OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a popular Twitch streaming software and it’s a favorite here at TRUstreaming. It’s a free, open-source software designed for streaming on Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Facebook Live, and Twitter/Periscope

Today we’re going to go over how to set up OBS for Twitch and how to find the best settings.

Installing and Setting Up OBS for Twitch

If you haven’t downloaded OBS yet, head here to download and install it.

When you open OBS for the first time, it’ll ask if you want to run the auto-configuration wizard. Click “yes.”

OBS auto-configuration

Next you’ll be asked if you want to optimize OBS for streaming or for recording. Since you want to stream on Twitch, you’ll pick “optimize for streaming.”

OBS optimize for streaming

Next, you’ll set your resolution and FPS. For both of these, keep them at the default settings to start. You can always change them later on. For your resolution, that’ll be “Use Current.”

Resolution settings OBS

And for FPS, choose “Either 60 or 30, but prefer 60 when possible.”

OBS FPS

The next step is entering your Twitch stream key. You can find this by going to your Twitch dashboard and navigating to “Channel” under “Settings” on the left-hand menu. Your stream key will be a long string of letters and numbers at the top of the page. Copy and paste it here:

Stream key link

Leave “Estimate bitrate with bandwidth test” checked. Wait while the test runs…

bitrate test in OBS

When the test is complete, you’ll see the OBS settings for Twitch that are ideal for you. Click “Apply Settings” to finish the setup.

Auto-configuration OBS

Now you’re ready to stream!

But if your stream is buffering, lagging, or just doesn’t look quite right, let’s look at how to find the best OBS settings for Twitch.

OBS Settings for Twitch

The auto-configured settings are usually fine for most streamers but if they’re not giving you a smooth, clear stream, you can tweak them. Before you manually change any settings, take a look at Twitch’s broadcast recommendations and specs. This will tell you the ideal settings for your system.

Now, what are the best OBS settings for Twitch? This will depend on your PC, your internet connection, and the game you’re streaming.

If your settings match what Twitch recommends, it’s still possible to have problems with lag or image quality. No worries, though! Play around with the settings until you find the perfect ones for your stream.

You can find the settings in the lower right-hand corner of the OBS window:

OBS settings for Twitch

From there, you’ll find all of your settings:

Output settings

A few things to check if you’re having trouble with lag or image quality:

  • You might think you need to stream in the highest resolution possible to get the best stream quality, but that’s not true. A lot of big streamers actually stream in 720p!
  • If you’re streaming at 60fps and experiencing problems with lag, turn it down to 30fps.
  • Make sure your bitrate is compatible with your other settings. Here is a guide:
    • For streaming at 1080p and 60fps – bitrate should be 4,500-6,000 kbps
    • For streaming at 1080p and 30fps – bitrate should be 3,500-5,000 kbps
    • For streaming at 720p and 60fps – bitrate should be 3,500-5,000 kbps
    • For streaming at 720p and 30fps – your bitrate should be 2,500-4,000 kbps

Above all, remember that a stable stream at standard resolution is better than a super high-res stream that lags or buffers (what good is high resolution if it’s not stable, anyway?)

Make Your Twitch Channel Even Better With TRUstreaming

For more help, check out our lighting tips and OBS color and lighting articles. For expert help growing your Twitch channel, meet our streaming coaches and find your perfect match!