How do you stream on Twitch and YouTube from PS5 and Xbox? If you possess supernatural gaming powers, have an infectious personality, or a content creation-focused brain, you’ve probably considered streaming on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube before. The streaming life isn’t for everyone, but it’s a dream come true for those who enjoy it. If you’re a current-gen console owner hoping to start your journey, our PS5 and Xbox streaming guide has you covered.
There’s something so alluring about watching others play games on the internet, and it’s unsurprising that you’ve caught the streaming bug yourself. It’s an incredibly creative space to be a part of, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a walk in the park. Like anything new, there’s a lot you need to learn, a lot you need to get your hands on, and a lot you should know before you jump in feet first and broadcast the best games in your collection to the world.
If you want to be taken seriously online, you’ll need to make some hard decisions and invest time and, most likely, money into your setups – and we’re not just talking about investing in some of the best PS5 accessories and best Xbox accessories. If you’re wondering what sort of gear you should be investing in, then our best streaming setup for beginners guide is a great starting point. With that said, we’ll be offering more expert recommendations for your setup throughout. So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know about streaming on console – be it streaming directly from your chosen platform, to hooking it up to a PC and streaming from there.
How to stream on Twitch or Youtube from PS5
To stream on Twitch or YouTube from PS5, you’ll need to follow the following steps:
- Link your PS5 to your Twitch account
- Connect your streaming peripherals
- Open your game and begin broadcasting
To stream directly from your PS5, you’ll first need to link your Twitch or YouTube account to your console. To do so, head into ‘Settings’ > ‘Users and Accounts’ > ‘Linked Services’. From there, select the desired streaming service and hit ‘Link Account’. After following the on-screen instructions, you’ll be good to go.
Now that you have to power to start broadcasting to your service of choice, it’s time to make sure that your peripherals are all hooked up. While any USB microphone will elevate your setup – the Elgato Wave:3 and Sennheiser Profile USB are two favorites that have our seal of approval – you are far more limited on the webcam front if you want the world to see your pretty face.
This is because, frustratingly, Sony has decided that only its own PlayStation 5 HD camera or PS4 camera will work directly with the PS5. On the plus side, neither is particularly expensive – both come in well under $100 – and the PS5 HD cam does come with background removal tools if you’re really trying to pump up the production value with a green screen.
When you’re ready to go, it’s time to open up the game that you want to stream – we know you know how to do that already. Once open, tap the ‘Create’ button on your DualSense controller once to bring up the HUD. Select the icon that looks like a beacon on the right-hand side to open up the Broadcast options, choose your streaming service, and you’ll then be presented with several options:
- ‘Go Live’ – Begin your stream
- ‘Title’ – Give your stream a title (you can change this on Twitch itself later if you so wish)
- ‘…’ – Grants you access to ‘Broadcast Options’ or ‘Change Service’
- ‘Broadcast Options’ – Here you can choose whether you want your camera on or off, to display chat or user activity, alter the position of your overlay, include voice chat audio or not, and alter the video quality you are outputting to your stream.
- ‘Change Service’ – If you have both Twitch and YouTube connected but have selected the wrong one, you can switch to the other here.
After dialing your settings in and giving your stream a snappy title that’ll get people curious, slap your best PS5 headset on, ‘Go Live’ and begin streaming.
How to stream on Twitch or YouTube from Xbox
To stream on Twitch or YouTube from Xbox – this applies to both Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S – you’ll need to follow the following steps:
- Link your Xbox to your Twitch account
- Connect your streaming peripherals
- Begin streaming from the ‘Capture & share’ tab
As with the PS5, you’re going to need to start out by linking your Xbox console of choice to your Twitch account. As both last-gen and current-gen consoles utilize the same menu UI, the instructions remain the same throughout – handy.
From the dashboard, press the Home button on your Xbox controller, bringing up the side panel. Tab across to ‘Capture & share’, before heading all the way down to where it says ‘Live streaming’. After pressing it for the first time, you’ll be presented with both a code that can be punched in on Twitch’s website, as well as a QR code that can be scanned if you want to undertake the process via mobile. After going through the on-screen steps, you’ll now see that your account has been linked, but it’s not time to go live just yet.
Next up, it’s time to ensure all of your peripherals are hooked up. One major boon that the Xbox consoles have over the PS5 is the fact that any webcam can be connected to them – we’d definitely recommend the Elgato Facecam for this – alongside a USB microphone if you’re trying to achieve the best vocal quality possible.
With everything now set up and good to go, head through the ‘Live streaming’ menu to adjust the stream title, ensure your microphone is on, and tweak your webcam options. Heading into the ‘more options’ section grants you the ability to include or exclude party audio, adjust your game-to-microphone volume mix, tweak your output resolution and bitrate, and even change your stream output’s destination to third-party software – more on that in the next section. When you’re happy, hit ‘go live now’ and let the show begin.
How to add overlays to your PS5 and Xbox streams
If you’re looking to create a more professional-looking stream, with custom overlays, alerts, and more, then the traditional advice has always been to purchase a capture card and pimp your console content up on PC before sending it live – more on that in the next section. However, cloud-based solutions such as Lightstream and Streamlabs Console are now out there that will let you skip the middleman.
These services work by effectively having you stream your gameplay to them, applying all of those lovely cosmetic and interactive enhancements, and forwarding it to your streaming service of choice. While this does save you the cost of buying a whole PC just to beautify your stream, the monthly fee for either service can quickly add up.
Each service has a major limitation:
- Lightstream’s ‘Gamer’ plan only supports Twitch
- Streamlabs Console only supports Xbox consoles
As such, we’d recommend taking advantage of Streamlabs Console’s free trial on Xbox so you can properly evaluate the quality of its output, as well as if it’ll be worth investing in the long term. Players with either console can do the same with Lightstream’s own free trial.
How to stream PS5 and Xbox to Twitch and YouTube via PC
To stream PS5 and Xbox gameplay to Twitch and YouTube via PC, you’ll need to follow the following steps:
- Connect your streaming peripherals to your PC
- Download and set up streaming software
- Connect your console to your PC via a capture card
- Open your game and begin streaming
Before we get into it, if you’re looking to invest in a PC to stream your console gameplay then the good news is you won’t have to spend big on the latest specs. With your console doing much of the heavy lifting, you’ll only need to invest modestly into a rig. This will free up budget space for things like the best camera for streaming, or that Audio Technica AT2040USB mic that you’ve been eyeing that will take your content to the next level.
Moving onto peripherals, it’s tempting to jump into the deep end and buy all of the high-end equipment. But if you’re just starting out, we’d recommend picking up a decent webcam, a stand-alone microphone or a modmic, and a second screen (a phone or a tablet works too!) to monitor your stream on. Things like the best stream decks, audio mixers, and green screens are optional extras and should only be purchased if you’re going to commit to regular, scheduled streams. Now you’re geared up, let’s talk streaming software.
There are a lot of programs out there to help you get your stream on Twitch, YouTube etc. Some are built for newcomers and others are built for streaming pros. One of the best free programs out there is StreamLabs. It’s one of the most popular tools for newcomers, housing tutorials, layouts, and editing tools under an easy-to-navigate interface that we have used extensively in the past. It’s also available on Apple and Android phones.
There’s also Twitch Studio that’s been created with new streamers in mind. While it’s a more recent addition to the streaming software solutions list, we are big fans of its one-screen solution, which is a game-changer if you plug your PC into the same monitor or TV you play on, and don’t have/want a second device to monitor your stream output from.
Then, of course, there’s the classic OBS. While the software has the highest ceiling for customization out of any streaming software, it is also the software that takes the most tinkering with to get up and going. However, for those who are looking to create a truly bespoke stream with custom graphics, and take advantage of an ever-growing library of add-ons thanks to OBS being open source, then this is a very rewarding solution to invest time into exploring.
Regardless of which solution you choose, make sure you’ve got a decent internet connection. Twitch’s broadcasting guidelines say your internet will need to deliver about 4,500 to 6,000 kbps per second to ensure 1080p at 60fps.
Once you have your PC and peripherals at the ready, it’s time to make the magic happen with one of the best capture cards. Which one you opt for will depend on your budget, as well as the quality you’ll feasibly be able to output your stream at – there’s little point spending big on a 4K capture card if you’ll only be streaming at 720p, divvy those dollars out elsewhere.
With your capture device of choice now in hand, it’s time to get it hooked up to your console and PC. While the physical rigging up of the card is a simple affair, you may have to fiddle around in your streaming software’s settings a little to get it to show in your preview window. Helpfully, there are plenty of guides out there, including this one by Elgato for setting up the HD60 X with OBS.
Now you’re all set up and ready to go, simply boot up your game, punch in your stream title, and start streaming to your platform of choice.
Streaming on Twitch vs Youtube
While there are several platforms out there to stream your top-notch gameplay on, the biggest by far are Twitch and YouTube. In terms of market share, Twitch is in a league of its own, but it is incredibly saturated, making it harder for new streamers to break through. However, it can lead to big growth spurts with the right host or follow – sometimes it’s about who you know or a stroke of luck, rather than what you know.
Additionally, Twitch holds dominance over much of modern streaming culture, including the vast majority of memes and idioms (eg. ‘Poggers’) many of us commonly use in our day-to-day lives. With such a commanding mind share, it’s no wonder that creators continue to grind away on the platform despite it continuing to come under fire for being anti-creator with its policy shifts.
YouTube, meanwhile has its own perks. Whereas Twitch is the top dog in livestreaming, YouTube has dominated the asynchronous content market for the best part of two decades. If you’ve ever had a YouTube channel, then making the switch to YouTube Live will be pretty much seamless. Furthermore, if you’re hoping to churn out videos on the side of your fledgling streaming career – be they long-form or via Shorts – then the infrastructure is already there for you to get stuck in.
Ultimately, choose the platform that you align most strongly with. If you’re an out-and-out gamer who lives and breathes modern internet culture, then Twitch is the way to go. But if you’re hoping to spread your content across multiple formats and lengths, then YouTube has it all.
What else do I need to know about streaming?
Streaming is great, but don’t expect to become a star overnight. It’s a long and drawn-out process, but you’ll get by as long as you have fun, interact with your viewers, and enjoy the ride. It’ll also take time to find your niche in the streaming world, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different genres, games, and categories.
More importantly, though, be yourself. Streaming is better when you’re authentic and show off your true personality. Your community will love you for being you, and invest their time watching you play games or talk about life. It’s a pretty special relationship to foster with strangers over the internet, so be patient, be kind, and show off your skills online.
And that’s everything you need to know about streaming on Twitch and YouTube from PS5 and Xbox. With so many ways to showcase the best PS5 games and best Xbox games, it’s almost harder to build your dream streaming setup than it is to choose which game to stream first. Happy streaming!