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What is OBS?

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OBS (also known as OBS Studio), which stands for “Open Broadcaster Software”, is open-source software. It provides source-capture and device capture in real-time. This means that OBS captures scenes such as your webcam, game video, microphone input audio, and more. OBS then encodes your video and allows you to record or even broadcast the resulting video on certain platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook.

It is important to note that OBS is a different software than Streamlabs OBS. In this article, we will discuss the former more in detail.

Who Uses OBS?

OBS is used by many YouTubers looking to record content for their videos, and by many Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook streamers.

OBS is one of the best and most powerful open-source broadcasting and recording software available. It offers lots of customization and plugins that are not available on other software, such as move transition, closed captioning, and many others.

While OBS is great software, it does come with a steeper learning curve than other software, such as Streamlabs OBS. Therefore, if you’re tech-savvy or a more advanced streamer, OBS is the right software for you. If you’re a beginner, you might prefer the simpler Streamlabs OBS.

OBS is also the first software to receive major updates. For example, OBS has a studio mode that was released a few years ago, while studio mode is yet to be released on Streamlabs OBS.

Is OBS Free?

OBS is completely free to use. Once you download OBS, you can use every feature and you will not have to worry about ads or malware. In addition, you can download the plugins that we previously discussed at no cost.

Can You Live-Stream on OBS?

You can live-stream with OBS on different platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook, and it’s pretty simple. Here are the steps you have to take:

  1. Step 1

    Download and install OBS. Here, you will need to choose whether you are on Windows, MacOS, or Linux.

  2. Step 2

    Add scenes. Once you have OBS open, you will want to click on the “+” sign below “scenes” on the bottom left of the screen, and add an “in-game” scene. You can do the same for any other scene you would like to add, such as “starting soon” or “be right back”.

  3. Step 3

    Add sources. Then, once you’re in the specific scene, such as the “in-game” scene, you’ll need to click on the “+” sign below “sources” on the bottom left of the screen and add your sources. You’ll want to at least add a “display capture” or “game capture” to capture your game footage, a “video capture device” to capture your webcam, and an “audio input capture” to capture your microphone audio. You can also add any other source you’d like from the options in OBS.

  4. Step 4

    Click on “settings” on the bottom right of your screen, and then on the “stream” tab, and then choose your “service”. This will be either Twitch or YouTube for most of you. Underneath, you’ll also need to enter your stream key.

  5. Step 5

    Optimize your output settings. Once you’re in “settings”, click on the “output” tab. Select “advanced” for “output mode”. Here, you’ll want to change your bitrate depending on the speed of your internet connection. If your internet can handle it, change it to 6000, but don’t go higher than that. You’ll also want to change your encoder settings to NVIDIA NVENC H.264 (new) if you have a 10-series or 20-series NVidia graphics card.

  6. Step 6

    You can now click on that “start streaming” button on the bottom right of the screen and go live.

Can You Record on OBS?

You can also record gameplay footage with OBS. The great thing about OBS is that it supports mp4 file exports, which is the file type that most video editing software require. Therefore, many YouTubers use OBS to record gameplay footage. To record footage using OBS, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1

    Follow steps 1 to 3 in the “Can You Live-Stream with OBS?” section.

  2. Step 2

    Select your recording location and video format. To do this, click on “settings” on the bottom right of your screen. Then, click on the “output” tab under “recording path” to choose the location you want to save the recordings on your computer. Finally, go to “recording format”, and click on “mkv”, or any other file type you may need.

  3. Step 3

    You are now ready to click that “start recording” button.


OBS is a very powerful software that allows you to record gameplay footage or live-stream your favorite games. It is worth giving OBS a shot, whether you are a YouTuber or Twitch streamer. It is free after all, and you can download plenty of plugins that will help your content stand out compared to the competition.

About the Author


Alex, also known as CallMeB27, is a Twitch streamer from Montreal, Canada. He earned his Master’s Degree in Business, Management, and Operations from Georgetown University. His biggest passions include video games, sports, and traveling.

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