If you’re a console gamer and want to stream PS4, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox One games, you have to have a game capture card. They allow you to record gameplay and upload it to Twitch or your preferred platform.
Just like headsets for streaming and webcams, there are a variety of capture cards on the market. Some are internal and are inserted into a PCI slot in your PC, while some are external and connect via a USB. Other capture cards can bypass your PC or Mac altogether while you record, using a MicroSD card to save your game play. To help you find the best capture cards for gaming, we’re providing a list of high-quality options for a variety of budgets, tech needs, and streaming preferences.
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Best Game Capture Cards
AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable
For streamers who are just staring out or are looking to keep to a budget, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable is a great option. At around $100, it’s the least expensive option on the list, but it’s still got the quality you need. With a 1080p resolution and a record resolution of 30 frames per second, graphics are clear and clean.
Because the game capture card saves onto a micro SD card, you can bypass running it through your PC while you record. Instead, you simply plug it into your console and your television, turn off the high-bandwidth digital content protection and hit the large red button.
While it comes with proprietary software that allows editing, you do have to visit the website to install it. But once you have that, you’re ready to go!
Elgato Game Capture Card HD60 S
Elgato is the best known manufacturer of capture cards for gaming and the HD60 S is one of the best all-around options for both beginners and even professional streamers. It offers a 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, so you know your viewers will enjoy excellent clarity. There is minimal lag between the gameplay and the preview on your computer, so you can easily stream while you’re recording.
This external capture card has a small profile and uses a USB 3.0 connection. It’s got a straightforward setup that beginners will appreciate, while the 1080p 60fps is enjoyed by even advanced and professional streamers! The only downside is the limited editing options- you’re limited mainly to minor trimming tools.
Razer Ripsaw HD
The Razer Ripsaw HD offers full HD 1080p at 60 FPS so your viewers get an incredible experience, while the 4k 60 FPS pass-through provides you with uninterrupted, incredibly smooth game lay. While that alone is reason enough for pros to enjoy it, the Ripsaw also has full audio mixing capabilities, so you don’t need additional software to mix audio.
One drawback is that its lack of proprietary software means you’ll either have to pay for XSplit or use free Open Broadcasting Software to stream in 1080p. However, most streamers are probably looking to use OBS anyway.
AVer Media Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus
The AVer Media LGP 2 Plus is great for streamers who want a simple setup without sacrificing amazing quality. It offers 4k pass-through at 60 FPS, and records in 1080p so your subscribers get that crisp, high-definition viewing experience.
Setup is a breeze and it works right out of the box using the latest UVC tech. Like the original LGP above, you can run it through your PC for livestreaming, or use a micro SD so you can capture without a PC and read your files on the fly.
Elgato Game Capture 4k60 Pro
If you need a capture card for gamers who stream professionally, the Elgato Game Capture 4k60 Pro is one of the best options on the market. Capture brilliant 4k resolution at 60 FPS and your subscribers and followers will feel like they are right there with you.
This is the only internal game capture card option on our list, and it installs directly into your PCI slot. Additionally, it’s important to know that you need specific hardware to support the 4k60 Pro, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-series graphics card and an Intel Core i7 CPU or higher.
If you want to play while the card is capturing, we recommend using the HDMI pass-through to prevent lag and send your feed to a second monitor or 4k screen. That may seem like a lot of effort, but the result is worth it.
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