Some choose to broadcast their content as a hobby but many choose to make a career out of live streaming. If you are contemplating a career in live streaming you might want to know how to stream games on Facebook. It all starts with a great idea and some equipment.
No matter what kind of content you are creating you will most likely need a decently powerful computer and high-speed internet. Any prospective streamer is going to need the best streaming software available to them which will require reading through some streaming software reviews to find the ideal software for them.
If gaming is your passion and you plan to make a living out of it then you will certainly need to read our game recording software reviews to ensure that you are getting the highest quality performance you can.
How to Stream Games on Facebook
Facebook Live is quickly becoming an excellent Twitch alternative for gameplay streaming. There are multiple ways to go live on Facebook depending on what you are playing and on what platform you plan to stream from. The preferred method is definitely to stream using your own PC and use encoder software to customize your stream.
How to Stream Gameplay to Facebook Live
Facebook gaming streaming can be done in multiple ways and some are more convenient than the proposed method. Some games, like the Blizzard games Overwatch and Hearthstone, have built-in Facebook Live integration and can be streamed directly from the game.
If you have an Nvidia brand Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) then you most likely also have a program called “Nvidia GeForce Experience” which has several features including the ability to stream most PC games to Facebook Live.
You Need a Capture Card
A capture card is required for recording gameplay from certain consoles. When looking into capture cards there are a few things to look out for. The capture card itself will likely determine what streaming resolution and bitrate you can stream at. This is essentially the clarity of your stream.
In an ideal scenario, you are after the ability to stream at 1080p at 60fps. If your card has that capability then it doesn’t matter which one you have. This milestone is important to reach because a lot of viewers won’t bother with a stream if it isn’t in 1080p especially if it looks choppy. Fortunately, not all viewers are so picky and as long as your stream is clear with minimal buffering many viewers will be satisfied.
Some cards are easy to set up, they are essentially plug-and-play devices, but others require a little extra effort to install. A variety of high-end capture cards require that they are installed into your computer’s motherboard. This process isn’t difficult but there are certain things you need to know about working on the internals of a computer before you open it up.
If you are attempting to stream from an Xbox console you will not need a capture card. Xbox consoles have access to Microsoft’s proprietary streaming software “Mixer” which allows them to stream directly to Facebook.
Streaming Hardware You Must Have
The very first thing you will need for streaming is a computer. The required quality of your machine varies greatly depending on what quality of content you are trying to create. If you are planning to stream casually as a hobby or just for friends then having a monstrous, high-end machine most likely won’t be necessary. However, if you are going to be pursuing streaming professionally then the higher quality your stream is the more likely it is to draw in viewers which will require a powerful machine.
If you are trying to stream a game of Minesweeper, a game with very few moving parts and mostly static images, your streaming setup doesn’t need to be very high quality at all. If you intend to stream a game of higher graphical intensity, like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, for example, you will need a more powerful processing unit and most likely a wired connection to your modem and/or router.
You will also need a webcam and microphone to broadcast your face and voice. If you are streaming from a laptop you may be fortunate enough to have these things built into your machine, though likely of a low quality. If not, you will need to acquire them separately.
These do not need to be of any particular quality, but you will have to keep in mind that the success of your channel will likely rely upon how well your viewers can see and hear your content.
You will also most likely find yourself needing a variety of other peripherals such as a webcam and microphone or even a second machine separate from your primary computer specifically to run the stream from so that you aren’t placing too hard of a load on your primary machine.
Popular Streaming Software
Streaming quality content requires more than just a good idea and the will to succeed. In order to broadcast your content to the world, you will need the right encoder to convert your recorded video content into web-friendly data to be broadcast online. Learning how to operate your encoder is an important step in learning how to stream games on Facebook.
There are two types of encoders, Software and Hardware, and usually the type of content you will be streaming and where you will be streaming to decides what kind you should use. Because you will be streaming on Facebook and your content is gaming a software encoder can get the job done. Fortunately, streaming software is readily available and easy to acquire, many of them are even free!
There are several options available for software encoding and many of them are free including the most popular ones like OBS Studio. If you are looking for something with more performance than your average encoding software then you might consider a paid software like XSplit Broadcaster.
Learning how to use OBS Studio will be an important step in learning how to stream on Twitch. OBS is an open-source software developed by streamers for streamers which means that it is full of features that are ideal for streaming, but it requires study and practice to use to its full potential and isn’t very user-friendly.
XSplit has the added benefit of being much more user-friendly than OBS. The setup and customization options are more intuitive. The performance of XSplit is more stable overall than OBS and can stream at the highest quality.
Ultimately what you need to know is that OBS Studio is free and can get the job done, but it isn’t very user-friendly and has a learning curve before you can use it with any comfort. Thankfully it has tutorials available on the OBS website. Alternatively, you can pay for an encoder like XSplit which has better performance and is more user-friendly and easier to set up but will cost you on a monthly basis.
XSplit has more features directly built into the software than OBS including an option to edit videos at will, but that feature and many of the better ones are locked behind a paywall. If money is no object then XSplit is the way to go to get the most high-quality streaming with the least amount of learning curve.
Set up a Facebook Fan Page
Setting up a Facebook fan page for your streams is an excellent way to bring your community together in a place where you can interact with them while also providing a convenient place for you to host your streams.
Creating a fan page is a simple process. Simply click on the menu button in Facebook and select “Create Page.” You will be prompted to specify what kind of page you are creating; in this case, you should select “Get Started” under the “Community or Public Figure” section. Then simply continue following the prompts to name your page, describe it, and upload pictures for the profile image and cover of the page. Once those steps are complete you are now ready to begin posting!
Streaming to Facebook from Different Sources
You can do Facebook game streaming from many different platforms. Streaming from a PC is easiest for Facebook gaming but if PC gaming isn’t your thing then you also have the option of streaming from a console of your choice or even your mobile phone. Unfortunately, Facebook Live integration has not been implemented across the board so if you want to stream anything but PC games to Facebook it can be a bit of an involved process.
How to Stream on Facebook From PC
To get started with streaming from a PC you should visit Facebook.com/live/create and click on “Create Live Stream.” You will then be prompted to choose where your stream will go live to, such as your Facebook timeline or from a specific group. The next step is to connect Facebook to your encoding software of choice by copying the stream key from Facebook’s site into the correct place in your software. Once you’ve finished that step you will be prompted to give your stream a name and specify what game you are going to play. After all of that setup is done it is a simple matter to click “start streaming” in your app followed by “Go Live” on Facebook.
How to Stream on Facebook From PS4
Currently, there is no official way to stream to Facebook from a PS4. That said, the tech-savvy prospective streamer can work around this problem. Using a handy app created by Bartosz Pacholek you can stream your PS4 gameplay to Twitch and then link that stream to Facebook.
How to Live Stream Games on Facebook Using Mobile
Streamlabs OBS, one of the more popular software encoders for Facebook gaming streams, now has a mobile version that allows you to record and stream anything on your screen directly to the Facebook Live app.
How to Stream on Facebook From Xbox
Streaming from an Xbox is mostly the same process as streaming from a PC except, the encoding software you will be using is Microsoft’s Xbox Mixer, so when you should link your stream to your encoder that is where you copy your stream key to.