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How to stream on Discord

Streaming has gotten more popular with every passing year, both in terms of viewers and streamers. The idea of broadcasting yourself playing a game for an audience is very appealing, but up until recently has required expensive equipment and technical skills to pull off. That’s changed recently with services such as Discord integrating streaming services right into their platforms. That eliminates a major barrier of entry for the majority of people.

Whether you’re interested in building an audience or just want to play a game or watch a movie with your friends and family, Discord makes it easy. Here’s everything you need to know to get started streaming on Discord today.

Further reading

  • How to stream on Twitch from a PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One
  • How to livestream on YouTube with OBS
  • The best games to play with friends online

How to use Go Live

Go Live is what Discord calls its streaming feature they built directly into their client. To use it, you will need a Discord account and its desktop client. You are free to watch streams through your browser of choice, with mobile viewing being an upcoming addition. Once you have booted up Discord, start by joining the server you want your stream broadcasted on. Next, open the game you intend on streaming. Discord might automatically detect the game you opened and give you the option to immediately start streaming it by adding the Go Live button on the bottom left side of Discord. You will see the icon just above your status bar.

Once you select Go Live, you can double-check that the game you’re streaming is correct. If it isn’t, simply hit Change and search for the correct game name. From there, as long as the voice channel is also correct, all that’s left is to hit Go Live, and your stream will start. Discord will show you a small preview window of what your audience sees as well.

Adjust your stream settings

If you move your mouse over the little preview window of your stream, an icon of a cog will show up. Click this to adjust your stream settings, such as the visual quality and frame rate. Be aware that you will need a Discord Nitro account, the premium service that costs $9.99 per month, if you want to hit 1080p 60 fps. Nitro members can even stream at a full 4K 60 fps if their machine can handle it. Everyone else will be capped at 720p and 30 fps.

Discord streams are limited to a maximum of 50 viewers for now, but that only applies to people watching the stream. You can still join a voice channel with more than that amount but will just not be able to view anyone streaming if they’ve hit that viewer limit.

Screen sharing

If you’re more interested in streaming for non-gaming-related purposes, the Go Live button is still where you want to start. Instead of booting up a game, just hit the Go Live button to bring up a menu where you can select either Applications or Screens for streaming. If you just want to share one specific application, like a web browser, you will see it under Applications as long as you have it open. Screens will share your entire screen.


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