How to Live Stream on YouTube with OBS: A Comprehensive Guide


YouTube has become a prominent platform for live streaming, rivaling even Twitch in popularity. Whether you’re a well-known YouTuber with a vast subscriber base or simply looking to create live content, YouTube offers an excellent platform to showcase your skills. In this article, we will guide you through the process of live streaming on YouTube using OBS, a versatile software used for video recording and live streaming. Although our focus will be on live streaming games, these steps apply to any form of live streaming on YouTube. So, let’s get started!

Step 1: Install Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

OBS is widely used for capturing video output and streaming it live to platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Download the OBS software from the official website and install it on your device to begin. Once installed, setting up OBS is straightforward. Should you require advanced settings for specific needs, you can configure them accordingly. Depending on your system’s capabilities, you may need to adjust the software’s settings and recording quality to achieve optimal performance.

Step 2: Obtain Your Stream Key & Set up OBS

To begin streaming on YouTube, you need a stream key that authenticates your OBS software with the platform. Follow these steps to locate your YouTube stream key:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account.
  2. Click on your profile picture and navigate to YouTube Studio.
  3. From the left-hand list, select Creator Studio Classic, and follow the prompts to access Creator Studio.
  4. Locate your stream key under the Encoder Setup section of the Live Streaming page. Copy this YouTube stream key.
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Now, you can use this stream key to set up OBS:

  1. Open OBS.
  2. The auto-configuration wizard will appear. Follow its instructions until you reach the interface where you need to input your stream key.
  3. In the Service section, select “YouTube/YouTube Gaming.” Then, paste the YouTube stream key you previously copied into the Stream Key field.

Ensure you keep your YouTube stream key secure since anyone with access to it can stream live content on your YouTube channel. If your stream key becomes compromised, you can reset it from your YouTube dashboard.

Step 3: Configure Your Stream Information

Every time you initiate a live stream, you must set up the relevant stream information. However, the process differs slightly between Twitch and YouTube. If you’re streaming on Twitch, you need to select the game you’re playing and set a stream title. On YouTube, however, live streams are treated as videos. As a result, you need to add thumbnails, titles, descriptions, and other metadata typically associated with regular videos.

Furthermore, when starting a live stream on YouTube, you have additional options to customize your stream information:

  • Stream Options: Enable or disable DVR to create an archive of your stream after it concludes. Adjust latency settings and add a delay to combat stream sniping.
  • Advanced Settings: Customize chat options, such as enabling slow mode or restricting non-members from chatting (the YouTube equivalent of Twitch subs).

Step 4: Initiate Your Live Stream on YouTube

Having completed the previous steps, you are now ready to start your live stream. Click on “Start Streaming” in OBS, and your stream will commence. Keep an eye on the YouTube dashboard to monitor your live stream’s progress and engage with viewers.

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Bonus Tips

If monetization is enabled on your YouTube account, you can enable ads during your stream, allowing viewers to donate through the chat. If possible, using a second monitor is advisable, as it allows you to monitor your stream and read chat simultaneously.


By following the steps outlined in this article, you have acquired the necessary knowledge to successfully live stream on YouTube using OBS. If you have any further questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Happy streaming!

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