How to Choose The Best Bitrate for Twitch & YouTube Streaming

Last Updated: September 20, 2021

Jason

Jason

Read this comprehensive guide, which is divided into two parts, and you will know how to choose a bitrate for Youtube and Twitch streaming.
How to Choose a Bitrate for Twitch & YouTube Streaming
EarthWeb is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

In order to enjoy a good live stream, you must have strong hardware and good upload speed, which includes frames per second, resolution, and bitrate.

Getting powerful hardware is easy as you can go for one that manages encoding for live video and video games at the same time on a computer or mobile device.

But, attaining a nice upload speed is hard for different platforms, including Twitch and YouTube. Both Twitch and YouTube manage their data streams in different ways.

This means whatever data you send to these websites, they will handle it in their own way.

So, if you want to know about the best bitrate for streaming on YouTube or Twitch, then this is the right place for you.

Read this comprehensive guide, which is divided into two parts, and you will know how to choose a bitrate for Youtube and Twitch streaming.

You can use the instructions offered in the Twitch part if you employ a re-streaming service for streaming on two platforms at the same time.

Or, you can use other services that let you select different settings for these two platforms. You must know that these settings will be in the streaming program you use and not on YouTube or Twitch.

How to Choose the Best Bitrate for Twitch

Bitrate for Twitch

Twitch has a limit of 6000kbps for all its video uploads. This means you cannot put more uploads than this limit on Twitch. Twitch reserves its bandwidth for only its partners.

This means when you stream during peak hours, your viewers will get poor quality options.

They would be able to watch the stream in the same quality as you upload on the server of Twitch.

Your viewers must have the same speed of download as your upload when you stream at a particular bitrate. And, the bitrate of 6000kbps would be quite high for many viewers.

Therefore, you must select lower settings if you want to provide your viewers with quality streams. You can start streaming a 720p resolution video at 60 frames per second. This is great for any game that has fast-paced action, including shooter games.

You can use these settings:

  • B-frames: 2
  • Preset: Max Quality
  • Keyframe interval: 2 seconds
  • Bitrate: 4500kbps

In the case of a game that does not have a lot of action, you can stream a 720p resolution video at 30 frames per second. You can use the same settings provided above while limiting to 3000kbps bitrate.

Furthermore, you might get partnered over time if your channel grows. Then, you can get quality choices, which means your viewers can pick the quality option they want to stream the video in.

You can choose the highest quality at that time, which will be either 900p or 1080p resolution.

For this, the bitrate should be 6,000 kbps. These are some recommended settings that you can opt for Twitch streaming.

What If My Upload Speed Is Too Slow?

As per Twitch, you should stream at 3,000 kbps bitrate, which is approximately 0.4MB/s, for a 720p resolution video at 30FPS.

If your speed of upload is lesser than this, then you should opt for some other internet solution.

You can still go for a lower resolution, but it would affect the stream quality. And, if your speed of upload is more than 3,000kbps but less than 6,000kbps, then you can follow these settings.

The Best Bitrate Based On Your Upload Speed for Twitch:

  • 6,000kbps with partner – 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second
  • 6,000 kbps – 900p resolution at 60 frames per second
  • 5,000 kbps or less – 720p resolution at 60 frames per second
  • 4,000kbps or less – 720p resolution at 30 frames per second

How to Choose the Best Bitrate for YouTube

Bitrate for YouTube

On YouTube, you don’t have to worry about the quality of your videos since it automatically transcodes them, irrespective of the number of viewers who watch your stream.

This provides viewers with all quality choices starting from 360p resolution to the maximum quality.

You should stream your video at the maximum bitrate available and your viewers can select the quality option for watching the video.

This way they will not have any buffering issues as well.

But, if you would like to stream at a particular resolution, then you can follow the ranges mentioned below as suggested by YouTube.

You should opt for a higher range in order to provide your viewers with the best experience.

YouTube Recommended Bitrate (kbps)

480p – 500-2,000

720p – 1,500-4,000

720p 60 frames per second 2,250-6,000

1080p – 3,000-6,000

1080p 60 frames per second – 4,500-9,000

1440p – 6,000-13,000

1440p 60 frames per second – 9,000-18,000

4K – 13,000-34,000

4K 60 frames per second – 20,000-51,000

Written by Jason

Hi! I’m the editor at EarthWeb. I have a deep interest in technology and business. I also enjoy testing products out. Contact me to be featured!