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How to Add Your Game to OBS Studio

Last Updated on August 6, 2020 by Michael Brockbank

Open Broadcaster Software is among the more popular tools for streaming on Twitch. Some will also use it to create video content for YouTube. It’s a powerful tool, free to use and full of features. So, how do you add your game to OBS when it comes time to broadcast?

It’s actually relatively easy. In a matter of minutes, you can start recording or going live with your video content.

Today, I’m going to show you how to add your game to OBS and what features you have available.

Add Your Game to OBS

I am using version 25.0.8 of OBS, and I’m going to assume you already have it open and running. If not, you can download the latest version from the OBS website.

These instructions should be relatively close to older and newer versions of OBS. If not, leave a comment down below and we’ll fix it for you.

In the sources window, click the “+” icon in the bottom left corner.

OBS Add Source

Select “Game Capture” from the list.

Select Game Capture OBS

Give your source a new name and click, “OK.” For instance, I’m just going to call it “Game” for now. You can get creative with it later, but essentially it’s just a way for you to recognize what source it is from the list in case you need to make adjustments in the future.

Name the Source

Once you click OK, the settings window for the game will appear.

Changing Modes

By default, OBS sets the capture mode when you add your game as “Capture any fullscreen application.” This means OBS will record or stream anything you have running that uses fullscreen, such as your PC games.

This is perhaps the easiest setting for beginners. But, if you want the software to capture from a different window, click to expand the list of modes and choose one. This is found in the settings of the source we just made.

Select Game Mode

For this tutorial, though, I’m just going to keep it simple and assume you’re recording a game from the computer. I’ll go into the other settings at a later date.

OBS also supports the use of SLI and Crossfire abilities. If you don’t know what either of these are, it’s probably best to leave the box unchecked. Essentially, you can use SLI and Crossfire-enabled motherboards to use GPU power to render the video for quality.

You can also enable “Force Scaling” to improve it even further. However, not all systems support this feature. I suggest leaving this unchecked as well in the beginning. You can always come back to the settings and make changes as you see fit.

Since this is just a basic tutorial about how to add your game, we’re going to leave the rest of the settings as default as well. However, feel free to make adjustments later to improve your recording.

Advanced Settings

Third-party overlays and transparency features may add some “umph” to your video content…depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. For instance, you can choose to record the Steam overlay.

Click the “OK” button on the bottom of the screen.

Now, OBS is ready to record or stream any game you play.

Moving the Game Source

In reality, the game source should be the first thing you add to a new scene in OBS. It will be your primary backdrop whether you’re streaming live or recording to a saved file.

So, what if you add your game after you’ve already added something like Streamlabs alert box?

When you add a new source, it’s placed on top of any that came before it. This means the alert box is going to be under the game. The result is no one can see the alert box when it activates.

Think of it like this: everything on top of the source list is on top of the stuff below.

To fix this, you just simply need to move the game window down.

Click to select the game source. It will become highlighted.

Select Game Source

Click the down arrow on the bottom to move it one space.

Move Game Down

In my example, the game window is now below the Ko-fi Alerts window. This means Ko-Fi is no visible on top of the game so viewers can see when I get donations.

You can also drag and drop the source anywhere you wish instead of clicking the up and down arrows.

Move your game to the area you want it in the list of sources. It’s better if you move it to the very bottom as it ensures all of your other sources are visible during a recording or live stream.

Editing the Game Source

What if you decide to make a few modifications after you add your game to OBS? To open the source settings, you can double-click it. Or, select the source and then click the gear icon on the bottom.

This will bring up the same screen as before as you add your game as a source.

Now you can make your adjustments.

How is Game Audio Recorded?

By default, OBS will record the gameplay and use Desktop Audio in the mixer for sound. If you find the sound for the game is too loud, you can adjust the volume by using the slider.

Decrease OBS Volume

This only affects the recording or live stream itself. The actual volume of the game you hear while playing is unaffected by the volume control in OBS.

For instance, I drop the volume of the game quite a bit in OBS when I live stream to Twitch. This way, viewers can hear me clearly when I speak. The game, however, is still at its original volume in my headset because I like to hear it while I play.

So the game can be as loud as you want in person, but much quieter during the live stream or video recording.

There are plenty of audio settings to go through, which I will cover in another article at a later date.

Will voice apps like Team Speak or Discord be audible when you add your game to OBS?

Not initially. If you only have the game source, no other audio outside of your own microphone is used. This means any chat program you have running is ignored by OBS unless you add it. However, voice apps will be heard if you set them to run through the desktop audio.

If you don’t want viewers to hear your chat or other audio, set those programs to use a different output other than desktop.

For instance, I can set the game and OBS to use desktop audio but Discord runs through my Corsair headset. Because the Corsair is not added as a source, OBS ignores the device.

What if the game is set to use a headset instead of desktop audio?

OBS will use the default sound settings of your computer. If you use desktop audio for one thing and your headset specifically for gaming, you will need to set OBS to record audio from your headset source instead of desktop.

Will OBS work with voice changing software during gameplay?

When I tested the system using Voicemod, OBS worked perfectly. Though, you’ll need to adjust the input so that the voice changing software is picked up correctly. I’ll make a tutorial for voice changing soon.

Knowing How to Add Your Game is the Easy Part

Out of all the things you can do in OBS, I think adding the game is perhaps one of the easiest to learn. All it really takes is a couple clicks of the mouse and you’re ready to go. Next comes the fun stuff, like adding your camera and other nuances you might want in your stream.

If there is something you’d like to learn, let us know in the comments down below. We’re always looking to add more tutorials for OBS.

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop, to name a few.