Players choosing to live stream on YouTube has risen significantly since the most recent expansion into the gaming scene. The platform is now the second largest competitor, reaching just under 25% of Twitch’s concurrent viewership in 2019.
The interface still has some way to go just yet though, as the platform continues to make upgrades to its ‘Creator Studio’ and ‘Features’, in the midst of trying to secure up the lucrative gap.
But why might you want to stream your games to YouTube?
Other than being owned by Google; with an agenda to dominate all things tech. YouTube is well known to offer: The ability to transcode videos at 1080p (60fps), less server delay, and permanently archived streams. It could also be considered the platform of choice for mobile gamers, having an incredibly useful app.
If you’re just starting out, or happen to be actively searching for a new streaming challenge; then we hope you find this guide useful on ‘How to Stream Games to YouTube‘!
Setting up an account for YouTube gaming
If you don’t have a Google account made already, You will need to make one first. You might even want to create a new one that you can dedicate to your gaming channel, as It’s quick and easy to switch accounts.
How do I set up live streaming on Youtube?
- Create a Google account – Click here.
- Sign in to YouTube (enter your Google account info).
- Verify your YouTube account – Click here.
- ‘Enable‘ Live Streaming on your YouTube channel. (2)
- Enable all other features to do with live Streaming, and Monetization. (3)
2. How do you ‘enable’ Live Streaming on your YouTube account?
- Go to YouTube
- Click on your account icon profile picture
- Scroll down and click on ‘YouTube Studio Beta’
- On the left hand ‘channel’ widget click on ‘Creator Studio Classic’
- In ‘Creator Studio Classic’ click on ‘Channel’ from the left hand Menu > Status and Features
- In Status and Features find the ‘Live streaming box’. Click ‘Enable’.
One you have clicked ‘Enable’ the status in the live streaming box will change to ‘On hold’. Access will then be enabled within 24 hours.
3. What other features should you enable on the Status and Features page?
- Live Streaming – So you can stream live.
- Monetisation – Use ads and other features to monetize your videos.
- Embed Live Streams – This lets you embed your streams..
- Longer Videos – Upload videos longer than 15 minutes.
- Super Chat – This feature enables your viewers to purchase chat messages/ stickers, to send in the form of donations.
- Channel Memberships – This allows viewers to join your channel through monthly recurring payments, get perks such as badges/ emoji’s, and other goods you may want to offer.
Some of these features may require you to have a certain amount of subscribers, so just enable the ones that you can.
Once live streaming has been enabled you can then move on to the next step to configure your settings for going live.
How to stream games to YouTube?
Go back to the Classic Creator Studio and click on ‘Live Streaming’. The drop down list will show 3 types of live streaming available.
What are the three YouTube Streaming options you can choose to go Live?
- Stream now – This is the most popular way to stream, (using an encoder).
- Events – This lets you schedule your live stream events in the future. You can also copy the settings of completed events to new events. (using an encoder).
- Live Control Room – An easy to set up webcam live stream, (no option for an encoder).
What is an encoder?
Encoders allow you to capture content, including your Desktop, Camera, Microphone etc. So that it can be sent to YouTube Live and viewed by all your fans. Encoders are best for live streams that broadcast your gameplay. (OBS software).
We will show you how to set up an encoder further down the post if you don’t have one.
1. How do you start a YouTube gaming stream with ‘Stream now’?
- Choose your own ‘Custom thumbnail’ image. (to avoid having a default one from your videos slides).
- Fill in your ‘Basic Info’ within the ‘Advanced settings‘– Enter your: Title, Description, Tags (around 5), Set to public.
- Go back to ‘Advanced settings’:
- Make sure ‘Live chat’ is enabled,
- Change category to gaming > type in your game name.
- Language > English.
- Enable both promotion boxes > ‘When the event is live’.
- Allow embedding,
- Choose if you want the stream recorded, and archived (this means only people with a direct link will be able to see it).
- Stream optimization > Low latency (recommended).
- Click on ‘Monetization’ – From the drop down list choose ‘Monetize in all countries’, Tick all of the ‘Ad formats’ boxes.
- Save Settings.
- Click back on ‘Stream now’ (your information will be saved and ready to go).
- Encoder settings > ‘Copy + Paste your ‘Server URL’ and ‘Stream Key’ into your steaming OBS software. e.g. Streamlabs, OBS, Xplit.
- Go live.
2. How do you start a YouTube gaming stream with ‘Events’?
Once you have completed an Event, you then have the option to ‘re-use the settings as a new live event’. This will save you bags of time so you don’t have to go through the whole ‘Stream now’ process again.
The ‘Events’ menu is pretty much the same as the ‘Stream now’, apart from having further options to schedule your stream, create a re-useable stream key, and add a second camera.
The re-useable stream key feature allows you to stream in 4K quality at 60 FPS, so creating one is definitely worthwhile.
A second camera allows viewers to watch your stream from a second perspective, or switch between players during co-op games.
To stream with ‘Events’:
- Click the ‘re-use stream as a new live event’ button.
- Schedule the date/ time of the stream (in your time zone).
- Click on ‘Ingestion Settings’ (the tab at the top of the page).
- Change your thumbnail to the new one.
- Choose between the ‘Single use stream key’, or ‘Reusable one’: Create new stream > Name it > Choose your bitrate.
- Encoder settings > ‘Copy + Paste your Server URL’, and ‘Stream Key’ into your OBS software.
- Start the stream in your OBS software.
- Click on the ‘Live Control Room’ Tab on YouTube – Click ‘Preview’.
- Go live.
Being able to schedule events is a great new option; as YouTube will notify your subscribers, and display your stream on the live feeds before you’re even ready to begin. This will allow for an audience to build up and gain some momentum.
We recommend against using a second camera, or collaborating with others when starting out, as this will cut down the viewer count from your main camera, and subsequently weaken your stream.
3. How do you stream to YouTube using the ‘Live Control Room’?
The third option available is the ‘Live Control Room’, This is a quick, low quality way of streaming using your webcam. It is best suited to beginners on the platform.
We recommend against using the control room for streaming games. This is because you will need an encoder to properly configure and set up your stream.
If you do wish to use it anyway:
- Connect your Webcam/ Microphone,
- Enter your title, Description, Category, Change thumbnail, etc.
- Schedule now, or later,
- ‘Create stream’.
Setting up OBS and connecting it to YouTube
To be able to share your live gaming screen on YouTube, you must connect the YouTube ‘Encoder settings’ (Server URL/ Stream key) with your OBS software.
What is OBS software?
OBS provides real-time source and device capture, scene composition, encoding, recording, and broadcasting. Examples of OBS software include: Streamlabs, OBS, and Xplit. etc.
For this example we will choose Streamlabs OBS.
1. Download and configure Streamlabs for YouTube
- Download and install Streamlabs.
- Go to Settings > Output, to match the software/ hardware encoder used by your PC.
- Configure your bitrate, this is determined by finding your upload speed and subtracting 20%.
- Make sure the key frame interview is at the default ‘2’.
- Change your Video Resolution to your desired resolution eg. 720p (1280 x 720) at 30 frames per second.
2. How to create a Scene on Streamlabs
A scene will determine what your viewers can see when watching your live stream. e.g. A self-cropped live recording of you, displayed on top of your chosen game.
How do I create a scene?
- In Streamlabs > Create a new scene (+) and name it.
- Add your gameplay source to broadcast your footage. To do this click on add new source (+ sign), and then then choose either Game Capture, Window Capture, or Display Capture, depending on your game > Name the source.
- Choose your Mode > Capture specific window. Also the correct window (the games .exe window). You can then adjust the window to fit nicely on your canvas.
- Add your webcam source by adding a video capture device. You can then resize it, and position it correctly on your display.
Click this video for more info on how to do this.
3. Paste the YouTube Server URL & Stream Key into Streamlabs
- Open ‘Streamlabs OBS’
- Click on Settings
- From the Settings menu click on ‘Stream’
- Change service to ‘YouTube Gaming’ (if you do this you won’t need to paste in the ‘Server URL’).
- Paste key in ‘Stream key’
You can now return to (step 7) and go live.
Where is your YouTube stream key?
You can find your YouTube ‘Stream key’ and ‘Server URL’ under ‘Encoder Setup’ at the bottom of the ‘Stream now’ page.
The Stream now page is under ‘Live Streaming’ in YouTube Creator Studio Classic.
Things you should know if you’re wanting to stream games to YouTube:
How do you get paid for streaming on YouTube?
To monetize your channel on YouTube, you must first be accepted onto the YouTube Partner Program. You will then have the ability to earn donations through the super chat feature, receive payments from your channel members, and run ads on your live streams.
What is the YouTube Partner Program?
The YouTube Partner Program gives creators greater access to YouTube resources and features. Once you have been accepted onto the program you can start earning money from ads, ‘Superchat’, channel memberships, and premium subscribers who view your content.
To qualify for YouTube partner program you must:
- Be in good standing with YouTube
- Have more than 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- Over 1,000 subscribers.
- Have a linked AdSense account.
For more info click here
What is YouTube Super Chat?
Super Chat is a way to monetize your channel through the YouTube Partner Program. This feature allows viewers to purchase, and pin comments to the live stream in the form of a donation. Creators can then prioritize comments sent by their biggest fans during the stream.
You need to have at least 1000 subscribers before you can enable this feature.
Click here to find out more
How do I apply for ‘Channel memberships’ on my YouTube gaming channel?
Channel memberships allow viewers to join your channel through monthly recurring payments. To enable this feature you must be a YouTube Partner, and your Gaming channel must have more than 1,000 subscribers.
How do I get paid streaming live games with YouTube ads?
YouTube have a range of different ad formats to engage customers watching your channel. These include:
- Skippable in-stream ads – Paid for if a viewer interacts, or watches longer than 30 seconds.
- Non-skippable in-stream ads – Paid based on impressions.
- Discovery ads – Paid when viewers click on your thumbnail of the ad.
- Bumper ads – Paid based on impressions.
- Outstream ads – When someone watches for 2 seconds or more.
You will have the option to enable all these formats after becoming a YouTube Partner.
For more info on ads click here.
What is the average CPM on YouTube?
Most YouTube ads are paid based on impressions (CPM). CPM means you will be paid each time your ad is shown 1,000 times. How much you can actually make will depend upon a range of different factors associated with your target audience but is somewhere around $4 mark.
What games do YouTubers play?
- PUBG MOBILE
- Garena Free Fire
- WWE SuperCard
- Grand Theft Auto V
- League of Legends
- Fire Emblem Fates
- Arena of Valor
- Monster Hunter: World
- Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
- NBA 2K20
How to stream games to YouTube using other devices
Can you stream games to YouTube from PS4?
Yes it is possible to broadcast your gameplay from your PlayStation 4 system, by linking it to your YouTube account.
- Go to the PS4 settings > link with other services, and sign into YouTube.
- Next press the ‘share’ button on your DualShock 4 controller to open the “Broadcast Gameplay” menu.
- You can then set up your PlayStation Camera/ Mic, and start broadcasting up to 1080p (60fps).
For more info on how to do this click here.
How To Stream From Xbox One To YouTube?
Microsoft don’t allow you to stream games straight to YouTube, so to do this you will need to stream to your PC first.
- Go to your Xbox settings > Preferences > Xbox app connectivity > Allow connections from any device, and tick both boxes.
- Open the Xbox app on your PC > Sign in > Click on connection (on the left hand menu), the app will find the Xbox device on your local network.
- Click ‘Stream’ – Your Xbox game display should now be showing up on your PC screen.
- Open your OBS software and create a new scene window capturing the Xbox app.
You can then continue from here.
(no capture card needed).
How to create a live YouTube stream on Mobile?
To Create a live YouTube mobile stream for playing games live, your channel will need to have at least 1,000 subscribers.
You can follow these instructions on the YouTube page on how to do this. Click here.
If you found this guide useful, and are looking for more of the same, click here to learn how to ‘Stream live games on Facebook’.