How to stream with OBS Studio
- Download and install OBS Studio from obsproject.com.
- Run the auto-configuration wizard for the best settings. It will ask whether you want to optimize for streaming or recording. Select streaming. You’ll also have to choose a streaming destination so it can run a test on your system to get the best settings (you can change the destination later).
Go through your settings
- In the Controls box in the bottom right corner, click Settings.
- On the General tab, make sure your Language is set your preferred language. Most of the rest of the things on the General tab aren’t relevant for getting started; you can come back to them later.
- On the Stream tab, select your streaming destination from the pull-down menu. You can either connect your account automatically (by entering your password) or enter the stream key of the platform you choose. Set your server to Autodetect. You’ll have to find the stream key for your chosen platform — here’s how to find your stream key on YouTube, on Twitch and on Facebook.
- On the Audio tab, you can set up your microphone. If it’s hooked up to your computer already, then select it from the pull-down menu next to Mic/Auxiliary Audio. Leave your Desktop Audio set to Default if you want to broadcast the sounds your computer makes (such as in a game) on-stream in addition to your voice. Note that macOS users will need an extra plug-in to be able to capture desktop audio with OBS.
- To apply the changes to your settings, click Apply.
Read more about how to get the best settings in OBS in our detailed guide.
Add your sources and test your stream
- When you launch OBS for the first time, you’ll see a black screen. To add video, you need to add sources. Click the plus sign in the Sources box on the main screen in OBS.
- Select Display Capture if you want to record everything visible on your monitor screen. Select Game Capture if you want to capture a game (this works for Windows only). Select Window Capture if you want to display an application on-stream that isn’t a game. Select Video Capture Device to add your webcam or capture card.
- Before streaming to a live audience, we recommend running a test. You can name your stream “test” so if anyone stumbles across it they know it’s not the real thing. Click the Start Streaming button in the lower right corner. Make sure everything works properly, including your internet connection.
That’s it! You’re ready to stream using OBS Studio. For more info on how to stream on specific platforms with OBS, you can read our detailed guides:
Stream with OBS to multiple channels at the same time
If you want to get the most out of streaming with OBS, consider multistreaming to several platforms at once. OBS doesn’t have a multistreaming function, but you can use Restream’s multistreaming plug-in to make it happen. Simply choose Restream.io as your destination in OBS:
- Go to Settings in OBS.
- Select the Stream tab.
- From the pull-down menu next to Service, select Restream.io.
- You can either enter your Restream account info by clicking Select Account or enter the stream key by clicking Use Stream Key.
For more details, read our guide on how to connect Restream to OBS.
Once you’ve added Restream to OBS, you’ll need to add your preferred streaming platforms to Restream. We have a guide for connecting each major live streaming platform to Restream.
Can I stream for free with OBS?
Yes, OBS Studio is 100% free to download and use. It is open-source as well, so anyone can create plug-ins for OBS to help enhance its functionality. However, this also means that there’s no official customer support for OBS. If you have a question or problem, you’ll have to find the answer by checking articles, videos and forums online.
How do I stream my screen with OBS?
To stream your screen with OBS, you have three options. You can choose Display Capture to record everything on your screen; Game Capture to record a game; or Window Capture to record any app that is not a game.