How to Live-Stream Game Play in a Google Hangout

Hangouts let you select any open program to display to your viewers.
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Among Google Hangouts' many tools and features is the option to share your screen with others. This will let you share your desktop or a specific application, including a game. Hangouts does not have the best streaming quality compared to dedicated streaming sites, but does not require any additional software to run.

Open the game you want to stream, then make sure that the game is not running in Windowed Mode. Having this setting enabled may result in your viewers only seeing a black screen. If this is an option for your game, it is usually found in the game's graphics settings.

Start your Hangout and make it public or invite specific friends by typing in their names. Once you have entered the Hangout, hover over the left side of the screen and click "Screenshare." This brings up your desktop and a list of all currently running programs on your computer that you can share with anyone in the Hangout.

Select your game from the list of screens, then click "Share Selected Window." Your game will now be visible in real time to the Hangout. Because only the game window is selected, your viewers will only see the game, whether or not you have it minimized. You can switch back to the Hangout window and interact with your viewers without changing what they see on their screens.

  • Be sure that you have the rights to broadcast the content you are trying to stream. Broadcasting copyrighted material could result in penalties against your account. For more information, see Google Hangouts' copyright information (see Resources).
  • If you have a slow Internet connection, or if you don't have much bandwidth available, this may cause the stream to lose quality, lag or freeze. Free up as much bandwidth as you can to dedicate to streaming your game.

Based in California, James Wright has been writing since 1998. Wright's articles have been published on various websites with a focus on technical fields such as computers and the Internet, and were also featured in a now-retired publication for an online artistic community. Wright studied English, journalism, politics and psychology at Riverside Community College.