Streaming in 4K resolution on Twitch can sound like a great option and a good way to get people to notice your stream; however, is this even an option and will it be a good thing for your viewers?
Can You Stream in 4K on Twitch?
You CAN stream in 4K on Twitch, but the upload speed necessary for a 4K stream is about 8-9 Mbps. If you use anything less than 8 Mbps while streaming in 4k on Twitch then your stream will be prone to lag and dropped frame rates which will negatively effect the viewer’s experience.
While you can undoubtedly try streaming in 4K on any setup or connection, it’s unlikely you’ll have the bandwidth or upload speed to handle 4k streaming throughout an entire stream.
Plus, your viewers are likely to encounter issues as well if their internet connection is bad or if the device they are watching your stream on does not support 4k.
Down below I will show you how to stream in 4k and then go into whether or not I think it is the right move for you.
How To Stream in 4K on Twitch?
To stream in 4K on Twitch, test your upload speed first. If your upload speed is at least 8-9 Mbps, you should be able to stream in 4K with minimal issues. Now go into your streaming software such as Streamlabs and set your video output resolution to 4k (3840×2160 pixels) and your stream will now be in 4k.
I also recommend using a wired connection rather than a wireless connection if you are attempting to stream in 4k. As you may already know, wired connections are much more stable than wireless connections and will therefore make your connection much smoother.
A smoother connection means that your stream will be much less likely to lag or drop frames.
For many streamers, it is possible to stream on Twitch using a wireless connection. For 4K streaming however, a wired connection is just about a must if you don’t want to experience constant lag and dropped frames.
If you are using a wireless connection you may want to lower your output resolution to 720p and see how that treats you. For more info on streaming using wifi check out my article here.
You will also want to consider the device you are streaming from. Your internet may be great, but streaming in 4k will put a lot of extra strain on your computer and it may not be able to handle the extra load.
This increased burden on your PC could also cause your stream to lag or freeze so just keep that in mind as well.
So now that we have gone over how to stream in 4k on Twitch, the question still remains, should you stream in 4k on Twitch?
Should You Stream in 4K on Twitch?
You shouldn’t stream in 4K on Twitch because many viewers lack the download speeds necessary for viewing 4K streams. Also, if you’re streaming gaming content, few games even have 4k capabilities so you are using extra resources on your PC for nothing.
Your first instinct for streaming content on Twitch may be to aim for the highest resolution and framerate your connection can handle. That is a fair assumption, but the best quality option isn’t always the most viable option for streaming, particularly for longer streams.
You have to understand that internet speeds are constantly fluctuating and so just because you begin your stream with a stable, solid connection does not mean that your connection will remain that way your entire stream.
And trust me, one of the quickest ways to lose viewers as a streamer is to have a choppy stream.
Not to mention that fact that most people won’t even be able to handle that kind of download speed due to poor internet speeds themselves or a low quality device.
And lastly, how many games do you know that are even capable of 4k? It’s not that common and so you will be sacrificing the entire quality of your stream so people can see your face in a little box in 4k. It just doesn’t make sense.
1080p is still a great quality for streaming and is what most viewers are used to anyways so they won’t think any less of your stream quality.
4k streaming seems great, but just keep in mind that it is more complicated than it seems and is just not worth it in most cases.
Can You Stream in 1440p on Twitch?
You can stream in 1440p on Twitch if you have both a high upload speed and a stable connection. 1440p is a step up from 1080p but still not as taxing as streaming in 4k and so both your internet and your PC will be more capable of producing a quality stream with this resolution.
If you want to up your stream quality, I recommend bumping it up to 1440p (2560 x 1440 pixels) and seeing how that looks on your stream. If the quality is solid at that output resolution then consider bumping it up to 4k.
Also, ask your viewers what they think. Test out different resolutions and ask your reliable viewers what they think. Do they notice a difference? Is it a big difference? Is the stream choppy?
It helps having people who you can rely on that can give you honest feedback. Or you could just do it the old fashioned way and pull your stream up on another one of your devices. Either way works.
Again, for most viewers, a 720p stream or a 1080p stream will be just fine. It is what most Twitch viewers are used to anyways and so you won’t be made fun of for a poor quality stream.
You never want to force your viewers to constantly use an enormous amount of data or put any major strains on their internet connection just to watch your streams. Keep in mind many viewers watch Twitch streams on their phones and so it may be difficult for these devices to handle such high resolutions.
Putting too much strain on your computer and internet could also cause you to have poor audio as well. And if you have a laggy stream with bad audio, who is going to tune in to watch that? No thanks.
Streaming in 4k or 1440p is cool, but I don’t think it is crucial. There are more important things for you to be focusing on as a growing streamer.
As always, if you have any questions or just want to hang with me, stop by my Twitch channel here and say what’s up!
For many streamers, the possibility of streaming in 4K seems like a reasonable option. However, 4K streaming requires substantial upload speeds and an impeccably stable connection which is not always possible for every streamer.
Additionally, most Twitch viewers are satisfied with watching their favorite streams at 720p or 1080p. The download speed and data required to view a 4K stream are higher than what most viewers have available and most gaming content doesn’t benefit from 4k viewing anyways.
I hope this article helped you out.
Good luck out there my friends and may your streams be awesome!
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.