If you’re just thinking about getting started with streaming (or if you’ve just recently started) you might be wondering what your options are for broadcasting. There are so many apps and special software or services out there to allow you to live stream your gameplay or IRL streams. Though, to be fair, you don’t really need very special software, either. Sometimes you can get by with the basic stuff, though you’ll be somewhat limited with what you can do, causing your streams to be pretty basic or underwhelming.
When it comes to game streaming or streaming on Twitch, there are two extremely popular choices: Streamlabs Desktop (renamed from Streamlabs OBS) and OBS Studio. Streamlabs Desktop is a fantastic choice for beginners getting started, but it’s not quite perfect.
Streamlabs Desktop can get very resource-intensive, which makes it not an ideal choice for single PC streamers whose setups are not so powerful. On top of that, many people have also chosen not to support Streamlabs due to their problematic history (which includes things like intellectual property theft and more) — although Streamlabs may be working on fixing these issues.
Nevertheless, Streamlabs Desktop remains an incredibly popular choice for a good reason. But are there any good alternatives?
Best Alternatives to Streamlabs
Bonus screen recorders:
Best Streamlabs Alternative Apps of 2022
If you want to live stream and broadcast your gameplay or IRL situations, these 8 Streamlabs alternatives can help. Some of these options work for streaming on Twitch, while others are more geard toward social media streaming or streaming events and the like. We’ve put the gaming-related options higher up on the list.
It’s hard to talk about broadcasting software without mentioning the O.G., OBS Studio. OBS Studio is an open-source streaming app that also happens to be the most common and probably the most popular. In fact, Streamlabs Desktop is built on top of OBS’ code, so in essence they have the same core.
Related: Streamlabs VS OBS Studio – Which is Better For Streamers? [Answered]
OBS Studio has many significant advantages over most of the other streaming apps and services on this list, such as the fact that it is incredibly versatile, flexible, and customizable. On OBS Studio, you can add all sorts of sources (images, video capture sources, window captures, game captures, browser windows, text, capture cards, and more) that will allow you to set up your stream as you see fit. You also get video and audio filters as well as an audio mixer to make sure your stream looks and sounds its best.
One of the main reasons that many may shy away from OBS Studio is the fact that it can be somewhat intimidating. True enough, there is a bit of a learning curve involved, but trust us when we say it can be incredibly worth it. Plus, with all the tutorials available out there on websites and on Youtube, it’s become much easier to learn.
OBS Studio also allows you to connect your Twitch account, allowing you to see your stream information right from the software itself. From there, you can change your title, go live message, tags, and game category. You can also see your chat right from OBS as well. The chat and stream info appears as panels that you can dock or undock and move around on OBS, allowing you to configure your space as you prefer.
OBS Studio doesn’t really have a fancy look or interface, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The lack of fancy flourishes means OBS Studio is much lighter on your system, requiring less CPU and memory to run. This is perfect for streamers who are using only one PC to stream and game, especially if their rig isn’t very high-end. Additionally, this allows console streamers to still use OBS even if they only have a basic laptop (as long as they have a capable and compatible capture card).
The advantages don’t stop there — OBS Studio also allows you to use plugins, which are often available for free. You can use plugins for overlays, to improve your mic, and more.
On top of all of that, you can also save your OBS profile and your scenes. This allows you to have different sets of scenes available, which can be useful if, for example, you occasionally want to switch to your holiday themes. The ability to switch your profile means you can have more than one Twitch account set up on your OBS Studio, which can be handy if you ever need to stream to another account for any reason.
Out of all the options on this list, we would highly recommend using OBS Studio. It isn’t perfect by any means, but its versatility and low resource usage just makes it one of the best.
Another name that’s been around the streaeming world for a while is XSplit, although it’s not incredibly popular (at least in comparison to the behemoths Streamlabs Desktop and OBS Studio).
There may be two main reasons for this lack of popularity. One is although XSplit Broadcaster (the streaming app equivalent) has a free version, it is incredbily limited and in some cases forces a watermark on your stream. You can unlock more features by paying for Broadcaster Premium, but it really is premium — it’ll run you $60 per year. Another reason is the fact that although XSplit Broadcaster has all sorts of functionality built right in, that comes at a massive price: it can be a huge resource hog. But of course, if your rig can handle it, this isn’t as much of a problem.
If you can look past those two things, XSplit actually offers a fantastic broadcasting software that gives you plenty of features all in one place. It’s easy to set up right out of the box as well, making it an excellent choice for beginners (although you may not want the extra expense for the premium account if you are just starting out).
XSplit also has a suite of apps, namely:
- Broadcaster – XSplit’s all-in-one recording and streaming solution, where you can even add Zoom, Skype, Teams, or Discord video calls as sources.
- Vcam – a standalone chroma key-type app that allows you to blur, replace, or remove your background without a green screen.
- Presenter – allows you to improve your presentations, works with the most popular video calling platform.
- Connect: Webcam – allows you to connect your cellphone and use it as a webcam wirelessly on Mac or PC.
- Capture – takes screenshots or recordings of your screen allows for instant sharing.
After being the dominant livestreaming (gaming) platform for well over a decade, Twitch decided to launch their own broadcasting app in 2019. Twitch Studio is a 100% free streaming app designed by Twitch, for Twitch. The main goal behind the app is to make it super easy and simple to get started so there’s never any reason to feel intimidated. The entire setup process is guided and intuitive, even for 100% newbies.
Despite being extremely beginner-friendly, you will run into a downside: it’s somewhat limited compared to what Streamlabs Desktop, OBS Studio, and XSplit can do. It also tends to require much more CPU resources due to the app itself being heavier. However, you do get some basic customization, such as:
- Chat box
- Screen share
- Screen transition effects (built-in ones, you can’t use custom stinger transitions)
- Audio filters
You also can’t multi-stream, and the plugins are extremely limited. But for what Twitch Studio can do for free, it’s certainly a great option — especially for newbies. You just have to watch out for that CPU usage!
Vimeo Livestream is Vimeo’s streaming platform that you can use without any additional software. The thing about this platform is it’s not targeted at gamers, but you can use it to stream your events, performances, webinars, product launches, announcements, classes, and more.
Vimeo’s platform allows you to use event registration forms and customizethe appearance of your stream from the backend. You can change your audio, visuals, and graphics.
Once you are live, you can monitor the stream’s chat and any questions and answers from within the platform as well.
The specialty of Crowdcast seems to be helping people to host live events. Crowdcast allows users to keep everything in one URL, including your landing page and ticket sales (and of course, the event). You also don’t need to download anything to use this platform.
Besides helping you have your guest live on your stream with live chat, you can also broadcast your stream to many platforms, including Youtube, Facebook, and Periscope.
Crowdcast allows users to host paid or free events. It also integrates with PayPal, Patreon, and Stripe.
If you’d like to run professional streams, Be.Live provides a cloud-based platform to do so. You can do everything from your browser, but on the occasion that you need to stream while on the go, you can use Be.Live’s iOS app.
Be.Live allows for multi-streaming to a ton of platforms, such as LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook and over twenty others.
If you want to customize the look of your stream, Be.Live allows for minimal customization such as intros, logos, outros, and various other branding options.
StreamYard provides you with a streaming studio right within your browser. With it, you can stream to Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many other platforms. You can also stream to all these platforms simultaneously. StreamYard is great for if you need to stream with several people on the screen, since it allows up to ten people and even more from backstage.
Although customization is limited, you can use your own colors, logos, overlays, GIFs, images, and videos.
StreamYard allows for recording (without the need to go live).
BoxCast serves local governments, businesses, houses of worship, sports, and other organizations looking to livestream their events. It even allows users to stream in high definition using their iPhones.
BoxCast does have its Broadcaster app for livestreaming as well as other features that allows you to livestream to several platforms. However, after the two-week free trial, plans start at $99 per month. If you want a way to stream your gaming, BoxCast is not it.
For Screen Recording
If you’re looking for a screen recording software more than a broadcasting app, the two options below might be able to help you. It’s worth mentioning that you can use both options below for free (although your recorded videos will have the software’s watermark). You can also use OBS Studio and XSplit for recording your videos.
If you’re looking for Streamlabs alternatives to record your screen with, Bandicam is an excellent choice that has been around for ages. Bandicam is a high-performance recorder that allows you to capture your screen or gameplay at up to 4K UHD with 480 frames per second (but with hardware acceleration). You can use Bandicam to record video and audio for uploading on Youtube or other video platforms, even if you’re using the free version (though you’ll have a watermark on your video). A chroma key feature also exists to help remove your webcam’s background.
If you’re looking for a lightweight app for screen recording, WonderShare DemoCreator works well. It can capture whatever you want on your computer’s screen, returning high-quality video.
This software allows you to choose your frame rate and resolution for your projects, and even allows you, in real-time, to draw on your recording.
Although Streamlabs Desktop does have its merits, it is certainly not the only choice these days. Depending on your needs and what you stream, you can always try some of the alternatives on this list. And trust us — even though OBS Studio may seem intimidating, it’s really worth learning. After all, out of all the options on this list, OBS Studio is the best thanks to its versatility and the fact that you can use it absolutely free of charge! However, if you’re a beginner looking for simplicity, you can always try Twitch Studio.
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