How to Start Streaming on Twitch: The Ultimate Guide

  • Time to read: 18 min.

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Want to know how to start streaming on Twitch? Twitch is a live-streaming video platform that focuses on video gaming, including playthroughs of video games, demonstrations, and other creative content. A live-streaming video platform is a service that allows users to broadcast live videos of themselves or their activities. This can include gaming, talking on the phone, eating, or any other activity.

These platforms usually have a website and/or app that users can use to broadcast their videos. Twitch was first founded in June of 2011.

As of right now, Twitch has over 100 million monthly viewers, making it one of the biggest game-streaming services in the world. Because of the current size of twitch, many new and upcoming streamers will choose twitch due to its large potential audience.

How to start streaming on Twitch.

Start Streaming on Twitch

So you want to get started on Twitch? That’s great! In this article, I’ll go over the basics of how to get started streaming on Twitch.

First, you’ll need to create a Twitch account. You can do this by going to the Twitch website and clicking the “Sign Up” button in the top-right corner of the page. You’ll then be prompted to enter your email address, username, and password.

Set up your Twitch Account.

Setting up Your Twitch Account and Twitch Dashboard

When starting to stream, you’ll need to set up your account and settings. To do this, simply login to Twitch. tv and click the “Dashboard” button. This can be found by clicking on your profile in the top right corner and then selecting “Creator Dashboard in the drop-down menu.

If you don’t yet have a Twitch account on the Twitch app, you can follow the directions in the list below to set up your twitch account.

1. Open the Twitch app.

2. Choose a username and password.

3. Enter your date of birth.

4. Agree to the Twitch Terms of Service.

5. Click the “Create Account” button. (You might need to confirm a six-digit code.)

6. Log in to your account and open the drop-down menu and click the Creator Dashboard tab (It is located on your profile icon). If you can’t find it, look in the top right corner.

7. Fill out your profile information, including your location, interests, and contact information.

8. Add a profile picture for your Twitch account on the Twitch app.

Once you click on the Creator dashboard, it is time to move on to the next step.

Now that you’ve got a Twitch account, it’s time to download the proper software to correctly stream on twitch.

Twitch streaming software.

Streaming Software

To live-stream on Twitch, you’ll need some kind of broadcasting software. This software will allow you to stream video from your computer to Twitch’s servers so that viewers will be able to watch it.

There are many software options available for this such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and XSplit. I recommend checking out OBS Studio as it’s completely free, easy to set up, and can be used with any streaming service including Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Hitbox, and more.

If you’re not comfortable using OBS, there are other software options available. If you aren’t interested in learning how to use this type of software or would rather pay someone else to do it for you, many streamers choose to hire a “streamer” through sites like Streamlabs.

You can also use streamlabs as software to help you stream on Twitch.

Once you have streaming software, you will need to use the drop-down menu on your software to change the broadcasting setting to your liking. You can also use this time to connect any audio devices you might use or download any legal stream music you might plan on playing while you stream on twitch.

Streaming is not simple, but it’s worth the effort. By making friends and connections in your streaming community, you can get more viewers (and make more money), raise your popularity, and make a name for yourself online.

It takes time to get started with streaming on Twitch. If you put in the effort and have a good channel, people will find it!

With streaming software or a different streaming setup, you will be able to broadcast gaming consoles, your phone, and anything else that can connect to your computer while you stream.

Don’t Forget About Your Stream Key

One thing I forgot to mention is that you’ll also need to know your primary stream key. This stream key is a special code that tells Twitch where to stream your video. To find this stream key, look in the settings section of the dashboard page of your Twitch account.

Twitch streaming category.

Choosing a Streaming Category

When you first start streaming, it’s important to choose a category for your channel. This will help people understand what type of content they can expect from your channel.

Also, you need to choose a category for your streaming setup to relate and match the content that you will produce.

Some of the more popular categories on Twitch include:


This is the most popular category on Twitch and includes live streams of people playing video games.

This includes games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, or Minecraft. You can stream games from consoles, a gaming pc, or you can even broadcast mobile gaming if you wish.

With the gaming category, you will broadcast gameplay and even upload select broadcast gameplay that you want to show your viewers.


This category includes streams of people creating content such as artwork, music, or videos.

If you choose to stream creative content you should make sure that your initial setup has good desktop audio.

You should make sure that you adjust audio levels on your desktop audio to ensure your new twitch streams are of the highest possible quality.


This category is for channels that stream everyday life events and activities.

This could include going to the gym or even going to the store. To do this you will need to use a mobile phone to stream and also to film you during your live stream, as you might be moving around a lot.


This category includes live streams of special events or happenings.

Events could include sporting events that are taking place or other special things going on.

Just Chatting Category

This is the category for a live stream of people just talking to viewers.

If you chose this type of category, you will spend most of your time talking, which means you will need to have good audio quality. You can also open a chat room to talk to all your viewers.

Gaming equipment needed for streaming on Twitch.

Equipment Needed

Once you have the streaming app downloaded you will need to make sure that you have access to other necessary equipment.


First, you’ll need a computer (or laptop) that is capable of playing the game you’re going to stream. Because you’re going to be streaming a video of yourself playing games, the computer must be powerful enough to do so.

Games tend to use up a lot of RAM and storage space on your computer, so make sure you have plenty of both before committing. This will be important as you will also need extra ram to use the streaming app to help you broadcast gameplay and other things.

You will also need the computer if you wish to connect other devices such as a Nintendo Switch or Playstation to broadcast you playing on different consoles.

However, you can also use console streaming. By console streaming, you can set your live streaming so that it comes directly from the console. If you plan on doing this you can buy a web camera like the PlayStation camera. The Playstation Camera will allow people to see you as you stream. You will need to download the streaming or twitch app on your console.

You can find that through the console’s store. If you have an Xbox, you can go to the Xbox Store, and if you have a Playstation you can go to the Playstation store. But, If you have a Nintendo Switch, you will need to connect it to some type of computer, as the Nintendo Switch is not compatible to stream directly from it.

If you don’t want to stream from your computer, you can also use the twitch app on mobile. With the twitch mobile app, you will be able to stream from your mobile device. Using the Twitch Mobile app, you will be able to make your stream more mobile as many streamers do.


Second, you’ll need some sort of webcam or camera to connect with your broadcasting settings so people can see you during your stream on Twitch. If you already own a webcam or digital camera for photography purposes, then this shouldn’t be a problem.

The webcam will allow the viewer to see your face and to see you talking during streams on this streaming platform.


Third, You will also need a microphone if you want people to hear what you’re saying while streaming. Thankfully most computers today come equipped with at least one built-in microphone as well as an audio port.

If you wish you can also buy a better microphone you can then set up to have better audio when you begin broadcasting. A better camera and microphone will also increase your overall output quality potentially increasing your audience and making you a partner of Twitch.

You might want other audio devices during your stream on Twitch, you should make sure to purchase the necessary equipment and set it up in your broadcast settings.

Capture Card

A capture card allows you to input or capture video, images, and sound. You should make sure to buy a capture card before you start streaming. Best Buy is probably the best place to purchase a capture card.

Capture cards will also allow you to make a game capture every time you want to save a clip from your stream. A game capture can be longer, or shorter.


Internet might seem like a very obvious necessity, however, it is more important than you might think.

You need a good and stable internet connection. It is very important to make sure you set up everything correctly with your internet before starting even one stream session.  

The Internet connection is important as it will affect your video quality (you need good video bitrate), and when you stream live on twitch, you will need a solid internet connection to maintain a smooth and high-quality stream.

The speed of your internet will also affect your upload speed. Upload speed is how fast you can upload a video to twitch studio and post it. Upload speed is one of the big reasons you should make sure you have good internet when you stream on Twitch.

Advertising your Twitch stream.


When you start streaming on Twitch you won’t start with a wide or large audience, so advertisement and spreading news about your twitch stream is important.

If you have a website, you can always post the link to your twitch stream. The website can also show your stream schedule so that people can know when you are going to start your primary stream.

You can also show off your new Twitch channel on other social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.

Enabling notification on these social media platforms will allow your followers to see and get notified when you start streaming, and that you have a current online status.

After posting the link to your Twitch stream it is important that you actively manage and promote your stream on these social media sites because this will help grow your audience organically over time.

Once people start watching and talking about you, then more people will watch and talk about you which means becoming a part of the partner program on Twitch should be much easier for you down the road.

Making a YouTube channel is another possible way for you to advertise your stream while also gaining more recognition from different people.

Almost all YouTubers are also Twitch streamers, and it’s almost like an unwritten rule that you need to do both.

YouTube can help people find you on twitch where they wouldn’t have known about your channel before, so building up a YouTube following is helpful in the long run.

A good place to start would be making YouTube highlight videos based on your game streaming sessions. These videos should contain interesting content related to the games you are playing which could potentially attract viewers searching for this type of content online.

You can use YouTube to post highlights and captured gameplay collected from your video capture device.

Becoming a Twitch partner.

Becoming a Twitch Partner

A Twitch Partner is a broadcaster who has reached a certain level of viewership and popularity on the Twitch platform. To become a partner, you must first meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least eighteen years old
  • Have a Twitch account in good standing
  • Have streamed for at least eight hours in the last thirty days

If you meet these requirements, you can then go on to apply to become a partner.

The process of becoming a partner of Twitch is not as difficult as one might think. The main thing that partners are judged on is their viewership. If your channel is unable to maintain an average of 500 concurrent viewers, then you will likely not be accepted as a partner. But if you get a lot more average views, the select stream that Twitch might partner with could be you.

Once you are accepted into the partner program, then you will receive a few benefits. The main benefit that most people look forward to is the ability to run ads on your live stream and also the chance to become a part of twitch’s revenue sharing.

Every time someone watches an ad while watching one of your streams, you will get paid.

The more popular your stream becomes, the more money you can potentially make from this program so advertising and talking about your stream is extremely important for this to happen.

There are many other benefits such as having access to new features before they become available publicly and getting early access to updates for your streaming software, broadcast settings or games that may not be out just yet. You’ll also have access to cool emotes and other opportunities as well.

Tips and Tricks for getting started on Twitch.

Streaming Tips

Here are some big and general streaming tips you can use to improve your Twitch streaming when getting started.

Be sure to always check your chatbox. This is where most of the conversations will take place, so you must be engaging with your viewers.

It can also be a good idea to have different landscape scenes for when you play video games or just have a phone call with one of your friends. It makes the stream feel more dynamic and like something special is happening instead of it looking like it’s just on autopilot.

If you do not want to make custom scenes every time, then there are some ready-made Twitch scene generators you can download online. Just search “Twitch scene maker” into Google and one of the first links should pop up on the front page showing this program! You may need additional broadcasting software to use this but it’s a relatively quick and easy download.

You can also make your custom scene since some additional stream software comes with graphics programs that allow you to create your scenes for streaming.

If you do not have any additional broadcasting software, then there are some websites out there that let you design some pretty nice-looking scenes as well. Just search “Twitch scene generator” and see what happens.

If none of these options work for you, then simply just take a screenshot of whatever website or application is on your computer screen and then upload the image onto Streamlabs OBS or XSplit Broadcaster. This will automatically generate a scene for you so that viewers know exactly what it is you’re doing.

There are so many options for making your stream look nice, so just experiment with different types of scenes and see what appeals to you most.

Twitch is a very fun platform that allows broadcasters to share their games with the world by live streaming. With enough dedication and time, you can become a popular streamer and join an amazing community of people who love playing video games just as much as you do!

Starting your First Stream

When you start your first streaming session click on the streaming button to start your stream.

Rember, you must interact with people on chat and, you should always be friendly to them.

You want to make sure that you are yourself, don’t try to act like someone else or copy other broadcasters because this will only come off as obnoxious and fake.

Acting like yourself will be more entertaining for viewers in the long run. People tune into other peoples’ streams to see them play video games or do whatever they might want to do while broadcasting almost exclusively for entertainment purposes.

If the viewer watches someone who they find entertaining then they may end up becoming a regular viewer of your stream or a subscriber.

You can also stream without a webcam feed if you are not comfortable with showing your face.

Don’t be afraid to use emotes and other features during your stream either, this will help build a stronger rapport with your audience over time as well which means more people will likely enjoy watching you play or do whatever you might want to do on camera.

Lastly, remember to use the tips listed above when you start streaming.

Make money streaming on Twitch.

Make Money Streaming on Twitch

When using Twitch, there are a lot of ways for you to make money from streaming from Twitch accounts.


One of the more common ways for broadcasters on Twitch to make an income is through donations.

In the Twitch creator dashboard, you can add options for people who watch your stream to be able to donate money to you.

You can create a donation button where people can click it and donate as much money as they would like to you for your stream.

Every day there are a bunch of ways in which a broadcaster can ask his viewers for money and every time someone donates, it will show up on their donation ticker. Some people may not have this feature enabled or they may want to only enable certain notification types so that they don’t get bombarded with constant donation requests.

Statistics show that broadcasters earn an average of $3 from each donation that is received through twitch, but some earn more than others depending on how well-liked they are by their audience and how large their audience is. This is why broadcasting often and being informative while streaming is important because the higher your viewer count is, the higher your potential revenue is.


Another way for you to make money while streaming on Twitch is through subscriptions.

Subscriptions are a great way for viewers to support broadcasters that they like and enjoy watching because this will allow them to receive special benefits such as giveaways.

You can even give away prizes every month to the people who subscribe to your channel. This is good promotion, but you cannot simply expect people to subscribe right off of the bat; it’s important to try and gradually gain their trust and loyalty first.

People do not want to see someone until they know exactly what he or she can offer them. The more popular streamers often have special perks set up for their subscribers such as access to custom emoticons and badges that can be placed by their names as well as having different colored usernames than those who aren’t subscribed.

Every time someone subscribes to your channel, you will gain a chunk of money and a percentage of the money spent to subscribe to you.

Company Partnerships

When streaming on twitch, if you can a big enough following, companies could potentially reach out to you to partner.

This means that they will pay you a certain lump sum of money to use your channel as promotional material for their company.

Companies do this so that their product can be advertised to a large audience where they know that people are actively watching instead of just scrolling through their feed on Twitter or some other social media site.

If you’re partnered with a company, a twitch will put small ads at the beginning of your videos and also on the bottom right-hand corner as well as things such as linking to these companies in your video description.

Gaming Tournaments

When streaming, if you play games and you are very skilled at it you can compete in potential video game tournaments for lots of money.

Several companies will host video game tournaments and offer a prize for the winner of it.

People who watch these types of events often pay money to buy tickets for these games, which means more money is going directly into your pocket as a reward if you win.

These big tournaments are also streamed to Twitch which can increase the traffic to your stream and your popularity.

The more popular esports games are played with a gaming pc. These include League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Dota 2, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, World of Warcraft Arena, and Mortal Kombat 9.

However, some different tournaments can be played on consoles like Halo, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Fortnite.

These games all have at least $16 million US dollars worth of prize pools up for grabs which you can make by competing in these tournaments.

Fortnite held a tournament in April 2018 where the prize pool was up to $30 million US dollars.

These tournaments can be watched by other people on Twitch as well as live, which will help increase your following as you are getting started.

Streaming on Twitch can be a great way to make money and get your name out there. Whether you’re broadcasting to an audience of hundreds or thousands, these tips should help you start getting more views and subscribers. If you are new to streaming on twitch, it might be hard at first, but following some of the guidance above, you will be able to make your start on Twitch.

FAQ – How to Start Streaming on Twitch

Tournaments can be hosted online or by an offline venue like a convention center.What are some of the benefits of streaming on Twitch?

Being able to broadcast your content directly, the community, and sense of achievement. And you can potentially gain new friendships from using the streaming platform.

How do you get started as a Twitch streamer?

Create a Twitch account, configure your broadcast settings and just stream frequently to gain attention.

How do you increase your popularity on Twitch?

By gaining people’s trust and loyalty, acquiring company partnerships that can provide ads on your channel and gain sponsorship from gaming companies, joining tournaments for large prize pools, and competing in esports games that can be watched by other people on Twitch.  

How much money can I make as a streamer?

Money varies depending on how popular your channel is and what perks you have set up. You could potentially make $50 per 1,000 views if you are partnered with a company.

How many Twitch streamers are there?

There are around 100 million unique viewers on Twitch per month, and about 1/2 to 3/4’s of those people have streamed at some point.

What games are very popular to play on Twitch?

Games like League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, World of Warcraft Arena, and Valorant are more likely to be played by big gamers who compete in tournaments. Because of this, these are the most popular games currently on Twitch.

What is the average income for Twitch streamers?

The average monthly income can range from $90-$5120 depending on how large your following is on Twitch.

Where do I go to start streaming on the Twitch app?

You can sign up at or download an app onto your computer or phone which lets you broadcast.

What is the difference between a gaming pc and a console?

Console players can play on things like Halo, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Fortnite which don’t require computers to play. On a console, you also usually play with a remote, unlike a computer.

What type of equipment is needed for streaming on Twitch?

A good enough computer to run the game, webcam, mic, and supportive software.

What do you need to join a tournament?

The game that’s being played must be bought ahead of time by every competitor who wants to join. Also in some tournaments, you need to be ranked high enough to be able to participate in the tournament.

Where can tournaments be held?

Tournaments can be hosted online or by an offline venue like a convention center.

How long does it take for your channel to grow if you are only broadcasting on Twitch occasionally?

It takes up to a year to grow a popular channel if you’re only broadcasting occasionally. But, that can change depending on the amount of traffic your stream category is pulling in.

What can I do to make my stream stand out from the rest?

Have a light show, use streaming software with custom alerts and always interact with your audience, and try to do different things. Don’t copy popular streamers to get viewers, in the long run, it is better to be yourself and make your stream unique.