Ready to show the world how good you are at playing Zelda or Mario Kart on your Nintendo Switch?
You can do that by streaming as you play your favorite Nintendo Switch game.
That said, connecting your Nintendo Switch to stream is not as straightforward as video game streaming from your computer.
Streaming on a computer is easy. All you have to do is connect your PC to a streaming service like Twitch or YouTube via the internet, turn on your mic and webcam, then proceed to play your game, and you could be the next video gaming sensation.
It takes a little more than that to stream your Nintendo Switch.
So to answer your question….
How do you stream Nintendo Switch games? You’ll need some software and hardware to be able to stream live gameplay from your Nintendo Switch. The hardware needed includes the console, the Nintendo Switch dock, a capture card, a computer that you’ll use to connect to a streaming service, HDMI and USB cables, and a TV or extra monitor to see what you’re playing. The software required is the Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS) which will allow you to stream from the popular streaming platforms Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube.
The process of setting up to stream on these three platforms varies.
But don’t worry, in this post, I’ll share specific instructions on how to set up your Nintendo Switch and stream as you play.
Before we get into the process of how to live stream the Nintendo Switch, note that you cannot live stream the Switch Lite.
The Switch Lite doesn’t support video output, and also doesn’t come with a dock that is required to hook up the capture card.
The streaming process detailed here can only work with the original Switch and the Switch 2.0.
Things you’ll need to stream your Nintendo Switch
To stream your gameplay you’ll need the following hardware and software.
- The Nintendo Switch and its dock
- A decent Mac or PC. I prefer a PC because I have found they offer better streaming than Macs. To stream high-resolution videos from your PC it needs to have the Windows10 operating system, an Intel Core i5 / AMD Ryzen 5 or better processor, and at least 8 GB of RAM. If you’re using a Mac the operating systems need to be macOS 10.12 or newer. Here’s an example of a streaming PC here. Just like a PC, the Mac process needs to be Intel Core i5 or better and you also need at least 8Gb of RAM.
- A capture card. Internal streaming is not supported by the Nintendo Switch that is why you have to purchase a capture card. You’ll use the capture card to connect your Nintendo Switch to the PC or MAC, and at the same time pass gameplay footage to your TV or monitor that you’ll stream at high resolution.
I recommend you get the Elgato HD60 S Capture Card. This is one of the more popular capture cards on the market. A lot of gamers use it to stream with their Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch consoles because it works well on different streaming platforms.
- HDMI and USB cables. You will need these cables to run connections between the Switch dock, capture card, computer, and your TV or monitor. The Switch and capture card both come with HDMI Cables, and the Elgato HD60 S comes with a USB cable.
- Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). You can download this software for free on your computer from OBSProject.com. This is the software you’ll use to connect to the streaming service of your choice.
- A webcam and microphone. These are optional, but having these devices allows you to include your video in the stream and give live commentary as your gaming. This makes the whole streaming much more fun for your viewers.
- Lighting. Lights are also an option but may come in handy if you plan to film yourself as you play and your gaming room is dark.
Set up your Nintendo Switch for streaming
Follow the following process to enable the Switch to stream
- Power on the Nintendo Switch dock and place the Switch console into it.
- Take the dock’s HDMI cable and plug it into the device’s HDMI out port at the back, then run it to the capture card’s HDMI in port.
- Take the Elgato HD60 S Capture Card HDMI cable and connect it to the device’s HDMI out port then plug the cable into the TV or monitor HDMI port.
- The capture card comes with a USB 3.0 cable. Use this cable to connect your capture card to your computer via their USB ports. This connection will provide game footage from the capture card to the OBS studio on your computer.
- On your computer download and install the Elgato software and once done ensure it can see your Elgato HD60 S Capture Card. You’ll not use this software to stream your Nintendo Switch but it’s good to have it on your computer.
- Download the Open Broadcaster Software from OBSProject.com. Open the software once the download is complete. A pop-up with the auto-configuration window will pop up. Click yes on it.
- On the OBS interface right-click anywhere and on the menu that appears right-click on Add then select Video Capture Device.
- Choose Create New to name your capture card.
- Under the device drop-down menu select your Elgato HD60 S capture card and press OK.
- Power on your Switch, and choose the Nintendo Switch game you would like to stream.
- An image of the game should appear on the OBS studio. If it doesn’t click on Resolution/FPS Type on the OBS program then change this to custom. On the drop-down menu that appears set the resolution to 1920×1080 and FPS to 60.
This completes the setup for the hardware and software needed to steam your Nintendo Switch.
Stream a game on your Nintendo Switch
When you’re done with the Nintendo Switch hardware and software setup you’ll be able to see the Nintendo Switch game you want to stream on the screen of your computer, and TV, or monitor.
Next, you have to decide which streaming service you want to use to broadcast your game, then input the right settings on the platform to be able to do so.
Here is what you need to do to video stream on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube, currently the top streaming services.
Note if you don’t already have a Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook account you’ll have to open one to be able to live stream your Nintendo Switch on any of these platforms.
- Go to www.twitch.tv and log into your Twitch account
- Click on your profile at the top right corner of the screen, then choose Dashboard to head over to your Twitch Dashboard.
- Once you get to the dashboard choose Account Settings, then click on the Channel and Videos Tab.
- At the top of the page, you’ll see a Primary Stream Key Section. Click on the copy button to copy your Stream Key.
- Move to the Open Broadcaster Software and open the OBS Studio, select File then Settings and Stream.
- In the box that appears choose Twitch as the streaming service.
- You’ll be required to choose the closest server to your location. Leave this section at Auto, which is recommended, if you’re not sure of which server is close to you.
- Paste the Stream Key you copied earlier from your Twitch account into the box that requests it here, then click apply.
- Click on Start Stream then go back to Twitch to see a preview of your live stream.
- Head over to YouTube.com and log into your account. If you don’t have a YouTube account you have to open and verify one which you can only use to stream after 24 hours.
- Click on your profile to go to the Creator Studio
- On the creator studio page select Go Live on the left side menu.
- Add the title, description, and thumbnail of the video you want to stream on the page that appears.
- Scroll to the Encoder Settings tabs and click Reveal to get a Stream Key. Copy this Stream Key
- Open OBS, select File then Settings.
- In the menu that appears choose Stream and click on YouTube as the streaming service.
- In the box that appears choose YouTube as the server and paste the Stream Key, you copied from YouTube earlier, in the section you’re requested to do so.
- Click Start Streaming and your game should be live on your YouTube channel. If you have YouTube subscribers they will be notified immediately that you’re streaming.
- First login to your Facebook.com account.
- On your Facebook page at the top click on Publishing Tools, then Videos in the menu show.
- Select Live and a popup will come up on your screen. Copy the Stream Key shown.
- Go to the OBS Studio, click on File then Settings.
- In the dialogue box that appears choose Stream, then Facebook Live as the streaming service, and default as the Server.
- Paste the Stream Key copied from Facebook into the space requiring it and click Apply.
- Go back to Facebook and click Next on the box that appears.
- Add the title and description of your steam and then click Start Streaming.
- Follow the Facebook prompts until you see a preview of your game on your computer.
- If you’re ready to start streaming click GO Live, and you’ll begin to steam your gaming
Streaming your Nintendo Switch is a perfect way to show off your gaming prowess to a large audience, or involve your friends and family in the fun as you battle monsters while playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The hardware need includes a powerful computer that will ensure your stream isn’t too slow or doesn’t freeze, HDMI and USB cables, a TV or Monitor, and a capture card like the Elgato HD60 S Capture Card.
The software you’ll need to stream is the Open Broadcaster Software which you can download for free.
The process for setting up your Nintendo Switch to stream may look difficult but if you have the right equipment and follow the steps we shared above you should be able to set up your Nintendo Switch to stream on Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook in less than five minutes.
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