How To

How to capture video game footage

How to capture video game footage
Trevor Hutchins

Trevor Hutchins

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Thinking of creating videos of yourself playing video games? Awesome! First off, you should know there are two types: streaming and posting.

Ask yourself: are you looking to send out your game videos in real-time, using only your quick wits, charm, and gaming experience to hook fans? You’re probably thinking about streaming. Hop on a program like Twitch, and learn from other top video game streamers like Ninja.

On the other hand, do you want to create entire “Let’s Play” series for your favorite titles, much like the Game Grumps? Or do you want to create detailed walkthroughs like FightinCowboy or make funny, edited videos like Pewdiepie? If so, you want to create video posts! This article has a solid piece of advice for these types of creators:

The best way to secure footage of your gameplay is via a capture card.

What is a Capture Card?

Simply put, capture cards are tools specifically designed to help re-route your gameplay footage into a computer so the content can be edited and mixed in mp4 (standard video) format.


General Guide to Using Capture Cards

Modern gaming consoles send graphic and audio information through HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cords.

A capture card takes your gameplay from the HDMI cord and sends the information in two directions: first, to your computer and then to your TV or monitor as usual.

On that note, make sure the receiving device has enough data capacity, or consider investing in a remote storage device! As video games become more data-intensive, even terabyte storages will become too small.

Moving on, we’d like to note that the best capture cards, like those from the popular Elgato series, also include software programs to help make storing, collecting, and using video easier. Recent updates may also provide more advanced functionalities: for example, combining game and webcam footage.

With the software and hardware working together, all you need to do is turn on the capture card, start up your video game, hit record, and begin recording your game. You’ll have your files ready in no time!

Now, all you have to do is decide which capture card to purchase…

A Few Capture Card Options

Currently, the “Amazon’s Choice” for capture card is the AverCapture HD. It has a decent rating of 3.5 stars from 126 ratings, and only costs around $100. Beginners should definitely consider this option, which balances reliability and price.

However, as we’ve mentioned, Elgato currently offers some of the most popular, well-rounded capture cards. Their HD60 Pro has a 4-star rating from over 2,000 users, the downside being a cost of $180. Also, from our experience, the Elgato program can be taxing on a slow computer, but the capture still works great and looks good. If your laptop was created with video editing in mind, you may have nothing to fear.

Still, don’t take our suggestions alone! If neither of these choices appeal to you, there are plenty of other options out there. Keep looking, and you’ll find what you want.


While capture programs may allow some level of video editing, we still recommend using specialized software!

There are some great options available for free. If you’re using Microsoft, consider Movie Creator. For Mac users, iMovie.

Whatever you choose, you’ll need to figure out a number of things, for example: how to import various types of media, edit and rearrange footage, adjust sound volume levels, alter transitions, enter titles, and finally how to export those items.

Final Notes:

Remember, there are other things to record… like yourself! Consider investing in a decent microphone or webcam. You may require multiple ports on your laptop, unless those devices store videos themselves.

Remember: in a pinch, a smartphone can perform both of these functions at once! Unlike game capture, you don’t need a special device to capture normal videos with decent quality.

At then, once you have everything you need, you’re ready to edit!

Trevor Hutchins

Trevor Hutchins

Trevor Hutchins writes screenplays, novels, and articles from his home in La Mirada, California. He self-published hist first novel, 'Wynden's Legacy,' on Amazon in May of 2017 and hasn't stopped writing since.

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