Streaming Software are different from Streaming Platform.
Streaming Platform is where you bring, upload or broadcast your game. These are Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, DLive, BigoLive, and many more. All of these gaming or live streaming platforms gives anyone the opportunity to become a streamer, but in order to get started you need to have a software to bring all your content together.
Streaming Software are software encoding program. It is a necessity for live streaming. It converts your video and audio input into a digital format compatible for playback on different platforms.
Software encoders ranges from simple that would simply broadcast your stream, to a more robust ones, that would allow you to use multiple cameras, add graphics on the fly, mix in multiple audio sources and so much more. Prices vary as well depending on its functionality.
On this article, however we will not be talking about all those expensive ones. You already have your expensive computer setups, let’s try and not spend any more money. Today we’ll be listing down the top, best, and FREE streaming software suitable for live stream gaming.
OBS Studio or Open Broadcaster Software Studio is both a screen recorder and an editing software that lets you create a seamless broadcast. The most dynamic and completely free live streaming software and screen recorder available for gamers. OBS Studio lets you record your games, lets you incorporate images and videos onto your screen, you can mix in audios and music and adjust just about every aspect on your streams, while allowing you to record directly from your webcam and microphone.
If this is your first time running a software like this, OBS might appear a bit more complicated. Might take a few trial and error before you familiarize with it, but as they say, practice makes perfect. Before going in and doing it live, maybe try and mix stuff on a prerecorded video first, make yourself familiar with how the software and the workflow runs.
Compatible for Windows, macOS and Linux. Supports Twitch, YouTube, Hitbox, Facebook and many other streaming platforms available.
Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS) is a friendlier version of OBS Studio. SLOBS has a simplified interface which makes it an ideal choice for first-time streamers, yet still giving you access to all the features that made the original OBS popular. CPU and memory usage are also lower compared to others.
This Software is also completely free and has an easier installation process than OBS. It has a huge theme library that you can choose from to personalize your stream. It has built in text-to-speech feature, widgets, it has a website integration, has everything you need to stream your game on Twitch, YouTube and other key streaming platforms. It has a mask feature that lets your audience dress you up through donations (pretty cool). Overall it has more functionality, has a higher performance value and is overall a better user experience. However this software is still in Beta state and only runs on Windows at the moment, but you can get Streamlabs OBS Mac with Bootcamp.
If you have an Nvidia Graphics Card, this could be the best game recording software for you. NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay, now known as NVIDIA Share, offers an easy to use interface for gameplay recording and live streaming. It allows you to increase your bitrate and resolution giving you an increase in the quality of your videos.
Compared to most streaming platforms, It has a solid and easy to use feature that offers fairly good performance for low- to mid-range computers. It has a major advantage as it encodes in the GPU rather than the CPU. It does not affect CPU performance even while running on a higher frame rate. However, it does limited compression, making file size bigger and that would require you a higher bandwidth to finish uploads.
It has an Instant Replay Mode, that allows users to save the last 30 minute session by simply hitting the hotkey. Nvidia Shadowplay allows you to easily broadcast your games to Twitch, Facebook Live or YouTube live. Though, not every game will work with NVIDIA ShadowPlay. ShadowPlay only supports games that use Direct3D, and not OpenGL.
To record OpenGL, go to NVIDIA GeForce Experience > Preferences > ShadowPlay and activate the “Allow Desktop Capture” option. ShadowPlay will now be able to record your Windows desktop, including any OpenGL games running in a window on your desktop.
Keep in mind that when game streaming you need a high performance CPU. It is an advantage for game players because it allows recorder software to work without any interruption and loading issues.