OBS Studio review

Everything you need to live stream and record video using multiple sources

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Our Verdict

The most powerful free screen recorder and streaming tool available for gamers, with everything you need to achieve professional results. It might take a little while to familiarize yourself with its interface, but the effort will pay off.

For

  • Recording and live streaming
  • Great selection of source options
  • Optimized for games

Against

  • Not much help and guidance

YouTube gives anyone the opportunity to become a broadcaster, but in order to get started you're going to need some sort of software to mix together your content. It may be that you're just recording a straight piece to camera, but it’s more likely that you'll want to create something a little more complicated that involves the use of multiple sources.

OBS Studio

Download here: OBS Studio

Developer: Jim

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Linux

Version: 20

Using OBS Studio you can not only record directly from your webcam and microphone, you can also incorporate footage from games, add in existing videos and still images, capture a window or portion of your screen, and much more.

As you might guess from the name, OBS Studio is a software studio. It enables you to work with these multiple sources, mix between them and create one seamless broadcast.

This can take the form of a recorded video – a good option if you would like the opportunity to go back and edit out mistakes, or you just want to be able to give things a check through – or you can live stream and mix at the same time.

With support for Twitch, YouTube, hitbox.tv, DailyMotion, beam.tv, Livecoding.tv, Facebook Live and Restream.io, all of the major streaming services are covered.

User experience

At first OBS Studio feels a little mysterious; there's little guidance or indication about what you need to do first, and you may well find that getting up and running is a matter of trial and error if you're unfamiliar with this type of software.

OBS Studio is the perfect tool for live streaming to Facebook, Twitch or YouTube

Mixing sources can be intimidating if you're doing it live, so you might want to get used to how things work by recording a few test videos. The workflow does take a little getting used to because it's not entirely intuitive, but nothing is so complex as to be unusable. 

Latest updates

The latest version of OBS Studio features a new modular interface that lets users enable, disable and move elements to suit their preferences. There's also a new streaming option for Twitch that selects the best server automatically. For a full list of all changes, see the full release notes.

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