How to stream switch without capture card - Step by step guide

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So you’re looking to Stream Nintendo Switch but you don’t want to pay for an expensive capture card?

We got you!

Capture cards are expensive, especially the good ones that support universal streaming. Now you can buy the cheap one, and they somehow do the job, but the quality won’t be something your audience enjoys.

But there’s a solution for everything on the internet, right?

In this post, we’ll share how to stream switch without a capture card on PC, YouTube, and Twitch.

What is a Capture Cards?

As the name suggests, a capture card is a device used for recording and streaming on-screen content mostly played via console. They can be used with video game consoles, cameras, as well as computers. Today, capture cards are most frequently used by console video game streamers.

Unlike Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch has some limitations. One of which is that it is incapable of streaming directly to your PC, YouTube, or even Twitch.

Now, to be able to showcase your gameplay skills on Animal Crossing, Super Smash Bros, and Maria Kart, you’re required to use a capture card.

If you have a capture card, then follow the steps provided below.

Best Capture Card for Nintendo Switch

Each model of the capture card comes with advanced streaming functionality, software support, and video quality options. Here’s our best recommendation for seamless Switch streaming:

How to stream switch with capture card

  1. Connect the switch console with the charging area.
  2. Plug the HDMI cable with the Input HDMI section of the capture card.
  3. Now, plug the Switch dock HDMI capable with your computer’s HDMI input.
  4. Download the required software for your capture card (Available on the company website).
  5. Your computer will automatically connect both your devices.

Now you can easily stream your gameplay on YouTube and Twitch.

How to stream switch without capture card?

Now, covering the main content why you’re here in the first place. For this, we began our research with different methods and only found two since they are the most effective and require less effort. Here’s a detailed guide to the following methods;

Method 1: Stream switch using Streamlabs application

This method is highly effective and requires very minimal effort. However, the streaming quality can be low. If you’re fine with this, then here’s what you need to get started.

Equipment Required

  • Streamlabs OBS: A multiplatform software that connects with iOS and Android smartphones. We will use this software to stream switch via mobile phone.
  • Mobile Phone: Any existing Android or iOS phone will work. We’re just using it as a host to stream the content.
  • Tripod stand: Since we’re using the mobile camera, make sure the video is jitter-free so your audience can enjoy them. It is recommended to mount your camera with a tripod.

Streamlabs via Smartphone

  1. Download Streamlabs software on your phone via Google Play or App Store
  2. Open the application and grant permission as required
  3. Login/Signup to the account where you want to stream
  4. Go to the display source setting and play around with different texts and widgets
  5. When you’re all set with your aesthetic work, go to the broadcast settings of the app
  6. Select the resolution of the video as per your internet connection
  7. For example, if you have a bit rate of 2500, then the recommended setting is 720p resolution
  8. Mount your phone on a tripod to find the best angle of your Nintendo switch
  9. Launch your favorite game and press the broadcast button when you’re all set.

As you can already make out of this, this is a low-cost method that has its own complications. For example, if your phone camera quality is not great, your streams won’t be crisp at well. So, to get the best output, make sure to mount the camera correctly, use a good phone, and make sure there’s no notice in the room.

Method 2: Stream switch through Xbox One (Works on Series X and S)

This may sound confusing but if you already own a console, then you can use it as a host to stream your content as well. Every modern-day console has a built-in capture card, so for this method, we’ll be using these.

Equipment Required

  • Xbox One, Series X, Series S: The primary equipment to stream the content. If you own a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5, then skip the Xbox one process.
  • Nintendo switch dock: Another essential piece to setup the streaming process. This dock has an HDMI port which we will be using for our video Input/output.
  • HDMI Cable: Used as a bridge to transfer video data from console to PC.
  • Windows PC: To stream on YouTube or Twitch, a laptop or PC is necessary. The software that we will be using only works on the Windows platform.
  • Streaming App: For this, we can use OBS Broadcaster Software
  • Ethernet Cable: We need to hardwire our connection so an ethernet cable is required.

Streaming via Console

  1. Connect Nintendo Switch with the dock
  2. Connect the dock HDMI input cable with Xbox ‘HDMI in’ port
  3. Open Oneguide application on your console
  4. Make sure both devices are turned on
  5. Connect your Xbox console to the PC. Make sure both devices are running on the same WiFi connection. If not, use the ethernet cable for a more stable connection.
  6. Download and open Xbox App on your PC. Select the console from the menu which at this point will be visible on your Nintendo Switch screen.
  7. Now open the streaming app of your choice. You can use Streamlabs OBS or the default OBS app. Configure the settings, tune-up your video resolution quality, and select the platform you want to stream.
  8. Once everything is set, click on the red stream button and your Nintendo Switch gameplay will stream on the selected platform.

For PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 users, most of the steps are the same. You need to connect the dock with the console and then to your PC. The only difference is the interface settings.

  1. Turn on your console and go to settings > System > Remote play
  2. Make sure you Enable Remote Play
  3. Now download the remote play app on your computer
  4. Sign in to your PlayStation network account
  5. Make sure both the devices are connected to the same network
  6. The app will automatically search for the console and display the screen on your PC
  7. Use the streaming app of your choice, launch the game, and enjoy

Update: As of late, Microsoft no longer supports the OneGuide streaming feature. If you haven’t updated your console to the newest patch, you can still use this method. Otherwise, follow method 1 or invest in a capture card.

Final Verdict

This is it, now you can stream your favorite gameplay on YouTube, Twitch, or any other streaming platform. Remember, unlike other consoles, Nintendo is very private for its exclusive content, especially for the Zelda series.

So, before you start your streaming, make sure you sign up with the Nintendo Partner program. This basically shares the revenue with them, so you can enjoy uninterrupted streams.

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