OBS Studio, or OBS as we will refer to it in the wiki, is a free and open-source software for live streaming and recording. Here you'll learn how to configure and install OBS.
You should the latest version of OBS from the official downloads page. This page provides multiple sources from which you can install it.
winget install -e --id OBSProject.OBSStudio
scoop bucket add extras; scoop install extras/obs-studio
choco install obs-studio
- Flathub (recommended):
flatpak install flathub com.obsproject.Studio
- Arch-based distros:
pacman -S obs-studio
- Ubuntu-based distros (copied from OBS download page):
At the moment, OBS settings for macOS aren't considered in the documentation.
brew install --cask obs
- MPEG-4 (.mp4) has the best compatibility, and will work for Discord embeds and in pretty much any video editor
- Matroska Video (.mkv) has decent compatibility, but won't work for Discord embeds. However, if OBS suddenly closes or your computer unexpectedly shuts down, your recording will be saved, unlike
- You can convert
.mkvand other formats to regular
.mp4videos within OBS using remuxing.
- You can convert
- Click Cancel on the Auto-Configuration Wizard to skip it
- Open Settings Video
- Change the Output (Scaled) Resolution to exactly match your Base (Canvas) Resolution
- Switch Common FPS Values Fractional FPS Value and modify the numerator to change your desired output FPS
- Go to the Output tab, and change the Output Mode to Advanced
- Recording Format: Use MPEG-4 (.mp4) for compatibility or Matroska Video (.mkv).
- Go to the Audio tab, and under Global Audio Devices, configure your audio devices
- Click OK on the Settings window
- Adjust the Audio Mixer to your liking
- Add a Display Capture source (unless you're on Linux)
- At the top, go to Docks Stats, then drag it to the side of the preview to dock it, then adjust the sizing how you'd like
The stats dock is used for monitoring if your OBS settings can keep up with your computer, as well as other statistics shown.
The main two statistics to indicate lag are encoding lag and rendering lag. If one of these statistics are increasing when recording your game in movement, then you should adjust your OBS settings.
Replay buffer is a feature in OBS that allows users to save only the last specified seconds of a recording to a video file on the press of a button or hotkey. It uses RAM as a temporary storage, similar to NVIDIA's Shadowplay.
It's very useful for testing encoder settings (with lots of movement in the test) without making lots of useless video files, as well as easily clipping moments in gameplay or whatever else.
You can configure it in the Replay Buffer tab in Output, and you can set hotkeys for it in Hotkeys after it has been enabled.
Where to go from here
NVIDIA's encoder (NVENC) is by far the best for recording, as it is fast and not resource intensive, unless you push it to its limits. Other encoders may struggle to record very high FPS, such as 240 FPS and over.
From here, you'll want to go to the page which fits your GPU.
These are much slower and more resource intensive than the GPU/hardware-accelerated encoders listed above, but they're also universally compatible and much more filesize efficient.