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Steam debuts new game recording tool in beta form

Valve has assured developers the tool has been 'engineered for performance.'

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 27, 2024

2 Min Read
Game Recording in action on Steam Deck
Image via Steam

Steam has launched a new built-in system for recording, editing, and sharing gameplay footage.

Game Recording (yes, that's the name) has debuted in beta form and offers two ways to record. There's a traditional stop-start option that lets players hit record to capture footage, or an in-background mode that will begin recording automatically when users begin playing.

"Steam will begin recording automatically when you start playing so you don’t miss those unexpected moments," reads a blog explaining how the latter works. "You specify the hard drive space limits. Once full, the oldest gameplay will be overwritten as new gameplay is recorded. You can watch, create and save video clips from these recordings."

When it comes to organizing footage, players can manually add makers to recordings to spotlight content they might want to watch or clip later, but 'Steam Timeline-enhanced' titles (those able to notify Steam when relevant events happen) will automatically add markers when certain events occur–such when players unlock an achievement or capture a screenshot.

Recording timelines will also feature 'Game Mode Indicators' that outline when players were in lobbies, menus, or actively playing, while a Highlight Viewer will allow users to quickly jump between event makers.

Clipping and sharing functionality with Game Recording

It's possible to save and share footage and related timeline information as clips during or after a play session. Those clips can then be watched, edited, and shared or exported later on. Alternatively, users can choose to send their clips to other devices–either directly or via the Steam Mobile App or QR code, or by creating a temporary Steam link that can be easily shared.

"Get [your clip] where you want it—whether that’s from your PC to your phone, Deck to PC, or sending to a friend," explains Valve. "Steam stores all Clips in an optimized Steam timeline format for snappier, smoother replays, but at any time you can export to MP4 for easy sharing or editing outside of Steam."

Game Recording is already fully functional on Steam Deck and according to Valve has been engineered for performance. "[The tool] minimizes CPU usage of video encoding by using the dedicated video encoding hardware of your AMD or Nvidia GPUs," added the company.

The Game Recording SDK and API has been made available to developers. Valve claims integration is straightforward and will scale across a variety of game experiences. 

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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