Begin playing the game you want to stream. Press the SHARE button on your PS4 controller, and select ‘ Transfer Game ’ from the pop-up menu. In the next window, select Twitch as your chosen streaming platform. You will be asked to log into Twitch or create a new account if you don’t yet have one. Setup a PS4, Xbox One or gaming PC and any gaming headset or headphones correctly. Add giveaways, song requests, Twitch alerts, Streamlabels, donations, overlays + more to your Twitch stream! Setup a pro Twitch stream with everything from the cheapest, to more expensive setups. Party chat with friends while you broadcast to Twitch and include them in the stream.
Getting started on Twitch can be an intimidating task. Unless you’re that one in a million who starts getting a lot of views and an active chat right away, it can be slow going. It’s perfectly normal to only see a few viewers at a time in new Twitch channels, and follows can be few and far between sometimes – making it hard to stay motivated and keep coming back to stream the next day.
And while there’s plenty of advice out there on the internet targeted at new streamers, I just wanted to put together one consolidated guide for PS4 console gamers who are new to Twitch. Now, that being said, a lot of the basic tips and pieces of advice that are listed here will apply to all new streamers – so no matter what your setup is, you may find the answer to a question you had about streaming here.
To make it easy to navigate, I’ve separated the article out into two halves: Basic tips for all new streamers and targeted advice for native PS4 streamers (meaning you stream straight off your PS4). So if you’re here to get answers to questions like “How can I make my PS4 stream look more professional?” or “Can I stream from my PS4 to a laptop or PC without a capture card?” you’ll find all that under the header Making PS4 Streams with Polish down below.
Ps4 Twitch Setup
Before we dive in, I just wanted to tell you why I’m writing this article. A couple months ago Obilisk launched a Twitch community, and I found myself returning to Twitch after a long hiatus. Surprise – I’m a native PS4 console streamer. And while a lot of people are worried that streaming right off their PS4 isn’t fancy enough or they don’t want to hear negative comments about their setup, I’m here to say PS4 streaming can be done in a way that looks good and engages viewers without breaking the bank.
So with that said, let’s dive in:
Basic Beginner’s Tips for all Streamers:
- Watch other streamers first. It seems pretty obvious, but it’s actually a simple step that can get overlooked. By watching other streamers, you can get a feel for the culture on Twitch and learn the lingo – from !lurk to POGGERS. You can see what works for other streamers and learn from how they engage with their viewers. You’ll also learn about things like chat etiquette that can vary from channel to channel. Plus, by engaging with other streamers in their chat, you may find a few friends along the way – which segues into my next point.
- Networking is one of the most important things you can do. But I’m not just talking follow for follow. In fact, networking might not even be the best word to describe it. It might be better to say make friends with other streamers. Support them first by watching their streams and saying hello in their chat, all while not necessarily expecting anything in return – some of them will surprise you and help you build a community via a network of friends who will constantly visit your streams. Essentially, don’t go it alone – find a few friends who believe streamers help other streamers.
- If you haven’t made a lot of Twitch friends yet, ask your family and friends IRL. Streaming with family and friends to start – even if it’s just one person who can make it to your streams – can make a world of a difference. You’ll have someone to talk to that you know and is there to support you. It’ll help you stay talking even when the viewer count is low, and you may even find someone who is willing to mod your channel for you in the early days.
- Now, when it comes to the games – play what you want.But also play smart. You’re going to find a lot of conflicting advice on this one, but personally, I say it’s not a bad idea to find a happy medium where you’re doing both. Play the games you want to play because if you’re not having fun, then your viewers can feel it. But you might also want to pay attention to which games are topping the browse page. Playing games at the very top like Fortnitemight not be the best idea – there could be hundreds of other streamers doing the same thing. What I’d recommend trying is seeing what’s in the top 30-50 games on the browse page. If there’s something that peaks your interest, maybe give it a try sometime.
- Don’t worry about branding right away. What do I mean by that? Don’t worry about having the perfect logo or a set script for your channel to follow. It’s perfectly fine to set out as a variety streamer and do nothing more than put your personality on display. Believe it or not, the identity of your channel can and will grow naturally over time from your interactions with viewers, things that happen frequently in your streams, and inside jokes that spring up out of nowhere.
- However!That doesn’t mean don’t worry about your channel’s presentation. If you’re like me and you started out thinking, “Let’s see how this goes. If it starts to take off, then I’ll invest money into it,” you probably don’t want to pay for expensive channel art – and that’s fine. Go the DIY route. You’ll definitely want some sort of profile picture and probably some art to decorate the panels on your channel’s page – so get creative. Personally, I used snaps from my own photo mode shots to decorate my channel in the beginning, and there’s always programs like Microsoft Paint. But even beyond looking nice, it’s important to have some key information on your page:
- In the section that appears below the video for your streams on the Twitch app – either desktop or mobile – you’ll want to include some helpful panels for the people are trying to learn about your channel. You should consider giving a little blurb about you as well as list some of the games you play, your social media links, and an approximate schedule (doesn’t have to be exact). You might also want to give some channel guidelines or chat rules for your viewers, as well as make it easy for them to find your list of commands – but more on that later.
- Be as consistent as you can. Trust me, I know how hard it can be to make and keep a set schedule if you’re not a full-time streamer. Between work, school, family and whatever else you have going on – you can’t always say when you’ll have time to stream or for how long. However, you should be able to give viewers approximate ranges of time that they can find you. Maybe you’re around a couple nights a week after 6, or you’re going to try to stream Saturday mornings before noon. It can change week to week – just let your viewers know ahead of time. And also, make sure to give yourself at least two hours for most of your streams so people have time to jump in.
- Once you start to have a few viewers regularly, get a bot. Nightbot, wizebot, streamelements – there’s plenty of choices out there, and a lot of them cover many of the same functions, although you’ll find some are easier to work with than others. Just shop around and see what works for you. Now, why am I saying get a bot? It’s not so much for auto-modding (of course, that’s still important). But perhaps more importantly, it gives viewers something to interact with. You can make commands that give people in your chat games to play or points to win, enable song requests, or – to loop back around to networking – let you shout out other streamers and their channels. Don’t be afraid to look at things like reddit to get ideas on how to build your custom command list.
- And speaking of giving your chat something to interact with – talk to them. This is an incredibly basic and obvious piece of advice, but it’s one of the easiest and most important things you can do. And I don’t just mean talk to them about the game (because of course, you should do that). But try to remember your viewers who say hi in the chat. Get to know them. Ask about them – their day, their job, their favorite games, or maybe even their own streams! Trust me, they’ll appreciate it if you make an effort to remember them and say, “Hey Jay, how did the pinball tournament go the other day?” Just be friendly, and put your personality on display.
- One last basic tip: Social media. Tweet your streams. Join communities and discords – a lot of times, this will come from your networking, or you’ll do the building yourself with a discord etc. of you own once you’ve gotten some streaming under your belt already. Post clips to Instagram or Facebook – whatever your platform of choice is. And of course – make sure to follow other streamers and their accounts.
Now that’s it for the broad advice – time for the targeted advice for new PS4 streamers. I think it’s important for people to have a source where they can get answers about streaming straight off their PS4 because for a lot of new streamers, it’s an affordable alternative to streaming off a gaming PC or buying a capture card.
It can also seem impossible to add certain features to your stream when you’re not using a PC to capture with recording software like OBS (open broadcaster software for those who are new to the term). In fact, I believe there’s quite a few capabilities that Sony should seriously consider adding to the PS5 to make their next generation of consoles more streamer and social media-friendly – but that’s a topic for another article that I’ll write at a later date. Download cleanmymac x full version free. But for now, here’s some tips on how to add some nice touches to your channel and your streams:
Making PS4 Streams with Polish:
- First and foremost, it’s ok to just hit the share button. I’d highly recommend using at least a basic microphone – even just the one on your gaming headset or the PS4 webcam. Unless you’re doing extremely high level gameplay where people are really just coming to watch you pull off combos that only 5 other people in the world can do, you need a medium to engage with your audience. I’ve seen PS4 streamers do it without a mic, they just make sure to type their responses into their own chat, but that can be hard to manage. And while I recommend a mic, don’t feel pressured to use a webcam – at all.
Twitch Ps4 Setup
- However, if you do choose to use the PS4 webcam, there’s a number of settings you can play with. If you look at the advanced settings for your webcam or your broadcast, you’ll see that you can change the size, shape, and location of your facecam on your stream. You can even try to fake a green screen effect that will fade the edges around you instead showing a square box if you want. You can also choose to display your chat on screen or hide it. On top of that, the PS4 webcam gives you some different audio options – including to broadcast a party chat. Check out your advanced settings ahead of time, and shop through what’s available.
- Perhaps the most important advice I can give: Have. Your. Laptop. Open. If you don’t have a laptop or PC, use the Twitch app on your phone – either way you’ll want to be able to view your own stream. Especially if you don’t want to display the chat on your stream, you’ll absolutely need it so that you can keep up with what viewers are saying. Beyond that, it will help you monitor the health of your stream. But! Keep it muted unless you’re checking the audio or otherwise you’ll probably get a delayed echo on stream. You’ll also need to keep things like Streamlabs etc. open if you choose to use that but more on that in a minute. Here’s some important things to take advantage of on the Twitch app itself:
- Edit your game info on Twitch, not PS4 each time you go live. I know the PlayStation gives you the option to title your stream and list what game you’re playing after you hit the share button, but it doesn’t always work reliably. I highly recommend editing your stream title, game, going live notification etc. from your dashboard on Twitch.
- And speaking of your dashboard, while you do NOT want to obsess about viewership numbers, Twitch does have a decent analytics page for you (as do many streaming bots) that can be useful for giving you information about how your streams are going. What time of day did your viewers spike? What games are you audience interested in? Where do you views come from? Again, do NOT get discouraged by low viewer numbers. Focus on having fun, even while you trying to learn more about what’s going on with your stream.
- Believe it or not, you can get some very, very basic overlays on your stream without using OBS. If you’re looking to overlay something basic on your stream’s video display, check out the list of available Twitch extensions. If you’re interested in doing song requests or letting viewers redeem things for loyalty points, I highly recommend checking out the Streamlabs extensions, including an overlay that lets you put a menu on screen that people can interact with. There’s some other extensions that are game specific too – like one for Hearthstone. They’re very basic but they’re there.
- Also, while on the topic of extensions – there’s more than just overlays. There are several extensions that you can put into the informational panels on your channel’s page that can display all sorts of information. There’s different leaderboards for the people with the most loyalty points from watching or who’ve donated the most bits, they have a schedule app that lets you update your schedule as you go – take a look at what’s available.
- Set up a notification for new followers, subs, etc. While you’re not going to be able to display a meme or a gif with a snippet of a song on your screen when some hits that follow button without a program like OBS, there are other things you can do to give viewers feedback when they support your channel. You can actually use a bot like wizebot or streamelements to announce each new follow in your chat so that you and the other viewers can see it. It gives some positive feedback to the stream and helps you show your appreciation for the support.
- Now – for those of you who do want to go one step further and stream to your PC and capture your PS4 stream with OBS, there is a way to do it with absolutely NO capture card. Remote play is your key. First you’ll have to download PlayStation remote play onto your computer and link it to your PS4. You’ll obviously also need to download OBS. From there, so long as you have a PS4 controller plugged into your computer, you should be good to go – just initiate a window capture from OBS to stream your PS4 via remote play. You can add in a mic, facecam, overlays, etc. within OBS – whatever you’re comfortable with. However, you may have to fidget with it to make it work. For example, you might experience some controller lag but there’s a workaround for that – YouTube is a great source to get answers on how to fix small issues like that. One word to the wise though: Your PS4 webcam won’t work with this setup, you’ll need a new mic/webcam that doesn’t have a propriety hookup.
- Lastly, test you setup. Make sure you’re comfortable with it and it works, no matter what it is that you end up doing. You don’t want any surprises once your stream gets under way, so make sure everything checks out before hand – from the audio to the health of your stream’s connectivity. It’s inevitable that there will be some technical hiccups along the way – streams can suddenly go offline or maybe it’s a simple as you forgot to turn your microphone on – just be ready for them and don’t let them frazzle you.
Alright, that’s a wrap for now – hopefully this answered some of your questions or gave you some ideas for future streams of your own! As I said earlier, I’ll be working on an article on how Sony should consider updating native streaming for the PS5 somewhere down the line, but keep an eye on this space because who knows, we could come back with more advanced tips on setting up and improving your streams.
For now, let us know. Did you find this article helpful? Are you feeling a little more confident about streaming? And of course, feel free to stop by a Team Obilisk stream over on Twitch – just look up our community to see who’s live. We’d be happy to have you!
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I can be super nerdy about novels, anime, and sports too (especially football - Clemson and NE Pats all the way).
Also, may or may not be an 80 year old woman trapped in a 20-something year old body. Who knows?