With version 2.0.142 released mid 2017, Dxtory is still one of the best game recorders for PC. Unfortunately, Dxtory still doesn’t have anything comparable to Shadowplay’s quick capture feature, which allows you to capture 5-25 minute clips that occurred while you weren’t actively recording.
However, Dxtory is still considered the best quality recording software for PC because you are able to load higher quality codecs not offered by Shadowplay. As a result, Youtube creators who want to capture intensely high-quality footage (usually cinematic) will use Dxtory. Basically, Dxtory is the game recorder you should use if you have beast gaming rig and capturing the highest possible quality footage is your number 1 priority.
Example high-end footage recorded with Dxtory:
Optimal Dxtory Video and Audio Recording Settings
This guide focuses on achieving the best balance between video quality and game performance. This is done by using optimal codecs, optimizing video settings, and configuring best storage practices.
At a bare minimum, you should always record with two hard drives: one to run your game off of and the other to store the recorded footage.
I highly recommend upgrading to an SSD if you are still running your game off of a standard hard drive. This is the most cost-effective upgrade for a gaming PC running recording software.
Furthermore, you should store footage on a SSD drive to reduce instances of recorded footage appearing laggy, broken, or having skipped frames. This a problem that still effects Dxtory (even in 2017) and is caused by a HDD that “hitches.” You’ll eliminate the chances of this happening by using a SSD.
Luckily, 500gb SSDs are incredibly affordable in 2017, so you could also use one to store your game footage.
Step 1: Customize overlay settings
- If Dxtory is running and you start a game, you will see an overlay displaying numbers that represent your frame rate, or FPS.
- Check the Hotkey panel for your “Start/Stop Movie Capture” hotkey.
- When in-game, pressing the “Start/Stop Movie Capture” hotkey will start the recording. Your FPS overlay will change colors when you start recording
Step 2: Save a game profile
Dxtory allows for you to have multiple profiles. This means that you can have different recording settings for each one of your games. We will modify the Default profile because new profiles will automatically use the Default profile settings.
Step 3: Remove unnecessary profiles
When you start a game or an application, Dxtory will create a profile for it. Whenever you start an application, that application’s profile will automatically be loaded by Dxtory (unless you manually select a profile). Use the edit profile button to bring up the following panel, which will allow you to remove profiles from the list.
Step 4: Modify the Framerate Overlay
- The overlay can contain several useful benchmarks: Video FPS, Write File FPS, and record status.
- When you are not recording, you will see green text with your video fps in the top left corner of your screen. This lets you know that Dxtory is running and will tell you the framerate you are getting in-game.
- When you start recording, the green text will turn yellow. You will then see your video fps, write file fps, and recording status.
- You can change the location of the overlay by placing your mouse on the black screen with the green number “69.” The numbers should not follow your mouse around: you may now click an area on that screen to designate where the overlay will appear.
- The game should be auto-selected in dxtory. If not, click the drop down and select your game from the list
- If Dxtory is running, you will see green numbers in the top left hand corner of your screen while playing your game. If you do not see these numbers with your game open, restart dxtory. If that fails, restart your game.
Step 5: Movie Capture Frame
If you select the box for “Movie Capture Frame,” a green box will appear around the area you are recording. I do not recommend checking this.
Test your storage devices to determine the best hard drive to save your footage.
- It is best if you have two hard drives: one for storing games, the other for saving footage.
- A minimum write speed of 60 mb/s is recommended for using my recording settings. Otherwise, you will need to record at a lower resolution.
- If your hard drive write speed is too slow, you may notice some lag or hitching when you play back your recorded gameplay.
- Make sure your hardware is good enough. Compare your hardware with mine.
Step 1: Add your hard drives
Add your storage devices using the add folder button. Dxtory will usually detect your main drive, but you should add all of your hard drives.
Select a folder in the hard drive you want to add. You can also make a new folder.
The drive is now added and recorded footage will now save to the selected folder path. Repeat this process to add any remaining hard drives
Choosing a hard drive
Now that all hard drives are added, we can now test the write speed of each drive to determine the optimal hard drive to save footage.
Step 2: Benchmarking
Select the benchmark button to bring up the benchmarking panel.
Select the benchmark button to bring up the benchmarking panel. The write size is automatically filled in and designates the size of your hard drive.
Click run and wait for the test to complete. Your hard drive’s write speed will be displayed. In this case, the test shows that my hard drive writes at around 117 MB/sec. Click “OK” and close the benchmark window. Run the benchmark test for the remaining hard drives.
Step 3: Choosing a Drive
Now that we have tested the write speed of our hard drives, it’s time to select a hard drive to save footage to. There are several things you should take into account when picking a hard drive:
- The hard drive should have a write speed higher than 60 MB/s. If your write speed is below 60 MB/s, you will have to downsize the quality/resolution of your movie capture settings. If you save high quality footage on a hard drive with a slow write speed, the video playback will be extremely laggy with pausing and skipping throughout the playback.
- The hard drive should have enough free space. Generally speaking, your output video file (with the recording settings in this tutorial) will take up 3 gigabytes per minute of footage. This adds up extremely fast and you will quickly run out of space if your hard drive is not large enough.
- The footage should be saved to a different hard drive than what your game is running on. This is recommended but not required.
I chose my G drive because the write speed is high enough and it had more free space than my other drives. Also, I do not run any of my games from my G drive, so it is more optimal for storing my footage.
Video Settings and Codec
I use the lagarith lossless codec. These are my video settings.
- Download the lagarith lossless codec to find out how to separate audio channels. This will allow you to split your skype or teamspeak from your game audio.
- Restart Dxtory after you install the codec.
- If your recorded footage is laggy or hitching, scale down your footage. Read the tutorial to find out how.
- Make sure your hardware is good enough. Compare your hardware with mine.
Step 1: Pick a Codec
Use the dropdown menu to select the lagarith codec. You can install the codec from here. Download and run the installer and then restart Dxtory. The Lagarith Lossless Codec will appear in the menu now. Next, click the configuration button next to the drop down menu.
Select the mode “YV12.” Enable multithreading if your PC has more than one processor.
The drive is now added and recorded footage will now save to the selected folder path.
Step 2: Set the frame rate
We can now select the output frame rate. Setting the frame rate does not change the in-game frame rate, but limits the FPS of your output file. It’s best to set the output frame rate at what you will render at, which is usually 30 FPS. Setting a frame rate over 30 will increase your output file size and may impact your in-game performance.
If you plan on creating exceptionally high-quality footage that will be slowed down, you need to record at 60 FPS. Otherwise, the slowed down footage will appear laggy and low-quality.
Step 3: Scaling Resolution
In order to reduce file size and increase performance, you can scale the resolution of the output file size. This scaling can be percent based or you can set the output file size resolution. If you set the scaling at 100%, your output video file resolution will be the same resolution that you played at. Lowering the scaling to 75% or 50% will reduce the resolutions by 50% and 75%, which will significantly reduce the output quality. However, your file size will be smaller.
You may also manually input the resolution of your output file. Here I’ve scaled my resolution from 100% (1920×1080) to 1280×720. Resolution scaling may be neccessary if the write speed of your hard drive is too slow to keep up with the quality of your video. If you playback your video files and notice stuttering and hitching throughout the video playback, your hard drive can’t handle your video settings. You can fix this by simply scaling down the output resolution.
Step 4: Clipping
Clipping allows you to crop your recording area. You can choose to record only certain portions of your screen by setting the margin and clip size. If you played at 1920×1080 and set your clip size to 1280×720, only a 1280 pixel wide and 720 pixel tall region of your game would appear in the output file. You can orient the clipped area using the alignment and margin settings.
Step 5: More options
You must select “Include Mouse Cursor” for your mouse cursor to appear in the output file. If this option is not selected, the mouse pointer will not show up in your video footage. Some people have reported that recording the mouse cursor causes their game to lag, but it should not cause any issues. If you select synchronize video fps, your in-game frame rate will “lock” at your output frame rate (in this case it’s 30).
This is what my audio panel looks like.
- Learn how to separate audio channels. This will allow you to split your Skype, Teamspeak, or Discord from your game audio.
Step 1: Add your audio devices
Use the + and – buttons to add and remove devices. Dxtory will record a different audio channel for each device. Based on my settings, if I dropped my footage into sony vegas, I would see 5 audio tracks. You can select “Use a Push-to-Talk Hotkey” to only record your microphone when you push to talk. This does not mean you have to push the talk hotkey to use your microphone. It only means that your microphone audio will be recorded when you press the push-to-talk hotkey.
Let’s add a microphone. You can adjust the microphone volume. There really is no reason to screw with your microphone volume in Dxtory because you can manually adjust it in your editing software.
Your speakers/headphones will contain all audio produced by your PC. This includes game volume, skype or teamspeak chat, and even background music programs all on one sound channel. If you want different audio channels for your game volume or skype and teamspeak, you should follow the audio splitting tutorial.
After following the audio splitting tutorial and restarting dxtory (so the lines show up), you can now add the two lines.
Step 2: Choosing an audio format
When you add an audio device, you can change the audio codec as well as the audio format. The default settings are usually the best and you won’t have to adjust anything. However, if you want to check your device’s audio format, go to control panel>sound>playback (or recording, depending on the device). Right click on the device you want to check and select “properties.” In the properties panel, select the “Advanced” tab. The audio format will be displayed.
- Dxtory is not showing up in-game
- Sometimes Dxtory won’t “lock” on to some applications or games. You should first try restarting Dxtory. If that doesn’t work, restart your game while Dxtory is running.
- My output video files lag and stutter even though I get great performance in-game.
- This is usually a storage issue. Make sure that your hard drive write speed is above 60 mb/sec. Basically what is happening is your storage device can’t write the file fast enough. You can solve this by scaling your output resolution down. If that doesn’t work, use a different codec (I recommend the lagarith lossless codec).
- Dxtory causes an application to lag.
- Dxtory may have compatibility issues with some applications like Microsoft Office products. As a result, you may notice lagging and freezing while using those applications. In Dxtory, select edit profile. Select the application that Dxtory is causing to lag and click ignore. Now Dxtory will not lock on to that application anymore and the lag should subside. You could also close Dxtory while using those applications.
- Dxtory locks on to some applications that I don’t want it to.
- In Dxtory, go to “edit profile” and ignore the applications that you don’t want Dxtory to lock on to.
- Dxtory creates excessively large output files.
- Make sure you are recording at 30 fps and not a higher number. Also, you can scale your resolution down using the scaling option in the movie tab. In the movie tab, make sure that your frame rate is at 30 fps and scale your size to a lower resolution.
- My video files don’t have audio!
Make sure that “record sound” in the audio settings tab is selected. Also, make sure you have your speakers or headphones added as an audio device.