Thanks to built-in software, it’s easier than ever to start sharing your gameplay online. If you want to learn how to stream from your Xbox Series X/S, this guide will walk you through the steps to stream directly from your console or using a capture card to stream the footage from your PC.
How to stream from your Xbox Series X/S
Much like the PS5, the Xbox Series X/S include streaming software within the console operating system, though here you'll be limited to Twitch. To stream from your Xbox Series X/S, follow these simple steps:
- Press the Xbox Home button on your controller
- Swap to the Capture and Share tab in the menu overlay on the left
- Select Live Streaming
- Link your Twitch account using the QR code provided if you haven’t already
- Once linked, re-open the Live Streaming option
- Enter your desired stream details, including options for a connected camera and microphone
- Select Go Live to start streaming to Twitch
The built-in Xbox Series X/S streaming options include plenty of useful tools like positioning for your camera, adjusting party chat, changing your resolution, and selecting an overlay. It'll also help you set up any external microphones such as those on a gaming headset like the HyperX CloudX Stinger 2. If you have a gaming PC available too, you can increase your options further including letting you stream games on YouTube by investing in a capture card.
How to stream from your Xbox with a capture card
A capture card is a device which will feed footage from your Xbox to your PC as well as your TV or display. This allows you to stream the gameplay from you PC, using more advanced software to apply overlays, transitions, and other details.
Get a capture card
The two main suppliers of capture cards at the time of writing are Elgato and AVerMedia. Both produce compact boxes with bespoke software for streaming. For the Xbox, we recommend picking up a capture card that records 1080p at 60fps as a minimum to ensure your stream is smooth and clear for viewers. If your internet connection is good enough and you have a 4K display, it may be worth investing in a 4K capture card as well.
Connect it up
To connect the capture card so you can stream from your Xbox Series X/S, you first want to plug the USB cable from it into your PC. While the Xbox is running, disconnect the HDMI cable from your TV or monitor and plug it into the HDMI IN port on your capture card. Then, connect the second HDMI cable from the capture card HDMI OUT port to your TV or monitor.
Load up the game capture software on your PC and you should be able to play the game on your TV or monitor while also recording it on your PC at the same time.
Set up your streaming software
With your capture device working, you then need to load up some streaming software on PC. The most common software for beginners is Open Broadcast Software (OBS) Studio. It’s free and impressively powerful, with plenty of advanced systems to learn once you get started. Other options include XSplit, though expect to pay out a monthly fee for its fancier features. Twitch also has its own dedicated streaming software called Twitch Studio. A straightforward choice if that’s where you want to stream.
Whatever software you choose, you should make sure you're broadcasting the footage from your capture software rather than just your PC screen. After that, you need to link your streaming account to your streaming software. Each piece of software comes with its own FAQ for precisely how to do this, but they should all follow the same general steps:
On your streaming platform (e.g. Twitch or YouTube) find your broadcaster settings under your account dashboard (usually accessed by clicking on your profile icon) and look for an option labeled Stream Key. You’ll need to copy this code into your streaming software’s setting to link it. Do not share your Stream Key with anyone else or they will be able to stream on your account without your permission.
Once you have your Stream Key, you need to find the settings of your streaming software (e.g. OBS). Find the option within that asks for your Stream Key and paste it in there. Other options to do with bitrate and other technical upload specs can be worked out by heading to a bitrate calculator and putting in your numbers. You’ll need to know the output resolution (for the Xbox Series X/S, you’ll likely want 1080p unless you have a 4K capture card) and your internet upload bandwidth to make sure you can stream without buffering.
With everything set up, you just need to go live to start streaming from your Xbox Series X/S!