What are the best Stream Decks for streaming video games and how do you use them? Let’s take a look at our selection.
The phenomenon of streaming has become one of the realities of the way of living and narrating video games. Even more during the pandemic quarantine, many people have found streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube a way to share their passion for video games, broadcasting their adventures and themed chats live.
If you too have launched your own video game streaming channel, you know that on SpazioGames.it we have proposed numerous guides dedicated to the theme, in order to equip you at all points to offer the best to your viewers. We have seen, for example, which are the best capture cards, the best cameras, the best microphones, the best green screens and the best lights.
Today, we take it a step further for enthusiasts and see which are the best Stream Decks for streaming. These are macro keyboards that are perfect for managing the direction of your live broadcast, without the need to manually intervene in the interface of your streaming software every time.
The best Stream Decks for streaming
- Elgato 6-Fret Stream Deck
- Elgato 15-key Stream Deck
- 32-key Elgato Stream Deck
- Loupedeck Live Streaming
Elgato 6-Fret Stream Deck
The perfect solution for beginners
Let’s imagine the scenario in which you have a small channel and want to start experimenting with more complex direction. If this is the intent, the Stream Deck to take home – in the series of those by Elgato, the largest and best manufacturer of products in this line – is definitely Elgato Stream Deck Mini. We are talking about a solution with a keyboard with 6 buttons to personalize, where you can memorize your quick actions at will. Starting a live show, changing the scene, activating or deactivating the microphone, using superimposed sound effects has never been easier. Obviously, having a few buttons available, you can juggle with a few actions at the same time, but know that you can create folders and subfolders to indulge yourself anyway.
Elgato 15-key Stream Deck
The balanced solution for versatile streamers
The 15-Button Elgato Stream Deck is probably the best bet for most of you. In its compact body, it allows you to create and customize 15 quick action buttons, including the ability to create folders and screens with other sub-actions. Considering the number of buttons, this version of the Stream Deck is excellent for those who want to have a more agile and articulated direction during their live shows, but have no difficulty organizing themselves with folders in case of the need for numerous quick actions. It is undoubtedly the one with the best value for money and also the ideal variant for most streamers.
32-key Elgato Stream Deck
The professional solution for those who do not accept compromises in the control room
Imagine a 32-button version of Elgato Stream Deck: it maintains all the characteristics of the variants we have seen previously, but offers an extremely large keyboard, where everything is under your gaze and you can move quickly between the different actions. You can also create folders here, of course, and if you make a really professional use of them, you may need them: it will become your live control room, if you use other Elgato products like its lights you will also end up adjusting the lighting of your scene. In these proportions, it is an extremely expensive solution, but one that we recommend to those who do live streaming at a professional level and aim for a direction that is part of the show.
The all-in-one control room for your live broadcasts
A very valid alternative to the Stream Decks proposed by Elgato is the Loupedeck Live control booth: this console with LED touch screen allows you to set your own shortcuts for directing live performances: change the scene, activate or deactivate a source, but also change the volume of the different sources thanks to the appropriate knobs – everything is at hand and you can manage it professionally. It is an ideal solution for those who will not miss the physical buttons compared to the touchscreen and for those who are already savvy enough: you will be able to set everything quickly and you can also use Loupedeck Live for macros and shortcuts with other software, such as editing video and photo editing.
How does a Stream Deck work and what is it?
If all this selection of products has left you confused, it’s because you probably have no idea how a Stream Deck works or how to use it. In short, and if you are a beginner, it is a keyboard with customizable shortcuts, which allow you to manage changes to the direction of your live with a simple touch.
For example, Elgato’s proposals have physical buttons that are actually displays: the shape of the buttons will be set by you through a special software, as will their functionality. You could create one to mute or unmute your mic, one to switch from game scene to end of live, one to play a fun sound effect when interacting with your audience, one to mute or unmute your live host and so on.
These shortcuts are compatible with different software (which depends on the Stream Deck you’re using), which means that you can also have macros useful for applications other than streaming: in our case, for example, we created a key that calls me my work mailbox and one that takes me to online documents through the Chrome browser.
However, other Stream Decks don’t have physical buttons, but displays on which you set virtual buttons as you like. The advantage here is that you can freely manage the layout and grid on the screen, although you will lack the tactile feedback of a real keyboard, where you can press even without looking.
In summary, therefore, a Stream Deck:
- It’s a keyboard for customizable shortcut buttons;
- It allows you to intervene quickly in the direction of your live;
- It can also interact with applications not directly related to streaming.