Streamers on Twitch broadcasted for an impressive total of 74,670,816 hours in May of 2020. However, those who regularly stream may struggle with issues like lagging during gameplay, which in turn makes streaming difficult and results in a poor quality session — or worse, not being able to stream at all. Thankfully, there are a number of things that you can do to help your games run much more smoothly — and you don’t have to be an expert to make significant improvements.
Improve your connection
One common issue that many players may face when experiencing poor quality streaming and gameplay comes from internet connectivity and broadband speed, which are necessities for streaming — in fact, 39% of those living in rural areas lack access to high speed broadband. A higher quality and stable internet connection works to prevent issues like lagging and buffering, thus allowing your game to stream smoother. With that in mind, ensuring that you have good, stable internet connection and high speeds (and upgrading if necessary) will be a major asset when it comes to both smoother gameplay and streaming. Twitch, for instance, suggests those who stream should have a minimum upload speed of at least 3Mbps, though for high quality results (at 1080p), you’ll likely need a minimum upload speed of 5-6Mbps.
Optimize your settings
For many, simply optimizing your PC’s settings may help fix some gameplay issues when aiming for smoother streaming. For example, lowering your screen resolution can work to help prevent lagging while playing (though it may reduce the quality of visual effects), and checking your computer regularly for software updates can also help in keeping everything up to date and running smoothly. Using game boosters will also be of benefit, as they work to limit certain functions to give you a smoother and uninterrupted gaming session. For example, enabling Windows Game Mode (a feature of Windows 10) can aid in suspending background services that Windows 10 doesn’t need while you’re gaming — consequently resulting in less non-gaming work for your CPU and GPU to handle when you’re playing, and allowing the focus to be on running your game.
Check your graphics card
If your current one isn’t doing your games justice, purchasing a higher quality graphics card, also known as a Graphics Processing Unit (or GPU) is yet another great way to enhance your gameplay and streaming capabilities. This is primarily because a GPU is essential in enhancing graphics performance, as it works to accelerate the construction of important gameplay aspects like animation, video and images, while allowing the CPU to do other tasks. For many popular and quicker paced games, the GPU plays an important and vital role in smooth and speedy gameplay, making an upgrade a smart investment.
As a gamer, experiencing issues while streaming can be frustrating. However, by upgrading your graphics card, optimizing your settings, and ensuring your internet connection and speed are up to par, you can benefit from an overall smoother gameplay and streaming experience.
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