Twitch is the biggest streaming platform with more than a 140million unique monthly visitors and more than 9million active monthly streamers. It’s one of the best platforms to stream Hearts of Iron IV and almost any game you can think of since there will always be somebody looking for the gameplay you have to offer.
If you are serious about live streaming Hearts of Iron IV, then Twitch is one of the best places to look at and start streaming. If you have no idea what you’ll need or how to set up everything to begin streaming Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch, no worries at all; I got you covered! In this guide, you will find everything you’ll ever need to know to start streaming Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch.
1 – Create a Twitch account to live stream Hearts of Iron IV.
To access Twitch’s streaming/broadcasting features, you’ll first need to have a Twitch account. Twitch accounts are entirely free, and the registration process is straightforward.
Before creating an account, I recommend you look at the community guidelines to understand what you can and can’t do on the platform. Also, I encourage you to bookmark that page so you can take a look from time to time to check on updates.
Navigate to the Twitch homepage, and on the top right corner, click on “Sign Up“. If you are on a mobile device, you’ll have to download and open the Twitch app, and on the first page, you should see the option to sign up.
Fill out the sign-up form with your details.
Once you create and verify your new Twitch account, navigate to your account settings and go to the “Security and Privacy” tab. Scroll down and look for “Two-Factor Authentication“, click on “Set Up Two-Factor Authentication” and follow the steps.
That’s it; your account is ready to start streaming Hearts of Iron IV. Let’s get on the software, the gear, settings, and the whole process to set up everything to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch.
2 – Choose the software you’ll use to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch.
There are tons of different broadcasting software to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch. Each of these software comes with its own set of pros and cons, and depending on your needs and goals, you’ll have to choose accordingly.
Below you can find the best software to use for streaming Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch with a short but detailed description of what you should know about the particular software.
OBS – OBS Studio is an entirely free, open-source streaming software with cross-platform compatibility and easy integration to Twitch. OBS Studio is well known among Twitch content creators, and it’s one of the top choices to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch.tv. Note that you will need some tweaking to set up everything as you wish. (Recommended for people who want to set up everything manually)
StreamLabs OBS – Tons of extra features in comparison with OBS Studio. It might be a little heavier on your PC if you load it up with a lot of stuff but nothing crazy. Many StreamLabs OBS features can help you monetize your Twitch channel later on and make everything better and easier for you. Note that StreamLabs OBS is only available on Windows. (Recommended for people who want easy setup & more features)
Restream – Restream is a Multi-platform streaming software that allows you to stream on dozens of platforms simultaneously. Easy to set up, easy to use dashboard, and you’ll find everything organized in one place. Note that if you are a Twitch affiliate, you can’t stream on different platforms simultaneously. But if you are looking to grow your audience as fast as possible, this might do the trick since you will be on all platforms at the same time and redirect people from other channels(Youtube, Facebook, etc.) to Twitch. (Recommended for new streamers looking to grow fast)
Later in this guide, you’ll find instructions on setting up each of the above broadcasting software to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch. Now let’s move on to the next part of this guide, where we will discuss a few things you will need to start streaming.
3 – Things you’ll need to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch
Apart from having a decent PC setup, console, or mobile phone, you’ll need some hardware or software to enhance your stream and make it more attractive to potential viewers.
Gaming and streaming on the same computer can go a little heavy on the CPU, and if the CPU cannot handle it, it will start causing issues, stuttering, and drop performance right away. If your PC already struggles to run Hearts of Iron IV on at least 60 FPS at all times, then you might need to start thinking about upgrading before streaming or optimizing your PC.
On the other hand, if your PC is running Hearts of Iron IV just fine, you should be good at streaming Hearts of Iron IV on that PC. If you are playing on a console, you can consider playing from the console but broadcasting through a computer to access cool features and possibilities.
Statistics show that people prefer streams where the streamer speaks on the microphone, and no one can deny that. But that doesn’t mean that you are obligated to use one. On the other hand, if you are looking to grow a community on Twitch while streaming Hearts of Iron IV, you will have to engage with your viewers via chatting, or if you don’t want to do that, you will have to find some creative way to do so!
Microphones will always be a good investment for streamers who want to talk with their audience, and that’s why the quality matters. I mean, if you do it, do it right! Good audio quality will make your stream sound more appealing, and believe me, and viewers will instantly spot it.
Your stream may sound too “empty” without some background music. It would be best if you thought of adding some background music in your Hearts of Iron IV stream, but make sure it’s not copyrighted because it can get your channel in trouble. There are a lot of services that offer free royalty music, such as SoundStripe.
Camera or Avatar
If you want to show yourself on stream, you should consider getting a decent camera to make it look better. You don’t have to buy the most expensive, 4k camera; instead, a budget one should do the job.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to show your face on your stream and you feel like you will not grow your account without showing yourself on camera, you should consider getting a custom-made live avatar either of yourself or something else of your choice. It’s an excellent and effective way to engage with your viewers without showing your face. The thing is that it’s pretty hard to do it yourself without the proper skills, but you can hire someone on Fiverr to create a custom avatar for you exactly how you’ve imagined it for really cheap.
Capture card can help you if you want to stream console games via your PC or if you want to do a two-computer streaming setup.
4 – How to live stream Hearts of Iron IV to Twitch from PC
Now let’s connect the Twitch account to a broadcasting software and set up everything so you can stream Hearts of Iron IV as soon as possible.
Before you start setting up the streaming software, go ahead and make sure that every hardware that you want to use(Microphone, Camera, etc.) to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch is connected to your PC.
Connecting Twitch to OBS
Now, go ahead and download either OBS Studio or StreamLab OBS.
For the following steps, I will use OBS Studio as an example of setting up everything. Still, StreamLabs OBS is identical and even easier, so it should be straightforward to follow along.
Now, go ahead and install OBS and once the installation is complete, run it and navigate to “Settings“.
Navigate to the “Stream” tab; on Service, choose “Twitch” and then click “Connect Account“.
A window will pop out asking you to enter your Twitch login details. Go ahead and fill out the form with your email and password and click “Login“.
Add Audio/Video/Visuals to OBS
Anything that you want to broadcast on your stream, whether your Hearts of Iron IV gameplay, background music, a specific part of your screen, alerts, or any particular graphics, needs to be added as a source in OBS.
Let’s do a basic setup, let’s capture your Hearts of Iron IV gameplay, microphone, and camera, and later on, in this guide, you will find resources for more advanced setups.
Setup Hearts of Iron IV Source
Navigate to the bottom left side OBS, and under “Scenes“, click the “+” symbol. Name it as you wish, and click OK.
Now let’s add Hearts of Iron IV to our sources to ensure gameplay will be captured and streamed on Twitch. Click the “+” symbol on the Sources section, select “Game Capture“, and click OK.
A window should pop up with a few different settings. Let me explain to you how to configure each one.
Mode: Choose either “Capture any fullscreen applications“(assuming when you play Hearts of Iron IV, that’s the only full-screen application that is running) or run Hearts of Iron IV and choose “Capture specific window“, and then select the “Window” of Hearts of Iron IV.
Use anti-cheat compatibility check: Ensure this is enabled to prevent conflicts with the anti-cheat software.
Choose the rest depending on your needs and click “OK” to save your selections.
Setup Microphone Source
Now let’s set up your microphone so your viewers can listen to you on stream.
Again, go to Sources and click the “+” symbol, and choose “Audio Input Capture“, select your microphone and click “OK“.
Setup Camera Source
Next, let’s set up your camera so your viewers can see you on stream.
Again, go to Sources and click the “+” symbol, and choose “Video Capture Device“, select your camera and click “OK“. Now you can adjust the camera’s size and reposition it anywhere you wish.
Now you got all the essential sources configured correctly and ready to go! The next thing we are going to do is apply the best streaming settings for Hearts of Iron IV to have a smooth and lag-free stream and gameplay.
5 – Streaming Settings
Now that everything is set up and ready on your PC to start streaming Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch, the next thing you will have to do to ensure a smooth and lag-free broadcast is to make sure you are using the best streaming settings for either OBS Studios or StreamLabs OBS. It will take you some time to tweak and mess around with the settings to get the perfect Hearts of Iron IV settings for streaming but believe me; it’s worth it since once you set them up, you don’t have to touch them ever again.
Below you will find my recommendations on the best streaming settings for Hearts of Iron IV to make it super easy for you to come up with the perfect configuration.
Best OBS / StreamLabs Streaming settings for Hearts of Iron IV
Navigate to OBS / Streamlabs Settings tab and choose the Output tab.
Change Output Mode to Advanced, and make sure you are on the Streaming settings sub-tab.
Encoder: If you have an NVidia GPU, the best encoder to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch is the “NVIDIA NVENC H.264(New)” encoder. On the other hand, if you are on an AMD GPU, use the “H264/AVC Encoder” from AMD for the best performance possible while streaming Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch.
Bitrate: The best Bitrate to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch is 6000kbps. If you are on a slow internet connection, you can lower this number to achieve a stable and smooth stream.
Rate Control: CBR
Keyframe Interval: 2 seconds
Preset: Start with “Quality” or “Performance” and depending on how your stream feels, tweak it accordingly. If you feel like it drops too much performance, then you should consider moving to “Low-Latency Performance“.
If you followed through till here, I would like to tell you that, for the most part, you are ready to start streaming Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch on your desktop computer. Below you will find how to set up your stream on consoles, as well as a lot of helpful information on possible ways to make your stream look and sound better, grow your channel faster, monetize your channel, and more!
How to live stream to Twitch from consoles
Streaming on Xbox & Playstation consoles, it’s much easier since the customizable settings are limited but so are the features available to make your stream better. Below you can find step-by-step instructions on how to stream Hearts of Iron IV on consoles.
How to stream to Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch from a Playstation
Click on the “Share” button on your controller to bring up the side menu. Then click on “Broadcast Gameplay”, and on the next page, link your Twitch account to your PSN account.
Once you successfully connect your console to Twitch, you will be asked to choose a name for your Hearts of Iron IV stream, a description, and the quality of the stream. The name and description are entirely up to you. The quality of the stream that you should use highly depends on your internet speed. My recommendation would be to go with the highest one, and then check from your phone and see if your stream is lagging or not, and depending on the results, change it accordingly.
Once everything is ready, hit the “Start broadcasting” button, and you should be live streaming Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch on your PlayStation console.
How to stream Hearts of Iron IV on Twitch from Xbox
Head to the Microsoft store and download the Twitch app.
Run the app, and it will ask you to link your Xbox to your Twitch account. Proceed with the instructions, and it will ask you to enter a six-digit code to twitch.tv/activate. You can do that by visiting that address from any device.
Next, navigate to the Broadcast tab and configure your microphone and sound settings as you wish. You will also see a Bitrate and Stream Resolution option available. Next to the Bitrate option, click on the Automatic button so Twitch will check your internet connection and suggest the optimal Bitrate to have a lag-free stream.
On Stream Resolution, choose to start with 1080p, and if you notice that you are lagging, get it down to 720p; if not, you should be good to go with 1080p.
Make sure to add a Title and Description to your Hearts of Iron IV stream, and once everything is configured as you wish, go ahead and press the “Start Streaming” button!
How do I make my Twitch stream look and sound great?.
Overlays, Scenes Screens, & Logo: Even though these are not required to start streaming initially, having your overlays, screens, logo, and scenes all setup beautifully can make you stand from the crowd since that shows that you care about the stream and you look at it somehow more seriously than just streaming on my free time.
I don’t recommend purchasing pre-built designs for two main reasons. The first one is that everyone can have the same designs as you and second that with the same amount of money you can get someone to create everything for you as you have imagined it.
- You can create your own by using StreamLabs OBS free templates and designs.
- Hire someone on Fiverr to create unique designs made only for you.
Alerts: You can find a lot of ready-made and easily customizable alerts on StreamLabs OBS to show up when someone subscribes, follows, or donates to your channel.
Music: As I previously mentioned at the beginning of this guide, music can give your stream a different feeling, and it can only do good. You can find some high-quality copyright-free music on SoundStripe.
Avatar: An excellent and effective way to engage with your viewers without showing your face is to replace yourself with an animated character of your choice. You can hire someone on Fiverr to create a custom avatar for you if you don’t have previous experience in design and animation.