Why not share your epic gaming moments with your friends by recording your gameplay? You might even discover a love for creating gaming content and end up becoming a streamer.
The debate over PC versus console gaming is almost as old as gaming itself, but PC gaming is still popular. You can take a nostalgic trip playing Windows 95 games on a new PC. You have a great selection of affordable games through platforms like Steam and GoG, and you can create professional gaming YouTube videos. These are just a few examples that keep PC gaming in such good shape, but you probably don’t need convincing. That’s why you are here.
9 Ways to Record Games on Your PC
1. Xbox Game Bar
Your Windows 11 PC comes with a simple game recording tool called Xbox Game Bar. Despite the Xbox branding, this feature works great on your gaming PC and allows you to record gameplay at 1080p resolution and 60 FPS. . Moreover, you can change the video quality to 720p and 30fps.
The app is easy to use and completely free, but its functionality is somewhat limited. It is just a basic recording tool without professional video editing and post-processing options. It’s suitable for creating and sharing gameplay footage with your friends, but you’ll have to look elsewhere for more advanced video recording software.
2. Nvidia Shadow Game
If you have a PC with an Nvidia GPU, you have access to the built-in video recording software. GeForce Experience isn’t just for updating your drivers and maintaining a neat game library. It comes with Nvidia Shadowplay.
Shadowplay allows you to record your gameplay footage in your monitor’s native resolution. Just press the record button. If you have an HD monitor it will record in 1080p, and if you have a 4K monitor it will record in 4K. It’s simple and easy to use for beginners, and you can use it to stream your content as well. Also, it depends on your GPU, so your CPU will have more resources available for gaming and other processes.
Learn more about using Nvidia Shadowplay to record and share gameplay videos.
3. Radeon ReLive
AMD has created its own free game recording software, as has Nvidia. So if you have an AMD graphics card, you can use Radeon ReLive. The principle is the same as with NVIDIA’s Shadowplay. It uses GPU to record instead of CPU and can record up to 4K resolution.
It even handles video upscaling well, letting you record 4K footage despite having a 1080 monitor. The only downside is the lack of features you find in a dedicated recording tool.
Bandicam is one of the best game recording apps. It has been used for many years by beginners and professionals alike. It’s not free, but a trial version is available, so you can decide if it’s the right screen recorder for you.
With the purchase of a single license for $39.95, you get a dedicated video recording tool. Bandicam records at high frame rates and 4K resolution, but gives you a lot of control over video quality. It includes compression features that allow you to reduce the file size without affecting the quality too much. It’s more than just a game footage recorder. It’s a great screen capture tool overall.
Bandicam allows you to resize the screenshot area to your liking. You can use it for activities other than games. It even comes with an “around the mouse” recording mode, so you can follow your cursor while recording a tutorial or explainer video. Overall, Bandicam remains one of the best screen capture tools for PC gaming and general use.
Price: Free with watermark and limited recording time. $39.95 for the full version.
Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS for short, is a free open source video recording tool that includes streaming functionality. This is one of the best ways to record PC games if you want premium features for free.
OBS Studio is a professional screenshot tool, although it is free. This means that it also comes with a learning curve, so it is not as easy to use as previous programs. The main reason why it’s not the easiest option to use is the number of settings and features, as well as the user interface.
That said, you have full control over what and how you record. And if you’re bored with the default features and settings, you can download one of the many plugins that will enhance your experience. Best of all, it also lets you add your unique watermark to the video, which is usually a premium feature with other professional game recording tools.
Stock! developed by Mirillis is a professional game recording software with many features. In addition to the modern, easy-to-use interface, streaming capabilities, and 4K recording, Action! offers Green Screen Mode and Time-Shift function to give you more game capture options.
As you probably guessed, green screen mode will automatically remove the background while recording. But what makes it great is that it works well with any color as long as it’s solid and even. You don’t necessarily need to buy a real green screen. All you need is a camera or even a webcam, and the recording software will do the rest.
The Time-Shift feature is probably the best addition to game recording. Have you ever had a truly epic moment in your favorite game and wished you had recorded it? Well, now you won’t miss those moments because Time-Shift will let you rewind and capture everything that happened 10 minutes ago. The only downside is that you are limited to HD recording in this case.
Price: 30-day free trial and $29.95 for lifetime license
Movavi Screen Recorder is a modern and easy to use screen capture software. It supports up to 4K screen resolution, you can record a specific part of your screen, and you can choose to record audio simultaneously or separately. Additionally, you can make mouse clicks and keystrokes visible and even draw directly on the video.
That said, Movavi Screen Recorder is a great choice for recording gameplay due to the many post-processing options you get. You can instantly convert your video to GIF, you can cut and merge videos without any video editing experience, and you can add a wide variety of special effects including animated text. And if that’s not enough, Movavi has an effects store where you can buy unique transition packs, sock videos, gradients, and even YouTube packs.
Price: Free with a watermark or $44.95 for a 1-year license
If you want an easy-to-use game recorder without wasting time customizing features or fiddling with video editor, D3DGear might be the right tool for you. Install it and save your game on PC. That is just about everything. D3DGear will automatically detect your game, so all you have to do is press the record key without changing any settings.
The user interface looks somewhat dated, you don’t get any interesting post-processing options, and there’s hardly any functionality to play with. That said, D3DGear does its job by recording the video and compressing it in real time. It saves a lot of space on your hard drive and also relies on GPU acceleration to not strain your CPU.
Price: 15-day free trial and $29.85 for full version
Fraps is a blast from the past that is still alive and kicking. It is one of the best game recording tools for Windows because it is a simple program that has stood the test of time. If you played World of Warcraft in its heyday, you already know Fraps because it was used to capture so many epic moments.
That said, Fraps is a simple, no-frills game recording software. Its user interface looks outdated and it doesn’t have any cool features. Like D3DGear, its job is to record gameplay and take screenshots. Also, you can record your voice or audio separately to add to the gameplay video later. The only major downside is that it lacks video compression.
Price: Free with watermark and registration for a limited time or $37 lifetime license
Record your epic video game moments!
With so many free and premium game recording options, you shouldn’t miss the funniest and most epic moments from your favorite games. Start recording your gameplay and take screenshots using any of the above tools and share your videos with your friends. You can even stick with the built-in software from Windows, Nvidia, and AMD as they are more than enough for this purpose.
If you want to create creative gameplay videos or tutorials, try one of the pro options on our list, like Action! and Open Broadcaster Software. With the video editing features and special effects built into the video recording software, you can create entertaining videos for your YouTube channel. You can even use these tools to broadcast your gameplay on Twitch.
There is an option for everyone. Let us know in the comments below which tool you prefer for capturing videos and why you chose it over the others.