Discord isn't just a great chat application for gamers: it has many streaming features built in as well, especially game-streaming. Whether you're an eSports team leader who wants an easy way to review with your entire team or someone who just wants to share screens with friends or a significant other, we have you covered! Let's dive into everything you need to know to stream on Discord.
What do I need to stream on Discord?
Mainly, you need a good upload speed. On my connection, which supports up to 5 Mbps upload, Discord streaming at 720p and 60 FPS works fairly smoothly. With higher upload speeds, pushing higher resolutions shouldn't be an issue. To quickly check your upload speed, head over to Speedtest.net.
Also read: How to Set Up Screen Sharing on Discord
Do I need Nitro to stream on Discord?
Nitro is the premium version of Discord. You don't need to subscribe to Nitro to start streaming, but without Nitro, your maximum stream quality is limited to 720p and 30 FPS. Streaming at higher resolutions or framerates is impossible without a Nitro membership. 720p30 is still perfectly viewable, but in our experience streaming at those settings, streaming at 60 FPS offers a more visually-smooth and consistent experience, even with TV shows that don't reach 30 FPS.
The differences between the Discord streaming quality settings
Since you're streaming video here, note that all of your video will be compressed and encoded. Uncompressed 480p will look better than streamed 480p, for example.
- 480p - The lowest setting, matching standard definition TV signals. Not ideal in any scenario, but may be necessary if you're dealing with a sub-5 mbps upload speed.
- 720p - The balanced setting, matching standard HD TV signals. Good enough visual quality for most games, videos, shows, and movies to display clearly. This should be the target for most people.
- 1080p - The high setting, matching true HD TV signals. The higher number is better - who would've guessed? Only available for Nitro users.
- Source - Used for resolutions higher than 1080p, like 1440p and 4K. These are also better but unlikely to work well unless you have a super-high upload speed. Only available for Nitro users.
Framerate may seem like a pretty clear-cut case of higher-is-better, and it is, but there are still times when you'll want to use the lower settings.
- 15 FPS - If you wish to share your entire screen at full resolution (1080p or Source) and aren't showing actual video, 15 FPS is a great choice. For instance, if you're trying to share text or demonstrate step-by-step instructions to a friend or relative. Stuff like PowerPoint presentations should also translate flawlessly to a 15 FPS stream.
- 30 FPS - Decent video streaming, but the stability of its frame pacing can leave much to be desired, especially when trying to stream shows or videos to friends. Raw gaming signals work fine with 30 FPS, though.
- 60 FPS - The best experience, even if you're streaming content that doesn't actually run at 60 FPS. Only available for Nitro users.
Settings to Check
Before you stream, be sure to head into your Settings and make sure that both OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems, Inc. and H.264 Hardware Acceleration are enabled. Not only will these improve the performance of Discord in general, but they will greatly improve the performance of your streaming.
How to Stream on Discord to Friends and Servers
Now, let's get into the meat of it.
In the past, streams were only available to servers, but now you can stream to your friends in a one-on-one call, too. The interface is the same for both options and so is the prerequisite: being in a call, whether that's a DM call or joining a voice channel in your favorite server.
Once you're in a call, you can start the process by either clicking "Screen" at the bottom left of your Discord UI or the "Share Your Screen" button in the main window - either will work.
The Screen Share pop-up will allow you to choose which video you want to stream. In this case, we've decided to stream aof this interview with the director of Doom Eternal so there won't be any browser interface in the final stream window.
Once you've selected what you want to stream, it's time to set the quality. If you have higher options blanked out like in our screenshot below, that means you can't access them unless you upgrade to Discord Nitro. Choose your quality settings, then click "Go Live."
And you're streaming! By clicking the arrow at the bottom of the monitor or the logo at the bottom of the screen, you can also change your stream settings in real time.
And that's it! Now you can easily stream on Discord to your friends, family, team, or significant other. Don't forget to make use of these bots to improve your Discord server too.
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