12 Best Software to Record Gameplay of All Time

Posted on: May. 31, 2021

Times have changed. Nowadays, playing pc games is more than a personal favorite pastime. With versatile game recording software, you can easily record the highlights of your gameplay and post them online to win more likes and followers for bigger joy.

Whether you wanna show off how you speedrun Minecraft or share your strategies to beat the final boss of Final Fantasy VIII or offer a witty gameplay commentary, all you need is a flexible gaming recording software.

Here we have tested and handpicked the 12 best software to record gameplay. Some are perfect candidates for low spec pc games while others are more for graphically demanding pc games. Without further ado, let’s find out how each game capture software is capable of.

Contents:

Before we introduce you to the promising game recording software, here are few proven tips to help you record gameplay on pc with the best quality:

  • Make sure the CPU, GPU, and RAM of your pc live up to the minimum or recommended specs for playing a pc game. These are what lead to annoying lagging as you record gameplay.
  • Always customize the gameplay recording settings before you start recording, esp. match the resolution of the game recording with that of the game display on your screen.
  • Recording how your play the game with facecam on is more personal and normally drives a higher click-through rate. Check the 5 free game recorders online.
  • If you record steaming gameplay, using a wire connection to your pc is often more reliable than a wifi connection.
  • Best Software to Record Gameplay for Low Spec PC Games

    If what you try to record is low spec pc games like Minecraft, The Sims 4, or Grand Theft Auto or Limbo, etc. then the following 6 light-weight and user-friendly game recording software have very reasons to be your priority that won’t melt your CPU.

    1. RecordCast

    RecordCast is an easy-to-use web-based screen recorder and video editor. So long as you use Google Chrome, you can easily access its online screen recorder with no software download needed. Check how to record Minecraft on Pc with no lag.

    Record Minecraft with RecordCast

    Record Minecraft with RecordCast

    Besides, it’s 100% free to use without a watermark and its intuitive interface is as easy as ABC for everyone. You have multiple recording modes to select from and freely use its built-in video editor to add dynamic texts and trim the recording and sync imported audio, video, etc. Get top 8 free screen recorders with no watermark.

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Multiple record modes: record screen; screen+webcam; webcam only with both system and mic audio
  • No software download needed
  • Web-based screen recording technique with a flexible in-browser video editor
  • Export recordings in MP4 (1080P)
  • 100% free without a watermark
  • Local recording and download locally, private and safe
  • Limitations:

  • Max 30 min recording at each time
  • Can’t annotate while recording

    2. Xbox Game Bar

    As a pre-installed game recorder, Xbox is one of the most overlooked free game recording software for Windows users. You can pin gameplay recording on a specific game app or get screenshots with customizable keyboard shortcuts. Overall, it’s a simple and backup solution to record pc games.

    Use pre-installed Xbox game bar on Windows 10 to record gameplay

    Use pre-installed Xbox game bar on Windows 10 to record gameplay

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Record full screen of gameplay with screenshot capability
  • The customizable keyboard shortcut for recording and file saving
  • Select fps and video quality and audio bitrate for recording
  • See CPU performance during recording
  • Play your music while recording the game
  • 100% free to use
  • Unlimited time for recording
  • Limitations:

  • Only available to Window 10 users
  • Can’t record gameplay with webcam
  • Limited recording and editing features

    3. VokoScreenNG

    As a flexible game capture software on Linux and Windows, VokoScreenNG allows you to record the full screen, selected area, or both screen with your facecam on. You can magnify the screen recording and select fps, output format, video/audio codec, etc. Simple but very effective to record gameplay. Find out the top 8 Linux screen recorders.

    Use VokoScreenNG to record light-weight pc games

    Use VokoScreenNG to record light-weight pc games

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Mulitple recording mode: record full screen; selected area; screen+ webcam
  • Magnifier for screen recording
  • Recording countdown reminder
  • Timer for recording hours
  • Multiple output video/audio formats: MKV; WebM; AVI; MP4; MOV; MP3; FLAC; OPUS; Vorbis
  • Customize fps and video quality
  • 100% free to use
  • Limitations:

  • Has no video editor
  • Not available to MAC users

    4. OBS Studio

    Here comes the Open Broadcaster Software, an all-star game recording software in the league. It is so versatile and popular for screen recording, gameplay recording, and live streaming that OBS Studio becomes a go-to choice for any screen recording for gamers, YouTubers, and podcasters, Vloggers, etc. Check how to make an instructional video with screen recording for YouTube.

    Use OBS to capture Grand Theft Auto with webcam on

    Use OBS to capture Grand Theft Auto with webcam on

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Unlimited scenes for recording
  • Record screen, selected area, and screen+ webcam
  • Support virtual background for your webcam
  • Powerful audio mixer and studio mode
  • Offer seamless scene transitions
  • Fully customizable keyboard shortcuts for literally all configuration of recording, even its layout
  • Multiple streaming and video/audio recording and output format
  • Support plug-ins with the global user community
  • 100% free to use for all users
  • Limitations:

  • Easily get overwhelmed by its notoriously complex interface for first-time users
  • Higher demand for CPU

    5. Screencast-O-Matic

    With an intuitive interface, Screencast-O-Matic is a screen capture tool that allows you to easily create gameplay video tutorials using the screencast it created. All you need to is download its desktop launcher and customize the recording mode, recording area and select the audio for recording. Then click on the recording button to start capturing the gameplay.

    Use Screencast-O-Matic as a game recording software to record gameplay

    Use Screencast-O-Matic as a game recording software to record gameplay

    This game recording software has 3 versions: free, deluxe, and premier. You can get a taste of its basic screen recording features for free users before deciding if you want to upgrade the subscription or not.

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Record full screen; select area; screen +webcam
  • Record audio narration and system audio
  • Take a screenshot
  • Trim recordings
  • Add captions
  • Zoom while recording
  • Quick share to Facebook, Twitter, and G classroom,YouTube and Google Drive
  • Draw while recording
  • Automated speech-to-text captioning
  • Limitations:

  • Max 15 mins recording for free users
  • Most of the key features are only available to paid users

    6. Apowersoft Screen Recorder

    As a feature-packed game recording software, Apowersoft Screen Recorder is arguably one of the best software to record gameplay. With a sleek interface, you can easily select the "Record Game" tab on its controls and recoding mode, let's say "screen + webcam" and choose from 24fps to 60fps and system + audio sound to kick off the recording.

    Apowersoft game recording software is adept at recording gameplay.

    Apowersoft game recording software is adept at recording gameplay.

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Multiple recording modes: Record full screen, selected area, chrome tab, and screen + webcam
  • Flexible built-in video editor to add text effects, overlays, local audio, images, etc.
  • Record both system and mic audio
  • Up to 10 video output formats MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, FLV, GIF, etc
  • Up to 6 audio output formats: MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, etc.
  • Customize fps, resolution, bitrate, codec
  • Show mouse cursor; record mouse clicks
  • Customize keyboard shortcuts
  • Zoom in while recording
  • Take screenshot; annotate while recording
  • Limitations:

  • Most of the key features are only available to premium users.

    Best Software to Record Gameplay for Graphically-demanding PC Games

    Well, if you are more into blockbuster-like or graphically demanding pc games like Final Fantasy XV, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus, etc. then the following powerful gaming recording software shall help you capture the most extravagant gameplay scenes.

    1. Bandicam Screen Recorder

    Bandicam Screen Recorder is a lightweight and popular game recorder that yields detailed and high-quality gameplay video recordings. If you happen to use a high-end NVIDIA graphic card, you can even enhance the quality of recording by selecting the GPU of the NVIDIA graphic card.

    Record the Shadow of Tomb Raider by Bandicam game recording software

    Record the Shadow of Tomb Raider by Bandicam game recording software

    While using the game recording mode, the FPS number can be displayed in the corner of the screen. You can record gameplay at a resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is 4K video resolution. As Bandicam records gameplay, it takes up less CPU, GPU, and Ram, making sure you can record at a smooth and stable speed with rare lagging.

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Versatile recording mode: record selected area, full screen, screen+webcam
  • Record high-resolution gameplay up to 4K quality
  • Record video while compressing it without losing video quality
  • Record voiceover and system audio
  • Real-time drawing while recording
  • Add logo to the recorded video and mouse effects
  • Limitations:

  • It only works on Windows
  • Most of the key features only available to paid users
  • Max 10 minutes recording for free users

    2. Camtasia

    As a prestigious workhorse for screen recording and video editing, Camtasia is a perfect candidate to capture your gameplay for commentary and video tutorials. Camtasia makes polished gameplay video recording and offers superb easy editing and sharing experience like no other. It's just an all-rounder for video making for all purposes. Find out the best Camtasia free alternatives.

    Use all-in-one Camtasia studio to record gameplay

    Use all-in-one Camtasia studio to record gameplay

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Record full screen, selected area, and screen +webcam with both system audio and microphone audio and 4K resolution
  • Recording countdown timer
  • Separate mic audio and system audio on the timeline for easy editing
  • Add annotations, transitions, and animation to the recording in the video editor
  • Easily trim or split the audio and video
  • Zoom in while recording
  • Customized intros and outros, etc.
  • Cursor Effects
  • Quick share to a local drive, Vimeo, YouTube, Google Drive, Clouds, etc.
  • Enjoy up to 30 days of free trial for free users
  • Limitations:

  • Expensive individual one-time-fee at $274.99

    3. Snagit

    Well, if you don’t have $274.99 and only need the basic video recording of gameplay or screenshot, Snagit, a little bro of Camtasia, is the right man for you. You can quickly add an annotation to your video and screenshot with ease and toggle between webcam and screen recording during a video. Overall, Snagit is a quick way to record your gameplay with many useful tools.

    Use Snagit to record gameplay

    Use Snagit to record gameplay

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Record full screen, selected area, webcam
  • Record both system audio and mic audio
  • Customize the video recording resolution
  • Easily trim the gameplay recording
  • Countdown timer
  • Quick and tons of pre-made screenshot tools
  • Save video recording to MP4 format
  • Limitations:

  • Comparatively limited recording features than screenshot features
  • Can't record screen and webcam simultaneously
  • Limited video editor features

    4. Nvidia ShadowPlay

    If you are a user of Nvidia Graphic Card, the best software to record gameplay is not OBS or pricy Camtasia. Instead, go with Nvidia ShadowPlay, a graphics-accelerated gameplay software most likely pre-installed on your pc just like the Xbox Gamebar on Windows 10. So, you can use Nvidia ShadowPlay to record amazing 4K gameplay videos, get high-quality screenshots, and live-stream to YouTube, etc. without costing a dime.

    Nvidia ShadowPlay is the best game recording software for Nvidia GPU users

    Nvidia ShadowPlay is the best game recording software for Nvidia GPU users

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Instantly record and replay gameplay at 60 fps up to 4K resolution
  • Record full screen and gameplay window
  • Easily live-stream your gameplay to Twitch or YouTube with simple clicks at up to 1080P 60FPS
  • Compatible with 3rd party application
  • Show detailed information such as FPS, camera output, viewers watching your live stream, etc. on your screen
  • Fully customizable keyboard shortcuts for screenshots, recording, and streaming
  • 100% free to use
  • Limitations:

  • Only available to users using NVIDIA graphics hardware
  • Can’t create the picture-in-picture effect for the gameplay video tutorial

    5. Elgato Game Capture

    Well, to record HD gameplay, sometimes, we need to think out of the box. Unlike the traditional solo game recording software, Elgato Game Capture allows you to connect its hardware, i.e. HD60 S ($179.99) with your gameplay devices like Xbox or PlayStation, and have Elgato game recording software installed on your pic to capture HD gameplay video recordings with smaller file size and do the live-streaming.

    Record HD gameplay by Elgato Game Capture software

    Record HD gameplay by Elgato Game Capture software

    So, essentially, it’s a combo of game capture devices and game recording software.

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Combine both game capture hardware and software to record gameplay at 1080P 30FPS
  • Advanced hardware H.264 encoding makes stable and reliable gameplay recording while having a smaller video size
  • Directly record Xbox and PlayStation gameplay video to PC (Windows, Mac)
  • Easy live streaming to YouTube and Twitch
  • Truly lag-free game recording software and perfect user experience
  • Limitations:

  • It costs you $179.99 for the gameplay capture device and extra HDMI cable and component adapter.

    6. AMD Relive

    The last but not least game recording software we would like to introduce you to is AMD Relive, which interestingly shares many similarities with Nividia ShadowPlay. For Radeon graphic card users, you can use it to record gameplay videos, take screenshots and do live and even VR streaming, and share your gameplay highlights with friends with ease.

    Use AMD Relive to record gameplay or do live streaming

    Use AMD Relive to record gameplay or do live streaming

    Its easy-to-use interface allows you to quickly customize keyboard shortcuts to record and do live streaming, and manage different scenes.

    Best Game Recording Features:

  • Record full screen, selected region, screen+webcam with system and mic audio
  • Quick global settings to customize all the hotkeys as to recording, audio capture, etc
  • Straightforward button for gameplay live streaming to YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, Facebook, etc. at 60FPS, 1080P
  • Capable of VR steaming with VR mobile headset
  • Create instant in-game replay and GIF
  • Limitations:

  • Only available to Radeon graphics card users

    Final Thoughts

    So, having discussed so many free and paid game recording software, which one is the best software to record gameplay for you? Probably, the answer depends on the exact pc game you are playing and your actual needs you have.

    For low-spec pc games, sticking to a free and versatile game recording app as RecordCast or OBS should yield satisfactory effects, while for high-end pc games or Xbox, professional-designed game capture software like Bandicam, Camtasia, Nvidia ShadowPlay, Elgato Game Capture, etc. will fill the shoes.

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