How I use Streamdeck

Streamdeck by Elgato

Streamdeck by Elgato is a nifty piece of hardware that allows you to create hundreds upon hundreds of hotkeys to a 3x5 screen that you can trigger at any point. It basically takes what keyboard macros and hotkeys can do, and multiples it, while putting in a rather small footprint.

As an occasional streamer, I also use it for other purposes, and you can too. While it’s obviously designed to make switching between scenes, shouting commands, toggling sources and such in your stream, you can also use it to play media on your computer, open programs, start games, go to websites, and pretty much whatever you want.

This quick article will show you how I use my Streamdeck. I’m always looking for new ideas and things to do, so if you have any neat suggestions as to what else can be done with it, let me know!

This is the “main” screen of Streamdeck, meaning the furthest back you can go from nested folders. I’ll break it down quickly.

Twitch: Opens everything to do with my streaming, which is explained in the next section.

Apps: Shortcuts for commonly used apps, like Spotify, Steam, Photoshop, Excel, Word, etc.

Games: Games I’m currently hooked on. As each menu has 15 screens, this will hold whatever I feel are my top 14 most played games (plus one spot required to go back)

Web: Shortcuts to websites

Screenshot/Record/Last 10: Shortcut to the three commands for GeForce Experience to take a screenshot, start/stop recording, and record the last ten minutes of gameplay. Screenshot is primarily used for games that aren’t run via Steam, uPlay or Origin.

Profiles: Switches profiles on the Streamdeck. I currently only have the one.

Brightness settings: The Streamdeck does not have a native sleep mode, nor does it ever shut off on its own, so I added its five brightness settings as shortcuts. There’s dim, low, medium, high and max.

My Twitch main folder

Secondly, Twitch! From the home screen of the Streamdeck, I have a Twitch icon which leads to the above. From here, I have five more folders: Scenes, Resources, Game Sources, Commands and GFX.

‘Scenes’ folder

This folder I’ve created quick actions for various scenes. Live when live, obviously, BRB is for when I need a break, END is for when the stream is over, and DOG is for a reward scene (you can buy a treat with my virtual currency to give my dogs a treat).

‘Resources’ folder

This folder keeps some of the basic things.

The two folders at the top are pretty simple. Stream Titles are hotkeys that change the title and game of my stream so I don’t have to do it manually through the dashboard or the chat bot. Tweets are basically the same, in that they’re pre-written tweets with the name of the game I’m playing and a link to my stream. For example, if I’m going to play Far Cry 5, I’ll hit that icon in Steam Titles (which is the game icon), and then hit the same icon in Tweets, and this will change my stream name to something Far Cry related, change the game to Far Cry 5, and then tweet out that I’m about to go live playing Far Cry 5.

The three icons at the bottom — Streamlabs OBS, Streamlabs Chatbot and GIFBot — are the three common programs I use for streaming, and these are shortcuts to them.

‘Stream Titles’ and ‘Tweets’ layout; the icon lets me know what game without needing text

Game Sources have the same icons as the above, and are there to let me turn the particular game source on or off. Some games don’t work properly with Game Capture via OBS, so I use Display Capture for those, which has the negative side effect of capturing everything on the stream, so I use these to turn that particular game on and off if I need to for whatever reason.

Commands are shortcuts to common messages that I can post quickly, such as warning someone if they’re being a jerk, telling people not to backseat game, and providing links to various social media profiles for people to add me. I also have a few fun commands, like !lol and !dead, which are common and trigger special effects.

Spinner is a Streamlabs widget, that brings up my spinning wheel, where people can win prizes, or can bet their virtual currency (Canuckbux) on items.

Lastly, the five buttons at the bottom are for basic functions. Start/stop the stream, turning my microphone on and off, turning audio on and off, turning the microphone on and off, and creating a clip of something funny or good that may have happened.

And that’s how I’ve currently configured my Streamdeck. Things will change I’m sure, as I feel like it could eventually be more streamlined, but for now, it suits me well.

Do you have the Streamdeck? If so, how do you use it? Any neat or fancy tricks? Let me know, I’d love to hear it!

James was born and raised in Toronto, and still loves the city. Tech geek, gaming geek, horror geek, and if you get between me and coffee, *shakes fist*. If you want to keep up to date or stay in touch, follow me on Twitter, peruse my site at, check me out over on Twitch, and chat with me on Discord.



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James Paterson

James Paterson

Tech, games, coffee, horror, writing | Owner of CC Gaming/Canuck Group | Discord at | Twitter: SlimJimTDot