Why Your Twitch Stream is Lagging

lagging twitch stream

Twitch is a live streaming platform primarily used by content creators to stream video games for their viewers. It’s also used for other forms of entertainment, such as music and creative content. 

However, despite its popularity among rising social media stars, streaming on Twitch is a demanding process. You may be subject to lag or jittering for several reasons, and understanding why will help improve your experience and ensure that your viewers enjoy your content.

Let’s look at why your stream lags on Twitch and what steps you can take toward fixing it.

How Can I Fix My Twitch Stream Lag?

Your Twitch stream could lag for several reasons. Let’s look at some common causes and possible fixes.

#1 Internet Connection

The most common cause of Twitch stream lag is your internet connection. To stream on Twitch smoothly and without interruption, it’s important to have an internet plan that offers high speed, low latency, and sufficient upload bandwidth to transmit live content to your viewers. 

While regular users stream at a rate of 6,000 bits per second, Twitch partners can broadcast content at a higher rate of 8,000 bits per second. In both scenarios, a high upload speed is required to meet these rates. Although 3 Mbps is enough, we recommend that you have a plan offering at least 8 Mbps for a clean and smooth stream.

It helps to have a higher bandwidth if you use other communication software while streaming or if you have multiple people on your Wi-Fi network. Other devices or users on your network can significantly impact the quality of your stream. 

The rule of thumb is that for 720p broadcasts, a minimum of 8 Mbps is required, while 1080p demands 12 Mbps. If you can afford a better plan, it’ll allow you to use other software and accomplish more tasks while streaming. This can also eliminate ping spikes and lag. You can also use a wired connection (ethernet cable) to reduce latency.

#2 Computer Specifications

Your computer specifications may also cause a laggy Twitch stream. 

Streaming software consumes a hefty amount of your computer’s processing power. While the quality of your stream will depend on what content you broadcast, it’s still important to have a powerful computer to eliminate lagging on Twitch.

For example, if you’re a gamer, you’ll need a powerful processor, a sufficient amount of RAM, and a dedicated graphics card to run the game smoothly and stream at higher resolutions with more advanced features, such as ray tracing. 

On the other hand, creative artists may need to spend a lot on a high-end processor to accommodate their software’s rendering processes while streaming. 

All in all, having a high-end computer is a must for any aspiring streamer.

#3 Background Tasks

Background tasks could be hogging up your processing power and causing your streams to lag. Windows is guilty of running several processes in the background that slow down your computer. 

To check which processes are running, access the task manager via the search tab or by pressing CTRL, ALT, and DEL simultaneously. Look for any background processes consuming a large percentage of your processor and RAM, and terminate them.

Make sure you don’t terminate a service or a process you don’t recognize! It can cause your computer to malfunction or restart.

You can also set your streaming software’s priority to “High” to allocate more of your computer’s resources to it.

#4 Streaming and Game Settings

Your Twitch, streaming software, and game settings could also cause a laggy Twitch stream. There are a few tweaks that you can do to reduce delays.

For games, consider lowering your video settings to a minimum. Although it’ll impact the visual quality, it’ll free up more processing power for your stream to use, increase your FPS, and provide a smoother experience for your viewers.

As for your streaming software, configure your X264 encoding speed to a faster setting. Slower encoding speeds provide a higher-quality stream at the cost of using more CPU power. You can also resort to a GPU encoder, but you’ll need a high-end GPU.

You can also disable low-latency streaming on Twitch. Lower latency means that viewers will see the action happening closer to real-time, making for a more engaging and interactive experience. But, it sacrifices stream stability and quality, leading to stuttering and lag. 

#5 Browser

Some browsers are lightweight compared to others. Switching browsers may free up some processing power and memory that could be used by your streaming software or game.

Chrome is notorious for consuming a lot of RAM. Sometimes, it can use some of your GPU resources to improve performance at the cost of slowing down other processes. You can disable hardware acceleration from the browser settings in the advanced tab to free up more resources for your computer.

You can also entirely switch browsers. Opera GX, for example, allows full control of the amount of RAM and CPU it uses. Playing around with browsers and finding out what works best for you may slightly improve your streaming experience.


A laggy stream could frustrate you and drive your viewers away. Therefore, it’s necessary to understand the underlying causes of your stream lag and work toward fixing them to ensure your viewers’ entertainment. 

Above all, streaming demands a high-speed internet connection. Buy a better plan and make sure you have an upload speed of at least 8 Mbps. You also need a high-end computer to run your streaming software alongside your game or creative suites. Besides this, you can experiment with your browser and software settings to try and eliminate lag.


Happy streaming!

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