With the Creators Update, Xbox One users can now live broadcast any game session, at any time, and for free via Microsoft’s Beam service.
Beam broadcasting is separate from and complementary to the Xbox One’s Game DVR, “record that,” and screenshot-taking capabilities.
If you’re unfamiliar with the service, Beam lets gamers broadcast live gaming sessions to the Internet at any time, and for free. This service also provides interactive capabilities for those watching live broadcasts, or streams.
Configure Xbox One for broadcasting
Before you get started, you should visit Settings to review and configure Beam broadcasting. To do so, open Settings and navigate to Preferences > Broadcasting.
What you see here will depend on whether you have a Kinect or other audio/video connections. But there will be options for both audio and video, regardless. And you may need to fiddle with some of these settings—or your hardware—as go.
Live broadcast a game session
To begin broadcasting, open the game you wish to play and then open the Guide (by pressing the Xbox button on your controller). Go down to Beam Broadcasting and select “Broadcast your game” from the pane that opens. After a moment, the following choices appear.
Before starting, ensure that each of the available options is set as you prefer. They are:
Microphone. This control toggles your own microphone on or off, letting your viewers hear you in addition to the game audio.
Camera. This control toggles your Kinect camera on or off, letting your viewers see you in a picture-in-picture (PIP) window in the corner while you play.
Chat. This control toggles the chat window in the broadcast overlay that appears while you’re streaming a gaming session. (See below.) Viewers watching you from the web or a Beam app can chat with you and each other while you play, and you see what they type here and respond to it with your voice.
Include party audio. This control toggles the audio from any party members who are also in the game you’re streaming.
Move broadcast overly. The broadcast overlay, which will also include your own video or chat if either option is enabled, is in the lower right of the screen by default But it can be moved to one of nine onscreen quadrants.
Ready? Select “Broadcast now.” Also, press (X) to back out of the Beam Broadcasting pane.
When you do, you’ll return to the game, but a broadcast overlay will appear in the lower-right of the screen (by default). Here, you can see low long you’ve been streaming, how many people are watching, and the status of your microphone, camera, and (if available) party chat audio.
From here, you simply play the game normally. If you’re broadcasting to an audience, you can interact with them video your microphone or other audio source, and they can interact with you via chat. Your game is streaming live now on the Beam website, in my case at beam.pro/thurrott.
To end the session, open the Guide, navigate to Beam Broadcasting, and select “Stop broadcast.” You can also use this interface to change the available settings on the fly.
Extra tip: If you’re going to use Beam at all, be sure to spend some configuring the service online. For example, in Manage Channel > VODs, you can configure Beam to automatically record your streamed sessions so that you can download them later.