When it comes to live streaming, there are a few different tools that you can use. OBS Studio is a widely-used platform that allows for smooth and high-quality recording, while Streamlabs OBS is more geared towards live streaming, providing features like chat moderation and audience engagement.
Nowadays, there are various softwares that allow you to do so, but without a doubt, OBS is the most popular among streamers, with OBS Studio and Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS) being the two most popular. Both are completely free, but you may be undecided about which one to use. So, who is the best in this OBS Studio vs. Streamlabs OBS battle?
What Is The Difference Between Streamlabs And OBS?
I Need to explain what is the difference between Streamlabs and OBS because at the end of the day they’re actually not that different. When you download Streamlabs OBS and you download OBS Studio, they’re incredibly similar. This is because Streamlabs OBS is actually using OBS Studio as a base and then putting a skin over the top of it as well as adding a bunch of extra features and plugins already installed. But essentially at its core OBS and SLOBS are the same thing.
Does OBS Studio Use Less CPU Than Streamlabs OBS?
Yes, OBS Studio is a lot less CPU intensive meaning that you’ve got more resources in order to play games and to encode your stream. CPU usage really comes down to your hardware the broadcasting settings and how many sources you’re using at the same time. I ran all the same overlays on all the same settings and I tried to test which one used more CPU and i didn’t actually notice a difference.
OBS Studio doesn’t have anything built into it, if you decide to add a bunch of plugins like chat box, background removal, etc. It’s going to use more CPU usage like Streamlabs OBS. So at the end of the day, if you want to stream without those extra plugins or you have a low end PC then you should go for OBS Studio and If you are thinking to Build new PC for Streaming, read this guide. But if you already have a good PC and want to make your stream more engaging with those extra plugins then Streamlabs OBS is better choice.
Streamlabs vs OBS: Design
This platform is simpler but in the long run OBS Studio is much better because even though it is “uglier” , it has more settings and is more customizable. And that is much better than being simpler and more beautiful.
Streamlabs is very easy to use and easy to configure but easy is not always better, so let’s continue, because design is secondary.
Streamlabs vs OBS: Performance
This software is best optimized for any computer. Despite being uglier and appearing to be less well designed, it has better optimization on your operating system. It occupies less space and if you have a somewhat simple computer you will notice it much more.
Streamlabs OBS is heavier and generally, at least in older versions, it is very poorly optimized and you will need more resources to work.
Streamlabs vs OBS: Plugins and Support
By having a larger and older community. Both the support given to the software and the third-party plugins and tools is much greater. You can find plugins that allow you to use it like a professional and also completely free.
It is true that Streamlabs OBS also has plugins or tools to improve the program or integrate it with Twitch, for example, but they are poorly optimized and take up a lot of storage on your computer. OBS Studio is, without a doubt, the one with the best plugins and resources in this regard, and the best optimized ones.
Advantages and Disadvantages of OBS Studio
✅ Lower CPU Consumption: This is probably the most important advantage of OBS Studio, and it is that compared to SLOBS the CPU consumption will be much lower. Here you will have to take into account the equipment you have to choose the software.
✅ Multi-Platforms and Compatibility: OBS Studio will allow you to stream on almost all platforms such as Twitch, Mixer, Youtube or Facebook. Also, it is compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
✅ First to Receive Updates: Being the “father” of streaming software has its advantages, in that OBS Studio is the first to receive the latest updates.
✅ Simple and Intuitive Interface: Using OBS Studio is an easy task. You will be able to customize all the aspects easily, with a simple “drag and drop”.
✅ Open Source: This means that you can customize plugins and add new effects to improve the quality and design of your streams. Either you master a little programming or you can ask a developer to do it for you.
⛔ Limited Plugins: OBS Studio’s biggest drawback is that the plugin catalog is quite limited. For example, there is no integrated chat, essential for streamers, or customizable themes. As for the designs, you won’t have customize themes either, so you’ll have to design them yourself or ask a designer to do it for you.
⛔ It is not compatible with Windows XP.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Streamlabs OBS
✅ Wide Variety of Plugins and Custom Themes: Unlike OBS Studio, you will be able to choose from a wide catalog of themes (Themes Tab) to adapt your design to your preferences and style. So you don’t need to be a design expert. You will also have at your disposal a variety of widgets such as Store Tab or Widget Themes (configure alerts, set donation goals, etc.) and others that we will see below.
✅ Integrated Chat: You will be able to manage the chat from the program itself, an essential complement for any streamer. In addition, it also includes a Chatbot (Cloudbot) that will allow you to customize chat settings and integrate other plugins such as mini-games for your users.
✅ Easy Setup: If there’s one thing streamers especially love about Streamlabs OBS, it’s how easy it is to set up. You will only have to download the program, link your streaming account, run the optimizer and little else. It is a great advantage to be able to have everything configured automatically and easily launch it from the settings tab.
✅ Preview: SLOBS has a module called Test Widget that allows you to preview all your settings before starting the streaming. So you can make sure that the most technical things work, like alerts, sounds, mic, etc.
⛔ It is not compatible with Linux, so at the moment it works with Windows and Mac OS (beta version).
⛔ Increased CPU Usage: Of course, all of these advantages have to come with the biggest drawback of all. Before choosing Streamlabs OBS, make sure you have a good computer that can handle all these processes.
⛔ Bugs: As it is the improved version of OBS Studio, updates and innovations are constantly made. Being a somewhat new software, it may lead to some temporary bugs. Today, it seems that this problem is much more solved and that the cases are much less.
Conclusion: Which Streaming Software is Better?
As you can see, Streamlabs OBS is significantly more feature-rich than OBS Studio. However, compatibility with your equipment must be considered when selecting a software program. If your computer isn’t powerful enough, you won’t be able to use Streamlabs OBS to its full potential because your CPU won’t be capable. Therefore, be sure to know what kind of computer you have before making a decision.
Since you will have thousands of custom themes and plugins at your disposal, Streamlabs OBS is generally much simpler to use, both in terms of installation and design, so it does not require a certain professional level to make it work. You need to be aware of its limitations, but OBS Studio is also very user-friendly and intuitive. OBS Studio will function flawlessly with the bare minimum of knowledge, so additional knowledge is not necessary.
If you’re just starting out in your streaming career, you might want to check out our Best Streaming Accessories.
I’m Jaskaran Singh, a passionate tech enthusiast from Delhi, now based in Ahmedabad. My five-year journey as a tech writer has culminated in my role as the Editor in Chief at TheWorldsBestAndWorst, where I continue to explore and share the myriad facets of technology with my audience. Beyond writing, I also run a YouTube channel, with a community of 50,000 subscribers.