How to Live Stream Your PC Gameplay With Windows 10’s Beam

Windows 10’s Creators Update includes 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 Beam service along with your Xbox gamertag. Streaming to Twitch or other services still requires third-party software.

Configure Game Broadcasting Settings

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

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 only 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.

  • 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

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.

The Broadcast setup dialog appears. You’re shown your Xbox Live gamertag and your Beam 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 Beam 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.

In all, Beam isn’t quite as full featured as a third-party option like Twitch, yet. Beam doesn’t offer the discoverability that Twitch does, where viewers can stumble across your channel. But, Beam works well and is built right in to Windows 10.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.