Guide to the Best OBS Settings for Recording Gameplay in 2021

Blog

Best Recording Video Output Settings for OBS

To get to the Output settings, launch OBS and go to File and then Settings. Next, navigate to the Output tab from the left menu. You’ll probably have a screen in front of you that looks like this:

At the very top, change Output Mode to Advanc

At the very top, change Output Mode to Advanced, which will give us a little more control over the settings. For this guide, we’ll be focusing on recording settings, so head to the Recording tab. Here’s a list of the best recording video output settings for optimal quality in 1080p and 60 FPS:

  • Type: Standard
  • Encoder: NVIDIA NVENC H.264 (new)
  • Rate Control: CBR
  • Bitrate: 16000 Kbps
  • Keyframe Interval: 2
  • Preset: Max Quality
  • Profile: High
  • Look ahead: Enabled
  • Psycho Visual Tuning: Enabled
  • GPU: 0
  • Max B-frames: 2
Next, you can navigate to the video tab to ensure

Next, you can navigate to the video tab to ensure you’re using the optimal settings. Here’s what you can use:

  • Base (Canvas) Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Output (Scaled) Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Downscale Filter: Lanczos (Sharpened scaling, 36 samples)
  • Common FPS Values: 60
We’ll also want to change a couple of things

We’ll also want to change a couple of things in the Advanced tab. Change these settings:

  • Process Priority: Normal*
  • Renderer: Direct3D 11
  • Color Format: NV12
  • Color Space: 709
  • Color Range: Full

If you’re having issues with encoding, you can try setting the process priority to something higher, like Above Normal or High. Your computer will prioritize OBS over other applications if you put this higher.

Lastly, we’d recommend binding some hotkeys

Lastly, we’d recommend binding some hotkeys through the Hotkeys tab if you don’t happen to use a stream deck. Consider binding keys to start and stop recordings and to pause and resume your recordings.

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is an open source software for video recording and streaming. You can download it for Windows, Mac, or Linux here.

Video

Choosing Resolution and Framerate

OBS allows you to choose your own custom resolution and framerate through the video settings. The video settings are used for recording and streaming.

Base (Canvas) Resolution

Base (Canvas) Resolution

The canvas resolution is the resolution used for the preview in OBS. This is the base for the scene that all of the sources are added. Typically you would want to use a canvas resolution that matches your monitor or screen. The most common canvas size is 1920×1080.

Output (Scaled) Resolution

The resolution of your video recording can be set by the output resolution. You can use the output to rescale to a lower resolution if needed.

Downscale Filter

When you are using a smaller output resolution your recording will need to be downscaled to size. This is where the downscale filter comes in. The best downscale filter to use is Lanczos. The downscale option doesn’t put too much strain on your hardware, however, the Bicubic option can also be used on an older system.

Common FPS Values

The FPS value is the frames per second that your video recording will have. OBS has a drop menu that features all of the common framerates used for recording video. We recommended either 30fps or 60fps. Recording in 60fps is particularly useful when it comes to editing, as it allows for smoother slow motion. Whenever you are recording gameplay 60fps is always the best option.

Best Settings for OBS Screen Recordings

Let’s review the best settings for OBS recordings in order to optimize the quality of your video output. It is important to note that these settings are only a rule of thumb, since everyone has different setups.

Firstly, in your settings, click on “output” and then the “recording” tab. Change your encoder settings to NVIDIA NVENC H.264 (new) if you have a 10-series or 20-series NVidia graphics card. This will ensure you get a much smoother recording since it will use your graphics card to encode the video, as opposed to your CPU.

Secondly, make sure that the “rescale output” is unchecked and is at 1920×1080 if that’s your monitor’s native resolution. However, if you want to record in 720p, or if you have a 2k or 4k monitor, check the “rescale output” box, and lower the resolution to that of your liking. Here are some other settings you should have:

  • Rate Control: CBR
  • Bitrate: 12,000 (if you’re recording at 1920×1080)
  • Keyframe interval: 2
  • Preset: Max quality (if your graphics card is a 20-series or newer)
  • Profile: High profile

Lastly, in your settings, click on the “video” tab, and enter these settings:

  • Base (Canvas) Resolution: Native resolution of your monitor
  • Output (Scaled Resolution: Same as the “rescale output” in the “output” tab 
  • Downscale Filter: Lanczos (if you’re downscaling the output)
  • Common FPS Values: 60 (for a much smoother viewing experience)

Should I Use OBS for This Task?

OBS is inherently for recording video content. While you can customize the audio quality, it’s not designed to record audio only. You have to handle the post-recording conversion process too. Instead, we recommend you use a different program.

There are plenty of free and paid programs on the market that allow you to just record game audio. One of the best freeware audio recording software is Audacity. Not only is Audacity easy to use, but you have a lot of free rein over the entire process.

With some tweaking, you can select the source audio to record. This is particularly useful for streamers who want to upload content without their commentary.

A simple fix is to use both Audacity and OBS! You can set up Audacity to the game audio while OBS is set up to only record audio from your mic. After recording, you get both the captured game footage and a separate audio file for the game audio.

From there, you can use video editing software to combine the two if required.

Audacity With WASAPI Driver/Stereo Mix

You can set up Audacity so it records both your game audio and microphone. With this, you only need to use OBS for the video aspect of the recording. You can combine the audio and video as you see fit later.

  1. Install Audacity.
  2. Before launching and recording with Audacity, right-click your sound icon at the bottom right.Select “Open Sound Settings.”
  3. Select “Open Sound Settings.”At the right side of the screen, select “Sou
  4. At the right side of the screen, select “Sound Control Panel.”Select the “Recording” tab.
  5. Select the “Recording” tab.Right-click and select “Show Disabled Device
  6. Right-click and select “Show Disabled Devices.”Right-click and enable “Stereo Mix” or
  7. Right-click and enable “Stereo Mix” or whatever it’s called.
  8. Right-click the microphone you want to record.Select “Properties.”
  9. Select “Properties.”Go to the “Listen” tab.
  10. Go to the “Listen” tab.Check the “Listen to This Device” box
  11. Check the “Listen to This Device” box and apply.Now you can start recording.
  12. Now you can start recording.

This method doesn’t allow you to separate the microphone and game audio. If you wish to do that, you can use the method we described earlier.

There are other methods to record game audio and microphone audio on separate tracks, but those are beyond the scope of this article.

Part 3. Other Game Audio Recording tools

The tools mentioned above should meet almost all of your needs. However, if you are still looking for more options, the following are a few more tools for you to capture game audio on your computer.

1. Icecream Screen Recorder

Compatibility: Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10

With this software, you easily capture the game audio, and you will have an abundance of features to play around with. You have customizable options to record your computer’s screen, like choosing the area you want to capture.

Then, there is the option of audio recording, and you can use it to record your game audio on your computer. You can capture audio from your computer’s mic as well.

Pros:

Pros:

  • Capture game audio and mic audio simultaneously
  • Record part of screen by choosing recording area
  • Record your 3D games in full screen
  • Quickly upload your recordings to various cloud storage providers

Cons:

  • The free version only lets you record game audio for five minutes
  • You cannot have scheduled game recordings
  • You cannot use the tool in a commercial environment in the free version

2. Bandicam

Compatibility: Windows Vista/7/8/10

If you have ever searched for tools to record your screen or record your online calls, you have likely seen Bandicam in your search results. This tool allows you to capture many items, including the computer screen, audio, and even your other devices’ feed. You can use the tool’s audio recording option to capture the audio of the game.

There are configurable options that let you change how you want to make your game audio recordings. You can choose the audio source for your game audio, add your mic audio to your recording if you want, and change various other options in the settings menu.

Pros:

Pros:

  • Capture game audio and record many other items
  • Add your mic recording to your game audio recording
  • Record streaming video in high quality
  • Several customizable audio recording options

Cons:

  • There are not many audio formats to choose from
  • No options to edit your files
  • Adds a watermark to your files in the free version

3. TinyTake

Compatibility: Windows 7/8/8.1/10

TinyTake might not be as popular as other game audio recorders, but it is certainly one of the best tools to capture game audio.

This tool comes loaded with several features like the option to take a screenshot and record your screen, as well as the ability to record audio from your system. This latter option can be utilized to record audio from all of the games you play on your machine.

You can make really long recordings with this tool. Additionally, you can record from the webcam if you want to add a small overlay to your screen recordings. You can add custom shortcuts to make your tasks a bit easier. Once your recordings are made, you can upload them to cloud service that is safe and secure.

Pros:

Pros:

Cons:

  • A bit overwhelming if you are only looking to capture game audio
  • It is not the most user-friendly software to use
  • The focus is only on on-screen recording and screenshots

Part 4. Common Resolutions for Game Capture Issues

If you are encountering many problems such as the inability to get the game capture source to show up correctly, then you may need to check a few things shown as follows.

  • Check for overlays, Anti-virus programs, FPS counters, etc. and consider disabling or removing them. Several third-party applications you installed can interfere with the correct operation of OBS.
  • Run OBS as administrator, which may be necessary for certain situations. When you play games like Call of Duty, Valorant, or others, this may help with performance.
  • If your games like CS:GO and Destiny 2 do not allow OBS to hook in with game capture, then you are suggested to run games on a partial screen and use a Window Capture source instead.
  • Check whether OBS and the game you are playing use the High-performance GPU if you are using a laptop to record games on OBS. If not, you can change games to the High-performance GPU, then restart OBS and your gameplay.
  • Certain DX12 games may cause your game to crash if run with OBS, and due to the graphics API, it may have weird frame issues as well. You can try Game Capture again if your game has DX11 API.
  • If you are recording League of Legends, you have better create two scenes. The first scene uses a Window Capture of the LoL launcher/lobby and then the second scene can use a Game Capture of the game itself. Next, you can use the Scene Switcher to swap between them.

Tags