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Steam’s New Game-Changing Upgrade Has Me Hooked

I’ve been playing games on Steam since 2004, which makes me feel as ancient as the Easter Island statues. Despite using Valve’s digital platform for nearly two decades, it still manages to surprise me. Recently, Valve dropped a delightful new feature that I’m already obsessed with.

Steam Game Recording is now available in beta, and it’s a game-changer. This new built-in system allows you to record footage of your Steam games, replay it, cut it into clips, and either download it to your PC or share it with friends via a QR code or custom Steam Share Link.

The best part? It’s incredibly easy to use, though there’s a small hurdle to get started. You’ll need to opt into Steam’s beta program. To do this, open Steam, go to “Settings” > “Interface” > “Beta Participation,” and you’ll be automatically signed up. After a restart and system update, “Game Recording” will appear near the bottom of the Settings menu.

Even better, you can access the beta on Steam Deck, and the new recording system is fully functional and “Steam Deck Verified” on Valve’s handheld. Accessing recorded videos is as simple on my Steam Deck OLED as it is on my desktop PC. Just select a game from your library, and you’ll find your footage in the new Recordings and Screenshots folder. Note that videos are currently saved locally and cannot be accessed via the cloud yet.

For recording, you have two options: Background Recording, which continuously captures footage for up to 120 minutes, and On Demand Recording, which you can manually start and stop with a hotkey. If you’re short on storage, the latter is probably the better choice, especially since the highest quality setting uses 24 Mbps of storage.

Another cool feature is the ability to place Event Markers on the Steam Timeline. These act as bookmarks in the Replay function found in the Steam Overlay. For example, you can drop a marker before facing a boss in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree, making it easy to jump back to that point and learn from your mistakes.

Editing captured footage is intuitive and uncluttered, similar to the PS5’s video editing approach. Creating clips up to 12 seconds long via the Replay editor is simple, whether you’re using a PC controller or a keyboard and mouse.

The only issue I’ve encountered is with HDR. While games using Windows 11 Auto HDR play back fine, some titles with existing HDR can appear washed out. This was particularly noticeable in Red Dead Redemption 2. However, HDR footage from Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty looked fine on my setup.

Overall, recording games on Steam has been a breeze and a blast. Not having to use third-party capture software is a huge plus, and while the highest quality footage isn’t quite 4K, it’s still more than good enough for reliving memories or sharing moments with friends.

And just when I thought I couldn’t love Steam any more, this feature proved me wrong.

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