It’s usually pretty easy to capture screenshots in a game. Most titles on the market now include some sort of hotkey for taking a picture, and even for those that don’t, you can always just use the good old “print screen” command. But what if you want to record some video, and you’re not interested in running a livestream? Things get a touch trickier, if that’s the case. The first thing you’re going to need is some form of capture software. Here’s just a sampling of the wide range that can be found online.
Bandicam: Probably among the most full-featured recording apps out there, Bandicam’s got pretty much everything you need to get started, and supports pretty much every title on the ‘net you might want to share footage of. It bills itself as a “better alternative to FRAPS,” compresses video to save space, allows uploading to YouTube without having to modify the file, and lets you record more than 24 hours of straight footage. Unfortunately, these features carry a price – if you want to use Bandicam, you’ll need to shell out $39.
FRAPs: FRAPs is the best known app out there, as far as capturing game footage is concerned. It saves the game video into AVI format, allowing for smooth recording (since it doesn’t compress movies while it records them), and is incredibly simple to use, to boot. While a free version does exist, it’ll add a watermark to your videos. If you want to remove the watermark, you’ll have to shell out for the full version.
Taksi: Taksi is basically FRAPs, except completely open source, and totally free – in other words, no watermarks on your videos. You can capture games in full screen using hotkeys, as well. Unfortunately, there’s one caveat- videos captured using Taksi don’t generally have audio included (which could be a deal breaker for many). There’s not much else to say about it, other than if you’re looking for a free alternative, you could do a lot worse.
X-Fire: X-Fire includes friend lists, a chat system, server browser, live broadcasting, user profiles, contact linking, and in-game voice chat along with its screenshot and video recording features. It’s a far more social experience than any of the other recording applications on the list, and works pretty well, to boot. Still, it might be a bit too beefy for users that are chiefly looking for recording software.
Once you’ve figured out what app you’re going to use, there are just a few things you’ll need to consider before you start recording:
- Recording video while gaming takes up a LOT of processing power. If your system already has trouble running a particular title, chances are you aren’t going to be able to record it without severely limiting the frame-rate.
- Consider utilizing a video editing program (such as VideoLAN movie creator or Windows Movie Maker) to touch up the video after you’ve recorded it.
- Depending on what app you’re using, you might need to compress your video before uploading it to YouTube (if indeed that is what you’re planning). Keep this in mind when choosing your platform.
- Potentially, you could also look into purchasing a game recording device for yourself (which will probably be necessary if you’re trying to capture console footage).