Game recorders like Dxtory and Fraps are excellent for recording PC gameplay. But who wants to pay money for software anymore, especially when there are equally good free alternatives?
You can still record high-quality PC game footage without paying anything! Now this doesn’t mean that Dxtory, Fraps, or other game recorders aren’t worth it. Dxtory offers extremely good customization and features like built-in multi-track audio recording. However, there are some fantastic game recorders that get the job done.
Best Free Game Recording Software
Our top picks for free PC game capture software.
If you have an NVIDIA graphics card then you already have access to ShadowPlay. ShadowPlay is considered one of the best free game recorders because it records high-quality footage without sacrificing in-game performance. In fact, you probably won’t notice any performance loss while recording with ShadowPlay. NVIDIA boasts that there is only a 5-10% frame rate loss while recording with ShadowPlay! It is also possible to record both in-game sound and microphones on separate audio tracks. However, multi-track audio recording is not possible currently, but will probably be added in the future. Possibly the best reason to use ShadowPlay is the Shadow-mode recording functionality. Shadow-mode allows you to record up to 20 minutes in the past. That’s right – in the past! This is great because it allows for you to play a game without recording constantly, but you can still save clips on the off chance you do something amazing.
Why we love it:
- Available for NVIDIA graphics cards
- Almost no noticeable frame loss while recording
- Records in-game sound and microphone
- Shadow mode is AMAZING
- Adjustable bit-rate and output resolution
- Can record at 60fps or 30fps
2. MSI Afterburner
MSI Afterburner is an overclocking utility and hardware monitoring tool. It can also record gameplay footage! Since this recording software is built into an overclocking tool, it is optimized to work well with your hardware. We found that MSI Afterburner had minimal impact on game performance even when recording at the highest possible settings! We were absolutely blown away by the in-game performance and video output quality. Honestly, we can’t believe that this software is free! Also, This software works really well with mid-range hardware, so you don’t need a supercomputer to record at the highest settings without sacrificing performance!
Why it’s the best:
- Very minimal performance impact
- Exceptional customization and quality settings (bit rate, resolution, frame rate)
- Create profiles with unique settings
- Screen or game capture
- Multiple audio sources
3. Open Broadcaster
Open Broadcaster is widely used for Twitch streaming. However, it can also be used to record footage directly. The best part is that it’s completely free! Open Broadcaster is one of the most customizable game recorders on the market currently. You can adjust the video, audio, and encoding settings for the perfect balance between performance and quality. OBS is not limited to just recording game footage–you can choose game capture, window capture, or monitor capture. Finally, one of the best reasons to use OBS is plugins. There are a ton of plugins created by the community that enhance Open Broadcaster’s functionality. The downside of OBS is that you need at least an i7 processor to get the most out of this game recorder.
Why we love it:
- Excellent audio, video, and encoding options
- Can choose the recording framerate and resolution
- Game, window, or monitor capture
4. LoiLo Game Recorder
LoiLo game recorder is a very simple and easy to use game recorder that is totally free! It’s easy to setup and get started. You can also use their video editor to easily edit footage and then directly export it to Youtube. We noticed very minimal performance loss in-game even when recording at the highest quality level.
Why we love it:
- Can choose recording framerate, output resolution, and quality level
- Simple and easy to set up
- Built-in video editor
- Direct Youtube export options