How to Run a Test Stream on Twitch (Without Going Live)

Can you do a test stream on twitch?

Yes, you can.

So you’ve decided to stream your favorite game on the popular streaming platform Twitch, but the lack of a reliable method to test out your stream is starting to get the better of you. Running a test stream before going live is crucial, as dealing with technical difficulties like frame drops while broadcasting to an audience prevents you from focusing on your stream’s content and reduces engagement.

We know it’s tough to identify potential problems, especially when you’re a beginner and don’t have a dedicated team to help you with testing out your stream.

Also check out : best laptops for twitch streaming

Test stream twitch without going live

Lucky for you, we found a tool that does just that, allowing you to broadcast a test stream straight to Twitch’s servers without the need of going live. The first-party tool named Twitch Inspector not only lets you monitor the stream from your end but provides valuable insights in the form of the Broadcast Health feature.

However, the Twitch Inspector tool does not stream an instance of your broadcast that you can view yourself, which might be necessary if you want to experience the stream from your audience’s perspective. The option most seasoned Twitch streamers opt for is creating another account, commonly referred to as a “bot account,” which you can stream to without worrying about notifying your audience.

How to Run a Test Stream on Twitch

Method 1 – Twitch Inspector

Twitch Inspector is compatible with a majority of the streaming software out there. In this article, we will be configuring the OBS software for our test stream, but Streamlabs OBS and other streaming software should have a similar process, and you should be able to set them up easily.

  1. Step One: Navigate to the Creator Dashboard of your Twitch account. From the home page of the Dashboard, navigate to the Settings dropdown. You can access this via the hamburger icon that will open up a menu. Now in the Settings dropdown, choose the Stream option. You can consult the figure to gain more clarity in navigating the menus.
  2. Step Two: The very first setting in the Stream page will be your Primary Stream Key. To copy the key, click on the Copy button as shown. You will need to paste this into the text field of your streaming software in the next step.
  3. Step Three: In your streaming software of choice, you will need to input your Twitch stream key in the required text field. We are using OBS, but the process will be similar to other streaming software. In the OBS window, select the File dropdown menu and select Settings.
  4. Step Four: Once the settings pop-up opens, select the Stream option from the side menu. Select the Service deop-down menu as shown and choose Twitch, which is probably the first option in the list.
  5. Step Five: If this is your first time configuring the streaming software to stream on Twitch, choose the second Use Stream Key option. Paste your Stream Key from before and append “?bandwidthtest=true” to the end of your Stream Key as shown. If you’ve already connected your streaming software to a Twitch account, select the Enable Bandwidth Test Mode tickbox as shown. 
  6. Step Six: Double-check the settings and click on Ok to apply. You are now ready to begin your test stream. After you start streaming, head on over to Twitch Inspector to check the status of your stream. You may notice a pop-up asking for authorization. Click on Authorize and move on.
  7. Step Seven: You will see the live status of your stream in a box at the side. You can click on it to view the bitrate and connection quality of your stream in near-real-time. You can also view the bitrate and dropped frames in the OBS software to see if your hardware can stream at the given settings. You can compare your streaming software’s bitrate value with the one shown on Twitch Inspector to get a reasonable estimate of your network quality.
  8. Step Eight: After your stop broadcasting your test stream, you can head over to Twitch Inspector and identify any potential issues. Just select the stream you concluded from the list, and you will get an overview of any problems that occurred during the broadcast. The timeline also highlights (in red) the timestamps where issues occurred.
  9. Step Nine: Once your done testing your stream, remove the “?bandwidthtest=true” option from your Stream Key Field or deselect the Enable Bandwidth Test Mode tickbox and you’re all set to go live.

Method 2- Secondary Account

As we discussed earlier, broadcasting a test stream live without notifying your audience can be achieved with a secondary Twitch account. Setting one up is pretty straightforward and doesn’t even need you to use another email address.

  1. Step One: Head over to your account’s security settings and enable the Enable additional account creation setting. This setting turns off every time you create a new Twitch account with your verified email address, so you may need to recheck it if you’ve done it before.
  2. Step Two: Create your new Twitch account with a unique username. A good tip is to add BOT in front of your username. Once created, move on to the Creator Dashboard, and like mentioned in the previous method, copy your Primary Stream Key from the Stream page.
  3. Step Three: In your streaming software, create a new profile by clicking on the Profile dropdown menu and selecting New. As you set up the new profile, add your copied stream key manually when prompted by selecting the Use Stream Key option.
  4. Step Four: Start your test stream. Although you are streaming live right now, the stream is not from your primary account. You can view the live stream on another device and check for any audio or video quality issues. You can stop the stream once you finish testing.

We hope you could run your first test stream on Twitch and sort out any issues you encountered. Now that you’re all set to stream your very first game, we recommend you spread the word to build a large audience. If you have any other queries regarding Twitch, like changing your username, or need to know more about gaming, please explore our website. The homepage is an excellent place to start.

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