Have you noticed that your favorite big-name Twitch streamer has upgraded their alerts recently? Do they seem less worried about scummy chargeback donations? If you haven’t noticed these trends among your followed channels, you soon will. Why? Because there’s a new streaming software called OBS.Live that’s blazing its way through the Twitch community. And while streaming software comes and goes, OBS.Live is burning through the competition and doing so in style.

It raises an eyebrow to think a streaming software can enter the game so much later than the competition and still turn heads so quickly. There’s got to be a reason for OBS.Live’s early success, right? There most definitely is. Let me show you what OBS.Live brings to the table and why a rising Twitch streamer should seriously consider adding this software to their setup.

Video Guide


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

Thanks to StreamElements, OBS.Live could make many other OBS add-ons a thing of the past.

What is OBS.Live?


OBS.Live is a robust, customizable add-on that integrates directly with OBS to provide a Twitch streamer with a seamless streaming experience that can’t be matched. This extension will turn OBS into an all-in-one stop where you can view your Twitch chat and an activity feed without ever having to open another window.

But ease of access is just the beginning of what OBS.Live has on tap. Through a browser-based dashboard, you’ll have access to a whole suite of features including a free overlay library, a modular chat bot, and the most secure tipping module to date. Thanks to StreamElements, OBS.Live could make many other OBS add-ons a thing of the past. If I’ve got your attention so far, keep reading and we’ll go through how you can have access to all these features (and more) by your next stream session.

Running OBS.Live


Follow this link to the StreamElements website and you’ll see the download button for the newest version of OBS.Live.

Once the installer is finished downloading, boot it up and move through the basic steps. There will be a point when the installer will ask you if you’d like to download OBS Studio, but most of you should already have OBS. If not, make sure that box is checked.

Current OBS users, listen up: OBS.Live is a plugin that adds to OBS, not overwrites. I’m sure a lot of you already have great looking scenes that took time to build. Rest easy, none of your work in OBS will be overwritten by installing OBS.Live!

Open up OBS, either through allowing the installer to do so or as you normally would and notice that things are already a little more…colorful in OBS.Live. OBS.Live isn’t just innovative and feature-rich, it’s also pretty to look at.

You’ll notice that the OBS preview window is now a portal into OBS.Live’s integration. You’ll need to use the “Connect With Twitch” button to continue the integration process.

NOTE: For some of you, this step may already be done. If you’re seeing a little robot (who may or may not be asleep on the job) in the bottom-left corner of your preview window, then OBS.Live already connected to your Twitch account.

The next thing you’ll see is a prompt to connect the StreamElements Chat Bot to your Twitch account. There is a button to “Connect”, and feel free to do so at this time if you’d like, but right now I’m going to “Skip” and return to this bot in just a few.

The next step will be very similar, this time asking you to connect a Paypal account for future tips (oh, boy, there’s some other cool stuff going on here too) but I’m also going to “Skip” this for now.

Whether you’ve connected these two modules or skipped past them shouldn’t matter; the next thing you should see is your OBS preview window as you would usually see it, along with some new additions on either side.

To the right of your OBS preview window, you’ll now see a Twitch chat window. No, not just any chat window, your Twitch chat window.

To the left of the preview window, there’s now an activity feed that will populate with any new information regarding your stream. This includes new followers, hosts, and more. If ever you’d like to remove certain types of activity from showing up in this feed, the “Filter” drop-down on the left-side of the feed will allow you to pick and choose what you’re notified about. In the bottom-right of this feed, there’s even a viewer counter.

It should be noted that you can also move these new windows around to better suit your tastes. Grab either the “Activity Feed” or the “Chat” by their title bars and drag them to wherever you’d like!

Just take this in for a second. This kind of necessary information would usually take a streamer at least a few clicks to access every time they want to see it. With OBS.Live, all of this information sits within OBS, giving you everything at a glance. It’s just awesome.

StreamElements Dashboard


As I said earlier, bringing Twitch chat and an activity feed into OBS is just one of the many things this add-on is capable of. There’s still so much to show. And since I’m a sucker for vanity, we’re going to look at OBS.Live themes next.

Everything that follows is done through StreamElements browser-based dashboard. Head to the StreamElements website and login through the top-right tab. (You’ll be using your Twitch credentials to login.)

Once logged in, take a look at your StreamElements Dashboard. This hub will keep you updated on everything a streamer should be conscious of: followers, donations, hosts, etc. This is also known as tracking your growth. With the chart provided, you’ll be able to see month-to-month, day-to-day, year-to-year just how your community has grown. This information is invaluable and dare I say, vital if you really want to make a career out of streaming.

If you’ve already made the decision about taking your stream to the professional level (and you’re serious) but you’re still not seeing the growth you would hope, check out our guide to why you aren’t growing on Twitch.

StreamElements Themes and Customization


On the left-hand side of the screen, you’ll see an options menu that’s so stock-full, it might as well be a buffet line somewhere on the Vegas strip.

Near the top, you’ll see “Themes Gallery”. Click it.

Subscribers will know, I’ve done in-depth guides on how to find and implement a perfect overlay onto your stream in the past. Sometimes this process can be a lengthy one, but it’s always worth it in the end. The team at StreamElements must also love overlays, but it seems they didn’t care much for the time it took to make it happen… because they made that problem disappear.

The “Themes Gallery” is a library of high-quality overlays that are ready to be placed into your stream through OBS.Live with only a few simple clicks. You can browse a list of over one-hundred totally free overlays and find dozens of themes that are based around some of today’s most popular games like Fortnite and Rocket League.

The themes included in the “Super Themes” category come with 5 individual, similarly-themed overlays, each used for different aspects of your stream (“Stream Starting Soon”, “Stream Ended”, etc.). And it doesn’t cost a dime.

To show just how easy it is to go from browsing a theme to using it on your stream, click on one of the themes that catches your eye. Use the “Create My Overlay” button and name the overlay however you’d like.

A series of 5 unique links will appear, each representing 1 of the 5 overlays that are included within the theme. Copy the top-most of these links (usually “In Game”) and leave the browser window open so we can grab the rest in a moment.

Heading back into OBS.Live and into your Game Scene, add an additional Source (+ Icon) and make it a “Browser” Source. Name this Source in a way that corresponds with the type of overlay you’re adding. Since the top-most overlay link was for when you’re in-game, name the source “Game Overlay” or something along those lines.

In the window that appears, paste the link you’ve copied into the “URL” field and also make sure to set the “Width” and “Height” fields so they correspond with the resolution of your OBS canvas (if unsure, set it to 1920×1080). Hit OK and reposition the overlay to perfectly frame your beautiful face. That’s all she wrote.

This process will need to be repeated for all the remaining links of the overlay, but for those of you who haven’t manually implemented an overlay in the past, just know that StreamElements has streamlined the hell out of this process. It’s something they should be commended for, truly.

Although, it’s not entirely true that you’re ready to stream. Most of the overlays included in the various themes have placeholders for your social media profiles but of course, StreamElements isn’t going to know what those are.

Back into the StreamElements Dashboard, you’ll find the “My Overlays” tab underneath “Themes Gallery”. Here, you’ll have access to every theme that you’ve used so far. They’re organized by thumbnail, giving you a good idea of which ones may need a custom touch given to their killer design. Sometimes it may be all of them!

Using the Pencil icon found on each thumbnail, you’ll be able to customize each of the overlays to include the information that’s relevant to your streaming presence. Of course, this isn’t limited to adding your social media information; you’ve got full control over the looks of these overlays. Remove graphics, add more, whatever you want to do. This is one of those “didn’t know I needed it until it existed” sort of things. Make sure you’re taking advantage of this.

If any of the overlay process was beyond your current expertise, check out my 2018 OBS Ultimate Guide to master some of the more basic steps of using OBS.

Alerts


These Super Themes are the gift that keep on giving. As we now know, the activity feed on the left-hand side of our OBS preview window (unless you moved it!) will now notify you of any new activity on your stream. Anybody who’s watched a Twitch stream knows that this information isn’t just for your eyes only.

Let the people know, I say! And the Super Themes agree! Each Super Theme is equipped with theme-fitting alerts that will appear on-stream each time you gain a new follower, a host, or a subscriber (plus more!).

To clarify, if you’ve added a Super Theme to your stream, you don’t have to do any work to get these alerts working. In the words of Todd Howard, “It just works.”

Maybe now isn’t the best time to be referencing Bethesda…

Just like the overlays themselves, these alerts can be customized through the Pencil icon on the overlays that the alerts are attached to. Within the overlay editor, you should see a box outline called “ALERTBOX”. Click on these boxes, find the specific type of alert you’d like to change, and use the Gear icon to make changes to the language or the look of the alert. Everything, I mean everything, is customizable with StreamElements.

NOTE: Just like with the social media information on individual overlays, you may have to make changes to each overlay in a theme if you’re changing alerts.

There’s more to be explored within the options found on the StreamElements Dashboard, but many of those options are best explored on your own. However, there are two standouts that deserve to make the highlight reel: the chat bot and the tipping module.

StreamElements Chat Bot


The StreamElements Chat Bot is undoubtedly a worthwhile addition to any stream. If you went ahead and connected this during the early setup, you may have already begun to see the dear ol’ bot in action.

Head to the “Chat Commands” tab in the options menu. It’s near the bottom in the section so aptly named “Bot”.

The first things you’ll see in this area are the “Custom Commands” you can make for your bot. For most Twitch streamers, the commands found in the “Default Commands” tab is enough to get the job done. Being that there are over 50 commands that the bot can recognize by default, it’s fair to say your bases are pretty well covered.

On top of the 50+ commands, there are modular widgets that can be added to the bot. Click on the “Modules” tab in the same “Bot” section of the options menu. You’ll find a whole heaping of useful/fun actions the bot can execute automatically in chat while you stream.

Some standouts include the Twitter mod, which will update your Twitch chat with the tweets of your chosen accounts as they go live. This is useful for knowing when fellow Twitch streamers are going live, accounting for who you could raid or who might be looking for a host.

The Chat Alerts module will populate your Twitch chat (found on the right side of OBS.Live) with the activity as it happens in your feed (found on the left side of OBS.Live). What’s the use of this? Well, IRL streamers, who only can see the chat as it populates to their mobile device could really benefit from seeing all this information in one continuous feed.

And hmmm, who else have we talked about in the past could benefit from having everything on one screen…Oh yeahhh, the single-monitor streamers out there! I haven’t forgotten about you, my friends.

Tipping


There’s been a lot of value demonstrated in StreamElements OBS.Live, of that there’s no question. But you still might wonder what would cause big names like Shroud and Sodapoppin to dismantle their old stream alerts and overlays for a relatively new extension…

I can’t speak for the superstars, but my experience in the streaming world and the full-time career it’s turned into has given me a good idea as to why such successful Twitch streamers would pick OBS.Live over any other streaming software.

Tipping is one of the primary revenue sources for a streamer. As with all the other major OBS extensions, OBS.Live’s tipping features are high-quality. If you hop into the “Revenue” section of the options menu, you’ll find that it’s everything you could ask for; clean imagery, a customizable donation page, and a detailed “Revenue History” tab that’s great for analytics.

StreamElements has a card up their sleeve and it’s called the advanced chargeback protection, a human firewall that comes free with every account.

Sometimes people suck. Twitch streamers know this better than most. A common practice for some sucky people is to donate to a streamer only to then challenge the donation as a fraudulent charge on their accounts. This leads to a chargeback, which almost always comes out of the streamer’s pocket.

Which streamers have to deal with this more than the rest of us? The big fish, of course. Chargebacks can differ in how much but there’s always a charge. This is only compounded by the number of people who are pulling this slimy act. The bigger the streamer, the more slimeballs.

StreamElements, like Santa Claus, is making a list and checking it twice. Twitch viewers who make false claims against their own donations are added to an ever-growing list of offenders who won’t be able to donate to a Twitch streamer who’s using OBS.Live’s tipping module.

For many of us small streamers, the idea of blocking someone from donating could cause our heads to shake, but once you’ve been a victim of the chargeback buffoonery that takes place every minute on Twitch, you’ll quickly start to see the benefit of keeping the slimeballs away from the tip jar. It’s for this reason, along with every one of OBS.Live’s other features, that I think a lot of the major streamers are dropping the old ways in place for OBS.Live.

Conclusion


StreamElements has made a really special streaming software with OBS.Live. There’s nothing to lose and only everything to gain by giving this beast a try. Got questions? Why not jump into the Gaming Careers Discord, we have a channel dedicated to helping with OBS.Live there!

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