The Complete Guide to Streaming Video Games From Your PC Using a Mac

Here's all you need to know to get started with streaming video games from your PC to YouTube or Twitch using a Mac as the streaming machine.

The Complete Guide to Streaming Video Games From Your PC Using a Mac
Photo by ELLA DON / Unsplash

You’re probably reading this article because you’ve been scouring the web for the one guide who will answer all of your questions. Fear not! I have taken it upon myself to write you this amazing guide to streaming from a PC using a Mac.

This article will cover the following:

  • Why stream using as Mac.
  • Equipment you’ll need.
  • Setting up your monitors.
  • Setting up Audio.
  • Installing and configuring your streaming software.
  • Streaming!

If you’re ready for this, let’s dive in!

Why Stream Using a Mac?

Right off the bat, let me say it doesn’t have to be a Mac specifically. It could just be another PC. Let me tell you a story that illustrates why separate streaming and gaming from the same machine.

I’ve been streaming Dragon Age: Origins on my channels a few days ago. I’m very excited for the new game to come out and want to refresh my memory. While streaming, a friend came up in the chat and said my audio was too loud and the stream was buffering—two things you don’t want to hear while streaming video games online.

So, I started investigating and realized a harsh truth: My gaming PC can’t handle streaming a video game and simultaneously rendering an amazing game experience.

Not only was I streaming in HD to two locations, but I was also recording the game to my hard drive and playing in The highest possible quality settings 🤷‍♂️

With this harsh truth in mind, an idea popped into my head: I have a PC for gaming and a Mac Studio for video work for my YouTube channel. That Mac is an absolute beast, but you don’t have to have such a computer for streaming. And then it clicked: Why not connect the two?

So, I started investigating what I’ll need to make it happen, and that’s what we’ll talk about next.

Equipment and Software You'll Need

As I was tinkering with my setup, I realized the bare minimum setup I’d need is this:

Once I had all of this figured out, I started working on setting everything up. Let’s start with the monitors.

Setting Up Your Monitors

I have two monitors. When I work from home, I use both monitors on my Mac Studio to write code.

While streaming, I use one monitor to play the game and the second monitor to check on the stream and read the chat.

It could be any two monitors as long as you have the ability to connect both Mac and PC to them.

I know, I know! That’s four HDMI cables just to connect the two monitors to the two computers. Chances are you probably already did that if you have two computers and two monitors. But you'll need those cables if you’re building the setup from scratch. You’ll also need an extra cable to connect the splitter to the video capture card.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to set up your monitors.

  1. Connect the Mac to the two monitors with two HDMI cables.
  2. Connect the PC to one monitor, which isn’t the one you’ll play on. Connect the PC to the HDMI splitter and from the splitter, connect the monitor you’ll play on.
  3. Connect the video capture card to your Mac via USB and the HDMI cable from the HDMI splitter via the HDMI port. This ensures that the gameplay you see on your monitor is also streamed to your video capture card.
  4. Toggle between the PC and Mac and make sure you can work with one screen showing the Mac and the other showing your game!
  5. If you want to reduce the cable overload by one, you could get rid of the cable connecting the PC to the monitor you won't be playing on. But I guess you'll still make use of that monitor with your PC regardless of gaming.

Now that my monitors were all configured, I could move on to the next aspect: the audio.

Install & Configure Voicemeeter on Windows

I immediately faced the problem that I could only direct my PC’s system audio to one location. i.e., video game audio. That location could either be my headphones so I can hear the game or the camlink, which I use to stream the audio from the game to my viewer.

What to do?

That’s where VoiceMeeter - which is completely free, by the way - came to save the day.

VoiceMeeter allows you to broadcast one input into two locations. So, I only had to direct my system audio to the new VoiceMeeter location in my audio devices list, and set up two output locations: my headphones and Camlink.

Here’s how it looks fully configured:

Image: See the red circles and arrows!

And to make this work, after installing VoiceMeeter, you need to select the Virtual audio device as your system output like so:

Image: How your audio device should be configured.

Install OBS on MacOS

Congratulations! If you’re following along with me, you can let out a well-deserved sigh of relief now because the hardest part of the process is behind us now.

I too knew that the hardware was ready to go. Now it was time to install the streaming software.

So I chose Streamlabs OBS because I’m multistreaming, but you don’t have to. You could just use the normal free to use OBS Studio that can be found here:

I installed the software and was ready for the final step of configuring my sources.

Configure OBS With Your PC Sources

Configuring OBS can be a whole world. To keep this guide to the point, I won’t tell you about all the fun I had trying overlays and such, but if you want me to write about that, let me know in the comments below!

So, now that everything was connected, I needed to configure my sources. And aside from adding my camera and mic which are connected to my Mac, I needed to add two sources which made all the difference:

  • Audio Input Device - Choose Your Video Capture Card. If you were streaming on your PC, you would choose an output device, but since you're importing your audio from your PC to your Mac, it's an Input device.
  • Video Capture Device - Choose Your Video Capture Card.

The reason to choose your video capture card is because it transmits both audio and video (at least my Camlink 4K does). Once I added them to the scene, I saw the video feed and could see the audio waveform signaling that audio was passing through As well.

And That's It!

So this was how I configured my Mac to stream my video game from my PC to Twitch and YouTube! If you want, you can watch some of those streams right here on my youtube channel.

If you have any questions let me know in the comments below and I’ll make any follow-up posts for you!

Thank you for reading!