Whether you use a capture card depends on your stream goals and your console of choice.
If you want to stream from the Nintendo Switch, you need a capture card. The switch doesn't have a built in app for streaming.
Both XBOX and PlayStation have apps that let you stream directly from the console
Most PCS have screen capture functionality that will let you stream without a card
Unless your streaming from XBOX, which has a companion app, you need a capture card so you can use the computer to set your stream up how you want it.
Here are the best capture cards for folks who want to take streaming seriously ---->
Internal cards are better, but you need a desktop computer that you can switch parts around with to use one. External cards are good for laptops.
This card can capture up to 60 fps . It also has a recording speed of up to 1080p, so it can capture pretty much anything.
The HD60 pro captures at 60 FPS and includes an h.264 hardware encoder. It only takes up one PCIe port
This card is a beast. You only need it if you want to be a pro, and it gets pricey. It captures at up to 240FPS!
If you're on a budget, check out the Y&H card. It offers basic live stream capture and the standard 1080p recording.
Swipe up to learn more about whether you need a capture card - including a secret some folks use to stream from the Nintendo Switch without one!