One of the most commonly asked questions that I am asked is “How do I set my stream at 60 fps in OBS Studio?”. This is a question I had asked myself at the beginning of my journey as a Twitch Streamer, in my attempt to provide my audience with the best possible viewing experience. The program doesn’t exactly make this option intuitive, so you would be forgiven for being unable to figure this out from fiddling with the menus. With that said, there is something you should know before you configure OBS to stream at 60 fps, and that is that there are actually special cases where you do not want to do 60 fps streaming.
I’ll explain what I mean in just a few, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments down below! Don’t forget to link your streaming channel in the “Website” field so I can stop by your stream sometime! Without further ado, let’s begin.
In a Rush? Here’s how to Set OBS Studio to Stream at 60 fps
The process of setting OBS to stream at 60 fps is fairly easy, but it can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with the program. Don’t worry though, within less than a minute, you will be ready to go, assuming your internet bandwidth is capable of handling 60 fps.
To start, you must first have OBS Studio installed. I assume you already have it, but in case you don’t I’ve provided a link to their site for your convienence.
Once installed, simply launch the program, and follow these directions:
- Click the “Settings” button;
- Alternatively, Clicking File -> Settings has the same effect.
- Now click “Video”
- Change the “Common FPS Value” from whatever it is now to 60 within the dropdown selector.
It is now set to 60 FPS. Easy, right?
As I mentioned above, I strongly recommend you continue reading about those edge cases where streaming at 60 fps isn’t recommended.
Things you should know about Streaming at 60 fps
Things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows with a 60 fps stream. There are several drawbacks that you need to be aware of before you make your final decision. They aren’t game-breaking, but they do matter to those of you whose internet connections aren’t quite up to the challenge.
- Increasing your framerate effectively increases your upload speed requirements to maintain the same frame quality.
- In the case of going from 30 fps to 60, you are doubling the necessary bandwidth to output the same quality level.
- If your source is only 30 fps or less, you will start to see stuttering where the encoder is outpacing the video card’s capability to render.
- AKA, Old consoles like the Wii
- If you are unable to maintain a minimum of 60 fps in-game, it will stutter on stream.
As for the Advantages to setting your stream at 60 fps, you have the perception of your audience. Those who watch you may not be technologically adept, and will as such have misconceptions on how things work. One of the most common ones has to do with Numbers.
Many individuals like to see big numbers, and 30 is smaller than 60, so they assume it is always better if it is at 60. As a result, by streaming at 60 fps, you are appeasing these individuals who think that they are getting a higher quality stream.
Many individuals like to see big numbers, and 30 is smaller than 60, so they assume it is always better if it is at 60. As a result, by streaming at 60 fps, you are appeasing these individuals who think that they are getting a higher quality stream. This can be seen as an advantage, but this is merely a perception. The difference between 60 fps and 30 fps isn’t the same as gaming when compared with video; Even if the video is actual gameplay. This is because, as mentioned in the list above, some games are locked to 30 fps.
It is also important to remember that the quality of your video is secondary to the quality of your content.
Other advantages include:
- Improves the fluidity of your content in certain situations
- less choppy
- No ignored frames if your video card is Vsync-ed to 60 fps.
Why streaming beyond 60 fps is not advised
It all comes back to the bitrate and upload speed. To further boost your stream beyond 60 fps streaming, you further encroach on this bitrate limit. It would require a more advanced minimum video card capable of sustaining the game above 60 fps.
In addition, with the limit of 6000-8000 bitrate on Twitch, the only way you are going to get 120fps or beyond is to lower the rescaled resolution and stream as high as your internet’s upload bandwidth can handle. And even then, It may not be enough. You certainly aren’t going to have any luck with 1080p120, as that needs ~ 24,000 bitrate to accomplish the same frame fidelity. This is in high action games, of course.
An example where you can stream 120+ fps with some success would be Art streams. The reason is that they are significantly less demanding on bitrate needs as the pixels do not rapidly update.
Where 30 fps is preferred over 60 fps
|Situations where 30 FPS Streaming is Better||Situations where 60 FPS Streaming is Better|
|Old Console games that are locked at 30 fps||Newer games that are not fps locked|
|Games that you can’t maintain a solid 60 fps||Games that you can render beyond 60 fps|
There are in fact very specific situations where you want to stream at 30 fps. Typically, these situations involve old console games that are hard locked at 30 fps, to begin with. Any additional encoding framerate is simply wasted at this point, and can even cause visual stuttering where a frame is displayed twice every second.
However, this can also occur if your game is optimized to lock you at 30 fps if your video card is incapable of outputting a smooth 60 fps. We actually encountered this with our RX 480 8GB card in the game, Path of Exile. If Vsync is enabled, then it will simply jump from 60 fps to 30 to make the gameplay as smooth as it can be. This happens when a lot of stuff happens all at once in the game. Like 20-30 mobs spawn and all cast really crazy attacks that are visually intensive. This causes a sudden spike in rendering that our older card struggles to react to quickly enough.
In this situation, you actually may want to consider switching to 30 fps for Path of Exile specifically(or whatever game you encounter that does this.). The only other option you have to solve this particular issue is a new video card, and for many, that simply is not an option.
The final situation that is common is the full-screen webcam “Just chatting” type streams. This is because just about every webcam out there is locked to 30 fps max, even the Legendary C920. There is zero benefits to increasing your streams to 60 fps in this situation, other than the psychological factor involved. Ignore this if you have a camera capable of 60 fps.
If you are Recording, Simply match your source.
In the case of recording, you do want to ensure that you are recording at the highest framerate of whatever the source files are. If your game is rendering at 144hz, well, record at 144hz. If its 24hz, make it 24hz. You aren’t constrained to the bitrate limits of the streaming platforms. This is important. The only downside to higher frame rate recording is filesize typically.
YouTube has no limit on the resolution or framerate of the videos, and it will automatically compress & transcode your video files for easy digestion for your audience. In some ways, a recording is far easier than streaming. In other ways cough cough editing, it is harder.