What’s more fun than streaming your favorite game or chatting with your fans on Twitch? Doing it with friends! Twitch co-op streaming is huge right now—all around the world, people are playing games together, telling stories in virtual tabletop RPG sessions and producing a new breed of live talk shows.
While it’s incredibly easy to start streaming these days, it gets a little more complicated to stream with multiple people in different locations. Twitch has a feature called Squad Stream that makes this possible, but because it’s only available to Partner-level users, it’s not an option for the majority of streamers.
Fortunately, there are other ways to stream with your friends. This article will cover two methods for bringing remote video feeds into Streamlabs Desktop:
- Method 1: using NDI® Sources from Skype
- Method 2: using Browser Sources from OBS.Ninja
Follow the steps below, and you’ll be streaming with a buddy in no time!
Enabling NDI usage in Skype enables you to add remote video feeds as a source in Streamlabs Desktop.
METHOD 1: NDI SOURCES FROM SKYPE
This method allows you to take one or more video feeds from a Skype call and add them as Sources in Streamlabs Desktop using a video-over-IP protocol called Network Device Interface, or NDI. While the name sounds complicated, NDI actually makes it incredibly easy to turn your Skype call into a multi-person Twitch stream. Here’s what to do:
- Install an NDI plugin for Streamlabs. In order to get Streamlabs to accept NDI Sources, you’ll need to install one or two simple pieces of free software. If you’re using a Windows PC, install the NDI SDK redistributable published by NewTek, creators of NDI. If you’re using a Mac, you’ll need OBS-NDI 4.9.0 and NDI Runtime 4.5.1, both published by GitHub user Palakis. Be sure to restart your computer after installing these tools.
- Enable NDI usage in Skype, then start your call. First, go to Settings > Calling > Advanced and click “Enable NDI usage.” Then, just start your Skype call as you normally would.
- Add NDI Sources in Streamlabs. When you create a new Source, you should now see “NDI Source” listed as an option in Streamlabs. In the Source Name dropdown menu, look for an entry containing the words “Skype - live” followed by the Skype username of the person you’re trying to add. Select it from the list to add that NDI feed as a Source, then repeat as necessary for any other participants. To add your own feed, look for the “Skype - local” Source (unless you’re an advanced user, it’s easiest to use this instead of adding your webcam and microphone as separate Sources).
- Mute audio from all but one NDI source. Since each NDI feed from Skype contains the entire audio mix for the call, your audience will hear an annoying echo when everyone’s audio is combined in your stream output. To remedy this, go to the Mixer panel and click the speaker icon to mute audio from all NDI Sources except your own.
OBS.Ninja is a simple, browser-based solution for adding remote video feeds as sources in Streamlabs Desktop.
METHOD 2: BROWSER SOURCES FROM OBS.NINJA
If you or your guests don’t use Skype, there’s a simple web app called OBS.Ninja that lets people send you live video and audio feeds directly from their web browser. Created by programmer Steve Seguin, OBS.Ninja is a super-streamlined option that still delivers high-quality results. While OBS.Ninja can be used on any computer, these instructions are primarily for PC users. If you’re using a Mac, see this video for additional instructions. Steve’s YouTube channel contains even more instructional videos.
For a Single Guest:
- Send your guest an invitation. Go to OBS.Ninja and select “Create Reusable Invite.” You can then give the invite a name (most likely your guest’s name), change advanced settings such as video resolution and even add a password. When you’re ready, click “Generate the Invite Link.” You’ll see two links: one for your guest to join with (including an optional QR code) and one for you to add their video to Streamlabs. Send the first link to your guest.
- Add a browser source in Streamlabs. Click “Add Source,” select “Browser Source” and give your Source a name. Then, simply paste the second link from the invitation into the URL field and click “Done” to add your new Source.
For Multiple Guests:
- Create a group chat. Go to OBS.Ninja and select “Add Group Chat to OBS.” To avoid conflicting with other users, give your room a unique name such as “JoeSchmoesStreamingChat321.” You can also set up a password for additional privacy. Don’t skip this step, because without a unique name or password protection, uninvited people could wander into your room. When you’re ready, click “Enter the Room’s Control Center.”
- Invite guests. At the top of the Control Center page, you’ll see four links you can copy. To invite a guest to join the group with their audio and video feed, copy the “Guest Invite” link and send it to anyone you want to join. They’ll be prompted to join the room with their camera or share their screen.
- Add a browser source in Streamlabs. To add your group chat as a Browser Source in Streamlabs, you can use either the manual or automatic scene links at the top of the Control Center page. We recommend using “Scene Link: Auto” because it will automatically add each participant’s feed to your Scene, although advanced users may want to use “Scene Link: Manual” for greater flexibility. Once you’ve copied one of these links, click “Add Source” in Streamlabs, select “Browser Source” and give your Source a name. Then, simply paste the link into the URL field and click “Done” to add your new Source.
A Note on Audio Settings
When adding a Browser Source in Streamlabs, you’ll notice an option called “Control Audio in OBS,” which is disabled by default. This setting lets you choose whether to send the audio from a browser source to your stream output, monitor mix, or both. However, it may introduce a delay that can cause the audio and video to be out of sync, so we recommend leaving it disabled unless you’re an advanced user.
Both of the methods above are viable ways to stream with friends, so use whichever fits your streaming workflow best. Once you’ve got Streamlabs set up for your preferred method and performed a test stream to make sure it works, create a custom Scene to accommodate multiple video feeds and save it for next time. Then, all you’ll have to do next time is go into the settings for each Source and select the right NDI feed or enter your OBS.Ninja link (depending on which method you use). To take your stream to the next level, you can create a custom overlay with windows for multiple participants and add their names, social media handles and more.
For more on how to improve your livestreaming experience, check out our gaming articles.