How to Stream Mobile Games to Twitch using iPhone, iPad, Macbook Pro/Air, iMac4 min read
After about a month of figuring out how to make my stream work, I realised that it’s not the easiest thing to do. I have an iPhone and a Macbook Pro and I wanted to stream Vainglory (MOBA) games to Twitch without a game capture device. Possible? Impossible? No one told me and I had to find out on my own. Well, here’s an article to help ya’ll out there, whoever wants to stream with the same setup and here’s to make your life easier.
What You Need:
- iPhone / iPad
- Macbook / Macbook Pro / Macbook Air / iPro
- Your apple charging cable (Lightning to USB)
This guide focuses on using OBS Studio because for some reason, Streamlabs is taking forever to make a Mac version of theirs.
I’ll give you the TLDR version of this if you’re too lazy to read the details (but you’ll miss out on important stuff):
- Mirror your iPhone / iPad using QuickTime
- Capture your QuickTime mirror on OBS by using Window Capture or Display Capture
- Run OBS Studio auto config wizard and start streaming
So, we wanna capture our mobile game display to OBS on our laptop, right? Without a game capture device, we’re gonna use a mirroring software. This is probably the only good thing about streaming on a Mac imo: QuickTime. It’s a built-in app for Mac computers and works seamlessly with Apple devices (iPhone / iPad). Plus, mirroring is done via cable so it’s much more stable and reliable than wifi mirroring software (such as LonelyScreen, Reflector, etc). So, below are the steps to get this done:
- Using your apple charging cable, connect your iPhone / iPad to your Mac laptop.
- Open QuickTime and click “Done” on the pop up window. This part is only if you wanna save whatever you record using QuickTime which is not what we’re trying to do. So clicking “Done” gets rid of that window.
- With QuickTime menu options on the top bar, click “File” then “New Movie Recording.” It will open QuickTime and using your built-in camera may display your face first.
- Change the display source for QuickTime by clicking the big red button (re: Vainglory Joule’s ULT) and choosing your device name. In my case (below) my iPhone is named Abigail so I choose that:
- Take note that you can also change the audio input to capture the game audio by setting “Microphone” to the same device.
Capture Game Display in OBS
Now that we see our game on our laptop screen, we can proceed to capture this into our OBS to start streaming.
- In OBS Studio, add a source by choosing either Display Capture or Window Capture (see below):
- Display Capture captures your entire laptop screen so this works if you have more than one monitor and you’re capturing your mirrored screen from another monitor. If not, you’ll end up streaming everything on your single screen.
- Window Capture captures a single window. This is the obvious choice for laptop streamers but, and this is important, Window Capture is known to be very laggy on Mac laptops for some reason. I don’t know if this is the ultimate fix, but this was how I made it work.
- Resize QuickTime to the smallest it can get. This fixed the stream lag issues associated with Window Capture and Mac OS for me. You will still see the display in your OBS, so resizing QuickTime window and leaving it in the background (don’t minimise it, or your mirror will turn into a black screen) won’t cause any trouble.
This is the tedious part. Your OBS config will depend on many factors (device spec, internet, etc). The fastest way to optimise it for best quality and smoothness is to run the auto config wizard.
- In your OBS, click “Tools” then “Auto-configuration Wizard.” It’ll take a few seconds or mins.
- Once done, if you don’t have followers on your stream yet, test it on your main streaming account (such as Twitch) and tweak your OBS settings until you achieve the desired output.
- If you already have followers and you don’t want to spam them with notifications of your stream testing, create a test streaming account instead.
- Important: If the stream is laggy after auto-config, change your OBS settings and work your way down to the lowest quality you can get to get rid of the lag or choppiness:
- Lower your FPS (from 60 to 30)
- Rescale your output to a much lower resolution
- Lower your bitrate
These are just some of the settings you can tweak to achieve maximum performance. Again, remember that every device is different and there are no ‘presets’ that can work perfectly with your setup so trial and error is the way.
Now that you’re ready to stream, drop a link to your stream channel in the comments section below!
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