If you want to record your gaming or make software tutorials, you’re going to need a screen recorder.
In this article and video above we’re going to check out the best free screen recording software for 2018. None of the screen recorders in this top list have any watermarks or recording time limits.
|#||Name||Desktop Recording||Gameplay Recording||Selected Area||4K||60fps||Platforms||Rating|
|1||Open Broadcaster OBS||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Windows, Mac, Linux||9/10|
|2||oCam Screen Recorder||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Windows||8/10|
|3||Nvidia ShadowPlay||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Windows & Nvidia Graphics Cards||7.5/10|
|4||Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Browser based but requires Windows launcher app||6.5/10|
|5||iSpring Free Cam 8||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Windows||6/10|
#1 Open Broadcaster (OBS)
Open Broadcaster or OBS as it’s called, is still probably the overall best free screen recorder. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux. And yes it is open source.
OBS is mainly for streaming but it also functions as a screen recorder.
With OBS you can record anything from 720p to 4K videos. It supports common video formats such as MOV and MP4. It can record your full desktop, gameplay footage, webcam and even specific program windows. You can also overlay your webcam and apply graphics, images, text and even looping audio or video files. You can also apply and change hotkeys to start and stop recording.
OBS has no ads, spyware, tracking, watermarks or time limits.
The downsides with OBS is that it sometimes consumes a bit too much computer resources and for some people who maybe don’t have the best computer it can get a bit laggy.
OBS is also somewhat difficult to setup for a beginner, but I have made some basic tutorials for OBS to get you started, which are linked below.
#2 oCam Screen Recorder
oCam is a screen recorder by OhSoft, for Windows only. The free license is for personal use. If you want to use oCam for a commercial purpose you need to pay for a license. Although how or if they enforce that, I’m not sure. oCam does not have any spyware, watermarks or time limits for recording, but it is ad supported.
With oCam you can record gaming and desktop footage, as well as a selected area on your screen. You can also overlay your webcam while recording your desktop or video games. Additionally its also possible to record audio only and export as MP3 and other formats. As for the video formats, it supports MOV, MP4, MKV, WMV and a few others.
You can record 720p, 1080p and 4K footage at 60fps. The recording area can also be adjusted manually in addition to the preset settings.
oCam also has mouse cursor highlighting and click effects, and you can add your own personal watermarks to your videos.
I have made a oCam basic tutorial to get you guys started. It’s linked below.
#3 Nvidia ShadowPlay
Then we have Nvidia ShadowPlay which is included in the GeForce Experience driver management software for Nvidia graphics cards. Yes this software is only for Nvidia graphics cards and only for Windows. If you have a Radeon graphics card, then check out Radeon ReLive which has similar features.
With ShadowPlay you can only record gaming footage, not your desktop. That being said it can record up to 4K resolution at 60fps. It’s also possible to use graphics overlays and include your webcam feed in videos.
ShadowPlay can broadcast to Twitch, YouTube and other streaming services as well.
However the feature that makes ShadowPlay stand out is it’s Instant Replay feature. With Instant Replay you can continuously record the last 15 seconds and up to the last 20 minutes of your gameplay depending on your settings. So if you did something cool and forgot to press the record button, which tends to happen a lot for me, don’t worry, Instant Replay recorded it. Just press the Instant Replay hotkey and the footage is saved to your harddrive.
Again, to get Nvidia ShadowPlay, you must have a Nvidia graphics card that supports it. Then just download the GeForce Experience driver management software. Once in the software, enable “In-Game Overlay”, configure the ShadowPlay settings and you’re good to go. If you have a Radeon graphics card, check out Radeon ReLive.
#4 Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder
The Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder is a browser based screen recorder. But it still requires a launcher app to be installed on your computer.
With Apowersoft you can record your webcam, entire desktop or a selected adjustable area on your screen, including audio from your microphone. Apowersoft can also highlight your mouse cursor, apply annotations and drawings while recording and so on.
Recordings can be saved as your full screen resolution in many different video formats including MP4 files. The recordings can also be directly uploaded to services such as YouTube or Dropbox.
#5 iSpring Free Cam 8
iSpring Free Cam 8 is a free screen recorder for Windows only as a 32-bit application. But it can also be used on 64-bit computers. The program can record desktop footage, a selected area on the screen or a selected desktop application. You can also record audio from your microphone, in addition to the sounds playing on your desktop.
The output can be exported to a WMV, or Windows Media Video file, at 720p resolution and 15 frames per second. iSpring can also have the mouse cursor visible and highlighted and record mouse click sounds as well.
This all means that iSpring Free Cam is best suited for recording desktop footage such as software tutorials or similar things. It is not good for gaming at all.
iSpring does also have a simple video editor which can be used to trim video clips, remove audio noise, adjust audio levels and apply fade in and fade out effects.