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How to add overlays in OBS?

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  • 3 min read

If you’ve ever tried to stream, you must have come across OBS — the one-stop solution to stream whatever you want wherever you want. 

However, it won’t take you long to realise that your stream looks very different from that of your favourite streamer’s. But why?

You’ve got the rig all lit up, 144Hz monitors, the tacky keyboard and the super slick mouse. The thing is, you can have the best or the worst setup in the world when you stream only one thing matters — how the stream looks. 

Frankly speaking, you don’t need an over the top rig and peripherals with RGB all around. Sure you need a system that can handle whatever it is you’re trying to stream, but everything else is taken care of by your streaming software. 

No, we do not mean the settings. OBS has a lot of features that you can use to enhance the on-screen experience for your viewers. One such tool is using an overlay. 

Using overlay in your stream will transform its quality in a matter of minutes. So let’s get started.

Also read: How to set up OBS on a laptop?

Adding overlays in OBS

Before we can use them, we need to find a suitable overlay on the internet. Now you can also go ahead and create one in Photoshop, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just go with downloading one from the internet.

Overlays usually come in packs. These may include a frame for your webcam, background and various elements you can use to show details like top donations, subscribers and so on. Some overlays are paid but you can find hundreds of free ones on the internet. 

How to add overlays in OBS? | Candid.Technology
There are hundreds of free and paid overlays available online

Once you’ve found an overlay you like, go ahead and download it. You’ll receive a zip file. Inside it will be all the overlay elements in PNG format. Let’s bring them in now.

How to add overlays in OBS? | Candid.Technology
Some are nicely divided into folders as well

Step 1: Start up OBS. Set up a new scene if you’d like. 

Step 2: Just drag and drop any elements that you’d like to use inside your Sources window. Alternatively, you can click on the plus icon at the bottom, then Image and then load up your elements. 

You can also just right-click inside the Sources window and then Add > Image

How to add overlays in OBS? | Candid.Technology

You can bring in elements from various overlays to further dial down the look of your stream. In the screenshot above, we’re using a frame for the webcam and background which comes from another overlay. 

Also read: How to add Spotify to OBS?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: