Streaming has been a big part of speedrunning. Whether to prove the validity of a run, or just provide and receive speedrunning help from others. If you are looking to get into speedrunning but don’t have a stream, you’ve come to the right place.
Making Your Own Speedrunning Stream
There are a couple things which may discourage people from streaming all together, but some of them may not be entirely valid. These reasons can include things like:
- “Who would even watch me?”
- “Streaming to nobody doesn’t help me at all.”
- “Why bother?”
Points number one and two are pretty much the same thing, and for that I have to say that you’re looking at it in the wrong light. Worst case scenario, you have a categorized catalog filled with all of your runs so you can look over them and improve upon them. Best case scenario, you meet some people you can either teach or learn from.
So if you’re trying to start a stream, you are going to need to be able to record your gameplay. Experienced streamers typically know that there are two main programs which people use. OBS (Open Studio Broadcaster) and XSplit. Both have their pros and cons.
OBS is an extremely customizable experience. with open-sourced plugins and a quick start option which optimizes settings to your computer specs. There are references on their website to a wiki absolutely filled with resources to help you get better at using OBS. These involve things like using audio filters, chroma-keying for your green (or blue) screen, and other, more advanced, options.
XSplit is a more streamlined experience which holds your hand a little more than OBS does. It’s also a more official looking user interface which offers a premium and a free version.
Comparing and contrasting XSplit and OBS
It should be mentioned that the free version comes with an XSplit watermark, whereas OBS is completely free with no catch. Both provide access to a list of basic plugins to help you out. XSplit offers an option to import your scenes from OBS, so you can try both if you want, and see which is better for yourself.
If you’re trying to get into livestreaming, some people would say you are hamstringing (or crippling) yourself if you start with XSplit over OBS. The OBS plugins, clean and simple user interface, and shift/alt/ctrl shortcuts are just that good. However, if the ease of use, especially in the setup stage, is calling you from XSplit, you should absolutely go ahead and give it a try!
So you have a livestream now, but what about timers?
Timers are important to have on your stream for obvious reasons. The number one recommended app for keeping time is LiveSplit. LiveSplit is the number one program for recording splits and it is used by many popular Twitch personalities to keep track of their pace in real time. LiveSplit is unbelievably easy to set up, because you don’t have to download any plugins to either OBS or XSplit to get it working. You simply target the window using window capture in your scene and it just works. By the way, LiveSplit also supports global hotkeys so you can be confident that you are getting accurate times while tabbed into other windows. A quick start guide for a layout showed in the example is as simple as:
First, opening the app after downloading LiveSplit from LiveSplit.com. Second, right-click the timer and go to “Edit Splits”. Third, after adjusting your own LiveSplit timer and adding as many segments as you need with “Insert Below” click “OK”. Then, right-click on the timer one more time. Go to “Edit Layout…”, and using the plus (+) button at the top left, create your own timer which works for your stream. I recommend Timer, Splits, and Detailed Timer to get started. And as one last bonus tip, in the “Edit Layout…” options, click the “Layout Settings” button in the bottom left. Go to “Splits” and uncheck “Fill with Blank Space if Not Enough Splits”. This will give your timer a much sleeker and compact look.
If you do not have a standard Windows PC, or just want to explore other timer options, please check out our comprehensive article about timers here: The Best Speedrun Timer — Which Timer to Use For Speedrunning?
Capture Cards To Display Your Gameplay
If you are looking to play on a video game console rather than PC, you can use a “capture card”. These are also sometimes referred to as a “capture device”.
For video games that came out before HDMI was popularized, the GVUSB2 is awesome. It is high-quality but lightweight and incredibly easy to set up.
For modern gaming on consoles like Playstation 5 or Nintendo Switch, Elgato HD60s. There are other options available, but my experience with the Elgato HD60s has been fairly positive. Using it, you won’t have much lag between what you see on the game and what OBS captures. The quality is also really good! As a bonus, I’ve found it to be very durable.
So you finally have a foundation for your livestream setup. If you also want to cross-post your best runs to Youtube or other video sharing platforms, you will greatly benefit from displaying your chat. People love seeing reactions to the wacky stuff that can (and will) happen during a live stream. This can be done through the OBS Streamlabs website, or on XSplit, simply adding “IRC Chat Viewer” which can be found under “Add Source” then “Twitch Widgets”. On OBS, it is simple as well. Log into your streamlabs page, click Widgets, and select whichever box you would like. Then afterwards, customize your chat, copy the link, and then create a Browser Source in OBS. Paste in the link, and you’re done! If you want, you can send a test message in your own chat, just to see if everything is working properly.
So now, you finally have everything you need to broadcast your experiences on whichever streaming site you want. Goodluck with both your streams, and your speedruns.
Don’t forget to check out our other articles and videos if you need help with anything else!
I’m a video editor that just really enjoys making thing look good. I’ve been doing this for a while now and i’d like to think I’m pretty good at it!
Contact me on Discord at: Skibuster#9593