20 Best FREE Game Recording Software for PC (2023 Update)

Estimated read time 14 min read

The gaming industry has seen a massive surge in popularity in recent years, with millions of gamers worldwide spending countless hours immersed in virtual worlds. With the rise of streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, many gamers are looking for ways to record and share their gameplay with others. Fortunately, there are plenty of free game recording software options available for PC users.

In this article, we will take a look at the 20 best free game recording software for PC in 2023. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting out, these programs offer a range of features to help you capture and share your gaming experiences. From basic screen recording tools to more advanced options with editing and live streaming capabilities, there is something for everyone on this list. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of game recording software and find the perfect option for you.

Understanding Game Recording Software

Game recording software is a type of software that allows users to record their gameplay on their computer. It is useful for gamers who want to create content such as tutorials, gameplay highlights, or walkthroughs to share with others. The software captures video and audio from the game being played and saves it as a video file that can be edited and shared later.

Most game recording software comes with a range of features such as the ability to adjust video quality, capture gameplay in full-screen mode, add webcam footage, and more. Some software also includes editing tools that allow users to add effects, transitions, and music to their videos.

When choosing game recording software, it is important to consider factors such as ease of use, compatibility with your computer, and the features that are important to you. Some software may be more suited for beginners, while others may have more advanced features that are better suited for experienced users.

Overall, game recording software is a valuable tool for gamers who want to create content and share their gameplay experiences with others. With the right software, users can easily record and edit their gameplay footage to create high-quality videos that are sure to impress.

Why Use Free Game Recording Software?

Game recording software has become an essential tool for gamers who want to share their gameplay with others. It allows them to capture their gameplay footage and share it on social media platforms, YouTube, or Twitch. While some game recording software can be quite expensive, there are also many free options available.

Using free game recording software has several advantages. Firstly, it is cost-effective, which is especially important for gamers who are just starting out or don’t have a lot of money to spend on software. Secondly, free game recording software is easy to use and doesn’t require any technical expertise. This makes it accessible to a wider range of users, including those who are not tech-savvy.

Another advantage of using free game recording software is that it often comes with basic editing tools. This means that users can edit their gameplay footage without having to purchase additional software. Basic editing tools include features such as trimming, cutting, and adding text or music to the video.

Free game recording software also allows users to record their gameplay without any time restrictions. This means that users can record as much gameplay footage as they want without any limitations. Additionally, some free game recording software also allows users to record their microphone and webcam along with their gameplay footage.

Overall, using free game recording software is a great way for gamers to share their gameplay footage without having to spend a lot of money. It is easy to use, comes with basic editing tools, and allows users to record their gameplay without any time restrictions.

Top 20 FREE Game Recording Software for PC – Criteria for Evaluation

Evaluation Criteria for Game Recording Software

When evaluating game recording software, there are several criteria to consider. The following sub-sections highlight some of the most important factors to keep in mind.

Ease of Use

One of the most important things to consider when evaluating game recording software is how easy it is to use. Ideally, the software should have an intuitive interface that allows users to quickly and easily start recording their gameplay without having to spend a lot of time configuring settings. Additionally, the software should be easy to install and set up, with clear instructions and minimal technical requirements.

Recording Quality

Another important factor to consider is the quality of the recordings produced by the software. The software should be capable of capturing high-quality video and audio, with minimal lag and distortion. Additionally, it should offer a variety of recording options, including the ability to record at different resolutions and frame rates.

Editing Features

In addition to recording capabilities, many game recording software programs also offer editing features. These can include the ability to trim and cut footage, add text overlays, and apply special effects. When evaluating software based on editing features, it is important to consider both the breadth and depth of the available tools.

Streaming Capabilities

For those who want to stream their gameplay live, it is important to consider the streaming capabilities of the software. The software should be able to seamlessly integrate with popular streaming platforms, such as Twitch and YouTube, and offer a variety of customization options for streamers.

Compatibility

Finally, it is important to consider the compatibility of the software with different hardware and software configurations. The software should be able to run on a variety of operating systems, and should be compatible with a wide range of hardware configurations, including different graphics cards, CPUs, and recording devices. Additionally, it should be able to work with a variety of different games, without causing compatibility issues or performance problems.

20 Best FREE Game Recording Software for PC (2023 Update)

1. OBS Studio (Open Broadcaster Software)

OBS Studio is a powerful open-source game recording software widely popular among content creators and gamers alike. Its versatility and feature-rich interface make it an excellent choice for capturing high-quality gameplay footage. OBS Studio supports Windows, macOS, and Linux and comes with customizable recording settings to suit various gaming setups.

Features:

  • Real-time audio and video capturing
  • Multi-platform support
  • Streamlined scene and source management
  • Customizable transitions and filters
  • Configurable hotkeys for quick actions

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Open-source and community-driven updates
  • Extensive plugin support
  • Regularly updated with bug fixes and improvements

Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve for beginners
  • Some users may encounter performance issues on low-end PCs

2. Nvidia ShadowPlay (GeForce Experience)

Nvidia ShadowPlay, integrated into the GeForce Experience app, is specifically designed for Nvidia GPU users. This game recording software takes advantage of the GPU’s hardware encoder, resulting in minimal performance impact during recording and high-quality output.

Features:

  • Hardware-accelerated recording
  • Instant replay and manual recording modes
  • Shadow mode for capturing past gameplay
  • Broadcast to popular streaming platforms

Pricing: Free (requires Nvidia GPU)

Pros:

  • Minimal performance impact
  • Effortless setup for Nvidia GPU owners
  • High-quality recordings with low storage usage

Cons:

  • Limited to Nvidia graphics card users
  • Lacks some advanced editing features

3. AMD ReLive (AMD Radeon Software)

For AMD GPU users, AMD ReLive offers a similar solution to Nvidia ShadowPlay. It’s an integrated game recording software that leverages AMD’s hardware encoder to deliver smooth and efficient gameplay capturing.

Features:

  • Hardware-accelerated recording
  • Instant replay and manual recording options
  • Customizable recording settings
  • Social media sharing integration

Pricing: Free (requires AMD GPU)

Pros:

  • Optimized for AMD graphics cards
  • Little impact on gaming performance
  • User-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Exclusive to AMD GPU users
  • May lack some features compared to third-party software

4. XSplit Gamecaster

XSplit Gamecaster is a popular choice for gamers and streamers who seek an easy-to-use game recording software with powerful streaming capabilities.

Features:

  • Simple and intuitive user interface
  • One-click game recording and streaming
  • Live annotations and scene switching
  • Streamlined social media sharing

Pricing: Free (limited features) / Premium plans available

Pros:

  • User-friendly for beginners
  • Seamless integration with popular streaming platforms
  • Regular updates and improvements

Cons:

  • Free version has limited functionality
  • Higher quality settings require a subscription

5. Plays.tv

Plays.tv is a game recording software dedicated to capturing and sharing gaming moments. It focuses on social media integration and community interaction, making it an excellent option for gamers who enjoy sharing their experiences.

Features:

  • Automatic recording of gaming moments
  • In-game highlight editing
  • Video clipping and social media sharing
  • Gaming community features

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Effortless automatic recording
  • Easy-to-use highlight editor
  • Seamless social media sharing

Cons:

  • Limited advanced recording settings
  • No manual recording options

6. Bandicam

Bandicam is a versatile game recording software that supports high-quality recording and real-time drawing during gameplay.

Features:

  • Screen and game recording
  • Real-time drawing and annotations
  • Customizable video settings
  • Scheduled recording and auto-complete

Pricing: Freemium (free version with limitations) / Premium plans available

Pros:

  • High-quality video and audio recording
  • Real-time drawing adds creativity to recordings
  • Free version available

Cons:

  • Free version has watermarked recordings
  • Limited recording time in the free version

7. Fraps

Fraps has been a popular choice for game recording for many years. It specializes in high-quality video capture and real-time frame rate monitoring.

Features:

  • Real-time frame rate display
  • High-quality video recording
  • Benchmarking tool for performance testing
  • Simple and straightforward interface

Pricing: Freemium (free version with limitations) / Premium version available

Pros:

  • Excellent for benchmarking and performance monitoring
  • Lag-free and high-quality video recording
  • Supports DirectX and OpenGL games

Cons:

  • Limited video format options in the free version
  • No editing features

8. Dxtory

Dxtory is a game recording software favored by users who prioritize customization and control over recording settings.

Features:

  • Multiple audio sources recording
  • Support for various video codecs
  • Customizable frame rate and resolution
  • Overlaying video settings during recording

Pricing: Free trial / Paid version available

Pros:

  • Highly customizable recording settings
  • Supports multiple audio sources
  • Low impact on system performance

Cons:

  • Paid version required for full functionality
  • User interface may be overwhelming for beginners

9. ShareX

ShareX is an open-source game recording software known for its extensive screenshot and screen recording capabilities.

Features:

  • Customizable capture methods (full screen, region, window, etc.)
  • Rich editing options for captured media
  • Directly upload to various platforms
  • Support for hotkeys and shortcuts

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Open-source with active community support
  • Abundant capture and editing features
  • Frequent updates and improvements

Cons:

  • Learning curve for some advanced features
  • Occasional bugs and instability

10. Medal.tv

Medal.tv is a user-friendly game recording software tailored for gamers who prioritize quick and effortless sharing of gaming clips.

Features:

  • Automatic game recording and clip creation
  • Social media sharing and community interaction
  • Video trimming and editing features
  • In-game GIF creation

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Automatic clip creation
  • User-friendly interface
  • Seamless social media sharing

Cons:

  • Limited manual recording options
  • Some users may experience performance issues

11. Action!

Action! is a game recording software designed to cater to gamers, streamers, and content creators looking for a smooth and feature-packed experience.

Features:

  • 4K screen and gameplay recording
  • Time-shift mode for retroactive recording
  • Live streaming to popular platforms
  • GPU acceleration for better performance

Pricing: Free trial / Paid version available

Pros:

  • High-quality recording and streaming capabilities
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Time-shift mode for capturing past gameplay

Cons:

  • Watermark in the free trial version
  • Some users may experience compatibility issues

12. LoiLo Game Recorder

LoiLo Game Recorder is a straightforward game recording software with a focus on ease of use and minimal setup.

Features:

  • One-click game recording
  • Webcam and microphone support
  • Automatic file management
  • Simple editing tools

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • User-friendly for beginners
  • Integrated webcam and microphone support
  • Automatic organization of recorded files

Cons:

  • Limited editing features
  • May not have advanced settings for experienced users

13. TinyTake

TinyTake is a game recording software that excels in capturing both screen recordings and screenshots for a wide range of purposes.

Features:

  • Screen and gameplay recording
  • Annotation and drawing tools
  • Easy sharing to cloud platforms
  • Video trimming and sharing options

Pricing: Freemium (free version with limitations) / Premium plans available

Pros:

  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Easy sharing to cloud platforms
  • Excellent for creating tutorials and how-to videos

Cons:

  • Free version has limited recording time
  • Watermarked videos in the free version

14. CamStudio

CamStudio is an open-source game recording software with a focus on simplicity and basic screen recording.

Features:

  • Record screen and gameplay
  • Export to AVI or SWF formats
  • Customizable recording settings
  • Option to add annotations and captions

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Free and open-source
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Lightweight and doesn’t consume many resources

Cons:

  • Limited video format options
  • No advanced editing features

15. SmartPixel

SmartPixel is a game recording software designed for capturing and editing high-quality gameplay videos.

Features:

  • Real-time editing during recording
  • Picture-in-picture mode for webcam recording
  • Support for facecam and microphone commentary
  • Instant sharing to social media platforms

Pricing: Free trial / Paid version available

Pros:

  • Real-time editing adds creativity to recordings
  • Picture-in-picture mode for engaging content
  • Supports 2K and 4K resolution recording

Cons:

  • Watermark in the free trial version
  • Some users may encounter performance issues

16. Action! Gameplay Recorder

Action! Gameplay Recorder is another top-notch game recording software with a focus on performance and ease of use.

Features:

  • GPU-accelerated recording for minimal impact on gameplay
  • Live streaming to popular platforms
  • Time-shift mode for capturing past gameplay
  • 4K screen and gameplay recording

Pricing: Free trial / Paid version available

Pros:

  • Minimal performance impact
  • Intuitive interface with user-friendly features
  • High-quality recording and streaming capabilities

Cons:

  • Watermark in the free trial version
  • Some advanced features are only available in the paid version

17. Icecream Screen Recorder

Icecream Screen Recorder is a versatile game recording software that provides an array of recording and editing options.

Features:

  • Screen and gameplay recording
  • Drawing and annotation tools
  • Scheduled recording and auto-stop
  • Conversion to various video formats

Pricing: Freemium (free version with limitations) / Premium plans available

Pros:

  • Flexible and customizable recording settings
  • Multiple video formats for exporting
  • Easy-to-use and suitable for beginners

Cons:

  • Limited recording time in the free version
  • Watermarked videos in the free version

18. ShareFactory (PlayStation)

ShareFactory is a game recording software designed exclusively for PlayStation users. It offers various editing features to create stunning gaming videos.

Features:

  • Customizable video editing options
  • Clips and scene organization
  • Music tracks and sound effects
  • Easy sharing to social media and PlayStation Network

Pricing: Free (requires PlayStation console)

Pros:

  • Designed specifically for PlayStation users
  • Robust video editing features
  • Intuitive interface for easy navigation

Cons:

  • Exclusive to PlayStation consoles
  • Limited recording options compared to third-party software

19. Xbox Game Bar

Xbox Game Bar is a built-in game recording software for Windows 10 users, allowing them to capture gameplay with ease.

Features:

  • Game recording and screen capture
  • In-game overlay for easy access
  • Instant sharing to Xbox Live and social media
  • Background recording with manual control

Pricing: Free (requires Windows 10)

Pros:

  • Integrated into Windows 10 for convenience
  • Seamless sharing to Xbox Live and other platforms
  • Simple and straightforward interface

Cons:

  • Limited to Windows 10 users
  • Some users may experience performance issues

20. Movavi Screen Recorder

Movavi Screen Recorder offers a user-friendly interface and a range of recording and editing features to cater to gamers and content creators.

Features:

  • High-quality screen and gameplay recording
  • Video editing tools and filters
  • Scheduled recording and timer
  • Audio recording and webcam capture

Pricing: Free trial / Paid version available

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Advanced editing capabilities
  • High-quality video and audio recording

Cons:

  • Watermark in the free trial version
  • Some features require a paid license

FAQs

Q: Which free game recording software is the best for beginners? A: OBS Studio and Nvidia ShadowPlay are excellent choices for beginners due to their user-friendly interfaces and straightforward setup.

Q: What is the best game recording software for high-quality videos? A: Action! and Bandicam are renowned for their high-quality video recording capabilities, offering 4K resolution and efficient hardware acceleration.

Q: Can I use game recording software on consoles? A: Yes, some game recording software, like ShareFactory for PlayStation and Xbox Game Bar for Windows 10, are designed specifically for console users.

Q: Is there a game recording software that supports live streaming? A: Yes, XSplit Gamecaster, OBS Studio, and Action! are popular choices for live streaming gameplay to platforms like Twitch and YouTube.

Q: Which game recording software works best with AMD GPUs? A: AMD ReLive is the ideal choice for users with AMD graphics cards, as it optimizes recording using the GPU’s hardware encoder.

Q: Can I record my webcam and microphone alongside gameplay? A: Yes, several game recording software options, such as SmartPixel and ShareFactory, allow you to record webcam and microphone commentary simultaneously.

Conclusion

Choosing the right game recording software can significantly impact your gaming experience and content creation journey. The 20 options listed above cover a wide range of features and functionalities, ensuring there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced content creator. From open-source OBS Studio to platform-specific ShareFactory and Xbox Game Bar, these software solutions can help you capture your most thrilling gaming moments and share them with the world. Experiment with different options and find the perfect fit to embark on your gaming and content creation adventures.

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