How to use OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)

When it comes to free broadcast software, there is only one competitor: OBS or Open Broadcaster Software. While until 2018, this open-source app looked like it was straight out of Windows 98, the user interface update provided a much-needed upgrade. It also makes OBS easier to use, especially for those new to the world of live streaming.

It still doesn’t come with any sort of tutorial though, and sorting through sources and scenes can be confusing for some. Do not worried; We’ve been using OBS for a while, and this is where we’ll talk to you about everything you need to know about OBS, from connecting to a streaming platform to adding a live webcam feed to your sites. your game stream.

If OBS seems a bit complicated, why not go through our recommendations for the best streaming and recording software for PC and choose something easier to use?

Set up OBS to stream on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook

The first step to streaming your favorite games with OBS is connecting to your favorite streaming platform, be it YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch. OBS does not support other services, nor the ability to connect to a custom streaming server, but we will only cover the three most popular platforms in this guide.

To connect to your preferred live streaming platform, follow these steps:

  1. Right click on OBS and select Run as Administrator if you are using the software on Windows, as you need administrative rights when using Game Capture software on PC.
  2. Click File > Settings and select the Streams tab on the left side.

From here, you will have to choose your platform. Each service has a slightly different setup process, so we’ll run through each one below.


  1. Select Twitch from the Streaming Service drop-down list.
  2. On your Twitch TV dashboard, select Settings > Stream Key > Display Lock, agreeing to the on-screen prompts warning you not to share your key with anyone else.
  3. Copy and paste the Stream Key into the Stream Key box in the Streaming Settings menu in OBS, then click Apply.


  1. Select YouTube/YouTube Gaming from the Streaming Service drop-down list.
  2. Go to your YouTube Creator Studio and select the Go Live tab on the left.
  3. Find the Encoder Setup section and click Show to display your Stream Key.
  4. Copy and paste the Stream Key into the Stream Key box in the Streaming Settings menu in OBS, then click Apply.
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Live on Facebook

  1. Select Facebook Live from the Streaming Service drop-down list.
  2. Go to the Facebook Live creation page and click Create Live Stream (don’t worry, you don’t have to go live right away!).
  3. In the Connections tab, make sure the “Enable Persistent Stream Lock” box is checked.
  4. Copy and paste the Stream Key into the Stream Key box in the Streaming Settings menu in OBS, then click Apply.

How to set up your stream layout

Now that you’ve configured your stream, the next step is to set up your stream’s layout, whether that’s by adding a live webcam feed, adding your Twitter handle so people can follow you or simply by adding beautiful images or banners around the edges of your stream.

OBS has two windows; scene and source. Each scene includes multiple sources, from game capture windows to your live webcam input and more. You can create multiple scenes for different games and upload them simply by selecting them from the scene menu, giving your stream layout a more customized look.

If you want to keep it simple, you can also create a single scene for all games!

Once you’ve created your scene, you’ll need to add your sources. Here’s how to add the most important visual elements to any successful live stream.

Add your game source

Most importantly, you need to choose the window that OBS will capture and stream. To do this:

  1. Click the Plus icon in the Source menu and select Game Capture.
  2. Name your game to be easily recognizable among several sources.
  3. You can now customize the capture settings. Mode is the key here: you can set it up to automatically capture any full-screen application, capture the background window before a hotkey is pressed, or manually select the window to be captured (though that will ask you to start the game for it to appear). If you already have a game capture card, this is where you should pick it up.
  4. When you’re satisfied, click OK to save your settings and add the source to your scene.
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Add your webcam

If you really want to add some personality to your live stream, why not include your live webcam feed? It will allow your followers to see how you react to key game moments both in-game and in real life, and provide more connection with your audience. We’ve rounded up a roundup of the best webcams for streaming if you’re looking for one.

  1. Click the Plus icon in the Source menu and select Video capture device.
  2. Name your Video Recorder – we recommend calling it a webcam, but it’s up to you.
  3. You should now be able to access the webcam capture properties. Select your webcam from the Device drop-down menu and edit any other settings (though we recommend using the default settings if you’re not video-savvy).
  4. When you’re satisfied, click OK to add the webcam to your scene.
  5. If you want to resize or move your camera input, just click on it and drag the corners to adjust the size, or click and drag anywhere else to move the webcam feed .

Add text

You can also add text to direct followers to your social media accounts to help build your following. It’s also easy to do:

  1. Click the Plus icon in the Source menu and select Text (GDI+).
  2. Enter a name for your text box – this is the name of the source, not the displayed text.
  3. In the text menu, you can customize the look and feel of your fonts. Change the font, size, color, opacity and more to get the desired effect and add the text you want to display in the Text window.
  4. When you’re ready, click OK to close the window and save the text.
  5. You should now see the text displayed on the screen. To adjust the position, select Edit Scene and simply drag and drop the text to the desired position. You can also select the red dots to adjust the size of the text.
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You can also design your own custom text to add to your live stream. For more information, check out our guide on how to add text to a live stream using OBS.

More photos

If you want to give your live stream a custom finish, why not add a custom banner? It’s really easy to add visuals to your OBS live stream:

  1. In the Source box, click More > Image and give the source a name to easily locate it among other sources (best to describe the image you’re including).
  2. Click Browse… to find the saved image on your computer and click Open to use. If you want it to be transparent, change the Opacity to a number less than 100.
  3. Once you’re done adjusting the settings, click OK to add the image to your live stream.
  4. Like with other sources, if you move your image, simply drag and drop the image to the position you want.

How to start live streaming

Once you’ve connected to your favorite streaming platform and you’re happy with the placement of all the elements on your screen, it’s time to go live. In OBS, it’s easy to go live – just click Start Streaming in the lower right corner of the main OBS window.

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