If you are streaming then you want your viewers to have an ideal experience. The viewer should ideally have the same experience as the streamer. That is easier said than done as you can experience lag, stuttering, and frame drops when using streaming software such as Streamlabs OBS. In this article, we are going to go over how you can fix lag when streaming on Streamlabs OBS.
Fixing Lag in Streamlabs OBS
If you are facing lag when streaming then there are a couple of things that might be causing the issue. It could be the software that you are using, it might be your PC hardware, or even your internet connection.
There are plenty of variables involved and pinpointing the exact issue is going to require some troubleshooting. The following are some ways in which you can fix lag in Streamlab OBS:
Make Sure Your PC And Internet Are Up To The Task
Running modern games at 1080p 60 FPs requires decent hardware but add streaming on top of that and you will need some serious power. This is obviously going to depend on the types of games that you are interested in playing and streaming. But if your PC is barely able to run games then chances are that your viewers are not going to have an ideal experience when you stream said games.
You will need a decent CPU and graphics card in order to stream games. While the requirement of streaming on Twitch is not high at all, that is for streaming only and does not take into account the game that you will be running. To be on the safe side a fairly recent Intel i5 or an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU would be ideal.
When it comes to graphics cards, it is worth mentioning that the new Nvidia GPUs have an onboard encoder that keeps the load off the CPU when streaming. This means that the chip on the GPU does the encoding rather than making the CPU do it. This can take a significant load off the CPU. The RTX graphics cards come with these encoders and so do the GTX 1660 models.
AMD graphics cards are mostly on par with Nvidia when it comes to gaming but they use AMF which is not as good as the Nvidia encoder. So do keep that in mind. If you are interested in streaming then you might as well go with an Nvidia graphics card.
When it comes to RAM, 8 GB is the bare minimum for gaming and more games require you to have 12-16GB. So 16 GB of RAM is what you want when streaming. Obviously, a little more is going to be better but you should not go for more than 32 GB. That would be overkill.
Finally, make sure that your internet speed is fast enough to upload your content. 10 mb/s is what we would recommend as the minimum for streaming but if you have multiple people in your house and each of them has multiple devices connected to the internet then that connection is shared. You might want to increase the internet speed if that is indeed the case.
Tweak The Bitrate
A high bitrate is going to make your stream look crisp but it is also going to take up more bandwidth. You can tweak this setting in order to find the sweet spot that works for you.
We recommend setting this between 2000-3000 kbps for a 720p stream. If you go lower then your stream is not going to look very good. You should tweak the bitrate in order to find what works for you the best. A 1080p stream is going to have a higher bitrate but do not overdo things.
Use An Ethernet Cable
If you are streaming then we recommend a wired internet connection over a wireless one. So use an ethernet cable and connect directly to your router rather than streaming over Wi-Fi.
Using an ethernet cable is going to give you access to the full potential of your internet connection and can reduce ping. It is also going to increase the stability of your internet.
Close Applications That Are Using Your Internet
You can open the task manager and see which apps are using your internet and how much bandwidth they are taking up. As you are going to need all the bandwidth that you can get, we recommend closing all the apps that you do not need.
Try Turning Down The In-Game Settings
If you have a powerful PC and your internet is fast enough then you might want to turn down the settings in-game. Reducing the image quality might help you.
You can also try limiting the game to 60 FPS and turning on V-Sync. This should give Streamlabs OBS some breathing room. Be sure to use the NVENC Encoder setting if you are using a modern Nvidia graphics card.
Downscale The Stream To 1080p or 720p
If you are playing games at high resolutions such as 4K or 1440p then we recommend streaming the game at lower resolutions such as 1080p or 720p. Streaming at higher resolutions will require a very fast internet connection and a ton of bandwidth.
Streaming at 1080p should be the sweet spot but if you are still facing issues then you can downscale the stream to 720p. You will still be playing games at your default resolution but your viewers will see the game at a lower resolution.
Use Game Capture
When capturing your screen, there are three options that you can choose from; display, window, and game capture. Display capture is going to capture anything that you have on your screen. This is ideal if you are reacting to a YouTube video or trying to teach something but it is not ideal for gaming.
When streaming a game, you should use the game capture option. The game needs to be in full-screen mode in order for this to work. Using display capture when streaming games can cause lag especially if you are playing at a high refresh rate.
These are some of the ways in which you can fix lag issues when streaming on Streamlabs OBS.
Hopefully, by adjusting some of these settings you will be able to stop your stream from lagging while streaming. Ultimately a lagging stream is unwatchable to a viewer. You will need to make sure this is fixed before spending time streaming.