Edited by Paula Beaton

March 1, 2021

10 Best OBS Alternatives to Try on Your PC

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is popular open-source software for streaming and screen recording. But what if you’re looking for programs like OBS and you’re not sure which to use? Don’t worry – we’ve picked 10 best OBS alternatives for recording and streaming and prepared an overview of each program. We’ve also rated each Open Broadcaster Software alternative from 1 to 10 to help you choose. The programs listed below are in no particular order and each is an excellent alternative to OBS.

10 Programs like OBS

Best Recording Alternatives

Movavi Screen Recorder

Movavi Screen Recorder is software similar to OBS – it lets you record and share webinars, online calls, video tutorials, streaming videos, and more. It has a wealth of features to let you record only what you want, from your screen to your webcam output or audio only. As well as simple editing tools, it lets you draw on videos during the recording process and schedule recordings. You can try Movavi Screen Recorder for free before you buy, and there’s an affordable one-time fee if you decide to purchase the software.

OS: Windows and Mac.

Price: $54.95

Our rating: 10 out of 10.

Features

  • Keyboard sharing
  • Webcam output capture
  • Audio only recording
  • Captures webinars, online calls, streaming videos, and online events
  • Create screencasts
  • Free minor updates
  • Supports wide range of formats

Pros

  • There are versions for Windows and Mac.
  • The editing tools are simple to use.
  • Minor updates are free.
  • You can choose to record audio only or both screen and audio.
  • Recording scheduling makes it easy to plan online tutorials or classes.
  • You can share your keyboard and mouse clicks with viewers.
  • It’s possible to capture your webcam output without recording the screen.

Cons

  • There is no free version.
  • It may take a little while to learn your way around the program.

Verdict. Movavi Screen Recorder is ideal for teachers, students, gamers, remote workers, or anybody who wants to grab streaming video, record video tutorials, or record webinars and online events.

Movavi Screen Recorder

The perfect way to record from your screen

  • Capture video from your computer screen
  • Grab sound from multiple sources
  • Save recordings without quality loss
  • Export videos in any popular format

Bandicam

Bandicam is a lightweight screen recorder for Windows that lets you record anything on your PC screen. It’s a lower resource option than some other video capture programs. Notable features include scheduled recording and real-time drawing. It’s free to download and use the unregistered version of Bandicam, but the unregistered version does have a recording time limit of 10 minutes per file, and videos are watermarked.

OS: Windows only.

Price: $39.95 for 1 PC, $59.96 for 2 PCs.

Our rating: 9 out of 10.

Features

  • Webcam overlay
  • Chroma Key for webcam overlay
  • Mouse effects
  • Mix your own voice

Pros

  • It’s affordable for use on a couple of PCs.
  • It has a high compression rate and keeps the video quality as close to the original as possible.
  • It’s lightweight.
  • You can save your screen recordings in a variety of formats such as MP4 or AVI.
  • You can record external video devices like a smartphone or webcam.
  • It allows you to record games with 4K UHD video.

Cons

  • The price of the software increases the more PCs you want to use it on.
  • It’s for Windows only.
  • For editing, you’ll need to purchase the Bandicut Package.

Verdict. Bandicam is ideal for professional or personal use and will best suit those looking for a screen recorder that can record anything, including external video devices – particularly gamers and teachers, or those on a budget.

Icecream Screen Recorder

Icecream Screen Recorder is a free screen recording program that’s easy to use and lets you record any part of your screen or save it as a screenshot. You can even record streaming videos and live webinars, record your screen with webcam overlay, or record your system audio and microphone. There’s a free version available which has a 5 minute recording time limit and watermarks on all videos, or you can upgrade to Pro, which lifts limits on video recording times.

OS: Windows, Mac, Android.

Price: there’s a free version. The Pro version costs $29.95.

Our rating: 9 out of 10.

Features

  • Add your own watermark
  • Record full-screen 3D games
  • Annotate feature lets you add shapes, arrows, and text
  • Record full screen or a specific area
  • Share to Dropbox, Google Drive, and YouTube
  • Trim recordings
  • Scheduled screen recording

Pros

  • It works with Windows, Mac, and Android.
  • Pro is an affordable price.
  • You can schedule recordings.
  • You can easily trim and annotate recordings.
  • The simple interface makes it easy to use.
  • You can record all or part of your screen.

Cons

  • It supports only a few video formats across both the free and Pro versions (AVI, MP4, MOV, and WebM).
  • The audio can become distorted when editing videos.

Verdict. Icecream Screen Recorder is a good choice for individuals and small businesses and will be particularly useful for educators teaching online.

Screencast-O-Matic

Screencast-O-Matic is screen recording software that lets you create and share screencast videos. With features like a stock and sound effects library and a range of video editing tools, it’s easy to create videos – and you can also easily markup screenshots with text, arrows, highlights, and more. There’s a free version – although some features such as video hosting and video editing tools aren’t available in the free version – and you can choose from two paid plans if you decide to upgrade.

OS: Windows, Mac, Android, Chromebook.

Price: there’s a free version. Deluxe costs from $1.65/month, billed yearly. Premier costs from $4/month billed yearly. Team plans are available for 10 computers or more from $9.50/month.

Our rating: 9.5 out of 10.

Features

  • Video hosting
  • Custom video player and thumbnails
  • Green screen filters
  • Record computer audio only
  • Easy sharing

Pros

  • It works across Windows, Mac, Android, and Chromebooks.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • Editing is fast and responsive.
  • It’s simple to share videos on YouTube and other sites.
  • You get a branded, ad-free site and video hosting plus a custom video player with the Premium version.

Cons

  • It can be slow and clunky.
  • The library could use more content.
  • There’s a wide range of editing tools, so it takes time to learn.

Verdict. Screencast-O-Matic is suitable for everyone, from individuals looking for free video recording software to professionals and companies who want to host videos on their own site or upload to YouTube and other sharing sites.

FlashBack Express

FlashBack Express is a free screen recorder for Windows that has a full editing suite. You can easily capture all or part of your screen, or use multi-device capture to capture multiple screens across your devices. Recordings can be saved in a wide variety of formats and you can edit your videos using the included tools. If you want to try the Pro version, you can do so free for 10 days.

OS: Windows only.

Price: the Express version is free. Pro costs $49 for 1 PC and $74 for two PCs, with licenses available for up to 20 PCs.

Our rating: 8 out of 10.

Features

  • Easy sharing to YouTube
  • Schedule recordings
  • Multiple screen simultaneous recording
  • Multi-track full editing suite
  • Add audio commentary

Pros

  • Recordings can be scheduled.
  • Free tech support is offered.
  • There are no watermarks on videos.
  • There are no time limits on video length.

Cons

  • To save recordings in formats other than MP4, AVI, or WMV, you’ll need to upgrade to Pro.
  • The full editing suite and video effects are only available in the Pro version.

Verdict. FlashBack Express is a good choice for those looking for a lightweight screen recorder with basic editing features, including individuals, gamers, and professionals searching for a free program.

ActivePresenter

ActivePresenter is an all-in-one screen recorder, video editor, and eLearning authoring software. It offers audio and video editing tools as well as the option to export to video or HTML5. There’s a free version which has all features enabled but has a watermark on created content, or you can upgrade to the Standard or Pro edition.

OS: Windows and Mac.

Price: there’s a free edition. The Standard edition costs $199 per license and the Pro edition costs $399 per license.

Our rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Features

  • Smart capture
  • Full motion recording
  • Dark mode
  • Green screen effect
  • Webcam recording

Pros

  • It’s better for eLearning than some other software, with plenty of tools for authors and educators.
  • There are excellent editing tools.
  • It’s user-friendly and easy to get started.
  • You can export to a range of formats.

Cons

  • The video editor can be a little confusing to use at first.
  • It doesn’t offer as many video effects as some other software.
  • Exporting videos can be slow.

Verdict. ActivePresenter is aimed at educators, online video marketers, and training agencies. Its free version is ideal for those on a budget who are just getting started creating content.

Best Streaming Alternatives

Streamlabs OBS

Streamlabs OBS is free live streaming and recording software that’s open-source and available on GitHub. Users can also choose to upgrade to Prime, which offers a custom tips page and the ability to stream to multiple platforms simultaneously. It’s easy to broadcast your live stream to YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch – and you can control your live broadcasts remotely with the iOS and Android apps. It’s not the most lightweight app and can be quite resource intensive to run, so might not be suitable for all machines.

OS: Windows only.

Price: free version. No pricing information provided on the Prime version – you’ll need to contact Streamlabs for more information.

Our rating: 9 out of 10.

Features

  • Layout editor to personalize interface
  • Selective recording
  • Replay buffer to save live stream replays
  • Dynamic in-game overlay
  • iOS and Android apps

Pros

  • There’s an incredible range of features.
  • The dynamic in-game overlay lets you chat and view recent events on one screen.
  • Selective recording lets you choose the source for your recorded videos or live streams.

Cons

  • Features like pro themes and simultaneous streaming to multiple platforms are only available if you upgrade to Prime.
  • There’s no price on their site for Prime, so you’ll need to contact support to find out more.
  • Getting started can be a steep learning curve for beginners.

Verdict. Streamlabs OBS is a great option for those looking for free streaming software – but it’s also an excellent choice for streamers looking for advanced features like simultaneous streams and pro themes to boost their business.

XSplit Broadcaster

XSplit Broadcaster is live streaming and recording software that’s designed for game developers and content creators. There’s a free version, or you can upgrade to Premium. With features like simple drag and drop editing, unlimited scenes, and video production features like Chroma Key and Express Video editor, it’s easy to create professional videos. There’s a free version, or you can upgrade to Premium for additional features like unlimited scenes, local streaming, and the preview editor.

OS: Windows only.

Price: free version. Premium costs $24.95 for three months, $59.95 for 12 months, $149.95 for 36 months, or $199 for a lifetime license.

Our rating: 8 out of 10.

Features

  • Upload multiple media files to YouTube quickly
  • Local streaming
  • Stream & record in 4K 60fps and beyond
  • Projector mode
  • Engagement tools like YouTube Super Chat and Twitch Cheers alert
  • Stream management features like scene preview editor and scene and source transitions

Pros

  • It’s easy and intuitive to use.
  • You can stream up to 720p at 30fps without a watermark and up to 1080p at 30fps with a watermark in the free version.
  • There’s 24/7 support and lifetime updates.
  • Choose from a range of licenses, from 3 months to a lifetime license.
  • Engagement tools help you reach your audience.

Cons

  • You’re limited in streaming quality and fps with the free version.
  • It can be quite resource intensive, which can slow down games and cause lag.
  • There’s a lack of customization options.

Verdict. XSplit Broadcaster is suitable for game developers and content creators looking for free streaming and broadcasting software. The Premium version is ideal for those who are growing their audience and want access to additional features and engagement tools.

Wirecast

Wirecast is professional live event streaming, broadcasting, and producing software aimed at professionals in the education, entertainment, sports, and religious industries. There’s a fully functional free trial and you can choose to purchase either the Studio or the Pro version. It’s possible to stream and record simultaneously and with social media integration and live viewer counts, audience engagement is a breeze. There are also over 100 built-in graphics and titles and a stock media library with over 500,000 assets.

OS: Mac and Windows.

Price: free trial. Studio costs $599, and Pro costs $799.

Our rating: 9.5 out of 10.

Features

  • Unlimited sources
  • Unlimited destinations including Facebook Live, Twitch, and YouTube
  • ISO recording
  • Professional audio
  • Expanded output options
  • Chroma Key, QR codes, and Playlists

Pros

  • The free fully functional trial isn’t time-limited.
  • There is a choice of two versions to purchase.
  • There are plenty of tools for audience engagement.
  • There’s a huge library of assets and built-in graphics and titles.
  • You can stream to multiple platforms simultaneously.
  • It offers a wide range of capture, production, and streaming tools for pros.
  • It works with Windows and Mac (originally Mac OS X).

Cons

  • The free trial doesn’t allow ISO recording and it adds audio and video watermarks.
  • The interface isn’t that user-friendly and there can be a learning curve.

Verdict. Professional users live streaming in the sports, entertainment, education, or religious industries will get the most use out of Wirecast.

Lightstream Studio

Lightstream Studio gives you a complete creative suite right in your browser, with no software to download. Enjoy unlimited streaming hours, cloud sync and storage, and a simple drag-n-drop editor for layout and design control as well as disconnect protection and the option to remote control your streams from your phone. There’s a free 7-day trial and a choice of two plans. Every plan includes unlimited streaming hours, cloud sync and storage, Auto Live, and Disconnect Protection, and plans are priced according to maximum streaming resolutions.

OS: cloud-based – access from PC or laptop browser or the browser on your mobile device.

Price: free 7-day trial. Plans start at $7/month for the Gamer plan and $20/month for the Creator plan. Plans are priced based on maximum streaming resolution.

Our rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Features

  • Live chat support
  • Auto Live
  • Third-party integration
  • Remote guests
  • Cloud capture for console streams
  • Branded overlay and interactive widgets

Pros

  • There’s no need to download any software as you access the program through your browser.
  • You can control your broadcast from your desktop or the mobile browser on your phone.
  • You can capture and stream from your Xbox or PlayStation.
  • It’s easy to stream to your favourite platforms like YouTube and Twitch.

Cons

  • Plans increase in price depending on streaming resolution.
  • The cheapest two plans only provide 720p resolution – you’ll need to upgrade to the most expensive plan for 1080p.
  • The plans can be expensive depending on your maximum streaming resolution.
  • You need to be connected to the internet to access the software, as it’s cloud-based.

Verdict. Lightstream Studio is an excellent, affordable option for console gamers looking to live stream or anyone who prefers cloud-based streaming rather than having to download and install software.

Frequently Asked Questions

Streamlabs OBS is basically very similar to OBS – but it’s an updated version with additional functionality. The software is free to use and easy to install and provides an enhanced user experience. It’s only available for Windows, but you can find Streamlabs OBS Mac on Bootcamp. Both OBS and Streamlabs OBS are free and open-source, so you can always try both to see which you prefer.

Yes, and it’s easy to do. When you open Streamlabs OBS, you will see two buttons: the Go Live button and the Rec button. You’ll want to click on the Rec button to record your screen without streaming. Your recording will be saved to your Videos folder, which you can find by typing "Videos" into the Windows search box at the bottom left of your screen.

 

Movavi Screen Recorder

The perfect way to record from your screen

  • Capture video from your computer screen
  • Grab sound from multiple sources
  • Save recordings without quality loss
  • Export videos in any popular format

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Movavi Screen Recorder does not allow capture of copy-protected video and audio streams.