OBS Studio: How To Use OBS complete Guide For Beginners

Today you will learn how to use obs studio. Open Broadcaster Software, also known as OBS Studio and abbreviated as OBS, is the best free and open-source live streaming and video recording software available out there.

Due to its advanced features helping you to create professional-level videos and broadcasts, you might be highly enthusiastic about using it on your computer.

Since it offers different advanced features, it could be very difficult for a beginner to become familiar with its interface to record a simple video or broadcast something for the viewers.

If you are a beginner and have just set up OBS Studio on your computer running on Microsoft Windows, macOS or Linux, we are here to help you start using the software for both recording and streaming.

For a newbie who wants to find out how he/she can use OBS Studio, this guide would certainly turn out to be helpful.

How to use OBS?


Before getting started with the usage of OBS Studio, you need to make sure you have properly downloaded and installed the software on your computer.

If not, you can check our another guide on how you can set up OBS Studio on your computer.

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Using the Auto-Configuration Wizard

When you install OBS Studio on your computer for the first time and open it, you will be able to see a new small window that opens above the OBS Studio main window with the title “Auto-Configuration Wizard“.

With this wizard, you will be able to set up all the basic things in OBS Studio without having to go through advanced settings manually.

In the first screen of the wizard, you can select whether you want to optimize OBS for streaming, or for recording.

It doesn’t matter which option you choose, but it is certainly recommended to choose the first option that says to optimize for streaming as it covers up the recording part as well.

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If you have selected Optimize for recording, the next screen of the wizard will ask you to select the base resolution and the FPS for recording and after selecting it, the wizard’s work will be completed and everything else would be upon you.

For the base resolution, it is recommended not to change the value, unless you want to record only some parts of your screen such that the remaining part will be cropped out from your stream.

For the FPS option, you can select any value depending upon your PC’s specifications. It is recommended to set it to the current value or 30 FPS if you have a low-end PC, and if not, then you can select one of the first two options to try out the best possible resolution for your PC.

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If you select Optimize for streaming, the next screen of the Auto-Configuration Wizard would be the same as the recording one, so you can set the things as mentioned above. In the another screen, it will ask you to select either Custom Streaming Server or Streaming Services (YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, etc.)

If you want to broadcast in a live streaming platform not included in the Streaming Services list, you need to have the RTMP Server URL along with the Stream Key of your streaming account.

For popular streaming services which are available on the list, you just need the Stream Key. After setting up these things, the next step would be performed by the wizard itself to determine the most ideal settings.

When it is completed, you can see the most ideal settings for your PC and Internet connection, and if you are fine with the settings, you can move forward by applying the settings.

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Creating Scenes and Sources for a Simple Broadcast/Recording

When you have successfully set up the basic OBS Studio settings through the Auto-Configuration Wizard, the next thing you would want to do is to set up all the requirements for a live streaming or a video recording.

At this stage, you would have to create scenes and add sources through the Scenes and Sources panel available at the bottom-left corner of the OBS Studio interface.

A scene refers to a part of a recording or streaming which consists of different elements such as text, video, audio, etc. and those elements are considered as sources.

You can create multiple scenes as well if you want to display different elements in different period of time, and set up a transition style for the switching of one scene to another scene.

Generally, news and sports channels set up multiple scenes while displaying live broadcasts from different places, or you can also set up multiple scenes if you want to display an idle image or video at a time and then go on to display the main part of your live stream for the viewers.

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To set up the scenes and sources for a simple live stream or video recording, the first thing you need to do is to click on the + icon in the Scenes panel to create a new scene.

Then, you need to click on the + button in the Sources panel and you will be able to find several sources like Audio Input Capture, Audio Output Capture, Game Capture, Browser, Color Source, Display Capture, Text, Image, Image Slide Show, etc. For a simple live stream or video recording, you will only require the following sources:

  • Audio Input Capture, for recording the voice from your microphone
  • Display Capture, for recording your screen or Game Capture, for recording a particular game only
  • Image, to display your watermark at any part of the recording or streaming

You might be wondering why we didn’t mention Audio Output Capture here. It is not needed, but if you want to insert the audio coming out of a audio output device like speaker, then you can add this source as well.

However, you can set this up any way through the Desktop Audio option in the Audio Mixer panel next to the Sources panel which utilizes the amazing VST technology.

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Finalizing the Scenes and Sources and Configuring the Audio

When you have inserted all the required sources, it is time to place them in proper position for your live streaming or video recording.

In the main area of OBS Studio which displays the real-time preview featuring your sources, you can just drag and drop your sources and resize them from their edges to put them in proper position for your work.

If you have kept multiple scenes and different sources in them, you can just click on the scene you want to modify to be able to view the preview and drag and drop or resize the sources in the scene.

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Now, you have to set up the audio through the audio panel, which is entitled as Mixer, available towards the right of the Scenes panel. This panel makes use of advanced VST Technology to offer you professional quality audio configuration options.

You can add filters to the Desktop Audio, Microphone and other Auxiliary devices and/or Audio Input Capture through this panel.

Muting any of the audio source/sources or changing the volume is also possible just by sliding the volume control bar for the respective audio source.

Extra Guidelines if you are using Multiple Scenes

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If you have set up multiple scenes with different sources, then you need to be familiar with the Studio Mode, which is available by clicking on the button in the bottom-right corner of the software.

The Studio Mode makes your task easier by letting you view the preview for different scenes so that you can easily switch from one scene to another.

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Also, you can set up transition style (Cut or Fade) for the transition between two scenes with the help of the Studio Mode or directly through the Scene Transitions panel which is present between the Mixer and the Controls panel in OBS Studio.

Starting a Live Streaming or Video Recording

When you have made all the scenes and sources ready with proper audio configuration and scene transitions (for multiple scenes), then you are ready to start a live stream or begin recording a video.

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To start a live stream, you need to make sure you have properly configured the Streaming Settings with a Stream Key that you received from the Streaming Service and a RTMP Server URL in case of a custom streaming server.

If you didn’t set this up while using the Auto-Configuration Wizard, then you shouldn’t worry as you can easily insert the values in their corresponding fields by clicking on Settings in the Controls panel and going to the Stream tab.

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Now, you can easily start a live stream by clicking on the Start Streaming button, and your stream will begin in the next few seconds.

Starting to record a video is even more simple, as you don’t need any authentication keys like Stream Key as the video files would be stored in your computer itself.

You just have to click on the Start Recording button, and OBS Studio will start recording your screen or anything that you have kept in sources.

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While the streaming or recording is running, you can view the statistics of the broadcast or screencast from the panel at the bottom of OBS Studio below the Scene Transitions and Controls panels.

To stop a live streaming or a video recording, you can simply click on the Stop Recording or Stop Streaming button or set up a hotkey for these actions from the OBS Studio Settings.


By the end of this guide, you have learned how to use OBS Studio and we believe you will be able to perform a simple live streaming or screen recording with the help of the step-by-step guidelines provided in the guide.

If you are facing any issues while setting up OBS Studio or using it, you can freely put forward your queries in the comments and we would try to answer them as soon as possible.

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