If you’ve invested in a decent gaming PC, you’ll probably want to capture and share some of the highs and lows of your gaming exploits. We’re here to introduce you to some of the best software options available today for capturing gaming footage. on PC.
And the software is really all you need. Unless you’re capturing an external source like a console or combining multiple video streams (so your audience can see your webcam while you’re playing), you don’t need any additional hardware beyond what’s already connected to your PC – with the caveat that capturing video uses some system resources and can strain slower, older setups.
Xbox game bar
Microsoft includes capturing PC game footage as part of Windows, in the form of Xbox game bar. You can launch it by searching for it in the taskbar or by pressing Win+G on your keyboard (if an Xbox controller is connected to your PC, just press the Xbox button). There are a variety of widgets here, including one showing current CPU and RAM usage.
You will see a Start recording button (the circle icon) in the Capture widget – click it to start capturing footage from the currently active game (or application). To stop recording, open the game bar again and click on the square stop recording button. You can also use the Win+Alt+R shortcut on your keyboard to start and stop recording without showing the game bar interface every time.
The Gallery widget in the Game Bar interface is where you can see your most recent captures – select any video to view it. There’s also an audio widget that lets you control the mix of levels between open apps, games, and microphone input. Widgets can be hidden or shown using the row of icons at the top of the Game Bar interface.
Although you don’t have a share option in the Xbox Game Bar itself, you can easily access the capture folder (it’s in Videos then Captures in your default Windows user folder) from the File Explorer or Gallery widget. Once you’re there, you can share your images using any program or portal of your choice.
If you open Settings in Windows and choose Games, you can customize various aspects of Game Bar, including where your clips are saved and supported hotkeys. From the Captures tab, you can enable background recording, so Windows will always record gameplay footage in the background while you’re playing – this enables the Win+Alt+G hotkey, which saves the previous 30 seconds of gameplay as a clip.
For some, the Xbox Game Bar tool is the only software they’ll need to capture PC gameplay footage, but as you may have noticed, it only captures the active window and currently doesn’t include any live streaming option. For a more advanced setup, the app you need is OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) Studiowhich is free and open source.
This is built with live streaming in mind. It supports output to Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook, it lets you mix multiple video sources (like your screen and a webcam) together, and it gives you detailed control over settings like output quality and levels. sound. The only downside might be that it’s not the easiest software for beginners to learn, but it’s hardly impenetrable to figure out what’s what.
OBS Studio is built around sources and scenes. Sources are video and image inputs, so they can include your whole screen, a window on your screen, an external webcam, or an external capture device (streaming from a console, perhaps). Scenes are basically layouts for one or more sources – maybe you just need one scene, just showing what’s on screen, but you can also have multiple scenes that include multiple sources, or which display your sources at different sizes and in different ways.
You can control your scenes and sources using the boxes that appear by default in the lower left corner of the OBS Studio interface. The controls to start streaming and recording are on the right – if you don’t want to broadcast your gaming exploits to the world, you can just save them to disc.
To begin, click on the + under Sources and choose Display capture as input – this will capture everything on screen. Use the options under Controls to manage your feeds and recordings, or click Settings then Shortcuts to set up hotkeys so you don’t have to open the OBS Studio interface so much. You can also set output resolutions and a host of other options in the Settings panel.
Like Xbox Game Bar, OBS Studio saves captured clips to the default video folder associated with your Windows user profile. To make sure you always record along with the live stream, click Settings in the main UI, then choose General and Automatically record when streaming.
There’s a lot more to OBS Studio, but that should be enough to get you started. You’ll also find plenty of alternatives to Xbox Game Bar and OBS Studio if you need something different to capture and share your PC gameplay footage. Check gamecaster, Bandicamand dxtory if the tools we have mentioned here are not exactly what you are looking for.
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