When most people think about video games, they typically imagine multiple flat screen monitors with ultra-high resolution and super-fast refresh rates. But the truth is, more than 2 billion people worldwide play video games on mobile devices.
Over the last few years, games like Fortnite, PUBG and the Clash series have dominated the app stores, accounting for more than half of all gaming revenue. Mobile games have also become increasingly popular on streaming sites like Twitch, YouTube and Facebook. However, just like streaming on a PC or console, streaming mobile games comes with its own unique set of challenges.
In this blog, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about streaming mobile games—from capturing footage from your mobile device and setting up your live stream to capturing high-quality audio and video for your adoring fans.
HOW TO STREAM MOBILE GAMES
There are two basic approaches to streaming mobile games: streaming directly from your mobile device, or using a capture card to send audio and video to a dedicated streaming computer.
It’s also worth noting that you can stream mobile games directly from your PC using a mobile OS emulator such as BlueStacks, Nox or GameLoop—but the approach would be the same as streaming any other PC game.
Each approach has its own benefits, but using a capture card to record video from your mobile device and streaming from a dedicated PC typically offers the highest quality and most control over your stream. However, it’s not always an option, and in some cases, like streaming on the go, streaming from your mobile device may be the best solution.
Regardless of which option you choose, we recommend you take the following precautions before streaming to ensure a seamless experience:
- Restart your mobile device
- Close out of any unnecessary apps
- Enable Do Not Disturb mode
Next, let’s take a look at the two methods of streaming mobile games to help you decide which approach is best.
The Streamlabs Live Streaming App makes it easy to stream mobile games directly from your smartphone or tablet.
HOW TO STREAM DIRECTLY FROM YOUR MOBILE DEVICE
If you’re just starting out, it might be best to stream directly from your mobile device at first, then upgrade to a capture card setup over time. While the audio and video quality will be limited compared to streaming with a capture card, you won’t need any additional gear for this approach.
The Streamlabs Live Streaming App is quickest and simplest way to stream to Twitch, YouTube and more directly from your phone. Available for free from the Google Play and Apple App stores, the Streamlabs Live Streaming App makes it easy to go live on your favorite streaming platforms in just a few simple taps.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to stream to Twitch or YouTube using the Streamlabs Live Streaming App:
- Install the Streamlabs Live Streaming App on your mobile device and log in to your Streamlabs account.
- Connect your Twitch or YouTube account by logging in when prompted.
- Set up your overlay with any widgets you want to use, such as the Alert Box or Chat Box.
- Enable permissions for your camera and microphone, and adjust your settings.
- Set your video bitrate based on your internet connection speed. Higher bitrates deliver better stream quality, but may cause dropouts with slower connections.
- Your video resolution can also affect connectivity. 720p is recommended when streaming from most mobile devices.
- To stream your gameplay, click the Screen Capture icon at the top of the screen.
- Edit your stream info, including the title of your stream and the game you’re playing.
- To enable game audio, turn up the volume on your phone and press the red microphone button.
- To prevent echo or feedback, it’s recommended that you use headphones while streaming.
- Open the game you want to stream and click the “Go Live” button in the Streamlabs app.
- Select “Stream Game” to stream your gameplay, or “Stream IRL” to stream from your camera.
- Switch back over to your game and start playing!
- To view the chat window, click the floating Twitch icon.
While this approach makes it easy to start streaming quickly, it’s not without its flaws. The limited video bitrate and resolution make it tough to compete with other high-quality streams, and using your mobile device’s built-in microphone makes it difficult for viewers to hear you clearly. Plus, there’s no dedicated chat window, which means you have to cover up your gameplay to see what your fans are saying.
Thankfully, with a few basic tools, you can create high-quality mobile game streams that look and sound professional.
USB microphones like Yeti X make it easy to capture broadcast quality audio while streaming mobile games from your PC.
HOW TO STREAM MOBILE GAMES FROM YOUR COMPUTER
With this approach, you’ll need a few accessories before you start streaming. In addition to a mobile device to play on and PC to stream from, you’ll need a few basic accessories:
- A capture card like the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S (or AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus for Mac users) and an appropriate HDMI adapter cable
- Alternatively, you can also use a screen capture app like Reflector 3. However, this approach can be taxing on your connection and may not provide consistent video quality due to buffering.
- A USB microphone like the Blue Yeticaster or Yeti Nano for high quality sound
- A USB webcam like the Logitech StreamCam or C922 for HD video
- Live streaming software such as Streamlabs Desktop
- Optional: a cell phone stand to keep your phone in clear view so you’re not looking down the whole time
Next, you’ll need to configure each of these devices and set up your live stream. Mobile game streams are more complex than simply pointing your camera at your smartphone. Not only will your thumbs cover most of the screen, making it difficult to see what you’re doing, there’s no camera feed of your face, which makes it hard for viewers to connect with you.
To create a pro-level stream with high-quality audio and video, follow these steps:
- Connect your mobile
device to your capture card using an HDMI adapter
- Or boot up your screen capture software on your Mac or PC and sync to your mobile device
- Connect your capture card to your computer via a USB or Lightning cable
- Open your game on your mobile device
- Open your live streaming software on your computer and select the capture card (or screen share app) as your gameplay source
- Connect your webcam and select it as the video source
- Connect your USB microphone and select it as the audio source
- Adjust your mic settings and test your audio
- Adjust your camera settings and preview your video to make sure your gameplay and video feed look good
- Go live!
Whether you want to stream straight from your phone or via a dedicated streaming computer for pro-level audio and video, we’ve got you covered. For more info on how to level up your live streams, check out our blog.