I was playing a little bit of SMITE the other night as my usual support tank, and I made this killer save that was more than worthy of a top-ten reel – not that I’m biased or anything. But, as per Murphy’s Law of course, I wasn’t recording. Sure, a lot of games have replay features (SMITE included), and no I can’t be recording all the time, but isn’t it just the worst when you do something awesome – and no one will ever see it but you? Sometimes I have the worst luck…
That got me thinking about screen recording programs on my PC, and how a lot of YouTubers seem to miss the mark on this option as an essential part of the process. There are other options like capture cards, but I’ll be covering those at another time. It can be a little frustrating if you’re new to screen recording programs, so I thought I would drop some personal experiences here…
First Things First – The Setup
Screen recording programs can be pretty tasking on your computer, so I found that it’s important to have a decent setup for the best experience.
Well, that’s pretty vague.
What I mean here is that you should be able to run a game and a half without any major framerate issues. Any mid-range modern gaming PC should do just fine, and the higher you can shoot for, the better. For those that really don’t have the best equipment and don’t want to make the investment, you can always reduce the quality settings in-game – but be reminded, that can also have an effect on how your viewers see your content. Quality is everything.
“So raw video files are huge.
How do you deal with them?”
Raw Files, All Up in Your Space
So, raw video files are huge. How do you deal with them? We’re all in pretty solid agreement here at TGN – an external hard drive is a definite necessity for screen recording programs. As you record your footage, you can offload your files to external hard drive to save space on your gaming computer.
Our unanimous recommendation is a USB 3.0 HDD which usually runs for about $75.00 to $200.00 depending on the size – not a cheap endeavour to say the least. It is, however, fast enough to do just about anything you would want it to do, and one can range anywhere from 500GB to 3TB of space. If you upload often or you tend to have long videos, larger is almost always the better bang for your buck.
“Fraps is the knee-jerk answer for screen recording.”
The Software – Not a Hard Choice
Fraps is the knee-jerk answer for screen recording. It’s versatile, simple, cheap, and does just about everything that you want it to. At $37 for the full version, it also beats out the competitors in just about all of those categories (I’ll get to them in a second), allows you to get some pretty killer screencaps, keeps you up to date on your fps as you record, and is pretty much scalable to the capabilities of your computer and equipment. It’s so commonly used that it has become a verb in the industry. When my little SMITE incident happened the other day, this little dialogue was running through my head:
“Man! Did you record that?”
“Bro, do you even Fraps?
But forget my love for the etymology of new words, there are other options in case you’re curious. One of those options is from ZDSoft, which has one very appealing benefit over Fraps: it runs a little bit better alongside your play. If you are having some trouble using Fraps in tandem with your game, you might want to check out this option for a free trial or a full purchase of $39. One major drawback to this option however, is the quality of the recording – it’s just not that great.
“A final option that may be worth
checking out is Game Cam.”
A final option that may be worth checking out is Game Cam, which offers a lot of the same features in a less expensive, less finely tuned product. If you’re willing to deal with some of its more frustrating issues like framerate problems and lack of selling points from its competitors, this is a decent choice. Keep in mind though, we haven’t tested this one with Windows 8 – so it may be best to check out the trial version first.
With that information in-hand, you shouldn’t miss a moment! Well… you will… but don’t worry about it, you can be awesome on command, right? Next week I’ll be covering higher level video editing programs, so stay tuned and be sure to contribute to our forums if you have something to say about this week’s TGN Focus article.