If you live stream on platforms like Twitch or YouTube, you’ve probably seen how difficult it can be to host and manage your stream simultaneously. You don’t want to sit around fiddling around with your streaming software’s menus to change scenes, play audio, activate devices, etc., it makes for an unpleasant viewing experience.
That’s where the Elgato Stream Deck comes in. It’s a kit that sits on your desk, consisting of a series of touch-sensitive LCD buttons that you can customize to perform actions on your computer. It’s a complete game changer for your streaming workflow.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up and use Elgato Stream Deck to live stream like a pro.
1. Connect and configure your Elgato Stream Deck
We’re assuming you’re reading this because you already have an Elgato Stream Deck. If not, check out our guide on which Stream Deck model you should buy. It basically depends on how many LCD buttons you need. For the most part, the Mini or the MK.2 will do the job well.
Once purchased, connect the Stream Deck to your computer via USB. Elgato recommends plugging it directly into a USB port on your system and not using a USB hub. Next, download and install the Stream Deck app.
2. Create Stream Deck Actions
When it comes to controlling your stream with the Stream Deck, there are two things to consider: your streaming software and your streaming platform.
Your streaming software could be tools like OBS Studio or Streamlabs, while your streaming platform could be a service like Twitch or YouTube.
For the examples in this guide, we’ll be pairing OBS Studio and Twitch, but the process is the same regardless of which you’re using.
a. Link to your streaming software
Open the Stream Deck software and your streaming software.
On the Stream Deck software, look at the menu on the right. This categorizes the buttons you can place on your Deck. Find your streaming software here and click on it to expand the header.
If you can’t find it, click on the Stream Deck Store icon (it looks like a colored Stream Deck with a plus). Go to plugins, find your streaming software, then click To install. Then close the store.
drag drop actions from the menu where you want them to be placed on your Deck. For example, OBS Studio provides buttons for Scene, Audio mixing, Registration, Flux, and Source.
These are all things you can manually control in OBS Studio, but you can use Stream Deck to automate them with the press of a single button.
Let’s say you want a button that turns your camera on and off. To glide Source in a location and click the icon.
Here you can give the button a Title, which appears on the Deck itself. Choose OBS Scene you want to target and the Source (in this case, whatever the name of your webcam).
Now when you press this button on your Stream Deck, it turns your webcam on and off for the chosen scene.
For another example, let’s say you want a button that jumps to a particular OBS scene (your “just chatting” or gaming scene, perhaps). Drag the Scene on the Deck and click on it. Give the button a Title, if desired, and select a Scene from the drop-down menu.
b. Link to your streaming platform
You can also place buttons to control your streaming platform (like Twitch or YouTube). Again, search for it in the right menu or install it through the Store.
For example, the Twitch integration allows you to send messages in your chat, enable subscribers only mode, show ads, slow chat, create a clip and more.
Unfortunately, the YouTube plugin is much more limited. You can only create Chat message and The viewers buttons.
When you find the right category in the menu, it works the same as before. Click and Drag from the menu and place the button on the Deck.
The first time you do this, you will need to link your account. To do this, click a button. In the lower pane, use the Account drop-down list and select Add new. Connect to your Twitch/YouTube/etc. account in the pop-up window. Once linked, you can then select your account via the drop-down menu.
3. Customize Stream Deck Icons
If you want to make your Stream Deck really personal, you can customize the icons. You can download icon packs from the Stream Deck Store or create your own.
To change a button’s icon, first click it. In the lower pane, click the drop down arrow on the button. To select Set from File, Create a new icon, Where Open the Stream Deck icon library, depending on where you want to get the image from.
If your button has an on/off state, you can use the toggles to switch between them and customize the icon for each.
4. Organize the Stream Deck with Folders
Depending on the size of your Stream Deck, you may quickly run out of buttons. This is where pages and folders come in. This basically allows you to have unlimited buttons.
To add a page, look under your buttons. Beside pages, click it plus icon. Keep in mind that you will need spare slots for the front and back pages.
You can also group your buttons into folders. To do this, right click a button and select Move to Folder. Then go back one screen, and drag and hold a button on the backrest to position it inside.
You can rename and change the icon of your folders, just like you can with a standard button.
Take your Stream Deck to the next level
Have fun with your Stream Deck and explore all it has to offer. It will definitely make your streaming life easier, letting you focus on entertaining the audience.
Plus, the Stream Deck can do more than just help you with live streams. It’s also a great productivity tool.
Elgato Stream Deck has applications far beyond game streaming. Here’s how you can use it to increase your productivity and speed up your workflow.
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