How to Stream Nintendo Switch to Twitch, YouTube, and Discord! The Ultimate Guide Using a Capture Card

Let’s see, you have got your Nintendo Switch and are now eager to stream your favorite game to your friends or to your audience. Well, you’ve come to the right place!

While many consoles now come with in-built streaming capabilities, unfortunately, Nintendo Switch does not have a streaming feature. But with the help of a capture card, here’s how to stream Nintendo Switch to Twitch, YouTube, and Discord.

How to stream Nintendo Switch on Twitch, YouTube, and Discord?

Requirements to stream Nintendo Switch

  • Internet (6mbps upload)
  • TV/Monitor
  • HDMI cable x2
  • Capture Card
  • Nintendo Switch Dock
  • Webcam (optional)
  • Microphone (optional)
  • Green Screen (optional)

Capture card recommendation

Our top pick for a capture card with all-around performance is the Elgato HD60 S+ which provides a smooth lag-free experience. Recommended for mid-level/ semi-professionals who stream on an HD/FHD monitor.

I hope you find my analysis useful! The section below contains an affiliate link from where you can buy a capture card. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases, and you get a discount. Learn More.

Best all-round performance capture card

Elgato HD60 S+

  • Works seamlessly for 1080p resolution monitors and televisions
  • Lag-free experience for consoles, wide compatibility across different systems
  • Crisp audio capture
  • Seems to work fine for 4k resolutions as well, though can lag sometimes
  • Approximate price: $160
Elgato HD60 S

Buy Elgato HD60 S+ from amazon here: https://amzn.to/3TMSJUb

How to stream Nintendo Switch with a capture card?

Now that you have gathered all the tools needed for streaming, it is finally time to put them together with Nintendo Switch to complete the setup with a capture card and OBS. So, let us find out how to stream Nintendo Switch with a capture card!

Step 1- Connect Nintendo Switch to PC using a capture card

  1. Place your Switch inside the dock and remove the Joy-Cons, so that you can play
  2. Plug in your HDMI cable and power cable to your Nintendo Switch Dock
Nintendo Switch Dock to Connect HDMI cable
Connect HDMI to the Nintendo Switch dock
  1. Take the first HDMI cable that is connected to your Switch dock and put the other end to “input” of the capture card. (Where it says IN)
Capture card HDMI-IN slot for plugging in Nintendo Switch
Plug in the Nintendo Switch dock cable in the HDMI IN slot of the capture card
  1. Take the second HDMI cable and connect the output of the capture card to the Monitor/TV you wish to cast your video.
  2. Now connect your capture card to your PC with the help of a USB to get sound and video.
  3. Add your webcam and microphone to your PC to interact with your audience.
Diagram of how to stream Nintendo Switch using a capture card
Diagram of a setup with how to stream Nintendo Switch using a capture card

With all the hardware connected and ready to go, we need software to make it all work seamlessly. For this, we recommend OBS Studio which is free to use.

Step 2- Open OBS to capture Nintendo Switch output

  1. Now, start Switch to get the display on OBS
  2. Remember to download the capture card software/firmware, so that OBS is able to pick your capture card
  3. Open OBS and go to the desired scene to add a source
  4. Click on “+” to add a source, and click on “Video Capture Device”
Adding source in OBS scene
Add “Video Capture Device” in the OBS scene
  1. You can choose to rename the source to your liking like “Switch Stream”
  2. Click on Add New Source which would open a new menu with a drop-down list that says “Device”
  3. Under Device, find the device which is capturing your Switch output. It will be named either “USB video” or your capture card name
Option to select device in OBS
Select “USB video” or your capture card under Device in OBS
  1. For people to hear the audio of your Nintendo Switch. Under Audio Output mode, select Output desktop audio. Click the checkbox for “custom audio device” and select “Digital audio interface”
Audio output settings in OBS for Nintendo switch
Audio output settings in OBS for Nintendo Switch
  1. Leave the other settings as they are in OBS, you do not need to change settings, as OBS automatically chooses the resolution and other changes best suited to hardware
  2. Your microphone should be auto-detected by OBS, to check it go to “Audio Mixer” and try to speak something, if you see the equalizer moving it means your mic is working. If not, then add your microphone manually

If you follow the steps correctly, you would be able to get your Switch Output into your PC using OBS. Your screen would look something like this.

OBS screen after nintendo switch game capture
OBS screen after Nintendo Switch game capture

Now, all that is left to know on how to stream Nintendo Switch with capture card is to connect to your desired streaming platform be it Twitch, YouTube, or Discord.

How to Stream Switch on Twitch using OBS?

To know how to stream Switch on Twitch with a capture card, read below:

Once your Nintendo output is captured on OBS, you can use the below method on how to stream Switch on Twitch using OBS.

  1. Login to Twitch.tv and visit your “Creator Dashboard” under your profile icon
image showing where to find the creator dashboard in Twitch
Click on Creator Dashboard under profile image
  1. Go to “Settings” and then go to “Stream”. You will see your “Primary Stream Key” there
  2. Copy the “Primary Stream Key”, and do not show this to anybody. It is supposed to be a private key
Stream key location under stream in Twitch
Copy the stream key from “Stream” under settings
  1. In OBS, Click “Settings” in the “Controls” section
Where to find Settings in OBS
Click Settings in OBS
  1. Select “Stream” then select service as “Twitch” from the drop-down
  2. Paste the “Primary Stream Key” in the “Stream Key” section. Enter ok
Stream settings panel in OBS
Select Twitch and paste the Stream key into OBS Stream settings
  1. All that is left is to stream. Hit “Start Streaming” to stream your Nintendo Switch to Twitch

So, if you have followed the above steps, now you know how to stream Switch on Twitch.

How to Stream Nintendo Switch on YouTube using OBS?

To know how to stream Nintendo Switch on YouTube with a capture card, read below:

  1. Go to “YouTube Studio”, it will be under your profile icon on YouTube homepage.
YouTube Studio option in menu bar of YouTube channel
Select “YouTube Studio” from the panel
  1. Click on “Create” and find the “Go Live” button there, else you can click on the “Go live” icon as well
Go Live option in YouTube
Hit the Go live button
  1. Now you will have to choose whether you want to schedule a stream or go live now
  2. Once you have done that it will ask whether you want to use the built-in webcam or Streaming software. Choose “Streaming software”
Stream preference options in YouTube
Select “Streaming Software” to pick OBS
  1. It will take you to your Creator Dashboard
  2. Click on “Edit” to enter your Stream title and description in the “Details” tab
  3. Go to the “Customization” tab, if you want to change your chat settings and your viewers
  4. Go to the “Monetization” tab to toggle your monetization options, if you want it on or off
Add details in settings panel of YouTube
Add details in the settings panel of YouTube
  1. Copy the stream key from the “Stream Settings” tab. Remember to not show your stream key when you are live as this might lead to others streaming from your channel
copy Stream key from YouTube stream settings
Copy Stream Key
  1. Go to OBS, Open “Settings” in the “controls” and select “stream”
  2. Select the service as “Youtube – RTMPS” and paste the “Stream Key” in the “Stream Key” section. Enter ok
Stream Settings for YouTube in OBS
YouTube stream settings in OBS
  1. Alternatively, you can also connect your YouTube account by pressing the “Connect Account (recommended)” button
  2. Now, all that is left is to stream. Hit “Start Streaming” to stream your Nintendo Switch to YouTube. That brings us to the conclusion of how to stream Nintendo Switch on YouTube.

Stream Nintendo Switch on Discord using OBS

To know how to stream Switch on Discord with capture card, read below:

  1. Go to OBS, hit right-click, and choose “Fullscreen Projector”. It will ask which monitor to display on. If you have only one monitor choose the same
Fullscreen Projector menu option in OBS
Click “Fullscreen Projector” and select monitor
  1. Once it is fullscreen on your OBS, Go to your Discord and select the server or call where you want to stream and share your stream
Share your game in Discord channel
Share your screen in Discord
  1. Choose the “Fullscreen projector preview”. Make sure to pick from “Applications” not screen otherwise your audio won’t be picked up
Application to select in Discord for Screen sharing
Select Fullscreen projector
  1. Choose your resolution and frame rate. Usually, it’s 720p on 15 fps for games like Jackbox
  2. Hit Go live to start streaming. You would be able to hear the clicks from your Nintendo Switch
Screen share settings in Discord
Screen share frame rate and resolution

For how much is a capture card for Switch available?

Now we know that a capture card is the most reliable and easiest way to stream Nintendo switch to Twitch, YouTube, or Discord. Let’s find out how much is a capture card for switch available in the market!

A video capture card can cost as low as $12 and as high as $400. Cheap video capture cards are more likely to be faulty and not have a fast transmission speed. It can make your stream laggy but nobody wants to spend that much amount if you just want to do it casually.

Cheap capture cards sometimes also don’t scale the video output properly, and the quality can suffer. Hence, It is better to get video capture cards from reputed brands like Elgato, Avermedia, etc.

I would recommend you buy a cheap capture card if you are a casual gamer and then move on to a better capture card when you get serious about streaming.

I have given below a list of all capture cards suitable for different budget ranges.

How much is a capture card for Switch? – Our recommendations below:

Best budget capture card

4K HDMI Video Capture Card (Generic)

  • Works well with 720p resolution, no complaints on 1080p as well
  • It’s small and cheap, can take it on trips for streaming on the go!
  • Can struggle with 4K resolution sometimes
  • Doesn’t come with output to a Television, only supports sending a signal to a monitor or laptop
  • Approximate price: $20
Generic capture card

Buy a 4K HDMI Video capture card from amazon here: https://amzn.to/3RppmWt

Other budget performance capture card:-

DIGITNOW 4K60 Pro PCIe Capture Card – Approximate price: $70

Best all-round performance capture card

Elgato HD60 S+

  • Works seamlessly for 1080p resolution monitors and televisions
  • Lag-free experience for consoles, wide compatibility across different systems
  • Crisp audio capture
  • Seems to work fine for 4k resolutions as well, though can lag sometimes
  • Approximate price: $160
Elgato HD60 S

Buy Elgato HD60 S+ from amazon here: https://amzn.to/3TMSJUb

Other all-round performance capture card:-

Avermedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus – Approximate price: $130

Best Premium performance Capture card

Elgato Game Capture HD60 X

  • Works seamlessly for 4K30 HDR10, powerful passthrough, and high quality
  • Sub 100 ms latency for a lag-free experience even on 4k resolution
  • Approximate price: $200
Elgato HD60 X

Buy Elgato Game Capture HD60 X from amazon here: https://amzn.to/3RLzEQx

Other premium performance capture cards:-

Elgato 4K60 Pro MK – Approximate price: $220

Avermedia Live Gamer Duo – Approximate price: $200

How to stream Switch on Discord without a capture card?

As of now, you cannot stream Switch to Discord without a video capture card. You will need a capture card to process, capture and render your Switch video feed.

How to record on Switch without a capture card?

Hold down the capture button to start recording while playing any game on your Switch. The inbuilt recorder only records for 30 secs so you might want to keep pressing the capture button to capture longer videos.

The Capture Button is a square button located under the directional pad

How to stream from Switch Lite?

Unfortunately, Switch lite does not support streaming. You can only try streaming with Switch, not with Lite.

Conclusion

This guide covers everything you need to stream Nintendo Switch to the platform of your choice. Hopefully, it also answers some of the questions you would have had.

Have fun with your new gaming gear! Happy streaming!

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