Video gamers record their gameplay for many reasons, and they use game recording software to create videos. Those videos are often destined for YouTube or some other video outlet. Walkthroughs, tutorials and Lets Play videos are all within your reach with game recording software. The best game recorders simplify the recording process while still giving you access to powerful tools and settings. We have researched and evaluated the best game recorder software to help you make your own gameplay videos.
While all of these programs can record gameplay, some of them are capable of more than that. Some allow you to capture custom-sized sections of your screen, and others have integrated live streaming which enables you to reach your online audience more easily. Whether your goal is to educate, entertain or just put yourself out there, game recording software can help you do it. For the top game recording software, look at Action, D3DGear and Fraps. If you want more information about game recording, check out our articles on video game recording software.
Recording video of your gameplay can be more complex than you think. Your computer's hardware will greatly affect how well you can capture video, and at what quality level. We tested all of the software using an AMD Radeon R9200 and an i7-4820K clocked at 3.7GHz. Ideally, you will want two hard drives – one for your game and operating system, and one to record your videos to. Our setup only had a single hard drive, but we tested all of the software on the same system and compared the results.
Aside from your computer's hardware, you'll want to pay attention to each game recording software's tools and options. You should also consider how easy the software is to use – especially if you're new to video game recording or video recording in general. Each of the following categories affected the products' rankings in our lineup.
We looked at the software's capability and usability. If a tool is very capable but extremely complex, that will deter many users from trying to figure it out. We prefer game recording software that strikes a balance between power and ease of use. We also looked at how well the software performed. This is difficult to assess, as everyone has different hardware setups and will use different recording settings. There are many variables that will affect game recording software performance. However, we wanted to measure the impact the software had on a game's performance, particularly when you save a file during gameplay. The best game recording software generated little to no lag when saving a video.
While integrated live streaming isn't common in game recording software, we think its inclusion is worthwhile. We also looked for the ability to remap hotkeys to your liking. Not everyone likes to have their hotkeys in the same place, so a little customizability here is greatly beneficial. One tool we really appreciated is the ability to balance the audio from external sources and audio from the system. This allows you to turn down a game's background noise, ensuring your voice is easy to hear.
One of the biggest things to consider with game recording software is how high you can set the frame rate for a video. Generally, higher frames per second (fps) is better, but once you reach a certain point, it's difficult to notice better quality. We gave full points to game recorders that let you record up to 60 fps. Some people want a high frame rate so they have more to work with when they edit later on. However, most people won't need more than 60 fps. For reference, most movies that you see in the theater run at 24 fps.
When looking at video game recording software, you should consider whether it allows you to set custom resolutions or not. All recording software has predefined resolutions that you can choose from, but not every program lets you enter whatever resolution you want. Another useful feature is the ability to save any recording from a microphone to a separate file. This makes for easier editing after you've finished recording.
Help & Support
You want to have plenty of support resources to turn to when you have questions regarding video game recording. Getting your gameplay videos to look good can be difficult and having someone else give you some pointers can be a great help. User forums are very important for troubleshooting, learning and contributing. You should also find tutorials, FAQs and a user manual. You should also be able to contact customer support through email.
Finding the balance between recording high-quality videos and keeping file sizes low can be difficult. And making your video the best you can while reaching your online audience can be a daunting task. The best video game recording software makes that task easier by offering you powerful and easy-to-use tools, along with a strong list of recording settings.