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Top 7 Free & Paid Stream Deck Alternatives for Livestreaming

Find out the best stream deck alternatives you can try in 2022! We review the Elegato Stream Deck and share some hardware and software alternatives.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
December 26, 2023
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

If you do a lot of live streaming to Twitch, TikTok, or YouTube, you’ve probably experienced the stress of keeping several plates spinning at once. 

You might have to manage multiple camera sources and a lighting setup while inserting things like audio and graphics in real-time. And when you factor in posting to social media or interacting with your chat—it can quickly become overwhelming.

That’s where Stream Decks (and their alternatives) come in. A Stream Deck is a helpful addition to the setup of any online content creator or live streamer—or really, anyone who spends a lot of time on their computer.

In this article, we’ll explain what a Stream Deck is and how it can be a beneficial addition to your equipment list. Then, we’ll walk you through the top 7 free and paid Stream Deck alternatives. 

What is a Stream Deck?

Elgato Stream deck
Elgato Stream Deck

An Elgato Stream Deck is a hardware device with a set of physical keys that you can program to perform customizable functions on your computer. These functions are called “macros,” or pieces of code that take various actions when you press a corresponding key on the Stream Deck.

These programmable keyboards usually connect to your computer via USB, and most devices have a customizable LCD keypad for one-touch operations. 

What is the Elgato Stream Deck used for?

These devices are mostly used by video content creators and live streamers who need to customize their workflows to make actions quick and easy while recording. Common uses for Stream Decks include:

  • Launching apps
  • Adjusting audio or muting your mic
  • Triggering sound effects and clips
  • Adjusting lighting
  • Switching camera angles
  • Sending a message on the stream chat or post on social media
  • Running multi-action workflows

How to use a Stream Deck

To get started with an Elgato Stream Deck, start by connecting the device via USB to your laptop or PC. 

Then, download the Stream Deck app to your computer. Once the app is installed, launch it and begin following the prompts to customize the Stream Deck. You can drag and drop actions from the side panel onto your chosen keys.

How to use a stream deck
Source: Elgato

You can also create personalized icons by uploading JPG or PNG files (for best results, use 72 x 72 pixels). Right-click keys to reset, copy or delete them.

To create a folder in a key on the Stream Deck, drag and hold one key over another—much like you would do on a mobile phone. 

To add your social media accounts, click the Preferences tab. This tab also lets you adjust the layout and aesthetic settings of your Stream Deck interface.

Once you’ve configured your Stream Deck keys, use the stand to prop the device where you want it. The stand adjusts so that you can choose the right viewing angle for your setup.

Instructions for the Elgato Stream Deck
source: Elgato

Can I use my tablet or mobile device as a Stream Deck?

If you don’t have the budget or inclination to buy a physical Stream Deck, Elato offers a mobile app that effectively turns any Android or iOS device into a Stream Deck. The app even works with Siri for voice-activated automations on Apple devices. We’ll cover the app—and a few alternatives—in greater depth below.

Is a Stream Deck worth it?

For many users, the answer is a resounding yes. The Stream Deck is extremely customizable and reliable, with multiple native integrations and plugins that let you automate a myriad of helpful workflows.

But it does come with a few drawbacks, like:

  • Bulky size (especially in the Stream Deck XL)
  • High price point at $150
  • Lack of flexibility compared to other programmable keyboards that aren’t dedicated to streaming

That’s why below, we’ll give you 7 alternatives to the Elgato Stream Deck to consider, including hardware devices and mobile apps.

Stream Deck Alternative Devices

Elgato Stream Deck Mini

Elgato Stream Deck Mini
Elgato Stream Deck Mini

Price: $79.99

If budget is your only obstacle to buying a Stream Deck, you may want to consider the mini version of Elgato’s standard device. It’s smaller and more affordable, but it’s still fully customizable and performs the same basic functions its larger counterpart does.

Key features:

  • Compact size
  • 6 fully customizable LCD keys
  • One-touch tactile operation
  • Hotkey actions and advanced automations
  • Integrations with OBS Studio, Streamlabs, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and more
  • Drag-and-drop key actions with customizable icons
  • Turn keys into folders

Loupedeck Live

Loupedeck live stream deck alternative
Loupedeck Live

Price: $269

Loupedeck offers a Stream Deck alternative for content creators who need more power, speed, and flexibility—but at a higher price point. The device comes equipped with several native plugins to help you create workflows more easily, including various Adobe Suite tools, Final Cut Pro (macOS only), OBS Studio, Spotify, Twitch, and more. And the analog dials on the device make it much easier to control volume and lighting levels.

Key Features:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Unlimited key customization
  • Over 70 downloadable profiles, plugins, and icon packs
  • USB-C connection
  • Group actions into workspaces for easier access
  • Native integrations with popular tools and platforms
  • Mix of customizable buttons and analog dials
  • Backlit controls

X-Keys XK 24-USB Keyboard

X-Keys XK 24 USB Keyboard
X-Keys XK 24-USB Keyboard

Price: $159.95

X-Keys sells engineering and computer programming tools, including programmable keypads like the XK 24-USB keyboard. This device looks and acts similarly to the Elgato Stream Deck, with customizable key functions and a USB connection to your computer. 

However, the pricing is similar—and unlike Elgato, the XK 24-USB isn’t designed for streamers specifically. And you’ll need to print and apply physical stickers to each label instead of assigning digital icons that appear via LCD.

Key Features:

  • 24 programmable keys
  • Blue and red backlighting for each key
  • Trigger macros, apps, and shortcuts
  • Detachable feet for adjustable viewing angle
  • Vertical or landscape orientation

Note: The Elgato Streamdeck and the alternatives listed in this blog are not directly compatible with Riverside. Reach out to our support team for more information.

Stream Deck Alternative Apps and Software

Elgato Stream Deck Mobile

Elgato Stream Deck Mobile Software

Price: $2.99 per month or $24.99 per year after a 30-day trial.

Elgato Stream Deck provides its own mobile app, which is a great alternative to the hardware. The app works well with both Android and iOS devices, and it comes with 15 customizable buttons and many native integrations. If you’re looking for a cheaper, hardware-free Stream Deck alternative, Elgato’s app might be a great choice for you.

Key Features:

  • 15 customizable buttons
  • Native integrations with OBS, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Discord, and more
  • Visual-haptic feedback to confirm actions
  • Connects to your computer via WiFi
  • Hotkey actions to launch apps, open files, post to social media, and execute code
  • Works with Siri for touch-free actions

Touch Portal

Touch Portal
Touch Portal

Price: Free version available. The Pro upgrade is $13.99 for unlimited pages with up to 110 buttons per page, customizable page backgrounds, animated GIF support, and more.

Touch Portal turns your mobile device into a remote control for your Mac or Windows computer. The advantage of this tool is the number of available buttons; with the paid version, you have access to up to 110 buttons per page. 

It natively integrates with apps like OBS, Streamlabs,Twitch, and Photoshop to make your content creation quick and easy. And more plugins are available to let you control apps like Spotify, Discord, Restream, YouTube Music, Minecraft, and more.

Key Features:

  • Up to 110 buttons per page
  • Custom page grid size
  • Unlimited pages on the paid version
  • Multi-action macro buttons
  • Support for old devices so you can use your old phone or tablet as a dedicated remote
  • Sliders for controlling volume or brightness


Deckboard software alternative for Stream deck

Price: Free version available. The Pro version is $3.99 for no ads and up to 30 icons.

Deckboard is a simple and customizable app for iOS and Android devices. Simply download the server app to your PC (compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux) to build your board and macros. Then download the mobile app to your phone or tablet to access the customized keyboard. 

With the free app, users have access to 12 buttons; paid users can access up to 30 buttons.

Key features

  • Works on Apple and Android devices
  • 12 or 30 customizable buttons
  • Available macros include opening a URL, folder, multimedia controls, running a program or script, and posting to social media
  • Integration with OBS Studio / Streamlabs OBS
  • Add image, text, or GIF to buttons
  • Connect your device to your computer over WiFi

Up Deck

Up deck Stream deck alternative
Up Deck

Price: Free

Up Deck is a free control deck designed to pair with OBS Studio. In fact, you don’t even need to download a separate app to your computer; simply pair the mobile app with your OBS account. 

The app is very customizable, with the ability to control volume, open applications, and more.

Key Features:

  • Multi-action buttons
  • Option to create toggle buttons and button groups
  • Transitions and scene-switching
  • EaseIn and EaseOut effects
  • Audio source control and muting
  • Optional delay parameter for all actions
  • Drag Pad to manipulate objects or draw on your screen
  • OBS hotkeys and option to send keystrokes to other apps
  • Backup to device and computer
  • Countdown timers
  • Animation queues
  • Math evaluation and repeat loops for more complex actions
  • Scheduler for repeating actions at set time intervals

Note: The Elgato Streamdeck and the alternatives listed in this blog are not directly compatible with Riverside. Reach out to our support team for more information.

Best Stream Deck Alternative

As always, the best setup for you depends on your needs and preferences. But in our opinion, the overall winner is the Loupedeck Live, which provides all the features the Elgato Stream Deck offers and more. The analog dials make precise volume and lighting control a cinch, and the native integrations make it easy to get up and running with your favorite workflows.

However, Loupedeck has a much higher price point than the Elgato Stream Deck. If you’re looking for a cheaper hardware option, you might want to consider the Elgato Stream Deck Mini—which comes with fewer buttons, but at just over half the price.

Best Free Stream Deck Alternative

If you’re looking for a free Stream Deck option, you may want to download a mobile app to turn your phone or tablet into a remote. 

Our favorite is Touch Portal, which has a great free version that should have plenty of features for a beginner live streamer. Even the paid version is affordable for most content creators, and it offers unlimited pages with up to 110 buttons on each page.

FAQs on Stream Deck Alternatives

Who else makes Stream Decks?

While Elgato is by far the most recognizable name for programmable keyboards for live streaming, other brands that make similar technology include:

  • Loupedeck
  • X-Keys
  • Streamlabs
  • Stream Puppy
  • Contour Design

Are Stream Decks necessary?

A Stream Deck helps you conduct your most frequent actions with a simple touch of a button—like dimming lights, adding graphics to your screen, and starting a countdown. If your setup requires you to move quickly from one task to another, a Stream Deck can make your job much easier.

But while they’re helpful for content creators who regularly live stream, they’re far from the top of the list of essential equipment for live streamers

What else can you use a Stream Deck for?

A Stream Deck is just a programmable keyboard—so the sky’s the limit as to its application. You can use your Stream Deck to do things like:

  • Launch shortcuts on your Mac or PC
  • Connect to automation tools like Zapier or IFTT to automate tasks
  • Run daily routines
  • Track your time with the Toggl plugin
  • Create shortcuts on your Zoom calls (like mute or start/stop recording)
  • Control your music playback options in Spotify 

How do I use my old iPad as a Stream Deck or make my phone a Stream Deck for free?

You can download a mobile app like Touch Portal to turn your iPad or iPhone into a remote for your computer. Touch Portal, Deckboard, and Up Deck all offer free versions that are more than adequate for most beginner content creators and live streamers.

Is a Stream Deck worth it?

If you do a lot of live streaming and want a way to run routine actions at the tap of a button, a Stream Deck can make your life a lot easier. 

But if you simply need to add live sound effects and insert musical cues, there are more affordable alternatives. For instance, software like Riverside comes with built-in tools like a Media Board to add sounds in real-time and Producer Mode to let producers control settings behind the scenes.

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