Guide: OBS Setup -- Basic / Intermediate -- WIP


Current as of 2/22/15

This guide is built around CTRL-F, if you have a specific thing you are looking for search for it!

Why OBS?

OBS is a free to use streaming software that a majority of users can have downloaded and installed within minutes without a credit card or “Pro” membership.

Knowing your UI:

On first run of the OBS software, you should be greeted with something that looks similar to this picture:

Ignoring the menu bar at the top for now we will discuss the basics of what you are seeing.


This input-box describes a collection of sources to be used during capture. Think of a folder, containing all the sources you want to use such as game capture, camera capture, pictures, animations, and viewer chat. If you change scenes, the layout and sources of your entire capture will be changed.

Typically you want to build a scene based on the game or activity you are performing.

For our case:

Right click within the box named “Scenes”
Select “Add Scene”

  • I named the new scene “Strats Training Scene” but this name can be whatever you choose it to be.
  • Typically name your scene for easy reference, if you are streaming minecraft, name it Minecraft. If you have multiple versions of minecraft I recommend building multiple scenes.

You have your first scene!


This input-box relates to assets you want to use in a specific scene. As described earlier you can have many sources in one scene. The goal here is to build a presentation, think back to pre-school and those macaroni projects, build a beautiful macaroni picture for your viewers!

Your sources will change based on what you want from your stream. You could want just a source for capturing a single input such as a game or your desktop. You could then add things as you see fit!

We will be adding an image for now. Specifically, this image (Right click - Save image as…“Strats Watermark”)

For our case:

Right click within the box named “Sources”
Select “Add”
Select “Image”

  • Name your source – I named my source “Strats Watermark”
    Click “Ok”

This new window has some amazing things that we can mess around with but for now, lets add that image.

Click “Browse” and locate the file you save earlier “Strats Watermark”
Click “Open”
Click “Ok”

You have your first source!

We aren’t really done here though, lets take another look at that Image Adding screen:

We have a couple cool things going on here.

Color - Change the overall color of the image you just added.

Opacity - Change the amount of visibility that an image has, can go from visible to fully transparent.

Check file for changes - Allows you to set an image to check for updates to the image, this becomes more useful as we have more events here at strats and the watermark changes. If the dimensions remain the same, you would only need to replace the image and not re-add a source.

Color Key:

The overview of this section is that it allows you to do backdrops or green-screens. Essentially what this enables you to do is take an image, set a key and have that color omitted from being captured for that image. This is awesome for building borders or camera inserts.

Color - set or select a color, with select you are given a dropper tool and are then allowed to select a color, this only works within OBS, you cannot click outside.

Similarity - Tries to match the color you chose works on a percentage system, mess with it as you see fit to achieve the look you want. Setting this to 100 seems to cause it to ignore black and you attain a color key that is your color AND black ignored.

Blend - I am not entirely sure what this does. I assume it takes the color given and tries to attain an average of the RGB values. again, I don’t really understand this setting.

This Should give you an idea on how you can use the color key to achieve some pretty cool appearances:

Game Capture:

Okay, we covered a still image and the complexities of that, lets cover a more basic input, “Game Capture”.

To add a game capture there is some prep to be done, load up the game you are looking to stream. In my case I’m going to be adding the League of Legends launcher.

For our case:

Have your game Launched
Right click in “Sources”
Select “Add”
Select “Game Capture”

  • Name your source – I named my source “League of Legends Launcher”
    Click “Ok”

You will be greeted with this screen:

Select the Application you wish to capture (in my case it is “[LoLClient]: Client”)
If you application does not appear under the drop down you may have to click refresh or close OBS completely and get back to this point again.
Click “Ok”

You should be greeted with the above image. Something seem off, you don’t want your strats logo to be covered like that! When you add a new source it appears on the top of the source list.

Lets send that strats logo to the top and those beats to the bottom.

For our case:

Right click your source (“Strats Watermark” in our case)
Select “Order”

  • You can move the source by leaps or nudges, meaning one item at a time or all the way to the top!
    Select “Move to Top”

In my case I had some more work to do, but it SHOULD appear like this after:

More to come!

Streaming & Recording Guides & Tutorials