Streamlabs and Streamelements are open broadcast software (OBS) and are used to broadcast your content to popular live-streaming platforms like; Facebook Gaming, YouTube, and Twitch. Unlike other broadcasting software like XSplit or Twitch Studios, both of these platforms have a chatbot that can be used to create commands and timers for your socials, merch, or just calls to action.
When I started streaming, I used Streamlabs. I didn’t really know what I was getting into and it’s what was recommended when I had done some research, so I just went for it. However, after about 9 months I switched to Streamelements due to Streamlabs being very taxing on the CPU. Both platforms have their place in the live streaming world, but which is better?
Overview of Streamlabs
- Easier navigation through settings
- Remote control
- Selective recording
- More demanding on CPU
- Limited layout design
Streamlabs is a live stream software and Twitch bot packed with all features essential to running a professional broadcast. With the chatbot, you are able to moderate your chat, reward your viewers with loyalty points, add timers, and commands.
Originally founded in 2014, Streamlabs has built a massive community and a name for itself as the top OBS software available. It is easy to navigate, very reliable and features some very interesting tools to make things even easier for creators such as; remote control & selective recording allowing you to remove certain sources from your recording only – very handy for removing background music and making editing smoother.
However, given the advanced features of Streamlabs, I found it to be very taxing on the CPU compared to Streamelements or even regular OBS.
Overview of Streamelements
- Support for plugins to create a more unique stream
- Online overlay editor
- More customisable layout with freely movable docks
- Fewer users means less help and support
Streamelements is a little different from Streamlabs as it is essentially a plugin for OBS studio known as OBS.live. Like Streamlabs, with Streamelements you can connect the chatbot to your stream for moderation, timers, or even call to action commands like !StreamScheme.
OBS.live has a much more customizable layout compared to Streamlabs but at the same time, is kind of messy and harder to navigate through settings. One place where Streamelements does shine though is the online dashboard. There is an overlay building, where you can essentially build an entire scene (minus cameras and displays) and add it as a single browser source into OBS.live reducing taxing sources on your PC.
I have however found that whilst Streamelements has a large user base, there are considerably a lot fewer users making it a lot harder to get support or even google answers to issues. So when it goes wrong… you’re on your own.
Streamlabs vs Streamelements
So which is better? It really is hard to say. In terms of a chatbot, both platforms offer similar features and services to create an engaging environment.
However, the OBS side of things is where decision making matters. Streamelements OBS.live might be less taxing and have handy features like the online overlay builder to help stability – Streamlabs has some really unique features like; remote control (essentially making your phone a Stream Deck) or its selective recording making it easier to use your content for both live streams and game clips.
It really depends on your hardware and what you intend to use the software for. For creators that have a decent computer and want to use their content outside of live streaming too, Streamlabs is the way to go. If you have a computer with slightly outdated hardware and are looking for a smooth and professional stream and do not really care about sourcing external content from your live streams, the Streamelements is the way to go.
Both platforms offer purpose and value and great tools to help you run a professional live stream. Your choice really comes down to your particular needs and what you hope to get out of the stream.