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Streamlabs vs OBS Studio – Which is Better?

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In a comparison of Streamlabs vs OBS Studio, the best streaming software for Twitch really depends on your level of experience and personal preference. Streamlabs is an improved version of OBS Studio with a much better user experience and a large array of inbuilt tools and resources.

OBS vs Streamlabs – Where Should You Start?

If you’re a beginner then Streamlabs is a great place to start as long as you remember it can be a bit intensive for your computer. Once you become an expert or as you grow needing more flexibility or a custom solution then moving to OBS Studio becomes more viable.  

For a similar topic, check out our article Gamecaster vs Streamlabs.



Streamlabs is very user-friendly. It has a built-in overlay importer/exporter for designers, includes an event queue, built-in PayPal donations, easy widget setup, and a really nice user interface for transitions. 

You can use the command “Ctrl + Z” if you make a mistake. All your scenes and settings are saved on the cloud so if you switch to a different computer then the latest changes made while connected to the internet should be saved as well. 

The Selective Recording feature allows you to remove live alerts and supporter notifications in your stream recordings. This means when creating promo content for socials or highlight videos for youtube you have full control over what shows. This feature is resource-intensive but a solid choice for those looking to grow their stream. 

Streamlabs has built-in Multistream functionality so you can stream to Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook Gaming. With the shifting landscape of live streaming, this helps future proof by allowing streamers to grow on multiple platforms simultaneously.

Streamlabs comes with the Streamlabs Cloudbot which gives you access to moderation tools, chat commands, polls, and betting features for your community. With other fun widgets, such as their wheel, you can encourage your community to be more interactive on stream. 


Streamlabs is more Computer Intensive because it has a lot of features which means there will likely be a lot of things you just don’t need or want. There are also a fair few plugins and resources behind the Streamlabs Prime paywall.

What is Streamlabs?

Streamlabs is essentially a skin for obs designed to make going live easier and more friendly for streamers, but taking it a step further they’ve included an event queue as well and a donation system so that you don’t need to set up multiple different software and accounts as you do with OBS.

How Much Does Streamlabs Cost?

Streamlabs is completely free to use. You can add their premium program, Streamlabs Prime, which offers several additional features, such as built-in overlays, customizable alerts, and access to royalty-free music for Twitch. You can also get an extra commission through merch sales and access to a personal website. 

Is Streamlabs Easy to Use?

Streamlabs is the all-around best place for a beginner to start as it is quick and easy to get set up. All you need to do is import your Twitch overlays and your webcam feed, add your alerts, and adjust some settings and you will be ready to go live. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to stream on Twitch for more information. Typically, streamers can get their software set up in less than an hour. 

Best Streamlabs Features

  • Event queue included, 
  • Built-in PayPal donations, 
  • Easy chat, event, etc widget setup,
  • Settings are saved on the cloud so if you switch to a different computer then the latest changes made while connected to the internet should be saved as well.

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is the core software, it is streamlined, and flexible for whatever you need. It has been the professional standard for a long time. It was initially released in September 2012 and has been developed by the community ever since. OBS works on Windows 8 (and later), macOS 10. 13 (and later), and Linux. It immediately became popular due to its being free and the customizable functionality of the software. Over time, many plugins have been released, allowing streamers to create new ways to interact with their audience. 


OBS is incredibly customizable and flexible if you know how to, and fits anything you want. Plugins are supported because of that. Better performance because it isn’t bloated. Faster updates.


OBS is notorious for not being user-friendly, you need StreamElements or Streamlabs alerts to add in alerts for your stream, and other plugins for various features. Twitch alerts are a very important aspect to channel growth as it helps celebrate your viewers. 

How Much Does OBS Cost?

OBS is free to use. There are several plugins that are paid, they are not required. Plugins that are paid generally come with support whereas those that are free do not. Basically, if you are able to work things out on your own, you can use OBS without ever spending a cent. 

Is OBS Studio Easy to Use?

OBS has a learning curve that is difficult for beginners to understand without tutorials or help from another streamer. Once you understand how it works and which plugin you need, the program becomes much easier to use and is very adaptable to your particular style. 

Best OBS Studio Features

The best OBS feature is really how customizable it is. As it is open-source it is constantly getting new plugins and capabilities. This often results in new software being tested on the platform first before being replicated by other brands.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Broadcasting Software?

    Broadcasting software is third-party software from a platform that allows streamers to set up how their stream will look and function. The software manages the visual and audio aspects as well as uses plugins and bots for extra functionality. Software like OBS and Streamlabs are frequently used on Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming. 

  2. What’s Better? Streamlabs or OBS Studio

    The answer to what is the best broadcasting software isn’t cut and dry, if you’re a beginner then Streamlabs is a great place to start as long as you remember it can be a bit intensive for your computer, once you become an expert or as you grow needing more flexibility or a custom solution for your streaming than moving to OBS is potential. 

  3. Does Streamlabs use more CPU than OBS?

    Yes, Streamlabs uses more CPU than OBS as a fresh install. That being said, OBS is more bare-bones from install and how CPU intensive it really depends on what plugins are added. 

  4. Can You Use Streamlabs with OBS?

    You can use Streamlabs Alerts and other widgets such as Chat Box or Event Queue with OBS, but if you are going to use OBS then Stream elements are better for alerts. 

  5. Does Streamlabs cost Money?

    No, Streamlabs is entirely free. That being said they do offer a paid version that includes premium themes, apps, plugins, and other support.

  6. Can you stream to multiple platforms with Streamlabs?

    Yes, it is built-in. You can multi-stream to Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube using a single widget. You will need to link your various streaming accounts to Streamlabs before you can take advantage of this feature. Once set up, you can determine what alerts are shown on each platform. 

About the Author


Chris is a digital marketer with a strong background in small business and influencer branding. He applies his knowledge of content and promotional strategies to design actionable advice for new and intermediate streamers. When he’s not busy crunching analytics, he can be found in the salt pits of League of Legends.

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