How to Open Shadowplay: Easy Beginner Guide

So you are new to this Shadowplay recording function? If you have never used the feature before, I can help you with that. It is related to the Nvidia GeForce Experience that encourages you to record your video games. People don’t call it Nvidia anymore, but they have named it Shadowplay. Whatever it is, when you don’t know How to Open Shadowplay, read the entire post and figure it out.

What Is the Nvidia Shadowplay?

Shadowplay is the new term of Nvidia Share and it comes with the Nvidia graphics card model GTX 650 or earlier. Some users say that registering with the Nvidia GeForce Experience is annoying but it is also important. The thing is, if you want to use the Shadowplay option, then you will have to register for the Nvidia GeForce Experience. The features do not cost any money but you can experience your system performance issue.

Some users have reported system-overheat issues due to this Nvidia feature. It is a common thing to experience performance issues during playing a video game. Most games decrease their performance by around 5% and 10% for some high-quality graphics gaming. But if you play games all the time, then you should look into this subject.

Not only let Shadowplay record your gaming but also, it gives you the live streaming option. It offers an FPS counter overlay and can run automatically on your background to record your gaming. While you are playing on PlayStation or Xbox One, you can let Shadowplay record your gameplay. Only computers with the NVIDIA graphics hardware can use this feature. The Shadowplay is somewhat similar to the Windows 10’s Game DVR but with more features. You can use Shadowplay on Windows 7 as well.

Does Shadowplay Impacts on Game Performance?

You can record your gameplay with Shadowplay but it shall impact your gaming performance a little bit. The feature can decrease your gaming performance by 5 or 10% depending on the game. If your computer’s performance is fast then this wouldn’t be an issue at all. However, when you are recording your gameplay, this will take some of your system’s resources. Not only for Nvidia Shadowplay though, but the same thing also applies to the Windows 10’s Game DVR feature as well. But you can disable the feature if you don’t use it at all.

Does Your System Support Nvidia Shadowplay?

To find out whether Nvidia Shadowplay supports your PC or not, visit the Nvidia graphics official website. If you are running Nvidia graphic hardware, you can check that on your computer as well. Open the GeForce Experience on your computer by searching it on your Start menu. If you can’t find the application, chances are, it is not installed. You can download and install the Nvidia application from its official website.

How to Open Shadowplay

Not only for installing the application though, but you can also get graphic hardware updates, game settings optimization, and other useful features from their website. Open the application, and view the My Rig tab then click on the “ShadowPlay” tab. Here you will be able to see if your PC meets the system requirements or not. If your system does support the application, Shadowplay will be ready to use. If it does not support, it will let you know so.

How to Setup Nvidia Shadowplay?

I will tell you How to Open Shadowplay for recording but before that, you will have to enable it within the GeForce Experience app. The application will let you know if your computer is ready for the task or not. Setting up the Nvidia Shadow features does not take much time. But you don’t want to set up anything, that’s okay too. The defaults are also properly working. Here are the processes to set up the Nvidia Shadowplay feature-

  1. Let the GeForce Experience application to install updates on its own for the Nvidia drivers and the application as well
  2. From the main window, go to the top-right side and click on the cog Settings icon
  3. Then scroll down and find In-Game Overlay under Features. There you will find a list of hardware that will tell you if you can run Shadowplay or not.
  4. At the top, turn on the In-Game Overlay option
  5. Click on Settings and you will be able to see the UI where you can make changes
  6. Select the Video Capture option to change the recording quality settings
  7. You can also change the sound settings from the Audio section
  8. And modify the location where to keep the files from the Recordings
  9. To change the UI of Shadowplay, select HUD
How to Open Shadowplay

When you make changes to your settings, make sure to save them after each edit. You can also set up quick hotkeys that will help you start and end recordings. You can use your mouse or UI as well. There are some customization options that will make the service more interesting. So, you can spend some time on it before you start a recording.

How to Configure Nvidia Shadowplay?

The Shadow mode allows you to record the last five minutes and the Manual option lets you record the game on your own. There is the Twitch option as well that lets you broadcast your gaming with your friends. Another option, named, Shadow time allows you to choose the time of how much of your gameplay you want to save. The maximum limit is 20 minutes. Please note that the longer you run the recording, the longer it will consume your disk space. Additionally, how much disk space it would require also depends on your video quality.

How to Open Shadowplay

You can modify the quality of your videos from the Quality option. By default, you will find the video quality is set to High and this records the game at the in-game resolution. That refers to 60 frames per second, 50 Mbps quality, and as H.264 video. Here you can change the settings manually by picking up medium or low categories. Or you can click on Custom and input your own preference. As you go through the customization option, you will find many useful settings that will make the recordings more interesting.

How to Record Games Using Nvidia ShadowPlay?

Now that you know how to set up and customize the Nvidia Shadowplay feature, it is time to finally use it. You can broadcast your live gameplay too if you want but firstly, let’s learn how to record.

  1. When you launch your game or at least playing for sometimes, press Alt + Z to bring up the Nvidia ShadowPlay feature.
  2. Then click on Record to start the recording
  3. Keep playing your game
  4. And when you think it’s the time, press Alt + Z again to stop the recording
How to Open Shadowplay
How to Open Shadowplay
How to Open Shadowplay

Not every game supports Shadowplay by default and they don’t open up directly. Only the games that use Direct3D will directly support Shadowplay but some games use OpenGL instead of Direct3D. To record OpenGL games, follow the next section. By default, the recordings are saved in C:\Users\NAME\Videos\Desktop. But you can change that from the settings.

How to Open Shadowplay

How to Record OpenGL Games with Shadowplay?

Games like Minecraft and DOOM are OpenGL games, so you won’t be able to capture them within a video. Here are the steps to record OpenGL games that don’t support Shadowplay.

  1. Open the NVIDIA GeForce Experience
  2. Go to the Preferences
  3. Click on ShadowPlay
  4. And then turn on the “Allow Desktop Capture” option
How to Open Shadowplay

Shadowplay will now record any OpenGL games and your Windows desktop but the automatic Shadow recording option is not available. You will have to use the hotkeys to manually start and stop a recording.


What is Geforce Experience?

The GeForce application is related to the GeForce GTX graphics card that helps to keep your drivers up to date. Moreover, it helps in optimizing your game settings and helps you to share your gaming progress with your friends.

Where to download Game Ready Drivers from?

You can download Game Ready Drivers directly from the NVIDIA GeForce Experience website and

Why does not my games show up on the gamers tab?

You will have to make sure that your game has support for optimal settings and you can let the GeForce experience app to look for games in your settings by going to the Games tab. Add the location where you can find the game and click on the Scan now button.

Why GeForce Experience can’t optimize some of my games?

Some games download the configuration file under their program files but you cannot modify these files with GeForce or any other software.

Last Words

Not only simple recordings, but you can also capture the highlights of your gameplay as well. For instance, let’s say, you are playing PUBG. Every time you get a kill, your notification bar will inform you saying ‘Single kill saved’. And this only includes the way you got killed. Along with your other screen recordings, you will find this one in the same location. If you want, you can watch your gameplay. Simply select the video ShadowPlay UI or go to the folder where you saved it. All of these videos are saved in the mp4 format.

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