How to Start Streaming Without a Capture Card

Stream Xbox gameplay even if you don’t have a capture card by using Xbox native apps (good) or OBS Studio and the Xbox App (better)

You can start your own high-quality stream using a Windows PC that is on the same network as your Xbox.

For best results, you will want both your Xbox and your PC hardwired to the network. If you’ve invested into building out your battlestation (see how to design a dedicated gaming setup), you’ve already completed this step, and should be good to go.

We’ll focus first on the higher-quality method: using the Xbox App’s Game Streaming function

Using Game Streaming with the Xbox App to Capture Xbox Gameplay

Start by opening the Xbox App and connecting to your Xbox. Select Test Streaming.

Xbox App Test streaming results
Test streaming from your Xbox to the Xbox App

If you need more guidance, Microsoft has a support page describing how to use game streaming at support.xbox.com/en-US/games/game-setup/how-to-use-game-streaming.

OBS Studio

With the Xbox App still open, add a new Game Capture source with the following settings:
Mode: Capture specific window
Window: [XboxApp.exe]: Xbox

OBS Studio Game Capture
OBS Studio Game Capture setup for capturing the Windows 10 Xbox App

Whenever you want to begin streaming, you’ll first have to start game streaming to the Xbox App. The Xbox App defaults to full-screen when game streaming is started, but you can exit full-screen mode by using the arrow icon in the top menu bar. From there, you can resize the window as much as you like to regain screen real estate with zero impact on output quality.

That’s really all there is to capturing Xbox gameplay in OBS Studio without a capture card! There’s a lot that you can do with OBS Studio, but that is neither here nor there.

In order to pick up your own mic chatter in OBS Studio, you’ll either need to connect a microphone to your PC, or use the onboard mic (if available).

Using Xbox Native Apps to Stream

Xbox native apps exist for Beam and Twitch. While these apps are easier to set up, they rely on the processing power of the Xbox One to encode video, and have their own host of issues. For example, game audio and video may be offset (desynchronized) by over one second.

Closing Remarks

You can easily set up a high-quality stream with minimal investment in hardware. Xbox native apps can be used to set up a stream as well, but they won’t offer you as much control as you would get using a PC-based streaming setup.

Carries are Cool, but at What Cost?

When I reflected on the state of my stream and gaming identity at the close of 2016, I listed the reasons why a viewer might find their way to me, and why they might choose to remain engaged over time.

I identified two dimensions:

  1. Entertainment value
  2. Pursuit of knowledge

I value the time of my teammates, especially those stronger players that are in high demand. I am immensely grateful to have the opportunity to game with them on stream, and hope to continue developing those relationships over time. Playing against opponents stronger than oneself is imperative to improving one’s individual competence. After the dust settles, you can bet we’ll have a good time no matter what titles we pick up in the future. Come Destiny 2 (or more! Who is to say?), we’ll still be kicking ass and taking names.

In spite of my best efforts to discourage the behavior, there are people who come to my stream when I’m running close to the end of a passage, and ask if I might help them along. This message is for you. Be forewarned, it comes straight from the hip, and I still love you…

I have all the respect in the world for everyone who attempts carries. When the Trials of Osiris first went live, PullRequest and I would carry AnarchistBee to the Lighthouse every week. From time to time, I pick up a viewer from my stream to join me in a fight for glory.

I’ve known for a long time that my own time here is limited. As I grow through the years, my ability to prioritize improves. If I wanted to, I could play the game from the time that I woke up until the time that I passed out from sheer exhaustion. My eyes would suffer, my dog would probably shit the bed, my gameplay would suffer… and for what? Playing games, by itself, doesn’t pay the bills. I know this because I’ve been gaming since the SNES days, and it’s done nothing but require continued reinvestment of my time, energy, and money.

I recognize that the Destiny streaming community goes hard when Trials of Osiris is in session, and that many of the community’s top streamers made their rise to partnership by the strength of their Trials of Osiris game. The early movers offered free Lighthouse runs and Trials of Osiris help. To this day, there are countless individuals offering free Lighthouse runs, yet there is a market for Trials of Osiris carries, and it’s glaringly transparent. One can find listings on eBay, of all places. There’s also SherpasofDestiny.com, whose banner ads served through Google AdSense can be found on a variety of Destiny-related websites. At the time of writing, Sherpas of Destiny charges $55 for a guaranteed flawless run (account recovery). For an additional $10, Sherpas of Destiny will let you play along.

Let’s face it – good players are in tight supply, yet money talks, and people listen. With that in mind, I’m instituting a tiered paid carry system. The harder that my carry partner and I have to struggle on your behalf, the more that you pay. On the bright side, you’ll get more time on air in exchange for your coin, the better to reward our efforts.

Someone reading this might think, “OMG, this yetieater guy is a real prick. He thinks he’s too good to play with me?!”

I tell you what – it’s not you, it’s me. I’m a good guy, but I’m also aware that not everyone plays the way that I do. I still consider it an honor whenever I have the opportunity to run with a high-level player. In many ways, I’m like you, guy who thinks I’m a prick! If I had things my way, I would occasionally bag a kill (or two, or three) while the other two members of my fireteam did the heavy lifting.

What if I have no money to put towards a carry, you ask?

I offer nothing but tough love and the truth: either 1) git gud, or 2) hustle harder.

There’s always the third option: get lucky. Thank you for reading, and I wish you all the best ♥

Reminder to Self

I wanted to be a streamer’s streamer – the SayWallahBruh to GernaderJake

I’ve got to show them how to do the things that they do regularly, so that the fitness of all streamers increases

That means that I need to work with weaker members of my fireteam and gently shape their in-game behavior, helping them to break their habits

Need to break my own in-game habits in order to keep developing as a player