What is Streamlabs and should you use it?

Want to know what Streamlabs is? Here’s all you need to know about the popular OBS, how it stacks up against the competition, and more.

Using Streamlabs

Interested in using Streamlabs? Us too. Learn what Streamlabs is for, how to download it, how it stacks up against competitors, and more. 

We’ll cover:

What is Streamlabs OBS?

Streamlabs Desktop – formerly called Streamlabs OBS – is a free, open-source software used by live streamers worldwide. It sits under a parent company, Streamlabs, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll refer to Streamlabs Desktop as Streamlabs from here on out. 

Using Streamlabs

What does Streamlabs do?

You can use Streamlabs to live stream on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Kick, TikTok, and more. It promotes itself as a one-stop shop, allowing content creators to render custom scenes, stream to multiple platforms, invite guests, receive tips, use overlays, host a merch store, post highlights, and more. 

Streamlabs can be used on mobile and desktop, and can also be connected to gaming consoles like Xbox One, PS4, and more. Its user-friendliness makes it a solid choice for anyone with a working knowledge of live streaming, and if you want to get a little more flashy, there’s a bunch of extra features – more on those in a moment, though. 

Can you download Streamlabs for free?

You can use and download Streamlabs for free. There are no strings attached, no subscriptions you need to remember to cancel – if you want to use it for free, you just need to sign up for the Starter plan and download Streamlabs’ app from their website.

What is Streamlabs Ultra?

Streamlabs Ultra is the paid-for version of Streamlabs, available on a monthly or yearly basis. It clocks in at $19 per month or $149 per year – if you like what you see, the annual plan saves you more than $70 every year. 

Using Streamlabs

So, what kind of bang do you get for your buck with Streamlabs Ultra? Let’s take a look:

  • Access to more than 1,000 overlays and themes
  • Pro-level access to more than 60 Streamlabs-related apps
  • Dual output across multiple channels 
  • Up to 11 guests on Streamlabs’ own Collab Cam
  • Customized tipping page
  • More profit on any merch you sell
  • 10GB of cloud-based storage
  • Option to stream from your console to Twitch without a desktop
  • Disconnect protection, which means your stream won’t automatically end if your signal drops 

If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, Streamlabs Ultra’s a fine place to start. Learn more about Ultra here and see if it’s right for you.

If you’re thinking about Streamlabs Ultra, you’re probably thinking about how else to improve your streams. One way to do so is by picking the right music. After all, the soundtrack can make or break your content. Find the perfect tune every time with our catalog of more than 40,000 tracks.

Does Streamlabs have a watermark?

If you’re on the Streamlabs Starter plan, your video will feature a watermark. It’s not the end of the world, but if you’re making pro-level content, you probably don’t want a watermark. To wipe away the watermark, you’ll need to upgrade to Streamlabs Ultra.

Is it easy to use Streamlabs with Kick?

The Kick streaming platform got massive overnight in 2023, positioning itself as a direct competitor to Twitch. And, just like Twitch, you can use Streamlabs for your live streams. It’s as simple as fetching your Stream Key and URL from Kick and pasting it into Streamlabs, then going live and customizing your broadcast as appropriate. 

Is Twitch Studio better than Streamlabs?

Twitch streamers use both Streamlabs and Twitch’s own streaming solution, Twitch Studio – but which is better? Well, neither. They’re both used for different things. If you’re a beginner just testing the waters, Twitch Studio is more user-friendly and will hold your hand more; if you know the ropes and have got the basics down, Streamlabs will immediately offer you more options.

Gamer using Streamlabs

Do streamers get money from Streamlabs?

Streamlabs doesn’t pay streamers to be on the platform, but you can easily create a Streamlabs tip page. This page allows viewers to send you money directly through a variety of payment processors, including PayPal. Setting this up is 100% free, and Streamlabs won’t take a cent of what you earn here. The only cut taken will be from the payment processor, which is usually very small. 

Do you need Streamlabs if you have OBS Studio?

Streamlabs is built on top of OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) Studio’s engine. Both software are open-source, but do you need one if you have the other? It depends. If you’re on a tight budget and aren’t looking to spend any extra money on streaming software, then you can’t go wrong with OBS – its range of free tools is great, and it’s customizable to the billionth degree.

However, Streamlabs is packing more built-in features and user-friendliness, if you’re able to afford it. Even if you’re using Streamlabs Starter, you’ll have more at your fingertips than you would with OBS. That’s because Streamlabs was built on top of OBS’ work, with an aim to add as many bells and whistles as possible. 

Xbox controller

If you already have OBS Studio, it’s worth trying Streamlabs to see what you’re missing – Streamlabs uses way more CPU than OBS, which could affect your streaming experience if your computer isn’t powerful enough. Why not try Streamlabs Ultra for a month and see how you get on?

Do most streamers use OBS Studio or Streamlabs?

OBS Studio and Streamlabs are two of the more popular streaming software, because they’re so similar. Linux users might plump for OBS, purely because Streamlabs isn’t available on Linux; both software are OK for use on Mac and Windows devices. For a more detailed breakdown of the best streaming software, click here.

What’s bad about Streamlabs?

We’ve waxed lyrical about Streamlabs for a while, but are there any downsides? Well, as we touched on before, it does require a fair chunk of CPU to run. If you’re on an old or cheaper device, you might have some trouble; users have noted frames dropping, audio levels changing, lagging, and more when using Streamlabs.

The integrated Streamlabs chatbot also proves a challenge for some users, too, as it doesn’t include sounds for your chat. This means that you’ll have to run the chatbot separately if you want to use the sound commands – not a huge deal, but it’s a justified complaint.

Streaming together

Is it worth using a Streamlabs chatbot?

Despite some users complaining about it, the Streamlabs chatbot feature is worth playing around with. Setting up an automated chatbot buddy for your users helps improve their experience during your streams – it announces new followers and subscribers, sends appreciative messages to viewers, and helps moderate the chat. 

The official Streamlabs chatbot is called Cloudbot, and can be accessed directly through Streamlabs. Just head to your Streamlabs dashboard and toggle the ‘Cloudbot’ option so it’s on. From there, you can add custom commands like tipping prompts, social sharing, shoutouts, and more. 

Which music should you use on Streamlabs?

Now that you know what Streamlabs is, what features it offers, and how it stacks up against OBS Studio, it’s time to start streaming. And remember: if you’re using music in your live broadcasts, make sure you hold all the correct licenses. Otherwise, you could face copyright strikes, takedowns, or even fines. It’s not worth the hassle, so let us take care of it.  

Our catalog is high-quality, affordable, and safe. An Epidemic Sound subscription goes beyond royalty-free music, removing the headache of licensing and freeing you up to do what you do best. You can enjoy the safety of our license hand-in-hand with our massive catalog of 40,000 tracks, covering just about every genre you can think of. You’ll also gain unlimited access to our advanced search functions — finding the right sound’s never been easier. 

It’s better than royalty-free. It’s worry-free. Get started with Epidemic Sound below.

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