How To Fix OBS Not Picking Up Game Audio

In the realm of game streaming and content creation, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) stands out as a crucial tool for broadcasting live gameplay to audiences worldwide. However, a common hurdle that many users encounter is the OBS not picking up game audio error.

This issue can detract from the viewer’s experience and hinder the creator’s ability to produce engaging content. This article aims to demystify this problem by exploring its causes and offering practical solutions to ensure your game audio is flawlessly captured in OBS.

OBS Not Picking Up Game Audio

Understanding the Issue: OBS Not Picking Up Game Audio

The core of the issue lies in OBS’s inability to capture or broadcast the audio output from a game. When this happens, the video stream proceeds normally, but the game’s audio either doesn’t transmit at all or comes through partially or intermittently.

Understanding why OBS fails to pick up game audio is essential for troubleshooting and resolving the problem effectively.

Causes of OBS Not Picking Up Game Audio Error

Several factors can contribute to OBS not capturing game audio correctly. Identifying the root cause is the first step towards a solution. Common culprits include:

  • Incorrect OBS Audio Settings: The most frequent cause is misconfigured audio settings within OBS, where the game audio source is not correctly selected or is disabled.
  • Default Playback Device Conflicts: Sometimes, the default playback device in Windows is not the one OBS is set to capture, leading to a mismatch in audio sources.
  • Software Conflicts: Other applications running on your system could interfere with OBS’s ability to capture audio, especially if they have high priority over the audio device.
  • Driver Issues: Outdated or corrupted audio drivers can prevent OBS from capturing game audio properly.
  • Administrative Rights: OBS might require administrative privileges to access certain audio sources or devices on your computer.

Methods to Fix OBS Not Picking Up Game Audio Error

Fortunately, several solutions can address this issue, ranging from simple settings adjustments to more involved troubleshooting steps. Here are effective methods to ensure OBS captures your game audio:

1. Check OBS Audio Settings

  • Configure Audio Sources: Ensure that the correct audio source is selected in OBS. Navigate to Settings > Audio and check the ‘Desktop Audio’ and ‘Mic/Auxiliary Audio’ settings to make sure they correspond to the correct devices.
  • Use Audio Mixer: The Audio Mixer in OBS allows you to adjust the volume levels of different audio sources. Verify that the game audio source is not muted or set to a very low level.

2. Set Default Playback Device

  • Ensure the playback device used by the game is set as the default device in Windows Sound Settings. OBS often captures audio from the default device, so aligning these settings can resolve the issue.

3. Run OBS as Administrator

  • Right-click the OBS shortcut and select “Run as administrator.” This grants OBS the permissions it may need to capture audio from certain games or applications.

4. Update or Reinstall Audio Drivers

  • Check if your audio drivers are up to date. If not, update them through the Device Manager or the manufacturer’s website. If updates don’t resolve the issue, consider reinstalling the drivers.

5. Close Conflicting Applications

  • Close other applications that may be using the audio device. Tools like volume mixers or other broadcasting software can interfere with OBS’s ability to capture audio.

6. Use Audio Monitoring

  • In OBS, right-click on the audio source in the Audio Mixer and select “Advanced Audio Properties.” Here, you can enable audio monitoring for the source, allowing you to hear exactly what OBS is capturing, which can aid in troubleshooting.

7. Reconfigure OBS Audio Capture Mode

  • If using game capture mode, try switching to window capture or display capture mode, or vice versa. Sometimes, the capture mode can affect audio capture.

8. Adjust Audio Sample Rate

  • Incompatibility between the sample rate of your audio device and OBS can cause audio issues. Check the sample rate in the Windows Sound settings and in OBS to ensure they match. You can find this setting in OBS under File > Settings > Audio. Common sample rates include 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz.

9. Utilize Audio Capture Software

  • If OBS directly fails to capture game audio, consider using a dedicated audio capture software to reroute your audio to OBS. Tools like VoiceMeeter Banana can capture game audio and then output it to a virtual device, which OBS can capture. This method can be particularly effective when dealing with complex audio setups or when streaming games that have known compatibility issues with OBS.

10. Check for Exclusive Mode Settings in Windows

  • Sometimes, Windows allows applications to take exclusive control of an audio device, which can prevent OBS from capturing its sound. To check this, go to Sound settings in Windows, right-click your output device, select Properties, go to the Advanced tab, and uncheck “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.”

11. Modify Game Settings

  • Some games have audio output settings that may not be compatible with OBS’s default capture methods. Explore the game’s audio settings to ensure it’s set to output sound through the same device OBS is set to capture. Changing the audio output to Stereo rather than Surround Sound can sometimes make a difference.

12. OBS Studio Versus OBS Classic

  • If you’re using OBS Classic, consider upgrading to OBS Studio. OBS Studio is the newer version and offers more robust and updated features for audio capture, among other improvements. It’s also more frequently updated, ensuring better compatibility with the latest games and operating systems.

13. Consult OBS Forums and Support

  • The OBS community and support forums are valuable resources for troubleshooting specific issues. If you’re encountering a unique problem or need more personalized advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to the community. Chances are, someone else has faced a similar issue and can offer a solution.

Advanced Troubleshooting: Beyond the Basics

If you’ve tried the basic troubleshooting steps and OBS still isn’t picking up game audio, it might be time to delve into more advanced techniques.

These can help resolve stubborn issues and ensure your game audio is captured perfectly.

Conclusion

OBS not picking up game audio can be a frustrating issue, but it’s usually resolvable with some troubleshooting. By methodically working through potential causes and their solutions, you can quickly return to delivering high-quality, immersive content to your audience.

Remember, the key to solving OBS audio issues lies in understanding the software and your system’s audio settings. With the right adjustments, your game streaming setup will be back to its best performance, capturing both video and audio flawlessly.

Frequently Asked Questions about OBS Not Picking Up Game Audio

Q1: Can OBS capture game audio when streaming from a console?

A1: Yes, OBS can capture game audio when streaming from a console, but it typically requires additional hardware such as a capture card. The capture card needs to be properly configured within OBS to ensure that both video and audio are captured from the console.

Q2: Why does OBS pick up my microphone but not game audio?

A2: If OBS is picking up your microphone but not the game audio, it’s likely due to incorrect audio source settings. Ensure that your ‘Desktop Audio’ is correctly set to the device that is outputting your game’s sound. Additionally, verify that no other applications have exclusive control over the audio device.

Q3: Is there a delay in game audio when using OBS?

A3: There can be a delay in game audio if the audio buffering settings are not optimized or if there’s a mismatch in sample rates between your audio device and OBS. To reduce or eliminate delay, check the ‘Advanced Audio Properties’ in OBS for options to adjust sync offset or match the sample rates in the audio settings.

Q4: How do I capture game audio without capturing other desktop audio?

A4: To capture game audio without capturing other desktop audio, you can use audio routing software like VoiceMeeter to separate audio sources. This software allows you to send game audio to a dedicated channel that OBS can capture independently of other desktop audio.

Q5: Can firewall or antivirus software affect OBS audio capture?

A5: While firewall or antivirus software typically doesn’t directly affect audio capture, it can interfere with OBS’s operation if it restricts the software’s access to certain system resources or if it falsely identifies OBS as a security threat. Ensure that OBS is added to the list of allowed apps in your firewall or antivirus settings.

Q6: Will updating OBS solve my audio capture issues?

A6: Updating OBS can solve audio capture issues, especially if the issues are related to bugs or compatibility problems that have been addressed in newer versions of the software. Always ensure you’re running the latest version of OBS for optimal performance and feature access.

Q7: How can I test if OBS is correctly capturing game audio before going live?

A7: To test if OBS is correctly capturing game audio, you can record a short video clip within OBS and then play it back. This allows you to check the audio levels and quality without going live. Make sure to monitor the Audio Mixer in OBS during your test to see real-time audio levels and ensure everything is being captured as expected.

Q8: What should I do if only some games have audio issues in OBS?

A8: If only some games have audio issues in OBS, it might be due to game-specific audio settings or compatibility issues. Check the game’s audio output settings and ensure they’re compatible with your system’s sound configuration. Also, running both the game and OBS as an administrator can help resolve permission-related issues.

Q9: Can I use third-party plugins to improve audio capture in OBS?

A9: Yes, you can use third-party plugins to enhance audio capture in OBS. Plugins like audio filters or advanced audio routing tools can provide greater control over your audio sources and improve the overall sound quality of your stream.

Q10: What if none of the solutions work?

A10: If none of the suggested solutions resolve your OBS audio capture issues, consider seeking help from the OBS community forums or support channels. Providing detailed information about your setup, settings, and the steps you’ve already tried can help others assist you more effectively.

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