WG news Lesson 3 OBS Setup and First Stream


Do you watch streams on YouTube and Twitch and want to stream yourself, but have no time to delve into the ins, outs, software, and settings? In just four lessons, we’ll explain the basics; and after a month, you’ll be good enough to participate in a streaming competition! If you’ve just started and want to join the Contributor program, this is your chance to bypass the rules, get noticed, and receive support on our official YouTube and Twitch channels.

Topic of Lesson 3: OBS Setup and First Stream

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  • How to set up OBS
  • How to add a game to OBS
  • How to start your first stream on YouTube
  • How to add a webcam

Conclusions: we learned how to set up OBS for the first stream, how to set up broadcasts on YouTube, launched our first stream, and figured out how to use a webcam on our stream.

First, you need to download and install the OBS Studio software (obsproject.com). As you remember from the previous lesson, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is one of the main software tools for video streaming.

After the short installation process, run the software and go to Settings (File — Settings).

General view of Open Broadcaster Software

General settings menu

Stream settings menu

In addition to the option for changing language, you also need the option in the Stream menu that allows you to choose the service that you want to stream to. Tick the Show all services checkbox—in the dropdown menu, you’ll see a list of several dozen platforms. Whichever service you choose, you will be asked to enter a stream key. This is a unique key code assigned to your broadcasts by the streaming platform itself. In our lesson, we select YouTube (Primary YouTube ingest server), and go to the next tab — Output.

Output settings menu

In the Output tab, we will set up the parameters of the stream that we will broadcast either live or to our hard drive, depending on what option we choose. Activate the Advanced Mode, but don’t touch the audio settings.

In the same Output tab, click the Streaming tab.

Open the dropdown Encoder menu. The primary codec is x264, a software encoder that mostly uses the resources of your CPU and RAM.

Depending on what graphics card you have, you can select other hardware encoders:

  • NVENC, the nVidia graphics card encoder
  • VCE, if you use an AMD graphics card
  • QuickSync, if you have an Intel graphics card

What encoder should you choose? Your task is to stream a picture at maximum quality.

The rule is simple: if your graphics card runs the game at Ultra settings and 60 FPS without any trouble, use the hardware encoder— NVENC or VCE. If your graphics card can’t run Ultra settings, your CPU load is less than 50%, and you have free RAM, choose the x264 software encoder.

Next, Bitrate. Here we select the pass band that our stream is going to output. Always choose CBR regardless of the platform. Set the bitrate depending on the video settings, and set the Keyframe Interval to 2 seconds.

Stream TypeVideo bitrate, standard FPS (24, 25, 30)Video bitrate, high FPS (48, 50, 60)
2160p (4К)35–45 Мb/s53–68 Мb/s
1440p (2К)16–45 Мb/s24–45 Мb/s
1080p8 Мb/s12 Мb/s
720p5 Мb/s7.5 Мb/s
480p2.5 Мb/s4 Мb/s
360p1 Мb/s1.5 Мb/s

Output settings menu, Recording tab

Let’s go to the Recording tab and choose the recording path where your files will be saved, then choose the recording format you need.

Audio tab

Let’s assume that your rig has a single audio card by default and one microphone—a microphone connected to your audio card. If there are several devices, select the required ones from the dropdown menus, and leave the Sample Rate at 44.1kHz.

Video tab

If your monitor is capable of providing Full HD video, leave the resolution unchanged. If not, it’s not crucial at all. The most important thing—the base and the output resolutions should be the same. Your graphics card or CPU don’t need to do any additional work to scale the resolution.

For Common FPS value, choose 60 if your rig can handle it, or 30 if you experience stuttering in the game or on the stream itself when broadcasting at 60 FPS. If your rig is pretty old, choose 24 frames per second.

That’s all for the settings, you can click OK.

How do you stream the game itself?

For starters, run World of Warships, then press Alt+Tab to switch to OBS, and start assembling the stream scene.

To do so, find the Scene menu section in the bottom left corner and click the + icon, then enter the name—let it be “My first scene”. That’s it, the scene is created. Now you need to add sources to the scene; they will be used to assemble the stream picture. Naturally, the first source is the game itself.

Go to the Sources menu section. Click + and select Game Capture in the dropdown menu. A new window will open where you will be asked to create or choose the source — let’s name the source “WoWS”.

Next, the Window Capture Menu will appear. Choose World of Warships from the list of available windows, and click OK.

How do you check if it worked? Open the game window, get back to OBS using Alt+Tab, and if you see a static picture, then you’ve done everything right. If you want the in-game picture to be dynamic when hiding the game with Alt+Tab, you need to choose the Full Screen Window Mode in the Graphics settings.

Launching the live stream on YouTube

Here are the most important things you need to be ready to stream: when you create a channel on YouTube and confirm your phone number, you won’t be able to stream right away. According to YouTube’s rules, you can only stream live after 24 hours.

To start broadcasting, go to Creator Studio, and choose Live Streaming. The settings in these menus are self-explanatory: Make up a stream name and description, choose the Gaming category (by specifying the game name you increase your chances of appearing in search results), and select Public in the confidentiality settings (so that everyone can see your stream). You can also change the stream bumper if you want.

What else do you need? The stream key.

You need to copy and paste it into the corresponding OBS field in section File>Settings>Stream>Stream key. You should never show this key to anyone because anyone who has it can easily stream on your channel.

How to add chat

Displaying the chat on the stream screen can add to the stream’s interactivity. Chats from most resources can be displayed using third-party software:

  • TwoRatChat — tworatchat.com
  • Restream.io chat — restream.io/chat
  • FailChat — github.com/onoderis/failchat
  • Streamlabs — streamlabs.com

How to add a webcam

In order for viewers to see you well, you need to have your workplace well-lit, and the source of light should be behind the camera or beside it. To add your webcam to the OBS scene, click + in the Sources menu, select Video Capture Device, name it “Webcam”, for example, and click OK.

Then select your camera as a main device, change the resolution if you need to, and click OK again. It’s important that the sound of the webcam mic doesn’t go live, so mute it by clicking the speaker symbol next to the Webcam slider in the Mixer menu. Next, change the image size and place the webcam image on the scene.

So, these are your final settings. You can go live! Click the Start Streaming button in OBS, and you will be live in a few seconds! Congratulations!

The next lesson will be out in a week!
Lesson topic: Sound and Voice on the Stream

We hope that this tutorial was useful for you, and you will manage to set up your OBS at the first try. Share your experience in the comments! We continue preparing a competition, in which this simple knowledge of streaming basics will come in handy for you.