Streaming Mobile Games on Twitch: Yes, It's Possible

Broadcasting mobile phone games on Twitch is easier than you think

Two male teenagers using a macbook and an iphone
Stream mobile video games on Twitch with a computer. izusek / E+

Broadcasting, or streaming, video game gameplay has become a popular pastime for many gamers young and old with many even turning their hobby into a full-time career via streaming services such as Twitch.

Players can stream gameplay from video game consoles such as the Nintendo Switch, Microsoft's Xbox One, and Sony's PlayStation 4 in addition to traditional computers and even smartphones. Given the technological limitations of mobile devices, broadcasting a quality gaming stream to Twitch from a smartphone is a little more complicated than doing the same from a console or PC.

It is possible though and there are already numerous streamers who regularly stream their favorite smartphone games on Twitch and have become quite popular in doing so.

What is Mobile Twitch Streaming?

Mobile Twitch streaming is the broadcasting of the live gameplay of a video game from an iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone or tablet to the Twitch streaming service.

It is possible to stream only the gameplay footage in a broadcast but most successful streamers also incorporate webcam footage of themselves and an appealing visual layout to engage with their viewers and to encourage them to follow or subscribe to their Twitch channel.

What's Needed for a Mobile Twitch Stream?

In addition to your mobile device and the game you want to play, you will need the following:

  • A Windows or Mac PC
  • A copy of the Reflector 3 program on your computer
  • A copy of the free OBS Studio streaming software on your computer
  • A webcam
  • A microphone

Step 1: Preparing Your Smartphone for Streaming

Before you begin streaming from your mobile device, it's recommended to close all of the open apps. This will make sure that your device is running as fast as possible and will reduce any slowing down or crashing of the game you're going to be playing.

It's also a good idea to turn off notifications due to the fact that any that you get during a stream will be completely visible to your audience. You might also want to turn on Airplane Mode to prevent people from calling you though make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth remain functional so you can project your screen to your computer with Reflector 3.

Step 2: Installing Reflector 3

To stream the footage from your mobile device, you'll need to get it to display on your computer which in turn will send it to Twitch. It's similar to how you need to connect a Blu-ray player to your TV so you can watch the Blu-ray disk.

Reflector 3 is a program that works on Windows and macOS computers and essentially makes them compatible with the numerous wireless projecting technologies supported by iOS, Android, and Windows phones such as Google Cast, AirPlay, and Miracast. You won't need to use any cables or additional hardware when using Reflector 3.

After downloading Reflector 3 from its official website, open the program on your computer and then wirelessly project your mobile's display to the computer using one of the following methods.

  • iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch: Swipe up from the bottom of your iOS device's screen to open the Control Center. Press the AirPlay icon in the middle of the menu.
  • Android: Open the Notifications Center on your Android phone or tablet and press the Cast icon. Once open, select More Settings and choose your computer.
  • Windows phone: Swipe down on the screen and press on the Connect icon. Select your computer from the list of compatible devices.

Step 3: Setting Up OBS Studio

If you haven't already, download OBS Studio onto your computer. This is a popular free program that's used to broadcast livestreams to Twitch.

Once you have OBS Studio installed, you need to link it to your Twitch account so that your broadcast is sent to the correct location. To do this, log into your account on the official Twitch website and click on Dashboard, then Settings, followed by Stream Key.

Press the purple button to display your stream key and then copy this series of numbers to your clipboard by highlighting it with your mouse, right-clicking on the text, and pressing Copy.

Switch back to OBS Studio and click on Settings > Streaming > Service and select Twitch. Copy your stream key into the relevant field by right-clicking on it with your mouse and choosing Paste. Anything broadcast from OBS Studio will now be sent directly to your personal Twitch account.

Step 4: Adding Media Sources to OBS Studio

Make sure Reflector 3 is still open on your computer and that your mobile device is mirrored on it. You're now going to add Reflector 3 to OBS Studio and this is how your viewers will see your mobile gameplay.

  1. At the bottom of OBS Studio, click on the plus symbol under Sources.
  2. Choose Window Capture and select Reflector 3 from the drop-down menu. Press Ok.
  3. Move and resize your new screen with your mouse to get it to look the way you want.
  4. The entire black workspace will be what your viewers see so if you want to make it look more visually appealing you can import images by adding more sources by repeating the method shown above.
  5. To add your webcam, once again click on the plus symbol under Sources but this time select Video Capture Device. Choose your webcam from the list and press Ok. Move and resize it to your liking.

Step 5: Starting Your Twitch Broadcast

When you have your dashboard looking the way you want, click on the Start Streaming button in the lower-right corner. You'll now be live on Twitch and your viewers should see your webcam footage, any images you've added, and your favorite mobile video game.

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