In this era, gaming is undoubtedly one of the biggest entertainment source for many. Whether it is online multi-player games, FPS, browser games, or just good old Mario series, there are millions of people enjoying them. As most of the games have some kind of learning curve or secrets, just jumping into the game won’t help play it at its very best.
You need some kind of instructions to understand the game you want to play. Fortunately, due to such a big gaming community, you will be able to find a video tutorial on almost every game. Gamers just like you and me make a video tutorial of any game they are good at to help other people learn it. If you have checked some of the video tutorials, then you must be wondering how they manage to record their games at such high quality? Have they used a Video Cam to record the game while playing or is it something to do with the Webcam? Well, there isn’t much rocket science, all you have to do is use a screen recording app that is dedicated for recording gaming sessions.
You can do it too, there are tons of game recording tools available, both paid and free. You don’t need any kind of special equipment either, just have an updated PC and download the app to start recording. Below is the list of best game recording software, pick the one you like!
Note: Most of these tools will record raw videos without any kind of compression. This leads to huge video size, so it is recommended that you only record videos to the drive that has enough space. When you get the video, make sure you compress it before sharing anywhere.
Best Game Recording Software(s)
1. Open Broadcaster Software
OBS definitely deserves the first mention, as it is free, open-source and comes with tons of customization options. It has a very simple interface with all the information put in front of you. You are not required to change any special settings, just select the source which you would like to record and start recording.
You can live stream the video over popular websites like, YouTube, Twitch, and Hitbox, etc. or save the video output in your PC for future reference (might have to tweak some settings). It is capable of recording in MP4 and FLV formats and it uses your PC’s GPU for High-Quality streaming.
Apart from basic video recording and saving features, it has many other side features perfect for video tutorials. These features include, Picture-in-Picture mode, Custom Watermarks and Push-to-Talk mode.
Key Features: Free, Open Source, Simple Interface and Light application.
Compatibility: Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10, Version for Mac OS X and Linux is in the pipeline.
ShadowPlay by Geforce is another great free software for streaming or recording your gaming moments. The tool is provided by Nvidia Geforce, the manufacturers of GPUs installed in most of the PCs. ShadowPlay also uses the same technology and uses latest Nvidia Geforce GPU instead of your CPU for performance. This ensures your PC’s CPU bares the least burden, which is running the game and GPU gets the job done. However, you will need Geforce GTX 600 and above to run ShadowPlay.
It comes with two modes, Shadow mode and manual mode. In the Shadow mode, all your game play from last 20 minutes will be recorded and older will be deleted. So if you find any great moment to record, just press a single button to save the recording of last 20 minutes. The manual mode is standard, you can turn on unlimited recording until you stop it.
You can stream the video over Twitch or save it in your PC storage, as per your preference. It even records for 4K resolution at 130 Mbps, so expect some amazing quality (and huge file size).
Key Features: Free, Uses Nvidia Geforce GPU instead of CPU and comes with smart shadow mode.
Compatibility: Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 and XP
Action! is a paid game recording software with tons of amazing features. It will also use your GPU to accelerate recordings and put less pressure on CPU. You can create High quality video up to 4k resolution, high frame rates and even add live commentary to it. The videos can be streamed over all popular services like, YouTube, Hitbox, Twitch, Livestream and Ustream, etc. Furthermore, the videos saved in your PC can also be shared over YouTube or Facebook with built-in buttons.
It also has a remote access feature that will let you control your PC with your Android phone and also play your PC games on Android in the process. You can also control your Action! recordings using a dedicated Action! Android app.
Just like Shadow mode for ShadowPlay, Action! comes with Time-Shift mode, but it is limited to 10 minutes instead of 20 minutes. Your videos can also be edited, like cropping, effects like slow motion and other basic editing features.
Key Features: Remote Access, Uses GPU for acceleration, 4k Video recording and Time-Shift mode, output file format AVI 2.0 or MP4.
Pricing: Free trial and $29.95 for Home use and $49.95 for Commercial use.
Compatibility: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
Bandicam is a good paid tool that is simple to use and offers everything that a beginner needs. It is not one of the most feature rich game recording software, but it is very simple to use and offers all the required features. You can record videos at customizable frame rates and 4k Ultra HD resolution. Although, it doesn’t offer live streaming, but its recording features are amazing.
Even at such high quality it offers small size video recordings due to its built-in compression feature that makes sure there is no sacrifice on quality and you get the smallest file size. The recordings can be adjusted for gaming or other PC activities and the size of the window can be decreased on increased.
You can record straight for 24 hours and also schedule times to record and stop the recording. Furthermore, all your recordings can be easily shared to YouTube with just the press of a button.
Key Features: Video Compression, Simple to use with least menu and adjustable window for recording.
Pricing: Free Trial and $39 for 1 license and $59 for 2 licenses
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
5. XSplit Gamecaster
If you are looking for a tool that could provide some robust streaming features, then Xsplit is the best option. Although XSplit provides both streaming and video recording to hard drive, but its features work best for streaming. It also makes recording and streaming quite an easy task with minimum interference. You can start recording with a single press of a button, and XSplit will configure the settings for you according to your PC.
You can do all the basic stuff like, Recording at high quality, streaming over popular websites and GPU support. However, its features really shine at streaming. You can use features such as, picture-in-picture mode, watermarks, video annotations and social media integration.
You can also edit videos with a built-in video editor and manage all the recorded videos easily and share them with the world.
Key Features: Robust streaming features, Simple and quick to use and offers free account that provides all basic recording features.
Pricing: Free with limited features, Personal subscription for $4.95/month and Premium subscription with added features for $8.95/month.
Compatibility: Windows 7, 8 and 10
D3DGear is a very simple game recording software that doesn’t require any kind of special set up. It is extremely light and doesn’t takes up your PC resources that were supposed to be used by the game. Along with light weight, it also has a built-in compression system that will compress all videos recorded with it. The video is also compressed in real-time, which means even if you have less space in the drive, you may still be able to record a video.
Just like other software, it also uses GPU acceleration to put pressure on GPU, not the CPU. The software automatically identifies games and connects with them, you just need to press the hotkey to start or stop recording.
You can stream the video over other popular services like, Twitch, YouTube and Hitbox, etc. It also has full microphone support with in game sound recording, and you can also save the audio separately.
Key Features: Extremely light, one button process and real-time video compression
Pricing: Free Trial for 15 days and you can purchase the software for $34.95
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
Dxtory is yet another simple tool in this list that offers tons of features while being very light on the system. The interface is extremely simple and makes it very easy to understand all settings and tweak them. It captures lossless videos at Highest quality to ensure you get the best Video (huge size, though). Audio settings are also quite robust being able to record two sounds simultaneously, like game sound and microphone’s sound which can be edited later separately.
In the Video settings, you can specify video codec, frames per second from 10-120, sources, size and format. You can force the software to automatically record the game when it is started and also balance whether the software put pressure on GPU or CPU for recording. It also has a free version that is fully featured, but adds watermarks to every video recorded.
Key Features: Light and simple, Robust customization options and has a free version as well.
Pricing: Free limited version and paid version for $32
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 , 8.1 and 10
Fraps is a very light tool just like D3DGear, just a 2.3 Mb software. Its features are very limited and you will only be able to record and stream videos with some added information. However, whatever it offers, is the best. It might not have many features, but the few features it has is among the best of all. It can capture videos at 7680×4800 resolution with custom frames that can be adjusted anywhere between 1-120 fps.
It can also be used as a benchmark tool, it will show total frames per second on the side of the screen while playing a game to see how smooth it is working. It will show all statistics of performance and can measure average performance rate. These statistics can be saved to a separate file in your PC for future reference.
Key Features: Light software, Benchmark tool and High quality video with customizable frames.
Pricing: Free version with limited features and full version available for a price of $37.
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 , 8.1 and 10.
9. WM Capture
WM Capture is not actually a video game recording or streaming tool, instead it is a screen recording app that can capture almost everything at high quality. It can record a video of the whole screen or any particular area and save it in different formats like, WMV, MPEG and AVI, etc. The audio will be recorded from both mic and speakers and you can specify only one source as well.
The set up is dead simple, you just need to specify a window which you would like to capture or manually select a specific area which you would like to record. You can also schedule recordings and take screenshot of each and every frame of a video, leading to a detailed view of any trick inside a video game.
Key Features: Customizable capture windows, Take screenshot of video frames and save video to multiple formats.
Pricing: Free trial and a license for $39.95.
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 , 8.1, 10 and Mac OS X.
10. Use Windows 10 Game Bar
If you have Windows 10, then you don’t need any kind of game recording software. Windows 10 has a built-in game recording feature called Game Bar. Game Bar is simple to use and offers great video quality. Although, it lacks many customization options, but it gets the job done well and doesn’t forces us to depend on other software.
The process is simple, just press Windows key+G while the game is running and Game Bar should open up. Here you can manually click on the provided icons to start the recording or just press Windows key+Alt+R to start or stop the recording. You can select quality of the video, “Standard” and “high”, and audio bit rate can also be configured.
It also has a background recording feature that will keep recording your game, but only to a threshold of 30 seconds. You can recover recording of last 30 seconds by pressing Windows key+Alt+G.
Key Features: Built in to Windows 10, Easy use and Free
Compatibility: Windows 10
SEE ALSO: 10 Best Audio Editing Software
The above mentioned game recording tools provide complete control over recording your game while playing. All of them record at high quality, but might differ in features and ease of use. Some may lack a few features, but are very simple to use making them perfect for beginners. Others may be left best for professionals who want to make a career out of streaming and video game tutorials. We’d like to hear more from you in comments section.