop Audio Device.
  6. Force Microphone/Auxiliary to Mono: If you want this to only use one channel. We do not recommend this.
  7. Desktop Boost (multiple): Force OBS to boost your desktop audio. 1 is “100%”
  8. Mic/Aux Boost (multiple): Force OBS to boost your microphone audio. 1 is “100%”
  9. Mic Time Offset (ms): Default 0. Use this if you have sync issues.

An example of this page filled out is below:

Advanced

  1. Use multithreaded Optimizations: Checked
  2. Process Priority Class: Normal. Changing this higher will make OBS get CPU before other programs and can cause lag on many systems. Scene Buffering Time (ms): 400
  3. Disable encoding while previewing: Unchecked unless you have lag while previewing your stream.
  4. Allow other modifiers on hotkeys: Checked Video
  5. x264 CPU Preset: This will set the encoding level. We recommend “veryfast” unless you have no bandwidth and beastly computer. Then, set it to be slower. Warning: setting your stream to a lower setting when at a high resolution is very CPU intensive.
  6. x264 Encoding profile: This setting changes what profile you record on. Some devices (notably tablets and phones) may have issues with decoding streams with “high” profiles, so we recommend main if you want to have the highest compatibility at the sacrifice of some quality.
  7. Use CFR: Checked [newer versions may not need this!]
  8. Custom x264 Encoder Settings: Default (blank)
  9. Keyframe Interval: Set this to 2
  10. Allow 61-120 FPS entry in video settings: Unchecked. We don’t recommend users going above 60FPS for any game.
  11. Use Quicksync: If you have certain Intel processors (Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge), you can use this alternative method of encoding to use less CPU (it will use the hardware video encoder on your integrated GPU). There are quality differences due to the change of encoding. This nullifies x264 presets, but you can set the custom encoding settings if you want by checking “use custom x264 settigns for Quick Sync”
  12. Use Nvidia NVENC: Similar to quicksync, this uses an alternative encoding method, with quality differences (usually lower at the same bitrate) due to the change of encoding. There are several presets you can choose from with this using the NVENC Preset dropdown.
  13. Sub-options of Use Quick Sync and Use custom x264 settings for QSV should remain unchecked.

Audio

  1. Force desktop audio to use timestamps as a base for audio time: Check this if you are having problems with syncing only.
  2. Global audio Time Offset (ms): Set this to the number of ms you’d like to offset this to. We recommend 0 unless having issues with sync.
  3. Use Mic QPC timestamps: Use this only if having sync issues.

Network

  1. Bind to Interface: Default. You can select another network adapter here if you need to.
  2. Automatic low latency mode: Check this only if you’ve talked to a OBS developer or Twitch staff as very few users would need this.
  3. Latency tuning factor: Set this only if you’ve talked to a OBS developer or Twitch staff as very few users would need this. ​An example of what this would look like for a user is below:

Microphone Noise Gate

This setting allows users to set an automatic threshold for their mic being turned on and off. You can select the decibel level of the Close and Open thresholds here.

  1. Attack Time: This is the time it takes for your mic to “spin up” to reach hold to output. You generally do not modify this.
  2. Hold time(ms) how long the gate will stay open after it falls below threshold. You generally do not modify this.
  3. Release time: Inverse of attack time. You generally do not modify this.

Our recommended “off” settings are found below:

Conclusion

This about sums it up for the broadcaster technical settings, time to have a break, get a cup of coffee and we’ll have another post up soon with the source and scenes side of OBS (the fun stuff).


This post is a modified and re-designed version of Xangold’s original post on the official Twitch Helpdesk.

Thanks to him for putting so much effort into the original!