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Streamlabs vs. StreamElements

Streamlabs vs. StreamElements

Both Streamlabs and StreamElements use OBS in one way or another, but both are two different programs. How do both compare? The article covers Streamlabs vs. StreamElements.

What’s the difference?

The difference between Streamlabs and StreamElements is that Streamlabs uses OBS and some of its code for easier streaming.

In contrast, StreamElements is a program directly integrated with OBS to provide its users with the core functions of OBS combined with its own features.


Both somehow resemble OBS, but Streamlabs OBS has a more distinct look. It feels like a premium program with a sleek design. However, the rich interface is one of the reasons it’s heavy.

StreamElements looks almost like OBS. You might find some changes, such as theme colors, but there aren’t any other significant differences.

Themes and overlays

Streamlabs Armory Overlay
Streamlabs Armory Overlay

Both offer free overlays, while you can create your own overlays. Overlays contain titles, images, videos, and other data types seen in the preview.

In other words, overlays are custom scenes to place webcams, chat, gameplay, and other widgets according to your brand style.

Overall, we find more overlays for Streamlabs. The program has hundreds of free and premium themes to use in streams. Check out the best free overlays for Streamlabs if interested.

StreamElements offers an overlays editor where you can see and add StreamElements widgets.

Streamlabs vs. StreamElements: Features

Streamlabs vs  StreamElements
Streamlabs and StreamElements Features

Both have many features, including built-in chat systems, themes, tipping features, and auto-game detection tools.

Both also offer a chatbot to protect you and your viewers from spam and overlays from displaying anything you like on the screen. Below is a comparison of the unique features.


Open-source: The program is open-source, letting others see code and help develop it.

Easy payments: Streamlabs offers options to request payments from viewers.

Charity feature: The program brings a charity option to host free fundraisers. They do not charge anything or take any cuts.

Test option: A test button is available to test the setup before going live.

Free sounds: The sound library is a free platform for alerts and notification sounds.

Dashboard: The dashboard in your Streamlabs account gives you access to views, view time, events, and other data types to help you grow.

Mobile remote control: You can control Streamlabs from your mobile phone while streaming.


Browser-based: The tool is browser-based, saving CPU resources on your machine.

Low CPU usage: In the tests I took, the OBS and StreamElements combined consumed fewer resources than Streamlabs.

Free merch store: Their merch store is complimentary, while Streamlabs’s merchandise is available in the premium plan.

Completely free: StreamElements is entirely free as of writing this article.

Mercury: Mercury by StreamElements is a program that adds dynamic video descriptions on YouTube. According to the developers, it can increase engagement by 60%.

Related: OBS vs. NVIDIA ShadowPlay

Supported streaming platforms

Streamlabs supports Twitch, YouTube, Trovo, and Facebook platforms. You can also add a custom RTMP destination.

StreamElements also supports the same platforms, but we don’t have the RTMP option.

Accepting tips

With the growing industry, both offer to request and process tips. Streamlabs OBS offers to create a tip page first where you can connect your PayPal, credit cards, and Skrill payment methods.

Once set, users can use any method to support the creator.

StreamElements, on the other hand, supports PayPal out of the box, but you can use their tipping service called SE.Play, which is available in 15 countries.

It supports credit cards and local currencies, and according to the official post, the processing fee is less than standard payment providers.


Tests are an essential part of this Streamlabs vs. StreamElements article.

I did the same tests while comparing Streamlabs with OBS, and because StreamElements is just a plugin, I don’t see much changing here. But let’s see how those tests go.

Power test

Streamlabs and StreamElements Power Usage Test

While broadcasting on a laptop, checking the apps draining your device’s power is essential. In this test, I checked the power usage while recording gameplay.

StreamElements uses OBS, which uses minimal power. The power usage of OBS before and during the recording was low, but in the case of Streamlabs, the power usage before starting was moderate, while it was very high while recording.

Winner: StreamElements

Performance test

Streamlabs StreamElements and Impact on Performance

In the second test, we check the performance impact on our computer while opening and recording both programs.

On start-up, there was an increase in CPU utilization, but compared to Streamlabs, it was minimal in StreamElements.

The average increase in CPU usage while opening Streamlabs was 20%, whereas the impact was 10% while opening OBS.Live.

While recording, I did not see any significant difference in CPU usage.

Winner: StreamElements

File size test

Streamlabs vs StreamElements
Fire size test

In the recording test, we record a game in both programs and see the storage space the videos take. After recording gameplay for about 50 seconds, I did not see significant differences in the video file size.

There was a difference of 2 MB of storage, but it could be because of the scenes in the game.

Also, StreamElements saves videos in the MKV format while Streamlabs in MP4. You can change the file extensions in the settings.

Winner: Tie

Related: Camtasia vs. Filmora


Streamlabs supports many platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, DLive, and NimoTV. In comparison, OBS.Live (OBS) supports more than 90 platforms.

The number is enormous, but most streamings only need one of those powerful platforms, which Streamlabs also supports.

Winner: StreamElements

Mobile apps

Both offer a mobile application to record on your mobile phone. Streamlabs app is available for iOS and Android and allows screen and webcam streaming with chat and notification overlays.

StreamElements, on the other hand, is only available for Android right now, and the app is still in the development stage. It only supports webcam streaming, but you get overlays for chat and notifications.

Winner: Streamlabs


The last section of Streamlabs vs. StreamElements is pricing. Streamlabs is free to use, but a premium plan called Prime is available.

The monthly plan costs $149 per year or $19 per month. Some of the features of Prime are:

  • Pro themes
  • Stream on multiple platforms simultaneously
  • Access apps to enhance your streams
  • Customize the tip page according to your style
  • Add links to your stores

StreamElements, as mentioned, does not offer any paid plans. Their policy, however, states that they may change pricing terms in the future.

Which one is for you?

If you have minimal knowledge about broadcasting and live streaming but have a high-end computer, go with Streamlabs.

If you have a low to mid-range PC and don’t know about live streaming, you will need to learn to use StreamElements.

Lastly, if you have a low to mid-range PC and know how to live stream, choose StreamElements.

Streamlabs vs. StreamElements: Links

The bottom line

It’s challenging to compare both because, even if you like one software, there are at least a few things you like in another tool more than the one you use.

I hope the article Streamlabs vs. StreamElements helped you choose the right broadcasting tool and ultimately helped grow your brand online.

Please share this article with people interested in knowing about the two and help them decide.