In this guide, we’re going to be covering 7 free tools that you should be using to level up your livestreams.
These range from resources that improve the production value of your stream and help you stand out from the crowd to tools that will engage your viewers and keep them coming back for more.
Tool 1: VDO.ninja
VDO.ninja is a tool that allows you to bring high-quality and low-latency live video from a phone, tablet, or remote computer, directly into your streaming software.
If you’ve ever wanted to bring a guest or multiple guests onto your stream and have fiddled around with trying to capture their cameras from Discord, you’ve probably run into issues when someone leaves the call, or someone else joins, and all your window captures are mispositioned, this is a much simpler and far superior solution.
It’s all browser-based without any need to download or even sign in to anything. You simply create a room, send an invite link to any guests, and then you get given unique URLs for each guest’s camera that you can then add to OBS Studio or Streamlabs Desktop using a browser source.
The video feeds are incredibly low-latency and you have full control over the video’s bitrate as well as dozens of other controls if you wish to.
I use VDO.ninja for my live podcast every single week. Ben, my co-host, simply joins my room and then I have a browser source in OBS Studio that I can resize and use in multiple different scenes. In the instances when we have a guest on for part of the podcast, it’s just as easy, and if the guest then leaves, I’m not having to deal with adjusting the window captures.
Tool 2: Media Looper
Next, we have Media Looper which is a super simple and low-resource way of being able to loop different images, gifs, or even videos on your stream with control over the timers and delays. You can use this on stream to promote your other social media channels, encourage viewers to use their prime subscriptions, announce new merch drops, or even show your sponsor’s logos.
There are controls to customize how long each media is shown for, and also how long to delay before starting to show them again. For example, you can set it up to show each image for 5 seconds and then once it’s gone through all the images, wait 5 minutes before showing them again.
This tool runs locally on your PC, so it’s extremely lightweight. It’s super simple to set up, you can simply add more files to the media looper folder and order them by renaming them to numbers in sequential order. It also scales your files automatically to whatever width and height you set in the browser source so no more having to deal with resizing all your images to be exactly the same.
The media looper comes with a few image assets already included that you can use as well as the project file if you want to edit the images in photoshop, but let me reiterate, this media looper can work with any images or video files that you have. So you can go crazy creating some animated .webm videos that can now pop up on your stream at whatever interval you like.
Tool 3: StreamLadder
As vertical video platforms such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts continue to gain traction, a useful tactic to grow your stream audience is to generate highlights from your stream and share them on these platforms.
StreamLadder is a website that allows you to easily create and share vertical videos from your stream highlights, all from within your browser.
Simply paste in a Twitch clip URL, or upload a local file if you have it saved locally. Then you can choose the exact shape, size, and placement of your camera as well as the area of gameplay that you wish to focus on. You’ll even get a live preview of what the vertical output will look like.
There are options for blurring backgrounds or adding additional layers and you can even save the exact layout you used so the next time you create a clip it’ll remember where your camera is positioned.
Then you can compile and share the finished video on whichever social media platforms you want to post to.
The free plan allows unlimited videos, without a watermark, and exports up to 720p 60fps. There are some paid plans for additional features like stickers, automated captions, and higher resolutions.
Tool 4: Twitch Creator Goals
Creator goals are a relatively new feature that Twitch has built to help streamers create subscriber and follower goals that are directly integrated into their chats. You no longer have to have distracting and intrusive overlays directly on your stream if you want a subscriber/follower goal.
This new tool built by Twitch can be set up to only show in chat, and maybe the best thing about it is that as people follow or subscribe to your stream, the progress towards your goal is displayed next to their notification for all of the rest of your chat to see.
So for example, if you set a follower goal of 500 followers or a subscriber goal of 25 subscribers, every single time someone follows or subscribes to your stream, the progress towards that goal will be shown in chat. Also whenever a new goal is started or when a goal is completed, a banner is shown across the top of the chat similar to the one that you see with a hype train.
You can also add the goal as an overlay into your stream using a browser source, but in my opinion, having it shown just in the chat is a cleaner and less-intrusive way of having goals for your stream. It helps encourage your audience to support your content without cluttering your stream’s video feed.
Tool 5: Triggerfyre
The things that they control can be as simple as displaying GIFs and triggering sounds, or as advanced as swapping scenes, toggling sources, and enabling filters. This is a great way of including your viewers in your stream and rewarding the loyal watchers with cool ways to interact and directly affect what your stream looks like.
All you have to do is connect Triggerfyre to both your Twitch account and to OBS Studio through websocket and then set up rules based on your channel point reward names and the things you want to happen in OBS Studio.
Then, the next time one of your viewers redeems that reward through your Twitch channel points, the action in OBS is automatically triggered.
Spending some time getting creative with some advanced actions that your viewers can redeem through channel points is a great way to keep viewers coming back for more.
Tool 6: Webcam Masks
With all the aesthetic choices you can make around your stream design, why are you still using a boring square or rectangular box for your camera?
Applying a shaped mask to your webcam is a super easy way to make your stream a little more unique and it’s so simple to do in your streaming software.
If you’ve not used a mask before, all it is is a black-and-white image that when applied to a video, will hide all the black areas, and show all the white areas.
Here is a collection of over 60 free webcam masks available in 16:9, 4:3, or even portrait orientations. If you’re after something truly unique you can easily make your mask in something like Photoshop. (hint: if you don’t have Photoshop but want its capabilities, check out Photopea from my 7 Free Tools For YouTubers guide).
To apply a mask in OBS Studio, simply click on your camera source, select filters, add an image mask filter, and navigate to the mask you want to use. You’ll then see your camera source change to have masked out all those black areas allowing for a more interesting-looking camera shape.
Tool 7: NOOBS CMDR
Although the Stream Deck has multi-actions available, the actions run sequentially with a notable delay between each, whereas NOOBS CMDR can create large and complex sequences of actions in OBS Studio at once.
If you’ve ever wanted to build a fancy transition for your stream involving scene transitions, toggling sources, changing audio levels, enabling effect filters, etc. this tool makes creating those a breeze.
Once you’ve tested the trigger, you can then save it as a batch script locally and use something like a Stream Deck or Touch Portal to open that file, executing your complex script instantly.
Once you’ve created all the batch files you want, there’s no need to have NOOBS CMDR running anymore, it’s just used to create the files initially.
As with all of our guides, below we have included a full video tutorial if that is your preferred method of learning.