Encoding is all about compressing images. The smaller the size of the image, the less we must compress it and the more quality it keeps. While the same applies for framerate, a viewer can really notice a drop in FPS but not so much in resolution, so we will always try to stream at 60 FPS.
First, run a speed test to determine your upload speed (e.g. Speed Test). We want to use around 75% of your upload speed, as the game and other programs such as Discord will also fight for bandwidth.
- Important Note for High Motion Content. If you are going to stream high motion scenes (i.e. Racing games, some Battle Royale games, etc.) we highly recommend reducing your resolution. High motion content cannot be compressed as much, and can suffer from more artifacting (encoding errors) that make your stream look “blocky”. If you reduce the resolution, you reduce the data being encoded, and the resulting viewer quality is higher. For example, for Fortnite, many streamers decide to stream at 1600x900 60 FPS.
Note for New and Upcoming Streamers to Twitch. Transcoding allows a viewer to view your video on a different resolution, thus requiring a lower bandwidth. Twitch only offers guaranteed transcoding to Partners; non-partners may receive transcoding, but it is not guaranteed. This is important if your viewers are on mobile phones or their internet speed is not as fast. You may want to consider streaming at a lower bitrate and resolution to lower the bandwidth required to see your channel.
Note for Streamers to Mixer. Mixer allows you to stream through the standard protocol (RTMP) or an improved one called Faster Than Light (FTL). FTL provides very low latency. However, when you use it Mixer recommends to limit your bitrate to 7 Mbps and not use B-Frames. You select this in the OBS settings > Stream, under service.
These are our recommended settings for OBS Studio 23.0 and up. You’ll want to test and adjust these settings by doing a local recording to verify you’re happy with the results.
To go onto the settings, click on the Settings button on the bottom right.
VIDEO TAB SETTINGS
- Base (Canvas) Resolution: Set the resolution you normally play at. That is, your desktop resolution (if you play in borderless mode), or the game resolution you normally enter (if you play in full screen).
- Output (Scaled) Resolution: Enter the resolution appropriate for your Upload Speed and Bitrate, as we discussed in the previous section.
- Downscale Filter: This allows you to select a downscale filter that will provide a small image sharpness enhancement, at the cost of some encoder workload. NVENC is very efficient and typically runs at low utilization, so we recommend using this with the Lanczos, 36 samples option for the best quality.
- FPS: Enter the FPS appropriate for your Upload Speed and Bitrate, as we discussed in the previous section.
OUTPUT TAB SETTINGS
If you want an easy, out of the box configuration, then do the following:
- Output Mode: Simple
- Bitrate: Enter the Bitrate appropriate for your Upload Speed, as we discussed in the previous section.
- Encoder: Select Hardware (NVENC).
- Enable Advanced Encoder Settings: Unchecked. We collaborated with OBS to fine-tune these settings, so it just works!
- Encoder Preset: Quality. This is already the default option. Note that it is only visible if you check Encode Advanced Encoder Settings.
- Recording Path: This is the directory where the videos will be saved. Make sure the hard drive you select has enough space!
- Recording Quality: High Quality typically works for most users, but you can change this to Indistinguishable Quality if you have enough disk space or are going to do short videos (about 60 seconds).
- Recording Format: FLV or MKV.
- Encoder: Hardware (NVENC).