Time to start that YouTube gaming career.
Here’s a fun fact for you: the concept of a “let’s play,” or playing a video game while making commentary, originally started on the Something Awful forums in 2005 with an annotated playthrough of The Oregon Trail, though the guy who really brought the practice into its own was another Something Awful forum user named Michael Sawyer, AKA “Slowbeef.” Love that guy. Anyway, these days, everyone wants to capture themselves playing games, browsing the web, or just generally fiddling with their computers for mass consumption. But to do that, you need to know how to record your computer screen. Thankfully, it’s a lot easier to do than it was in 2005.
If your computer is running Windows 10 (and thanks to Microsoft’s efforts, it probably is whether you like it or not), there’s a hidden screen-recording feature in your stock programs. Open up your Xbox app and press [Windows]+[G] on your keyboard to open the Game Bar. If you’ve got an Xbox controller plugged into your PC, you can also bring up the Game Bar by pressing the Xbox button. The Game Bar will confirm whether the program you’re using is a game (it doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t), and then you can start recording by either clicking the record button or tapping [Windows]+[Alt]+[R]. When you’re done, click the button or tap the command again. Whatever you recorded will be automatically stored in a folder in your Videos folder titled “Captures” as an MP4. In the Xbox app, you can also futz with the Game DVR options to change how it records. You can change whether audio is recorded, change the video quality, and put a hard cap on clip length.
Bear in mind, however, that not all computers can use this feature. It takes a bit of muscle to make it work, so if your processor and graphics card aren’t up to snuff, the recorder won’t work. Or at least it won’t look pretty. If you can’t get this to work, there’s lots of dedicated screen-recording programs you can try. I personally recommend Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS. Just remember, recording your screen sucks up processing power like nobody’s business, so don’t try to run too many programs at once.