How to Record Youtube Videos: Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Tools

April 1, 2024

Recording Gameplay

Did you just ace in CS2? Or get a pentakill in League of Legends? Or perhaps you just had an insane flick in Valorant you wanted to share with others but didn’t know how? Then again maybe you want to get into content creation or record the full gameplay or record your coaching or group sessions on Metafy.

Recording YouTube videos is a great way to build your own community, to engage with your fans and fellow gamers. In this article, we will be discussing the best game recorder options you need for game capture, recording your games, and will provide you with a guide on setting it up so you can just hit the record button afterwards and get started with the screen recording.

I personally have been assisting content creators, YouTubers and have worked closely with esports professionals; so I will be focusing on the game recording software we have been using the most.

Am I allowed to legally record YouTube videos?

The short answer is: Yes.

However, there are specific scenarios where it is not as black and white and I will offer some guidelines that can help with you deciding if it is safe to record videos or to use screen capture video from YouTube.

  • Make sure you have the rights for the game content. In general, you can safely assume it is safe to record and publish gameplay/game related videos but keep in mind that some games in early-access or closed-beta stage might require an NDA and will not allow you to publish any material you have of their game
  • Avoid copyrighted music or videos in your video. There are great royalty free platforms online for video editors to use, for example: Envato Elements.
  • Your content should follow the YT guidelines
  • Do not use other YouTubers’ content if you do not add anything value to it otherwise, they can tag your video and could end up with you losing access to your YouTube channel

Gamers often want to showcase their skills, achievements, and gameplay experiences with others. YouTube recording software allows them to capture these moments and share them with friends, followers, or the broader gaming community.


The first thing to settle on depending on the purposes of yours would be to pick a game that you will be focusing on. This will also impact the recording setup as PC gaming, specific games and console games have different requirements.

First, we will be talking about PC gaming recording requirements that you will need:

  • A computer with decent GPU, CPU, Memory, and enough internal storage space
  • A software to allow screen record (OBS, Nvidia experience, etc.)
  • Optional: a 2nd monitor screen to be able to see on your second screen the game recorder
  • Microphone if you want to record your own voice for the game capture
    • Depending on your microphone, you will require an audio interface
  • Optional: a camera / webcam
    • Depending on the microphone you will also need a capture device, like the 4k camlink recorder for example
  • Optional: Lighting setup for your room if you are using a webcam

Picking the right Game Recording Software

In the past, there were a lot of alternative options for screen recording software but most of them contained watermark, did not allow customization, and in general was difficult to work with or did not allow you to record in 60fps or adjust bitrate. These days however there is one global, ultimate game recording software everyone is using for a good reason and that is OBS.

OBS allows you to customize and have advanced control over your screen record and audio but also has a lot of plugins for customized needs or unique scenarios that guarantees smooth game capturing experience.

One important difference to mention is that there is OBS but also Streamlabs OBS available online and they both function and work the same way however OBS allows you to install plugins and give more control over the tools while Streamlabs does not but if you register and login, it will save your profile so when you are switching or upgrading to a new computer, you will carry over most of your scene setups and resources from your streamlabs obs profile and can instantly get back into game capturing and creating gaming clips.

If you have an Nvidia GPU you can also consider using GeForce Experience with shadowplay for clipping and as an alternative game recorder.

How to Record Games on Windows PC with OBS/Streamlabs OBS

Now that we talked about the best game recording software a bit, time to set this bad boy up.

  • Download and Install OBS or Streamlabs Desktop
  • Go into the Settings, select Video tab and make sure both Resolutions are set to 1920x1080 and that the Common FPS Values is set to 60fps
  • Afterwards in Settings, go into Output and switch to Advanced Output Mode
    • For now we are focusing on Recording so select the Recording tab and make sure to pick a Recording path on your PC that has plenty of space
    • Select recording format, MP4 is a common one to pick
    • Enable Audio Track 1,2 and 3 if you are planning on editing the recording afterwards or to send the gameplay footage to a video editor afterwards
    • Recording should be set to either NVIDIA NVENC H.264/HECH or AMD HW H.265 or similar
    • Bitrate should be set to 10000 and depending on your GPU the framerate
    • If your footage has lag issues, you might need to lower the bitrate until you no longer have lag in your gameplay videos
  • Either leave Keyframe interval on default or change that to 2 seconds and you should be done with the recording settings
  • Afterwards let’s create a new scene
  • Click on the plus icon to add Sources to the left of the Scenes and either select Display Capture or if you can select Screen Capture and select Automatic Capture Game
  • By default your OBS scene should have 2 audio inputs in the Mixer panel
    • Mic/Aux
    • Desktop Audio
  • Click on the wheel button next to each audio input and click on “Properties” to make sure the correct audio devices are selected (do not leave them on Default as that can be unreliable)
    • Also in the same window or Advanced Properties in OBS, you will see numbers next to the audio inputs, make sure to leave everything on 1 and for 2 and 3, have the microphone and desktop separated
    • This will allow you to be able to mute your microphone while keeping the gameplay audio on when editing your video

You are ready to go now, just click the record button and time to record gameplay as you want!

GeForce Experience is the second best game recorder option

GeForce Experience has it own convenient internal recording option called Nvidia Shadowplay to allow gameplay recordings and game clips however by default it records in a high format that means a simple screen recording file could take up 50GB storage therefore it is not recommended for full gameplay recording however GeForce Experience offers probably the easiest and most convenient way to clip gameplay as it lets you record the previous 2, 5, 10 minutes that has happened on your screen.

Of course you can adjust the bitrate in Experience but you have less control over the screen recording so it may not be a safe option and unlike OBS you can not have a second window up to follow the screen recording in case a bug happens or your screen would be black.

Unfortunately to use the game recorder Nvidia Shadowplay your PC needs an Nvidia GPU so this is not an option for AMD users however AMD offers their own game recorder tool of their own but I personally have not used that one so I can not comment on its pros and cons compared to Shadowplay

How to use Nvidia Shadowplay

Download GeForce Experience and Install it.

After you have installed it and logged in you can do the following steps to be able to record gameplay.

  • Click on the in-game overlay icon
  • Select Settings and in Recordings set a folder where the saved recordings would be stored in

• In Audio, select the audio devices just like in OBS and if you are planning on editing the screen recording afterwards, you might want to click on Seperate Audio channels otherwise leave it on default

  • In Video Capture you have the following options:
    • Instant Replay Length determines how much time should be recorded for clipping, I personally would recommend leaving it between 3-5 minutes
    • Quality
    • Resolution should be kept In-Game
    • Frame rate: this should be not touched as it is already set to 60fps by default
    • Bitrate: this can be adjusted, 50 Mbps will take up a lot of space for the video file so you might need to decrease it to 10-20 Mbps
  • • If you are on proper desktop and not gaming laptop, you can also go into Privacy settings to enable desktop capture and that way you can also record while you are not in game and you are just simply watching game video online perhaps

• Afterwards just enable the Instant replay and check the shortcuts for game clips and record and you should finished.

Now you are ready for screen recording or to create game clips while you are in-game easily.

What if you are using console?

Now that we discussed screen recording software on PC and ways to record games and game clips, you might be asking "What if I am playing on a console?"

Well, if you are to record games in a professional setting where you might not just be collecting game clips but rather want to record games and live stream it to social media channels or perhaps on Discord, you will likely be requiring a game capture card.

The most commonly used device is the Elgato HD60S for recording game videos on console which might be a bit too expensive for you, in which case you might be able to find an alternative game capture card on Amazon for a cheaper price. Once you have the device connected between the console and your PC, the workflow is very similar, you will just need to add the console footage as a source inside your screen recording software.

If you just want to record gameplay, both xbox and playstation offers their tools for basic screen recorder settings. On PlayStation just click the Share button to start recording and then press the button twice to stop the gameplay recording and then you can click the Share button and should have the option to Save Video Clip.

On Xbox to record video, you will need to press the Xbox button and then on top choose Capture options. Afterwards you can start recording and stop the recording. Then you can copy the file to an external storage, or upload it to your onedrive account and then you can download it on your PC to edit or to send to your video editor.

Sceen Recording Software on Phones

iPhone and Android both have their internal screen recording software that can be used to record game videos on your devices.

It should be available in the toolbar of your phone, on android it's called Screen recorder and on iPhone you might need to enable it first by going into Settings, Control Centre and then click on Add button next to Screen Recording.

After your recording, you can upload the gameplay, game video to your PC or upload it to Google Drive to be able to access it on your PC and use it for editing or to forward it to your video editor.

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