If you have thought about getting into streaming on Twitch or Youtube, you may have wondered how many monitors you actually need. If you’re anything like me when I first got started I watched a ton of streamer setup videos. To my surprise a lot of these streamers had 3 maybe even 4 monitors in their setup. How many do you actually need to get started though?
In this article we are going to cover how many monitors you need and what the benefits of having multiple monitors are. Let’s jump in.
How Many Monitors Do Streamers Need?
There is no exact number on how many monitors you need to stream. In fact you can stream on one monitor if you choose to do so. Most serious streamers will have at least 2 monitors in their set up, with others even opting to have three. The main benefit of having more monitors is more screen real estate.
If you are serious about starting your stream and want to have a good streaming setup then 2 monitors is a good starting point. These don’t have to be expensive monitors. You can have a good monitor as your gaming monitor, with high refresh rate and response time, then have a cheap monitor as a secondary.
You will generally play your game on your main monitor and have chat and your streaming software open on a second monitor. This means you can talk to your chat in real time while playing your game.
Can I Stream With 1 Monitor?
Yes, you can stream with one monitor however it is arguably a much worse experience than having two monitors. Having only one monitor makes it much harder to manage your stream (Switch scenes, Read Chat, Moderate Chat etc) however it can be done.
If you really want to start streaming and don’t currently have the budget for another monitor, you can add a chat overlay to your game. This allows you to see your chat on screen while playing.
You can see how this looks above. Your chat box will be opaque so you can see behind it and still see your full game. While this may be distracting, it is an option for single monitor streaming setups.
You can also run your game on one monitor and mange your stream from your Phone or iPad. I personally prefer this method rather than having the chat overlay on screen as it is less distracting.
Why Do Some Streamers Use 3 Monitors?
Some streamers will use 3 monitors as there is more screen real estate. They can have everything they need in front of them at the same time. For example they may have their game on monitor 1, Streamlabs on monitor 2 and a game guide on monitor 3.
Having more monitors gives you more flexibility while streaming. However 3 monitors is not necessary for most streamers. 2 will usually be more than enough.
You may also see some streamers with 3 monitors as they have a dual PC setups. This means they are using one PC to game and the other to stream their footage. They may have 2 Monitors for their gaming PC and one for their streaming PC.
Do You Need 3 Monitors To Stream?
No you do not need 3 monitors to stream. Two monitors is usually more than enough for the average streamer.
Can I Stream With An Ultrawide Monitor?
Yes, you can stream on an Ultrawide monitor however things do get a little more complicated. Even if you do have an Ultrawide monitor it will be beneficial to have a second monitor. When you are gaming in 21:9 aspect ratio it becomes more complicated to stream your footage to Twitch as you will have black bars on your screen. We have put together a full guide to streaming on an Ultrawide monitor.
In short, you can stream on an Ultrawide monitor but it won’t be the best experience for you or your audience. If you already have one then check out our guide. If you deciding which monitor to purchase don’t buy an ultrawide.
How Do Streamers Use Two Monitors?
Setting up a dual monitor setup is very simple on most modern computers. Your graphics card in your PC should have outputs for multiple monitors. This could be HDMI, DVI, VGA etc. You will need to check your available inputs on your monitors and outputs on your graphics card.
You may need to purchase an adapter if for example you only have HDMI ports available on your monitor but your graphics card has a DVI port free.
Once you plug these in your computer should automatically detect the second monitor. In your Display settings you can choose how you want to position the monitors.
Will Using Multiple Monitors Slow Down My PC?
Adding more monitors to your setup will use more of your computers resources. Most modern PC setups should be able to handle two monitors at 1080p completely fine. However once your up the resolution to 1440p or 4k and add in a third monitor you may notice your computer is struggling to run smoothly.
Why Do Streamers Have Vertical Monitors?
Streamers use vertical monitors in their setup as it allows them to see more of their chat. They will have their chat on the vertical monitor giving them more between a message entering the chat and leaving their screen. If you had your chat open on the same monitor in landscape mode that same message would be off the screen in a shorter period of time.
In short, it gives them more room to read their chat. It is by no means necessary to have a vertical monitor in your setup.
Best Monitors For Streamers
For a full buyers guide on Monitors check out our Top 7 Monitors for streamers article. Below are two of our favourites from our buyers guide.
Best All Round Streaming Monitor
- 27” full HD (1920x1080) IPS display
- 1ms response time and 240Hz refresh rate
- NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible
- HDR 10 Compatible
- 3-Side virtually borderless design
- Tilt, Height, Pivot adjustable stand
Best Streaming Monitor On A Budget
- 24" Ultra slim profile
- Contemporary sleek metallic design
- Slim bezel with thin chassis. Audio will play from HDMI, there are also built in speakers, and you can also attach your own speakers or use headphones.
- 2 x HDMI Ports (convertible to DVI)
- VESA wall mount ready
- Mounting type: VESA Hole Pattern 100mm x 100mm
- Up to 75Hz Refresh Rate
- Build-in Speakers
- LED Monitor
- Fast Response Time
Now you know how many monitors you will need in your setup. Most streamers won’t need anymore than two. If you want to go all out your might add a third.
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