Apart from being part of the audience on Twitch on a mobile phone, you can also use the same mobile phone and mobile phone app to stream to Twitch. Let’s take a closer look at how a twitch streaming setup for mobile phones looks like.
Mobile Phone Streaming
There are many people on Twitch using their mobile phone to stream content to their channel on Twitch. Perhaps you are at an event or you just generally enjoy doing live streams of real life stuff such as skateboarding, sport events, travel or nature. There are many ways and reasons to stream content to Twitch. A mobile phone is definitely a more practical and useful solution than a heavy PC with batteries. Internet lines are neither everywhere available, especially not in the middle of nowhere.
Since the introduction of mobile phones we have all become so much more connected to everyone else and the internet. Smart phones have brought even more to us and with the more recent network upgrades it is also more likely to get a stable connection to stream to the internet.
What Do You Need To Stream To Twitch On Mobile?
- Smart phone (android or iPhone)
- Streaming Application
- Twitch Account
- Stable internet connection
- Decent bandwidth
- The camera should work on your smart phone
- Set of headphones
Naturally you will need a smart phone to stream to Twitch. The applications that are made for mobile phones are all meant for smart phones, so it doesn’t help if you come with that old Nokia without a colourful display and without Android or iOS installed.
Smart phones, although more expensive than the simple prepaid phones, are definitely worth the investment and definitely are not as expensive anymore as they used to be once they were new. Naturally there is the newer models that still cost you a fortune, so look for a cheaper model if you haven’t got one. Usually the S models are the smaller versions of big telephones and have perhaps less space or speed, but will still do the job fine.
I will come back to this soon, but you will need a streaming application that allows you to stream to Twitch. The Twitch application that Twitch offers, also offers streaming.
Other software you can use:
- StreamLabs Mobile
- Streamelements is working on one (beta)
Naturally, if you want to stream on Twitch, you will need to register yourself a Twitch account (and with that a channel) if you had not done so already. Note that the registered username is also the name of your channel. It is possible to change these names sometimes, but it is adviced to register the right name right away. You can register a Twitch account at Twitch.tv.
Stable Internet Connection
You will need a stable internet connection to get the streaming to work. I have managed to stream on as low as HDSP, but that wasn’t all that great. I ended up losing chat or getting framedrops. 3G is really a minimal requirement I believe and 4G will help a great deal for the quality of your stream.
With stable internet as a requirement and streaming being very needy on the bandwidth, you will have to make sure you have allowance for a good deal of bandwidth. It is going to cost you. Prepaid isn’t helping you here, so better make sure you got a stable subscription with a couple of GB’s available a month. It can really depend on what quality you stream, but it will go fast with the Gigabytes when you start streaming.
You most likely want to share what you are doing out there in the wild, so you need also a working camera on that phone. Both the inwards camera and the outwards camera can be used for streaming, but usually only one at a time. Up to you which one you prefer. If you are just filming the action in front of you, the back camera is a good idea to run with. If it is more about seeing you while you are talking to your audience, you should use the front camera.
Why? Simple, the phone is also going to be your only way to read chat, so you will want to see what is happening there, while looking into the camera.
Surely your phone comes with speakers, but it means that it is also going to be picked up by the phone’s microphone at times. If you are outside streaming, hearing what your mobile might make as sounds (especially for overlays and alerts but perhaps you can also run music in the same time), is going to be difficult with all the noise.
Consider some good quality headphones that come with a good quality microphone. That is not only going to be better for you as a streamer to hear what is going on in your stream, but is also going to give better microphone sound quality for the viewers. The microphone usually stays nearby your mouth with headphones, so you don’t need to put your mouth to the mobile phone all the time either that way.
Optional: Battery Bank
Depending on how long you are expecting to stream, just remember that any big antenna functionality with your mobile phone is going to cost you on electricity. A battery bank or a place where you can plug your phone in would be advised.
On the saving side of things, if you happen to be in an area with a good Wifi connection and a good internet connection connected to that Wifi router, this will save you greatly on power usage. Wifi on phones is often cheaper in battery usage than the usual 4G or 5G antenna connection.
Mobile Streaming Applications
As I said earlier, I want to take a closer look at the mobile streaming applications that are used in this Twitch streaming setup.
Twitch comes themselves with IRL or live streaming features built-in to their own app for watching streams. The functionality is very basic and just lets you setup your streaming title, category and tags and then lets you stream by the click of a button. Twitch offers with this the quick and easy and very basic way of streaming, for you cannot use any form of overlay or alerts for your stream. You can still receive all the things like donations, subscriptions and cheers, but you are unable to visualise it on your stream.
All in all that still works fine for those that want a quick and easy stream and it makes the whole process a lot easier for many.
The Twitch app doesn’t let you select your phone’s screen, so you cannot stream your mobile games. You can however easily switch between front and back camera to either show your activity or yourself on stream.
I noticed as well that even if you pre-set the title and category on a desktop before you start a mobile stream, the mobile app will not see this information and simply ask you to set title and category again within the app.
As soon as you want to do a bit more with your IRL stream, you end up having to use one of the apps of the other platforms that you can use to stream. Both Streamlabs and Streamelements are already established on the mobile streaming market.
StreamLabs Mobile Application
The Streamlabs application is most versatile of all mobile streaming apps anbd comes with most functionality. The base functionality has everything you would wish from a streaming app, including that it copies the current set title, live notification, category and tags from what you have set before on your desktop. It has a front and back camera option and even a screen sharing option.
The Streamlabs app makes it possible to have an overlay on your stream. It has a built-in version from Streamlabs with standard layout of alerts, chatbox, donation ticker, event list and Bits/event jar. You can also add images and text to the overlay.
There are even widgets to spin a wheel, do a giveaway or run the end-credits on stream. That is a lot of functionality for a mobile stream, so Streamlabs is taking the concept of mobile IRL streaming super serious.
Streamlabs doesn’t even limit themselves to just Twitch, but also has streaming options available to Mixer, Youtube and custom RTMP server configurations.
You login using your Twitch, Youtube or Mixer ID and have to give a bunch of rights to make all the options and features available to you.
StreamElements Mobile Application
Streamelements is still developing their mobile application and hence it isn’t officially released. Nevertheless I found the link on both the Google Play Store and the iOS Store, so you can most likely download and install it anywhere in the world as beta version. I downloaded it to give it a try. Being in beta, it means you cannot really expect any support for the software yet and there is a high probability for crashes and other issues.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s look at what StreamElements mobile app can do for your IRL stream.
Streamelements (at least as it stands now) is keeping things super simple. They divide the different sections in different views. Camera view allows for all the camera settings, Streamer view allows you to do stuff about the way your stream is going to look like as well as keeping track of chat and events happening on the stream. The audience view gives you a preview of how it looks like for your audience.
Streamelements in itself offers an online interface for creating your best overlays, but these existing overlays seem not to be included in their app yet. My predictions is that this is going to change for the better in the near future, for their web interface has everything to customize your stream overlay to the max, complete with games and other functionality.
The games will still happen on your stream however, for those are bot-controlled, but as of right now you are unable to make your custom overlays for your mobile streams.
Considering it knows about my pre-set stream title and it has overlay functionality, although simple, this app is still better than what the Twitch app comes with.
As of right now, under the streaming apps for mobile phone users, the Streamlabs app has the most functionality for you to offer. I have however strong beliefs that also Streamelements is about to up their game and become a decent player in the mobile streaming community.
As long as you make sure you got a decent smartphone with a microphone/headset, good camera, enough bandthwith and a good streaming app such as streamlabs mobile app, you can make a great looking stream and it won’t cost you anything else than just the mobile data.
As an extra tip, I would suggest you to also connect your phone to a battery bank, so that your smart phone will not run out of juice before the action is over with!