Video: Fix Lag, Dropped Frames, Bitrate Issues on your Twitch Stream
What's up guys, welcome to the Gaming Careers YouTube channel. My name is Pete and you are here today because you're having issues with your Twitch stream and you want to get them sorted out. Now you've come to the right place because the Gaming Careers YouTube channel is a channel completely dedicated to helping you make a profession out of your gaming passion through streaming or content creation on Twitch or on YouTube, so if you've got issues with Twitch you're at the right channel. Today we're going to be looking at two different tools that will analyze your Twitch stream and help recommend what might be the issue so that you can sort it out and your stream viewers can get back to enjoying your content.
Now obviously there's a whole handful of technologies and things going on between you streaming, Twitch receiving it and it being sent out to your viewers, so there are a lot of different things that could be going wrong but these analysis tools they're going to analyze all the things like bitrate, how stable your connection is, if you're dropping any frames, which ingest server your streaming to. All these kind of things are going to be analysed by these two tools and hopefully then you can pinpoint exactly what is going wrong with your stream so you can fix it. Just finally before we jump in I do want to mention that the YouTube channel you're on now, the Gaming Careers YouTube channel is a channel completely dedicated to helping you improve your livestreams, improve your content creation and make a profession out of your gaming passion so if you haven't subscribed yet please do and we will jump into the analysis tools. So the first tool that we're going to be using is called the Twitch inspector.
Now this is an official stream inspector tool built by the fine folks at Twitch that lets you run a test stream without actually streaming to any of your followers and then analyze all of that juicy video and audio information in real time. So what we need to do is point our browser of choice over to the URL which is inspector.twitch.tv and login with our Twitch account. You'll probably also need to authorize the application to be able to access some of your twitch account information. Now when you log in the dashboard page that you arrive at can look a little different depending on if you've streamed at all in the past week. If you have, you may see some information here about your previous broadcasts, but if you haven't it'll probably look quite empty like mine. In the top right hand corner if you click this little down arrow you'll be able to add other Twitch accounts that you own if you want to be testing more than just one account. Below this you should have an option to be able to run a test stream, if you click this it will open up a new window which details some of the things that we need to do to be able to run a test stream.
Now as I mentioned before it's important to note the good feature here is that when you run a test stream it won't actually be putting you live to all of your followers. Nobody will be able to see that you are live except yourself and it will be a totally realistic test since all the work being done between your end and Twitch's end is exactly the same as if you were actually live. So the first thing we need to do is to grab our stream key from our Twitch dashboard. Now I imagine most of you have already put this properly set up into OBS but if you haven't you can head over to your dashboard, grab your stream key from there, copy it and then head to your OBS settings click the stream settings and paste it into the stream key box. Before we hit OK we need to add the test flag to the end of our key so that Twitch knows that we are running a test stream, so head back to the Twitch inspector and copy the '?bandwidthtest=true' and paste this directly after our stream key into OBS.
Once you've done that you can click OK to save it. Now it's worth mentioning at this stage that hopefully you have followed my ultimate guide for setting up twitch which goes into loads of detail and choosing which bit rate and resolution you should be doing based on your internet connection. Just because you want to stream in 1920×1080, 60 frames per second and 6000 kilobytes per second it doesn't necessarily mean you can. You're going to need a really amazing computer and a super stable internet connection if you're going to be able to handle anything near those kind of numbers. Twitch has recently updated its guidelines on stream settings, resolutions, bit rates, frame rates all those kind of things so I've added a link to their new updated guidelines in the description below. Obviously if you are already set up and you've followed a previous guide then you want to just be testing your stream and seeing where you're running into issues.
So once you're ready hit the start streaming and let's head back to the Twitch inspector. Now you might have to wait 10 to 20 seconds for your stream to actually go live and be ingested by Twitch, you should eventually see the page change to show a graph of your stream stability. Now we're going to want to run this test for at least 10 to 15 minutes to properly be testing your connection. There's no real point of just testing for 30 seconds because as I'm sure you're aware your internet fluctuates and if you don't have a particularly stable connection then it might take you know 15 minutes for that instability to show. As the test stream is running we can click on either the stream link here on the left or on the graph directly on the right to open up the proper analysis. Here we can get loads of details about the stream we are running as well as advice from Twitch if they notice anything isn't set up properly. The graph here on the left shows both the bitrate over time as well as the framerate over time so we want both of these to remain as stable as possible. Just as I'm editing this I've realized that actually the graph that you're seeing on screen now the framerate is remaining at zero so I reached out to Twitch on Twitter just to ask about this and apparently if you are using the test bandwidth command at the end of your stream key you're actually not going to be able to see your framerate here which is always going to show zero.
However it will show you a framerate if you are actually screaming so if you think you might be having issues specifically to do with your framerate I'd recommend removing the bandwidth test and just having a look at the Twitch inspector after you finish streaming and it should show any problems with your framerate, but as you're using the test bandwidth like I am here the frame rate actually isn't gonna work and it's just gonna show zero. This little box in the top corner which says configuration check, this will recommend any changes that Twitch notices that you need to make to your stream settings to get the optimal performance out of what you send to Twitch. Now obviously the ideal situation that you would be in right now is that both of your graphs remain nice and stable over the 15 to 20 minute test that you run. The more likely scenario if you're watching this video is that you're experiencing some sort of drops in either your frame rate or your bitrate.
The Twitch analysis tool should highlight any issues that it notices with any instability on the graph, you can then use any information that twitch gives you on that instability and research maybe what you need to change to be able to fix that instability. One thing I'd recommend doing is opening up the help guide at the top here and that can help you identify what your issue is based on how your graph looks along with the recommended steps on how to fix that issue. You can also run a more extended test which I definitely recommend doing if you can afford to, you know run it for a couple of hours to really get a good snapshot of what your connection looks like. To make this a little easier to be able to do Twitch provides a handy little notification box here that you can check and it will notify you if it notices any instability so you don't have to keep watching this page and you can get on with some other work.
Just make sure you're not doing anything particularly internet heavy whilst this twitch test is running. Now once you've finished running the tests you may well have some issues that you want to resolve, if you want to get some more information on what changes you might need to make it can be worth opening up the full help menu which goes into a lot more detail about the different settings you can change. To do this what we need to do is click on the all broadcasts link in the top left and then toggle the help guide back open again. Now you'll be able to see plenty of tips and troubleshooting on things like dropped frames and setting proper bit rates and choosing the proper ingest server. I unfortunately can't go through every possible instability issue that could arise from streaming video like I said at the start there's so many different things that could be wrong but hopefully now you have an idea on what the issue is and it's just about lowering or changing one of the values in OBS to be able to fix it. By far the most common settings that need to be lowered are your video bitrate, your video resolution, or your framerate. The second tool that we can use that runs when we are actually live for our viewers is something called Rich's analyzer.
This is a handy little website where you can enter your Twitch live URL and it will take a sample of around 10 to 20 seconds of your stream and analyze all sorts of information about the data that Twitch is receiving. It's just quickly worth noting here that this is actually analyzing your live stream when it is live for your viewers, so if you want to use this tool you need to go back to your OBS settings and take out the appended part of the test bandwidth that we added to our stream key. On Rich's analyzer we can look at things like bitrate stability, drop frames, video frame rate and quality checks as well as gathering loads of other information about the stream settings. The other reason that I recommend using this tool is if you want to see the settings that another streamer uses, just paste in their channel when they are live and you can look at all sorts of settings as to how they're making their stream look the way that they do.
Hopefully between these two tools you've been able to discover a little bit more about what's happening with your stream and hopefully fix your instability. Unfortunately sometimes it can be just as simple as your internet connection isn't good enough or stable enough or maybe your computer actually isn't good enough to be able to play the game that you're playing at the resolution as well as streaming. In the very near future I'll definitely be making some videos on the more common problems, how you can fix them as well as how you can reduce the strain on your CPU by using a graphics card or a capture card. Let me know down in the description below exactly the issues that you were facing and how you fix them and if you haven't been able to fix them comment anyway with the issues that you're finding and maybe one of the Gaming Careers community will jump in and be able to help you if they've seen something similar. I'll definitely be down in the comments looking at any issues and helping out where I can.
Hopefully you found this video helpful, if you have got to this point and you found it helpful please do give it a thumbs up, it does really help us out and if you're new to the Gaming Careers YouTube channel have a look around or all the other guides that we've got and subscribe if that's the kind of thing that interests you. Subscribers I'll see in the next video… Peace!.