How to Stream on Discord: The Complete Guide

default image

Hey there! Looking to start streaming fun and engaging content on Discord? You‘ve come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll teach you everything you need to start broadcasting live video to an audience on Discord quickly and easily.

From adjusting your stream settings to growing your viewership, I‘ll cover all the tips and tools you need to create a successful Discord stream. Let‘s dive in!

An Introduction to Streaming on Discord

For the uninitiated, Discord is a free voice, video, and text chat platform used by over 150 million users per month.

Discord servers act as central hubs for various communities to gather. Here‘s a quick rundown of Discord‘s core features:

  • Text Channels – Organized chat rooms for messaging friends or communities

  • Voice Channels – Hop on a voice call with crystal clear audio quality

  • Video Chat – Stream your webcam or share your screen

  • Customizable Servers – Create a customized hub for your community with mod tools

But beyond chatting, Discord offers built-in streaming capabilities for broadcasting live video to groups of up to 50 people simultaneously.

Whether you‘re gaming, hosting a talk show, or even streaming a conference event – Discord provides stellar quality live streaming for free.

Here are some of the key highlights of Discord streaming:

  • High-quality video – Up to 1080p resolution and 60fps framerate (with Discord Nitro)

  • Minimal setup – Just click "Go Live" in a voice channel to start streaming

  • Audience engagement – Interact with your viewers in real-time with chat and alerts

  • Total customization – Add overlays, scenes, and graphics with OBS Studio

  • Multistream capabilities – Simultaneously stream to Discord, Twitch, YouTube, and more

  • Built-in community – Leverage existing Discord servers and followers to gain viewers

Excited yet? The possibilities are endless for creative content you can stream on Discord. It‘s a great platform for streamers of any size and content focus.

Now let‘s go over everything you need to know before hitting that go live button…

Streaming Prerequisites and Requirements

To ensure your Discord streams look and sound great, you‘ll want to prepare with the following checklist:

Use the Desktop App – For the most stable streaming experience, download and use the Windows/MacOS Discord application. The web browser version can be glitchy.

Join a Voice Channel – You can only stream video and audio while connected to a voice channel on a Discord server.

Internet Speed – Discord recommends at least 1 Mbps upload speed per stream quality setting. For 720p video, you‘ll want at least 3 Mbps upload.

Adjust Video Settings – In User Settings, select your preferred resolution, framerate, etc. Higher quality requires higher internet speeds.

Setup Lighting – Have a ring light or softbox to properly illuminate yourself on webcam. Avoid backlighting.

Audio Sources – Make sure your microphone sounds clear without background noise. Add audio sources like background music.

Appealing Background – Set up your camera angle with a clean, interesting background to complement you.

Streaming Title & Status – Set a compelling, descriptive title and status message for your stream.

Mods and Roles – Assign trustworthy moderators and limit your stream access as needed with permissions/roles.

Step-by-Step Guide to Go Live on Discord

Ready to get started? Here‘s a simple step-by-step process to start streaming on Discord:

From a PC:

  1. Launch the Discord desktop app and join a voice channel on any server.

  2. Click the "Go Live" button or select "Go Live" from the voice channel menu.

  3. Select the video and audio sources you want to stream – your webcam, screen, game, etc.

  4. Choose your preferred streaming quality and click the "Go Live" button.

  5. Interact with your viewers using voice chat in the channel and text chat beside the stream.

  6. Click "End Stream" when you‘re finished or simply leave the voice channel.

From Mobile:

  1. Join a voice channel in the Discord mobile app.

  2. Tap the streaming icon in the lower right corner.

  3. Allow Discord permission to access your microphone and camera.

  4. Select your preferred camera angle and tap "Go Live."

  5. Swipe left on your video preview to view stream chat and manage settings.

  6. Tap "End Stream" when done or leave the channel.

And that‘s all there is to it! With just a couple clicks, you can start streaming your screen, webcam, or gameplay to a live audience on Discord.

Now let‘s go over some pro tips and tricks for creating an engaging, high-quality stream on Discord.

Professional Streaming Tips for Discord

Here are some expert recommendations for making sure your stream looks polished and interacts with your viewers:

Optimize Your Video Quality

  • Lighting – Add a ring light or softbox to properly illuminate your face. Avoid backlighting.

  • Camera – Stream from a 1080p webcam or DSLR camera for maximum quality.

  • Composition – Frame your camera at eye level with a clean background.

  • Resolution – In Discord‘s settings, choose 720p or 1080p streaming quality.

  • Framerate – Stream at 30fps or 60fps for smoothness. 60fps requires high internet speeds.

  • Bitrate – Pick a video bitrate between 3000-6000kbps for the best picture.

Improve Your Audio

  • Microphone – Use a dedicated USB mic or XLR mic setup rather than built-in laptop mics.

  • Positioning – Place the mic about 6 inches away pointed towards your mouth.

  • Noise removal – Reduce ambient noise through plugins like RTX Voice or Krisp.

  • Equalization – Boost bass and treble slightly to achieve fuller sound.

Engage Your Viewers

  • Chat interaction – Greet new viewers, answer questions, and poll your audience.

  • Webcam – Show your reactions and maintain eye contact with your cam.

  • Alerts – Set up notifications for redemptions, follows, and donations.

  • Ask questions – Directly prompt your viewers by asking questions to spark discussion.

  • Calls to action – Provide specific requests for viewers like posting questions or sharing the stream.

Add Custom Overlays & Scenes

Discord streaming alone provides a barebones feed. For a more polished stream:

  • Overlay software – Use OBS Studio to add images, text, webcams, graphics, etc.

  • Branding – Include visual elements like your channel logo, colors, and fonts.

  • Information – Add overlays displaying stream title, follower goals, chat, etc.

  • Transitions – Use transition effects when switching scenes or returning from a break.

  • Sources – Bring in media like video clips, images, and GIFs to liven up your stream.

Promote Your Stream

  • YouTube channel – Upload clips from your stream to YouTube Shorts to gain subscribers.

  • Social posts – Share when you go live on Twitter, Instagram Stories, Facebook Groups, etc.

  • Email newsletter – Send an email blast announcing your stream schedule and upcoming topics.

  • Discord partnerships – Collaborate with servers mutually beneficial to your audience.

  • Hashtags – Use relevant hashtags like #DiscordStreamer to be discovered.

  • Invites – Personally invite friends, family, coworkers, and community members.

Monetize Your Passion

Once you build an engaged audience, you can start monetizing your Discord stream including:

  • Tips – Collect one-time tips from appreciative viewers through integrations.

  • Subscriptions – Offer perks for a monthly fee like ad-free viewing and member chats.

  • Merchandise – Sell branded clothing, mugs, phone cases, and other merch.

  • Sponsorships – Partner with brands relevant to your audience for sponsored segments.

  • Ad revenue – If affiliate streaming, you can earn a cut of ads served against your content.

Streaming on Discord vs. Other Platforms

How does Discord compare to dedicated streaming services like Twitch or YouTube Live? Here‘s a quick rundown of the pros and cons:



  • Built-in audience from existing servers
  • Easy startup and minimal equipment needed
  • Interactive features like screen sharing and voice chat
  • Ability to stream privately


  • Maximum of 50 concurrent viewers
  • Less discoverability compared to public platforms
  • Limited built-in monetization options



  • Largest platform made specifically for gaming streams
  • Monetization through ad revenue share, tips, subscriptions
  • Extensive tools for engagement like raids and clip sharing


  • Requires building an audience from scratch
  • Higher competition saturation among streamers

YouTube Live


  • Leverage existing YouTube subscriber base
  • Powerful analytics for improving stream strategy
  • Ability to keep archives and grow video library


  • Delayed viewer interaction through chat
  • Need 1,000 subscribers to go live from a phone

As you can see, each platform has unique advantages. Many broadcasters use Discord for connecting with established communities initially before expanding to other services. The ability to stream from Discord with minimal setup makes it a great entry point for novice streamers.

Common Discord Streaming Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about streaming on Discord:

How many viewers can join a Discord stream?

Discord increased the limit to 50 maximum viewers in a voice channel stream due to COVID-19. For big events, you can "simulstream" to YouTube or Twitch without a viewer cap.

What internet speeds are required?

At minimum, Discord recommends 1 Mbps upload speed per stream quality setting. For 720p 30fps video, you‘ll want at least 3 Mbps upload speed. Faster is better!

Can I play music on stream?

You can play music using an audio source in OBS, but keep in mind copyright restrictions. Stream safe music or stick to royalty free tracks to avoid issues.

How can I grow my Discord stream?

Promote it across social channels, ask communities to host your stream, run giveaways and events, stream consistently, interact with viewers, post clips, and collaborate with others.

Can I make money from a Discord stream?

Yes! You can accept tips, set up a Patreon, offer paid subscriptions, run sponsorships/ads, sell merchandise, earn affiliate commissions, and more.

What are the best OBS settings for Discord?

In OBS, set your canvas to your desired stream resolution like 1280×720. Set your output resolution and framerate the same. Pick a video bitrate between 3000-6000 Kbps.

Let‘s Start Streaming!

And there you have it – everything you need to start hosting awesome streams on Discord today.

From optimizing your video and engaging viewers to growing your audience, you‘re now equipped with all the tools, tips, and recommendations to make your stream a success.

I hope you found this guide helpful! Don‘t hesitate to reach out with any other questions. I‘m always happy to help fellow streamers.

Now get out there, create some amazing content, build connections, and take your streaming to the next level on Discord!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.