The gaming community has exploded into one of the biggest competitive entertainment options available. Most look for tips and tricks to excel and because of the community is so large, it is fairly easy to find videos that provide instruction. Gamers also desire the ability to share their own knowledge but finding the right tool to help build video tutorials can be difficult. The following list outlines many different options across the spectrum of free and simple to expensive and professional.
Open Broadcaster Software
Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is open-source software used for recording gaming. The best feature is that there are so many customizations available and it starts without any pre-set options. It can also be used to record over any website like YouTube. Finally, it also has the ability to use features that are friendly for video tutorials like watermarks or picture-in-picture.
OBS is completely free and can be used with Windows or a MAC.
ShadowPlay is another free option for recording. It is notable for using GPUs for performance, which is important because it allows the CPUs on the PC to continue to run optimally so the game is not impacted. There are two different options for using ShadowPlay. The first is that the past twenty minutes of a video game will be recorded. This allows the player to go back and capture a great play in the game as long as it happened within the previous twenty minutes. The other option would be a manual start which can be turned on at any time and would record until the user changed the setting. Finally, the quality is top notch but it will take up a lot of room because the file size is excessive.
ShadowPlay is free and can be used with Windows.
Action! has incredible features and also uses GPU to allows the CPU to be as untouched as possible. This software produces high quality video and allows the recorder to also add commentary. It can be also be used over most of the services mentioned in this list and YouTube. Like ShadowPlay, it can record previous play but can only go back ten minutes. Action also has features that allow the video to easily post on Facebook or YouTube. Many gamers enjoy the feature that allows the control from the PC or the Android.
Action offers a free trail but then is $29.99 and is compatible with Windows.
Bandicam is a simple gaming recording tool that is perfect for beginners. The resolution sits at 4K Ultra HD so it looks high quality and it has most of the necessary features. The file sizes are small in comparison to the other software because it allows for a compression option. It can also be used for other activities other than just gaming such as training videos. It does not allow for live streaming though but it can be set to record for as much as 24 straight hours or it can be scheduled to record.
Bandicam offers a free trail but then is $39 and is compatible with Windows.
XSplit offers the best streaming features (but it can also be used to record to a hard drive if that is desired). It is also very easy to use because recording can start with a simple button push. From there, the applications will actually set the configurations itself based on the settings of the PC. XSplit also has a video editor that is a bit more robust than other options. Other than that, the other features offered with XSplit are on par with the programs previously discussed (high quality recordings, can be used to record websites, uses GPU instead of CPU, social media sharing capabilities, etc.).
XSplit is free with basic features but can be upgraded to either $4.95 for a personal subscription or $8.95 for premium subscriptions. It is compatible with Windows.
D3DGear is the lightest of all the options, which will allow the PC to operate at the highest capabilities during gaming. It also will compress as it is recording so it takes up less space. It is simple to use and does not need any set up to be completed. D3D also offers audio features like being able to save recordings separately and microphone support. From there, the features are on par with the previously discussed programs (GPU usage and being able to record over other websites).
D3DGear offers a free trail and then can be purchased for $34.95 and is compatible with Windows.
Dxtory is another light option and is user friendly. The videos will be high quality but there are not compression options available so they will be large. The audio features are a step up as well since it allows two different sounds to be recorded at the same time and edited separately. The customization options are also notable like being able to balance whether it pulls from GPU or CPU, the format of the video, how many frames per second and more. It also has a free option that works well but it will add the Dxtory watermark to the video.
Dxtory offers a free limited version and then can be purchased for $32 and is compatible with Windows.
Fraps notable feature is that it can be used for benchmarking. It saves statistics for the gamer and will measure each performance against average play. These numbers can be saved to be referenced at a later date. Fraps is also a light tool but it does not offer many features. The few that it does have though as remarkable. It will record the highest quality video and frames can be adjusted from 1 – 120 fps.
Fraps offers a free limited version and can be upgraded for $37. It is compatible with Windows.
WM Capture is different than the tools previously discussed because it is not created for video game recording. It is really created to be a screen recording application but it works well in this space. It allows for different formats to be recorded (WMV, MPEG, or AVI) and the audio recording features can be customized too. The application is very user friendly and also allows for frame-by-frame screen shots to be taken.
WM Capture offers a free trail and then can be purchased for $39.95. It is compatible with Windows or a Mac OS.
Use Windows 10 Game Bar
Finally, users with Windows 10 may find that they do not need a game recording applications because Windows 10 offers Game Bar. While it does not have many options to customize, it is simple to use (Windows key + G will open the Game Bar and recording can be selected). It will allow you to record in 30-second increments and recover the previous 30 seconds. The best feature though is that is free with Windows 10.
The previous tools offer a wide variety of options of game recording from feature rich more expensive options to easy to use free options. This allows everyone from the beginner to the professional to decide what best fits their needs.