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How to stream on YouTube Gaming

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Sharing some of your gameplay exploits with friends, family and perhaps one day, adoring fans is a great way to show off your in-game skills and entertainment chops in one smooth move. But in order to kick off your professional streaming career, you need to know how to stream on YouTube Gaming. Fortunately, we’ve got a handy guide for teaching you just how to do that.

There are plenty of streaming video platforms out there, with Twitch being one of the most famous for gaming. But as the most prominent video viewing platform in the world, YouTube still draws in huge numbers of viewers, and YouTube Gaming’s feature set is always growing.

To get you started, here is our guide on how to stream on YouTube Gaming, broken down into several easy steps.

Speedy streaming for Chrome users

Google recently streamlined the streaming process for streamers, by cutting back on the need for a local encoder of any sort. Although it only works for phone number verified YouTube accounts and those running the Chrome browser for now, it makes the whole process much easier and quicker to get started.

That said, this streaming system only works with a webcam, so is no good if you want to also livestream your gaming content. For that, you’ll need to use the longer method below. Likewise if you’re using a browser other than Chrome. If you just want to vlog to your gaming fans though, here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Go to the YouTube homepage and sign in if you haven’t already.

Step 2:  To livestream video on YouTube you need to have a verified account. If you don’t have one already, go to YouTube.com/verify and give up your mobile number, to which YouTube will send a code. Input that and your account is ready to begin setting up your stream.

Step 3: Click the camera icon with a “+” symbol in it and select “Go Live.”

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Step 4: When prompted, “Allow” YouTube access to your microphone and camera.

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Step 5: Input information for your stream, like name, whether you want it to be publicly available or unlisted, and a description. If you have multiple cameras or microphones, select the ones you want to use if they aren’t set to default.

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Step 6: If you want, adjust the “Advanced settings,” such as whether chat is enabled, whether the stream should be age restricted for content reasons, and whether your stream will contain any paid promotions.

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Step 7: Take a thumbnail image where you look ultra cool.

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Step 8: Grab a drink, try not to look too scared and click “Go Live” to start your stream. From now on, you’re broadcasting live to as many people as you can pull in to watch you.

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Step 9: When you’re done, click the red “End Stream,” button.

Step by step for everyone else

Setting up your stream

Step 1: Sign in to your YouTube account using the “Sign In” button in the top right-hand corner of YouTube’s homepage.

Step 2: To livestream video on YouTube you need to have a verified account. If you don’t have one already, go to youtube.com/verify and give up your mobile number, to which YouTube will send a code. Input that and your account is ready to begin setting up your stream.

Step 3: Go to your account’s Creator Studio  page and under the “Live Streaming” drop-down menu on the left-hand side, select “Stream Now.” You’ll be presented with a lot of different options for your stream. You can input a name and description in “Basic Info,” and choose a category and game title. You can also decide whether you want the video to be “Public”, “Unlisted,” or “Private.”

It’s worthwhile getting at least these basic settings right before proceeding.

Other options you might want to go over include what sort of stream you want — one designed for viewer interaction, or better visual playback — whether you want to monetize the video or not, and you can change the thumbnail if you want something more specific to the game you’re playing.

For additional stream set up information, you can view the “Live Streaming Checklist” on the right-hand side of your Stream Now page.

If you want to learn how to change your YouTube name to help draw in more viewers, we have a guide for that too.

Setting up your encoder

Once the stream itself is set up, you need to set up the encoder software you’re going to use to actually record and send the in-game footage to YouTube Gaming. To do that, you need to pick from the list of supported encoders. Our preference, because of its strong feature set for free users and expanded feature set for subscribers, is XSplit Gamecaster.

Step 1: Download XSplit Gamecaster from its official site and install it as you would any other software.

Step 2: Verify your YouTube Live account through XSplit. If an automated popup doesn’t give you the option, head to the “Accounts” tab in the XSplit Window and “Authorize” your account for livestreaming to YouTube Live.

Much like verifying your YouTube account, it will involve sending a code to your mobile device. Input that into the pop-up window and then click “Allow” on the following screen to give XSplit access to your YouTube account.

Step 3: In the “Settings” menu, tweak any aspects of your stream that you consider important. Link your social media accounts, customize your “BRB Graphics” if you step away from the stream, and decide whether you want viewers to see things like your mouse pointer.

Two important options to configure are your microphone and camera. If you want your viewers to see and hear you correctly, make sure your headset microphone is selected, and that your camera works properly. You can test it looking at the video in the top left-hand corner.

Bringing it all together

With your YouTube livestream set up and your encoder software organized properly, it’s time to actually start streaming.

Step 1: Boot up the game you want to play.

Step 2: Press “Ctrl” and “Tab” keys together to bring up the XSplit Gamecaster overlay.

Step 3: Click “Stream”.

Step 4: One final window gives you a few choices before your stream officially begins. It lets you preview elements such as your title and description, as well as whether the stream will be public or not. You can adjust other settings from the overlay during play, and view your own livestream through the Creator Studio, or via its live link, to confirm it looks as intended.

When you’re finally ready to begin, hit “Start Broadcast.”

Step 5: Stream away!

Step 6: When you’re finished streaming, you can shut down the game itself, at which point you’ll be prompted whether you want to end the stream, or use the XSplit Gamescaster overlay to shut down the stream manually.

Although any livestreams you do will be automatically saved as recorded streams by YouTube, you can download them, or others, using these simple methods.

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