Video Streaming

6 min read

Streamlabs vs OBS: Is Streamlabs better than OBS?

With a plethora of options available, choosing the right streaming software can feel overwhelming. Two powerhouses that stand out here are: Streamlabs and OBS Studio. But which one reigns supreme for your needs? Let's find out.

Streamlabs vs OBS
Streamlabs vs OBS: Is Streamlabs better than OBS?

Streamlabs Overview

Streamlabs is a versatile streaming software that allows you to broadcast on diverse social media platforms. It comes with built-in, ready-to-use tools and features that make streaming simpler for both you and your audience.

Even though they sound similar and are both open-source platforms, Streamlabs OBS and OBS Studio are competitors. OBS is entirely free and allows you to customize extensively, whereas Streamlabs offers a wider range of features, some of which you have to pay for.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Streamlabs
Pros and Cons of Streamlabs

OBS Overview

OBS Studio is a free and open-source broadcasting program that allows you to stream and record video on various platforms (e.g. Twitch, YouTube, etc). It's known as the original streaming software and is favored by the majority of users for its power, customization options, and efficiency. However, it can be complex and lacking in some advanced editing and streaming features.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of OBS
Pros and Cons of OBS

Difference between Streamlabs and OBS

Streamlabs vs OBS: Comparison table
Streamlabs vs. OBS: Comparison table

User Interface and Ease of Use

OBS Studio has a dockable UI that allows users to customize the layout by arranging elements around their screen. This flexibility can be advantageous if you want a personalized setup. Streamlabs OBS, in contrast, offers a more contemporary and polished interface that is user-friendly from the get-go. It has built-in overlays and themes, so the setup process is rather straightforward.

Yes, OBS Studio is highly customizable, but it also has a steeper learning curve. Therefore, it's well-suited for those who have some previous technical know-how and want to have complete control over their setup (for customizing their streaming layout extensively). On the other hand, Streamlabs OBS simplifies the user experience significantly with ready-to-use features.

Key Features

Key Features OBS Studio Streamlabs OBS
Real-time Capture Yes Yes
Multiple Source Recording Yes Yes
Custom Transitions Yes Yes
Intuitive Audio Mixer Yes Yes
VST Plugin Support Yes Yes
Streaming Platforms Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and more Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and more
Studio Mode Yes No
Automatic Cloud Backup No Yes
Multistreaming Requires third-party plugin Built-in feature
Remote Guests Requires additional software/plugins Built-in feature (Collab Cam)
Monetization No Built-in feature (Tips, Merch Shop)
Mobile App No Yes
Cost Free Free with optional Prime membership

OBS Studio offers a robust set of features:

  • Real-time video/audio capture and mixing
  • Support for multiple sources, including screens, images, text, and browser windows
  • Custom transitions and scene setups
  • Intuitive audio mixer with VST plugin support
  • Streaming to all major platforms (though multistreaming requires third-party plugins)

Streamlabs OBS builds on OBS Studio's core features and adds several enhancements:

  • Automatic cloud backup for scenes and settings.
  • Multistreaming support out of the box.
  • Collab Cam for easily adding remote guests.
  • Streamlabs app store for additional plugins and features.
  • It also integrates monetization options like monthly tipping and merch shops.

Customization and Integration

OBS Studio is highly customizable due to its open-source nature; users can integrate over 120 plugins and scripts to make several enhancements and enable automation. Therefore, it is a great choice for tailored streaming. Streamlabs OBS also supports customization, but it leans more towards easy-to-install enhancements through its Prime membership and app store. While it might offer fewer manual customization options compared to OBS Studio, it provides a more streamlined integration process.

CPU Usage

OBS Studio is known for its efficient use of system resources, so this means lower CPU usage. Understandably, this makes it an ideal choice for users with less powerful computers who want to ensure smooth streaming and recording performance. Streamlabs OBS, with its richer feature set, tends to use more CPU. This can result in higher system load and potential performance issues on weaker machines but offers a more feature-rich experience for those with more powerful hardware.

Cost and Accessibility

OBS Studio is entirely free and open-source, making it a great option for budget-conscious creators. Streamlabs OBS can also be downloaded and used for free, but to access its full feature set, you would need a Streamlabs Prime membership, which costs $149 per year. 

Note that OBS Studio is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, so it wins with the broader accessibility across various operating systems. Streamlabs OBS also supports Windows and macOS but does not offer a Linux version. Both platforms offer substantial support and resources. However, Streamlabs OBS’s additional features are typically limited to those who invest in the Prime membership.

Community and Support

The OBS Studio community is rather extensive, with a ton of experienced users constantly contributing with new plugins, scripts, and tutorials. This open-source nature of OBS means you get a wealth of community-generated content and troubleshooting help at all times. Streamlabs OBS users, on the other hand, benefit from more structured resources (provided by Streamlabs), which include tutorials and guides. Prime members even receive dedicated customer support for query resolution.

Yes, both communities are active and helpful, but Streamlabs offers more direct support options, especially for paying users.

Streamlabs or OBS: Which is better for recording or streaming?

OBS Studio is ideal for users who prioritize lightweight, customizable, and resource-efficient software—especially if they are on a budget and prefer open-source flexibility. 

On the other hand, Streamlabs OBS offers a more user-friendly interface with built-in features like multistreaming, cloud backup, and easy monetization options. This can be a significant advantage for beginners or those who want a more streamlined experience. However, bear in mind that Streamlabs OBS uses more CPU and requires additional cost for full feature access.


If you're new to streaming and want to get started without expertise, Streamlabs OBS is your best bet. It offers ready-to-use features and integrated tools to start recording and streaming immediately. However, if you are looking for a more personalized setup where you can make extensive customizations and have full control over it, OBS Studio is the way to go. 

Think about what matters most to you. Focus on parameters like ease of use, CPU and RAM usage, platform compatibility, and community support, and you'll have your answer. Make sure to test both platforms to find out which one best aligns with your workflow. 


  1. What uses more RAM, OBS or Streamlabs?

Streamlabs OBS generally uses more RAM than OBS Studio. This is because of the additional features and more polished interface that Streamlabs OBS offers. This includes built-in themes, custom overlays, widgets, and cloud backup services—all of which typically require more system resources. OBS Studio, on the other hand, is much more lightweight, efficient, and customizable, which means it is a better option if you’re looking for something less imposing on your CPU.

  1. Streamlabs or OBS: Which is the best streaming software for YouTube?

If you’re a beginner or looking for a quick setup with a bunch of built-in features, custom overlays, alerts, and the ability to multistream, Streamlabs OBS is a great choice. It is known to integrate seamlessly with YouTube’s streaming services as well. However, if you prefer a more personalized setup so you can optimize for performance, OBS Studio is definitely the better option. It offers much more flexibility and lesser CPU usage, so you can maintain high-quality streams.

  1. Streamlabs or OBS: Which is the best streaming software for Twitch?

Streamlabs and OBS are both great options for Twitch users, and they typically depend on your personal preferences. Streamlabs OBS is typically the one to be favored if you want an all-in-one, easy-to-use platform with robust, integrated features like chat, alerts and built-in tools for engagement and monetization.

Similarly, OBS Studio is most popular among experienced Twitch streamers who are looking for optimized performance and extensive customization. Since it is open-source, it offers complete control over your setup so you can specifically optimize for smooth and high-quality streams.

  1. What is the best live stream software?

The best live stream software typically depends on your specific needs and experience level. Streamlabs OBS is best for newcomers or those who want an all-in-one, straightforward setup with lots of built-in features for engagement and monetization. OBS Studio, on the other hand, is best for users who need total customization and control over their streams. It’s lightweight, uses fewer system resources, and is highly flexible. If you are an experienced streamer or have specific technical requirements, OBS is the way to go.

  1. Is Streamlabs, OBS or Twitch Studio better?

Streamlabs, OBS and Twitch Studio are equally popular among streamers:

  • Streamlabs OBS is for users who want to quickly set up and start streaming. It is a comprehensive, user-friendly platform with built-in features for stream management, engagement, and monetization. 
  • OBS Studio is the preferred choice for those who value customization and performance. It’s open-source, highly flexible, and efficient in terms of CPU and RAM usage. 
  • Twitch Studio is designed specifically for Twitch and offers an easy-to-use interface for new streamers. While it doesn’t have the same level of features or customization as Streamlabs OBS or OBS Studio, it provides a straightforward way to get started with streaming on Twitch.
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