How to Set Up Dual PC to Stream Games

How to Set Up Dual PC to Stream Games
Photo Source: blairmacintyre.me

Starter streamers usually believe that a single modern gaming PC is enough to stream their video games online. However, a dual pc setup for streaming games delivers a smoother stream to the audience. So if you have a backup PC that you are not using for your video games, we definitely recommend that you do a dual PC setup when streaming. Here’s a guide that will teach you how to set up dual PC for streaming.

Setting up a dual pc for streaming means that you need to have a complete list of hardware, accessories, and software required. The specifications of your hardware depend on your streaming needs. Thus your setup might look different from the others. After that, you will need to connect the two PC setups to properly stream your game online.

Setting UP Dual PC to Stream Games

  1. Complete your hardware.
  2. Find the right streaming software.
  3. Buy a capture card.
  4. Install a webcam.
  5. Install a microphone.
  6. Use headphones.
  7. Set up your dual PC streaming.

1 – Complete your hardware.

A dual PC setup means that you need another PC to stream the games you’re playing on your gaming PC. For your primary gaming PC, its specifications should handle the video games you are planning to stream. You can buy a pre-built gaming PC if you want to, so you won’t need to build your own.

Moving to your streaming PC, it needs to meet the specifications of the streaming software you would like to use. Here are some hardware requirements for the top 3 streaming software used by gamers:

OBS Studio – PC Requirements

  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • AMD FX series or Intel i5 2000-series processor (dual or 4-core preferable) or higher.
  • DirectX 10 capable graphics card.
  • At least 4 GB of RAM.

Streamlabs OBS – PC Requirements

  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • AMD FX series or Intel i5 2000-series processor (dual or 4-core preferable) or higher.
  • DirectX 10 capable graphics card.
  • At least 4 GB of RAM.

XSplit – PC Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit OS with the latest Intel, AMD, or NVIDIA graphics drivers.
  • CPU: 2nd Generation Core i5 CPU or higher.
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • GPU: GeForce or Radeon Class graphics card with DirectX 10.1 or better support.
  • Direct X: Version 10.1
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection.
  • Storage: 250 MB available space

2 – Find the right streaming software.

Once you have your gaming PC and streaming PC, the next thing you need to do is to install the right software. For starters, OBS is the most recommended streaming software. It is easy to navigate and is equipped with the right features to help you do a dual-PC stream setup.

Streamlabs OBS, for example, has a user-friendly interface and features video effects such as pop-up notifications. OBS and Streamlabs are free-to-download and install on your PC. Both support dual-streaming setups with capture cards. And if you want a budget, XSplit is a pay-to-download streaming platform that comes with additional features.

Aside from the hardware and software, you also need a few accessories to complete your stream setup. 

3 – Buy a capture card.

Capture cards have input and output ports so you can broadcast real-time video from your gaming PC to your streaming PC. There are internal capture cards and external capture cards. An internal capture card can help you save external ports if you have any space inside your computer.

While external capture cards are portable and can easily be set up. Another thing about external capture devices is that they can be used for game capture and game streaming from consoles.

4 – Install a webcam.

Install your webcam into your streaming PC. Make sure to mute its audio in the streaming suit. You don’t want your setup to pick up the sound from the webcam mic. Double-check that the sound should be coming from your headset microphone or your standing microphone.

Another thing to consider when using a webcam is whether you’re going to use a green screen or not. To use a green screen, you will have options of showing the footage of your stream behind you. However, for starters, we don’t recommend you to do a green screen right away as it can increase the complexity of your stream.

5 – Install a microphone.

Most streamers prefer to use a stand-up microphone so their audience can clearly hear them. Suppose you don’t have any space for a standing microphone. In that case, you can try to use an attachment microphone which you can mount to an existing pair of headphones using magnets.

If you need a microphone for in-game chat, you will need to install a separate mixer with at least two channels: your gaming PC and your streaming PC.

6 – Use headphones.

Most streamers prefer to hear in-game audio while streaming. To do this, all you need is to plug your headphones directly into the gaming PC. However, if you would also like to hear audio output from your stream, there are additional steps you need to do.

Once your capture card is installed and ready to use, plug the headphones into the stream machine. In OBS, select the audio from the USB cable coming from the capture card attached to the gaming PC. You will know how it works when you hear the game.

7 – Set up your dual PC streaming.

Once everything you need is set up, make sure that the capture card is connected or installed in your streaming PC, then proceed with connecting the two PCs.

Follow these steps to connect your streaming PC to your gaming PC:

For setup with an external capture card

Plug the HDMI cable from your gaming PC into the “in” connection of the capture card. Then connect the card to your streaming setup via USB.

For setup with an internal capture card

Install the internal capture card software in your streaming PC by following the manufacturer’s guide. Connect the graphics card through the HDMI cable from your gaming PC to the HDMI port labeled “in” on the capture card of your streaming setup.

Set up your gaming PC.

Go to your gaming PC. Right-click “Display settings.” Make sure that the two machines are connected. Before you start streaming, leave your gaming computer running on something. This will help you learn whether the video is perfectly synced up.

Set up your streaming PC.

Turn to your streaming PC. Open your streaming software. If you are using OBS or Streamlabs OBS, add the capture card as a video source to show up on your monitor screen.

From here, you should be able to see the game preview appear in the broadcasting app. Check if any movement or animation is visible in the preview window. Another thing is that you should check if any sound playing through your gaming PC is picked up by the streaming app. You can use the Mixer Panel to improve the sounds.

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Using two PCs to stream your games is a sure way to deliver a smooth broadcasting experience to your audience. It is also a great way to have more control over your streaming/broadcast setting.

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