Hey everyone! Here’s a quick guide on how to get streaming quickly using Discord to share your screen and talk with multiple people. We’re going to start from the beginning to get you going with 5 easy steps!
Future installments of this series will have more in-depth server management information.
Step 1 – Download Discord and Create An Account
The best way to use Discord for streaming is to install the application on your computer instead of using the browser version. You can find the download link on Discord’s main webpage here
Once you’ve got Discord downloaded and installed, you’ll need to sign in with a Discord account. You can create one either though the Discord program or on their website. We recommend doing everything through the Discord application.
Click on “Register” when the login screen appears after installing.
Enter the information requested. Note:
- Your email address will be private. You will need to access it later to verify your account
- The Username you enter will be the name others see you as on discord.
Once your account is created and registered, you’ll be brought to your Discord screen. However, before going any further, be sure to go check the email address you registered with and verify your Discord account!
If you don’t get the email, check your junk mail folder. You can always choose to resend the email as well from the top of your Discord screen on the orange bar.
When you click the “Verify Email” button, you will be taken to a new web page with a captcha check. Once that’s done, you’ll have a button to return to Discord. You may get a pop up asking you to choose an application when this happens. If it does, click on “Discord” > Then check the Box that says “Remember this application for discord links” > Then “Open Link”
You’ve finished setting up your account. Now lets create our first server!
Step 2 – Server Creation
A Discord server is simply a space where people can talk to each other in a structured set of channels, either with text or voice that YOU create and control. Let’s create your first server!
On the left hand side of the screen, you should see the Discord logo, a “+” sign, and a magnifying glass. Here’s what each of them do:
- The Discord Logo = This is your “home” button and will return you to the starting menu that you see when you first log into Discord. This can be handy when you have joined lots of Discord servers and have lots of contacts and conversations happening.
- The “+” Sign = This is the “new server” button. You can use this to create your own server, or join someone else’s.
- The Magnifying Glass = This button opens up a search menu where you can look for other people’s Discord servers to join up with.
Because we want to create our first server and get to streaming with it, let’s click on the “+” button!
When you click on this icon, you’ll be asked if you want to create your own, or join someone else’s. Let’s click on “Create a Server”
Next, you’ll be asked to name your server and be given the option to upload an icon that people will see as your server’s image. Click on the circle to upload an image.
If you choose to upload an image, keep in mind it will be rather small. So choose an appropriate image. These are some examples of what good scaled images look like. Each of the below icons is a separate server:
Once you’re satisfied with your server’s name and image, click the “Done” button. You will receive a pop up with your new server’s “invite code”
This invite code is the link you give to others so they can join your new Discord server. By default, they are only valid for 1 day, however you can choose to make them permanent. You can also generate a new invite code from the drop down arrow next to your server’s name any time you need it again. (Shown below)
Step 3 – Setting Up Your Channels
Well then! We have ourselves a Discord server and know how to invite people to it. Now lets briefly go over setting up some channels.
Your new Discord server will come with one voice channel, and one text channel. You can see them on the left side of your Discord screen organized by category names.
For each category, you can add a custom name to as many channels as you want by clicking the small “+” sign next to the category name above each channel. You join any of these channels by clicking on that channel’s name. You can also rename any existing channel.
Text channels are pretty self explanatory, as they act like a regular chat application that allows embedding of links and emotes.
Voice channels act like big group calls. When someone joins the channel, everyone in the channel can hear them speak through their microphone connected to their computer.
You don’t need to set up any additional channels right now if you don’t want to, but it’s handy to know about right off the bat!
Step 4 – Check Your Audio And Video Settings
Before you can go live, you need to check and make sure your microphone and camera are working properly.
To do this, navigate to the bottom left of your screen. You’ll see your user name along with 3 icons.
- The microphone icon will mute or unmute your microphone input to Discord
- The headphone icon will mute or unmute your headphones AND your microphone from Discord
- The gear button is your account settings menu.
Click on the gear to enter your account settings menu. To get straight to your audio and video settings, click on “Voice & Video” in the app settings section
The first section you’ll see at the top of this menu deals specifically with your audio.
The “Input” device is your microphone to pick up your voice, and the “Output device” is what you want the audio from Discord to play through. In most cases, leaving them at “Default” is going to work for most people. Although if you do the dropdown menus for each, you’ll see a list of all the available microphones or playback devices on your computer.
You can set the volume for each with the sliders below these menus. The Input volume controls how loud your microphone sounds to others in voice chat with you. The output controls how loud the playback from Discord is to your speakers or headphones.
We recommend always using headphones when in voice chat.
You can test your microphone to see if it’s working properly by clicking the “Let’s Check” button. After clicking it, speak into your microphone.
You should see the long row of lines light up from left to right, representing the level of your voice. The better Discord can hear your voice, the further to the right the colors will go.
Ideally, you want the lines to light up in the green about 75% of the way down the bar or more when speaking in a normal voice. You may need to adjust your settings on the microphone, in Windows, or in Discord to achieve the proper volume.
Once you’re all set, click the “Stop Testing” button and let’s move on to one of life’s biggest questions…
Push To Talk? or Voice Activated? What input mode to use?
In this section, you can choose when your microphone is “open” and other people can hear you in voice chat. This is important because if you’re in a noisy room, or eating something noisy like popcorn, you don’t want those noises constantly broadcasting to everyone else.
With Push to Talk selected, your microphone will only be “open” when you hold down a specific key on your keyboard. This is good for people who may be in very noisy environments, or really want to be in control of when exactly their voice is being transmitted.
The shortcut bar shows you what key is currently your “Push this one to open your mic” button. This is also known as a “hotkey”. If you click on the white keyboard, you can change it to whatever key you wish. In the view above, it’s set to the apostrophe (`) key.
The “Push To Talk Release Delay” slider will increase the amount of time your microphone is “open” after you release the key. Slide it to the right to increase the time.
With Voice Activity selected, the menu changes to look like this:
This allows Discord to control when your microphone is “open” based on the amount of noise it’s hearing from you. It will set it’s own sensitivity on what this amount of noise is on it’s own by default.
In the view above, we’ve turned that off using that toggle button marked “Automatically determine input sensitivity”. This allows you to control the level of sensitivity yourself to fine tune it to how noisy your environment is. The further you move the slider to the right, the louder you need to speak in order for it to “open” your mic automatically.
Experiment with these settings to find the best combinations for you. Everyone and every environment is different.
Now let’s check your video settings. That’s just below the Audio area:
There’s not a whole lot here. If you have a web cam and that’s what you want to use to stream, it would appear in the camera drop down box. With the “Test Video” button, you would be able to see how your camera will look when broadcasting. Your mileage and settings may vary depending on what camera setup you’re using.
And with that, we’ve got the basic Audio and Video setup done! There are a lot of other settings and fine tuning options below in this menu, but we’ll save those for a more in depth and specific guide. For now, this should get you up and going!
Step 5 – STREAM!
We’ve got a Discord account, our server up and going, our microphone and camera tested! Time to try streaming!
You can only broadcast from a voice channel on your server. So click on the channel you want to broadcast from, and you’ll see your name appear under the channel’s name.
Now, you have a couple different ways to start streaming. Discord is a gaming focused platform, so if you start playing a game it will “see” you playing this game and give you a quick start button down near your name and settings bar. In the example below, we simply started playing the game “Slay the Spire”, and discord automatically added this bar to our menu.
Clicking on that icon will bring you to the stream launch window.
Alternately, you may reach the stream launch window at any time whenever you are in a voice channel of a Discord server. The icon is down on your indicator bar that appears when you join a voice chat.
It’s the icon with a monitor and a little black arrow as shown above.
If you choose to launch the stream from the Discord game bar in the first example, it will look like this:
From here, you’ll be asked to verify what you’re streaming, and in what channel it will be available to view from. Clicking on the “Change” button will bring up a list of all the open windows on your computer, including your webcam to choose from as your broadcast. You can share spreadsheets, pictures, movie players, and more!
If you chose to start streaming directly from the voice channel, you’ll be taken to this screen directly.
Choose what it is you wish to stream, and then click the “Go Live” button.
In your discord, you’ll see a preview window appear showing what you’re broadcasting, as well as a red “LIVE” banner beside your name.
You are now streaming on Discord!
Anyone who joins the voice channel you’re in can click on the “LIVE” banner next to your name and watch your stream.
When you wish to stop streaming, click on this icon from the view above.
That’s it! You’ve just completed your first broadcast on Discord!
We hope this beginners guide has helped and please feel free to drop by OUR discord any time to ask questions or seek out the knowledge of our amazing team! discord.gg/0h85tq5Z30IGwHUP