Recording video

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3rd Party Recording/Capture Software[edit]

A lot of the time it's best, and easiest, just to use programs like these to record gameplay:

  • Bandicam (must use version 1.8.2 or higher if you want lossless recording via third-party VFW codecs)
  • DxTory (¥3600 or regional equivalent)
  • Fraps
  • MSI Afterburner (freeware)
  • Open Broadcaster Software (Local Recording mode) (free software)
    • Note that it is impossible to get lossless video out of OBS, even with settings that produce lossless video or a lossless codec. The recording is lossy before it even goes through any processing.
  • ShadowPlay (Nvidia exclusive) (freeware)
  • CamStudio (Open Source)
  • Camtasia

General Recording[edit]

Some emulators like Snes9x and Nestopia utilize the Video for Windows (VFW) framework to give the option of choosing a specific video codec to record the footage in. Options include recording with lossless codecs like Lagarith, which can greatly reduce the file size than if it were uncompressed. These emulators record the audio in uncompressed PCM and mux both streams into AVI files when finished recording.


RetroArch records in lossless RGB x264 with FLAC audio and can take up a lot of disc space/processing power for high-resolution video. Recording options aren't currently implemented in RGUI, so you either need to use Phoenix or CLI. It's recommended you record to MKV format. For command line:

retroarch.exe -r "C:\Path_to_Recordings\recording_name.mkv" --menu
Example of default settings

By default RA will record at native resolution, to record at a higher resolution, use --size then specify WIDTHxHEIGHT. You can also set --recordconfig to use a specific config file when recording. By default, it will only record filters.

To record with shaders, add: video_gpu_record = true to your config file. Depending on resolution/shaders your performance can take a massive hit. Example video.


To record video with PCSX2, you can choose Tools -> Video Capture in the top toolbar (when the VM or game is running).

To change the capture settings, go to Settings -> Graphics in the top toolbar, then Recording.

You can choose a folder where it records the file, what container (mp4, mkv, mov,avi,wav,mp3), video/audio codec/bitrate it uses, and of course, video resolution and extra arguments. Since this is just ffmpeg, you can use ffmpeg's arguments here; it uses a special format for parsing the arguments (here's a small example): qp = 19 : preset = p1

You might need to manually add ffmpeg's dll files to PCSX2's root directory on Windows (maybe on other OSes too). 


It was once not recommended to record through Dolphin, as you'd need specific builds that are edited for A/V sync and couldn't use Dual Core or Idle Skipping (causes desyncs). These problems have been resolved, with Dolphin having internal ffmpeg dumping since 2017. It's also recommenced to tick "Frame Dumps use FFV1" in the last tab of the graphics configuration dialog box if you'd like your dump to be lossless.