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Best Screen Recording Software In-depth Test 2022

best screen recording software gaming

Screen recorders come in many varieties. After searching for a while, I found that it was hard to get one that had all the features – choose your own frame rate, good quality codec recording and other features.

I was wanting to record the screen at a constant framerate but most recorders wouldn’t allow me. Many records in variable frame rates which means that it will use a frame rate suitable for your computer speed at that time to avoid heavy processing power. This is bad if you plan to add them into editing software where you will edit at a constant frame rate.

I’m pretty surprised there aren’t many options out there on the market today that solve many of these issues.

Different types of screen recording

  • Quality – recording screen to save a high-quality video
    • Best choice Mac – Movavi
    • Best choice Windows with Nvidia – Nvidia ShadowPlay
  • Online sharing – sharing online to show others
    • Best choice – Loom
  • Live streaming – streaming to YouTube or similar
    • Best choice – StreamLabs

Scroll down for a breakdown and more options.

Quality Screen Recorders

This blog is based on software that is just recording using applications on your computer. But another good way of recording a high-quality feed of your screen is using a screen capture hardware device. If you are looking for software specifically, read the below.

Movavi Screen Recorder

Movavi is known for its video editing software so you can see why it stands as a quality screen recorder.

Movavi Screen Recorder was my favourite app to use for screen recording in top quality. I didn’t run into any banding issues which is generally a sign of low-quality bitrate. Movavi and Quicktime were the only software that didn’t have banding which means they record in a higher quality bitrate than Filmora.

One pain point is that it doesn’t let you choose the file format, it only allows you to convert to your chosen format after recording. This means I had to wait longer while my computer converted the file format using their in-built converter.

On the plus side, it was super easy to use, you can record from a chosen microphone and camera input at the same time.

movavi screen recorder

Pros

  • Get up to 60fps
  • Use a camera source input
  • Choose a mic input
  • Shoot your full resolution

Cons

  • Doesn’t allow you to choose the file type before recording
  • Only records directly to MKV format. But it does allow you to convert to other file types after recording but takes a while
  • One license is only for one PC. So if you have 2 computers, you will need to get 2 licenses.

File format

Only records to MKV format which isn’t supported by a lot of editing software, but you have a choice to convert the videos using their in-built converter to:

movavi record file types

Movavi Pricing

Their prices vary depending on if you want the video editing software with it or just the recorder. You can see Movavi’s pricing here. You can only use one license on one computer, so if you have two computers, you will need to buy more.

  • Free version with watermark
  • Annually just for screen recorder – $44.95

Filmora

Filmora is known for its video editing software. It has an easy-to-use entry-level system which is liked by a lot of editors.

Filmora was a great recorder but it had some glitches and annoyances. One main thing was that when trying to record a full screen, I would be directed to the video and it only had recorded half of my screen. It’s just a glitch but not something you want to see because you need to record it again and find it hard to trust.

The bit rate of the video wasn’t the greatest when using the max quality setting. I was getting banding on some shots which generally means it’s low quality. I guess it helps when trying to keep file sizes low, but not when recording quality stuff.

filmora screen recorder

Pros

  • Record up to 60fps
  • Quick creation
  • Many choices of file type
  • Use a camera source input
  • Choose a mic input
  • Shoot your full resolution

Cons

  • When testing, it had a horrible glitch with recording half the screen when I chose to film the full screen
  • Got banding issues when rendering some things which means low bitrate recording using the max quality setting

File formats

Records directly to MP4 format. After recording, you will be directed to their editing software where you can re-export it as a different format if required.

filmora file type recording

Filmora Pricing

Their prices vary more depending on whether you use Windows or Mac. You can take a look at Filmora’s pricing here.

  • Annually – Around $49.99
  • One-off payment – Around $115

Quicktime player

This option is only available on macOS, but it’s a great option because you don’t need to install anything. Every Mac comes with Quicktime installed.

It’s great quality and always works well, but one huge issue which makes it unusable for video editing is that it records in a variable frame rate that you cannot change.

So if your processor is busy, the recording will save in a lower framerate to save processing power. Sometimes it can even save in like 12fps which is sometimes unwatchable. This is bad for video editing because mixing frame rates is bad practice and causes issues such as jumpy footage and glitches.

On the plus side, it does always save in decent quality, so if you are just recording for fun or simple tasks, then this works.

Pros

  • No installation is required on macOS
  • Free
  • Good quality

Cons

  • Variable frame rate, cannot choose your own frame rate
  • Only works on macOS

QT Pricing

Come with macOS.

  • Free

Nvidia ShadowPlay

Nvidia ShadowPlay is amazing for Windows users using an Nvidia graphics card.

This software comes free when you buy an Nvidia graphics card. It should already come pre-installed on your system along with the Geforce Experience software.

ShadowPlay has many extensive features as a screen recording program, you can set it to record instant replays which record up to the last 20 minutes of screen activity, but only if you have it set to this. You can tweak the settings however you want to even record the last 30 seconds of screen activity.

You can of course use this software to record manually like any other screen recording software as well as broadcast directly from your screen recording software to platforms like Twitch & Youtube.

Pros

  • Good quality
  • Great for gaming
  • High frame rates

Cons

  • None

Nvidia ShadowPlay Pricing

  • Free

Online Sharing Screen Recorders

Vimeo

Everyone knows Vimeo as a sort of professional version of YouTube. Vimeo is more based on quality, which is why it attracts Filmmakers more than YouTube.

Using Chrome browser or similar, you can install the Vimeo Screen Recorder plugin and sign in to your Vimeo account, then you can get recording and share easily.

When screen recording, Vimeo saves these screen recordings into a private folder on your Vimeo account so you can easily access them again.

vimdeo screen recorder

Pros

  • Works within Chrome
  • Very fast to share
  • Free
  • Good quality

Cons

  • Need a Vimeo account
  • Need Chrome or an app-based browser to use it

Vimeo Pricing

Because the Vimeo Screen Recorder plugin is based on their website. You can use it for free. You will only be limited by the amount of storage you have in your account.

  • Free

Loom

Loom is great in terms of easy sharing with others. They have a desktop application that installs directly on your computer and doesn’t;t rely on a browser to run, unlike Vimeo Screen Recorder.

Loom is a favourite among the world as they have made it easy to share clips from your screen in seconds. This works well if you’re trying to explain things to others or showing someone how to do something on the computer.

loom screen recorder

Pros

  • Very fast to share
  • Works without a browser – install it on the computer
  • Good quality

Cons

  • Need an account

Loom Pricing

Loom has a simple pricing plan. It comes with a free plan and a good price for their business plan.

  • Free plan available – up to 5 min recording, up to 25 vids per person
  • $8 per month for a Business plan

Live streaming Screen Recorders

One main thing I found with live screen recorders is that they compromise on quality to give you the ability to have many inputs and variations. Being able to screen record, add cameras, add photos and elements, add microphones and much more.

They act more as compiling software rather than special quality recording.

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is famous for its live-streaming capabilities for gamers and YouTubers. It’s great for it and it’s free.

After testing, I found the quality of OBS to not be that good, but it’s great for adding multiple sources of inputs such as cameras, elements and microphones.

obs screen

Pros

  • Free
  • Use camera source inputs
  • Choose mic inputs
  • Great for streaming

Cons

  • Doesn’t record good quality videos to save on the computer. Bit rate is very low and resolution is low

OBS Studio Pricing

  • Free

StreamLabs

StreamLabs is similar to OBS but it’s open-source. It was created as a fork of OBS so it has a lot of similarities.

After testing, I found it wasn’t good quality and it didn’t work for recording good screen quality videos. Pretty much the exact same as OBS.

streamlabs recorder

Pros

  • Free
  • Use camera source inputs
  • Choose mic inputs
  • Great for streaming

Cons

  • Doesn’t record good quality videos to save on the computer. Bit rate is very low and resolution is low

StreamLabs Pricing

  • Free

What is the best screen recorder for gaming?

Screen capture cards as an alternative

You can use dedicated internal & external capture cards as an alternative way to capture anything recording on your screen. These not only reduce the load on your CPU so your PC has more resources to put elsewhere but capture cards can also provide a much better result for saving recordings.

This is due to capture cards having their own encoders and hardware to process recordings. So if you want your recording to be of the highest quality and also need all the performance you can out of your PC while doing so, a capture card might be the best option for you.

Summary

About Author

Will is a professional Ecommerce Shopify expert (7 years experience) & a professional Filmmaker/Video Editor (17 years experience). Now living between the Isle of Man & Brighton, UK. Highly experienced in Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, After Effects, Shopify, WordPress & SEO. Owner of Teckers, Bounce Color, Stunt Camera Crew & more.

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