Stream Deck + review: helpful and fun tool for content creators

The Elgato Stream Deck + is a beautiful device that is a vital asset for any streamer or content creator.

A photo of the Stream Deck + on a white desk with colourful lighting
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The Stream Deck + is both beautiful and versatile, and while the price point may be rather high you can't argue with the excellent software and professional build. It is incredibly customisable and the introduction of rotary dials and an LCD screen is an interesting development on older models. But is it worth the extra money?


  • Fantastic customisation options
  • Premium feel
  • Quick response time


  • Pretty pricey
  • Not enough dial command options

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Elgato, the maker of the Stream Deck +, is one of the top brands when it comes to accessories for streaming and content creation so you've most likely heard that name floating around if you're involved in online spaces.

So what actually is a Stream Deck? These nifty bits of kit act as an external set of quick keys you can assign custom commands to based on whatever software you're using. Stream Decks are commonly used for streaming as they're an easy way to control multiple devices and interfaces at once while you're live, but Stream Decks can also be assigned to commands for a multitude of applications such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Davinci resolve and more. This makes them a fantastic tool for any creative as it is multifunctional and incredibly customisable.

This review is going to focus on the latest instalment in the Stream Deck range: the Stream Deck +. I'm an avid content creator and artist and have spent a few weeks with this device now in various applications, and I can confidently say it's an innovative bit of tech that really improves your setup. So let's get into the details, but before we do that make sure you check out our guide on how to stream on Twitch if you're just starting out your streaming journey.

Stream Deck + review: Design and build

A close-up shot of the Stream Deck + dials and touchscreen with a hand in shot to show the size

(Image credit: Future)

Measuring 13.8 x 14 x 11cm, the Elgato Stream Deck + is decently sized which makes it easy to view when on a desk. It has a solid build that feels expensive to the touch. It features 8 square keys and 4 metal dials, totalling 12 customisable actions overall. Similar to older Stream Decks, each of the square keys features mini LCD screens you can change using the Stream Deck software. These keys feel excellent to press with a satisfying click thanks to the internal membrane beneath them, and the LCD screens are vibrant and easy to read from a considerable distance away. 

The four rotary dials also feel great to the touch thanks to their metal build. The sides are wonderfully textured for easy grip, and twisting the dials has a satisfying click similar to the buttons to clearly indicate your input. The new LCD screen strip is beautiful and easy to read, and we have a bit more detail about this new addition in the next section. The included USB cable has a woven casing, therefore making it more resistant to tangling or cracking. Overall, the Stream Deck + feels very expensive and worth the money if we're going by aesthetics and build alone. 

Stream Deck + review: Features

A photo of the Stream Deck + buttons that have various animated gifs on the screens

Although not visible in the photo, these are a selection of the fun animated GIFS downloaded from the pre-made Stream Deck library. (Image credit: Future)

Much like the other Stream Deck models, you have the option to customise each key by adding your own images, text and colours. You can use your own visuals, or you can access Elgato's wide library of premade assets. There are lots of premade options available that have various themes or are specifically designed to resemble programmes like Photoshop or Premiere Pro. 

I absolutely love how customisable the Stream Deck + feels, and I had a lot of fun designing various page layouts depending on the software I was mapping that I could easily switch between thanks to the touchscreen. I particularly enjoyed downloading the animated GIF pack that had a variety of quirky animations.

As prior mentioned, another new detail that the Stream Deck + features over the older models is the narrow touchscreen that lives just above the dials. This screen is vibrant with adjustable brightness levels and easy to read with a crisp display. It shows the commands that are assigned to the below dials, and one of the best features of this touchscreen is that you can swipe with your finger to change the page of commands currently assigned to the buttons. 

Much like the buttons, you can also customise the background of the touchscreen although there currently aren't as many customisation options as the keys.

Stream Deck + review: Performance

A shot of the back of the Stream Deck+ on a white desk

(Image credit: Future)

Performance-wise, the Stream Deck + is essentially the same product as older models with a few new shiny features and dials. Once you download the dedicated Stream Deck software, simply drag and drop your commands to the adjacent buttons and they'll instantly appear on the Stream Deck device. 

Considering the Stream Deck is mainly aimed at streamers, I ended up primarily assigning commands for OBS studio and Twitch during my testing period. Once I had assigned my quick commands in the Stream Deck app, I found that the time between pressing the keys and the action taking place in OBS was instantaneous with no delay. This made streaming easy and I could trust my Stream Deck + to quickly execute commands that I otherwise would have to individually do in the app I was using. 

Although I didn't get a chance to test it myself, you can also programme quick commands for applications such as Photoshop, Davinci Resolve and more which makes it incredibly versatile for all kinds of creatives. 

One small issue that I experienced was when I decided to assign a GIF set to the keys. The Stream Deck app struggled to process them as quickly as flat images, and each time I changed from a static image to a gif the app would have a good 10-second delay where it would show a 'not responding' error message. It wasn't a major issue and it never actually crashed, but I felt it important to note considering this was the only software issue I experienced. 

Stream Deck + review: Price

A shot of the Stream Deck + keys with various Photoshop symbols assigned to them

(Image credit: Future)

The price point is where I have a bit of an issue. For reference, the smaller Stream Deck mini that features six keys retails for half the price of the plus at $100/£100. The normal Stream Deck retails for $149.99/£149.99 and the beastly Stream Deck XL that has 32 keys sits at $239/£249. 

The Stream Deck + is currently selling for $199.99/£199.99, and considering it has a quarter of the keys of the XL it feels like a pretty steep asking price that doesn't offer a lot more over the other options. 

Saying that, I am confident that as Elgato continues to update its software and add more unique features that can be assigned to the rotary dials and screen it will add more value to opting for the Stream Deck + over the other models. 

Stream Deck + review: Should you buy it?

A photo of the Stream Deck + facing the camera on a white desk with colourful lighting

(Image credit: Future)

Overall, I find the Stream Deck + a fantastic device that most streamers or creatives will benefit from. However, do I believe it's worth the upgrade if you own one of the older models? Not quite yet if you consider the rather steep price point, but I'm excited to see how Elgato updates the Stream Deck software in the future to add more unique functionality to justify the new additions of the dials and touchscreen. I really enjoyed my time using the Stream Deck + and will continue to use it in my streams to make content creation faster and my quick commands easier to access.


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The Verdict

out of 10

Elgato Stream Deck +

The Stream Deck + is both beautiful and versatile, and while the price point may be rather high you can't argue with the excellent software and professional build. It is incredibly customisable and the introduction of rotary dials and an LCD screen is an interesting development on older models. But is it worth the extra money?

Abi Le Guilcher
Ecommerce Writer

Abi Le Guilcher is Creative Bloq’s Ecommerce Writer. With a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design for Game and Film, Abi enjoys almost anything creative and will either be found crafting or gaming in her spare time. Her previous experience as a retail assistant at CeX means she has a wide range of knowledge in both technology and media and loves to keep up to date with the latest tech. Abi is an avid cosplayer and has most recently worked with PlayStation and Santa Monica Studio on a promotional campaign for the release of God of War Ragnarök.