The complete guide to Twitch streaming from your PC with Open Broadcaster Software

Everything you need to know about setting up a Twitch stream from your computer.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal Freelance Writer
Sarah is a freelance writer and CNET How To blogger. Her main focus is Windows, but she also covers everything from mobile tech to video games to DIY hardware projects. She likes to press buttons and see what happens, so don't let her near any control panels.
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
2 min read

You can show off your gaming skills while building up a following on Twitch.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

It's never too late to combine your love of video games and exhibitionism by starting your career as a Twitch streamer.

Twitch, a subsidiary of Amazon, is a live-streaming video channel that lets users broadcast video gameplay from computers and consoles.

But PC gamers may find setting up their first stream is a little overwhelming. Console gamers have it easy -- both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One have live-streaming built-in, while PC gamers will need to download and set up their own streaming software.

PC gamers have several different streaming software options; Twitch has a full list of compatible programs here. This guide will focus on Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), which is free, open source and easy to use. Setting up a stream is a relatively quick but multi-step process, so we're going to break this guide down into several parts.

Getting your hardware together: The equipment you'll need, including your computer, webcam and audio supplies, and where to get it.

Setting up a stream with video in OBS: Getting started with your very first OBS "scene" or screen setup.

Making yourself heard: Tips for tweaking your audio so your viewers will be able to hear you over the sound of the game you're playing.

Adding a logo or an overlay to your stream: Spice up your stream with some pretty visuals.

Lighting your video feed on the cheap: You don't need to rent out a professional studio, but your viewers should be able to actually see what you look like.

Going live: Once you have everything just right, it's time to raise the curtain and let the world take a look.

Recording your sessions: How to record your live-stream and post it to Twitch for others to watch after the fact.

For a broader look at how to get started with Twitch streaming on multiple platforms, check out our complete guide to streaming games on Twitch.