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Steam Broadcasting

Steam Broadcasting allows you to watch your friends play their favorite games. You can also set up Broadcasting to allow others to watch you play.

Read more about this feature from the official update.

Watching a Broadcast

There are a number of ways to watch broadcasts throughout the Steam Community:

  • Find public broadcasts on the community Broadcast home page. Broadcasts are also available within each product's Community Hub.
  • You can watch your friends play by selecting Watch Game from the drop down next to friend's name in your friends list.
  • From a friend's profile - Below the Currently In Game text, select Watch Game.

Setting up a Broadcast

As soon as you start playing a game, your friends will be able to send you a request to watch.

Broadcast Settings

The first time a friend requests to watch your game, you'll be presented with Broadcasting settings. You can access these settings at any time from the broadcast tab of your Steam > Settings inside the client:

  • Broadcast is disabled
  • Friends can request to watch my games (default)
  • Friends can watch my games
  • Anyone can watch my games (public broadcast, can be found in the associated game hub)
Ending a Broadcast

Exiting the game will end your broadcast. Alternatively, at any time you can press Stop from the Broadcast panel in the Steam Overlay (shift+tab).

Inviting Friends

You can invite friends to watch your game by selecting Invite to Watch from the drop down next to their name in the Friends List.

What is recorded and included in my broadcast?

Video:

By default, Steam will only broadcast video recorded from the game you are playing. If you switch to another program or your computer’s desktop and Steam is unable to record video from the game you are playing while it is not active/in focus, viewers will see a placeholder graphic until Steam can again record video from your game.

You can optionally enable recording video of applications outside of your game through the Steam Client settings menu. Please remember that your broadcast viewers will be able to see any open windows when enabled.

Audio:

By default, Steam will only record audio from the game you are currently playing. You can enable recording a microphone or all audio played through your computer's default output device through the Steam Client Settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the browser requirements for watching?
  • What are the account requirements for broadcasting?
  • What kind of content is allowed?
  • How do I report a broadcast?
  • How can I get my broadcast to show up in a game hub?
  • How can I see who is watching my game?
  • Can I save my broadcast?
  • How do I change the bit rate, video dimensions, microphone, and desktop settings?
  • What operating systems can I broadcast from?
  • What are the browser requirements for watching?

    Steam Broadcasting is currently supported by the following browsers:

    • Steam Client
    • Google Chrome (version 39+)
    • Apple Safari (version 8+ on OSX)
    • Internet Explorer (version 11 on Windows 8; not supported on other versions of Windows)
    • Mozilla Firefox (version 42+)

    The above do not apply for mobile devices. Steam broadcasts are not currently supported on iOS devices.

    What are the account requirements for broadcasting?

    Accounts that meet the following requirements are able to broadcast games:

    • Have made a purchase on Steam and are therefore non-limited accounts
    • Are not currently Community Banned

    What kind of content is restricted?

    As a Steam subscriber, you agree to abide by the Steam Subscriber Agreement, the Steam Online Conduct rules, and the Steam Community Rules and Guidelines. You are responsible for the use of your Account and for all of the communication and activity on Steam that results from use of your Account. Your online conduct and interaction with other subscribers should be guided by common sense and basic etiquette.

    How do I report a broadcast?

    From the broadcast window/page, select "Report Broadcast". When a broadcast is reported, Steam may save some or all of the broadcast for review.

    How can I get my broadcast to show up in a Game Hub?

    If you select "Anyone can watch my game" as your broadcast privacy setting then your broadcast will be visible in that Game Hub.

    How can I see who is watching my game?

    You'll receive a notification when a friend either requests to watch or starts watching your game. At any time you can see a list of viewers from the Steam overlay broadcast box, or if you're watching your own broadcast, from the top of the chat.

    Can I save my broadcast?

    No, broadcasts are currently live only. However, if a video is reported for review, Steam may save some or all of the broadcast for review.

    How do I change the bit rate, video dimensions, microphone, and desktop settings?

    For advanced Broadcast settings, access the Steam Client's Settings panel and select the Broadcast tab.

    What operating systems can I broadcast from?

    Steam Broadcasting is currently supported through the Steam Client on Windows 7, 8, and 10. Linux, OSX, and Windows Vista will be supported in the future.

    Troubleshooting Broadcasting

    If you are constantly encountering issues with Broadcasting, it's possible that something is interfering and preventing the Broadcast from working as expected.

    It's a good idea to investigate the topics below and make sure that the machine having Broadcasting issues is optimized for using the feature successfully.

    Because some of these topics are advanced and may involve things outside of Steam, we highly recommend that you work with local IT support in your area to make sure that they are performed correctly.

    Restart Computer

    It's always a good first step to make sure that you restart Steam as well as your computer.

    Restarting the computer flushes all kinds of system states and caches, while resetting other programs and releasing locks on files and other resources.

    Check Broadcast Settings

    Make sure that your Broadcast settings are what you expect.

    You can access these settings at any time from the Broadcast tab of your Steam > Settings inside the Steam client

    Reinstall Steam

    The Steam installer can be downloaded here and reinstalled to the same location where it is already installed.

    This will ensure that all files required by the Steam overlay are in a good state. This process will have no effect on your installed games.

    WARNING! Uninstalling Steam will delete all game content.

    Refresh Local Network Hardware

    This includes restarting all modems & routers. Network hardware can get into slow or broken state after running for a long time. This can cause broadcast requests to take longer than normal, or to timeout completely.

    If you are using a wireless network connection, you will want to bypass this with a direct Ethernet connection between your machine and network hardware.

    Test Online Connection

    Some Internet providers cache or compress online data to save bandwidth (especially cellphone networks). This can cause issues with Steam. It is a good idea to test the issue by connecting to an entirely different network, preferably from a different service provider.

    Investigate Firewalls

    Certain firewalls may prevent Steam features like Broadcasting from talking to servers. You'll want to work with a tech support specialist to ensure that the Firewall is not interfering. You may even need to temporarily disable it for testing purposes or add exceptions to your firewalls for Steam.

    Investigate Anti-Virus Software

    AV software hooks very deep into user systems and can affect disk and network operations which may cause issues with Steam. Some games also use copy protection technology that can appear as malicious software to an AV scanner, resulting in potential false-positive alerts.

    You'll want to work with a tech support specialist to ensure that your AV software is not interfering with any Steam functionality. You may even need to temporarily disable it for testing purposes. It may also be necessary to add exceptions for Steam in your AV configuration,

    Investigate Other Programs & Services

    Any software that modifies or monitors system, disk or network activity can cause issues while downloading or running a game. These programs and services can run in the background and are typically associated with software like Anti-Virus, ad-blockers, web-optimizers, firewalls, system cleaners, recording software, proxies, performance boosters etc.

    You'll want to work with a tech support specialist to ensure that these services & programs are not interfering with Steam. You may even need to temporarily disable them for testing purposes.

    Have more questions or need help?

    Check out the Steam Broadcasting Group Discussions to read more and find out answers to other frequently asked questions.

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