Streamlabs OBS and OBS Studio are two of the best streaming services on offer. Since 2014, Streamlabs has generally been the program of choice for the top streamers. However, OBS studio has been around for longer and is growing rapidly more recently. Choosing between them can be difficult to navigate; they are both free, and both allow you to stream on all of the most popular websites. We’re going to take a deep dive into the pros and cons of the two programs, in order to help you decide between them.
As the senior of the two programs, OBS studio has had a long time to truly hone its functionality, and add to its customizability too. Let’s look at its pros and cons:
More than anything else, OBS studio offers simplicity, and lightning-fast set up time. All of its elements have drag and drop functionality, and all are customizable in size and position. With this simplicity comes not only ease of use, but also fewer distractions, and also less CPU usage. Because of this, OBS studio might be better for the newer streamer with less expensive equipment.
Along with this easy to use interface comes a fantastic way to set up bots, donations, and alerts. Like most modern streaming platforms, it offers access to an absolutely enormous library of sounds, templates, and GIFs for you to use as alerts on your stream.
OBS stands for open broadcasting software and refers to the fact that the source code is open for amateur programmers to use. This allows people all over the world to write plugins for OBS studio, which the user can download to improve aspects of their stream. This includes everything from fancy transitions, to custom alerts and chat integration. While this takes some time to learn to use, it undoubtedly has massive potential.
One final benefit to OBS studio is that it still is and has been in development since 2012. Because of this, the program is continually being improved to bring the user the best streaming program possible.
The main problem with OBS Studio is that it lacks built-in features. Some of these missing features include chat integration, customizable donations, and personal themes. In order to access these, as well as many others, the user has no choice but to download and install the user-made plugins. While this process can’t be described as difficult, it definitely requires time and a certain amount of trial and error. It is understandable that some users would want to totally sidestep this process.
Another smaller problem with the program is that, because of its reliance on plugins and other third-party software, you will have to have multiple programs and windows open at any given time. This can be difficult to keep on top of, especially when you are trying to concentrate on your stream. Unless you have two or more monitors, it might be worth considering Streamlabs.
Streamlabs is a newer program than OBS studio, however, it is really proving its worth with many top streamers opting to use it.
The main thing which sets Streamlabs apart is that it attempts to offer absolutely everything one would need to start streaming. Unlike OBS Studio, there is no need to rely on plugins and other sources. It has everything from the default, from donations and mini-games to bots and previews.
One of the best results of this approach is that it’s hard to do anything wrong when using Streamlabs; there’s no chance of you using a bad plugin, or setting anything up wrong, because it does it all for you. This ease of use is reinforced with its incredibly intuitive user interface; it allows for incredible functionality and customization, yet everything is only a couple of clicks away.
Much like OBS Studio, Streamlabs is constantly being developed and improved. Upon its release, the program has its fair share of bugs and confusing UI. However, this is far from the truth now, and this is evidenced by how popular it has become in the streaming world.
One final unique aspect of Streamlabs is its in-program store. This store allows you to have paid subscriptions to a number of interesting and useful features to use in your stream. This includes almost anything you could imagine. For example, music players with royalty-free music, advanced overlay makers, minigames, tickers, and a lot more.
If you’re new to streaming and PC gaming in general, then Streamlabs’ awesome built-in functionality is perfect for you. However, it does come with the cost of increased CPU usage relative to OBS Studio. So, if you don’t have a decently powerful CPU, this could pose a problem.
All of this built-in functionality could also be a con. If you run a minimalistic stream set up and don’t plan to use it, then it does nothing more than take up screen space. As well as this, the store is entirely useless if you don’t plan to use it; it’s possible to do everything the store can, but for free with third-party software. So, if you prefer to be in control of everything, then perhaps the built-in nature of Streamlabs isn’t for you.
As always, to a certain extent, choosing a program is partially based on personal preference. After all, your stream is unique, and the functionality you wish your streaming program to have is unique too.
However, all things considered, it is fair to say that Streamlabs is the better platform for newer streamers. This is because it has almost every function a new streamer could want, and it makes accessing them super easy. While the CPU usage is slightly more intense, it’s arguably well worth it.
Alternatively, if you are a more established streamer, and you are willing to put the time in to have a more unique finished product, then OBS studio is the program for you. Thanks to its user-made plugins, it reaches an unparalleled level of customizability. Conversely, you can achieve fantastic simplicity through OBS studio by just using the base software.