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What is a Good Bitrate for Twitch?

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Even if you have state-of-the-art equipment, the framerate, and resolution that you stream will be based on your bitrate. If you have a low bitrate, you may be able to call your internet company to get a better plan. According to Twitch’s internet requirements, you should have an upload speed of at least 1.6 Mbps, but if you want to broadcast in HD, you’ll need at least 3-8Mbps. 

Most will recommend that you avoid using more than half of your available bandwidth on any one line. While this can be difficult when it comes to live streaming, you should bear it in mind when picking your internet plan. 

Framerate vs Resolution Priority

Depending on your bitrate, you may have to sacrifice either framerate or resolution. Either will typically decrease the amount of bitrate you use by a similar amount. While the decision is ultimately up to you, there are a couple of things you can consider when deciding which you should limit. 

  • Limit the framerate – if you are playing a game where things need to be clear or there is action that happens “in the distance,” you may want to limit the framerate instead of the resolution.
  • Limit the resolution – if you are playing a game that is fast action where things are constantly happening moment-by-moment, you will want to show your viewers the best framerate that you can. Limit the resolution. 

How to Choose Your Twitch Bitrate Speed

The first thing you will need to do is determine the speed of your internet by running a speed test. Once you know your Mbps, you can complete the following:

Step 1: Multiply the Mbps number by 1,000 to get your bitrate. For example, if you have 8 Mbps, you will have a bitrate of 8000 Kbps.

Step 2: Cut that number in half so that you are closer to the recommended 50% bitrate usage.

Step 3: Use the following chart to determine your bitrate speed based on your framerate or resolution needs.

BitrateResolutionFrameratePriority
1500 - 3000 Kbps480p (640 x 480)60 fpsBare minimum
3000 - 4000 Kbps720p (1280 x 720)30 fpsRecommended minimum
4000 - 5000 Kbps1080p (1920 x 1080)30 fpsResolution
4000 - 5000 kbps720p (1280 x 720)60 fpsFramerate
5000 - 6000 Kbps1080p (1920 x 1080)60 fpsRecommended maximum

Step 4: Adjust your bitrate speed in the settings of your streaming software

Even if you can stream at a higher bitrate speed, it is often recommended that you don’t as your viewers can have issues watching a stream at a high rate on their end. 

Conclusion

You may have to play with your settings from time to time until you get them right. As you change games, grow on Twitch, and get better internet plans, you will be able to adjust the settings to fit your particular needs. 

About the Author

Zac

Zac is a part-time tech blogger. He’s an avid gamer with a taste for old-school RPG’s and Indie Sandbox games. He excels at theory crafting and finding new ways to enjoy a well-loved game.

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