How to Optimize Your Game Streams Using OBS Studio

OBS Studio has made it possible for anyone to stream themselves playing video games at the click of a button.

Whether you’re new to the software or have been streaming for a while, you need to make sure you’ve tweaked your settings to get the best performance from OBS Studio. So, in this article, we are going to tell you how to do it with minimal impact on your gaming experience.

Use GPU encoding

The first thing you need to do is use GPU encoding. Newer NVIDIA graphics cards have an onboard hardware encoder that can almost match the quality of the x264 encoder while offloading much of the processing to the graphics card itself.

This can improve the visual quality of your stream without impacting your computer’s performance, and may even free up resources for your gameplay to once again hit peak frames per second (FPS) levels if you’ve been struggling with lower frame rates while streaming. We’ve already covered more about hardware acceleration if you’re interested.

As a side note, AMD graphics cards may not benefit as much from the following points as they have an AMF encoder rather than a true onboard hardware encoder. Check out our AMD Radeon screen recording guide.

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Follow the steps below to enable GPU encoding:

  1. Open OBS Studio and click Menu > settings.
  2. In the settings window, select the output Tab.
  3. change that output mode drop down to Progressive and select that stream Tab.
  4. change that encoders option to NVENC (for NVIDIA GPUs) or H264/AVC (for AMD GPUs).
  5. change that rate control drop down to CBR.
  6. Set those bit rate to 6000 kbps when streaming on Twitch or 10000 kbps when streaming on YouTube.
  7. change that preset drop down to quality.
  8. change that Maximum B frames option to 2.

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