Thread: How to stream with OBS (open broadcaster software, free program)

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  1. #1

    How to stream with OBS (open broadcaster software, free program)


    I'd like to start off saying this is not an indepth guide, links in the bottom will have more detailed information. This guide is meant to help starting streamers set up.

    Lately, open broadcaster software (OBS) is getting more and more the love it deserves, and there's also questions about it. First, it's a great program! (coming from someone who paid for a year xsplit) Second, it's free! ... On top of that it's actively being updated.

    So let's get to the actual guide;

    First, you will need to set up a twitch account @, and download the program itself from (make sure to get the stable version, and 32 or 64 bits matching your operating system).

    When you have all this, go to, and email yourself under *Authorized Broadcasters*. This key you will need in OBS, so go start the program.

    Now while you're in OBS notice the options bar top, the boxes with Scenes and Sources, the speaker/mic bars/buttons and the buttons below there. Also take note that you can rightclick on the preview window (to turn on/off previewing the stream, and resize it). Let's first fill in the stream key, click Settings (in either the options bar or just below the mic button)>Broadcast Settings and fill in the key under *Play Path/Stream Key*, and select under *Server* the closest server. It's safe to ignore most of the other options under Settings (at least for now).

    Click OK, and let's now set up what you actually want to stream in the bottom left under *Scenes*. Right click in the box under it and select *Add Scene*, name doesn't matter right now so just click ok. Now right click in the box under *Sources*, and select either *Window Capture* or *Game Capture* (OBS creator advices against using Monitor Capture performance-wise, on w7 and vista).

    Window Capture (and monitor capture) will also stream anything you have "above" what you're streaming, so alt-tabbing to skype or browsing on the internet will be seen by your viewers. Personally, I think it's less slick. It has it's uses, but you can just as easily add another source for anything you'd want to stream. Just select HoN under *Window*, and click *Entire Window* (think it's ticked by default, and not sure if it matters for HoN).

    Game Capture will just stream the game you want to stream, and viewers won't be bothered by your alt-tabbing. It will literally only show the game you're playing, I heavily favor this method to get a good quality stream. This is also nice to keep certain things private, like skype names for example. Just select HoN under *Application* and click ok.

    You can add things like images, slideshows and a webcam, later. For now, let's focus on getting the stream to work.

    Go to and test your connection. Take note of the X.XX Mbps. This will be the maximum of your outgoing bandwith (approximately), and you have to account for programs (so HoN itself, and possibly VoIP programs like Skype or TS) that will also require some of it.

    What comes next depends mostly on your computer (cpu, ram etc), go to settings.
    - Under **Encoding**, *Quality Balance* and *Max Bitrate (and buffer)*. (I'd say keep audio on AAC @ 128, think that's standard)
    Generally, as long as the ingame text is easily readable, you can stick with the particular quality setting you are using. Just start at 5 or 6 and up it later.
    1Mb = 1000Kb (it's bits, not bytes, by the way), so if you have an upstream of 5.00 Mbps according to speedtest you have about 5000 Kbps to use and should reserve some of that for HoN itself+possible other programs. I have no idea how much HoN actually uses, but it shouldn't be more than a few hundred kbps MAX. Just keep 500-1000 kbps in reserve, and try not to go any higher than 3500 bitrate (leave the buffer on the same, for now it's fine).

    - Under **Video**, *Resolution Downscale* and *FPS*.
    When your cpu and upstream can handle it, keep your native resolution (else downscale) and start with 30 FPS (think that's standard).

    - Under **Advanced**, *Process Priority Class* and *x264 CPU Preset*.
    If/when your cpu can handle it, (((put process priority above normal (screw windows, I wanna stream!), and))) keep CPU preset on veryfast. On slower/older computers you can put it on super- or ultrafast, this will be easier on your system at the cost of quality.

    This is basically all the basics you need to know to stream . The only thing you have left to do is test and tune and tweak these settings so you can get the maximum quality out of your system/bandwith.
    Start off with low(er) settings and monitor the stream (have someone else do that via twitch, probably the best way) ((you use bandwith AND cpu when watching it yourself, so if you really want to go to the max you shouldn't)). Having more than occasional/"normal" hiccups, stutters, pixxelation and/or freezes (on EITHER END, so either you -the streamer/player-, or the viewer) probably means you need to downtune a setting (or 2). It's also possible to lower some of the options in HoN (turn off some shiny effects, lower anti aliasing etc.) to free up some resources.

    Oh and I forgot, put HoN off exclusive mode, under *Display*>*Video*.

    Here's a useful link explaining what all the settings mean/do:

    And I will post a link with recommended/suggested bitrates (that come with certain resolution/fps/quality), have to find it first ^^

    If/when I have time I don't mind helping out. You can also try streaming and explain in your stream title that you are setting up/trying out/new to/need help with and similiar (I helped out more than a few actually already, hence this post ).

    Good luck and happy streaming!

  2. #2

    (for future updates)

    Going to stream myself in a bit,, and if I'm not in a game I can help out a bit. I will update the first post later (have a few more links with good info).

    And not abusing this post to lure viewers, I only want a or ^^. Will remove this later, just showing I can/will help people out atm. ... Can also post questions/requests to watch the quality in here I guess.

    Please follow the steps first, before asking anything.

    edit: @redeye: and then x1024 again? I'm not sure... 1 megabit is 1024 kilobit? Been a while ^^

    Also, I completely forgot to explain why you shouldn't go crazy on bitrate/quality/resolution; You have to account for the viewers (+the network/route) who might have a bad connection or older computer, this is why you'd rather want to stay below 4-5k kbps bitrate. I had multiple people that had lag on the stream while I was streaming on 4 kbps (and a bit above).

    I think it's better to up the quality per bit (so to say) then to upgrade the quality with more bits. This is loosely based on my own experience so far (+what I've heard/read from others).

    Just remember to listen to the feedback from viewers, you do not want some of them not being able to watch the stream proper.
    Last edited by Glibber`; 04-26-2013 at 03:56 AM.

  3. #3
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    Heraklion - Greece
    Nice one! This could be helpful to many guys that want to start

    edit; also I think 1kb = 1024 bits, not 1000 (common mistake)

    - Portofolio (Behance) - New HoN UI (overlay) -
    Please, consider donating - in EUR or in USD

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Hey, is it possible you have a justintv account? If that's the case try (*For assistance with your account, please go to, scroll to bottom, and click Send Us an Email.)*.

    Else try, scroll down and press *Show Key* (, or to create a new account. If none of this helps I'd recommend sending them an email, sorry that I can't help you any further with this.

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