How do I record my Oculus Rift gameplay?
Playing Rift games when you're with friends is a ton of fun — they're on the couch, out of your way, seeing you thrash around like a Magikarp and watching your gameplay on the PC.
What about if you want to share gameplay with the world on a site like YouTube? You're going to need a video to upload. What if you're having a solo gaming session and you're about to break a record? You need to record your Rift gameplay!
- Software that allow you to record Oculus Rift gameplay
- Tips for using recording software with Oculus Rift
Software that allow you to record Oculus Rift gameplay
These software — available for download now — will capture Rift gameplay and will even let you stream to the internet abroad.
Nvidia GeForce ShadowPlay
If you're an Nvidia devotee and currently have a GeForce GPU in your rig, you can download ShadowPlay now for free. It might be installed already — open GeForce Experience and have a look in the upper right corner of the window. See a ShadowPlay button? You're good to go!
ShadowPlay has some cool features, like a hotkey that will automatically save the last 20 minutes of gameplay to your hard drive. That's perfect for when you're messing around and accidentally pull off an amazing feat.
There is also, of course, the ability to manually record for as long as you like (or as long as your PC storage allows). Want to stream to Twitch? Already built in to ShadowPlay.
Arguably the best part of ShadowPlay is that it takes up a minimal amount of resources by using special GPU encoding. If you're someone who can't afford a separate PC for recording gameplay (I can relate), ShadowPlay might just be the recording software for you.
Open Broadcaster Software
Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a long-time favorite of gamers everywhere. You don't need a subscription, its source code is available on GitHub, and it's completely free for everyone — even you devoted AMD users.
OBS uses GPU-based capture to cut down on resource costs, meaning you won't have to use a separate, dedicated computer to capture video. Video records in either MP4 or FLV file-types, and you can stream gameplay straight to Twitch and YouTube.
For a free, low-resource recording program that's available for everyone, consider checking out Open Broadcaster Software.
FFSPLIT is another free software that captures Rift gameplay. Upon download you'll be prompted to also download FFmpeg, software that creates the tools needed for handling media and its transcoding.
FFSPLIT is easy to use and has many customizable settings. An important feature, at least for streamers, is the ability to include an overlay on your screen. Insert a webcam feed or other overlay for your fans to enjoy while they watch your stream.
Note that FFSPLIT does not have the ability to capture fullscreen games. You must set your game to run in windowed mode (you can still stretch it to fit the screen) so that the recorder notices that you're playing. Fret not! You can choose to cut out window borders and the taskbar from the settings menu.
If you want a Rift recorder that also has some neat features for game streamers, have a look at FFSPLIT.
Tips for using recording software with Oculus Rift
We'll leave the majority of settings intricacies to the respective software's forums and support, but there are some things you need to know to begin recording Oculus Rift gameplay immediately.
Open Broadcasting Software
Recording gameplay from a blank slate (fresh install) requires you to add a few things to the OBS menus.
- Right-click the Scenes field.
Click Add Scene.
- Right-click the Sources field.
Click Window Capture.
- Type a name and hit Enter on your keyboard.
Click the dropdown menu at the top of the window.
- Click the window you want to record. Remember: you must have the window open for it to show up in the list.
That's it! You can use the Preview Stream button to make sure everything looks good before you begin recording.
If the picture does not fill the preview window, right-click the preview window, then click Scale to fit mode. This ensures the video you record has no borders or taskbars.
Rift apps — like Within — seem by default to run in windowed mode. Hit alt + Enter on your keyboard to send your Rift game to fullscreen. That way ShadowPlay won't pick up the taskbar and window borders while it captures straight from your GeForce GPU. If you want to capture something on your desktop, hit alt + Enter again.
It's really easy to use, and it captures near-flawless video. Note that by default, Alt + F9 begins recording. Hit Alt + F9 again to pause recording and save the clip to your hard drive.
FFSPLIT might look a bit overwhelming at first, but fear not. Here's how to start recording Rift gameplay.
- Click New in the Layer field.
Click Capture Window.
- Click the dropdown menu next to Capture Window.
Click the window you want to capture.
Click Add Layer.
To ensure only the game or video you're playing is captured (and not the desktop behind it), follow these steps:
- Click Screen Monitor Layer in the Layer field.
Click the Hide button at the bottom of the Layer field.
If the window is the wrong aspect ratio, right-click the preview frame and click Fit to Canvas.
Your Rift recordings
What software do you use to record your Rift gameplay? Do you stream to Twitch or YouTube? Let us know in the comments section below!