If you do streaming for a living, or even as a hobby, then you probably know how much work goes into it. It isn’t just sitting in front of the camera and playing a game or talking for hours. There’s also planning your content, making sure that your viewers are engaged, monetizing your videos, getting sponsorships, and promoting your content, among many other things. Luckily, there are live streaming apps like Streamlabs and StreamElements that can manage all of that for you. In this Streamlabs vs StreamElements battle, we compare the key features of these top live-streaming apps, including stream overlays, custom sound effects and visuals, and many more.
Inside This Article
- Streamlabs vs StreamElements: Overview
- What Is Streamlabs?
- What Is StreamElements?
- Streamlabs vs StreamElements: How Do They Compare?
- What Are the Advantages of Streamlabs?
- What Are the Advantages of StreamElements?
- Streamlabs vs StreamElements: The Better Choice
|Custom sound and visual effects for alerts
|Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or later/iOS 11 or later/iPadOS 11 or later
|Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or later/iOS 11 or later/iPadOS 11 or later
|Android and iOS
|Number of users
|More than 2M
|More than 1.1M
- Built-in OBS
- Free animated designs and templates
- Built-in chatbot with interactive games
- Offers loyalty points to viewers
- Has an app store
- Built-in merch store
- Offers a wide variety of payment options for donations
- Media sharing feature is slightly hard to grasp
- Not a lot of free overlay options
- Some features are only accessible through Streamlabs Prime
Streamlabs was originally known as TwitchAlerts when it was launched in 2014. At that time, streamers could only use it to add visual alerts to streamers’ screens when they go live. These alerts would pop up when a streamer gains a new follower or subscriber or receives a donation.
Years after its release, Streamlabs has expanded its services. Now, it has become a live streaming app that helps content creators gain profit from their content, elevate the look of their live streams, and boost viewer engagement. Streamlabs also doesn’t just let you stream on Twitch anymore. You can use the app to stream on other major platforms, like YouTube and Facebook Live. Before, you could also use Streamlabs to stream on Mixer, but then the video game live streaming platform shut down in July 2020 following a deal with Facebook Gaming.
- Better profit margins from the built-in merch store
- Offers a wide range of widgets and free overlay templates
- Gives viewers points for watching your content
- Chat has a media share system
- Chatbot is customizable and can handle chat moderation
- Customizable alerts
- Doesn’t have an iOS version
- Doesn’t have OBS built in
- Considerably fewer payment options for donations
StreamElements is two years younger than Streamlabs, but the two live-streaming apps offer pretty much the same services to content creators. Just like Streamlabs, StreamElements helps you manage donations from your viewers, make striking visual alerts for your streams, and incentivize your viewers for watching your content.
With StreamElements, you gain access to a massive collection of overlay templates, a customizable donation link, a media share system within your chat, a built-in merch store, and so much more. What’s more, the app is completely cloud-based, so you can access your layouts and setups using any device.
Streamlabs and StreamElements are the two most reliable options for effectively managing your streams. On the surface, they seem like the same platform. However, there are several noteworthy differences in how they help you boost your viewership and monetize your content. We take a deep look into these differences in the next section of our Streamlabs vs StreamElements comparison.
Both Streamlabs and StreamElements allow you to create stream overlays. Your stream overlay is what gives your Twitch channel a distinctive look and makes you stand out from other streamers. In other words, it’s what helps you establish your brand as a content creator. This is where you display your channel name and other key elements of your stream, like when a viewer sends you a donation. You can also use it to promote your other social media pages.
Streamlabs offers a wide variety of free overlays, but you only get a limited number of options. If you want thousands more overlays and themes, you will have to purchase either a monthly or a yearly Streamlabs Prime subscription. This will give access to premium overlays designed by top artists in the industry, including OWN3D, Visuals by Impulse, and Designed by Nerd or Die.
The app’s collection of stream overlays is categorized into different game genres. So, whether you stream first-person shooter games, RPGs, or sports video games, there’s definitely a design that you’ll like. The app’s library of stream overlays also includes a color filter, which makes it easier to pick a design based on the colors you want on your channel.
StreamElements also offers dozens of free ready-to-use stream overlays, which they call SuperThemes. You can use the app’s overlays when streaming on Facebook Gaming, YouTube, and Twitch. These stream overlays include scenes for when you’re about to start your stream, when you’re already playing the game, when you’re taking a break from your stream, and when your stream has already ended. Each theme also includes a “talk show” scene. This is great for when you’re not live-streaming a game and just want to chat with your subscribers.
Besides ready-to-use stream overlays, StreamElements also has its very own overlay editor, which makes managing your SuperThemes much simpler. With this tool, you can easily create, duplicate, edit, and personalize your stream overlays.
What’s also great about StreamElements is that it stores all of your assets and graphics in the cloud. Thus, your pre-stream setup will be much quicker. This also means that all of your overlays are secure and backed up and that you can use any device to access them.
Part of the beauty of the digital age — at least to video creators and streamers—is that you aren’t limited to only one platform to post your content. Nowadays, there’s Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and a whole lot of other sites that allow you to reach your viewers. There are lots of options, but what’s great is that you don’t have to pick just one of these platforms. With multistreaming, you can live stream your content to all of these sites simultaneously, thus helping you grow your audience.
Of the two apps, only Streamlabs offers a multistream feature as of writing. However, you will need a Streamlabs Prime subscription before you can stream to multiple platforms.
Streamlabs lets you easily broadcast your gaming sessions or live chats to Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube at the same time and right from your phone. Doing so is also incredibly simple; you only need to tap on the “Enable multistream” toggle and select the platforms that you would like to stream on.
Social media integration is an important element of a streaming app. Having this feature allows you to easily share and promote your content to different social media platforms and reel in new viewers. In this next section of our Streamlabs vs StreamElements comparison, we discuss how these two apps fare in terms of social media integration.
One of the ways in which Streamlabs helps to seamlessly integrate your streams with your social media accounts is by automatically tweeting when you go live. Of course, it’s totally up to you if you want to enable this feature. To allow Streamlabs to automatically post tweets for you, simply tap on the Go Live button. Then, tap on the “Connect to Twitter” button when the “Share Your Stream” pop-up message appears on your screen. Afterward, the app will show you a tweet preview containing the link to your stream. You can also customize the tweet before it gets posted.
Another social media integration tool that Streamlabs offers is Account Merging. Before the app launched this feature, users had to login into multiple accounts before they could multistream. But now that the app has Account Merging, you only need to login once to access all of your accounts. The feature also allows you to set a primary account as well as unlink accounts.
Streamlabs also has Crossclip, a tool that helps your content go viral on other social media platforms. Launched in mid-2021, Crossclip takes the content you post on Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and/or YouTube and converts them into mobile-friendly clips that you can post on TikTok, YouTube Shorts, or Instagram Reels. With this tool, you won’t have to painstakingly edit each clip to fit the format of a specific platform. Converting these clips only requires a tap of a button and around two to three minutes of your time, and you’re good to go!
StreamElements integrates with three other social media platforms: Facebook ( including Facebook Live and Facebook Gaming), YouTube, and of course Twitch. That said, it doesn’t have all the other social media integration tools that Streamlabs has.
Alerts are an essential part of live streaming because they notify you when a viewer subscribes to or follows you or when they give you tips or donations. By receiving these alerts while streaming, you get the chance to thank your viewers for their support. With Streamlabs and StreamElements you also get to customize the sound effects and visuals that come with these alerts. In the following section of our Streamlabs vs StreamElements breakdown, we compare the custom sound and visual effects that these apps offer.
Streamlabs offers tons of free as well as premium ready-to-use sound and visual effects, which you can access through the Streamlabs OBS Media Library. With this app, you can assign sound effects and visuals for all sorts of alerts, including donations, Twitch follows, Twitch subs, Streamlabs Prime subscription gifts, and many more.
If you want to customize your alert sounds, simply go to your Streamlabs Dashboard and configure the alert box settings. Then, select a type of alert (e.g. donations) under “Event Type,” and choose or upload an audio file for that particular alert. Third-party sites such as Free Sound, Sound Bible, and Audio Micro are great sources for alert sounds for Streamlabs. You can also find GIFs to use for your alerts from Gif Bin, Giphy, Gif-King, and Gifsme.
StreamElements also lets you add sound and visual effects that accompany your stream alerts. All you have to do is create an overlay then add a widget by selecting the “Add a Widget” button or the plus sign. Afterward, hover to the Alerts option, and then select AlertBox, which acts as a blank canvas for your alerts. You can then add whatever visual and sound effects to this AlertBox and customize it for each of your stream’s alerts. You can craft alerts when you gain new followers, subscribers, raids, tips, purchases, and many more.
Donations and tips make up a huge portion of streamers’ earnings. Luckily, both Streamlabs and StreamElements offer tools that make giving and receiving these donations much easier. We compare these tools in the next section of our Streamlabs vs StreamElements review.
First and foremost, Streamlabs provides you with a donation link, which is where your viewers can directly send you cash. The app also lets you set up a custom tip page for free. With this tip page, you can accept payments and donations through various payment processors, including credit cards, PayPal, Unit Pay, and Coinbase. You can even receive international payments through Paysafecard, Sofort, and Neteller Wallet, among others. However, you will need a Skrill account first before you can accept international payments.
Streamlabs also recently added an option where streamers can receive recurring tips through the monthly tipping service feature. You can set up the service in one of two ways; one option is to let your viewers choose the amount they want to donate per month. The other is to establish specific amounts for every recurring payment.
As a way to motivate viewers to take part in the monthly tipping service, Streamlabs gives monthly tippers redeemable alerts, which they can play whenever they want during a stream. These alerts give streamers the chance to thank their donors when they go live. Streamlabs is still planning to add more features that will encourage more viewers to participate in this new service. According to the developers, they will add leaderboards and badges as incentives for monthly donors.
The good news is that Streamlabs doesn’t take a cut of the donations your viewers send to you. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll receive all of your tips and donations whole since payment processors may still impose transaction fees.
Just like Streamlabs, StreamElements also gives you a donation link for your channel and doesn’t take a cut of the donations you receive. However, unlike Streamlabs, you can only accept tips and donations through either PayPal or StreamElements’s very own tipping service called SE.Pay. To be able to receive donations through SE.Pay, you must be at least 18 years old and have at least 101 followers or subscribers on Twitch, Facebook Gaming, Trovo, or YouTube. You must also have a bank account under your name in any of these countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
The good thing about SE.Pay is that it protects you against malicious chargeback claims by banning users who repeatedly file them. Should you receive such claims, SE.Pay helps you with any documentation you need to disprove these claims. With StreamElements, you also have the option to allow or disable sending donations under different names. When you enable this feature, your viewers will need to login before they can send you a donation. It is an extra step, but it does increase security and helps prevent wrongful chargebacks.
Besides having its own tipping service, StreamElements also gives you access to your revenue history. On this page, you can view an exportable list of all the tips you’ve received since using the app, your top tippers, all the cheers you’ve received, a monthly income report, and the income you’ve received through your merch.
Just like with any other app, you need to first fulfill the system requirements before you can install either Streamlabs or StreamElements on your phone. Luckily, both of these streaming apps don’t require much for them to work smoothly. For Streamlabs, your mobile device needs to be running on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or later, iOS 11 or later, or iPadOS 11 or later.
As of writing, StreamElements is only compatible with Android phones and tablets. Your device needs to be running on Android 5.0 or later before you can install the app.
Ease of use is another important factor when comparing Streamlabs vs StreamElements. Both live streaming apps have tools that are easy to navigate and operate. That said, more users have noted how exceptionally easy it is to use Streamlabs because of its smooth-running interface and simple layout, making it suitable for beginners. On top of that, there’s also the incredibly handy Streamlabs Dashboard, which is where you can manage every aspect of your streams, from donations to alerts.
StreamElements is also fairly easy to use, but it does need a bit of getting used to. That’s because the app’s layout is considerably more complex. Thus, it’s better suited for veteran streamers who already know their way around live streaming platforms.
Streamlabs has the upper hand when it comes to the number of users. That’s partly because it has the advantage of being around two years longer than StreamElements. As of writing, Streamlabs has surpassed a whopping two million active users; that number is only bound to go up as more and more people turn to streaming either as a hobby or a source of income. StreamElements, on the other hand, isn’t that far behind with more than 1.1 million streamers currently actively using the app.
Besides being around longer, there are many other reasons why lots of streamers rely on Streamlabs to manage their streams. One of them is that the app comes built-in with its own version of OBS (called SLOBS) that’s compatible with both PC and mobile. Essentially, having an OBS allows you to record and stream your videos. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to do your streams. Having a built-in OBS means that you don’t need prior knowledge of the software to use Streamlabs and that you don’t need to install a separate program for it.
Another advantage of Streamlabs is its built-in chatbot called CloudBot that your viewers can interact with while you stream. As its name suggests, CloudBot is entirely cloud-based. This chatbot has interactive minigames, a media share feature, chat alerts, and many more. It also helps you moderate your chat by giving you access to different filter options.
Streamlabs also allows you to give loyalty points to your frequent viewers. When your viewers have accumulated enough, they can spend these points to redeem alerts, interact directly during your streams, play premium minigames, enter giveaways, and many more.
On top of that, Streamlabs comes with a built-in merch store, allowing you to sell your own merch while you stream. The store is fully customizable; you can design your own “storefront” by customizing the fonts, colors, and more. Streamlabs also has its own app store, but you’ll need a Streamlabs Prime subscription to access it. Here, you’ll find apps such as Monstercat and Pretzel, which lets you play music during streams (without the risk of getting a DMCA notice); Powerspike, which helps you get sponsorships; and HueLights, which lets your viewers control the lights in the chat.
StreamElements has its fair share of advantages as well. For one, it’s completely cloud-based, which means everything is hosted online. Because of this, you can access your overlays and alerts from any device, and it has very little impact on your device’s CPU usage. Thus, you can stream through StreamElements even if your phone doesn’t have high-end specs.
StreamElements also has the advantage of having all of its stream overlay options, including animated ones, available for free. Streamlabs, on the other hand, has more paid-for overlays than free ones. With StreamElements, your viewers can play songs or videos during your streams, thanks to the media share feature. You can choose to set media share as a free-to-use tool or a tip-based one.
Apart from that, StreamElements also includes a built-in customizable chatbot that helps you moderate chats when you stream. With this bot, you gain access to both default commands and custom ones (like a hug command), as well as timers and a spam filter. You can also enable different kinds of chat modules, including chat alerts, Live Announcement, Emote Pyramids and Emote Combos, and a few fun ones, like 8Ball and some minigames.
Just like Streamlabs, StreamElements has a built-in merch store called SE.Merch. It’s very easy to set up, and you won’t ever encounter a paywall when using the feature. Plus, it offers premium quality items with a 100% warranty and allows for worldwide shipping. SE.Merch is also fully integrated with your streams and helps you increase sales through timers and chat commands. On top of that, you also get to earn more with StreamElements. For example, a shirt that costs $25 will give you an 11-dollar profit with StreamElements, while Streamlabs will only give you a six-dollar profit for the same item.
The Streamlabs vs StreamElements battle is a tough one mostly because both live-streaming apps have a lot to offer. Streamlabs offers many features that StreamElements does not, such as multistreaming, built-in OBS, and an app store. It also has more customization tools and a more user-friendly interface than StreamElements. That said, many of these extra perks are only available if you have a Streamlabs Prime subscription. Also, since it isn’t hosted online, you’ll have to make sure that your device has the right specs to keep the app running smoothly.
StreamElements, on the other hand, is completely free to download and use and has almost all the features you need to manage and monetize your streams. It offers free overlays, customizable alerts, its own merch store (which gives you a higher profit margin), a media share system, a chatbot, and so much more. However, compared to Streamlabs, these features don’t let you do as much. Moreover, payment options for donations are limited, and you can’t stream to multiple platforms at once.
Streamlabs and StreamElements both have their fair share of pros and cons. They are, without a doubt, the best live streaming apps that any streamer can hope for. Whichever app you go for will surely make being a streamer a much easier and more enjoyable experience.