Open Broadcast Software Studio, or OBS for short, is the ‘go to’ software for quick and easy, open-source broadcasting and streaming. The interface is simple to use, and you can customize your video with graphics. It’s also a great tool to add polish and professionalism to your broadcast. In today’s OBS studio guide, we will highlight everything you need to know about how to add overlay to OBS.

OBS can be a little tricky to work with if you’re not completely familiar with it yet. However, once you’ve gone through today’s guide to streaming on adding an overlay to OBS, you’ll have mastered one of the most important features in OBS.

how to add overlay to obs

What is an OBS Stream Overlay?

A stream overlay is often a graphic or piece of data the viewer may see over the unprocessed live video feed. They are basically things like custom images, text, webcams, QR codes, or active elements that are used to add more information and style to your stream. Overlays make it easy to customize your content. During commercial breaks or even before they begin broadcasting, many streamers employ them to engage their audience in creative and aesthetic ways.

Overlays are also used on websites like YouTube and Twitch to show recent followers or subscriptions as well as viewer donations. There are a good amount of overlay templates for Twitch, and you’re not restricted to using just one overlay. It truly helps you stand out if you keep adding unique overlays to OBS until you have something that appears entirely distinct from what your rivals are doing.

Importance of a Stream Overlay

  1. It helps you give your stream a personality of its own.
  2. For businesses, it gives them the ability to brand their stream, giving it a better presence online.
  3. It helps you to keep your users engaged.
how to add overlay to obs body

Image Credit: Tarik on Twitch

Adding An Image Overlay With OBS

  • Step One: Open OBS, then go to the bottom left corner of the screen and click on “scenes.” Choose from one of the scenes containing your OBS stream overlay and click on the (+) icon shown below to bring up a list of options. This adds a new source.
  • Step Two: After adding the source, you will be given a number of options. Simply click on “image” from the list.
  • Step Three: After clicking on “image,” you will be given a box that asks you to set a name for your image. Type a name and click on “OK.”
  • Step Four: Next, click “browse” from the window below to find and add your image. After you have confirmed the selection, you will see your image on top of your video stream.
  • Step Five: To resize the image, you can click and drag on the red squares from the overlay.

Best Websites To Provide Free and Premium Overlays

Only some have an artistic side, but fortunately, both paid and free overlays are available to download from various websites. These OBS overlays are suitable for just about any use case, from general webcam stream designs to custom alerts to make your stream look better.


Image Credit: StreamElements

Free Overlays for OBS

We still have some great options for those not looking to spend any penny. If you want something fairly basic to get the ball rolling, these sites will provide you with a good selection of overlays and alert designs for your broadcast.

  • Nerd or Die: This has a wide variety of free overlays to choose from, and they offer a free selection of tools that allow you to create fantastic graphics and alerts.
  • StreamElements: This is one of the most popular platforms for free overlays that are easy to integrate into Twitch through the use of the ‘Browser Source’ feature.
  • Twitch Overlay: offers overlay packs for both gamers and brands. They also offer a free selection of Twitch alert designs.
  • A smaller, lesser-known website that provides great options for those looking for free and basic overlays.

Premium Overlays for OBS

For those with deeper pockets, this set of options is reasonably priced. Below are some of the most professional-looking high-end stream overlay templates suitable for gamers, casual streamers, and businesses. These templates will be compatible with most of the streaming video providers that you will be looking to broadcast to.

  • Own3DTV: Offers premium overlays, alerts, and packages for gamers and casual streamers.
  • Visuals Impulse(VI): Another website that provides premium overlays and a selection of free downloads. It is also suitable for all types of creators and brands.


Keeping up with video content standards can be challenging as the world gravitates toward digital media. How can you improve your videos and content? How do you stand out in the competitive crowd? How do you become one of the best or funniest twitch streamers? A straightforward but instrumentally beneficial fix is to add overlays to your content. Not only does this make your stream look more professional, but it can also ensure your broadcasts are consistent with your brand.

That’s everything you need to know about overlays in OBS. Now that you know how to set up your overlay, you’ve also learned how to add other images that you might want to add to your stream, as it’s the same process.

Read other OBS Guides:

FAQs on How to Add Overlay to OBS

Can I create my own overlay?

Yes, it is quite simple. If you are familiar with photo editing software such as Photoshop, you can use it to design custom-made overlays for your stream.

Can you use animated and motion overlays?

Yes, you can

Can I add Interval Screens to my stream?

This is done the same way we added our intro screen and other images. Only this time, you will use it as an interval screen that you can switch to when needed. An interval screen can be made with a dedicated OBS scene.

Is there an easier alternative to Photoshop that I can use to create my own overlay?

Yes, there is. We heavily recommend Placeit

Is there a difference between stream overlays and overlays?

There is no difference between the two