Are you a new streamer wanting to emulate those at the top of Twitch? It just doesn’t make sense why they have thousands of viewers and you have none. Firing up Twitch, you watch one of the big names streamers and decide to follow their channel. Who knows, maybe you can finally learn the secrets of success? All of a sudden, an alert appears onscreen with your username on it. The streamer notices the alert, glances directly at the camera, and winks at you.

Mind blown!

Don’t worry; it’s not magic. Within a few minutes, you too can effectively integrate follower, subscriber, and donation alerts into OBS Studio.

Video Guide


As with all of our guides, below we have included a full video tutorial if that is your preferred method of learning.

Streamlabs


The good news, like always, is that someone else has done all the hard work. Streamlabs (formerly called Twitch Alerts) has a free service that allows you to simplify your alerts. It’s a straightforward and easy-to-implement system, and because of their customizable features, the result is also aesthetically pleasing. I’ll guide you through the process to make it as painless as possible.

The above clip is a good example of the kind of thing that is achievable with some customization. In this guide, we will be going through all the basics to help you get set up with Follower, Subscriber and Donation Alerts on your stream.

Signing up for a Streamlabs Account


First of all, you need to have your own Streamlabs account before you can begin accessing their features, don’t worry it’s all free!

  1. Go to the Streamlabs website.
  2. Click on the Login button in the top right.
  3. You’ll be taken to a page where you’ll need to select which streaming platform you are using. There are 6 available options: Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Periscope, Facebook and Picarto. Click on the appropriate choice.
  4. Input your username and password for the platform you have selected. (Note: If this is your first time signing up, you will get a notification asking you to authorize Streamlabs to connect to your platform’s account. You will need to grant permission to this request in order to proceed.)

If everything was done correctly, you should be taken to your very own Streamlabs dashboard. Congratulations, you now have a Streamlabs account! This is just the beginning, though. It’s time to create your alerts!

How to Setup Follower Alerts


The first thing you should notice on your dashboard is a plethora of buttons and graphs. Streamlabs offers a vast amount of features and it can certainly look overwhelming at first, but the only thing that we’re concerned with right now is setting up your alerts.

Click on the link on the left-hand side titled “Alertbox”. It should be the first item underneath the Widgets section. Scroll down a little bit and you should see a section of headings that looks similar to the image below.

Click on the “Follows” tab. There are loads of customizable options here, so we’ll go through them one by one from top to bottom, paying close attention to the functions of each.

Follow Alerts

If this option is enabled, then every time a user follows you, an alert will display on your livestream. Enabling this option is important particularly for streamers who are just starting to build their fanbase since they can interact, welcome and start a conversation with the new follower. This helps build a level of intimacy that your viewers will love and it will encourage even more people to follow your channel.

Well-established streamers who get new followers every minute would be better off disabling “Follow Alerts” since the frequency can be distracting. For example, Ninja currently averages around 13,000 new followers per day. That would be way too many alerts to show on stream!

Layout

This refers to the particular arrangement of your alert’s text and image. You can pick one of three options:

  1. Text below the image
  2. Text on top of the image
  3. Text to the right of the image

Later on, you can decide whether you want to have an image at all, but for now, simply select which one you think looks best.

Alert Animation

This allows you to customize the way your alert shows and hides from your stream. There are a variety of custom animations available: fade, zoom, bounce, and slide just to name a few. You’ll be able to preview the actual effects later on when you apply the service to OBS, so for now, just pick the one that sounds like something you might want. You can also set different animations for showing and hiding, they don’t have to be the same.

Message Template

One of the most important options to set is the Message Template which allows you to set the text that will appear as your alert every time someone follows you. The default is ‘{name} is now following!’, but you can input whatever message you like. Please note that the ‘{name}’ portion is a special placeholder. Streamlabs will replace it with the username of the follower that followed you during the actual livestream, so make sure to leave it exactly as it is written out. For example, if the follower’s username is GamingCareers, then the livestream alert text will be ‘GamingCareers is now following!’.

Text Animation

Just like Alert Animation, Text Animation allows you to set up how the text will display once the alert pops in. There’s an automatic preview right beside the option, so you can instantly view the effects.

Image

As mentioned before, Streamlabs allows you to attach an image to your alert. Having an image engages the audience more than just plain text, so it’s always a good idea to have one. There is a vast library of free, animated GIFs that you can choose from. Simply click the “Change Media” button to view them. Take it a step further by uploading your own customized photo or GIF by dragging the file in the “Drag and Drop Upload” space. If you absolutely prefer to keep things text-based, then you can disable the image by clicking on the red cross icon.

Keep it short and sweet, you don't want a 20-second song playing every time you get a new follower!

Sound

The same principles apply to Sound as they did to Image above. Sound allows you to set a custom music file that will play whenever an alert pops up. This can be any of the preset beeps and dings that the Streamlabs library offers, or it can be a custom piece specifically made for your channel. Keep it short and sweet, you don’t want a 20-second song playing every time you get a new follower!

Sound Volume

This is pretty much self-explanatory. Set the sound volume for the follower alert using the slider that ranges from 0 to 100%, 0 being mute, and 100 being the loudest.

Alert Duration

This option will determine how long the alert will stay onscreen before vanishing. Keep it long enough to ensure that the name can be read but don’t leave it on screen for too long. I’d recommend something around 6-10 seconds.

Alert Text Delay

If you want the image animation and sound to play before the text appears, then you can set the time delay in this option. The system will wait for the selected number of seconds before displaying the text alert. Of course, set it to zero if you want all elements – image, sound, and text – to display simultaneously.

Font Settings

That may have been enough options to make your head spin, but hopefully, you followed along to this point and now have a good grasp of the basics for setting up a follower alert. You’ll be pleased to know that all the other types of alerts will be very similar to create. But before we get to them, we still have a few last items to wrap up, scroll down and expand open the Font Settings.

  • Font – This refers to how the text will be written out. It’s purely cosmetic, but you should still pick a font that goes well with your channel. Go to google.com/fonts and pick out a font that you like (you will also be given a list of the commonly used fonts if you’re undecided), then return to the Streamlabs page and type in the name of your choice in this section.
  • Font Size – Hopefully, this needs no explanation. Play with the slider to increase or decrease the size of your font.
  • Font Weight – This refers to how thick you want the text to appear. Adjust the slider according to your preference.
  • Text Color – If black is too boring, then you can use this option to choose any color to use for your text. Remember to think about how easy it’s going to be to read on top of your gameplay (or wherever you are displaying your stream alerts).
  • Text Highlight Color – The color of the Followers username. If you want to make the follower’s username stand out from the rest of the base text, then this is where you set a different color for it.

Last, but not least, we get this option:

Alert Variations

To prevent your alerts from becoming too predictable and boring, Alert Variations will allow you to add a certain level of randomization to the alert text, image or sound. If you’re happy with your previous selections, however, then you can skip this.

And we’re done! Click Save Settings to make sure all of your hard work won’t go to waste.

How to Setup Subscription Alerts


Scroll back up to the tabs and select Subscriptions. This is where we’ll be able to customize our Subscriber Alerts.

Subscription Alerts are for those streamers who have reached either Affiliate or Partner status with Twitch. It allows your viewers to subscribe to your channel for special benefits. Subscriptions start at $5 and Twitch will then split that amount with the streamer.

If you’re just starting out, then it’s safe to say that you will not have a partnership with Twitch. If you head to the Achievements page in your dashboard, you should be able to see a list of things you need to do in order to qualify for Affiliate and Partner status. If you don’t yet have Subscriptions enabled for your Twitch account, you can skip this entire subscription alert section. Just set the first option named Subscription Alerts to disabled.

For those of you who do have affiliate or partnership with Twitch, you’ll obviously want to enable Subscription Alerts. Most of the options here are similar to what we have already covered in the Follower Alerts section, so we won’t go through all the options again, but you will still need to customize them! You also do need to pay close attention to some unique features in this tab.

Resub Message Settings

One of the perks of being a subscriber is that the subscriber can post their own custom message when they resub on your livestream. This option allows you to show that message, as well as set its font, font size, font weight, text color, and whether or not you want to allow them to display Twitch Emotes.

If you do decide to enable resub messages, then I’d recommended that you increase your Alert Duration beyond eight seconds to allow both you and your users enough time to read the resub message.

Resub Message Text to Speech

This is similar to a resub message, but the custom message from your subscriber will be read out loud by a computer voice.

The three pertinent options are:

  1. Voice – This lets you choose one of many computer text-to-speech voices as your reader. There’s a lot to choose from!
  2. Spam Security – This filters useless or malicious text to prevent you from having spammy or hateful messages read out on stream. Either the low or medium setting should be fine.
  3. Volume – This sets the volume level of the computer text-to-speech voice.

Finally, in the Alert Variations section, you can spice up your subscriber alerts by adding some variations. I’d recommend at least having a variation for re-subscribers. Simply change the Condition to Months subscribed is at least 2.

Click Save Settings to save your new Subscriber Alerts.

How to Setup Donation Alerts


Probably the sweetest of alerts to hear happening during your stream, donation alerts are those that notify you when a user chooses to donate money to you directly. I’m sure there are better ways of spending money, but hey, who’s complaining?

Donation Settings

Before we can customize the alert, however, we first need to tinker with a few settings to properly enable donations in Streamlabs.

Click on Donation Settings found on the left-hand side of the screen (under My Account). You will be presented with a list of donation methods. Choose the appropriate one you wish to enable. Depending on which donation method you chose, you will be asked to complete some details. For example, if you selected PayPal, then you’ll be required to enter your PayPal email address. After you’ve set up the donation method, click on the “Settings” tab. There are a bunch of options here that we’ll go through briefly.

  • My Currency – This is the currency type that you’ll be using in your alerts and dashboard.
  • Donation Page Currency – The currency type that will be displayed in your donation page. I recommend leaving it at the default setting of Detect Automatically. This will display the currency of the detected country that your viewer is Donating from.
  • Minimum Amount – The minimum amount of money that your viewers can give.
  • Suggested Amount – The amount that will be suggested to a donator by default.
  • Preferred Lingo – Do you want them referred to as Donations or Tips.
  • Your Page – This is the URL that your viewers will have to visit if they want to donate. Make sure to include it in your Twitch profile so that your viewers can easily find how to donate.
  • Allow Pro Viewers – This gives the donator the option to give a little extra money (which goes to Streamlabs) for some additional options in their donation message. This helps support Streamlabs but can also easily be disabled.
  • Button Color – Choose the color for the donate button on your donation page. I’d suggest matching it to your stream design color scheme.
  • Donation Memo – Here is where you can write down a few words of appreciation that will be displayed to the donator after they make a donation.
  • Banner Override – This allows you to upload an image file that will serve as your donation banner. If you leave this blank, your Twitch banner will be shown by default.
  • Profanity Filter – Gives you a set of options to prevent people from swearing in their donation messages. You can automatically substitute swear words with happy words, or with asterisks.
  • Custom Bad Words – If the Profanity Filter is not enough, then you can add specific words in this box that you want to be edited out of the donation messages.

Click Save Settings when you’re done.

Donation Alert Settings

Now that we’ve set up our donation settings, we can go back to Alertbox and click on the Donations tab to finalize our donations alerts.

Most of the donations alert settings are exactly the same as those of the follower and subscription alerts. The options that are unique to the donations alerts though are as follows:

  • Minimum Amount to Alert – This is the minimum amount that a donator has to give in order for them to get a donation alert to show on stream.
  • Minimum Amount to Read – This is the minimum amount that has to be given in order for the donation to be read out loud in text-to-speech. Some people abuse the text-to-speech bot by giving small donations, so setting a floor price is useful, especially for larger channels.
  • Message Template – This is the message to be displayed when a donation alert is triggered. The {amount} placeholder will be substituted automatically with the correct donation amount in your earlier selected currency.
  • Alert Variations – Just like with the other alerts, you can randomize your alert for different donations depending on how large or small the amount is.

Click Save Settings when you’re done.

Hosts, Bits, Raids, Pledges and Merch


It’s worth noting that Streamlabs has now added the ability to show and customize alerts for people hosting you, giving bits, raiding your channel, pledging support on Patreon or buying merch. Feel free to go and customize how these alerts show and enable/disable the ones you want. You know enough now to be able to tackle these alerts on their own!

You want to be able to show off when you win the lottery and get hosted by shroud right?

Integrating Streamlabs Alerts into OBS Studio


Wow, that was a lot of work to set up! Well here’s where the work pays off. It’s now time to put Streamlabs to the test by applying our alerts to OBS Studio.

Follow these steps and you should be up and running in no time. If any of this lingo confuses you, I’d highly recommend reading through our ultimate guide for OBS Studio, it’ll teach you all about sources and scenes so you are confused no longer!

  1. Go back to the top of the Alertbox page. Make sure all the checkboxes that you want to be activated are ticked (Follows, Subscriptions, Donations, Hosts, and Bits).
  2. Just below these checkboxes is a link titled Click to Show Widget URL. Do so and a URL should appear. This is the URL that we’ll be using to synchronize Streamlabs Alerts into OBS studio. Copy the URL.
  3. Open OBS Studio on your computer, change to the scene that you wish for your alerts to display in.
  4. Add a new source in this scene, choose Browser Source as the source type.
  5. Name the source “Streamlabs Alerts”.
  6. Paste the URL that we copied earlier in the URL field.
  7. Click OK to save your new browser source.

After all that hard work, you might be surprised that all you’re seeing is your scene with a red empty box. This box is essentially the location of the Streamlabs Alerts that we painstakingly set up. You can resize and reposition it roughly where you want your alerts to show. Make sure that your new Streamlabs Alerts source is at the top of your sources list so that it will appear over everything else and won’t be obstructed by any other source. You can do this by drag-and-dropping or clicking the up arrow button as many times as necessary to send it to the top.

Testing Follower, Subscriber and Donation Alerts


Head back to the Streamlabs webpage in your browser. Just below the Widget URL box, you should find a row of buttons to test each of the alerts.

Click Test Follow, Test Subscription, or Test Donation depending on which alert you want to see, and quickly return to your OBS screen to preview its effects. You should hopefully see your image/gif/text play along with your chosen alert sound.

Pretty neat huh? It’s not as easy to get real subscribers while streaming…Trust me!

Now that you know how each of the alerts appears, don’t be afraid to return to the settings page and play around with the various options until you create an alert that really suits your channel’s style. Just make sure to save after you make any changes.

One final thing to note is that keeping the Streamlabs Dashboard page open in your browser while livestreaming is good practice because your dashboard lists down all the follower, subscriber, and donation alerts and messages for you, just in case you missed reading it.

Setting up alerts is an essential feature if you want to interact and form relationships with your viewers. Hopefully, you’ve managed to follow this guide about how to do that using Streamlabs, and you’ve been able to integrate alerts into OBS Studio for all your viewers to see.