How to Record Gameplay on PC (for Free!)

What’s more satisfying than a Victory Royale in Fortnite?  Sharing said victory with millions of people, of course! But you can’t share your performance if you don’t know how to record your PC gameplay.

The first step to becoming an online gaming influencer is to record your gameplay. Lots of people get stuck here, since it can be confusing to figure out what to use to record your gameplay so you can turn it into a sweet clip to share with the world.

But have no fear…in this article, we’re going to show you how to record gameplay on PC using some free software.

Let’s get into it!

Install free gameplay recording software for Windows

Thanks to the gaming geniuses at Microsoft, Windows 10 now has an official app that’s made specifically for gamers who want to record gameplay on PC. In our opinion, this is the best way to do it.

Install the Xbox app for free from Microsoft Store. Just note that only people rocking Windows 10 can get in on this one (sorry Windows 7 holdouts).

Launch the Xbox Game Bar

Image showing how to download the Xbox app from the Microsoft Store in Windows 10.
Download the Xbox app from the Microsoft Store in Windows 10.

With the boring part out of the way, it’s time to play! Launch your game, then hit the Windows Key + G. The Xbox Game Bar will appear and present a variety of capture options.

Hit the circle Record button to start recording gameplay to your PC from the current game window. When you want to stop capturing, simply Windows Key + G again, then click the same button to stop.

Press Windows Key + G to open the Xbox Game Bar.
Click that Record button. Power Users can use the Windows Key + Alt + R shortcut.

Shortcuts

The Xbox app for Windows packs some nice keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows Key + Alt + R: Start/stop recording gameplay
  • Windows Key + Alt + M: Toggle microphone recording
  • Windows Key + Alt + PrntScrn: Capture a still image

From the Settings panel (hint: click the gear icon), you can customize these keyboard shortcuts and see a list of all available shortcuts.

Your saved videos

Your recorded gameplay videos are saved to your hard disk in the PC → Videos → Captures folder.This default save location (among many other settings) can be changed from the Settings panel.

The Captures folder contains your recordings.

Essential option: Background gameplay recording

You know the the super-handy feature on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 that can save the last 30 seconds of gameplay? Shouldn’t everything in life be that easy?

Well, the Xbox Game Bar has you covered! Enable the “Record in the background” from the “Capuring” section in Settings, and your PC will behave just like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

The Record in the background option is in Xbox Game Bar settings.

Now, if you press Windows Key + Alt + G and the last 30 seconds of gameplay are saved just like a modern game console. Be aware that, unlike a modern game console, enabling background recording might take away a little bit of system resources from your game.  Keep an eye on that frame rate!

Other free PC gameplay recording software

If you’re on Windows 7 or Windows 8, or you’d just prefer to use a third-party app, both nVidia and AMD offer their own gameplay recording software. Just keep in mind it works only with those respective video cards.

These apps run well on Windows 7 or Windows 8, and offer more options.

Share that clip, get hype

So, you’ve captured a your unbelievable feat of winningness. Milk it to get famous! Share it on Clutch for the world to admire, and start building your gameplay clip empire.

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