This is our official list in search of the best game capture devices on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and a handy user guide to using game capture devices for a superior gaming experience.
- 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Elgato Game Capture HD60
- 4.5 out of 5.0 stars AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable
- 4.5 out of 5.0 stars AVerMedia Game Capture HD 2
- 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Hauppauge – HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition
- 4.0 out of 5.0 stars Roxio Game Capture HD PRO
We know time is of the essence, so the above is a cheat sheet of what’s ahead, just in case your’re in a hurry. Otherwise, keep scrolling down for more detailed and constructive info on each item.
5 Highest Reviewed Game Capture Devices to Consider
Video games are fun, but they’re much more enjoyable with the best game capture device because you can record unforgettable moments from any game. With a high-quality capture device, you can share exciting gameplay with friends and save it onto your computer for future viewing. Below, you’ll find reviews for five of the top game capture devices.
The Elgato Game Capture HD60 is a popular capture device for game consoles, and it’s compatible with the latest Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox systems. It captures gameplay at 60FPS, and the recorded video is shot at 1080p full HD.
One of the major advantages of this device is that it sends recorded video straight to your Mac or PC, and the flashback recording allows you to record retroactively. With one-click sharing, you can upload your saved video files to Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, and a stream command allows you to add webcam overlays.
The Elgato Game Capture HD60 offers a built-in feature for live commentary, and it comes with an HDMI and USB cable. Many gamers love this device because it can immortalize your skills, and it allows you to share your favorite gaming experiences with friends, family and followers.
- Very easy to set up
- Great for livestreaming
- Records commentary with footage
- Compact size
- Doesn’t come with the best editing software
The AVerMedia capture device is portable, and it allows you to stream and record gameplay from most gaming consoles. It’s even compatible with the NES classic edition, and your favorite gameplay moments are captured in 1080p full HD.
The AVerMedia Live Gamer has a built-in H.264 hardware encoder, and it can record gameplay directly to an SD card. Unlike some other products on the market, this game capture device features ultra-low latency recording and streaming, and with the TimeShfit feature, you can record retroactively.
The Stream engine is compatible with most streaming software, so you can share unforgettable gameplay with friends and family. The AVerMedia Live Gamer features a compact size, and it’s compatible with the major gaming consoles.
- Records HD gameplay at 60Hz
- Doesn’t need to be connected to a computer
- Functions like a simple USB drive
- Easy to use
- Streaming audio can be choppy
The AVerMedia Game Capture HD 2 is another top product, and it allows you to schedule recording. Most other game capture devices don’t allow you to set a specific time for recording, and the AVerMedia HD 2 is compatible with the Wii U, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox.
You can even use it with the NES classic edition, and with theHD 2, you can record, edit, commentate and upload captured footage directly to YouTube. You don’t even need a computer to upload recorded footage, and the GameMate app makes it easy to pair your mobile device to the AVerMedia HD 2.
This game capture device gives you several options for recording, and when you’re ready, you can record footage to an internal storage or USB device. Video is captured in 1080p full HD, and you can use the GameMate app as a remote control for playback, snapshots and recording.
- Great for YouTube
- Installs within seconds
- Records high-quality audio
- Excellent choice for streaming
- Stock firmware can be buggy
The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 captures gameplay in full HD, and for the best picture, it uses H.264 encoding. With an HDMI cable, you can connect this game capture device to your PS4, Xbox 360 or Xbox One, but you’ll need to use a component video cable to connect with a PS3.
The device is easy to set up, and the included HDMI cable has a length of six feet. A major advantage of the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 is that it allows you to record gameplay footage while playing the game, which eliminates the need to interrupt your game.
With a single click, you can upload footage to YouTube and share it with fans and friends. This device is designed for dedicated gamers, and it comes with many features that you won’t get from other capture devices.
- Setup is easy
- Can record many hours of gameplay
- Captures high-quality sound and video
- Smooth operation
- Could come with better instructions
Roxio is a well-known company in the gaming industry, and the Roxio Game Capture HD PRO is a popular game capture device. With an HDMI cable, it can record gameplay in full HD, and it’s capable of up to 1080p 60i.
One of the major benefits of using this device is the lack of gameplay interruptions, and it’s also compatible with M2TS and MP4 AVC file formats. The Roxio Game Capture HD PRO comes with a convenient auto-capture feature, and it allows you to edit videos that have been recorded in the H.264 encoding format.
With the handy editing software, you can add text, special effects, soundtracks, voiceovers and transitions. Captured videos can be uploaded to social media with a single click, and you can quickly share your videos on RoosterTeeth, Facebook and YouTube.
- Comes with great editing software
- Great for livestreaming
- Easy to set up
- Renders video well
- Recording can get choppy above 720p
Brief Guide to Game Capture Devices
The major advantage of using a game capture device is that it allows you to record footage directly from a game, and once you have the footage, you can upload it to your favorite websites and share it with friends.
A game capture device eliminates the need to interrupt your gameplay, and you can quickly edit the recorded footage. If you’re looking for a way to show off your skills or create entertaining videos, then a capture device could be exactly what you need to get the job done.
Many gamers also use these devices for livestreaming, and with a wide range of settings, you have complete control over the output, and you can select the best file size, frame rate and resolution for your needs. Every day, millions of gamers spend hours playing their favorite games, but they can’t record the unforgettable moments that occur within the game if they don’t have a device that can capture the gameplay.
What Are They?
Game Capture Devices are external box-like devices that let you capture what you’re playing on video games. They usually work with Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox, and may even work with PC games too. PC gamers have the ability to download software and record their games, but it is a little more difficult with consoles – so that is where these devices come in.
Nowadays some consoles have the ability to record your gaming, but not to the extent a separate device does. That’s because a device will use its own memory and resources, not borrowing the resources from your console – so you won’t get lag, or be hindered by how much memory it has.
They have the ability to vary the recording quality so you can choose what kind of resolution and image you want. They also usually come with editing software so that you can easily edit them once you have your video.
If you get a high end game capture device it will also compress the video, which eases the load from your computer’s CPU. Video capture happens when video is changes to a digital signal. It then has to be encoded, and both of these are quite intensive tasks which the game capture device takes care of.
Who Can Benefit?
Some gamers would like to record their gaming and be able to play it back and watch some of the highlights later – but many more would like to be able to upload it to You Tube or other social media platforms and share it with others.
These game capture devices give you a very easy way to record your gaming, edit it, store it, and then upload it. There are other ways of doing it – like with a video camera, but they are often more time intensive and take a lot longer to get the video to a place where it can be uploaded.
If you have a You Tube Channel and like to upload walkthroughs and highlights of your gaming then this will help you save a lot of time and get more videos on there. Also if you tend to use different computers or consoles in various places this can be a good option because the devices are very portable.
What To Look For?
Do look at the video resolution. This comes from the number of lines stacked on top of each other to make the image, so if a video is 480×852 it basically means it has 480 lines stacked on top of each other with each line being 852 pixels wide. The higher the number is; the higher the quality of the image. With game capture devices, the resolution ranges from 480p to 4Kp.
The frame rate is the fps number, which means the number of complete still images shown every second. The current standard for this is 24fps, but in game capture devices many will go up to 60fps.
Some game capture devices have SD cards instead of USB slots, so if you prefer one over the other this would be something to keep in mind. Watch out for whether you need to keep the device plugged into a computer or not, as some have to be, whereas others can be free of a PC. A few devices have a remote control which can be a great addition.
Make sure you look at the requirements for your PC – some requirements can be very high and may not match what your computer has. Also look at how fast the connection is – if you have a traditional USB connection then it might take a while for the video to transfer to your PC, whereas if you have the faster USB 2.0 or 3.0 then it will make for a quicker transfer. If you want to do live streaming then you definitely need a USB 3.0 connection.
Some devices will capture your voice as you play, which means you won’t have to add it afterwards. Some also have the ability to split audio and video tracks and edit them separately which can be handy.
What To Avoid?
Be careful not to get the kind of capture card that inserts in your PC unless you use the PC rather than a laptop for all your editing and uploading and don’t mind not having a portable device.
Also watch for which operating systems the device works with, as some won’t work with Linux, or only with Windows. Also avoid getting a device that is made out of cheap plastic and is flimsy as it will probably break sooner.
How do you connect the game capture device?
A standard setup would include a TV, a games console, your game capture device and your computer. The game capture device would usually be linked by HDMI to your TV, and by a special wire to your games console, and then also to your Mac or PC via USB.
Does the picture on the TV have any lag after passing through the game capture device?
No it shouldn’t have any lag at all.
Do you need to be on the internet to record?
No you don’t need to be on the internet to record, but some devices do need you to be connected to a PC to record.
Do they come with editing software?
Most devices do come with some type of editing software but some are better than others. If you find it’s not that great you can usually download a video editor that works well.
Can you export the videos into another editing program?
Yes, videos are usually saved to a folder, so you can open them with other software programs and then edit them.
How do I record my voice?
It depends on the type of device, but some of them have chat link cables that you can connect to an Xbox. Also you should be able to use a headset or connect a microphone to your computer depending on the setup and inputs.
The best game capture device allows you to record gameplay and share your favorite gaming moments with friends or fans. Since these products don’t interrupt gameplay, they’re very convenient, and you can focus your time on creating unforgettable moments within your favorite Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo games.