If you’re totally new to streaming, you may be looking at the apps on offer and thinking, ‘Streamlabs vs. OBS, which one really is the best?’ It’s a fair debate, as both apps have a lot to offer streamers, and for the most part, they do what they do in an extremely similar fashion.
However, there’s something right for every streamer, and while one creator prefers Streamlabs, the next may opt to use OBS instead.
In this guide, we take a look at both platforms, comparing them on a side-by-side scale and figuring out which streaming app is best for you.
If you’ve been wondering what is the difference between OBS and Streamlabs, look no further than this breakdown. From the widgets and integration to how hard the platform is on your PC’s resources, we’ve covered the entire discussion from end to end.
How Do I Become a Streamer?
While making use of the best live streaming software is how you ultimately push your content out to viewers, it’s not where your journey begins. For those learning how to be a streamer, there are many steps that you’ll need to take before you can go live – regardless of whether you’re using OBS or Streamlabs.
Firstly, you’ll need to build a good streaming setup. This is one that features, at the very least:
- One camera, but some streamers will opt for two.
- Either a headset or a microphone.
- Some kind of device to stream from – a console or a PC, for example.
It’s important to take stock of what you like as a streamer, trying to figure out exactly what you’re going to play. It might be that you don’t want to play anything on stream, but in fact, you want to be a ‘Just Chatting’ kind of streamer. If you want to be a cooking, art, or craft-based streamer, then you may need to pick up more equipment to facilitate that desire.
Once you’ve built your streaming setup, it’s time to try and find out which is better: Streamlabs or OBS.
What’s The Difference Between OBS and Streamlabs
At the heart of our ‘Streamlabs vs OBS’ discussion sits the concept of how these platforms differ from one another.
On the one hand, you’ve got OBS, a back-to-basics streaming interface that’s very light on resources but also boasts no bells and whistles. On the other hand, there’s Streamlabs, a resource-intensive, commercialised, heavily supported piece of software that boasts countless extra integrations at the cost of being tougher to run and slightly more complex.
At the end of the day, both OBS and Streamlabs do the same thing – they offer creators the ability to actively stream and record their gameplay. Either way, one of these pieces of software will be used by almost every streamer in the business, but typically, the top-tier streamers will favour Streamlabs.
If we’re being honest, OBS is much better for a brand-new streamer as it’s easier to get to grips with and the user interface is simple to navigate. Then, once you’re more accomplished and settled as a streamer, you could relocate to Streamlabs, securing all the bonuses and benefits that the platform offers.
Everything You Need to Know about OBS
OBS is a free, open-source application that offers a low-resource-using alternative to Streamlabs. It’s fairly customisable and powerful and offers creators the ability to both stream and record high-quality gameplay with good-quality audio. As a lightweight app, OBS can deliver a top-tier stream while putting very little strain on your PC’s hardware, which makes it a favourite for streamers that perhaps have a somewhat weaker streaming device.
Unfortunately, with OBS, it is quite limited in what it can do and in what happens once you’ve downloaded it. There isn’t a long list of applications and widgets that you can integrate with the platform, nor is there anything in the way of a support team if you needed any help. If you’re trying to learn how to stream on Twitch and you want to use the most basic piece of free software you can find online, then OBS is the easy choice.
As time goes on, more third-party apps are becoming accessible on OBS, and at the end of 2022, a large update was rolled out on OBS Studio that gives it a professional new look. It’s definitely a firm contender against Streamlabs, but it’s only something we’d strongly recommend using if you have a weaker PC.
Read Also Our OBS Studio Guide
Everything You Need to Know About Streamlabs
Streamlabs is a much more intense piece of software, sapping more of your CPU and GPU resources in exchange for a professional, high-tier stream. It’s free to get started with, but there’s an optional upgrade called Streamlabs Ultra that’ll set you back around $150 a year. From the get-go, Streamlabs offers creators a more robust service, boasting integrations with countless third-party apps and platforms.
There’s a whole host of widgets, a test function, a multi-window stream capability, in-built overlays, themes, alerts, and even a chatbot. For those using Streamlabs, there’s a support function, automated moderation features, and a sub-platform that allows streamers to safely collect donations.
While Streamlabs outputs at the same level as OBS in terms of quality, it does so using a lot of resources – and that’s a drawback for some creators.
Read Also Our Streamlabs Guide
Streamlabs vs. OBS – Which Should You Use?
By now, you’ve likely worked out that you can use whatever application you desire, and that each platform has its pros and cons. It’s a very subjective thing, and as every creator is different, it’s hard to advise which one would be the better choice for you. It depends entirely on your streaming setup and how your resources are looking. If you’ve got a strong, high-powered PC, then you can enjoy using Streamlabs – if not, then use OBS.
Ultimately, there’s no difference in what you deliver to the end-user or the viewer. If you use OBS, you still have the ability to add audio features, overlays, themes, and visual effects, but you’ll need to use third-party products and it’s a little more difficult – but by no means impossible.
Making the decision between Streamlabs vs. OBS may be a tough one at first, but with our streaming tips guides, you’ll have no issues once you’ve decided on your platform of choice.
Read Also: Best Streaming Platform for Gamers