OBS Studio is the most popular app for streaming on the planet. Not only is it completely free to use (though you should really toss a few bucks their way if you enjoy it) and open-source, but it's incredibly powerful and it's available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. There are a ton of features built-in and a healthy community of plugin developers to help you really accelerate your experience.
Not everything in OBS Studio needs a plugin to add convenient features. In the case of stream chat, everything you need to have a window of your audience messages is baked right into OBS Studio out of the box. Having this in your streaming software means you don't need a separate window open and makes more efficient use of your screen space.
Best of all, this isn't just limited to Twitch streamers, either. Virtually every current platform can do this with OBS Studio. You just need to know where to look.
How to add Twitch chat to OBS Studio the easy way
If you're streaming to Twitch, there's a really simple way to pull in your stream chat. When you set up your stream output to Twitch, if you link your account to OBS Studio instead of using a stream key, you'll get browser docks for both chat and stream activity automatically pulled in.
You're not giving your password to OBS Studio, either; it pops open an OAuth window for you to log in directly to Twitch. These docks can be resized and moved around to anywhere in your OBS Studio window. Of course if for any reason you don't want to link your account you still have options.
How to add stream chat to OBS Studio
This method works for any streaming service with a popout chat feature. Twitch and YouTube both have this, as do some of the smaller platforms like Trovo and DLive. Facebook Gaming does not at this time, but we'll talk about this platform later on.
To add your stream chat into your OBS Studio window follow the steps below. For the purposes of this guide, we've used Twitch.
- Go to your channel on your streaming platform of choice.
- In the chat window on your channel, select Popout Chat. This may also be called Popup Chat on some platforms.
- From the window that pops out, copy the URL from the address bar.
- Open up OBS Studio.
- Go to the View menu.
- Select Docks.
- Click Custom Browser Docks.
- In the first empty box under Dock Name give your chat a memorable name.
- In the corresponding box under URL, paste the URL from the popout chat window you copied in step 3.
- Click Apply.
You'll now have a dockable window for your stream chat within OBS Studio that you can move around. As you drag it across the window, when a space you can dock it to is available, it'll highlight in blue as in the image above. When docked you can resize the window, as you see fit.
Now you'll have a real-time stream chat right in your OBS Studio command center without the need for browser windows or additional displays.
If you want to turn off your stream chat for any reason, follow the steps above to open up the Docks menu again and simply click on your custom stream chat to turn it off. Only docks with a tick next to them will be visible in OBS Studio at any time.
How to get Facebook Gaming chat in OBS Studio
So, Facebook Gaming, then. Seemingly the odd one out. But, despite having no popout chat feature on the website, there is still a straightforward way to get Facebook Gaming chat inside OBS Studio.
The answer is StreamElements' OBS.Live plugin. If you're using StreamElements for your alerts and overlays already, it's a no-brainer. But even if you're not, it's free to use and will let you have a Facebook Gaming (it supports Twitch and YouTube, too) chat window inside OBS Studio.
Simply download the plugin and authenticate your Facebook account, and you're set. OBS.Live does have some other neat features, too, including an activity feed and even music controls, but even if you only need Facebook Gaming chat, it's worth getting.
That's all there is to it. It's a very efficient way of keeping your stream chat within easy reach without the need to have a separate window open and is particularly useful to those who don't have the space or budget for a monitor dedicated to their stream chat.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine