How To Record Gameplay with OBS

The biggest streamers on Twitch and YouTube often use OBS to record their gameplay. It’s a convenient software that handles almost everything for them. With direct integration to Twitch, you don’t need extensive setup procedures to begin streaming. Compared to other software, it’s fairly user-friendly.

How To Record Gameplay with OBS

Newer streamers who aren’t sure how to use OBS to record gameplay need not look any further. You’ll find out everything you need to know in the sections below.

Recording Your Game with OBS

First, you’ll need to install OBS Studio. Please remember that there are many other programs with “OBS” in the name, such as Streamlabs OBS. While they all have the same goal of allowing gamers to broadcast content, they’re not identical, including the controls for OBS and Streamlabs OBS.

Installing OBS Studio takes less than five minutes. Afterward, you can immediately start setting up. Below are the steps for capturing gameplay from your gaming PC or laptop.

  1. In OBS Studio, click the plus sign on the “Sources” box.
  2. Pick “Game Capture” from the list.
  3. Select a game capture mode, preferably “Capture Any Fullscreen Application” or “Capture Specific Window.”

The first choice will let you record your fullscreen games, which is convenient because most people focus on one game at a given time. However, it requires you to stay in the game for it to work.

“Capture Specific Window” will also fail if you don’t launch a game before clicking on the record button. Before capturing, you need to select the game in OBS Studio first.

A third option is “Capture Foreground Window With Hotkey.” With this selection, you can customize the keys to trigger a recording.

Recording Capture Card Gameplay

If you’re trying to record console gameplay, such as Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S, you need a capture card for the best results. The best are the ones made by Elgato, such as the HD60 X or HD60 S+. However, cheaper products also work for those on a budget.

To make the capture card work with OBS Studio, follow these steps.

  1. Install the Elgato Game Capture HD software.
  2. Launch OBS Studio on your PC.
  3. Quit Elgato Game Capture HD.
  4. Return to OBS Studio and click on the plus sign in the Sources section.
  5. Click on “Video Capture Device” and name your source.
  6. Go to “Device” and Pick “Elgato Game Capture HD.”
  7. Connect your console, capture card, and computer.
  8. Turn on the console and check if the footage is reaching OBS Studio.
  9. If yes, start recording and streaming.

Optimal OBS Settings for Recording Games

By default, the OBS Studio settings don’t usually yield the best results. You need to configure the resolution and more first before recording. Here are some essential areas to set up.


Today, the golden standard for Twitch and YouTube streams and videos is 1080p60. OBS is capable of capturing at this resolution.

  1. Open OBS Studio and go to the capture settings.
  2. In the “Video” section, set the resolution to 1920 x 1080p.
  3. Adjust the FPS to 60.

Now, your gameplay will look smooth and crisp.


Stay in the settings window and click on the Output section. You can use one of the following lists from here, but custom settings also work depending on your needs.

  • CBR
  • 12,000 Bitrate
  • 60FPS
  • Faster or Very Fast preset

If your PC is powerful enough, consider these settings:

  • CBR
  • 16,000 or 21,000 Bitrate
  • 60FPS
  • Medium preset

Next, go to the “Audio” tab in the Output section. Pick any audio bitrate above 192 and under 320. The stronger your computer is, the higher you can go.

Audio bitrate will affect the sound quality, as the compression can make your gameplay sound squashed. With a higher bitrate, things will sound more natural.

These settings work for recording PC and console gameplay. You can leave them after the initial setup, but returning later to adjust them may improve recording quality.

Check This Out

OBS works for streamers and content creators who release recorded gameplay for their viewers. As long as you plug in a reliable footage source, the software will record and save it in the format you prefer. After that, you can edit any captured footage with another program.

What new features would you like to see on OBS Studio? What do you use OBS to record? Let us know in the comments section below.

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