How to Record Console Gameplay 2017 – What is Needed?

How to Record Console Gameplay

I’m sure you have all watched a ton of gaming videos on YouTube or Twitch or whatever else and are finally starting to wonder how to record console gameplay yourself!

Whether you just want to make videos to share with friends or if you want to start a gaming YouTube channel, there is always a way for you to record your gameplay! Now the question you’re all wondering is how you can actually do it; let me explain!

The Best and Easiest Way to Record Console Gameplay is with a Capture Card

For those of you that don’t know, a capture card is a device which connects to your console, TV and PC and streams the gameplay on your TV, from your console, onto your PC (Or Mac if you have one) where it is then recorded.

They are pretty easy to set-up and the best ones work very efficiently. In terms of cost, the price varies from as low as $50 in some cases and up to as high as about $180, but of course with price comes with quality. Mostly.

I’m going to to give you some advice: DO NOT buy any capture card that is under $100. Trust me, they are utterly useless and it will be an investment wasted. There are some mediocre capture cards around $100, such as the Roxio capture card, but the HD version of it (the better one) can only record up to 720p and the recording software is pretty poor. I would personally avoid it.Elgato Game Capture Review

At this point you’r probably thinking, “Oh great, he’s gonna tell us to buy the most expensive one”. Well in that case you’re wrong.

In my opinion the best capture card out there is the Elgato Game Capture, which currently costs just under $130. I personally use it and it works brilliantly!

–>Check out my Elgato Game Capture Review here and see how it compares to other capture cards!<–

Are There Any Alternative Ways to Record Console Gameplay?

Of course you’re going to want to know if there are any other cheaper ways to record your consolehow to record your console gameplay gameplay before you go ahead and splash a load of cash on a capture card; however, unfortunately, the alternatives really are grim.

Some people try to record their TV with a camera – don’t even try.

If the games you are wanting to record have some sort of recording mode, such as theater mode in Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2, there was a way to upload them via Call of Duty Elite, but now that that has been shut down, the options to upload these videos really are limited.

What I’m basically trying to say here is that if you want to record your console gameplay, you’re going to need a capture card.

Is a Capture Card Worth the Investment?

Now this is a completely different question. If you’re planning on starting a gaming YouTube channel, then you will need to make the investment. But before you do, make sure you’re going to be committed, because it can be very hard being a gaming YouTuber, since the niche is so crowded and popular!

If you would like more information on making a YouTube channel, check out my post about how to start a gaming YouTube channel and that will go through everything that you will need.

On the other hand, if you’re taking a less serious approach towards recording your gameplay and only really want a capture card to share gameplay with your friends, or want to start a YouTube channel that isn’t going to be all that serious, that’s fine, but it may be worth thinking twice about it.

You don’t want to get to the point where you’ve recorded a couple of videos and then realize that you don’t really have time to make them. Waste of money!

Also, make sure to look at the Elgato Game Capture specifications to confirm that your PC will be able to cope with the Elgato software! I made that mistake and I had to get another PC as a result!

So consider your options carefully; I highly recommend you take a look at my Elgato Game Capture review, where I list all of the main capture cards and explain what they all include!

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions and I will be more than happy to help!



  1. Is it ok to have a not so good PC? I myself have a Toshiba Satellite laptop, and I am predicting it is not very compatible with Elgato. So should I use my laptop or invest my money on a $400 PC?

    • I made the mistake of not reading the Elgato system requirements and as a result it didn’t work on the PC that I had at the time. Luckily I got a new PC soon afterwards that had the capacities to deal with the Elgato software, but that cost me an extra £400!

      I don’t want you to make the same mistake as I did, so I highly recommend you look at the Elgato system requirements before you buy one. The Elgato requires your PC to have at least a 2GHZ dual core, or multi-core processor, which most older laptops won’t have. Also your PC needs at least 4GB ram. The chances are that you will probably need to look around for a new PC!

      Just make sure you do your research and let me know how it goes!

      • Okay, thanks for the advice, but now that I think about it more, it’s probably the best just to wait a couple years until I get a decent PC. Because I do want to use my laptop but I don’t want to do any thing bad to it or harm it. I only just got it recently and really need it for school at the moment.

        • Yes, that’s probably best considering you’re still in school; a couple of years down the road you may have changed your mind anyway and it would be particularly hard finding the time to make a lot of YouTube videos with all the work you’ve got, especially as you get further down the line.

          All the best!


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