Why Is My Twitch Stream Lagging And How Can I Fix It?

Why Is My Twitch Stream Lagging

Twitch is the most popular streaming platform on the internet that entertains millions every day, providing leisure time out of hectic routines. More than 23k games are streamed each week. However, it is not always fun, as many users report lags and stutters during streaming. If you face a similar fate, you are certainly not alone.

Lagging is a nuisance that turns your good experience into a horrible one. During lagging the first thought in our minds is, “why is my Twitch stream lagging?”. This thought is immediately followed by the tries to fix the lag. 

Do not worry, we will tackle both of these problems here. So, you can learn why is your Twitch steam lagging and how to fix it permanently.  

Why Is My Twitch Stream Lagging?

These issues can result from multiple reasons. For example, limited bandwidth, faulty internet connection, problematic browser, hardware limitations, etc. Luckily, there are multiple ways to fix choppy streaming. 

Reason 1: Absence of Stable Internet Connection

Solution 1: Check Your Internet Connection

Solution 2: Use Ping Reducing Software

why does my stream lag on twitch

If you can’t stream Twitch, the culprit is often a slow or faulty internet connection. You need high-speed internet for streaming, and if you don’t have it, you’ll face stutters now and then. Moreover, the internet connection should also be stable, besides having enough bandwidths.

You can try some fixes to see if they work. 

  • Close any application that you are not using to reduce the load. 
  • Restart your router.
  • Disconnect other devices that are connected to your internet to reduce the load. 
  • If you are using a wireless connection, try a wired one, as the latter is usually more stable. 

If you still cannot resolve choppy streaming, contact your service provider, as there might be some other issue with your internet connection. You can simply ask them for a symmetrical connection. Usually, the upload speed is lower than the download speed. Symmetrical connections will increase your upload speed and improve your overall experience.

Ping loss can also cause your stream to lag. Head over to a ping-checking software and check if you are experiencing packet loss or not. There are a number of ping-reducing software on the market that can help you as well. This software helps you route your traffic via optimized routes. They prevent packet loss and improve your streaming quality considerably.

Reason 2: Inefficient Computer Hardware

Solution 1: Update your System for Lag-Free Streaming

Solution 2: Restart your Computer

Solution 3: Close all the Background Applications

Is your computer powerful enough to support Twitch streaming? Many users have outdated systems but expect buttery streaming performance on Twitch, which is an unreasonable expectation. In fact, it is one of the most widespread causes of Why Is My Twitch Stream Lagging?.

Hardware includes multiple elements such as RAM, ROM, and GPU. If you plan to stream a game using ancient internals, you will always run into obstacles.

Usually, average users do not have high capacity RAMs to sustain too many programs running in the background, and you might be facing something similar without realizing it. It makes your PC lethargic and an unending headache.

You can relieve your RAM of some distress by killing background applications. To do that:

  • Press CTRL + ALT + DEL simultaneously, which will open the task manager.
  • All the apps running in the background will be listed under the background process.
  • Select any task you want to close and tap End task.

You can remove as many unwanted applications as you want through this process. Start streaming again and see if it works.

Another quick solution to this problem is restarting your computer. Doing that closes the programs running in the background, refreshes your PC, and reboots your RAM.

Slow hard disk is another major problem that many streamers face. It usually happens if you use a mechanical hard drive, which is just not fast enough to cover your streaming needs. The only way to resolve it is to invest in a modern and fast SSD, which will load streaming much faster than before.

Go for a reputable brand and buy an SSD that fulfills your needs without going overboard. If you are an average user, a 250GB SSD is more than enough.

Reason 3: Your Computer Software does not Meet the Streaming Requirements

Solution 1: Select an Appropriate Bitrate

Solution 2: Select Appropriate Resolution and Frames

The streaming software is another area, which has to be looked into. If it is not optimized, streaming will suffer. Most do not know about streaming settings and keep them at default or change them abruptly. You should adjust the settings according to your streaming requirements. If you have selected the wrong bitrate, as many do, you will never get the smooth streaming you desire.

Moreover, streaming at the wrong resolution and frames also becomes a nuisance. We often stream at resolutions higher than our computer and internet connection can handle. For instance, if your internet is only capable of streaming 720p resolution, jacking it up to 1080p will not work. This mismatch between resolution, frame rates, and hardware must be tackled to avoid choppy streaming.

Streaming at the correct resolution is crucial, so you should know the streaming requirements and specifications for Twitch. Here they are:

To stream 1080p at 60 fps, you need:

  • A minimum of 10 MB upload speed but 15-15 MB is better
  • A Ryzen 5 with 6 cores or an Intel i5 processor
  • 16GB RAM

However, you do not have to stream at 1080p. You can do that at 900p at 30fps, which is close to 1080p, and you will not notice much difference in quality. For 900p at 30fps, you need:

  • 6-12 MB upload speed
  • Ryzen 3 with 4 cores or Intel i5
  • 12GB RAM

You can even drop lower than that and still enjoy satisfactory quality. For 720p streaming at 30fps, you require:

  • 2-6 MB upload speed
  • Intel i3 or Ryzen 3
  • 8GB RAM

Selecting the right bitrate is crucial too, besides a suitable resolution. Here are the right bitrates for their respective resolutions:

  • 3000-3500 with a minimum of 2500 for 1080p
  • 2000 with a minimum of 1500 for 900p
  • 1200-1500 with a minimum of 1000 for 720p

Reason 4: Corrupted Browsing Cookies and Cache

Solution 1: Clear Cookies & Cache

A timesaving solution (if it works) is to clean the cache and cookies of your browser. You might be surprised to know that it works for many users, and they do not have to do anything else beyond it. 

If you use Google Chrome:

  • Tap the three dots in the upper right corner. 
  • Choose Settings and tap Privacy and Security to Clear Browsing Data
  • Select All time to clear everything and restart your browser.
  • If it still does not work, try to remove Twitch-related add-ons or extensions and disable others from in browser.

However, if both these solutions do not bring relief, it is time to use another browser. Even Chrome & Firefox sometimes face streaming issues so it is recommended to use a different option.

Reason 5: Counterproductive Interference By Antivirus

Solution 1: Disable the Antivirus Software

It is possible that the antivirus program installed on your computer is interfering with Twitch streaming. To check whether that is the case, disable your antivirus software and firewall to see if it persists.

If it is resolved after disabling antivirus software, contact the software provider and ask them to make improvements and provide you with a different and improved version of their product.

Reason 6: Network Congestion

Solution 1: Use a VPN

Many users do not know that to provide stable internet connections to all, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) limit internet speeds. In that case, your streaming is bound to stutter. However, you can get around the throttling by installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

VPN is a military-grade digital encryption tool that helps you hide your identity altogether, including your location, device, and communications. It can help avoid the scrutiny of your internet provider and access the streaming without any hindrances. 

Similarly, some areas might restrict your access to Twitch, which you can bypass using a VPN. Multiple VPNs are available today, and you can get one according to your budget and required performance.

Reason 7:  Windows Firewall Might Be Restricting Twitch 

Solution 1: Change Windows Firewall Settings

The Windows Firewall usually blocks some apps from working optimally. You can resolve it by allowing Twitch through the Firewall. Here is how to do it.

  • Type firewall in the Windows search bar, and tap on Firewall & network protection
  • Choose Allow an app.
  • A list will appear showing all the apps that Firewall is restricting. You should see Twitch on this list.
  • An app uses two types of networks, public and private. Private access lets the app access the home or workplace networks. Meanwhile, public access allows an app to access any network.

However, you might not find Twitch on this list, meaning it has been restricted by the Firewall. You can get around this by adding it manually like this. Choose Change Settings, and tap Allow another app. Browse all apps, select Twitch.exe and Open it. Click Add to put it on the list of apps unrestricted by the Firewall.

Reason 8:  Browser Issues

Solution 1: Try Resetting Your Browser

Solution 2: Use an alternative browser

Another option you can exercise is resetting your browser. Sometimes, even the best browsers do not perform optimally, affecting streaming performance. If you use Google Chrome, here is how to reset it:

  • Tap the three dots on the top right corner to access Settings.
  • Click Advanced at the bottom and tap Restore settings to their original defaults.
  • Tap Reset settings.

Restart your browser to check if it has been resolved.

Alternatively, you can try other browsers to stream Twitch. If changing the browser doesn’t resolve the issue that means the problem is not with the browser.  

Reason 9:  DNS Issues

Solution 1: Switch to Google’s Public DNS

Another issue that is often overlooked is the DNS. It is particularly pervasive if you are using the DNS of your ISP or the router’s DNS. Change it from default DNS to Google’s public DNS, and using this method:

  • Press the Windows and R keys simultaneously to launch the Run dialog box.
  • Right-clicking the Ethernet will show some options where you have to select Properties.
  • Choose the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
  • Tap option, then enter as the Preferred DNS server and as the Alternate DNS server.

After following this procedure, restart your computer to check if the streaming works properly.

You can also read this guide on how to stream switch without a capture card, in case you don’t have a capture card already installed.

Bottom Line

As we have explained everything, it is time to sum it all up. Using the information provided here, you should be able to resolve your streaming headache. Don’t forget that pinning down the problem can sometimes be hard because of several variables involved in the process. 

Therefore, we recommend you perform different types of troubleshooting before doing anything drastic. We wish you a fulfilling and enjoyable streaming experience!

Neha Jamil is a 23-year-old gamer who is set on breaking stereotypes. Being a female pro, she understands the struggles of being underestimated. She intends to break this chain and help newbies discover the exciting world of gaming.

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