How to Capture and Edit Gaming Footage For Your Let’s Play

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Gaming video is one of the fastest growing and most widely popular genres on YouTube. Minecraft is the second most searched term on the site and of course YouTube’s most subscribed star, Pewdiepie, is a gamer. If you want to make videos and have them seen then getting into gaming is a smart bet. However, it’s not as simple as hooking up a webcam and uploading a vlog. Capturing and uploading gaming footage requires a little bit of extra know-how. Check our convenient guide to getting started.

How To Capture Footage

Use A Camera:


Believe it or not, in most cases you can use the same video camera you use to record traditional footage for your vlog. As long as your camera supports digital input you can hook it up directly to your computer or television to capture what’s happening on the screen. Assuming your camera has a built in microphone it can also be used to record your commentary. A headset microphone or a stand mic will give your audio a more professional feel but if you’re just starting out and want to experiment a bit your camera should be just fine.

Capture Cards:

CApture Cards

If you’re looking to step things up a big you might want to think about employing a capture card, a device that captures and converts audio and video signals directly. Capture cards can either be internal or external and there are advantages and drawbacks to each. An external card is a cheaper, quicker, easier option that will let you capture footage from your computer or console, but there is typically some lag when recording this way. This lag can be eliminated by using an internal capture card, but this option requires a bit more tech savvy and is also more experience. Either option will provide you with the footage you want, but if you go with an external card then be prepared to record your commentary later.



If you’re primarily a PC gamer then there are a number of programs that make capturing your gameplay a breeze. Programs like Screenflow (Mac) Fraps, and GameCam (PC) capture the video output from your computer. Once activated, these programs can run in the background while you game and capture everything that you see on the screen. The major advantage in recording footage directly is that it allows you to record your commentary simultaneously. While many YouTube gamers have found success creating walk-throughs, tutorials, and review videos it’s the classic let’s play, with live color commentary that usually earn the biggest response from viewers.

How To Edit

Premiere Pro

Once you’ve captured your gameplay and converted it into a video file using any of the methods described about the editing process is just like any other video. Programs like ScreenFlow come with built in editing software that will allow you to cut and edit your footage straight away. However, many of YouTube’s most passionate gamers prefer to import their footage into a more traditional editing program like Adobe Premiere Pro, FinalCut or even iMovie. These programs allow creators to add after effects and drop in annotations to give their content a more personal touch.

Of course the most personal touch you can add to any gaming video is your own face. If you want your gaming video to really pop then recording your reactions on a separate camera is a perfect option, especially if you’re an expressive player. If you’re comfortable appearing on camera you can record separate footage of your face while you game and drop that footage into your video using any of the standard editing programs.