Earlier this week, Mixer made the surprising announcement that they were closing up shop and funneling streamers towards Facebook Gaming, where “every month, more than 700 million people play a game, watch a gaming video or interact in a gaming Group.”
The announcement, which has not been without substantial controversy, has sparked renewed interest in Facebook Gaming for many streamers who are now left with uncertain futures in a post-Mixer world: do they make the jump to Facebook Gaming (and potentially take advantage of some of the offers Mixer’s making to existing partners), or do they move instead to one of the two other major players, YouTube and Twitch?
For new streamers, however, this potentially opens up an avenue they may not have been aware of otherwise.
This guide will help you start streaming on Facebook Gaming, but the basic steps are as follows:
- Sign up for a Facebook Gaming account
- Create a streaming page
- Install a software encoder: Streamlabs, OBS, or XSplit
- Create one or more Facebook Gaming “scenes”
- Start streaming
Create your streaming page
The first thing you need to do to start streaming on Facebook is create your “gaming video creator” page. To do so, you’ll also need an active Facebook account.
The interface for creating the page is very perfunctory and looks like early 2010s Facebook, but, hey! It works.
You’ll need to enter a page name as well as a category for your page. I’m not particularly fond of the categories they offered up—”gaming video creator” sounds real dumb to me—but you can type in a word or two and see if Facebook offers a match you like.
Next, you’ll want to upload a profile picture as well as a cover photo. You’ll want both as it’ll improve your likelihood of getting views on your page and will ultimately make you look more professional.
As I was creating my own page, I was surprised Facebook didn’t allow me to select photos from each from my existing Facebook photos. However, it does look like that’s an option if you skip these steps during the initial setup.
Install your streaming encoder
It’s not unique to Facebook Gaming, but you’ll need to install a software encoder that actually handles streaming your video and audio feeds to the internet.
Facebook Gaming recommends you install one of three very common and popular encoders, and they link directly to the downloads on their page. They recommend OBS, Streamlabs, and XSplit.
Each encoder has its own set of features and strengths, but they effectively fulfill the same purpose, so feel free to choose the one you like the best.
If you’re not sure where to start, go ahead and download Streamlabs OBS (don’t be confused, OBS stands for “Open Broadcast Software,” so Streamlabs is just shorthand for their particular flavor of the software).
You’ll then need to connect the software to your Facebook Gaming account. Just log in with your credentials once the app prompts you.
For additional details about how to configure Streamlabs for your setup, check out their official blog post.
Create your Facebook Gaming scene
In Streamlabs (or the software encoder of your choice), you’ll next need to configure one or more scenes for your stream.
A scene is effectively what your viewers see when they visit your stream. You can configure your webcam, if you have one, the placement of your video, the game footage you’re streaming (naturally), as well as custom overlays you may want to add to the feed.
You can create new scenes for each game you intend to stream, too. And, naturally, your scene is bound to evolve over time as you gain experience.
Start with something basic at first, and build on it from there.
Once you’re ready to go live, Facebook instructs you to head to fb.gg/streamer (which redirects you to the more boring domain business.facebook.com/creatorstudio) and take a look at the Live Dashboard Facebook has on offer.
You can use this page to update settings for your stream, check your stats, and set goals you intend to share with your viewers. You can also test your broadcast before actually beginning a livestream to ensure everything is configured the way you want.
Facebook Gaming also awards achievements that you can peruse from this dashboard as well as a guide to their Level Up program, which:
“gives streamers a path to monitizing [sic] their streams with Stars, sneak peeks at new products and features and much more.business.Facebook.com/creatorstudio
There’s a lot here to play around with and tweak as you continue to grow as a streamer, but once you’re actually ready to start making content, click the Go Live button.
I thought on my first test that this would definitely start the stream, but instead, it pulls up another dashboard: Live Producer. Don’t worry, though, you’re nearly there.
On the left-hand side of the screen, locate the Post section. Here, you can choose which page your stream will post to (if you have more than one) as well as name the video you’re about to create and write a brief description of the stream for your viewers.
In the Gaming section immediately below this, you can tag the game you’re about to stream.
Next, copy your stream key into Streamlabs (or whatever encoder you chose). While you’re doing that, you can check the box that says Use a Persistent Stream Key so that you don’t need to repeat this process every time you stream.
And that’s it! Click Go Live, and start streaming.
Good luck, and be sure to check out our other guides about streaming, building an audience, and much more.