9 Best Screen Recording Software Reviews of 2020 | Buying Guide & Top Picks

Finding the best screen recording software can be a challenge. If you feel like you are navigating a maze of confusing programs and offers this guide is here to help out. Whether you are a YouTube streamer or just want to make videos that show what is on your screen for any reason, it can be hard to pinpoint the best way to do screen recording. Choosing the best screen recording software and best video editor program can be a challenge but we have you covered. But when it comes to recording what’s on your screen there are a number of great programs that can get you started and are compatible across a number of different operating systems from iOS to Windows. The various program features and options are all worth researching and exploring and this guide will help you sort out the program that is best for your recording needs.

What to Look For When Buying The Best Screen Recording Software

If you are looking for good screen recording software the first step is to read the specifications and check they are what you need. The next step is to read reviews from users and see the pluses and minuses they experienced from each respective program. There are various reasons you may wish to record your screen, from preserving the best moments of Skype calls to broadcasting your gaming adventures. Either way, you want the best—and lowest-priced—software out there, that will get the job done with easy settings and a user-friendly interface.

What Makes for Great Screen Recording Software?


The best screen recording software has a range of features and comes at a low price. In particular, users generally find that the best recording software anticipates their needs, is fast and is easy-to-use. Having a fast program that can record your screen and includes video editing tools and special effects makes it a breeze to show everyone what you are working on, post streams to YouTube and share your content on social media. Having high-quality recording software is a big benefit in many ways and can boost your entertainment career and your online presence.

The Best Free Screen Recorder To Date: Record Or Stream From Your Screen 

When it comes to a screen recording Mac or a screen recording PC setup, you are best going with a program that is tried, tested and true. There are a number of options from Camtasia to XSplit to OBS Studio all with various advantages and factors. From the user interface to linking with YouTube and social media, all are set up with various video editing tools and features that will make high-definition streaming a snap and make it fast. From programs like Flashback Express which are optimal for capturing webcam and game footage to in-browser programs like Apowersoft, there is a tool for every need when it comes to video recording.

The 10 Best Video Capture Apps

The best screen recording apps are ones that combine functionality with high performance, maximum system compatibility, and low price. The list below considers all the factors in play and looks at how they stack up, giving a rating out of 5 stars that takes into account operability, user interface, quality, and speed. Nvidia Shadowplay and FFSPLIT are two of the best options, both discussed below. When it comes to recording what is on your screen you want a program that will stand up to whatever you throw at it and then some.

Finding the Best Screen Recording Software

Finding the best recording software for Windows is a matter of weighing your different choices and picking the one that is most suitable for your requirements and has all the key elements you are looking for in video recording software. Each of the programs below has various drawbacks and strengths to be examined that may make it the right choice for you when it comes to choosing the best screen recording software for your needs.

Product Reviews Of The Best Screen Recording Software

1. Camtasia 

4.1/5

The best thing about Camtasia is that it is simple and easy to use. All you need is a few minutes to set up the program and learn the basic controls and you are good to go with recording and editing videos. Camtasia also supports 4K video and has a good mobile app that goes with it.

The color correction and some of the other tools are not everything they could be, but they are far from sloppy or low-quality, either, and Camtasia is not slacking when it comes to having high-definition. Another big plus when it comes to Camtasia is that it has a wide selection for recording what you want, uploading it to social media, recording streams and making sure audio is top-notch.

Camtasia’s library of assets has many great tools you can use from animations and graphics to style templates. Furthermore, it gives you a high-quality screen recording option and video editing program without the bulky style and functionality of more complex programs like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro or Sony Vegas. 

Despite being somewhat more of an entry-level program that does not get as advanced as some other programs on the market, Camtasia can get the job done well in most cases and is recommended as one of the best screen recording software programs out there, including a free demo. The full version will cost you, however, at $277 for Camtasia 19.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • High-definition
  • Integration with social media, mobile app.

Cons

  • Entry-level
  • Pricey

2. XSplit x3

4.3/5

Next on the list is Xsplit X3. This is a reliable screen recording program that is often used by gamers and streamers to record their best content and do everything they need to be done when it comes to recording.

It includes many video editing tools that can be used to splice together epic reels and with high resolution and high framerate. XSplit works well up to 4K and has incredibly good video quality. 

It is quite quick to learn and use as well. Even though some users do not find it offers all the customization options they want, others find this a benefit in that it simplifies matters. XSplit X3 is dependable, fast and has consistently high definition.

Many popular live streams, as well as recordings, are done on XSplit X3 daily and contribute to some of the best content out there, with uploads showing up every minute powered by its great technology and recordings made at 60 fps and faster. Whether you are looking to record a live stream or upload and edit video files, this program can do a great job for you. Although some of the audio settings on XSplit X3 can sometimes be slightly unclear, it is a solid program that has built up respect and admiration from users. XSplit X3 is loved by gamers, streamers and is the best program for use on Windows 10. It is certainly well worth considering if you are looking for a high-quality screen recording option.

Pros

  • Reliable
  • Great editing tools
  • Good for live streaming and recording

Cons

  • Limited customization
  • Confusing audio settings

3. Streamlabs OBS

4.5/5

Streamlabs Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) has earned a reputation as a very high-quality screen recording program—one of the best—and it deserves that reputation. For streamers on Twitch, Wowza, YouTube, and the many other platforms, Streamlabs OBS is often one of the go-to options that they routinely turn to and use.

One of the top aspects of the program noted by gamers and reviewers is that even while live in-game on Mixer or any other platform such as Twitch, the program will incorporate your chat into your window so that you aren’t required to duck out or using any other apps. 

Streamlabs is durable, fast and capable, with multi-functional abilities and high cross-compatibility on different systems. It allows users to easily donate to you and packages together everything the serious streamer needs including a super easy-to-use and quick-running interface with great video quality and minimal burden on your PC. 

The OBS engine used by Streamlabs is highly functional. Although it can sometimes take slightly longer for the set-up process than some other programs and still has small bugs to iron out, the program works up to one-quarter faster than previous versions and some other programs, using about 700 MB of RAM for running an average game.

Pros

  • Streamlined chat and recording interface
  • Cross-compatibility
  • Runs smoothly

Cons

  • Long set up.

4. Nvidia Shadowplay

3.8/5

ShadowPlay from Nvidia is a top-tier screen recording software program that will work on less powerful PCs. It is actually already pre-loaded as an option for anyone who owns a laptop or computer which is already using an Nvidia graphics card, meaning it is ready for action with minimal fuss.

The performance in terms of screen recording with ShadowPlay is generally high, although framerates can dip below 45 while recording high-definition games.

Nonetheless, ShadowPlay is anything but a toy and has an impressive range of settings for playing with everything from bitrate and framerate to video quality. The variety of settings adjustments make ShadowPlay versatile, fun and high-capacity, which makes it an attractive option for some users. It also has handy instant replay options for what you have just recorded and easy interfaces for sharing on social media and making sure you are streamlined and hooked up wherever you want to be online. 

Overall ShadowPlay is worth your attention and can do some great things if you give it the right input. ShadowPlay is a great way to work with your footage and share it online and it is especially focused on recording videos including encoding in H.264 and strong support and compatibility with Facebook Live and YouTube Live. It is also free.

Pros

  • Free
  • Pre-installed on NVidia graphics systems
  • Comprehensive settings

Cons

  • Framerate can dip on graphically intense games

5. Apowersoft Screen Recorder

3.6/5

Apowersoft offers an in-browser screen recorder and a desktop version that is subscription only following a short free trial. Apowersoft is a high-quality program that is easy to set up and runs on factory settings without the need to monkey around.

It is well-linked up to Vimeo, Dropbox, and other locations and allows for some high-quality screen recording although it is not up to the task of recording games. Nonetheless, for recording simple tasks or other things on your screen that you want to save and capture, Apowersoft is ideal.

It is simple to use with a big red record button and you can choose the audio input source and other options with no trouble at all. Despite its advantages, Apowersoft does not always get top marks for its customer service and has some interface and user issues at times.

Taking all of the above into consideration, it is still a fairly dependable program and—although it may not be your first choice in terms of the best screen recording software—Apowersoft is worth looking into and considering.

Pros

  • Integrated sharing
  • Range of recording options
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Doesn’t record games
  • Bad customer service.

6. Wirecast

4.4/5

Wirecast deserves a spot on any list of the best screen recording software and it is one of the top programs in its field, no doubt about it. From its QR code generator to its top of the line audio options, Wirecast is full of the kind of customizations and special perks.

Although the interface is not overly simple and may take a few extra minutes to learn, Wirecast is very easy to use once you have the hang of it and its capacity for live streaming and screen recording is excellent.

 You can also hook up more than one camera at a time and it has a lot of flexibility when it comes to setup and different recording and streaming options. You will want to have a more powerful computer to run Wirecast, but as long as your system can handle it this program will run in very high definition and will not disappoint you.

Wirecast allows you to basically run a small TV studio and pump out as many webinars and live streams and recorded shows as you want, including even interviews. The $449 cost means this is for those looking for a more heavy-duty program, but it definitely has the goods to show for its price including easily broadcasting on multi-protocol channels and using IPTV boxes and iPhones.

Pros

  • QR code feature
  • High power
  • Settings flexibility

Cons

  • Costly

7. vMix

4.3/5

vMix is great for video editing and screen recording and has a great interface so you can stream and record however you need. VMix is easy to use and has a good layout for beginners or anyone looking to get into screen recording and streaming. Any issues are easy to solve using the troubleshooting feature and it has a good sticker price as well starting at $60.

With the ability to add more than one camera and upload chroma keys, virtual sets and many more graphics to your production, vMix is a seriously good program. It can handle and use media from a variety of sources and formats as well. 

vMix is structured in a similar way to Wirecast and is quite effective with output in standard, high-definition, and 4K. There is a free 60-day trial to try it out and a paid version, and it also has a 3D package letting you increase the dynamic nature of your screen recording and use more advanced video editing tools.

Pros

  • Customizable settings
  • Easy to use
  • Low price

Cons

  • Limited free trial period

8. Xsplit Gamecaster

4.5/5

XSplit is an optimal program for broadcasting on Twitch, YouTube and other platforms and screen recording, but it includes a fairly expensive price tag for the upgraded full version at $8.32 per month for three months or $149.95 for three years, though to be fair the premium version also includes the XSplit VCam with its additional features.

XSplit has a reputation for being a stable and dependable platform and it deserves that reputation. It performs smoothly if you are in-game and is easy to operate and switch between different media sources or load in files from your Google Drive or anywhere else. It also has a lower price point than some other programs like Wirecast and interfaces well with Wowza, Twitch, and YouTube.

It is worth noting that you do have to pick a fixed framerate—such as 60 fps, for example—but this generally will not be an issue or downside in most cases. There are a number of available overlays that you can use as well, although they do cost a bit extra, but if you ever need help or more information there is a big community offering support including expert advisers and helpful FAQs.

Pros

  • Stable and strong service
  • Good interface with streaming services
  • Community help forum

Cons

  • Extra price for overlays and extras

9. FFSPLIT

4.2/5

FFSplit is a good screen recording software program that is simple to use and has high-quality, high-definition functionality. It is also free, so FFSplit can be a great way to start recording right off the bat and get used to how things work.

Whether you are recording from a call on your webcam, a game or another task on your screen you can capture high-definition footage that will be expert-level and high-quality for sharing on social media or linking up to Twitch or other similar services. 

Although FFSplit does not have some options like zooming, rotating or color adjustment, it is a free program as mentioned, so its abilities and capacity are still considerable given its price tag.

Another thing to mention is that FFSplit does not work on Windows XP. FFSplit is quite a decent program and works well as a good alternate choice to XSplit. It does let you broadcast more than one thing at once but only works on Windows. It is very agreeable for beginners and is popular in the gaming community though and that is for a good reason, so giving FFSplit a chance can be a good decision.

Pros

  • Highly functional
  • HD

Cons

  • Limited options
  • Incompatible with Windows XP
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