How to Stream Nintendo SWITCH WITH or without capture card

Are you looking to know how to stream Nintendo switch to twitch, or just about any other new Nintendo title? This guide will instruct you on how to stream games from your Nintendo Switch.

Whilst most of the current generation of game consoles enable you to stream to twitch directly from an app on the console, one of the more traditional ways of capturing game footage – whether for streaming or YouTube video-making purposes – was achieved through the use of a capture card.

Since the Nintendo Switch doesn’t share the ability to play directly from the console, you’re going to have to invest in a capture card to share your gameplay.

Related: How to get Netflix on Nintendo switch for Streaming

What IS A Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch is the best hybrid video game console developed by Nintendo and released worldwide on March 3, 2017. It is the best-selling switch console in several countries, such as Japan. It can be played on a home game console or used as a portable handheld gaming device.

However, it means you can connect your Nintendo switch to your TV at home and play it through a home game console. In contrast, the handheld option lets you take the controller into your hand and carry it everywhere.

What is a Capture Card?

It is a device that allows you to record or live stream straight from your computer or game console. However, capture cards are a big investment.

Moreover, if you cannot figure out whether buying a capture card is worth it or not, don’t worry about it. We will tell you that using a capture card will help you in achieving high-quality video game streaming.

But it can be a big risk while investing in such devices. Therefore, we provide a complete guide which help you to decide whether you should buy a capture card.

Things you need to Twitch stream on the Nintendo Switch

Since there is no Twitch app on the Switch, you need to broadcast through free streaming software and a video capture card.

Here are the requirements you need for the Twitch streaming method:

  • Computer – any Windows or macOS computer
  • OBS studio – download this free software from OBS’s official website.
  • Elgato Game Capture HD60 S – well-made, easy to install, and relatively affordable capture device with 1080p resolution and 60 frames /second.
  • Webcam – is optional for a basic stream.
  • A microphone or headset – optional, but you can improve audio quality.
Stream Nintendo Switch to twitch
Stream Nintendo Switch to Twitch

How to Stream Nintendo Switch to twitch

Have the Right Switch

It’s worth mentioning straight away that you can only stream gameplay live from the classic Nintendo Switch, not the Switch Lite. This is because you’ll need to output video to an external display using the Switch’s dock, and the Lite does not have the hardware to do this.

In addition, there’s no news yet on whether Nintendo plans to add support for on-device streaming, though given its streamlined tech specs it’s unlikely the Switch Lite is beefy enough to handle long-term display capture on its own.

You can still record gameplay clips for up to 30 seconds by containing the capture button down. If you need to gather lots of these together to create gaming videos, you could do so by upgrading your onboard storage with a HyperX Gaming microSD Card and transferring it to your computer. Sorry if this puts an end to your streaming plans first, but if you have the big Switch, with detachable Joy-Cons and a dock, carry on.

Get a Capture Card to stream the Nintendo Switch

Since there’s no built-in way of sending gameplay out over the net for others to watch, you’ll need to capture video and broadcast it yourself. To capture gameplay from the Switch, you’ll need a capture device, like the ever-popular Elgato HD60, or alternatives such as the Aver Media Live Gamer Extreme or even PCI-e cards that you’ll need to open up your PC to install.

Connect It Up

These capture devices go when you plug or connect the USB cable into the PC you’ll be working to encode and broadcast video, then insert the HDMI out from the Switch into the capture card and another HDMI cable out from the capture card to your display.

The capture device uses pass-through to let you see your gameplay while recording, or in this case, broadcasting it. This can add a small amount of input latency to your display, but shouldn’t be too intrusive. Depending on how far your PC is from your Switch display you may need longer HDMI cables so make sure you measure up and order accordingly.


Choose Your Streaming Software

Once you have the capture device operating on your PC, you’ll need software to send it to your streaming service of choice. There are a few main choices here, and OBS Studio is powerful and open-source, it’s also free. XSplit has tailor-made plugins and can do more complex overlays and transitions, but does have a subscription cost for the more powerful features.

Moreover, Twitch has also released its software, Twitch Studio, which will make everything a bit easier if you plan to stream exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

Software and Streaming Platform
Software and Streaming Platform

Set Up Your Software and Streaming Platform

Once you’ve got your preferred software, you need to set it up. Each is slightly modified and will have documentation on their main help or FAQ pages to guide you through in more detail, but we’ll lay out the basics here.

However, when you’ve decided on which streaming website you need to use, get your broadcast dashboard (usually under your account settings, found by hitting your profile picture). On the dashboard, there will be something announced as a Stream Key. This string of numbers and letters will identify your account when transferring video to the site’s streaming servers, broadcasting it on the correct page.

You require to find the settings of your streaming software that asks for your Stream Key and paste it in there. Other options to do with bitrate and other technical upload specs can be worked out by heading to a bitrate calculator and putting in your numbers. You’ll need to know the output resolution (for Switch it’s likely to be 720p) and your internet upload bandwidth to make sure you can start streaming without buffering.

Stream Nintendo Switch without Capture Card
Stream Nintendo Switch without Capture Card

How to Stream Switch without Capture Card?

However, it is impossible to stream without a capture card, but the methods to stream without capture cards are pretty limited. Therefore, you must ensure you have the right things that are required to make it possible.

There are plenty of factors that make it obvious why professional’s streamers use capture cards. But since we are at the initial stage of Streaming, there is no need to worry. Moreover, these are inexpensive options, so you don’t have to worry about expenses.

Method 1# Stream Labs Streaming App

One of the preeminent & most preferred methods to stream without a capture card is by using stream labs. Further, it is also a famous streaming application, and it can work on platforms such as Discord, Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook. Here are the steps to stream switch

  • First, install the stream lab application on your phone from the play store.
  • After installing, open the app; give it access to the microphone & camera.
  • Now, you can customize the app’s layout.
  • After customization, you will enter into the app. then tap on 3 lines that might appear on the upper-right of your screen.
  • Here, you have to tap on “Streaming settings” and tap on “video settings. You will now have to select the resolution that you prefer.
  • Start with a lower resolution; the performance may differ with your internet speed. If the speed of the connection is high, then you may proceed to select 720p or higher.
  • Place your smartphone on the holding gadget. For instance, a mobile holder or a tripod.
  • Ensure your back camera is on; place your Switch in front of the back cam so it can be shown on your mobile screen.
  • To begin the Streaming, tap on the “Go live” option. The quantity of the streaming video may be poor due to Wifi and the camera.
  • Switch on “Auto brightness”; it will assist in adjusting your brightness automatically. Your camera will not drop its focus on the switch screen.

Method 2# Streaming Using Xbox One Console

For all Xbox owners, this is the best opportunity for you to start streaming Switch without a capture card. This method might not be correct for everyone. Although, if you have an older Microsoft version that supports One guide, you may follow the method below to stream Switch.

  • Place your Nintendo on its dock and make a connection bridge between your switch dock and Xbox one. You can use the HDMI cable.
  • Open your Xbox one and proceed to view the one guide application. (Ensure to turn on your Switch).
  • Make a connection between your Xbox console and PC. Linking the console and PC to the same Wifi network is important for this to work. For even better performance, Ethernet cables are recommended. They build a much better connection which helps in improving your video resolution.
  • Install the Xbox app on your PC and, open the app, tap on your Xbox One console. Your Xbox one should be showing the Nintendo Switch on the screen.
  • Finally, all you have to do is pick a streaming app. You can select between Share X, OBS Studio, X Split Broadcast, or even Light Stream Studio.

Improve your Nintendo Switch stream quality

The simplest way to improve your stream is to change the settings in your encoder software. Go to the Control section in OBS Studio, choose Settings, and tap Output.

Under the section Video Bitrate, you need to use more than the default 2,500 Kbits/s, which depends on your internet line’s upload rate.

For instance, Twitch recommends 4,500 Kbits/s at a resolution of 720p and 60fps. It would be best if you had a high internet connection upload speed, and your CPU or GPU could handle it.

Nintendo Warning and its Copyright 

Companies like Microsoft and Sony encourage users to stream their respective Xbox One and PlayStation 4 video games on services like Twitch and YouTube. However, Nintendo is infamous for its attempts to save its brands. It often files pull-down requests on video websites based on copyright infringement.

Fortunately for Twitch streamers, Nintendo mainly focuses on the takedown of YouTube videos of its games and allows streamers what they likely do.

However, due to Nintendo’s strict content policy, many video game streamers choose to broadcast gameplay of Xbox One or PlayStation 4 instead of those on the Nintendo Switch. Both consoles are open completely for streaming with no registration needed.


Question: Can you live stream Switch on Twitch?

Answer: To stream Nintendo Switch gameplay, you’ll require a Twitch account, as well as a capture card and recording software. Streaming from your Nintendo Switch is a great way to involve friends and family in fun, and to show off your gaming prowess to a much larger audience of followers.

Question: Can you stream on Switch without a capture card?

Answer: You don’t. The only way this would be possible at all is if either the operating system (much like the PS4 has built-in Twitch streaming) or an individual game would need to have the resources and API hooks to enable this without the use of a capture card.

Question: Can you stream Disney plus on Switch?

Answer: Unfortunately, there’s no Disney Plus app for the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo eShop offers apps for Hulu and YouTube, both of which provide some of their own Disney shows and movies.

Question: Do I need a capture card to stream?

Answer: If you want to play games on a PS4, Xbox, or Switch, you’ll require a capture card. It’s a device that plugs into your console and computer via HDMI and allows you to stream and record gameplay on Twitch (or YouTube.) This one by Elgato streams in 1080p and has a lag-free pass-through that’s essential for streaming.

Finally, Stream the Nintendo Switch

You now understand how to play your NintendoSwitch gameplay on Twitch. If you’re a console streamer and this is your first time streaming from a PC, you may struggle to read your Twitch chat if you only have one computer screen. If you want to know more about the Nintendo Switch you can hover over the link we have shared with you. in the end, share your precious views on how to stream your Nintendo switch on Twitch.

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