Our team has scoured the market and ultimately determined that the best Elgato Stream Deck alternative is the Elgato Stream Deck Mini. The reason for this decision is that it offers the same great design, 6 LCD customizable keys, and an affordable price point under $100.
The runner-up choice is the Loupedeck Live which is a comparable alternative to the Elgato Stream Deck XL coming in just under $300. Sporting a high build quality and a multitude of digital and physical buttons as well as control knobs, the Loupedeck Live is a great option for those looking to add further controls to their streaming, content creation, or multimedia editing workflows.
For our budget choice, we believe the Penclic N3 ControlPad can be a solid cheap Stream Deck alternative coming in at well under $50. While it lacks a lot of the extra bells and whistles that its more premium recommendations offer within this guide, it still offers a dedicated macro keypad that can easily improve workflows when properly configured.
Lastly, our recommend alternative via mobile apps is Elgato's Stream Deck Mobile. Offering the same feel as the traditional device just in a digital form using your smartphone or tablet's touchscreen, Stream Deck Mobile offers a similar experience and user interface integration with tons of supported apps and services. There is a free 30-day trial then affordable monthly and yearly subscription pricing.
Best Digital Alternative
Elgato Stream Deck Mobile (Mobile App)
Koolertron One Handed Macro Keyboard Mini
Elgato's Stream Deck is an intuitive and simple peripheral, and the concept behind it is well executed. The design features a grid of buttons that each have a customizable LCD display.
You have the capability of assigning commands such as launch a predetermined program, triggering a hotkey, or macroing a more complex set of tasks with just a simple press of a button. A Stream Deck has to credit for helping all sorts of creators with increased productivity of repetitive tasks.
The problem with the base Elgato Stream Deck ($149) or the upgraded Stream Deck XL ($249) is that it is expensive to many potential buyers. For some, it's overkill as they don't need that many macro keys anyways. This is why we are going to cover the best Elgato Stream Deck alternatives that get the job done in a similar fashion without spending as much money.
6 Best Stream Deck Alternatives (Physical Devices)
Elgato Stream Deck Mini
The Elgato Stream Deck Mini is a condensed experience to their standard Stream Deck with a smaller form factor and cheaper price point.
It is the perfect solution for those who don't need as many customizable macro keys or features. This model offers 6 LCD keys that can be activated by tapping or customized to launch any action such as launching media, adjusting sound, and much more.
The Stream Deck Mini comes with an unlimited number of options enabling users to customize the LCD keys by choosing from hundreds of pre-selected icons and animated GIFs or by personalizing them with their own unique icon.
Users can also integrate the mini stream deck with supported software such as Game Capture, OBS, XSplit, Stream Labs, Twitch, YouTube, Mixer. Having only 6 buttons is a bit limiting compared to the regular Stream Deck's 15 buttons, however, you can create folders and maximize the available buttons for multiple different uses.
The normal Stream Deck ships with a tilting stand that you can adjust according to your preferences. However, the Elgato Stream Deck Mini doesn't offer this. It is fixed to your desk and may sit at an awkward angle for some users.
Loupedeck Live is a device that has many features of the original Loupedeck, but with a smaller body and a few extra features. The device's potential for use with live streams and video editing software allows it to have features that weren't possible before. It has a USB-C port which allows it to be used for supplying power and communicating with your system.
The device can be used with streaming services like OBS Studio, StreamLabs (Windows only), and Twitch as well as with popular software such as Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop CC with Camera Raw, Premiere Pro CC, After Effects, Illustrator, Audition, and Final Cut Pro X
The software allows the creation of profiles for any other program by using shortcuts, macros, and custom actions. There are also advanced features that allow one to create complex macros, adjust commands, add delays and upload custom icons. Additionally, Loupedeck Live has haptic controls with incremental feedback on its dials. The device is compatible with Windows and macOS.
The X-Keys KX-24 is a solid alternative to the latest standard and XL models of Elgato's Stream Decks. It also offers very responsive keys with customizable colors (blue and red backlighting only), so it can fit better into most environments. However, this model does not offer any LCD screen at all or have as many options as some competitors do for setting things up.
For slightly cheaper than the standard Stream Deck that offers 15 keys, you are getting an additional 9 keys and there are upgraded models that offer 60, 80, and 128 keys respectively though the price-points jump up significantly as the key count rises.
While it lacks LCD screens on the keys like the Stream Deck, it does offer the ability to add paper legend keycaps to customize their look and label markings for their intended macro usage so you don't need to remember what all 24 keys do in your head. You also can add or remove keys if you don't need the full 24 or want to make multiple keys into one larger key as two tall keys, one wide key, and a key puller are included with more available for additional purchasing.
Koolertron One Handed Macro Mechanical Keyboard
The Koolertron One Handed Macro Mechanical Keyboard is a great alternative to the Elgato Stream Deck for those looking for an affordable option that isn't as flashy. With its customizable keys, it's a good budget option not only for gamers but also for designers and video editors.
It features 24 macro function buttons, 12 of which are advanced macros, 12 are quick macros. There are 4-layer custom configurations that can be saved on the MCU (which stores all your settings) so you don't have to reset or replace your keyboard if you change computers.
The downside is that unlike any of Elgato's Stream Deck options, it doesn't offer any customizable LCD keys for marking what macro uses are stored on each key. The backlight brightness can be adjusted/turned off very easily with just one button. It comes in a small form factor that won't take up a lot of space on your desk, and the detachable USB cable makes it portable.
You'll notice with the Koolertron its plastic feels a bit cheap compared to other models. It doesn't have as many bells and whistles as other models either, but this certainly isn't a deal-breaker if you're looking for a small affordable stream deck alternative that you can take with you on the go.
Penclic N3 ControlPad
The Penclic N3 ControlPad is a new and improved version of ControlPad macro keyboard. It was designed with 22 fully programmable keys, n-key rollover for increased accuracy on various multimedia programs, and compact size for portability. It has been designed to work with Mac computers as well as PCs thanks to its plug-and-play capability.
The Penclic N3 ControlPad is designed for all those who deal with content creation and can be a cheap Stream Deck alternative for use when streaming or multimedia editing. It provides excellent connectivity as it has been designed to work with Mac computers as well as PCs thanks to its plug-and-play capability and offers easy access to many OS features.
The N3 ControlPad comes with its own internal memory so you can switch from PC to Mac computers without having to reprogram your settings. Priced at well under $50, this is one of the best budget picks when it comes to an Elgato Stream Deck alternative and comes in a black or white color option.
The DIY Method
A Reddit user has created his own stream deck alternative. It can be set up for under $25 – the only required components of which are a cheap USB number pad and free key remapping software. One minor disadvantage of this DIY method is you'll have to memorize the keys and functions as they were assigned.
This insane affordability comes to its own expenses ironically, in terms of time required for configuration and overall convenience during usage. For starters, it will take some programming time to configure the buttons before they can handle custom tasks. The build quality of these cheap number pads is usually pretty low and you also don't usually get some of the advanced design elements such as customizable keys or any ability to adjust the height/angle of the keypad.
Top 3 Digital Stream Deck Alternatives (Mobile Apps)
Stream Deck Mobile
Stream Deck Mobile gives you complete functionality for your Elgato stream deck with no investments in hardware as it uses your smartphone instead of a proprietary device. Better yet, there is a free trial version offered that provides 30-days of use before you hit the paywall. Pricing starts at $2.99 a month or receives a 30% discount when prepaying for a year for just $24.99/year.
From a functionality standpoint, the Stream Deck Mobile app using the network and works wirelessly. The Siri software is available as well-meaning it doesn't even need to reach the controls to get your chatbot to work in your favor. While it is a lot cheaper than buying an actual physical Stream Deck at the initial investment, it ties up your phone while in use, suffers from connection problems in some instances if your device goes to sleep. When looking long term, it can actually cost more than buying a Stream Deck Mini when you add up the subscription costs over several years of use.
Streamlabs Deck App
Streamlabs is technically a full-blown streaming controller application made for modern smartphones or tablets. The app is simple to use but offers limited usability. The remote app allows you to change between scenes, start and stop streaming as well as recording, hide and show sources and play and mute audio. Unfortunately, you can't use launch animations, send alerts or use any custom functionality.
This streaming deck app integrates online with Streamlabs OBS setups and cannot be used for anything outside of this usage so those looking to connect for multimedia editing or general productivity will need to stick to a standard Elgato Stream Deck or one of the other alternatives listed within this helpful guide.
Up Deck App
UP Deck is a programmable control deck mobile application that works directly with OBS Studio and is a free alternative to the Elgato Stream Deck. The app was designed for Android and iOS devices which include most tablets and smartphones. Easily control recording / streaming / action replays and add animations to your scenes – using your tablet or smartphone as a remote control.
This is the most basic option and requires OBS Studio v21 or higher. Given that it's a free third-party application, we can't vouch for its safety, security or longevity for supported updates in the future, however it works for someone who wants to save a few bucks one of the other model apps or significantly more money on a physical Stream Deck alternative, this may be an option to explore.
In the end, there is plenty of alternatives to the Stream Deck if you want to save some money or simply don't want to use an Elgato product. We found the Stream Deck Mini is the best alternate option for those on a tight budget offering much of the same features as its more premium siblings in a smaller footprint with less customizable keys.
For those looking to score a premium experience similar to the Stream Deck and Stream Deck XL from a different manufacturer, the Loupedeck Live is a great option for streamers, content creators, or multimedia editors. It offers tons of customizable buttons and knobs and can be used with virtually all of the major software, services, and subscriptions within these industries.