Streaming Nintendo switch video games has become one of the most common forms of entertainment. Gamers now tend to gather a huge audience that watches them play their game professionally. Streaming on platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Discord, and others even help these gamers earn sufficient revenue. This is another reason why streaming has become so popular in the gaming community.

Before we get into Streaming Switch Without Capture Card, let’s look at basics first.

streaming nintendo
This is what the streaming set-up of a professional may look like.

What Is A Nintendo Switch?

Nintendo Switch is one of the best-selling Switch consoles in several countries, for example, Japan. It is known for being a hybrid console. It can either be played on a home game console or it can be used as a portable handheld gaming device.

A home game console means that you can connect your Nintendo switch to your TV at home and play it. The handheld option lets you take the controller into your hand and then carry it with you anywhere.

nintendo switch for gaming
Nintendo handheld mode.

Being in an era where streaming games is becoming a full-time job for a lot of people. All the switch players who are thinking of starting streaming might worry about whether they can stream without a capture card or not. 

What Is A Capture Card?

A capture card is a device that helps you in recording video and audio. The recording may be of a completely different source that you may have connected it with, for instance, a gaming console. Capture cards are a big investment.

Beginners may not be able to figure out at their stage whether buying a capture card is worth it or not. Using a capture card will help you in achieving high-quality video game streaming. But investing in such devices can be a big risk at the very start.

Therefore, we have a guide for you that will help in keeping you from making this investment right now. At this initial stage, it will help you in executing this task and decide whether you should buy a capture card or not.

How To Stream Switch Without Capture Card?

It is not impossible to stream without a capture card but, the ways to stream without capture cards are quite limited. Therefore, You must make sure you have the right things that are needed to make it possible.

There are a lot of factors that make it evident why professional streamers use capture cards. But since we are at an early stage of streaming, we do not need to worry about that. Furthermore, these are cheaper options, so you do not need to worry about your expense.

Method 1: Stream Labs Streaming Application

One of the best and most preferred methods to stream without a capture card is by using stream labs. Moreover, it is also one of the most popular streaming applications and it can work on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Discord, and Twitch.

What You’ll Need For Streaming Switch 

  • A mobile phone. It can either be IOS or Android.
  • Mobile holding gadgets such as tripod stand
  • Stream labs application

How To Stream Switch

  1. Step 1: You’ll have to download the Stream lab application on your phone from App store/Play store.
    installing streamlab for streaming switch without capture card
    Streamlab application on Playstore.
  2. Step 2: After you have installed and opened the app, give it access to the microphone and camera
  3. Step 3: You will now have to customize the app’s layout.
    customizing switch stream layout
    You can add the widgets you prefer to your switch stream.
  4. Step 4:  After you are done with the customization, you will get into the application. Click on 3 lines that might appear on the top right of your screen. Now, click on ‘streaming settings.’ Click on ‘video settings. You’ll now have to choose the resolution and Bitrate that you prefer.
    setting the video resolution and bitrate for streaming
     This is where you set the video resolution and Bitrate.
  5. Step 5: Start with a lower screen resolution. The performance may vary with the speed of your internet. If the speed of the internet is high, then you may proceed to choose 720p or higher.
  6. Step 6: Place your mobile phone on the holding gadget, for example, a tripod or a mobile holder.
    A mobile holder is used while recording for streaming for switch
     This is used to record a stable video when the streaming switch.
  7. Step 7: Make sure your back camera is on. Place your Switch in front of the back camera so that it can be displayed on your phone screen.
  8. Step 8: To start the streaming, click on the ‘Go live’ button. The quality of the streaming video may be poor due to Wi-Fi and the camera.
    streaming nintendo on streamlabs
    This is what your streaming video may look like.
  9. Step 9: Turn on ‘Auto brightness’. This will help in adjusting your brightness automatically. Your camera will not lose its focus on the switch screen.

Method 2: Streaming Using XBOX One Console

For all those people who are XBOX One owners, this is a great opportunity for you to start streaming Switch without a capture card. This method might not be suitable for everyone. However, If you have an older Microsoft version that supports One guide, then, you may proceed to follow this method.

What You’ll Need For Streaming Switch

  • XBOX One console
  • Nintendo Switch + Dock
  • A desktop computer (PC) or laptop
  • Ethernet Cable
  • HDMI Cable

How To Stream Switch 

  1. Step 1: Place your Nintendo switch on its Dock.
    connecting xbox and switch for streaming without capture card
     Connect your HDMI cable to your XBOX One and Nintendo Switch.
  2. Step 2: Create a connection bridge between your switch dock and XBOX One. You may use an HDMI cable.
  3. Step 3: Open your XBOX One and proceed to open the One Guide application. (Make sure to turn on your Switch).
  4. Step 4: Establish a connection between your XBOX console and PC. For this to work, connecting your console and PC to the same Wi-Fi network is essential. For even better performance, Ethernet cables are preferred. They create a much better connection which helps in improving your video resolution.
  5. Step 5: You’ll have to download XBOX app on your PC. After opening the app, click on your XBOX One console. Your XBOX One should be displaying the Nintendo switch on the screen.
    nintendo connection on pc for streaming
     The Nintendo switch connected to XBOX One app on the PC.
    launching Xbox app on pc for streaming switch
     The image shows the launching of the XBOX One app on the PC.
  6. Step 6: At last, all you need to do is pick a streaming application. You can choose between Share X, OBS Studio, X Split Broadcast, or even light stream studio.


These guides will help you to stream Switch easily without a capture card.

Stream lab requires less effort, and it is cheaper. However, the equipment used is neither the most reliable nor provides you with good quality content when used for purposes like gaming. Your phone’s back camera will not give you the best video quality.

This is why you may have to stream Switch on a low screen resolution. The lack of constant high-speed internet will also result in your screen resolution sticking from 360fps to 720p.

Although the second method is more reliable and gives better performance, the Microsoft One Guide support end has led to difficulty among gamers who choose to stream this way.

If streaming through these methods helps you in attracting an audience, you may consider buying a capture card. It will help you stream high-quality videos, ultimately leading to better content.

Furthermore, this will help attract more audiences and help your gaming channel on any platform grow. Your budget plays a big role when it comes to buying a capture card. The prices of capture cards are as low as $39.99 and can go up to $17900 or more.

If you see potential in your game streaming, then an investment in capture cards might prove beneficial and profitable in the long run to you. You can always start with a cheap one and upgrade as your gaming channel grows.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my stream labs Livestream lagging?

This may result from a poor Wi-Fi connection. You can try lowering your screen resolution and Bitrate and see if it helps.

Is the streaming switch worth it?

Switch is one of the best games you can pick to stream. It is only the lack of support from native streaming apps which makes it difficult to stream Switch.

Is the capture card used by all streamers?

No, capture cards are mostly used by streamers who play games on consoles like XBOX, Switch, Play Station, and others and the ones who use dual PC.

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Abdemanaf has been a creative writer since 2011. He first dwelled in the tech world in early 2015 and has since compared many product offerings by different companies. Abdemanaf started working for Tech4Gamers in February 2022 as a blog and comparison writer.