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Getting Started with OBS Setup: How to Install and Configure OBS


How to Install and Configure OBS Settings to Start Streaming on Twitch or


OBS and XSplit are the two most popular game streaming and screen capture solutions for Twitch and YouTube. OBS is entirely free, and fairly easy to use. For most of our sponsored gamers, we'd suggest starting with OBS (Open Broadcast Software); if you really need XSplit, it can be added later. OBS is free and can perform almost all functions a streamer would need.



OBS can be downloaded here. You'll need this to start.

Once OBS is installed, navigate to the settings and start configuring the software for your use. Heading to the “Stream” tab will allow selection of service – normally Twitch or YouTube / YouTube Gaming. The “Output” tab is next, and where you'll want to configure the video bitrate and encoder. It's generally best to stick with h.264 (default in OBS). The video bitrate should be configured based upon your upload speed. 2500 is the default setting, but users with faster internet upload rates may be able to increase this number for greater stream quality. If you're seeing fuzziness in your stream, try upping this number.

Set the recording path to go to whatever drive has the most storage space to it, in the event you perform live capture to the disk. Configure the recording format to something usable, too; .flv is normally not ideal for folks using editing software and performing post-production.

The “Audio” tab is where you'll configure your input device. Set up the stream mic and headset, and be sure to test them before going live – you'll want to make sure there's no feedback or looping audio.

Next, travel to the “Video” tab. This is where you'll set the resolution of the “canvas.” If your screen is larger than 1080p (and you're only trying to stream 1080p), be sure to drop down the canvas size to 1920x1080. Output (scaled) resolution is useful if you're experiencing upload limits and speed issues with the internet service. Use the FPS Values field to select the preferred framerate.

We'd also suggest using the Hotkeys tab to configure start, pause, and other on-the-fly keys for use when streaming. These are particularly useful for managing the stream output while gaming.

With this all saved and closed, the “Mixer” bars (in the main software screen) will allow for control over input volume. Use this if stream viewers complain of a microphone that's too loud or quiet, then use other mixer or hardware controls to further modify the mic.

Scenes can also be added on this tab. Use the '+' button in the bottom left of the “Scenes” box, then name the scene appropriately – be sure to name scenes, as it'll help on-the-fly control later. Scenes are used for setting up which portions of the screen are displayed, and then further for adding overlays, webcam views, or other useful items. An overlay with social media accounts (e.g. @CatalystMints permanently overlayed in the corner) would be done with a Scene, as would donation requests or the webcam feed.

That will get you started! Once this is all set up, try a private stream and have a friend confirm that everything's working. View the rest of our content for more support.


Last Updated on Thursday, 10 November 2016 11:53
Written by Catalyst
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