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Streamlabs vs StreamElements: Which Should You Use?

A look at the corner logo of Streamlabs in their homepage.

It’s no secret that streamers turn to services such as StreamElements and Streamlabs to capitalize Twitch channels. These widgets aid in effectively managing donations, incentivizing and rewarding viewers, and crafting eye-catching visuals.

It, therefore, comes as no surprise then, that they’re the market’s go-to options. So, if you’re a beginner and not sure which streaming service will best meet your needs between Streamlabs vs. StreamElements, we’re here to clear things up.

What is Streamlabs?

Established in 2014 and owned by Logitech, Streamlabs is a live streaming software service. It packs a boatload of features geared towards elevating the visual appeal of your Twitch stream and enhancing viewer engagement.

And, it’s not limited to Twitch, which means you can use Streamlabs on other popular platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Live, and Mixer. The possibilities are endless. Not only does Streamlabs tick all the right boxes, but it is also free user-friendly, doesn’t demand any technical skills, and is free to download.

What is StreamElements?

Founded two years later in 2016, StreamElements is a relatively new and great streaming platform that combines most of the required and go-to features that you’d typically find in various tools.

You can set up chat statistics, layouts, song requests, loyalty/currency system, tipping, and much more. The world is your oyster! The best part about StreamElements is that it automatically saves your setups and layouts in the cloud. So, you’re not limited to one PC.

Streamlabs vs StreamElements: What Are The Differences?

This is a look at the Streamlabs logo at their webpage.

One of the main differences between the two is that StreamElements lacks a top of the range app store. The Streamlabs app allows you to purchase interactive, thrilling activities for your audience to delight in while you’re streaming.

Both platforms provide users with Twitch chatbots. These come in handy in fulfilling different interactive or moderation needs with your chat.

There’s a slight variation in the Streamlabs chatbots that usher in more perks for your channel, for instance, a loyalty program for your audience. It allows them to receive an unlimited number of rewards that you choose to avail to them for staying tuned in to your stream for extended durations.

When it comes down to it, Streamlabs is the top choice for beginners dipping their toes in the streaming world. The layout is pleasantly simple and exudes user-friendliness for average streamers.

Contrarily, StreamElements has a more complex format and layout and is thereby the go-to for veteran streamers. Nonetheless, if you’re on the quest for simple streams with basic Twitch alerts, without special effects and everything in between, then both services will get the job done to perfection.

Streamlabs vs. StreamElements: What Are The Similarities?

Here’s a breakdown of the striking similarities between both platforms.

Pre-made Templates

StreamElements and Streamlabs have pre-made templates that you can utilize to alter your stream. They include GIFS for your alerts and exclusive animated templates.

Alert Sounds

Both streaming platforms have a broad spectrum of alert sounds for your stream to notify you of new donators, subscribers, followers, and other activity.

Media Share

StreamElements and Streamlabs have a media share feature that grants you free rein to set up URL requests for your chats. In turn, this allows your audience to play music through your streams.

Donations

Both streaming platforms are strikingly similar when it comes to donations. StreamElements and Streamlabs provide you with donation links for your channel.

Thus, this allows your audience to quickly and conveniently donate real cash to you. The best part is that neither of the services takes a cut from your donations. They’re 100% yours to keep.

Custom Sound Effects and Visuals

Streamlabs and StreamElements give you the option to provide your audience with custom sound effects and images to select from for their donation.

Furthermore, they permit your audience to send custom messages coupled with their donations, according to your stipulated terms.

Streamlabs allows you to receive your donations via Credit Cards, Unit Pay, PayPal, Coinbase, and Skrill. On the other hand, StreamElements is limited to two options; Credit Cards and PayPal.

What Are The Perks Of StreamElements?

An illustrative representation of connectivity and streaming.

Below is a list of the pros that come with using this streaming service.

  • Grants you access to their stream overlays and templates for free, including the animated options.
  • Provides a donation link for your audience to donate cash to you and your live streams. It takes no cuts from your donations. And, it permits your audience to utilize custom visuals with their donations as provided by you along with personalized messages.
  • It grants you access to a media share system for your chat, thus allowing your audience to share music on your streams. And, they’ll hear their songs playing in the background of your streams.

What are the Cons of StreamElements?

Here’s a breakdown of the disadvantages of using this platform.

  • Unlike Streamlabs, StreamElements does not provide users with an app store. It’s packed with applications that you can buy for your stream, this giving you interactive and exhilarating games for your audience.
  • While StreamElements provides you with a chatbot, it lacks a barrage of the same accommodations that you’ll find in the Streamlabs bot.
  • Granted, StreamElements gives users access to payment methods by which they can receive donations from their viewers. But, they’re significantly fewer compared to Streamlabs users.

What are the Advantages of Streamlabs?

We’ve rounded up the pros of using this service.

  • Just like StreamElements, Streamlabs equips users with free animated designs and templates to suit their cosmetic streaming needs and expectations.
  • It grants you access to a URL link that viewers can refer to when making their donations to you, along with more payment options compared to StreamElements. Moreover, it doesn’t take a cut upon receipt of your donations. It gives you the ability to give your viewers custom messages and images when they donate.
  • The chatbot grants you access to a boatload of interactive games. So, your chat can play with the bot.
  • Your viewers on Streamlabs are awarded loyalty points for watching your stream for long periods.

What are the Disadvantages of Streamlabs?

While the pros outweigh the cons, let’s look at a few disadvantages of this streaming service.

  • It provides users a media share service. But, it’s more complex compared to that of StreamElements.
  • Granted, Streamlabs isn’t as complicated as StreamElements. However, having something less complicated ushers in the likelihood of facing customization problems down the road.

The Statistics

How to Use Streamlabs

The Streamlabs App as shown in the mobile app store.

Setting up a Streamlabs account is a straightforward process. Simply head over to Twitch.tv, fill out the registration form with your details, wait for the confirmation email, then download and install the app. Now, you can follow the steps below.

Become Familiar with the Dashboard

Upon installing Streamlabs and logging in to your Twitch account, the first thing you’ll notice is an array of settings options on the Dashboard. Use it navigate the ‘Editor’ tab as that’s where you’ll spend most of your time.

It’s the tab that serves as a centralized hub for streaming configuration. It facilitates the management of widgets, input sources, and scenes.

Choose to Record or Go Live

Unlike the initial OBS, Streamlabs grants you free rein to decide between recording and doing a live stream. And, you’ll find these two options in the ‘Editor’ tab.

Add Themes and Widgets

It’s equally as straightforward as getting started with Streamlabs, revolving around looking, reading, and clicking. So, to add themes and widgets, go to the ‘Add Source’ tab. You’ll then see a widget menu that’s littered with options to select.

Double-click on the widget that catches your eye to open the settings tab with personalization tools. If you’re on the quest for themes, you’ll locate them in the ‘Themes’ tab.

Streamlabs boasts a library of template themes that users can utilize as they are or infuse a personal touch as they deem fit. The same applies to widget themes.

How to Use StreamElements

If you’re a beginner, you can register with your Google account on the StreamElements homepage. However, current users that have registered with Twitch can add their YouTube account by following the on-screen prompts on the channel settings menu.

New To StreamElements

1. Head over to StreamElements and select ‘connect with YouTube’

2. Select the Google account associated with the channel you want to connect

3. Choose the brand or channel account

4. Grant ‘StreamElements’ permission to manage your account

Once you’ve signed in, getting started entails following the steps below.

1. Key in your PayPal email address (register and verify a PayPal account if you don’t have one)

2. Create your 1st overlay

3. Include the chatbot to your channel

4. Become part of the Discord for the best community of streamers on Twitch and unmatched 24/7 customer support

For existing StreamElements Users

1. Select ‘Channel’ then ‘Settings’ on the top menu

2. Choose ‘Add YouTube Channel

3. From here, the instructions are the same as for beginners


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