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Steam client gets game recording, editing and sharing capabilities

TL;DR: PC gamers who stream or share gameplay clips usually rely on tools like Microsoft’s Game Bar or more complex third-party solutions. Valve aims to provide a new option that embeds accessible recording tools into everyone’s Steam client. One of the feature’s most unique aspect is that it brings game recording functionality to the Steam Deck, too.

Everyone who uses the Steam launcher can now quickly access controls to create, edit, and share clips using the beta client’s new native gameplay recording interface.

Users can record sessions of a determinate length (set to 120 minutes by default) automatically or with the press of a hotkey. Bitrate and disk space limits are also available. Valve estimates a two-hour video at the default 12Mbps quality level should be around 10 GB.

The recorder supports any game that doesn’t conflict with the Steam overlay, including non-Steam games. For privacy, it only records the game window. Users can also control when to record audio from other software like voice chat, and footage is never automatically uploaded.

The feature uses the video encoding capabilities of AMD and Nvidia GPUs by default to minimize performance impact, though Valve doesn’t mention support for Intel Arc cards or AV1 encoding. Steam stores footage in a raw format to increase efficiency, but users can quickly export mp4 clips.

It also has a variety of ways to share clips. Users can send videos between devices where Steam is installed, including to or from a Steam Deck, to mobile devices using the Steam app or QR codes, directly into Steam chat windows, or through temporary URL links.

Steam achievements automatically mark points in recording timelines, and players can manually add bookmarks. The feature has functionality that allows games to highlight player deaths, boss fights, menu screens, lobbies, major accomplishments, or other important moments automatically. Forward and backward chapter controls enable players to skim through highlights quickly. Valve also released developer tools to facilitate navigating recordings.

The new tool is still in beta, but users can easily enter the Steam beta by navigating to Settings > Interface > Beta Participation and selecting any beta option. Once the Steam client has updated to the beta branch, head to Settings > Game Recording and choose the desired mode. Valve encourages users to leave feedback in the Game Recording discussion group.

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