Streamlabs vs. OBS (2021)

Streamlabs vs OBS
Streamlabs vs. OBS

Streamlabs and OBS are popular streaming tools. Streamlabs OBS is mainly used for streaming and broadcasting, while OBS is used equally for streaming and recording. So, which one would suit you better? The text covers features and tests to help you decide the right tool in Streamlabs vs. OBS comparison.


At the core, Streamlabs uses OBS source code, and because of that, you will see many of the same options. But, the way Streamlabs is presented is different from OBS. Let’s take a look at some of the features of both.

Streamlabs OBS

  • Auto game detection: If you choose to live streaming a game, the software automatically detects the active game.
  • No customisation charges: Streamlabs offers its users many integrated themes coupled with a variety of overlays, including several engaging animated visuals.
  • Built-in-chat: While using this software, you are not required to keep multiple tabs open. This is because the built-in chat feature gives you the freedom to control the chat within the program.
  • Undo changes: The program allows you to undo any mistakes with the ‘Ctrl + Z’ command during a streaming activity.
  • Test button: Test Button enables you to oversee all the arrangements before going live. All you have to do is to click on the button. It also helps you in finding out whether your stream alerts have been organised properly.
  • Open-source: The tool is open-source, and the code is available on GitHub.


  • Minimal CPU usage: From the test I conducted, OBS consumed minimal CPU resources. Because of that, your gameplay and streaming are smooth compared to Streamlabs OBS.
  • Open-source code: Just like Streamlabs, OBS code is open-source. As mentioned earlier, Streamlabs uses OBS’s code to run.
  • Starts quickly: While testing, I found that Streamlabs took 5 to 8 seconds on average to open, while OBS only took about 3 seconds to load fully.
  • Over 100 plugins: The tool has about 118 plugins to extend its functionalities.
  • Gets updated frequently: As OBS is one of the oldest broadcasting software out there, it gets updated regularly.

Related: Streamlabs vs. StreamElements

Ease of use

Installing both is pretty straightforward. You install the latest version from the website and follow the steps to install them on your computer.

Regarding ease of use in Streamlabs OBS vs. OBS, Streamlabs is more accessible. Because of its easy to navigate interface, many new streamers tend to use Streamlabs. OBS at first can be overwhelming, and it also doesn’t have a built-in chat feature making it challenging to communicate with your followers or watchers.


Recording test

Recording File Size Comparison of Streamlabs and OBS
Recording File Size Comparison of Streamlabs and OBS

In the first test of Streamlabs vs. OBS, I recorded Cyberpunk 2077 for at least one minute on the same configurations. Streamlabs, by default, saves videos in the MP4 format, and OBS saves in the MKV format. Despite the format differences, both videos consumed 21 MB of storage, respectively. One should not be surprised because both tools use the same source code.

Winner: Tie

Performance impact test

Streamlabs vs. OBS Performance Impact

In terms of performance, OBS wins the battle. While testing OBS, I saw a 5 to 10 per cent increase in CPU usage. In contrast, the performance impact of Streamlabs OBS was 15 to 20 per cent which is reasonably high compared to OBS.

Winner: OBS

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Power test

Power Usage Comparison of Streamlabs and OBS

Like the performance test, the Task Manager of Windows helped to see the power usage of my PC. It turns out that Streamlabs is a heavy program. While recording a video in OBS, the power usage was low, but while recording the gameplay in Streamlabs, the power usage was very high at all times.

Winner: OBS


Streamlabs OBS is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, while OBS is available to download for Windows, macOS, and Linux. An app called DroidCam OBS allows you to use your phone’s camera instead of the webcam.

In terms of supported streaming platforms, OBS is the winner. Streamlabs supports a few:

  • Facebook
  • Twitch
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • DLive
  • NimoTV
  • Mixer

OBS, in comparison, supports around 90 streaming services. You also have an option to add a custom service if you have all the details.

Winner: OBS

Mobile apps

Streamlabs offers a separate app for Android and iOS to stream your mobile phone games. You also get options to chat with fans and access the prime subscription features to enhance and grow your channel.

Winner: Streamlabs

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Both are free to use, but Streamlabs comes with a premium toolkit called Prime. It’s available for a price of $19 a month or $149 if paid yearly.

Prime is for pro gamers who want to grow their channel. You get options to:

  • use pro themes for your streams
  • stream on multiple platforms simultaneously
  • access 46 apps available on their website
  • customise the tip page according to your brand’s style
  • Add links to your stores for fans to shop
  • paid sponsorships

Which one should you choose

Many factors come into play. OBS is for streaming and recording games only. It does not affect the computer’s performance and power, so it’s best for those with low to mid-range computers or laptops, but if you want chatting features and an easy-to-use tool, then Streamlabs OBS is a better choice. But again, you will need a high performing computer to run Streamlabs along with heavy video games.

OBS is a little confusing at first, so you will most likely have to learn this tool for the first time if you go with this tool.



When it comes to Streamlabs vs. OBS, it is impossible to declare one better than the other. Both Streamlabs and OBS have their pros and cons and several common factors too. Each of the broadcasting software is available free of cost and is open-source.

If you want to try out each of them before deciding which one you would want to use regularly, you can download both and try them out for some time. Here we end this article. Feel free to share your thoughts about the two and help me improve this article by sharing your suggestions.

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