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The Best Game Recording Software – July 2018

Posted by Chris on July 25, 2018

In today’s era of gaming YouTubers and Twitch streamers, everyone wants to know what the best solutions are for recording and streaming their gameplay. While we’ll be focusing primarily on the “recording” aspects in this article, many of these applications also function as streaming applications, so we’ll discuss those features as well.

Whether you want to record quick highlights, collect footage for your sick frag video or become a full-time streamer, we have you covered. Let’s dive right into it.

Everyone else

The AMD equivalent to Shadowplay offers the same general features but is slightly more performance-intensive. The reason for this is because AMD GPUs have a more traditional architecture, and don't have CUDA cores to offload this job onto.

However, the performance differences shouldn't be major- an absolute worst case should be in the area of ~10% for any relatively modern AMD GPU, and it still serves as a very good and convenient way to make recordings.

Plays.tv isn't locked down to any GPU, and has a very nifty clip-sharing service that allows you to quickly and easily upload your gameplay clips, which you can share with anyone. The only caveat is that these clips go straight to the Plays.tv service, which isn't nearly as large as Twitch.tv or YouTube.

While a solid solution for game recording, Plays.tv is tied to a smaller community and also lacks live streaming capabilities, which many of the entries on this list are capable off.

Due to its limited functionality, we're giving Plays.tv a slightly lower 4-star rating.

XSplit Gamecaster is an easy-to-use and pleasant application for streaming and recording, and also comes with a great in-game overlay to make both of those things easier.

Unfortunately, XSplit Gamecaster has a heavy performance penalty when compared to OBS. If you have a very powerful system and don't mind that, XSplit is still a viable option for streaming, but if you want something less intensive and are willing to do the extra setup work, OBS is definitely the better option.

With Windows 10 comes Game DVR.

It's...okay. It functions, it's integrated with the operating system. However, it's known for causing problems with certain games when enabled, and it's not quite as lightweight as a solution like Shadowplay or ReLive.

In addition, Game DVR doesn't have any streaming features and lacks the ability to precisely change recording resolution and quality. The only real options are framerate (30 or 60 and no higher) and Video quality (only presented as "Standard" and "High").

Due to lack of options and middling performance, Game DVR gets a lower score than most of the other options on this list.

Game DVR isn't the worst option here, though. FRAPS is.

While FRAPS has some nostalgic appeal for those who like old-timey gaming videos, it's obsolete. Its recording performance is easily the worst of the batch, it has no streaming capabilities to speak of, and your videos will be plagued with an ugly watermark unless you shell out $37 for a license.

Everything else on this list, sans XSplit, is free and provides a better experience. In 2018 and beyond, FRAPS is obsolete and should not be bothered with.

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