How to broadcast on Steam and stream live gameplay

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Maybe you want an easy way to stream Steam computer games to your fans and friends, but don’t feel like installing new software. You’re in luck — Steam has its own livestreaming feature. 

Steam broadcast is a robust, built-in video-encoding software that not only allows you to stream footage to your friends, but to anyone with a link.

Before you can stream to an audience, however, you need to change some privacy settings.

Here’s how to do it.

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How to broadcast on Steam

1. Open the Steam application. In the top-left, click “Steam,” and then select “Settings” or “Preferences” from the drop-down menu, depending on if you have a PC or Mac, respectively.

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Select “Steam” from the top-left menu. “Settings” will be second from the bottom of the drop-down menu on a PC.
Ross James/Business Insider


2. A new menu will open. In the sidebar on the left, select “Broadcasting.”

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The broadcasting menu should be in Settings.
Ross James/Business Insider


3. Enable broadcasting by opening the “Privacy setting” drop-down menu. Here you can choose who can see your broadcasts. I’ve selected friends, but if you want to stream publicly, instead choose “Anyone can watch my games.”

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The options available from the drop down are “Broadcasting disabled,” “Friends can request to watch my games,” “Friends can watch my games,” and “Anyone can watch my games.”
Ross James/Business Insider


4. There are also other options for video quality, and how you want to see your viewers’ chat messages. Be sure to sort out your microphone in this menu, too, if you want to talk to your audience.

5. After you click “OK,” you should be ready to broadcast your games.

6. All of these options can be accessed in-game by pressing Shift + Tab, and selecting “Settings” from the bottom of the Steam overlay.

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The Settings menu is small, at the bottom of the Steam overlay you can access while in-game.
Ross James/Business Insider


Steam will broadcast footage of your game live as you play it. Your friends will be notified when you go live.

Unlike Twitch, Steam won’t save footage of your game, meaning your audience needs to see you live, or not at all.

Steam broadcasting is very simple to get running, but lacks the customization options of dedicated capture software like OBS or XSplit, like overlays and live editing options. So as you gain more experience with streaming, Steam may not always be the right choice.

However, if you’re just trying to share your gameplay live with some friends, then Steam’s ease of use and built-in encoding means it’s probably perfect for your purposes.

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