How to Use Nvidia ShadowPlay
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How to Use Nvidia ShadowPlay

Are you a gamer? Want to record your epic moments or live streams with friends? Nvidia ShadowPlay can help you screen record with ease. With this software download, you can capture your screen, live stream to social media, create gifs of your coolest moments, and share Nvidia with friends and followers. The application is compatible with more than 350 games, and used by popular gamers to create shareable content. Considering downloading, or want to make the most of the software? We'll walk you through how to use Nvidia ShadowPlay for the most benefit.

If you're looking for a capture card, check the article below:

Top 15 best capture cards

How to Use ShadowPlay

There are a few critical steps to getting started with the Nvidia share software, and then making the most of it. Be sure to check your system requirements before you get started, and check out the hotkeys to get a better understanding of what you can do in-game.

1. Check Your System Requirements

As a gamer, you understand the importance of knowing your system. To utilize ShadowPlay, you'll need to be on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10, with at least 20MB of disk storage. For best performance, an i7 CPU is recommended as well. ShadowPlay can record up to 4k quality levels, which puts a lot of demand on your computer system. This can result in loss of game performance and means that the application isn't an excellent fit for all machines.

2. Download and Open the Software

Download the GeForce Experience files and open up the application to get started. The software won’t activate until you open it up on your screen. You may need to update your screen sharing settings on your desktop before you get started, or as prompted on your screen.

3. Open ShadowPlay and Your Desired Game and Get Setup

Now you’re ready to record. Open up the compatible game you want to record, and open up Nvidia. Hit Open In-Game-Overlay to navigate to ShadowPlay settings. Select the button that says “ShadowPlay” to enable it. You’ll see a green light. To enable sharing, navigate to Settings > General > Share. Toggle it on. As an alternative, you can customize your recording settings for three modes: Instant Replay (automatic recordings of a certain amount of time from your last gameplay), Record (manually set up recordings of your games), and Broadcast (stream on Twitch), from the overlay mode. This is like your dashboard for screen recording with Nvidia.

4. Create Recording and Mic Settings

ShadowPlay automatically uses "Shadow & Manual" mode by default. This setting allows you to record your play and keep the last 5 minutes. You can change this setting to "Shadow" mode to record the last 5 minutes of your game, or "Manual" to manually select your game recording. If you'd prefer to change this setting, or even play around with the quality settings of the video, click the Customize button from the Share menu. You can change your bitrate, lower FPS, and resolution from this section. If you’re using a microphone or headset, be sure to toggle on your mic settings before you get started.

Many players choose to utilize ShadowPlay's Instant Replay feature to capture and playback videos. To set that up, open the ShadowPlay overlay by hitting the hotkey Alt + Z. From there, select the Instant Replay button. Then, head to the Settings gear and choose Privacy Control. Toggle on Desktop Capture. Select where you want your videos to be saved on your computer.

5. Activate Screen Recording and Save Files

Once you’ve configured your recording method, you’re ready to start gameplay. Just click Record > Start and start play. On the bottom right hand of your screen, you'll see a green icon that lets you know that the screen capture is working correctly. If you've enabled mic access, you'll see that there, too.

When you’re ready to stop recording or disable the application, use the hotkey Alt+F9 to stop recording. Want to pick up again? Use the same hotkey. Where does ShadowPlay save videos? Head to the default location, the folder C:\Users\Username\Videos. This is the default location for saved files, but you can change the location at Settings > Recordings. Look for the gear icon from the ShadowPlay menu to navigate.

How to Use ShadowPlay to Capture and Share Gaming

Instant Replay

Nvidia offers powerful features for sharing and saving files from your desktop capture. One of our favorites is Instant Replay. This feature allows you to auto-save the last 20 minutes of your gameplay by using the hotkeys Alt + F10 while you're playing the game. You can also turn on these features from Share Overlay. Instant replay is one of ShadowPlay’s most popular features. If you find that this feature is not recording while you play, be sure to check that your Camera is activated by heading to Settings > HUD layout and selecting Camera. You may need to toggle HUD layout on and off for this feature.

Take Screenshots

To quickly and efficiently take screenshots in-game, use the hotkey Alt + F1. View your image from Share Overlay. From there, you can share the image on your social media feeds, send to friends, or add to your library.

Setup Webcam

If you want to utilize your webcam for your Let’s Play’s or other videos, you’ll need to enable your webcam. Head to Settings > HUD layout and select Camera. You can configure the placement of your webcam to any of the four corners of your screen from here.

Share Live Gameplay

Want to share your gaming with friends on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or Twitch? Hit Alt + Z to open the overlay, click Broadcast, and make sure you’re logged in to Facebook in Settings. Once configured, you can just hit the hotkey Alt + F8 to share instantly.

View All Hotkeys

Head to Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts to see all the hotkeys to Record, broadcast, upload, capture, and create custom overlays for your live streams. Hotkeys help you quickly achieve tasks in the application while staying active in the game.

Nvidia ShadowPlay is a quick application that allows you to screen record, share live gameplay, and use hotkeys to take action without interrupting gameplay. It's a free option for getting started quickly. Some users may report Nvidia as not recording after hitting hotkeys, not recording sound, not working as expected, or they don’t know how to turn off ShadowPlay to stop recording. That, along with up to 10% loss in game performance due to 4k recording, can be less than ideal for a serious gamer.

If you're still looking for a great, lightweight game recorder for PC, Gecata by Movavi could be a good alternative to ShadowPlay for you. This free software is designed for those who want to start a YouTube channel, Record and share their gaming experiences, and more. Record Let's Play's with ease and simplicity with the application. Enjoy one-click video capture, webcam feature, speakers and microphone recording, web upload, and all the agility you need to get started.