StreamLabs vs StreamElements: Which One Should You Choose for Streaming?

7 min read
StreamLabs vs StreamElements

The popularity of live streaming continues to grow. Are you looking to start your live streaming journey but need help deciding which streaming software to use? Two of the most popular streaming software options are StreamLabs and StreamElements. Both tools help you create high-quality live streams. These tools have much to offer, from setting up stream overlays to managing your streaming journey. But how do you know which one is right for you?

This blog post will compare StreamLabs and StreamElements. So, keep reading this comparison blog to learn more about these two streaming software.

StreamLabs vs StreamElements Comparison

Feature StreamLabs StreamElements
Platform Type Streaming software with integrated tools Cloud-based streaming service
App Store Yes (with a Prime subscription for full access) No
Chatbot Yes (for Twitch and YouTube) Yes (flexible and integrates with chat)
Donation and Payment Options Multiple payment methods, including PayPal Supports various payment options, not just PayPal
Multistreaming Yes No
Video Editor Yes No
Mobile App Available for iOS and Android Android app only
Merch Store Yes Yes
Analytics Dashboard No Yes
Pros Free to download, quick setup, built-in OBS, customizable alerts, multistreaming, various donation options Free, cloud-based, extensive free templates, powerful chatbot, customizable donations, higher merch profit margins
Cons Requires Prime for full features, heavy CPU usage, limited exclusive merch options No app store, no multistreaming, no inbuilt encoding, no iOS app

What is StreamLabs?

StreamLabs is a streaming platform that has become a go-to choice for many beginners. It’s known for its easy-to-use interface and feature-rich presets that simplify the streaming experience. StreamLabs started its journey in 2014 as TwitchAlerts and has since evolved from OBS Studio, a popular open broadcast software.

The platform supports streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook, making it versatile for different streaming needs. However, StreamLabs requires a download and uses CPU resources, which might be a consideration for some users.

One of StreamLabs’s standout features is its customizable widgets. These allow live streamers to add timers, alerts, and other creative assets to their streaming channel. The platform also offers a range of overlay templates to enhance the visual appeal of your live stream.

StreamLabs also caters to the financial aspects of streaming. It provides various payment options, including a loyalty program for viewers. However, it’s worth noting that the platform only supports PayPal as a payment method.

StreamLabs is considered one of the more reliable streaming tools. It offers a cloud-based overlay tool, which can be a significant advantage for streamers who want to keep their setup simple.

Key Features of StreamLabs

The key features of StreamLabs are explained below:

  • App Store: StreamLabs offers an app store where you can find themes and apps to enhance your streaming experience. Full access requires a Prime subscription.
  • Streaming Software: StreamLabs has its own broadcasting software designed for ease of use and features a beginner-friendly interface.
  • Mobile App: The comprehensive mobile app, available for iOS and Android, extends desktop functionality to mobile streaming.
  • Live Streaming and Recording: Supports live streaming and video recording, catering to various content creation needs.
  • Multistreaming: Allows broadcasting to multiple platforms simultaneously, including custom RTMPs.
  • Video Editor: Enables setting up and previewing scenes before going live to ensure a smooth streaming experience.
  • Overlay/Widget Editor: Provides an intuitive editor for overlays and widgets with premium features for customization.
  • Twitch Chatbot: Works with Twitch and YouTube, enhancing viewer interaction.
  • Chatbot: Offers advanced features for more interactive viewer engagement.
  • Loyalty Programs and Donations: Integrated loyalty programs and multiple payment options for donations, including debit cards and PayPal.
  • Merch Store: Allows integration of a merch store into your streaming channel, providing an additional revenue stream.
  • Tools Library: Features an extensive library of streaming tools with premium options for advanced features.
  • CPU Usage: Notably, it uses more CPU power than other streaming platforms, which may affect performance on some systems.


  • Free to download
  • Quick and easy setup process
  • Built-in OBS functionality
  • Extensive library of free, pre-built stream overlays –
  • Customizable alerts and widgets
  • Internal App store with useful tools
  • Multistreaming capability
  • Variety of donation payment options
  • Ability to create a customizable merch store


  • Requires Prime subscription for access to specific feature
  • Heavy impact on CPU usage
  • Exclusive merch store options limited to Prime customers

What is StreamElements?

StreamElements is a cloud-based tool that integrates with top streaming platforms. It’s a favorite among many streamers because it stores streaming layouts and creative assets in the cloud. This feature makes it a reliable tool for those who want to maintain a consistent streaming experience across various platforms.

StreamElements, founded in 2017, competes with Streamlabs, offering similar features but with some unique advantages. It functions as an OBS plugin, reducing CPU load and making it compatible with broadcasting software like OBS Studio. This makes it a great choice for streamers who want to keep their streaming channel running smoothly.

Key Features of StreamElements

The key features of StreamElements are explained below:

Cloud-Based Integration: StreamElements is a cloud-based tool that integrates with open broadcast software like OBS Studio and Streamlabs OBS. This makes it easy to manage your streaming platform from any device.

Customizable Overlays: StreamElements offers a variety of overlay templates. These include webcam frames, alerts, and chat widgets that can enhance the visual appeal of your streaming channel. The overlays are cloud-based, making them accessible from any device.

Alerts and Notifications: This feature allows you to create customizable alerts for new followers, subscribers, donations, and cheers. These alerts can help engage viewers during a live stream.

Chatbot Integration: StreamElements includes a flexible chatbot. This tool automates chat moderation, commands, and responses, making it a reliable tool for managing chat during a live stream.

Donation and Tip Tracking: This feature tracks and provides analytics for donations and tips received during streams. It supports various payment options, not just PayPal.

Stream Store: StreamElements includes a merch store feature. This allows streamers to sell merchandise directly to viewers, providing another revenue stream.

Analytics Dashboard: StreamElements provides a dashboard with metrics on viewer engagement, growth, and stream performance. This can help streamers understand their audience and improve their streaming experience.


  • Free to download with numerous free features, including cloud-based stream overlays
  • Hosted in the cloud for easy access and management
  • Extensive library of free templates and widgets created by users
  • Powerful and flexible chatbot for enhanced chat interactions
  • Customizable donation links
  • Higher profit margins from merch store compared to competitors
  • Merch store creation and management
  • Integrated loyalty program
  • Android mobile app for on-the-go management


  • No app store
  • No multistreaming
  • No inbuilt encoding feature
  • No iOS app

Which One is Better: Streamelements or StreamLabs?

When deciding between StreamElements and StreamLabs, the answer is complex. Both are reliable tools, each with its strengths. StreamLabs is a user-friendly option that is ideal for those just starting. It offers everything in one app, making it a convenient choice. However, due to its heavier CPU usage, it does require a higher-end computer.

On the other hand, StreamElements is a great choice if you’re already familiar with OBS. It offers total freedom with customizations, including free overlays and premade templates, without additional cost. It’s also a better option if CPU usage is a concern, as it uses a single browser source for its cloud-based overlays.

Neither StreamLabs nor StreamElements is superior to the other. It’s more about which format is suitable for your specific needs. For instance, StreamLabs only offers PayPal for donation options, while StreamElements provides more variety. In terms of designing overlays, StreamElements has a stream deck control for music, which StreamLabs lacks. Your final decision should depend on your personal preferences and requirements. This comparison guide aims to help you choose the right tool for your streaming journey.


Streamlabs and StreamElements offer powerful tools for streamers but cater to different preferences and needs. Streamlabs is ideal for beginners and those who want an all-in-one solution. Its user-friendly interface integrates seamlessly with OBS Studio, making it perfect for streamers prioritizing simplicity. On the other hand, StreamElements appeals to advanced users seeking customization. Its robust overlay editor, customizable alerts, and chatbot features provide flexibility and creative control.

Whether you choose Streamlabs or StreamElements, try Castr today to experience multi-streaming across platforms and elevate your live streaming game! Castr provides an excellent range of video streaming features. One of the standout features is the Embed Player, which allows you to stream content smoothly and directly on websites and OTT platforms.

Castr offers great options for video-on-demand (VOD) content. This feature is perfect for hosting videos without any Castr branding, giving your content a more professional look. If you have pre-recorded content, you can easily schedule it for streaming or even set it to loop 24/7, ensuring your viewers can access great content anytime. Finally, if monetization is your goal, Castr has you covered.

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