The worldwide audience for live game streaming is huge.
Currently, this audience stands at slightly over 700 million but is expected to grow to close to a billion by 2024.
As a game streamer, if you’re able to get even a fraction of this audience you can easily achieve celebrity status.
So, when a friend of mine recently asked me how they can stream live on YouTube using their PS4, I was excited to guide them through the process.
Who knows they might be able to grow their YouTube channel to over 110 million subscribers like PewDiePie, who runs the world’s most popular YouTube gaming channel.
After helping them set up their PS4 to live stream on YouTube, my friend told me I should write an article on the topic to help other gamers interested in streaming their PS4 games on YouTube.
So, I decided to do so.
In this article, I’ll take you through:
- How to live stream on YouTube directly from your PS4.
- How to live stream using a PC and capture card connected to your PS4.
- Advantages and disadvantages of using a capture card to live stream to YouTube with your PS4.
- How to grow your PS4 YouTube live stream channel.
Let’s get into it!
The two best ways to live stream gameplay from your PS4 to YouTube
You can use the PlayStation’s 4 inbuilt streaming feature or a PC and capture card to live stream your PS4 gameplay on YouTube.
Using the console’s inbuilt streaming feature is the quickest way to start streaming on Youtube. Here is how to do that.
Method 1: Use the PlayStation’s 4 streaming feature
The PS4 has a broadcast feature that allows you to start streaming on Youtube or Twitch by simply pressing the share button on the PS4 DualShock controller.
To use this method to show the world your gaming skills follow these steps.
Link your PS4 and YouTube accounts
To do this:
- From the PlayStation 4 Home screen, select Settings.
- Next, click on Account Management, then Link with Other Services.
- Scroll down and select YouTube, then follow the on-screen prompts to link your PS4 and YouTube accounts.
Start streaming your PS4 game
With your PlayStation and YouTube accounts linked, you’re now ready to begin streaming. Do the following to start your stream.
- Open the game you want to stream.
- On your DualShock 4 controller, press the share button.
- A Share menu will appear on your screen. Click on Broadcast Gameplay.
- Select YouTube, and you can start streaming.
Before doing that, you can give your stream a title, select the streaming video quality, and invite friends to your stream.
If you have a PlayStation 4 camera connected to your console, you can also include a live video of you gaming while streaming.
The PS4 comes with a basic microphone, which you can connect to the console to give commentary as you stream.
Once you have chosen your streaming options, click on Start Broadcasting at the bottom of the screen, and your PS4 gameplay will be live on YouTube.
To stop the broadcast, click on the Share button on your PS4 gamepad again, and the Share menu will appear.
On the menu, click on Stop Broadcasting.
There are several advantages of using the PS4 broadcast feature to stream on YouTube.
One of them is that it is instant and doesn’t require any extra equipment for you to stream on YouTube.
With a stable broadband internet connection and a PS4 controller, you’re good to go!
The downside of this method is the PS4 doesn’t have enough power under its hood to provide the best video quality for streaming.
The PlayStation’s 4 limited GPU power and data speeds make it incapable of rendering and encoding video in real-time at high quality, so your streaming video may appear choppy.
The PS4 streaming feature also gives you limited control over the quality of your live stream.
That’s why I recommend the next method if you’re serious about streaming live on YouTube on your PS4.
Method 2: Stream using a capture card
For this method, you’ll need the following hardware and software
- The PlayStation 4
- A PC or Mac computer
- A capture card. This device will deliver audio and video from your PS4 to a PC for live streaming at high quality.
If you don’t already have a capture card, I recommend the Elgato HD60, which you can buy from Amazon.
- A monitor or TV
- HDMI and USB cables. To connect all the devices needed.
- The Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS) software.
- A YouTube account.
- A fast internet connection
- At least one PS4 game
- Optional devices you’ll need include a PS4 camera which will capture your reactions while gaming.
Lights to improve the look of your videos, and give you the flexibility of live streaming at any time of the day.
With all the items close by, do the following.
Connect all the devices
You need to link your PS4, capture card, PC, and monitors together to be able to live stream your console on YouTube.
This is how to do that.
- Take the PS4’s HDMI cable and connect it to the console’s HDMI Out port.
- Plug the other end of the cable into your capture card’s HDMI In port.
- Take the capture card’s HDMI cable, and plug it into the device’s HDMI Out port, then insert the other side into your display’s HDMI port.
- Use the capture card’s USB 3.0 cable to connect it to your PC or Mac.
Set up the streaming software
To live stream your PS5 on YouTube using a capture card you’ll need streaming software.
There are a lot of streaming softwares available on the market, but I recommend Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS).
I like OBS because it is easy to use, can work with multiple streaming platforms, and you don’t have to pay to use it.
To set up the software:
- Download OBS on your PC from OBSProject.com.
- Once the software installation is done, open OBS, then select yes on the auto-configuration pop-up on your screen.
- Inside the OBS interface, right-click for the OBS menu to appear. Next, select Add, then select Video Capture Device.
- Choose Create New and proceed to give your capture card a name.
- Select your Elgato HD60 capture card from the device drop-down menu, then press OK.
- On your PlayStation 4, start the game you want to live stream on YouTube. An image of the game should display on your PC’s OBS screen.
Link OBS to your YouTube account
- Open the OBS Settings on your computer.
- Click on Stream, then select YouTube as your streaming service.
- Next, click on Connect Account. If you have a YouTube Stream key, you can paste it in the Stream Key box instead to link your YouTube account to OBS.
- Once you link your accounts you can go back to OBS settings and adjust your audio, video, output, etc., settings.
For example, in the Settings Output menu, you can adjust your video bitrate. Inputting a higher bitrate will make the overall quality of your YouTube live stream better.
The Video Menu allows you to set the base and scaled resolution. For example, videos can be captured in 4K and then be downscaled to 1080p for your live stream.
With all devices connected, accounts linked, and your preferred streaming settings in place you’re now ready to go live.
To do that, click Start Streaming on OBS to start your PS4 YouTube stream.
Advantages and disadvantages of using a capture card to live stream to YouTube with your PS4.
There are two key reasons why you should use a capture card for your PS4 YouTube live stream instead of the console’s broadcast feature.
Better stream quality
The Elgato HD60 supports 1080p at 60 frames per second which is a good resolution for your live stream.
The best resolution the PS4 streaming feature can support for most games is 720p at 60FPS.
So, to avoid choppy, hard-to-see videos, use a capture card.
More control over your PS4 live stream
Using a capture card gives you access to a wide range of customization features.
For example, you can include custom overlays in your stream, set up multiple scenes, do picture in picture, etc.
The key disadvantage to using a capture card is the cost involved.
A good capture card will cost you a few hundred dollars, and if you don’t have a monitor and PC, buying these items will also put a dent in your pocket.
Setting up your PS4 to stream using a capture card can also be a challenge, particularly if you’re not a techie kinda person.
Method 3: Stream using PS Remote Play
There is a third method you can use to live stream on YouTube using OBS without a capture card.
This method involves using PS Remote Play to stream.
I don’t recommend this method because the video quality is capped at 720P, it has a lag, and the setup process is long.
For these reasons, if you don’t want to use a capture card to live stream, you’re better off using the PS4 streaming feature which is fast to set up.
You can, however, learn more about this method in the video below and decide for yourself if it is worth trying.
Now that you know the different ways you can connect your PS4 to stream, I’m sure you have a few questions on the topic.
I’ll answer some of these questions below.
Do you have to pay to stream live on YouTube from your PS4?
No, YouTube live streaming is free.
All you need to stream on the platform is a stable internet connection and a YouTube channel.
If you’re wondering how YouTube will make money, they’ll do so from the ads they place on your YouTube videos if you join the YouTube Partner Program.
What PS4 games should you stream?
I would advise you to play PS4 games you enjoy, as you’re likely to be more entertaining doing that.
Don’t just play popular games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, or Minecraft, like many gamers streamers just to get views.
Your audience will be able to tell that you’re not enjoying the game and will likely stop watching your stream.
Also, when choosing a game, look at what type of streams have done around the game and see if you can come up with a unique streaming concept.
The YouTube gaming audience is always looking for something new and different.
If you’re able to give them that, you can quickly grow your YouTube subscription numbers.
Do you need 1000 subscribers to stream live to youtube on PS4?
No, you don’t.
To begin with, you’ll probably only have a handful of views, mostly your family and friends, but you can grow your audience over time.
To do that:
Let people know about your live stream
You can use your social media pages, gaming forums, and Email marketing to promote your PS4 YouTube live stream.
For Example, a few days to your stream, you can post a link to your YouTube channel on Facebook with the message “ I will be going live on YouTube at 4 p.m. on Monday! I’ll be reviewing the new Grand Theft Auto game, you can’t afford to miss it. Subscribe to my channel now to be notified as soon as the stream starts.”
Ensure you have quality live streams
Your PS4 YouTube live stream must have good video and audio.
The content must also be interesting enough to keep your audience glued to their screens.
If you achieve these things, the YouTube algorithm will pick up your quality content and notify YouTuber users interested in your type of content about your video.
Over time you’ll see strangers subscribing to your channel.
Research has shown that YouTube channels that regularly churn out content grow faster on the platform.
So, if you want to rank better and increase your live stream’s popularity go live at least once a week. If you have the time you can stream daily.
Consistently posting also gives the audience something to look forward to each week, which can cause them to subscribe to your channel.
Can you make money from your PS4 live stream?
Yes, YouTube has several ways you can monetize your broadcasts such as ads, audience donations, and subscriptions, where your audience pays you a monthly fee for members-only perks.
To earn from YouTube, however, you need to have a popular streaming channel.
For ad revenues, for example, YouTube requires you to have 4000 public watch hours and 1000 subscribers before they can start placing ads on your videos.
You should research all YouTube revenue-generating methods and choose the ones that work best for you.