How To Streaming Your Games PC, PS4, Xbox One

With the news coming last month that Amazon had moved to acquire game streaming resource Twitch for almost $1bn, talk of sharing your in game experiences with others as you play has been front row and centre, so what better time to join the party and start broadcasting your own gaming sessions to the world?

Up until very recently, gameplay streaming was the domain of those with buckets of spare time, some very fancy hardware and a huge amount of technical wizardry.

Gamers from across the world regularly spent their time viewing down the latest “Let’s Play” videos, as those with the necessary gear and know how dove into classic games, new releases and preview builds streamed online in real time.


Internet superstars like PewdiePie were born and an entire industry sprouted up from nowhere, gaining regular gamers status levels previously reserved only for the most high-profile game journalists.

These days it’s easier than ever to get involved, with a wide range of solutions covering not only PC gaming, but also home consoles.

We’ll start by taking a look at the most popular software-based solutions for PC gamers, before switching focus to the consoles.

The most popular resources for streaming, capturing and sharing your PC gameplay online are currently Twitch, uStream, FRAPS and, a relative newcomer to the scene, Raptr.

As shown by Amazon’s recent acquisition, Twitch is widely regarded as the major player in the scene right now, and with good reason; getting yourself up and running is a cakewalk, and within minutes you’ll broadcasting your game to the masses (or the three buddies you manage to convince to watch as you take your first tentative steps as a streamer).

Before you start with Twitch, there are a few hardware requirements to meet to ensure a happy experience. Firstly, it’s recommended that your computer has at least an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a DirectX 10 compatible GPU. You can get away with lower specifications, but the lower you go the more unreliable your video will become.

Next up, you’ll need to create an account over at  twitch.tv  and sign into your user dashboard to enable your account for broadcasting. It’s also recommended that you enable VOD archiving, which stores your videos for viewing later, giving you the option to embed your favourite moments on your most frequented websites or share them on social networks.

When you’ve got your account set up, you’ll need to add the final piece to the puzzle by downloading some broadcasting software. Twitch recommends using Open Broadcaster Software, XSplit or FFSplit. They all do much the same thing, so it’s up to you to decide which is the best for you. Depending on which choice you make, you’ll be able to find thorough guides to setting your software up over at Twitch.tv (click here for OBS, here for XSplit or here for FFSplit ).

Once you've followed the setup instructions above, you’ll be ready to get streaming to the world!

Of course, you might be less concerned with streaming entire gameplay sessions in real-time and instead more interested in sharing some of the best moments afterwards. In the past that used to involve recording everything manually and then going through a painstaking editing process involving massive video files, but Raptr has recently added some awesome new functionality that simplifies the task.

Now, players can record a predetermined amount of footage on the fly, such as 30 seconds or 5 minutes, which constantly records over itself unless you tell the software to save. It’s a very efficient way of tackling gameplay recording, and it’s astonishingly easy to use if your hardware is supported.

Firstly, you'll need to download and install the Raptr client. Once that’s done, click on the “Replay” button on the homepage to find out if your graphics card is supported (you’ll need an NVIDIA GeForce 600/600M series card or better, or an AMD Radeon 7000/7000M series card or better here).

Assuming everything is good on the hardware front, click the gear icon located in the bottom right hand corner of the Replay button are to open up the Preferences menu, before selecting the “GVR” option from the list and deciding how much video you’d like to capture as you play. 

If you’re comfortable with editing videos manually, then you can go for as long as you like here, but for those of you who simply want to share your awesome in-game feats with your friends, it’s recommended that you choose 15-30 seconds.

While you’re still in the GVR menu, you should also configure the hotkey combination you’d like to use to save any gameplay permanently after it happens (the default setting is Ctrl and /, so if you’re happy enough with that you can leave those settings alone). Finally, before you exit out of the GVR menu, you’ll also need to set your preferred maximum video recording quality as 1080p.

Once that's done, you're ready to game by going into Raptr's library tab and launching the game you wish to nab some footage from (for the sake of clean, uncluttered video, Raptr recommends you uncheck the “In-Game Overlay” button just above the “Launch Game” button). While playing, if anything particularly awesome happens, simply press your hotkey combination to bounce off a permanent version of your video for uploading when you’re done.

When you’ve finished your gameplay session Raptr will display a handy pop-up dialogue for you which shows any clips your recorded, which you can then move to a preferred folder on your hard drive, edit in your favourite video editing software, or upload to YouTube or Raptr.com to share with the world.

As straightforward as the streaming and capturing process is for PC gamers, it’s even more streamlined on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with both systems offering built-in sharing functionality.

On PlayStation 4, all you need to do to get up and running is press the Share button while in a game, choose which service you’d like to use (your options are Twitch and uStream) and then either sign into your existing account or create a new one. You’ll also find options here to tweak your stream audio and video quality, connect it to social networks or manage your PlayStation 4 Camera settings (if you have one).

The PS4 camera opens up some interesting options for broadcasters,such as picture-in-picture functionality that displays both your screen and you simultaneously. Once you’ve got the behind the scenes stuff sorted out, you’ll be able to start broadcasting live to your chosen service immediately. It really is that simple!

If you're an Xbox One owner and have Kinect set up, streaming to Twitch is even easier, requiring nothing more than the voice command “Xbox Broadcast”.

Of course, you’ll still need to get your account set up and linked in the software’s menus, but that’s a quick and easy job. If you don't have Kinect, or haven't bothered to connect it to your console for whatever reason, accessing your in game broadcasting requires you to navigate a couple of menu options, but the entire process will take mere seconds.

So that’s PC, PS4 and Xbox One out of the way, but how would one go about streaming their Wii U, PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 footage? Sadly, there’s no such built-in functionality on these platforms to allow for as convenient a solution like with the newer systems, but with the addition of a piece of relatively inexpensive (between $99-199) hardware like the Elgato Game Recorder HD and a nearby
computer, it’s surprisingly easy.

For the most part, although it’ll depend on the recording hardware you’re using, all you need to do is connect your console to the hardware interface, the interface to your TV via the pass-through port, and the interface to your computer, typically using USB.

Once that’s done, launch the interface’s software, sign into your Twitch or uStream account (or whatever other services are supported by the device), tweak your settings to best suit your internet connection and hit broadcast.

One of the benefits of a hardware solution is the fact that you’re taking the heavy processing requirements away from your computer, and using the recording device to look after that side of things.

The vast majority of devices will also record in real time to your laptop, desktop hard drive, meaning that you can edit your recorded video offline later on to compile custom sizzle reels, compilations of your greatest moments or add some additional elements like informative layers or additional audio.

For those of you interested in handheld recording, things are a little trickier. There’s still no mass market solution for the PS Vita or 3DS, but if you’ve got the money there are sites that sell pre-modded devices for upwards of $400.

If you’re worried about eating up your monthly bandwidth with high definition gameplay streaming, just remember that with TekSavvy your uploads never count against your monthly cap if you’re not on an unlimited plan. If you’re not a TekSavvy subscriber yet, then you can take a look at the services available in your area over at www.teksavvy.com.

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