All You Need to Know About PlayStation 4 Streaming on Twitch

If you belong to those streamers who prefer games on console, you may have many questions about how to effectively stream the gameplay on Twitch. So, our useful tips are tailored for you:

Is It Worth Streaming Off PS4?

PROs of PS4 streaming:
  • Huge viewerbase. Consoles have a built-in base of viewers that makes it much easier to get target audience.
  • Easy setup. PlayStation camera is very easy to set up, but for that reason PS4 streamers are not considered “hardcore streamers” by the gaming community.
  • All Twitch features available. You can watch, follow and interact with any broadcaster or game on Twitch. Your fans will be able to watch your live PS4 streaming from any Twitch device or with the help of special app Live On PlayStation.
  • Chat available. You can read Twitch chat while PS4 streaming on the same screen in real-time.
CONs of PS4 streaming:
  • Non-dedicated followers. Yes, you will easily find your audience when streaming from console, but there are a few chances that they will go to see your Twitch page or follow you, if you decide to switch to PC games.
  • The limited amount of games to watch. If you want to watch other streamers’ gameplay with the help of app On Live from PlayStation, you may only watch those streams that come from PS4. So, you can’t watch Dota or League of Legends streams.
  • Limited functionality. For instance, it is impossible to do screen follower popups, donations, easily listen to music (the PS4 blocks using music apps while streaming for copyright reasons). From PS4, you can only stream 720p and in 30fps. You can't place templates over your stream as you can on PC.
  • Chat difficulties. You can only see around 4 chats, if playing from console. It is not a big issue for small channels, but if your chat is big and active, it will be hard to communicate effectively. You will need a laptop next to you to keep up with a chat. One more thing about chat: expect that all written things (even unpleasant ones, such as racist comments) will stay on PS screen for a while, as what you delete in Twitch chat is not automatically deleted on PS4.

How To Start PlayStation 4 Streaming on Twitch

PS4 fans can stream their gameplay to Twitch by simply linking their PS4 with a Twitch account and pressing the “Share” button. This allows streaming video almost instantly. It is also possible to activate the PS4 mic and provide voice-over comments, make comments visible and send automatic links to Twitter or Facebook. The step-by-step instruction on how to start streaming from PS4 on Twitch looks like this:
  • Start playing the game you’ve chosen
  • Click the “Share” button and then “Broadcast Gameplay”
  • Choose the service you want to stream to (Twitch or UStream)
  • Link your PS4 to the Twitch or UStream accounts
  • Give your broadcast a title, choose needed streaming options
  • Click on “Start Broadcasting”
  • To see the comments on PS4 screen, just scroll the display
  • To end streaming, press the "Share" button

How to Choose the Game for My Stream?

Choosing the game for your streams is a tricky task. On one hand, streaming unpopular games is a direct way to nowhere. On the other hand, playing the most popular games makes you compete with experienced and already popular players. Try to choose something in between. If you are one of PlayStation4 streamers, we would recommend you starting off with a newly released game. It could be easier to get some exposure. You can also think about streaming PS4 exclusive games when they are released for the first time. Before starting your broadcast, double check that the chosen game is valid for Twitch. Sometimes, the PS4 games have  ™ or ® signs in the name. Such games won’t show up in the corresponding game directory on Twitch (hence this is forbidden by the TOS). And viewers who are searching for PS4 streamers playing that game won’t be able to find you. To check if your stream is displayed, view the stream from a phone or web browser. On your Twitch Dashboard  you can remove these symbols to make sure your PS4 streams are easily visible on Twitch.

Other Useful Tips and Tricks for PS4 Streamers

  • PlayStation Camera
If you are streaming from PS4, you have no way to choose the camera for streaming. PlayStation camera is the only option to get your face into a stream. However, you can always opt out from using the built-in microphone which sounds really bad, worse than a Skype call. If, against all odds, you want to use another camera, you will have to stream from PC. On PS4 camera you can use a Chroma key or a green screen only.
  • Using a PC or Laptop as a Part of Your Setup
As it was told before, some Twitch features are limited to PS4 streamers. But, there is a solution: you can use a laptop or PC as a part of your streaming setup. For instance, you can have a laptop with chat close to you - this will really help to interact with people while streaming. If you are the owner of a powerful PC, consider purchasing a capture card for your stream. Capture cards can help you showcase the game footage in more attractive way, share in-game plays, build a library of video clips and other things. It is also possible to bring the PS4 video to your PC and use streaming software, such as OBS, to create and add video overlays to make your stream look prettier.
  • Choosing a Top Notch Gaming Headset
Before every broadcast, make sure that your stream’s audio is clear. Statistics demonstrates that people are more likely to switch to another channel because of bad audio that in case of bad video quality. A good headset is very important for getting the best audio from your games and chatting to your online fans without annoying everyone in the house. Of course, purchasing a quality gaming headset is not “what the hack” kind of deal. They are usually expensive. Moreover, there is an impressive number of headphones out there from big brands who promise perfect sound to less known ones. The truth is that regardless the brand you choose for your PS4, you’re going to “touch” a world of audio that you didn’t even know was there. With quality headsets, you’ll realize that you can hear a scope zooming, and NPC sounds that you didn’t know actually spoke will speak to you vividly.
  • Use the Help of Chatbots
Chatbots may be not necessary from the beginning, but they are definitely needed with the growth of your channel. Without chatbots, you could spend weeks without having no followers in your chat. Nightbot is the most frequent solution, you can start with it. Then, if you see that you need some features Nightbot doesn’t support, you can try running other chatbots. However, try not to use more than two chatbots simultaneously, it can be too overwhelming.
  • Check Your Connection
PS4 streamers need the fastest upload speed, especially if they prefer playing multiplayer games. To achieve this, connect your PS4 with a direct network cable connection to your Internet modem/router. Don’t use Wi-Fi to stream, as you stream will experience drops in connection.  When you are actually streaming, make sure that people who live with you don’t use Internet at the same moment or doing that as little as possible. Get the fastest upload speed available by your Internet provider.
  • Interact and Watch Other PS4 Streamers
To find like-minded people, be sure to watch other PS4 streamers. You can find some interesting ideas for improving your stream or just make a friendship. To find people doing PS4 streaming, enter #ps4live (it is a default hashtag) in a Twitter or Twitch search and join PS4 streaming community for more inspiration.
  • Utilize USB Sound Mixer for Better Music Experience
The bad news for PS4 streamers is that there is no possibility to add overlay and video alerts over your stream. However, there is a simple solution. You can use a USB sound mixer which is recognized by PS4 as a headset and enables you to add multiple microphones and audio sources to your stream. It is also possible to use OBS to activate audio alerts when viewers follow you and add music and other sound effects to your stream.
  • Make Social Media Work for You
Let people know that you are streaming with PS4. The simplest thing to do is to set up your Twitter and Facebook links by simply going to “Settings -> Sharing and Broadcasts -> Link with Other Services”. Then, you should find a “Share” button and choose the social network you want to share the news to. Thus, you will automatically alert all your social media followers about going live. Moreover, Twitch also provides you with a feature “Pulse” which is a relatively new social feed that offer personalized recommendations of live streams and VODs based on your viewing history and the list of people you follow. Via this app you can also publish your own updates and content for friends and followers.

Takeaway

All in all, you don’t need a PC anymore to have a good stream. Though PS4 streaming has some functional limitations, there are more than enough features available. You can place messages at the bottom of your screen, adjust camera’s settings, use green or blue screen to cut out your camera feed, voice commands, etc. Moreover, people can find you in On Live from PlayStation app, which means more potential viewers.

11/23/2017