Windows 10’s Creators Update added a new live game-streaming feature. You can broadcast your gameplay in real time to your friends without any additional software.

This feature uses Microsoft’s Mixer service, originally named Beam, along with your Xbox gamertag. It can’t stream to Twitch, unfortunately, so you’ll still need third-party software to do that.

Update: Microsoft shut down Mixer in 2020 and transitioned its user community to Facebook Gaming. That’s why the Mixer website now goes to Facebook’s Gaming service.

First: Configure Game Broadcasting Settings

RELATED: How to Stream a PC Game on Twitch with OBS

Before starting a live stream, you can configure your game broadcasting settings by heading to Settings > Gaming > Broadcasting in Windows.

The default settings should work fine, but your microphone and webcam are disabled by default, and won’t be included in the stream. Here’s what the various options do:

  • Record audio when I broadcast: The game’s sound is only broadcast if you enable this option. If you turn this option off, you’ll just broadcast a silent video.
  • Audio quality: Choose different audio quality levels for your stream, if you’re recording audio. We recommend using the default option of 128kbps, as it provides a good trade-off between quality and bandwidth requirements.

  • Turn on mic when I broadcast: Enable this option to have Windows add the audio from your microphone to your stream. You can speak and your viewers will hear your voice.
  • Use auto echo cancellation: Windows automatically attempts to cancel echoes from your microphone if you enable this option.
  • Microphone volume and System volume: Adjust these sliders to control the volume of the audio from your microphone and game.

  • Broadcast game audio only: This is on by default, and causes Windows to only broadcast audio from the game you’re playing—as well as any audio from your microphone, if it’s enabled. Disable this, and Windows will broadcast all audio playing on your PC.
  • Broadcast language: This option allows you to indicate the language you’ll be broadcasting in so viewers can find streams in their language.

  • Use camera when I broadcast: Enable this option to have Windows add a thumbnail of your webcam video to the stream, allowing your viewers to see you.
  • Camera: Select the webcam device you want to use.
  • Capture mouse cursor in broadcasts: Choose whether or not the mouse cursor should be visible in the stream.

Start Broadcasting

RELATED: How to Record PC Gameplay With Windows 10’s Game DVR and Game Bar

To start broadcasting, fire up the game you want to play, and then press Windows+G to open the the Game Bar. Click the “Broadcast” button on the game bar. You can also press Windows+Alt+B to immediately activate this feature.

These hotkeys can be customized on the Settings > Gaming > Game bar pane.

The Broadcast setup dialog appears. You’re shown your Xbox Live gamertag and your Mixer channel. You can choose whether or not to include audio from your microphone and video from your webcam here, too. To view the address of your channel where other people can watch you, click the “Your channel” link. This opens your channel’s web page, which you can then share with anyone you want.

To start streaming, click “Start broadcast.”

While broadcasting, you’ll see a status window appear over the game.

From left to right, the status indicators confirm you’re recording live, show the number of viewers you have at the moment, and count how long you’ve been streaming. The buttons allow you to pause and resume your stream, stop broadcasting, toggle your microphone on or off, and toggle your webcam on or off. The final two buttons allow you to view the chat messages associated with your channel and drag the status window to a different location on your screen.

Share Your Broadcast

You can view the web address of your Mixer channel by clicking the “Your channel” link in the Broadcast setup dialog. Your channel has the same name as your Xbox gamertag name. So, when you click the link, you’ll be taken to the page with an address like this:

Give this address to your friends or anyone else who you want to share your gameplay with. Anyone who visits the page can watch your stream live and chat with other viewers.

Microsoft’s Mixer isn’t quite as full featured as a third-party option like Twitch yet. While Microsoft clearly wants Mixer to be a destination, most people are searching for things to watch on Twitch or YouTube Live. But Mixer works well and is built right in to Windows 10, so it’s really convenient for beginner streamers to start broadcasting.

Support for broadcasting on Mixer is also built into the Xbox One. While playing a game, press the Xbox button on your controller and head to Broadcast and Capture > Broadcast > Start broadcast to get started.

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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