Building a StreamDeck on a Budget

June 22, 2020 - Reading time: 2 minutes

I have been watching for the Elgato Stream Deck 15 to go on sale for ages. At $150, it's an expensive piece of hardware, but the utility it provides helps out a lot when you're streaming. Say you don't want to either assign keybinds to your keyboard or remember them between games. And what if those keybinds are in use by the game itself? A stream deck gives you a centralized location to execute scene transitions, special stingers and audio/video actions with the touch of a button.

Alternatives on a budget? Sure! Enter UP Deck.

UP Deck set up on a old seldom-used tablet.

Up Deck is amazingly easy to set up and integrate into OBS Studio. You install the desktop app on your streaming computer, then install the App on your tablet/phone. You do all the setup for the icons via a web interface and use the documentation to perform a near limitless amount of stream actions. The latency is around 5ms for actions, so (for most of us) it is honestly faster than it would take you to click it within OBS. With this solution you do lose the tactile feel of real buttons that Elgato offers, but it is 100% free and takes about an hour to set up, depending your tolerance for the learning curve. The documentation is very thorough and fairly platform-agnostic.

As you can (maybe) see from the image, I have the basic screen transitions set up to the far right (last column), with capture scenes set up in the fourth column, and browser, main cam, and secondary cam sources set up in the third column. Blank buttons are ready for future actions. The green/blue buttons along the bottom are for separate decks - yes, you can swipe to entirely separate decks! If you want to group your actions together, you can either do it on a single deck or spread them over separate decks. You can even control volumes within OBS separately via the app - this can be a little finicky, but I can confirm it works well in my test recordings.

Needless to say, I am sold. Reply in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter if you have any questions.


Hi there! My name is Kevin Earl Gardner. I am a Web Developer and (very) Amateur Content Creator based out of Birmingham, Alabama. I like to blog about coding and streaming.