Editor choice

TOP 10 Best Twitch Streaming Software: Free and Paid

With the first live stream introduced more than a decade ago, the streaming world has really taken over the digital world.

Thousands of people every day try to start streaming games or other types of content.

It’s no secret that the most appropriate and popular platform for that activity is Twitch. Due to this, we prepared a complete guide for beginners about the best twitch streaming software to use in 2020.

By picking one of the streaming software, you will have endless opportunities to stream like a pro. From delivering videos with a professional look to custom logos, high resolution to well-mixed audio you will be set apart from other streamers.

As a rapidly growing market, software developers are competing to get your attention, thus making it overwhelming for you on which twitch streaming software to choose.

Here is our list:

TOP 10 Best Twitch Streaming Software Selections

1. Streamlabs

Streamlabs review

First of all, we would like you to introduce open-source software, which is very popular among streamers.

Designed for novices as well as professional gamers, those using Streamlabs finds it easier to learn and navigate.

For instance, it is easy to move your webcam-feed and other elements around quickly and easily. Great software that enables you to make money while live streaming + other amazing features.

One of the features is the mask feature that enables your audience to dress you up through donations – really nice.

Also, the software offers hundreds of stream overlays as well as templates. When we look at the dashboard, it enables you to make adjustments through a few clicks.

What’s more, you can manage all elements without opening the browser as well as choose specific widgets for different broadcasts.

In general, the software is ideal not only for Twitch, but you can also use it on YouTube and Facebook too. The software offers game-specific encoding, which results in overall CPU usage.

  • Available on: Windows, MAC
  • Licenses: Free
  • Price: Free except there is a premium toolkit for professionally for $12 per month. Note that, you are billed annually.
PROS:
  • A powerful monetization tool that helps you earn income
  • Great features that help monitor your live stream performances
  • Game friendly
  • It is free
  • Easy-to-use
CONS:
  • Takes more CPU usage
  • No sound command (not sure is it really needed)
Functionality:
97 %

Live streaming software, Streamlab enables its users to distribute content over different platforms such as Twitch, Facebook Live, as well as YouTube. The software also offers chat management and tip donations.

Easy To Use:
97 %

Streamlab is easy to use as it does not require any technical knowledge. The good news is that it provides template themes that enable you to go live in minutes.

Final Review:

Might be the best free streaming software for Twitch, YouTube and etc. in 2020. From the above features, it is clear that stream lab is incredible software for gamers. With its advanced mode of useful settings, you will come to love using the dashboard as well as the theme tab. Highly recommend!

2. Twitch Studio

Twitch Studio Beta Review

One of the most popular free streaming software in 2020, Twitch Studio will not disappoint you, despite the fact that only the BETA version is available.

Here’s the deal:

Designed to meet new streamers’ needs, you get to stream directly on Twitch as well as live stream video games from the same platform.

Made to simplify your streaming experience you get to view chats as well as activity feedback such as subscribers and followers alongside your live broadcast.

Cool right?

This makes it easier to connect with your Twitch community as well as keep track of your fan base. The best part of this software is that you can personalize your stream to make it fit your personal branding.

  • Available on: Windows 7 or Newer and MAC
  • Licenses: Free
  • Price: Free
PROS:
  • Versatile as it offers multiple streams, layouts
  • Compactible with both Windows and MAC
  • Easy to use as it provides ready-made templates
  • Enables you to easily adjust the sound of your microphone
  • Track your activity feedback as well as interact while live streaming
  • Totally free to use
CONS:
  • Does not have a lot of features compared to other streaming software
  • Advanced settings are easier done on other streaming software
Functionality:
89 %

Great at broadcast live streaming or share a pre-recorded video of gameplays although it does not have a lot of additional features.

Easy To Use:
95 %

Due to its automated setup, Twitch studio is easy to use and perfect for streaming beginners.

Final Review:

To sum up everything, this software - Twitch Studio has really done an amazing job by simplifying its software to fit new streamers. It can't be the opposite, because this software is created for Twitch streamers. Anyway, apart from making it easier to get started in your streaming career you also get to personalize the stream according to your personal brand. So if you are looking for the most comfortable and suitable Twitch streaming and recording software - this is a good pick.

3. OBS Studio

OBS Studio Review

Known as Open Broadcaster Software, OBS is a powerful open-source PC streaming software usually found at the top list of the free streaming software.

Best for plugins, this software is not only perfect for live streaming but also video recordings, audio editing, mixing as well as window capturing in real-time.

Interestingly, the software also allows you to create highly customized scenes through multiple sources. These include text, webcams, window captures, and browser windows, capture cards among others.

With this multi-view feature, you get to monitor multiple scenes and easily transition to any of them with just a single or double click.

  • Available on: Windows, macOS 10.13+, and Linux
  • Licenses: Free
  • Price: Free
PROS:
  • It is free
  • Reliable (very few bugs)
  • Highly customizable with plugins
  • Compatible on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Low CPU usage
  • Has a large community
CONS:
  • Can be difficult to configure especially for new streamers
  • No centralized support as it is community-based
  • Limited editing features
Functionality:
94 %

Though it is perfect for live streaming and video recording purposes, it has limited editing editions.

Easy To Use:
90 %

A bit difficult for beginners to configure the software.

Final Review:

Although it might be a bit difficult for beginners to configure the software, OBS Studio is a great screen recorder as well as editing software. Apart from recording directly from your webcam and microphone, you can also get to add existing videos and photos or capture a window or a part of your screen with ease. Taking everything into account, OBS is a well-known and really one of the best Twitch streaming software - absolutely free to use!

4. XSplit

Xplit review

XSplit is one of the streaming software that will take your streaming craft to the next level.

First of all, it is user-friendly has multiple platforms and apps that enable you to capture great gameplay for live streaming or recording on Twitch or even YouTube / Facebook.

Here’s the deal:

The software comes in two versions, XSplit Broadcaster and XSplit Gamecaster. While both programs contain essential live streaming and recording capabilities, these programs also have some differences.

One of them is that the XSplit Broadcaster is only ideal for pros as you need access to third-party plugins.

As for the XSplit Gamecaster program is ideal for beginners as it basically contains only the essentials for game streaming. The Gamecaster automates almost everything thus making it easy to stream on Twitch or YouTube. It enables you to concentrate purely on your game and audience without worrying about any technical issues.

  • Available on: Windows
  • Licenses: Free/ Premium
  • Price: Free with basic features. However, there is a premium option that can be paid on a monthly basis which starts at $2.50.
PROS:
  • Supports Twitch Chat, YouTube Chat, and Facebook Chat widgets
  • Enhanced audio features
  • Variety of supported plugins
  • It is possible to stream and record in 4K at 60fps
  • Enables the user to broadcast simultaneously to multiple streaming devices
CONS:
  • Limited free version
  • Not compatible with MAC or Linux
Functionality:
90 %

Though it is used for capturing gameplay for live streaming or video recording the software is also great at video mixing.

Easy To Use:
93 %

With everything being automated, navigation is very easy, especially for the XSplit Gamecaster.

Final Review:

Affordable and easy to use, XSplit is an excellent software for PC streamers who prefer automated support and simple plugin customization. Keep in mind, the software company tends to share feature updates that enable users to be up to date and ensure the best stream quality to viewers.

5. Player.me

Player.me Review

When we wrote the review, we realized that not very many streamers were known this program.

So, Player.me is one of the most versatile systems to combine into your stream. A simply designed streaming app, the software does just about everything it was created for.

To start with, the software comes with overlay templates that come with donation systems, alerts, widgets, and more. Probably everything you need for starting a streaming channel, right?

Secondly, it enables you to create a gaming profile by just connecting you to your gaming, social and content accounts.

This way, it will be easy to reach out to your audience on multiple platforms. Additionally, you will get to automatically post whatever you share on the Player.me application to other accounts.

Being a gamer platform, this software will be beneficial to you and your friends as you share gaming updates cross-posts to Twitter as well as connect with your fans.

On top of that, the software is compatible with OBS Studio, XSplit and Streamlab OBS.

  • Available on: Windows
  • Licenses: Free
  • Price: Free
PROS:
  • Access to hundreds of professionally designed overlay templates
  • A super video editor that edits and uploads your videos
  • Enables you to track  all your gameplay across all games
  • An easy to follow guided setup
  • Ability to check chat, events, and stream stats in one screen
CONS:
  • Lacks some advanced options
  • Limited to Windows only
Functionality:
91 %

Great software to create your own personal look though it is limited to one monitor.

Easy To Use:
93 %

Has a bunch of gamed-themes overlays that make streaming easy.

Final Review:

Unlike other software, Player.me is only ideal for streamers with only one monitor but that doesn’t stop its users from benefiting from its great features. Being compatible with XSplit, OBS Studio, and Streamlabs OBS, it enables users of this other software to integrate into their daily lives of gaming. If you are PC gamers and looking for the best PC streaming software, why not try Player.me?

6. vMix

vMix review

First of all, vMix is high-end streaming software, which offers some advanced features only professional streamers would wish for.

Vision mixing software you get to live stream and broadcast videos directly to the internet. On the other hand, you can switch, record, and also live stream in Full HD, SD, and 4K.

The good news is that you can do all this using multiple sources like video files, cameras, images, and many more.

Built for professional, the software offers different features depending on how much you pay. From the basic package to the pro package, you get to decide the best package for you.

The packages include:

  • Basic: It is free
  • Basic HD: $60
  • HD: $350
  • 4K: $700
  • Pro: $1200

Keep in mind to get the most out vMix, it is recommended you use the advanced packages such as HD, 4K, and Pro program.

With these packages, you will get more input; overlay channels and other features like vMix call, external output, and instant replays among others.

Also, the touchscreen interface conveniently allows you to control your program remotely from your smartphone.

  • Available on: Windows, MAC
  • Licenses: Product software
  • Price: Different packages from Basic which is free, Basic HD- $60, HD-4 350, 4K- $700 and Pro-$1200.
PROS:
  • Pro-level tools
  • Built-in templates
  • Offers great support
  • Has a lot of high-end features
  • Provides a touchscreen web interface
  • Offers free trial version
CONS:
  • Windows only
  • One-time payment for the four editions
Functionality:
96 %

Has high-end features that provide ultimate professionalism for streamers.

Easy To Use:
90 %

Despite having many features, it is quite easy to operate and use.

Final Review:

Compared to other software, vMix does offer you a lot of features due to its different packages. The packages offer several formats, providing attractive transition effects as well as getting 100 inbuilt animated stickers, and titles. With all this, it is safe to say that by the end of the day you will get your money’s worth. Anyway, the price is really not the lowest.

7. AverMedia – RECentral

RECentral review

Though it is still not as popular as other household streaming software, AverMedia has a lot to offer its users and provides great streaming equipment + a dedicated software for streaming RECentral.

Targeting beginner streamers, the software also offers Live Streamer CAM 313 which pairs up with CamEngine software. This combination offers advanced features like effects, filters, portrait enhancement, and more.

In general, this software offers all basic – needed features for streamers: prepare scenes for the streaming sessions, source overlay, chrome key function that removes your background without a green screen and live editing.

With all these features you get to create more compelling streaming content.

  • Available on: Windows
  • Licenses: Free/Premium
  • Price: The software is free but the capture cards and streaming kits are not
PROS:
  • Can stream multiple inputs at once
  • Offers third party software compatibility and additional equipment
  • Support 4K recording
CONS:
  • For a beginners could be too difficult to understand at first try
  • Only for Windows users
Functionality:
89 %

Has incredible tools as it provides multiple inputs at once.

Easy To Use:
95 %

The out of box application easily allows users to capture and record without any fuss.

Final Review:

AverMedia is quite interesting streaming software to have by your side. From the streaming kit that enables you to have flawless streaming sessions to the capture card, you will get to grow your fan base. However, the downside is that it is only available on Windows.

8. LightStream

Lightstream review

Here’s the best part:

This streaming software for Twitch and etc. doesn’t require to be downloaded!

Known to allow you to go live in minutes, the software is one of the world’s largest cloud-powered streaming platforms.

A great investment tool is compatible not only with Twitch but also with YouTube and Facebook.

You can use it to invite guests to your podcast show, host panel discussions, product launches, and more.

Great at enabling you to have complete creative control, Lightstream features a drag and drop editor that allows for unlimited scenes, creative control, and projects.

Furthermore, you get to experience stream alerts, motion graphics, screen sharing, and even display social media stuff.

All this helps increase interaction and engagement with your friends and fans alike. The best part is since everything is cloud-based and produced from your web browser, no downloads are required making it easier to live stream anywhere in the world.

  • Available on: Windows/Mac/Linux
  • Licenses: Free/Premium
  • Price: Free
PROS:
  • Browse and cloud-based
  • Uses less CPU
  • Allows live chat support
  • Easy to set up and simple to use
  • It is free
CONS:
  • Some complain about the sound quality
  • You have to switch to Google Chrome browser if you use some other browsers
  • Very basic features
Functionality:
90 %

Effectively allows live chat support.

Easy To Use:
95 %

Easy to set up as no download is required.

Final Review:

Even if this particular streaming software has basic features, it still does offer some cool features such as all your projects, assets, and scenes are saved in the cloud. Another really cool feature is the drag and drop editor that provides different tools thus providing more interaction and engagement. So, if you are looking for software to stream on Twitch without downloading it - here's your best tool!

9. Elgato

Elgato review

First of all, we need to say that Elgato does a really good job and offers a lot of additional equipment that makes streaming even easier.

Is it the ideal software for direct Twitch streaming?

It depends.

If you have been looking to enter the world of live streaming as well as gameplay videos, then check out Elgato. Popular among streamers and game creators, this software has great features that make your streaming live easier.

  • First of all, the software enables you to capture gameplay videos and save them to your computer.
  • Secondly, when you connect the capture card you get to access more features like live streaming on Twitch or YouTube with only a click of a button.

One of the leading game capture software, Elgato usually has quite a number of game capture cards like HD60S, HD60PRO, CAM LINK 4K, and many more.

More interestingly, both OBS Studio and XSplit support the Elgato Game Capture HD which makes the software versatile. Keep in mind, every capture card is designed to maximize your streamline workflow.

Another great feature is the Stream Deck Controller which is a customizable control pad that includes 15 LCD keys that enables you to switch scenes, adjust audio, launch media, and more.

What’s more, you can trigger tweets, shat commands among other stuff by just using the Alt-Tab. There are more features that will enable your streaming to be flawless such as lightning, multi-mount, green screen, and lastly the Dock.

  • Available on: Windows/MAC/Linux
  • Licenses: Product software
  • Price: The software is free but the capture cards are not.
PROS:
  • Enables you to monitor gameplay simultaneously
  • Allows you to record gameplay
  • Has amazing  features
  • Very easy to set up and stream
CONS:
  • The capture cards might be a bit expensive
Functionality:
90 %

Offers powerful game capture cards in addition to other features, enabling the user to create professional content.

Easy To Use:
95 %

Very easy to set up and use as it enables users to easily record, upload, and live stream

Final Review:

Despite the capture cards being a bit expensive, Elgato is truly great Twitch streaming software all around. The features enable you to have smooth sessions while you grow your audience. Anyway, we need to say that this software offers additional gadgets like stream desk controller, but for streaming is not the best pick.

10. Nvidia Shadowplay

Nvidia shadowplay review

Mainly created with gamers in mind, Nvidia Shadowplay comes bundled with Nvidia GeForce graphic cards.

Encoded using Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) instead of using the Central Processing Unit (CPU) this particular software is better at recording than streaming.

In general, great at recording and sharing high gameplay videos, live streams and screenshots, you can use Nvidia Shadowplay for free along with your own equipment.

Although it is not at par with other streaming software as far as accessories are concerned, Shadowplay does offer amazing features to its users.

There are the instant replay and record where you can save your gameplay to your hard drive or share on Facebook or YouTube.

Furthermore, the software allows you to capture gameplay as well as enable you to edit videos within its application. Not only that, it’s possible to make gifs in 4K as well.

  • Available on: Windows
  • Licenses: Free
  • Price: Free (Must have Nvidia graphics card to use the software).
PROS:
  • Uses GPU instead of CPU
  • Great tool for video recording
  • Has GeForce Drivers
  • Includes shortcuts making it easier to capture gameplay
CONS:
  • Ideal for recording not the best for streaming
  • Must have Nvidia graphic card which might be expensive
  • No multisource displays, overlays, plugins among other features
Functionality:
85 %

Has excellent tools for video recording but streaming isn’t its strongest suit.

Easy To Use:
80 %

A bit difficult to navigate.

Final Review:

Though it does not come with as many accessories as the other streaming software, it does serve its purpose as streaming gameplay. Nonetheless, if you want to create something more advanced then you better of using any other streaming software such as OBS as you can use the Nvidia’s NVENC encoding with it. On the other hand, if your PC has an Nvidia video card and you are a fan of this brand, just try it and see how it goes.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, we helped all streamers who searched for the best Twitch streaming software to find the most comfortable application to start their journey on Twitch easily and confidently.

But before you start streaming games, make sure you have the right equipment – start with a good camera to stream on the Twitch and a microphone.

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