Sharing your passion with others is part of being a human. And if that passion is on your PC, like gaming, you’d better learn how to record your computer’s screen. So, we’re presenting the best ways to record your gameplay.
The task has become increasingly easy over the years. You’ll do fine with most modern games if you have a PC capable of playing at least 60fps with medium to high graphics.
Alternatively, you could be a retro gamer or an indie gamer. Titles like Rimworld or Band of Brothers also deserve love and praise. Not everything is about the graphics.
Be that as it may, recording your gameplay is a matter of choosing the hardware you like. Most are free, and you may already have one on your Windows PC.
How to Record Gameplay on Your PC?
You may be the type of gamer that relies on a PC for entertainment needs. And there’re many pluses to owning a PC. Some of these benefits include the ability to work on your PC or upgrade it with new parts. One of the best pluses is being able to record and share the screen easily.
The way to record your PC is by picking recording software. If you’re on a Windows PC, you already have the built-in Xbox Game bar, which is surprisingly good. Other recording software will deliver extra services. For example, some offer the ability to stream and design the screen.
So, you may go about it in two ways: record your captures separately or record and stream in real-time. If you record separately, you’ll be able to edit your videos and upload them to services like YouTube. Alternatively, you can stream to save some time, but you should be aware that streaming, as a career, is very time-consuming.
In any case, we’re sharing the best recording software available. Plus, we’re giving you an overview of how these work.
Here’s the gist, though:
- Recording software comes with standard recording options. The most common ones are the ability to record at 30fps or 60fps.
- Recording software will record the screen at its native resolution. You may also get the option to record at a lower resolution to save some bandwidth.
- Playing, recording, and streaming simultaneously takes a tool on your PC’s hardware and bandwidth. Recording while playing also takes a tool, but it’s easier to handle, particularly for mid and low-end PCs.
- You’ll need a webcam or a camera if you want to record yourself as you play.
Best Ways to Record Your Gameplay
Now that we know the basics let’s run down our options. We’re going from the most intuitive options to the most complex software.
In that sense, we’re going from beginner level to expert. However, we’re not saying the beginner software is terrible, but it may not be what you’re looking for -ultimately, it depends on what you plan to do (streaming or just recording).
Overall, finding the best ways to record your gameplay is all about using the software that fits your necessities. Moreover, some of these options are available for macOS.
Beginner level: Xbox Game Bar
The Xbox Game Bar is the built-in tool on Microsoft operative systems. It’s available by default on Windows 10 and 11.
It’s easy to use, doesn’t take a tool from your PC, and can record games, your browser, and any app on your computer. Moreover, the interface is intuitive, and the quality will remain 1080p/60fps or, at least, 720p/30fps (depending on your PC’s firepower).
It can’t record the desktop or Windows menus, but it can record the webcam. It also can’t use your webcam, and it can’t scream. Other functions include taking screenshots and giving you the Friends menu from the Xbox app.
All in all, it’s the best recording software for beginners. But if you’re looking to stream, this is not your option. In other words, Xbox Game Bar is great if you want to record and edit your capture.
So, let me tell you how to enable it and how to use it.
Step 1: Enable Xbox Game Bar
Let’s start by enabling the app.
On Windows 10
- Click the Windows button on the keyboard.
- Go to Settings.
- Select Gaming.
- Go to Xbox Game Bar.
- Toggle the switch to ON if you see it OFF.
If the app doesn’t work, check its permissions like so:
- Press the Windows key plus “X” on your keyboard.
- On the cascade menu, click “Apps and features.”
- Search for “Xbox Game Bar.”
- Select Advanced Options.
- If you see its permissions on Off, toggle them On.
On Windows 11
- Click the Windows button.
- Click the Settings gear.
- Go to Gaming on the left.
- Select Xbox Game Bar on the right.
- If you see the app Off, turn it On.
Now, let’s check the app’s permissions:
- Go back to Settings.
- Select Apps on the left.
- Select Installed apps on the right.
- Find Xbox Game Bar on the list.
- Click the three dots and select Advanced Options.
- Go to Background apps permissions.
- Give it permission by selecting “Always” or “Power optimized.” Additionally, enable the mic and the camera.
Step 2: Using Xbox Game Bar
Using the app is relatively easy. Just press the Windows key plus G at any moment, and then press the record button.
Here are the main options you’ll find on the Xbox Game bar (left to right):
- Take a screenshot.
- Enable webcam recording.
- Enable mic recording.
There’re a couple of functions you need to understand, though. First, to be able to record outside of your games, you need to do this:
- Click the Gear icon at the top.
- Go to Capture.
- Check on All.
- If you play on your PC with an Xbox controller, you can enable an option on the Shortcuts menu to open the software with the Xbox button on the controller.
- Click on “Gaming features” and select Speech-to-text and Text-to-speech as you see fit. It is only useful if you play through the Xbox app.
- Lastly, your captures will go to your Videos folder by default on the “Captures” sub-folder. If you can’t find your captures, click on “See my captures” at the left.
Funnily enough, I had to use another recording software to record Xbox Game Bar and share it on the tutorial. And that’s the software I’m discussing next.
Intermediate Level: AMD Adrenalin or NVIDIA GeForce Experience
The GPU’s proprietary software is a stellar option to record screens and is available on Windows and macOS computers. I regularly use AMD’s screen recording software, which I can use because I have an AMD card. I also regularly use the Xbox Game Bar screen recording software. I like both of these, and they deliver the same quality.
But if you have an NVIDIA card, you’d use the NVIDIA GeForce Experience app instead. It delivers a similar quality to AMD’s software (perhaps a bit better), and the capture goes to the same folder – your Videos folder.
Both NVIDIA and AMD allow you to record, as well as record and stream at the same time. The streaming usage is limited but good enough for YouTube. Both programs allow you to customize the position of your webcam recording and the chat. Both programs connect directly to streaming sites, such as YouTube and Twitch.
Lastly, these programs offer extra options like noise suppression or AI systems that make your webcam follow your eyes. The different options depend on the card you have.
Here’s the stepwise breakdown of the process.
Step 1: Download the Proprietary Software
NVIDIA and AMD offer options to control your GPU, record the screen, and update the drivers. Still, both programs work similarly. I find AMD Adrenalin has a more intuitive interface, but it suffers from weird bugs and interactions with Windows.
Either way, here’re the links to install the proprietary software.
- AMD Adrenalin for AMD graphic cards.
- NVIDIA GeForce Experience for Nvidia graphic cards.
Just download and install this software on Windows or macOS.
Step 2: Record the Screen with Your GPU’s Software
Now, it’s time to record your screen. I’m guiding you with the software I use, AMD adrenalin. However, you’d find very similar options if you use NVIDIA GeForce.
- Open AMD Adrenalin.
- Go to Record & Stream.
- Select to record the active window, the entire screen, or a region.
- If you want to stream, go to Live Steam.
- Link your account.
- To design your screen go to the Scene Editor to customize the position of the camera and the chat.
- Then, on either the Record or Live stream tabs, you’ll find the basic options (like enabling or disabling the camera).
- Lastly, check the streaming/recording settings for extra options. These options will revolve around audio and video quality.
Depending on your GPU, you may find extra options on their proprietary software. RTX NVIDIA cards are full of options to find, even a feature that makes the camera follow your eyes.
Still, both programs feature some noise suppression. For example, on AMD’s software, you can find a noise impression option on the Audio sub-menu.
We don’t recommend using noise suppression options while you record -only for streaming.
We don’t recommend using noise suppression options while you record -only for streaming.
Advanced Level: Streamlabs
If you’re looking to stream more professionally, you should try Streamlabs. It’s a free option with an intuitive interface, allowing you to record, stream, and design your screen.
And although it’s a more advanced option, it’s easy to understand. You’d need to check its menus for a while to get used to its functionalities, but it will deliver more options than GPU software. However, the quality will be the same as recording with GPU software or the Xbox Game Bar.
That said, here’re the general steps for Streamlabs.
- Open your web browser.
- Download the software from the official page.
- Install the program.
- Run Streamlabs as administrator.
- Once you open Streamlabs, select Start Fresh.
- Next, select your camera and your mic.
- Now you’re on the main menu.
- To start recording, press the “+” button next to “Sources.“
- Go to General Sources.
- Select what you want to record (browser source, display capture, audio input capture, game capture, and window capture should be your main options).
- If you want to design scenes, go to Scenes and add a scene.
- Then, click the plus button on Sources to start adding elements to your scene. You can move and re-size anything you add to the scene.
- Play around with the sources to reposition your webcam, elements, and display record.
- To configure the volume of the audio sources (desktop/games and mic), click the Gear icon near the audio mixer.
- We recommend lowering your desktop audio if you’re talking above your game.
- Tweak the quality of the streams by adjusting scenes, the video, output, audio, upload speed, and more.
- Then, to connect Streamlabs to a Streaming service, you can link an account on the Stream tab (settings).
- Finally, click the Record or Go Live button at the bottom right to record or stream.
Various programs work similarly to Streamlabs, and you may try them out if Stramlabs doesn’t work for you.
- OBS (Open Broadcaster Software): It’s Streamlabs’ main competitor, and it works very similarly. So, it can record, stream, and design your screen. The only thing you need to do is select the source.
- Gamecaster: It can record gameplay and stream but has fewer options than Streamlabs or OBS. However, it allows picture-in-picture, video annotations, social media integration, and watermarks. Additionally, it has a built-in editor, but we’d instead use a full-on video editor like Premiere for better content.
- Movavi Screen Recorder: This one is not free, but it allows you to select between various video types (like AVI or MP4) to record the video. Additionally, it will enable you to sync your mic and webcam with the screen recording.
- Bandicam: It is a well-known screen recording software. Its benefit is the quality of its videos, as it can record at high bitrates, resolution, and frame rates without taking a toll on your computer.
Our list of products is not as extensive, but we intend to give you everything you need.
Overall, we gave you three main options:
- Xbox Game Bar: Useful for general screen recording or videos you want to edit later. It allows you to record your mic and camera, but you can’t reposition it. Their quality is excellent, the CPU/GPU usage is shallow, and the interface is easy to use.
- AMD Adrenalin/NVIDIA GeForce: Useful for more advanced screen recording and streaming. Notably, you’ll be able to reposition and re-size your webcam’s video.
- Streamlabs/OBS: Useful for professional-level streaming gives tons of options to customize your screen and the streaming quality.