If you’re thinking about getting started streaming your gameplay on Twitch or Youtube you may be worried about the cost of equipment. One of the most expensive pieces of a streaming setup is the capture card. Back when I started recording my gameplay about 10 years ago the only way to do it was with a capture card. However it’s now 2022. Do you still need a capture card to stream on Twitch?

Do I need a capture card to stream on Twitch? No, any modern console such as the Xbox One/PS4 and up, as well as mid tier PCs can stream to Twitch without a capture card. These consoles have the Twitch app built in allowing you to stream directly from your console. You can even stream directly to Youtube from the Playstation however the Xbox does not currently have this feature.

How To Stream On A Console

Streaming on a console is really simple and much easier to set up than a capture card setup.

All you have to do is login to your streaming app of choice on your console such as Twitch. Once you are logged in you can go live directly from your console to the streaming platform.

On your console you have the ability to change your stream Title and choose your video quality. If you choose to, you can even add a webcam to your setup so your viewers can see your face cam while playing.

What Are The Downsides Of Streaming On A Console?

While it is really convenient to be able to stream directly from your console it does come with some down side.


When you are streaming from a console you are really limited in the amount of customization you can have on your stream. Obviously when streaming from a PC you have a ton of options for alerts, overlays and sounds etc but on console these are very limited.

Quality & Performance

On a console you are not going to get as good as performance as you would streaming from a dedicated streaming PC.

Camera & Audio Setup

You are going to have a much harder time having a great looking stream on a Playstation or Xbox. While you do have the ability to use a webcam on both consoles the selection of webcams that are compatible are limited.

Can I Stream On PC Without A Capture Card?

Can I Stream on PC without a capture card? Yes, you can stream on PC without a capture card, in fact that’s what most people do. The only reason you would need a capture card to stream on PC is if you wanted a 2 PC set up however this is overkill for most people. If you have a mid tier PC you can stream your gameplay and play at the same time using a software like Streamlabs OBS.

Streamlabs has a feature called Game capture which allows you to capture you game footage in the software. Streamlabs then sends that video to your Twitch or Youtube live stream so your viewers can see your gameplay.

Can I Read Chat When Streaming From Console?

Yes, you can read chat while streaming from your console. The best way to read it is from another external device. If you have a phone, computer or tablet beside you, use it to read your chat without interfering with your game.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Capture Card?

While streaming from a console can be great for beginners, using a capture card is the best option if you want to become a serious streamer. Below are just a few of the benefits you get when using a capture card.

  • No resources are being taken up on your console while streaming giving you a better gameplay experience
  • You get much more flexibility to customize your stream when using your PC & a capture card to stream
  • You can record your gameplay in higher quality. You can record and save gameplay in 1080p or 4k depending depending on your capture card. Your stream will also be higher quality than streaming directly from you console

Best Capture Card For Beginners

Below are some great capture cards to check out if you are looking at purchasing your first capture card.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion you can definitely stream without a capture card. If you are a beginner then I would recommend starting by streaming on your console to see if it is something that you enjoy. If you find that you are enjoying streaming and want to have more customization and better performance, then grab yourself a capture card. You will get a much better streaming experience for you and your audience.

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