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Steam’s new Game Recording beta lets you instant-replay all those Elden Ring deaths

Watch and learn

A screenshot of the Steam Game Recording beta clipping a Counter-Strike 2 game.
Image credit: Valve

From ShadowPlay to OBS, there’s no shortage of tools and apps that can record and share your finest gaming moments and/or hilarious failures. No matter to Valve, who’ve updated the Steam beta client with a replay system of their own.

As explained in this handy Steam Game Recording guide, you can either start and cease recording clips at your command, or keep it continuously capturing up to 120 minutes of video for later snipping. I’ve given the Game Recording beta a quick whirl in a few games, and while its capture quality is decent, the real reason to use it over rival tools is the video timeline that now lives in the standard Steam overlay. This grants instant access to clips even as they’re in they’re being recorded, so you can skip back and rewatch a moment immediately. As implicitly suggested by Valve’s guide, I employed this feature to replay my perishing at the hands of some knife-spamming Elden Ring bullshit merchant, quickly studying his moves in preparation for a more successful rematch. Neat!

Sharing is a big focus as well, with built-in buttons for sending clips to friends or across devices – ideal if you own both a main PC and a Steam Deck, which, by the by, the Game Recording beta also works on. Alternatively you can just export an MP4 to plonk on your own SSD, which is a refreshingly straightforward process compared to how most other game recorders like to either railroad you into online sharing, or hide your local copies in the deepest, darkest file directories possible.

I still feel that Valve’s effort isn’t quite what I personally want from a lightweight capturing tool: I find my most clippable moments in games happen unexpectedly, with little warning to hit a 'Start recording' shortcut, and while the always-on recording option would suit better, I’m equally un-keen on traipsing through two hours of footage to find a nine-second clip of a Darktide baddie copping a particularly funny rock throw. Medal, which retroactivelycaptures the last few seconds of play on each shortcut press, is the best fit I’ve found so far, but its interface is a UX nightmare and there’s no simple 'Save as MP4' option for trimmed-down clips. Bah.

Nevertheless, I appreciate how Steam’s recording feature is nestled so neatly into the overlay we’ve all been using for years, and that instant-replay functionality could be pretty helpful in those "Wait wuh I missed that" moments. If you fancy trying it out, just opt into Steam’s beta client via the Settings > Interface menu.

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