What Upload Speed do You Need to Stream on Twitch?

This is a comprehensive guide on the internet speed required for Twitch streaming.

In this guide you’ll learn:

🎬 This article is part of our Start Streaming on Twitch series.

🤔 What is the minimum upload speed to stream on Twitch?

You’ll want to have at least 3 – 6 MBps (Megabits per second) of upload speed to stream on Twitch comfortably using low settings.

If your upload speed is lower than that, you may have to upgrade your internet plan.


Recommended Upload Speed for Twitch Streaming

  • To stream at 720p 30fps — your bitrate should be set between 2500 and 4000 Kbps. The minimum recommended upload speed for this setting is 3 Mbps but preferably higher.
  • To stream at 720p 30fps — your bitrate should be set between 2500 and 4000 Kbps. The minimum recommended upload speed for this setting is 3 Mbps but preferably higher.
  • To stream at 1080p 30fps — your bitrate should be set between 3500 and 5000 Kbps. The minimum recommended upload speed for this setting is 7 Mbps.
  • To stream at 1080p 60fps — your bitrate should be set at 6000 Kbps. The minimum recommended upload speed for this setting is 10 Mbps.

How to Test your Internet Speed

To figure out which settings you can use to stream on Twitch, you must first know your upload speed.

You can test your upload speed using speedtest.net.

Click on the big ‘GO’ button to perform your test, this will only take a minute.

how to test your upload speed for twitch

⚠️ Only Upload Speed Matters

One big mistake Twitch streamers make is that they look at download speed instead of upload speed when testing their internet connection.

This is wrong!

Only your upload speed matters.


How to Test run a Test Stream on Twitch

You might not even be aware that your stream is laggy, choppy, or unstable for your viewers.

Luckily, there is a tool that can help you test and track your connection while you are streaming!

This tool is called Twitch Inspector.

The very first time you open Twitch Inspector, you will have to log in with your Twitch credentials to authorize its use.

you can use Twitch Inspector to run a bandwidth test for your Twitch stream

Once authorized, Twitch Inspector will always be tracking and saving the data for your upcoming streams!

This is the perfect tool to test your internet connection while streaming.

You can also run a stream test to test your connection at all times, without actually going live.

Here’s how that works.

how to run a stream test on twitch

Run a Stream Test

Inside the Inspector dashboard, hit the purple ‘run a stream test’ button.

A popup window will then prompt you to modify your streamkey.

[YOURSTREAMKEY]?bandwidthtest=true

You can find your Twitch stream key in your OBS Software.

how to run a stream test on inspector.twitch.tv
how to set up your stream test in streamlabs obs

Settings > Stream > Stream to custom Ingest

Your stream key will be displayed at the bottom.

Add ?bandwidthtest=true after the stream key.

Your entire stream key will look something like this: live_0000000_xxxxxxxxxxxx?bandwidthtest=true

how to find your twitch stream key in streamlabs obs

Stream key not showing?

You can copy/paste your stream key from your Twitch Creator Dashboard.

Dashboard > Settings > Stream

Next, go live on Twitch!

Don’t worry, you will not actually go live.

This is a private stream intended to test your stream connection.

go live on twitch to start your stream test
once you've finished running your stream test, make sure to switch back to the previous settings

Don’t forget to switch your settings back

Once you’re done testing, remove the ?bandwidthtest=true from your stream key.

Check the Results of your Test Stream

While you’re performing the bandwidth test with Twitch Inspector, you can check whether or not your connection is stable.

example of a stable internet connection on twitch
Example of a stable connection

If you notice the connection is unstable, your bitrate is likely too high for your internet connection.

Alternatively, your video settings could be too high for your internet connection.

To be on the save side set your Video Settings to 720p at 30fps and your bitrate to 2500Kbps when testing your stream.

If this connection is stable, you can try higher settings.

If you’re still experiencing issues at the lowest settings, you may have to upgrade your internet plan to increase your upload speed.

🤔 How to improve your internet speed for Twitch

If your stream is laggy, there are a couple of things you can do to improve your internet speed on Twitch.

👉 Lower your Video Settings

Many streamers stream on 1080p when in reality their upload speed can only handle 720p at 30fps.

Change your video settings.

👉 Lower your Bitrate

A higher bitrate means increases the quality of the stream. But this also means your stream will take up a lot more data.

Change your bitrate settings.

👉 Use a wired connection

You should never stream using a WIFI connection. This will make the connection far too unstable! Plug in that ethernet cable.

If your router is too far removed from your PC, you can look into alternative solutions such as Powerline Adapters.

👉 Get a separate internet plan

If you’re living with other people, they might be using up your available data and make your stream connection unstable.

Especially those playing video games and watching Netflix or Youtube will take up a lot of data.

You can ask them to not do this while you are live on Twitch or opt for a separate internet plan.

👉 Make sure your hardware is up for the job

If your upload speed is high and you don’t experience an unstable connection when testing your stream, your issue might be hardware-related.

You’ll need a decent GPU, CPU, and at least 16GB of ram to stream properly.

Check out our budget PC guide for more info.

How to Change your Video Settings on Twitch

You can change the video settings of your Twitch stream in your OBS software.

Navigate to Settings > Video

how to change your video settings on twitch

Output settings will define your stream resolution.

This is set to 1280×720 by default which means 720p. Which is the recommended setting.

Common FPS Values will define your FPS. This should be kept at 30FPS for non-partner streamers.

⚠️ Streaming in 1080p/60fps is not recommended

Only Twitch Partners should stream with these settings.

This is because only Partners have the ability to allow viewers to change the quality settings of a stream.

Thus, if your viewers’ internet cannot handle 1080p at 60fps, they will not be able to watch your stream if you stream at the highest settings!

You don’t want people to leave because of quality issues now do you? It’s like shooting yourself in the foot!

What is Bitrate?

Bitrate defines the amount of data you send to Twitch.

The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality of the stream.

Bitrate is measured in Kbps but can easily be converted to Mbps to make it easier to compare with your upload speed.

like so: 1000 Kbps = 1 MB.

You should always leave some room for drops though.

Just because you have 6 Mbps upload speed, this does not mean you should set your bitrate to 6000 Kbps.

This would cause your stream to be very unstable.

You should leave a buffer of at least 40% to make room for drops.

Thus, for a bitrate of 6000 Kbps, you would need at least 10 Mbps.

How to Change Bitrate on Twitch

You can change the bitrate of your stream in your OBS software.

Navigate to Settings > Output

Switch the Output Mode from Simple to Advanced.

how to change your bitrate on twitch

Twitch recommends that you use CBR rate control so keep this setting.

Your bitrate is likely set to 2500 Kbps by default.

2500 Kbps is the minimum requirement for 720p streaming at 30fps.

If your upload speed can handle it, you can set the bitrate to 6000 Kbps to stream 1080p at 30fps.


Wrap up

The quality of your Twitch stream is very important. After all, no one is going to stick around if your stream is constantly lagging.

It’s much better to stream at 720p and 30fps and have a lag-free stream than to stream at 1080p with constant choppiness.

Make sure that you know your upload speed so that you can match your bitrate and video settings to your internet connection.

As a last resort, you can upgrade your internet plan to one that has better upload speed.

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