DISCLOSURE: AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES. AFFILIATE LINKS ARE MARKED WITH #ad. “I” IN THIS CASE MEANS THE OWNER OF GAMERSNOTALLOWED.COM. PLEASE READ THE FULL DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
So you want to try to get into the world of live streaming on your PC? Perhaps you want to start streaming some of your favorite games to see if you can build a following?
If you’re first getting into streaming there are lots of things to consider ranging from picking the right streaming platform or service for you, the right hardware setup (fx a capture card), the right lighting, the best microphone and more.
You’ll also need some kind of live streaming software, which is what this guide is all about. Of course, there are expensive options on the market that you can buy, but luckily there are also some amazing free streaming apps available that are great for gaming or video podcasts and more.
Below, I’ve written a quick guide to give you an overview of the best free live streaming apps for PC right now.
There are many options to consider and so hopefully this will provide you with a good place to start.
Tip: if you’re on mobile have at my guide for the best game live streaming apps for Android.
Let’s get streaming…
1. OBS Studio
OBS is great for those who are looking to live stream on PC. This is a free and open-source piece of software that will prove to be quite useful.
It has a fantastic interface that is a joy to use, and it has all of the features that you need from live streaming software. It’s very fully featured despite being a free program.
You can even add multiple sources to the OBS timeline when you’re developing custom projects. There are many filters and editing tools at your disposal.
Anyone who needs good free live streaming software will be pleased with OBS. It’s also great that this software works for Mac and Linux users, too.
OBS can be a bit intimidating, and is not necessarily built for game streamers right out of the box. This is where Streamlabs OBS comes in.
The difference between OBS and Streamlabs
Streamlabs (formerly known as Streamlabs OBS – or SLOBS) effectively turns OBS into a live streaming platform to make streaming easier. In other words, Streamlabs is a convenient overlay that lets you control multiple streaming accounts and apps, and it even has an event queue and a donation system.
Streamlabs is great for those who are looking to live stream on PC. It’s completely free just like OBS Studio. The number of overlays and graphics that you have to choose from will keep you happy.
It even makes it easy to multi stream to different platforms which is fantastic for those that are focusing on more than one streaming platform.
2. Twitch Studio
It makes sense that Twitch Studio would be one of the live streaming apps that you would turn to first. If you’re planning to stream content to Twitch specifically, then using this app is going to be a great option.
Twitch has done a good job of making an app that is easy enough to use for newcomers. It also offers all of the features that streamers need to find success on the platform.
For many people, this is going to be the only piece of live streaming software that will be necessary. If you’re just getting started, it might be easier to focus on learning how to use Twitch Studio to the best of your ability.
There’s a reason why it has become so popular over time.
This content was first published on GamersNotAllowed.com
3. Nvidia Shadowplay
Nvidia has proven to be an important company in gaming for so many reasons. This streaming app comes bundled with Nvidia Geforce graphics cards, and it’s going to be very useful.
Nvidia Shadowplay makes it simple to broadcast your gameplay to popular streaming platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Gaming, and even Twitch.
Recording gameplay videos and sharing them will always be easy when you’re using this intuitive app.
If you’re going to be purchasing one of Nvidia’s excellent graphics cards anyway, then this will certainly be helpful.
You’ll love how easy it is to record gameplay using this software. It should help you with your streaming endeavors, and it can also be good for those who are getting into content creation for platforms such as YouTube.
An added bonus is that you can also use Nvidias app to optimize your game setting through the launcher and it is also great for things like screenrecording, which I use all the time in my job.
FFSPLIT is a great program for Windows that is completely free. You’ll be able to capture what you’re doing on your desktop and turn it into high-quality video streaming content.
It works well for those who want to play games and live stream on PC. It has a hotkey feature that makes it easy to do what you need to do when you are new to the process.
You can also access the webcam using this software. There are many different types of overlays that you can use. It can help your live stream to come across as being professional. Overall, you’ll be pleased with what’s on offer here.
5. Wirecast Play
Wirecast Play is recommended because it’s very simple to use. Installation doesn’t take long and it’s easy to understand for those who don’t consider themselves to be tech-savvy.
It’s a free piece of software that has a rich set of features for you to play around with. There aren’t as many features in the free version, but it is impressive that they offer so many features for free.
The paid version is superior to the free version by far. However, the free version offers a good experience.
You have a lot of customization options that you can use. You can live stream high-quality videos without having to worry about lag or delays.
6. XSplit Free Version
The free version of XSplit is also a good option for live streamers. This is a great platform for those who want to be able to easily process and broadcast streaming videos.
There’s also a convenient built-in live output feature. This is a free piece of software, but it is ad-free, and that makes it much more appealing.
There are all sorts of graphics that you can utilize here. The easy customization options that are available to you are impressive. This will work nicely for presentations and even live events.
You’ll be able to use it to live stream games on PC as well if you’d like, but it’s more commonly used for events.
So what is the best app for streaming games PC? It really depends on what you’re looking for.
For many people, SLOBS is going to be the clear winner, but a lot of streamers might prefer to go with Twitch studio since it’s already integrated with this popular platform.
If you own a Nvidia card, you might give Nvidia Shadowplay a go. Personally, I have both Nvidia and SLOBS installed right now.
Depending on what you’re trying to do while live streaming games, you might like one of these options more than the others.
It’s well worth checking out all of them to see how you like them. They’re free, and this means that you don’t have to worry about wasting money.
If you discover that one piece of software isn’t right for you, then you can just move on.
Eventually, it might be worthwhile to look into using paid software with more features. These software options work nicely for starting out.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jan has played video games since the early 1980s. He loves getting immersed in video games as a way to take his mind off stuff when the outside world gets too scary. A lifelong gamer, the big interest led to a job as a lecturer on game sound at the University of Copenhagen and several written articles on video games for magazines.