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How to Use StreamElements in 2021

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StreamElements is an incredibly powerful and robust tool that will help you do a number of things like view your stream statistics, create overlays, integrate a tipping platform, and customize a powerful chatbot. We’re using Twitch for this example, but these steps will be almost identical if you are using a different streaming platform.

This post will cover how to set up StreamElements with OBS so that you can use it to stream on Twitch.

How to Set Up StreamElements

In order to use StreamElements, you will need to complete the following steps.

  1. Step 1: Login to StreamElements using your Twitch account

    The first time you go to the StreamElements site you’ll be asked to log in by connecting to your Twitch account. After that, you’ll be taken to your dashboard where you’ll see a run-down of your streams including your followers, subscriptions, hosts, raids, and tips. This is very similar to the information you’ll see in your Twitch dashboard.

  2. Step 2: Download and Install StreamElement’s OBS Client

    Next, you’ll want to download and install StreamElement’s OBS client. Once downloaded follow the prompts and install it. Then right-click on the desktop shortcut and set it to run as administrator, this will tell your computer to prioritize OBS when it allocates resources.

  3. Step 3: Find Stream Overlays

    You’ll set up your stream’s overlays in StreamElements and then import them to OBS Live where they will combine with your gameplay, webcam, and microphone before being sent to Twitch where your viewers will watch it.

    When it comes to Twitch overlays you have a couple of options. You can choose from one of the many premade overlays in the Themes Gallery tab, or you can download an overlay from one of the following places:

    • OWN3D – a collection of hundreds of professionally designed overlay options for streamers.
    • Nerd or Die – dozens of overlays that appeal to a wide variety of channels
    • StreamScheme Discord Channel – not only do we offer free overlays (and add more periodically), you can also join our community of streamers who are passionate about helping each other grow.

    You can also make your own Overlay or commission something unique on our Discord server, other design forums, or on an online marketplace like Fiverr.

    An overlay consists of several different components. You have static images like your webcam border, alerts that trigger when you receive a new follower or subscriber, stream labels that will show things like a list of your latest followers or subscribers, and custom widgets.

  4. Step 4: Customize Your Theme and Overlays

    In the Themes Gallery tab you’ll see a couple of different options: Super Themes which come with several different overlays, like now playing, stream starting, and brb, and usually have dynamic animated alerts; Themes which will be like the super themes but with minimal animations; Alerts which will be sets of alerts with minimal animation; and Widgets which are custom coded on-screen metric tools, like a Hype Bar that will fill up with every follow, subscription, tip, and cheer you receive during your stream.

    If you’ve downloaded an overlay package or decided to make your own you’ll go to the “My Overlays” tab and click “Create New Overlay”. Your overlay will be set to a resolution of 1080 by default. I recommend leaving it at that even if you plan on streaming at a lower resolution. You’ll create a new overlay for each scene you have.

    While you only need one overlay to stream, I recommend having at least three:

    • A “Now Playing” overlay to use while you’re playing a game
    • A “Starting Soon” overlay to use when you first go live to let your viewers join up without missing anything
    • A “BRB” overlay to use when you need to take a minute to yourself.
    • A “Just Chatting” overlay is also nice to have and will usually include a large webcam feed and a chat box.

    The overlay editor is very easy and intuitive to use. For each asset, you’d like to use you’ll click on the small “+” button in the bottom left of the screen. You’ll choose what kind of widget you’d like to add and then in the top left you’ll click on “change image”. This will bring up an uploader where you can drag & drop the image or video you’d like to use in that widget. You’ll be able to resize and place your widget wherever you’d like in your overlay. Most overlays you download will come with instructions on how to integrate their particular assets.

    Once you’ve got your overlays set up you’ll need to get each one’s URL. You can do that by clicking on the three dots in the lower-left corner of each overlay’s thumbnail or the link icon in the top right corner of the editor. You’ll need these URLs when you import your overlays into different scenes in OBS as browser sources.

  5. Step 5: Set up the StreamElements Chatbot

    Now we can set up the StreamElements Chatbot by going to the Dashboard and clicking the “Join Channel” button under bot settings. The rest of the chatbot’s settings can be found under the Bot tab.

    The chatbot has a lot of features for you to take advantage of, like playing games with your viewers, moderating your chat, and posting messages you’ve created on a timer. One very useful function is the ability to automate the chatbot to reply to your viewers with answers to very commonly asked questions. For example, you can set it up to reply to a user who types in “!Socials” with your various social media handles.

    Another great feature StreamElements provides is the ability to set up a tip account. Click on “Tipping Settings” under the “Revenue” tab, follow the prompts with your information, and include the link in your panels on Twitch. This will allow your viewers to support your channel in a way very similar to Twitch’s cheer system, except you won’t have to be an affiliate to utilize it.

    Their tip system also provides some nice safety features that will prevent chargebacks from being an issue and you can even set up your own merch store.

Conclusion

This is by no means all that you can do with Stream Elements, however, but this will get you up and running Now that you’ve got the basics down, though, I highly recommend taking your time and going through each feature to see how you can implement these into your stream. Or just keep your eyes peeled to Stream Scheme for more great tutorials and innovative uses for these features.

About the Author

Nick

Nick is a Graphic Designer, Photographer, Bar Tender, and Variety Streamer over on Twitch. When he's not explaining why you can't substitute vodka for gin in a signature cocktail to patrons just this side of being cut off; you can find him tweaking his overlay, being a pillow for his girlfriend, staring at one of his cats, or trying to "get gud" at a game at BrennivinAndCigarettes.

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