I use many different video software applications and services to record videos on my PC and stream live to YouTube and other platforms such as Twitch.
In this page, I have listed many of the applications I use to record videos. I use some of these applications all the time. Others I use when I need to record gameplay from a games console.
Elgato Game Capture Software
Elgato’s game capture software was designed for use with their game capture recording devices. Available for Windows, it allows you to add game overlays, define recording quality and add audio.
It’s not my preferred application for recording game footage, however it is necessary if you are using most Elgato recording devices as it installs the drivers you need. I generally only use it to test everything is connected correctly, but many people do use it as their main recording application.
OBS, short for Open Broadcaster Software, is the application favoured by most YouTubers and game streamers. It’s also called OBS Studio.
The software is free to download and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.
I have been using OBS for years. It uses less CPU resources than many alternatives and is the main application I use to record videos and do live streams. It allows me to connect several cameras, show browsers, show applications, display webcams and more.
The software also allows you to apply multiple video and audio filters. For example, I use OBS when using my green screen.
OBS lets you set up dozens of scenes to help you shape the way you stream live. Highly recommended.
Restream is an online service that allows you to send your live stream to multiple platforms. It is free to use, however the premium plans allow you to stream to more platforms.
I started using Restream actively in 2019 to stream to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and more. That means my live stream is sent to many different platforms.
It does occasionally drop from time to time, and you do have to drop your video bitrate to ensure it works on all platforms, but Restream is a useful platform that has many benefits.
Billing themselves as the ultimate streamer platform, StreamElements builds upon OBS by adding many additional live streaming tools such as chat bots, overlays and windows to display comments and activity.
Their software is called OBS Live. It’s free to download and can be added to OBS as an addon.
A popular alternative to StreamElements is Streamlabs, or to give it its full name, Streamlabs OBS.
Based on OBS, Streamlabs OBS was designed to help you stream to YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, Facebook and more. It offers many useful themes for you live streams. It also adds integrated chat, customisable alerts and unique widgets.
Another application that is marketed towards game streamers is XSplit. It features many professional features such as a preview editor, whiteboard and a video editor.
It can be downloaded free of charge, however the free version restricts features and applies a watermark to videos.
It is therefore better to upgrade to the better version. The full version is frequently included free with graphics cards and other gaming equipment. It can also be purchased separately as a one-off fee of $199 or paid on a monthly basis.
XSplit is undoubtedly great software and many live streamers do use it. I personally prefer OBS and it remains the application I recommend to people.