Millions of streamers use Discord due to its reliability, speed, and quality.
Discord has become one of the most credible streaming and communication services amongst gamers, professionals, and even students. However, it comes with many problems, including bad stream quality. Many Discord users have reported poor streaming quality, but what’s the fix?
How to Fix Bad Discord Stream Quality?
You can fix Discord’s poor streaming quality by buying Nitro, changing the screen-sharing settings, turning off the video’s background, enabling quality of service, disabling hardware acceleration, and more. Most people get their Discord quality back to normal by joining Discord Nitro.
It’s because Discord, on default, has limited streaming options. Other factors, like background downloads or poor internet speed, result in bad Discord stream quality. Another option that most people ignore is the H.264 and OpenH254 video codec since that option also causes lag and ultimately drops frames in streaming.
Discord has always had its fair share of problems, the most common being streaming issues. Moreover, most users need better quality among the streaming issues, especially when streaming to their friends, Discord server, or audience.
So, how to fix bad Discord stream quality? Here are some of the fixes you can try.
1. Buy Discord Nitro for HD Streaming
Discord Nitro is a service for serious streamers and anyone looking to upgrade their Discord experience. It offers 500MB uploads, better streaming quality, two server boosts, and HD Video Streaming (up to 4k at 60fps). If your streaming quality looks bad, then you will need Discord Nitro.
Discord Nitro comes at a price tag of $9.99 per month, and if you’re a serious streamer, then it might be worth it.
Discord Nitro allows you to upload 500MB files instead of small upload file sizes. Custom emojis are supported from anywhere, but the most important feature for streamers is HD video streaming.
With regular Discord, you’re capped to HD with 30FPS. However, with Discord Nitro, you can stream at 4K quality at 60FPS. So, you should try Nitro out if you have decent internet speed. Here’s how you can transition to Discord Nitro:
1. Click on Settings in the lower left corner of Discord. You’ll be presented with various options.
2. Under the Billing Setting section, you will find the “Nitro” option. Click on Nitro.
3. You can subscribe to Nitro Basic or try the Plus Nitro for one month.
4. Select the Nitro for around $9.99 monthly to increase your video streaming quality. But for the first time, it should be free.
5. Enter your credit card number, get the billing done, and enjoy the 4K streaming video quality.
2. Open Discord as Administrator
Windows prioritizes applications based on their requirements and importance. Usually, the program that runs actively in the background and takes more resources will be prioritized. However, did you know there’s a way to prioritize Discord Windows? That’s where the open Discord as administrator option comes in.
If you’re playing a graphic-intensive game and streaming in the background, Discord will prioritize your gaming experience more than streaming if your PC has fewer resources. That’s where your streaming quality will suffer, leaving almost no room for Discord to run normally.
You can use Windows Task Management to check how many resources are used. If your resource usage of CPU or GPU is 100% all the time, then the program or game is consuming most of your resources.
Hence, opening Discord as an administrator would be best, allowing Windows to prioritize streaming more than most opened programs. In other words, the graphical or processing-intensive program won’t take all the resources and will leave some room for Discord to breathe. Here’s how you do it.
1. Find Discord Program from your Desktop or Search Bar.
2. Right-click Discord, and it will say, “Run as Administrator.“
3. Click Run as Admin, grant permission to the computer, and you’re good to go.
Now you can turn Discord’s bad streaming quality into good as long as resources are the program of your device.
3. Change Screen Sharing Settings
Did you know Discord offers Screen Sharing settings that allow you to choose the screen’s focus? When you start streaming, you’ll see various options pop up, but the important one is “STREAM QUALITY.” Stream Quality incorporates various options like Smoother Video or Good Quality.
To make your streaming perform the best without lagging at all, you should select Smoother Video. However, if the speed is good, but the overall quality and pixels on the screen are bad, you should select custom settings that aim for the highest quality possible.
Here’s how to change your screen-sharing quality:
1. When streaming, click the Share Screen option in the bottom left corner.
2. Here, you’ll see various options, but if you want the streaming quality to be as stable and fast as possible, select STREAM QUALITY and click on Smoother Video.
3. However, if you aim for the highest quality possible, click “Custom” and select the settings your PC and Internet can handle.
4. These settings are purely Discord Nitro related, and you can only change them if you’re a Nitro user.
5. A good setting pair for most people would be 1080p resolution with 60FPS, especially if you’re streaming games with your friends.
4. Disable Video Background
If you have a bad or sluggish internet connection and put on video backgrounds while streaming on Discord, it will make your stream quality bad. It’s because streaming already requires a lot of resources from your PC, and once you add background animations or photos, it has to use different internet.
Hence, turn off the video background to fix the bad Discord stream quality. If you want to turn off the video background and make the stream quality better, follow these steps:
1. Go to Discord Settings, and under “App Settings,” you’ll find an option for “Voice & Video.”
2. Here, you’ll find the Video Background Settings.
3. Make sure to select the background as “None.”
Now you won’t encounter quality drops while streaming or sharing screens.
5. Turn off H.264 and OpenH264 Video Codec & Hardware Acceleration
While Hardware Acceleration can be productive for the best streaming quality, it can backfire sometimes. Hardware Acceleration’s main job is to use your GPU more and provide a consistent streaming experience. But if you have a slower GPU, it might make the stream quality stuttery and laggy.
Moreover, if streaming quality suffers from lag or consistent frame drops, there’s also a setting of H.264 and OpenH264 codecs that optimize your video for streaming. This setting will automatically be turned off when you turn off hardware acceleration.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Go to Discord Settings > Voice & Video > and find “Video Codec.”
2. Disable Hardware Acceleration and H.264 and OpenH264 Video Codec.
3. Now restart Discord and see if the video quality increases.
6. Turn off Discord Overlay
Overlays are elements and icons you and your friends can see while streaming or playing a game. It includes various elements like icons, gaming elements, and anything customized that you want to add. However, these elements come at the price of sacrificing your screen quality.
If you need a strong enough internet connection, it will only slow down your stream and display good quality. If you don’t need overlays, you can disable them to fix bad Discord stream quality. Here’s how you do it:
1. Go to Discord Settings and find Game Overly under Activity Settings.
2. Disable game overlay; you won’t see Discord interfering with games and streams.
7. Disable Your VPN
If you see a consistent drop in streaming quality, lag, stuttering, or temporary streaming stoppage, the problem might be your VPN. Whenever I stream on Discord, I’ve seen that VPN slows down my whole internet due to the region I’m in. If the servers are full and I connect to the farthest one, I will notice a drop in quality.
Disabling your VPN might work if you suffer from the same issue. Moreover, some VPNs like Hotspot Shield, ExpressVPN, and SurfShark allow you to connect to the “Nearest Region” VPN. You won’t see a drop in quality by choosing the nearest VPN.
The tip here is to turn off your internet and see if there’s any improvement in the stream quality. And if you must use a VPN, consider a server near you.
8. Enable Quality of Service
Discord has an option called Quality of Service which prioritizes the internet to Discord more than other applications. In other words, all the data packets going through Discord or received are considered high-priority. It’s a great option to enable if your stream quality needs more depth or stutters a lot.
Quality of service puts Discord as its priority, and all the stream data that comes and goes will be prioritized, fixing the bad Discord stream quality.
Here’s how you can enable it:
1. Go to Discord Settings > Voice & Video > and see the Quality of Service Option.
2. Enable Quality of Service High Packet Priority.
3. Restart Discord and see if your stream works better.
9. Upgrade Your Internet Speed
If most fixes need to be fixed for you, then your internet speed might be a limitation. Most people solve Discord’s bad quality after they increase the internet’s speed. You can check your internet speed using a website like fast.com. If it’s under 20Mbps, then streaming might be an issue.
Discord recommends 5Mbps speed for talking on voice and 10Mbps for video chat, and when it comes to streaming, you should at least aim for 25Mbps for the best possible speed.
You can talk to your internet service provider about the speed, and if you can afford the extra charge, consider upgrading your internet.
10. Upgrade Your PC’s Components
One of the least focused things while fixing bad Discord stream quality is your PC components. Many people overlook the importance of good hardware when it comes to streaming. Discord might be resource intensive, but your hardware might be bottlenecked when you start streaming.
You can check your PC resources using Task Manager (Press Ctrl+ Shift + Esc) to see how much of your RAM, GPU, or CPU is used. If any of these things are being used 100% consistently, then they might be causing a drop in Stream quality. This includes poor results, stuttering, lag, and unresponsive streams.
That’s why I recommend using a gaming PC or laptop since those will eliminate any streaming-related problems if resources are limited.
Discord has one of the biggest user bases in any communication service. However, with technological advancements, streaming has become quite an intensive task. That’s why many people suffer from bad Discord stream quality.
But by applying the fixes mentioned above, you will eliminate poor quality and bring back that crisp Discord stream quality.
Hey, I’m Hammad. I write for this website to help you with the IT advice about PC, RAM, CPU, Motherboard, PSU, and other PC components.
I will provide detailed guides with images, and explain step by step so you can understand the process. Check all my articles here.