OBS, or Open Broadcaster software, is an open-source (which means 100% free!) video recording and streaming program. It works on every operating system (Windows, macOS, and Linux), making it one of the best options if you are looking for broadcasting software for your stream.
Tons of streamers, big or small, use OBS Studio as their go-to streaming software. It’s no surprise why — even the core OBS Studio is an incredibly useful program that provides you with many options to help you make your stream look and feel better.
On top of that, OBS Studio has a very powerful API that allows many high-performance integrations. This API enables plugins and scripts to allow you to add more functionality and customization options that can significantly improve your production quality.
There are many plugins available today. Most of them are available for free, while others will require you to pay either a one-time fee or a recurring subscription.
If you want to know more about plugins and how they can help your stream, here are some of the best OBS plugins of 2022.
2022 Best OBS Plugins
- OWN3D Pro OBS Plugin
- StreamElements SE.Live Plugin for OBS Studio
- OBS Websocket
- ReaPlugs VST FX Suite
- Closed Captioning Plugin
- OBS NDI Plugin
OWN3D Pro OBS Plugin
At this point, you may already know that OWN3D is a fantastic resource for stream assets. Own3d.tv offers some of the best overlays, stream labels, chat box overlays and embeds, webcam frames, Twitch alerts, emotes, and more. Since being founded in 2017, it has grown to become the biggest stream asset shop and resource online.
OWN3D Pro falls under the OWN3D.tv umbrella. It is the company’s OBS plugin and subscription service that offers tons of assets right within your broadcasting software. Once you install this plugin, you’ll have just about everything you need to get your stream set up how you want.
OWN3D Pro has a free forever plan if you want to give the plugin a try without committing to the subscription. However, the free plan is very limited compared to the paid plan (although that’s expected!). The free plan gives you access to:
- 5 Overlays
- 5 Alerts
- Stream labels
- A countdown widget
The paid plan gives you access to all of the above, plus:
- 24/7 support
- 600+ premium stream overlays
- 600+ premium stream alerts
- Unlimited downloads
- Commercial license coverage, which allows you to use anything from the library for free as long as your subscription is up to date
The best part of using this plugin is you can install all of these assets with a single click. No need to be super tech savvy!
If you’re wondering about prices, it appears as though it’s $17.99/month if you want to pay monthly, $13.33/month if you want to pay quarterly, and $8.33/month if you pay a year at a time. It does appear that OWN3D Pro has regional pricing, so check if you’re able to get a more affordable rate!
StreamElements SE.Live Plugin for OBS Studio
Much like Streamlabs, StreamElements is a live streaming tool that’s cloud-based and can integrate with the top streaming services and platforms like Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook Gaming. It was designed from the ground up to be an all-in-one streaming solution so streamers like you can find everything you need in one place.
The SE.Live plugin was optimized not just for gaming streams — you can use it for IRL streams, too. Once you install it, it can mke it easier for you to do everything right from OBS by giving you quick access to all your essential Stream Elements tools. You will also see your chat right within OBS, alongside your activity feed so you never miss an important event again.
Thanks to this plugin, your activity feed has some extra functionality. You can ship, replay, and mute alerts so you have extra control over your alerts.
If you’re worried about the SE.Live addon taking up valuable CPU power, you’ll be happy to know that it’s optimized for OBS, so you’ll hardly feel it running on most systems. Plus, everything that you’re adding to your StreamElements overlay is condensed into one browser source, so your OBS will only have to load one source, significantly reducing CPU usage.
You can also use SE.Live to give the your chatbot (StreamElements, of course) a custom name. You can also set it to use your own name, if you prefer, so that it can use your channel’s emotes in its replies.
The best part? SE.Live is 100% FREE.
If you’ve never been to the resource section on the OBS Project website, you should at least give it a look — especially since there are so many valuable assets you can use to improve your stream. One such thing you’ll find there is the StreamFX plugin which you can use with OBS Studio and StreamElements OBS Live.
StreamFX adds new filters, sources, and transitions to help you drastically improve the production value on your stream or recording setup. Here are just some of the things that you can do with this plugin:
- Blur out an area on your stream
- Move something in 3D
- Create new scenes with cool 3D effects
- Make things glow
- …and more!
Needless to say, StreamFX adds effects that can make your stream pop.
StreamFX updates its software regularly and adds features in varying development states. They have a few categories for their features:
- Experiment – likely to break your setup in an unexpected manner, should avoid use in production
- Unstable – stable enough for production but not 100% safe
- Stable – safe and stable in production, future updates will only be UX or UI related
StreamFX is free to use.
Elgato Stream Decks can be quite expensive for an item that serves a singular purpose as a macro pad. But let’s be real here — they’re really cool and convenient.
If you’ve always wanted to have a Stream Deck but don’t want to spend the money to get one, you can use OBS Websocket to add some similar functionality to your setup. OBS Websocket is a really simple plugin that allows OBS to communicate with other third-party apps to do things like activate your transitions, change your scenes, and more. You can find this plugin in the resource section of OBS Studio’s website for free.
However, it’s important to note that OBS Websocket doesn’t work on its own. You also need to have something like Touch Portal, a third-party macro remote control app that works with Macs and Windows PCs. Touch portal allows you to create your own stream deck using your mobile phone or tablet.
If you’d rather find another stream deck alternative, check out our article on the best Elgato Stream Deck alternatives.
The resource section on the OBS Studio website just keeps on giving. This time, it brings you Tuna, a free plugin that makes it easy for you to display info about the song that’s currently playing. Tuna lets you put the currently playing song on your stream overlay without you having to run a third-party app.
- Spotify (app or web player)
- OBS VLC video source
- Any Windows title
- Google Play Music Player
- Yandex Music
The song information is displayed through text and images, configurable in the plugin’s dialog. To display this info, you’ll have to add a text source and an image source to your OBS then point them to the appropriate Tuna files. Information can also be displayed through browser source.
ReaPlugs VST FX Suite
While video and game graphics quality is important when you stream, your audio is equally (if not more) important. Clear audio can make or break a stream and determine whether a new viewer stays or comes back around next time.
The OBS Studio app has some built-in audio features to allow you to customize and improve your audio quality. However, you can also use the ReaPlugs VST FX Suite plugin. Reaper offers its VST plugins for free.
As a streamer, you’ll find plugins to customize your microphones output, allowing you to minimize background noise and peaking. There’s also a compressor. All together, these plugins can help you clean up your audio and give you that professional feel.
Want to know more about using these plugins? Check out this article by How-To Geek.
Closed Captioning Plugin
Accessibility features are becoming more and more important these days, especially if you want to create an inclusive experience on your channel. Many streamers often overlook the importance of having captions on their broadcast, but the truth is some people enjoy this feature especially if they’re hard of hearing or prefer to watch on mute.
OBS Closed Captioning Plugin is available for free on GitHub thanks to its creator, Ratwithacompiler. It requires you to have OBS version 27.0+.
OBS NDI Plugin
Sometimes, you might want to use your phone or other mobile device as your webcam, or use a dual PC setup. Most research will tell you that you’ll need to have a capture card to do either of those things. The free OBS NDI Plugin acts as an alternative, providing you with audio and video input over your local network.
Unfortunately, since it does use your local network, there’s a chance you’ll encounter latency or quality issues. However, this plugin will work in a pinch.
OBS Studio is a powerful tool that can help you make your stream exactly how you want it. You get even more options and control if you use some of the plugins mentioned above. The best part about OBS plugins is most of them are usually absolutely FREE! They’re simple to use, so give them a try!
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