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How to record with OBS - You're a bandit? A victim? Record just in case! (Updated guide)

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Hello there, traveller. So you would like to record, but you're not sure how. People say "use Shadowplay" but you don't have geforce GPU? Or you just simply don't like shadowplay and you're looking for another software. Well then, here you go - I may be not a specialist regarding this topic, but thanks to some basic research I've managed to setup working OBS - some settings and numbers you'll see in this guide are based on recommended setups. This guide is also based on my old guide from December 2015, but due to some simple UI changes and couple of people asking me about recording software, I've decided to update that baby. This guide is my take on quick and simple setting up.

Since I've joined DayZRP community almost daily I go through solved reports to learn from them. It strikes me how many players don't have a video evidence - especially when one decides to roleplay as a bandit or tires to roleplay mental health issues, which may be percived as trolly. The following guide will show how to quickly set up recording in quality good enough for a possible report, even if you have a medieval PC (as I used to have when I've started playing DayZ, now I have a Renaissance one). You can adjust all the settings I will give but with the ones below I'm able to record all my gameplays (longest recordings lasting 6h) without a pause and any noticable frames drop.

If there are any problems with this guide and some steps don't work, please let me know. If you have any questions, you can ask them here or reach out to me in a PM - I'll try to help if I can.


Step 1: Getting OBS

Get your OBS -> https://obsproject.com/ , pick desired system version, install it and launch it.


Step 2: Pick what you want to record

Now it's time to pick what you want to record. As on the image below, create a new scene: Rightclick the scenes window (it's going to be empty for you), click Add from the dropdown menu and then pick the name of the scene, for example "DayZRP.com". 



Now rightclick the window under the sources, pick Add from the dropdown menu and pick "Game capture" from submenu, as seen on image below. Name it.



Start up DayZ and alt-tab back to desktop to make next steps easier. Now choose the settings as in the image below. As "Mode" pick "Capture specific window". You could probably go also with "fullscreen app" but I had some problems with that setting. As "Window" select your DayZ.exe from the dropdown menu (it should appear automaticly after running the game).



Now scroll down a little bit and make sure that "Use anti-cheat (...)" is selected - this should prevent recording only blackscreen. If needed, check also "show cursor". Press Ok/Apply. If the preview window is still black, alt-tab back into the game, and once again into the desktop. Preview window should now show you the game.



Step 3: Basic settings

From the lower right corner of OBS pick "Settings" and go to Output tab. Video Birate -> depending on your machine specs, you can go with low number 2000-3000 for a low quality recording (that's still a viable proof) or higher qualities (I have 10000 setup for streaming/recording). The best way is to do some test runs and figure out how OBS is affecting your frames/game performance. I've recorded whole sessions on a very potatoe PC with birate set to 2000-3000, without any impact on the performace - but do some test runs!

Encoder should be set to x264 - encoded files have smaller size then raw footage. If  you don't see that encoder, you'll have to dowload x264 video codecs (QuickTime) or try other solutions.

Recording path is a place on your drive where the videos will be stored. Recording format should be set either to .mp4 or .flv. If you're worried about OBS crashing and files being corrupted, you should go with .flv, as .mp4 files might get corrupted (according to the warning in OBS).



Now go to Audio tab (below the Output tab) and add the audio devices you're using -> for me it's one microphone device and two audio devices. This strongly depends on your setup, and setup of your apps (like discord) that may be using different sources. 



Go to Video tab and just make sure that the desired resolution is set -> check Base (Canvas) Resolution.



Now press "Start recording" and do some quick testruns. Review the test footage - if it's recording video, microphone and sounds correctly. I usally press start recording before starting up the game (unless I forget to start recording...) and stop it after I'm done (or you can alt-tab every now and then to stop/start, splitting this way session files into smalle chunks).

Here are the examples of recording quality:

1. Bitrate ~3000 (video from 2015, old PC)



2. Current settings (as seen in images)



Hope it helps with setting up your OBS. Have a nice day!

Edited by DerrickStorm

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I will add as a small note.

If you are using a USB microphone such as a Blue Snowball and you have recently updated to the Windows 10 May update after setting up your OBS, you may wanna re-check your OBS to make sure it has the correct microphone set.

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I usually use Geforce Experience whilst playing. It does not noticeably affect my gameplay and you can just save the last 5, 10 or even 30 minutes. It can also start recording at any given time.

It does give you an overlay ingame and can be annoying at some point when you press alt+z

Still if you randomly get kossed outa nowhere it is a great option.

(Would not recommend if you are gonna use it for making youtube videos tho.)


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@Ducky Damn, I've seen you mention it somewhere but completely forgot about putting it in. Thanks man!

@JobScholten When I started feeling the need to record I didn't have Geforce GPU. What I dislike about Shadowplay is that first couple of times it didn't record my sound properly (yeah, 50-50 my fault, but I blame shadoplay). Lack of advanced audio and video options makes some thing impossible. Recording Instant Replay (last 5, 10, 30 minutes) is a nice feature, but here comes my inexperience - while this is active, geforce Experience is constantly using your drive to store those files and keeps overwriting them in case you decide to save them, right? So doesn't it have a longterm negative affect on SSD? What I really like about shadowplay is that some games (mostly battleroyale games) can automaticly send the message to shadowplay to save every short replay with a kill or a win - it's a great feature. Also shadowplay is already 'setup'.

So if you have a geforce GPU and shadowplay works properly and it's enough for you (and you'll remember about saving the footage in the heat of the moment), go for it! If you don't have geforce GPU or are pisses at shadowplay, I would recommend OBS. Yes, tutorial itself looks like it's half an hour but in reality setting up OBS properly takes about 1 to 5 minutes if you follow instructions.

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