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  • Post published:31/07/2021
  • Post last modified:31/07/2021

If you have a computer with a NVIDIA graphics card, you may have seen the NVIDIA overlay notification whenever you open up a game. This feature is called NVIDIA Shadowplay, and you can use it through the GeForce Experience overlay. 

If you’re looking to record some gameplay, share it with others, or stream, NVIDIA Shadowplay can do it all. 

Table of Contents

    Before using this feature, there are some things you’ll want to know in order to get the most out of it. In this article you’ll learn how to download NVIDIA Shadowplay if you haven’t already, how to use it, and some pros and cons of using this free feature. 

    Opening NVIDIA Shadowplay 

    Even if you have a NVIDIA graphics card, it’s possible you may not have NVIDIA Shadowplay available. You can check through the Windows search bar for GeForce Experience. If the app doesn’t come up, you’ll need to download it. You can find the software on NVIDIA’s website. 

    1. On the GeForce Experience page, select the Download button. 
    1. Wait for the file to download, then open it. 
    1. Follow the on-screen prompts to install, and then it should automatically launch the program. 
    1. If you find that GeForce experience is already on your computer, you can skip downloading and go right to opening it in-game to use NVIDIA Shadowplay. 

    How to Record with NVIDIA Shadowplay

    If your goal is to record gameplay, follow these steps to do so through the GeForce Experience overlay. 

    1. Open the game you wish to record. You may see a notification for the app appear as the game loads. 
    1. If you see the notification, you’ll find it tells you to press Alt+Z to open the overlay, which will appear over your game. 
    1. If it doesn’t open this way, you can go to your Start menu and search for GeForce Experience. Then select the green triangle icon next to the settings icon to open the overlay that way. 
    1. You’ll see a few features that this app provides for recording. The first is Instant Replay. When you select Turn On, this will start recording gameplay, but won’t save the recording until you hit Alt+F10 to save the last five minutes of gameplay. You can also set a different amount of time for the recording by going to Instant Replay > Settings > Instant Replay Length
    1. Then you have the option to start recording all gameplay with the Record option. Select this and then select Start to begin your recording session. To stop the recording you can hit Alt+F9 or open the overlay and select Stop and Save.
    1. If you also want to have webcam video and microphone audio included in your recording, select the microphone and camera icons on the right-hand side of the overlay to turn these on or off. 

    You can also change the settings of your recordings by selecting the recording feature you want to use, and then choosing the Settings option under Start. You can change quality, resolution, frame rate, and bit rate in your recording. 

    How to Stream With NVIDIA Shadowplay

    Another feature NVIDIA Shadowplay has available is to stream gameplay to a number of different platforms, including Twitch. It’s very simple to do and a good option if you don’t have other streaming programs. 

    Here’s how to stream using Shadowplay:

    1. Open the GeForce Experience overlay, and select the Broadcast Live option. 
    1. Select Start, then choose what platform you want to stream to. 
    1. Log into your chosen platform, add in any information to appear with your stream and then select Go Live
    1. Your gameplay will be streamed to your chosen platform until you open the overlay again and turn off Broadcast Live

    Again, you can also select the Settings option to change the settings of your stream, such as the platform you want to use, the quality of the stream, and more. You can also turn your microphone or camera on or off on the main overlay screen as mentioned above. 

    Change NVIDIA Shadowplay Settings

    If you want to change any settings to Shadowplay before you start recording or streaming, the overlay gives you access to many settings. Here’s how you can access them:

    1. First, either open the GeForce Experience app and select the green triangle icon, or if you’re in-game press Alt+Z to open the overlay. 
    1. From the overlay, look in the right-hand side and select the gear icon to access Settings
    1. In this window you can choose from multiple settings to change. Some you may want to look at include:
    • HUD layout: Change how your streaming HUD appears
    • Keyboard Shortcuts: Allows you to change what keys are used for certain actions
    • Recordings: Change where your recordings are saved to

    There are some other good setting options here, so it’s worth looking to make your recording or streaming experience exactly as you wish. 

    How NVIDIA Shadowplay Affects Gameplay

    According to NVIDIA’s website, using the app may impact your gameplay performance. Usually, this is only about a 5% difference, although if the game is particularly demanding on your computer it could be as much as 10%. 

    Other than that, the difference probably won’t be that noticeable unless you’re playing a game where a high performance rate is important. If you have a powerful enough PC, the change probably won’t affect much more than any other program running in the background might. 

    Using NVIDIA Shadowplay

    If you have a PC with a NVIDIA graphics card, the GeForce Experience app is a great resource for your recording and streaming needs. If you follow this guide, you should be able to get yourself some quality recordings or streaming on your favorite platform in no time. 

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