When deciding between one graphics card or another, in addition to performance and price, many users often look for the services, additional programs and APIs that they offer. For example, in the case of an NVIDIA graphics, users have access to PhysX physics, Ray Tracing APIs and, in addition, to a series of programs, tools and options that are available within the GeForce Experience package. And one of the components that we can find within this package is ShadowPlay.
NVIDIA ShadowPlay is a simple tool designed to allow all players to easily record their games, take screenshots and broadcast live over the Internet without the need for additional software or other programs.
Of course, before continuing we must take into account that ShadowPlay has a negative impact on the performance of the games. Various tests show that when using this software, the FPS of the games can drop between 5% and 10%.
What do I need to use ShadowPlay
ShadowPlay is an NVIDIA tool found within the GeForce Experience package. Therefore, the two essential requirements to use this tool is to have an NVIDIA graphics card (800 series or higher) on your computer, in addition to the latest version of the drivers and the GeForce Experience .
Regarding the requirements of the computer, NVIDIA indicates that we need an operating system with Windows 7, 8.1 or Windows 10, in addition to 4 GB of RAM to keep everything running smoothly. As for the CPU, it does not specify minimum requirements, but an Intel Pentium G or core i3 or higher, or an AMD FX or Ryzen 3 or higher is recommended.
Check if my PC is compatible
GeForce Experience allows us to easily know if our computer supports these functions or not. For this, what we must do is open the Experience menu, enter its configuration (from the gear-shaped button) and check if the ” over position in play ” section appears as “Done”. If so, we can use ShadowPlay. If not, we can check to see what is going wrong.
If our computer supports ShadowPlay, before using it we must activate the NVIDIA panel overlay in games. For this, if we look at the previous screenshot, we will be able to see a section called “In -game overlay “, along with a switch.
If the switch is activated, we can start using this overlay without problems. If it is not activated, we can easily activate it by clicking on it.
Record the game
If we already have our computer ready and GeForce Experience configured, we can start recording. For this, what we must do is open the GeForce Experience overlay panel with the keyboard shortcut Alt + Z and we will be able to see the NVIDIA Share menu.
As we can see, we will be able to choose 3 different actions:
- Instant replay . NVIDIA will constantly record and save the last 5 minutes of our game. If we get a feat, we can use the Alt + F10 keyboard shortcut to save these 5 minutes directly on our computer to share it on social networks. All parts of the videos that we do not save will be deleted.
- Record. The standard option. Clicking on this button will start recording our screen. Everything we do will be recorded and saved by ShadowPlay. We can start recording at any time with the Alt + F9 keyboard shortcut, and stop recording with this same keyboard shortcut.
- LIVE broadcast . We can broadcast our games live through social networks with this option, without using any additional software.
The recordings will be saved directly in the “Videos” folder of our personal directory in Windows 10.
Set the quality of ShadowPlay recordings
By default, NVIDIA usually configures parameters according to the hardware of our PC to achieve the best quality with the least impact on performance. But, if we want, we can customize it. To do this, all we have to do is open the NVIDIA overlay panel (Alt + Z, remember) and go to the options section by clicking on the gear.
The first thing that we will be able to see here is the possibility of changing the default directory where the videos are saved. In this way, if we want to have the videos at hand, we will be able to do it.
We will also be able to configure the quality, resolution and bits of the live broadcast. In this way we can adjust the quality and other parameters according to the quality of our Internet connection.
We will also be able to customize the quality of the video capture. From here we will be able to configure the time we want the instant replay to record (from 15 seconds to 20 minutes), the quality, the resolution of the game, the FPS and the bit rate of the recording.
The higher these parameters, we remember that the videos will look better, but they will take up a lot of space. We must ensure that we always have enough space to be able to save the videos that we record without problems.
And finally, NVIDIA will also allow us to customize the shortcuts we want to use to configure this feature of the GeForce Experience software. We have indicated the keyboard shortcuts that come by default. However, if we have dedicated keys on our keyboard, or we like to have our own keyboard shortcuts, we can change them to assign the ones that are most comfortable for us.
We can change from the default shortcut to launch this overlay panel to the keyboard shortcuts to capture, record or retransmit. We will also be able to take screenshots while playing the most epic moments with a key combination. Keys that, of course, we can customize.
As we see, GeForce Experience offers us a complete collection of tools to record and broadcast our games. Of course, to use them it is essential to have an NVIDIA graphics card in our computer. In case of having an AMD graphic we will have to use its own software center, and in the case of having an Intel graphic we will have to resort to specialized recording software.