OBS vs Twitch Studio: Which is Better for Your Streaming Needs?

Streamers! Your broadcasting tool is like your best friend in your streaming journey. After all, it is going to be around even on your bad days!

Twitch streaming software like OBS, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit, Twitch Studio, etc. come with their unique advantages and disadvantages. It is now up to you to decide which is better for your streaming needs!

Choosing your perfect streaming platform can be a challenging task. In this article, we compare two very robust software, OBS vs Twitch Studio.

Here’s what we will cover:

OBS vs Twitch Studio: Overview

OBS is the OG of streaming software. And Twitch Studio is the new kid in town. Depending on where you are on your journey as a streamer, both software can support you in their own ways.

TurboStreamer Stream Ideas

To help you find out which software suits your streaming needs, I will compare both software on few key aspects one by one and will follow it up with the pros and cons of choosing one over the other.

What is Twitch Studio?

Twitch Studio is a broadcasting software released by Twitch to help streamers start their journey. They launched the Beta version in November 2019 and since then they have been continuously adding new features to improve the user experience.

💡 Twitch Studio’s main focus is on making the streaming setup easy and intuitive thus reducing the entry barrier to streaming

You can download Twitch Studio from their official website here.

Here are the 6 key factors to consider with Twitch Studio:

Twitch Studio Performance

Stream Quality

You can stream perfectly fine at 720p 30FPS or 60FPS with a lower bitrate (3500 to 4500) using a normal PC with built-in graphic cards. You can experiment with 1080p 60 FPS with (5500 to 6500) bitrate if you have a dedicated GPU to handle the encoding.

Frame Drop

If you play any GPU demanding games, you might experience a 10-20 FPS drop in the game with Twitch Studio running in the background depending on your graphic card performance.

Since Twitch studio is made by Twitch, you can expect fewer compatibility issues while streaming and a smoother experience.

Find more information about settings and performance on the official Twitch page. Twitch also has an inspector tool that allows you to troubleshoot your broadcasting issues.

CPU Usage

CPU usage for Twitch Studio can be on the higher side from 10-20%. This is because of the heavy interface which eats up your CPU. The interface is graphically heavy and might cause some issues when running browsers, media files simultaneously on a low-end PC.

Twitch Studio Audio Configuration

Twitch has recently released its advanced Audio Mixer which allows controlling individual apps’ audio input and output. This can be the most helpful feature of Twitch Studio for a beginner.

Configuring your audio inputs and outputs can be a nightmare. What with so many options, settings, and hardware to figure out, it can be a tricky maze. Twitch Studio makes life a little bit easier by connecting it all in simple terms, allowing you to know what you are doing.

There is a step-by-step instructions page as well to follow along.

Twitch Studio Interface

Twitch Studio interface is one of the most beginner-friendly tools with intuitive navigation to help set up the stream for the first time. It is designed to help with a simple rundown on how to set up your camera, audio, etc. It asks for prompts in simple English, taking away the advanced configurations, and leaving you with things that are important.

Twitch Studio Interface
Twitch Studio Interface

Twitch Studio Customization

Twitch Studio has all the features required to get started and necessary to have a wholesome experience while streaming.

It has basic customization features like:

  1. Overlays
  2. Twitch Alert
  3. Chatbox
  4. Screen Share
  5. Webcam
  6. Screen Transition effect
  7. Audio Filters

However, there are some limitations now which the Twitch Studio team is working on and plan to bring in the future.

Some of the limitations of Twitch Studio are:

  1. No multistream support

Multistream on Twitch Studio is not supported yet. You can only stream on Twitch and can’t stream on Youtube, Facebook, or any other streaming platform. I don’t expect this to change anytime soon, given they would want to retain both streamers and viewers on the Twitch platform itself.

  1. No custom stinger transitions

Stingers are a type of animated video transition that combines a transparent video animation into a full-screen overlay using a timed cut transition. These are the graphics that professional streamers use while jumping from one scene to another. Twitch Studio however supports one global scene transition and it applies to all your scene changes.

  1. Limited number of custom plugins

There is a limited number of custom plugins on Twitch Studio. On the other hand, other broadcasting tools like OBS Studio offer plenty of customization plugin options like instant replay, audio-video filters, transition effects, voice changer, etc. Plugins offer more exciting and advanced features which make streams more engaging for the viewer.

Twitch Studio Support

Twitch Studio is supported by Twitch. It has a dedicated team of developers who constantly enhance the features and make it less complicated for beginner streamers.

Twitch offers to report a bug directly from your Twitch Studio software. They also have a discord server where you can directly chat with their customer rep or help yourself using resources available on the channel.

Twitch Studio Price

It is absolutely FREE! After all, it’s made by Twitch to help bring new streamers on board.

Twitch Studio: Pros and Cons

Twitch Studio reduces the entry barrier for people to become a streamer. It’s effective and can fast-track your streaming journey. The only shortfall is, it might limit and hinder you in the long run.

Pros and Cons for Twitch Studio

CategoryProsCons
UsageBeginner-friendlyBasic functions
PerformanceSeamless twitch IntegrationCan have moderate CPU usage
FeaturesAll necessary featuresMissing advanced features
Streaming PlatformsOnly streams to Twitch
Stream LayoutEasy setup, doesn’t need a lot of tweakingLack of customization
PriceFreeCustom monetization options not available
Learning CurveEasy to pick up with a small learning curve
Twitch Studio: Pros and Cons

Now, let’s head over to the heavyweight of the broadcasting tools.

What is OBS Studio?

OBS Studio is an open-source and free software suite for recording and live streaming. The project was launched in September 2012.

đź’ˇ It is widely used in the live broadcasting industry and is used by many professional media houses as well. Since it is Open Source, developers around the world contribute to its development.

It is supported by many big names in the industry like Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook. It also raises money from platforms such as Patreon and Open Collective.

You can download OBS Studio here.

OBS Studio Performance

Stream Quality

OBS Studio is a lightweight program at merely around 85 Mb, which utilizes fewer resources making it perfect for streaming in high quality.

You can tweak the quality settings as per your PC strength. It supports all graphic card encoders: Nvidia, AMD, or Intel thus making it versatile and powerful.

It also offers a full suite of features that you can extend through plugins.

However, the stream quality might drop depending on the PC strength, use of media and plugins as well as your internet bandwidth. If you’re facing stream quality issues, you would have to reduce graphic-intensive media files or graphic settings on your games and use an ethernet cable instead of wi-fi.

Frame Drops

OBS Studio does have a 2-5% impact on CPU/GPU usage and this translates to a 10-15 FPS loss. This might not be much if you are getting more than 80 FPS to start with.

You might face dropped frames even when you are streaming with lower settings. In this case, you might need to dynamically change bitrate by going into Advanced Settings and scrolling down to Network. This would help smoothen the live stream and reduce choppiness.

CPU Usage

OBS Studio compared to any other broadcasting tool is on the lighter side of CPU usage. The CPU usage can be anywhere between 2-10% depending on your media files and browsers on OBS. This is made possible due to the barebone structure of OBS making the program itself lightweight and optimized. OBS has been in development since 2012 and is constantly being optimized to take minimum inputs and give maximum bang for the buck.

OBS Studio Audio Configuration

OBS Studio natively cannot handle too many audio configurations. However, there are free plugins available that can do the job for you. Voicemeeter Banana is one such great audio management plugin that can handle both hardware as well as virtual audio inputs.

However, the audio configuration can be a pain to figure out in the beginning. You would have to figure out game capture audio, your webcam as well as Zoom/ Skype audio to capture simultaneously. At the same time, it is worth the pain to master the audio settings if you want to grow the channel.

OBS Studio Interface

OBS interface is designed to be highly functional, without any unnecessary bells and whistles. The interface is simple and all the necessary screens are made available out of the box.

You do have to figure out navigation, set up your screen, and audio-video capture on your own. All this might seem intimidating to a beginner but can be overcome with regular usage.

OBS Studio Interface
OBS Studio Interface

OBS Studio Customization

OBS Studio is highly customizable. There are a plethora of customization options with no limits to imagination. You can add any kind of customization features like:

  1. Stinger Transitions
  2. Multicast on Streaming platforms like Youtube, Twitch, Facebook simultaneously
  3. Animated overlays
  4. Chat Support
  5. Alerts
  6. Voice manipulations
  7. Audio filters…

For more details on features. Check out my article on 6 top OBS features that you must know.

OBS Studio Support

OBS Studio is an open-source project, which means that it is developed by a global community of developers. You can not get any direct support, though there are tons of resources available online.

You can leave queries on the OBS discord community and even contact some of the Plugin creators directly.

For troubleshooting, there are tons of guides available. Note of caution, they can get a bit technical and complex to understand.

OBS Studio: Pros and Cons

OBS Studio can be your ultimate companion in the long run but requires a significant learning curve.

Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of OBS Studio

CategoryProsCons
UsageHighly functionalToo many options to choose from
PerformanceGood performance, low on CPU usageBad, excess, or heavy plugins can cause performance issues
FeaturesAll advanced features are supportedDifficult to figure out which plugin supports what feature
Streaming PlatformsMulticast to Twitch, Youtube, Facebook, and others simultaneously
Stream LayoutHighly customizable layouts are supportedYou have to figure out the layout on your own
PriceFreeSome plugins might cost extra
Learning CurveBigger learning curve. Difficult to learn all features. Constantly evolving.
OBS Studio: Pros and Cons

Comparison of Twitch Studio vs OBS

Both Twitch Studio and OBS Studio are fantastic applications. They provide different kinds of features and functionalities that a streamer might need at different stages of his journey.

Let’s compare both Twitch Studio and OBS side by side for quick reference.

OBS vs Twitch Studio Comparison

CategoryTwitch StudioOBS Studio
User stageBeginnerAdvanced
UsabilityEasy navigation with simple explanationsBarebone program
Using it effectively takes time
FeaturesAll necessary features. Advanced features missingSupports all advanced features
CustomizationBasic customization options are availableHighly customizable
Stream QualityDecent Quality, minor FPS dropGood quality and can be optimized
PerformanceEqual or lower than OBSGood performance, lower CPU usage
PriceFreeFree, some plugins might cost
Learning CurveSmall, easy to start withBig, needs research of your own
OBS Studio vs Twitch Studio Comparison

Conclusion

Both OBS Studio and Twitch Studio are great programs intended for different user experiences.

If you are a beginner who feels it’s too complicated to stream, Twitch Studio makes it easy and intuitive to get started quickly.

For those who want to expand and get more functionality, with full control of your stream, OBS is the way to go. It is meant for advanced users who like to tweak, experiment, and get creative without spending too much money.

My take? if you are a beginner start with Twitch Studio. When you get a hang of streaming, switch over to OBS Studio for more control and features.

Thinking of turning streaming into a full-time career? Read this article first.

FAQs

Is Twitch Studio better than OBS?

Twitch Studio offers great functionalities for beginner streamers who want to hit the ground running without much hassle. However, Twitch Studio is not a direct competitor of OBS as it is known that Twitch also supports OBS for its development. Also, OBS continues to be the most accepted broadcasting platform in the world. As Twitch Studio is meant for beginner streamers, their onboarding process to Twitch is smoother while OBS is best suited for more advanced streamers.

Another point to note is both Twitch Studio and OBS are made from the ground up, meaning there is no dependency to introduce new features on their platform. Other platforms like Streamlabs OBS are made over the OBS engine.

How is the Twitch Studio Installation Process?

Twitch Studio installation is pretty straightforward with step by step instructions guide for easy setup. Visit the Twitch Studio page to download the latest version. Twitch Studio is still in the Beta version but it is now available to download in all countries.