How to Record Xbox Series X/S Gameplay for YouTube


Have you ever beaten the final boss in a video game and wished you recorded your achievement to share with others?

Well, if you’re gaming on Microsoft’s next-gen consoles you don’t have to wish anymore because you can effortlessly record and share your gameplay.

The Xbox Series X and S have an inbuilt recording feature you can use to record those unbelievable gaming moments to share with friends and family on YouTube or other popular social media platforms.

Want to know how to do that? Read on and I’ll share with you:

  • How to record gameplay directly on the Xbox Series X and S..
  • How to record Xbox Series X/S gameplay using a capture card.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of using the different Xbox Series X and S gameplay recording methods.
  • How to share your Xbox Series X and S game captures on YouTube. 

Let’s get into it!

Three ways to record Xbox Series X/S gameplay for YouTube

There are three main ways you can record the action in your Xbox Series X and S games to share on YouTube:

  1. Using the Xbox Series X/S Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to capture videos on the console.
  2. Using the Xbox Series X/S recording feature with an external hard drive.
  1. Using a capture card to record your Xbox Series X and S gameplay.

I’ll explain each of these methods in detail below.

Record game clips on the Xbox Series X and S

In this method, your Xbox Series X and S game footage will be recorded and saved on your next-gen console.

Before you begin recording on your Xbox Series X/S you should adjust the recording settings to your liking. Here is how to do that.

  1. Hit the Xbox button, located at the center of the Xbox Series X/S controller
  1. On the menu that appears on your screen, navigate to the Capture & share tab, this option has an icon resembling a box with an arrow pointing up, then scroll down and select Capture settings.
  1. On the Preferences Capture & share menu, Allow game captures. If this option is not turned on your Xbox Series X/S will forbid you from recording your games.
  1. Next, set the duration and resolution of your clips in the Record what happened and Game clip resolution tabs.

The Xbox Series X and S recorded game clips are by default set to 30 seconds but you can make them longer by choosing your preferred clip length in the Record what happened setting.

The duration you choose will impact the resolution of videos. For example, if you choose 4K resolution you can only record videos for up to 30 seconds. If you select 1080p, videos will be up to 1 minute long and 3 minutes for 720p.

I recommend you set your game clips resolution to 1080p SDR because the Xbox Series X/S has had some issues recording 4K game clips. Higher resolution videos are also limited to 30 secs.

Don’t worry 1080p still looks great on YouTube.

Note, you can only record up to 3-minute game clips on the Xbox Series X and S. 

If you wish to record up to 1-hour videos you’ll have to use the Xbox Series X/S inbuilt recording feature with an external hard drive connected to the consoles.

For unlimited gameplay video recording, you’ll need a capture card and recording software.

I’ll cover these methods in more detail later in this article.

Once you have your preferred game video capture settings in place, go to the Xbox Series X/S Home screen and start the game you want to record.

While playing the game you can either record something that just happened from the Xbox Series X/S game buffer, or live record your gameplay. 

To do either of the two types of recording:

  1. Press the Xbox Wireless Controller Share button, found directly below the Xbox button, for one to two seconds and a game clip will be recorded. A single press of the Share button will take a screenshot of your gameplay.

Using the Share button is the fastest way to capture Xbox Series X and S game clips. I like it because it doesn’t disrupt game flow by pausing and opening the Guide menu which you have to navigate through to get to the Capture menu to record videos. 

Another quick way you can record gameplay is by pressing the Xbox button, then the X button on your controller when the Guide menu opens to capture a game clip or Y to take a screenshot.

Alternatively, press the Xbox button on your Xbox Wireless controller. When the Guide menu appears on your screen, navigate to Capture & share, then select either Record what happened, or Start recording.

  1. If you select Record what happened, your Xbox will record the previous number of minutes you set for your game video recordings earlier. For example, if you choose 30 seconds, the previous 30 seconds of gameplay will be recorded at 4K. 

If you would like to start capturing your gameplay in advance choose the Start recording option to begin recording as of that moment. 

To stop the recording, go back to the Capture & share menu and hit the Stop recording button.

A recording will stop automatically if you go to the Xbox Series X or S Home screen during a game or use the console’s quick resume feature to switch games.

Whichever method you choose to capture your gameplay a notification banner will appear at the bottom of your screen to alert you that a game clip is being recorded. This banner will fade away on its own after a while.

If you want to quickly view the recorded clip, press and hold the Xbox button on your controller when the banner appears on your screen. The captured video will be played for you to view.

And that’s how to record gameplay on your Xbox Series X and S.

To view game clips recorded.

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller. 
  1. Navigate to the Capture & share menu, which you’re now quite familiar with, then scroll down and select Recent captures. You’ll see up to eight of your recently captured gameplay videos.

If you want to see all your Xbox Series X/S game videos click on the Show All button, and a list of all your gameplay videos will appear. 

Click on the one you want to watch to play it.

One advantage of recording videos on your Xbox Series X or S is that you don’t require any additional software or hardware.

The main disadvantage is you can only record short clips.

You can get around this problem by connecting an external hard drive to your Xbox Series X/S, to record longer videos using the next-gen consoles DVR feature.

I’ll show you how next.

How to use an external hard drive to record longer Xbox Series X/S gameplay for YouTube

Connecting a hard drive to your Xbox Series X/S will allow you to use the console’s inbuilt recorder to capture game videos for up to one hour.

This is not the only benefit you get from using an external hard drive.

The device will also help you save your Xbox Series X/S internal space.

If you don’t have an external hard drive there are several affordable options you can buy on Amazon. 

I recommend the Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive, which has more than enough space for hours of game videos, or the SanDisk 128GB Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive.

Note, whichever device you choose to buy it has to use USB 3.0 or faster and be formatted to NTFS.

Here is how to connect and use an external hard drive to record one-hour Xbox Series X/S game videos.

  1. Plug your USB 3.0 storage device into your computer. Open file explorer and navigate to the device.
  1. Right-click on the storage device, then select Format.
  1. Change File System to NTFS and press Start. Doing this will delete any files on the storage device and completely reformat it. So if there is anything on the device you want to keep, ensure you save it elsewhere before you start the formatting.

Once the formatting is complete unplug your storage device from your computer and insert it in one of the USB ports of your Xbox Series X/S.

  1. Your Xbox will detect the storage device and ask you whether you want to save games or media on it. Select Media.
  1. Navigate to Capture settings by pressing the Xbox button on your controller, then select Capture & share.
  1. On the Preferences Capture & share menu, scroll down to Capture location. Change this from internal to your external USB 3.0 device. 

Immediately you do that a window will appear on your screen stating you can now record up to one hour of gameplay. Click Confirm and you’ll be able to record more than a few minutes of gameplay.

Be sure to Allow game captures in the Preferences Capture & share menu or your Xbox Series X/S will not allow you to record games.

  1. Go back to your Xbox Home screen and begin the game you want to record gameplay for YouTube. 

While playing the game press the Xbox button on your Xbox Series X/S controller, go to Capture & share, then select either Record what happened, or Start recording.

  1. If you choose Record what happened a video of your recent gameplay the length of the time you set in the Record what happened tab will be recorded.

If you choose Start recording your current gameplay will be captured for up to one hour.

If you want to stop the recording before the one hour is up, press the Xbox button again, navigate to the Capture & share menu and click on the Stop recording button.

  1. Videos stored on your external hard drive can be viewed from the Xbox Series X/S Recent captures menu. 

Note, you cannot share or edit gameplay videos stored on an external storage device from the Xbox Series X/S.

To share or edit these videos you have to unplug your external device from your Xbox Series X/S and plug it into your computer. 

When you open the device you’ll see a GameDVR folder that will contain your game clips. Click on a video to watch, play, edit or share it.

Sigh! You now know how you can use the Xbox Series X or S inbuilt recorder to capture short and up to one-hour gameplay videos for YouTube.

If you would prefer a video to take you through the process below is a YouTube video.

How to use a capture card to record Xbox Series X gameplay for YouTube

As I told you above, the Xbox Series X and S inbuilt recording feature only lets you capture up to an hour of gaming video.

If you’re serious about creating Xbox Series X/S YouTube gaming videos you may prefer to record hours of gameplay continuously then go over the footage to select the perfect gaming highlights to create videos for YouTube.

The only way you can capture unlimited Xbox Series X and S gameplay is with a capture card.

Here is what you’ll need to use a capture card with Microsoft’s next-gen consoles.

  • The Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S
  • A PC or Mac computer 
  • A capture card. This device will deliver video and audio from your Xbox Series X/S to a PC for recording at high quality.

I use the Elgato HD60 S+ Capture Card, which I recommend if you’ll be shopping for a capture card to use with your next-gen console. The Elgato HD60 S+ captures gameplay in superb 1080p60 HDR10 quality.

  • Elgato capture software if you’re using a Windows PC or Intel Mac. Elgato software does work with Apple Silicon and Linux PC’s for these types of computers you can use Open Broadcaster Studio (OBS) software.
  • A monitor or TV
  • HDMI and USB cables, which you’ll use to connect the Xbox Series X/S, capture card, and monitor. Your next-gen console comes with an HDMI cable. The capture card also comes with one plus a USB cable.
  • At least one Xbox Series X/S game.

If you have all the above items, do the following:

Step 1: Connect the devices

  1. Take the Xbox Series X/S HDMI cable and plug it into the console’s HDMI Out port then insert the other end of the cable into your capture card’s HDMI In port.
  1. Insert the capture card’s HDMI cable into the device’s HDMI Out port, and the other side of the cable into your TV’s or monitor’s HDMI In port. 
  1. Take the capture card’s USB 3.0 cable and use it to connect your PC or Mac to the device.

Step 2: Set up the streaming software

To use your capture card to record more than one hour of Xbox Series X or S gameplay videos for YouTube you’ll need video capture software.

The Elgato HD60 S+ Capture Card has its own capturing software but like I said this software is only compatible with Windows PCs and Intel Macs.

For Apple silicon and Linux computers, you can use OBS, which is a free to use software

Here is how to set up these softwares on your computer.

  • Elgato software
  1. On your Windows PC download the Elgato 4K Capture Utility software from www.elgato.com/en/downloads.
  1. Once the download is complete, launch the Elgato 4K Capture Utility program. The program will automatically detect your Elgato HD60 S+ capture card.
  1. On the program interface click on Settings then Capture. Select your Xbox Series X/S under Input Device, and HDMI under Input. In the Settings menu, you can also adjust your audio and picture settings. 
  1. Turn on your Xbox Series X/S and start the game you would like to record. If everything is connected properly you should see an image of your Xbox game on your display.
  • OBS software
  1. On your Apple or Linux PC download OBS from OBSProject.com.
  1. Install and open OBS. Press yes on the auto-configuration wizard that appears on your screen. The wizard will take you through recording settings such as resolution, bitrate, and much more. You can always modify these settings manually later.
  1. Right-click inside the OBS interface for the OBS menu to open. Click on Add, then select Video Capture Device.
  1. Select Create New and name your capture card. In the device drop-down menu select Elgato HD60 S+ then click on the OK button.
  1. Go to your Xbox Series X/S and start the game you want to record videos for YouTube. You should be able to see your Xbox game image on your OBS PC screen.

Below is another YouTube video that takes you through how to connect the Elgato HD60 S+ to the Xbox Series X/S. 

  • Step 3: Start Recording

With all devices connected and video capture software in place, you’re now ready to record Xbox Series X/S gameplay for YouTube.

To record using the Elgato 4K Capture Utility program press the Big Record button on the software interface.

To start recording on OBS go to the Controls tab at the bottom right corner of your screen and click on Start recording.

If you want to adjust your audio and video settings before you begin recording on OBS you can do that by selecting Settings under the Controls Tabs.

Your Xbox Series X/S game recordings will be saved on your computer from where you can view, edit or share them on YouTube.

Now that you know how to record Xbox Series X and S gameplay on Microsoft’s next-gen consoles, with an external hard disc, and capture card, you’re probably wondering how you can upload videos captured to YouTube.

I will write a detailed article on how to do that soon. 

For now, here is a YouTube video that quickly takes you through the process of uploading videos to YouTube from the Xbox Series X/S.

Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts