If you’re seeing stream issues, most likely it’s either your CPU, GPU or Internet.

First, Detect, then Fix.

If you can’t fix it, Document, then Report.


First line of troubleshooting

Start out by opening Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and check CPU, Network, and GPU respectively by sorting by their usage. You can also download NetLimiter for more granular internet usage info.

If anything there that’s not your videogame is using a suspicious amount of resources try shutting it down or inspecting its settings.

Is anything actually wrong?

  1. Check
  2. In OBS Studio1, check the info in the bottom right
    • OBS Studio's diminuitive stream dashboard
  3. Open Twitch’s Inspector
    • Go to the Table view to see an overview of stats
  4. Run TwitchTest in the background while you check out the next points
    • Only test the region of your current server
    • Does your current ingest server perform worse than others? Maybe that’s it
    • TwitchTest screenshot

Twitch Inspector

Below is an example of a test stream (where you append ?bandwidthtest=true to your stream key). The bitrate used was 3,500 kbps CBR on Ethernet.

Graph view screenshot
(Click to view bigger version.) This is what the report looks like in the (useless) Graph view. Disregard the Google Translate pop-up button.
Table view screenshot from the overview Table view screenshot for individual reports
(Click to view bigger version.) This is what the report looks like in the when accessed from the more reliable Table view. Finally something useful.

If something is actually wrong

  1. Don’t be a dumbass who uses wi-fi when Ethernet is available
    • Use an Ethernet cable that’s at least CAT5e
  2. Did you change anything since last time that you can roll back?
  3. Is your internet upload not fast enough to handle your bitrate?
    • Your stable bitrate should be about 75% of your measured upload speed
    • 6,000 kbps is 6 Mbps, 4,000 kbps is 4 Mbps etc
    • You can change your bitrate in OBS while streaming so try experimenting with it while streaming
    • Consider testing it on, say, SpeedOf.Me; it got my upload right but not my download, though
  4. Are you experiencing packet loss? Try running this in your command prompt and see what it says under “Lost”:

    ping -n 30

  5. Download and install PingPlotter. DO NOT SHOW PINGPLOTTER ON STREAM, as it shows your IP address. Set it to ping and start.
    • Their “Common Network Problems” is aces
    • Any network issues on your end shouldn’t be hard to spot (in bright red for packet loss)
    • Any issue there is most likely due to either
      • using wi-fi instead of ethernet
      • your ISP having issues
      • your router having issues
  6. You can try Enable new networking code at the bottom of OBS’s Advanced settings which has worked for some

Further troubleshooting and optimization

My optimization guide has a lot more in a much longer format that doesn’t lend itself to on-stream troubleshooting. Check it out after your stream is over.

  1. Newer versions of OBS Studio ↩︎