OBS has been one of the best streaming software programs since its release in 2012. Completely open-source and requiring less CPU than other programs, streamers on Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and other platforms have been able to use OBS to create quality content while building their brands.
This post will cover my opinion on the best OBS settings for Twitch and how you can set them up for yourself.
How to Change OBS Settings
When you first open OBS, you may feel a little overwhelmed. Though there are a lot of different tools and settings to navigate through, for the most part, you’ll only really need to use the settings menu.
To open up your settings, simply click ‘File’ in the top left of OBS then settings. In there, you’ll have all the options necessary to make your live streams and/or recordings as smooth as possible.
These are the main settings you should focus on: ‘Output’, ‘Audio’, and ‘Video’.
- The ‘Output’ tab is, as the title would suggest, is for your output setting – bitrate and encoding options for streaming/recording path, quality, and format for recording.
- The ‘Audio’ tab is for all audio options such as; sample rate and devices (microphone, speakers).
- The ‘Video’ tab is where you will find FPS settings, resolution, and downscale filter.
Remember once you have changed your settings, hit apply to keep them.
Best Video Bitrate for OBS
What video bitrate you should use, is entirely dependent on your internet upload speed. 1Mbs is equivalent to 1000kbps, though remember that playing online games and using the internet for other activities does use your bandwidth so you may need to adjust your settings depending on the game you are playing.
Recommended video & output settings:
- 1920 x 1080 – 30fps – 3000/3500
- 1280 x 720 – 30fps – 1800/2500
- 720 x 480 – 30fps – 900/1200
- 640 x 360 – 30 fps – 600/800
- 320 x 240 30fps – up to 500
30fps requires half though the bitrate essentially. To stream at 60fps, you would need to double the recommended bitrate (example: streaming in the scale 1920 x 1080 at 60fps – 6000 for the bitrate). However, I have noticed 30fps streams seem to allow for more transcoding options as Twitch affiliate, so if you are not yet partnered, 30fps may be the best option for you and your audience who may need to downscale your stream from time to time.
Best Audio Bitrate for OBS
Adjusting your audio bitrate is essential to your live stream. Your audio bitrate does affect your overall bitrate, so you may find you need to adjust settings depending on the audio options you have chosen. The higher the bitrate, the better the sound.
Recommended audio bitrate:
- 1920 x 1080 – 320
- 1280 x 720 – 256
- 720 x 480 – 192
- 640 x 360 – 128
- 320 x 240 – 96
Audio makes up around 80% of your live stream, so it is very important to have your audio always of the highest quality you possibly can.
OBS Bitrate Calculator
Knowing how to adjust your bitrate depending on internet speeds and the game you are playing can be very tricky. One of the good things about OBS is the ability to add plugins, one essential plugin is this bitrate calculator. This tool allows you to calculate the best settings for resolution or FPS.
Advanced OBS Settings
If you find you need to make further adjustments, try the advanced options in the ‘Output’ tab.
Here you will have more options for; resolution, encoder and even individual audio bitrate adjustments (meaning you can give your mic higher bitrate than desktop). These settings are not something you have to change, but they can really help fine tune your stream.
Best OBS Settings for Recording
Using OBS for recording is much more simple than live streaming. The settings are slightly less in-depth but still takes a little learning. In the ‘Output’ tab in your settings, you will find the options for recording. There, choose your recording path (where to save the file), recording format, and recording quality. For the quality, set it to ‘same as stream’ – doing this you will be able to adjust your resolution size and common FPS in the Video tab.
If you have set up your stream appropriately, you shouldn’t need to change anything. However, recording can put extra pressure on your computer so you may have to adjust your ‘Output (Scaled) Resolution’ if you notice dropped frames or tearing in your video.