Recording Locally with OBS

After talking with some friends about recording Overwatch locally for uploading to your favorite sharing service, I decided to write up my settings to help people get some high quality recordings created. I also wanted to touch on the keybinds and the replay/clip system built into OBS and how you can use that as well.

Note: All of these settings are for recording locally. If you stream with OBS please save all your settings or maybe run two installs as some people. I’ve gotten used to switching the settings between my two setups so it doesn’t take long, but do what works for you.

There are two ways I like to record things in Overwatch. Entire games, and just clips. These settings that I use make large files, the clips I make are three minutes long and are 900-1GB in size. You can instantly upload them to YouTube and they will work, but obviously take some time. I usually run them through Premier. I get an encode time usually of 2:1 on my system, a 3 minute clip will take 6 minutes to render. I end up with a much smaller file, around 200-300 MB for a 3 minute clip. The upload time, and the YouTube processing time is much shorter, but the quality is still great (1080@60fps).

OBS Encoding Settings

OBS Encoding

OBS Encoding

These are the encoding settings that I use. I set the buffer size custom size and zero, this will ensure that you are getting the maximum bitrate from the x264 encoder. Make sure that CBR is not checked, set quality to 10 and set the bitrate to 40k. I rarely see the bitrate get that high but I will see it spike well over 30k which is another number many people will use. Play with the settings and just make sure it’s high enough for your setup. Give yourself some room to breathe. Remember you’re recording locally!

OBS Broadcast/File Settings

OBS Broadcast

OBS Broadcast

In your Broadcast settings this is where you will setup your file paths and names for your various saves. In here you will also set how long you want your highlight clips to be. I put mine at 180s/3 minutes because I like to just save the final score screens, the Overwatch Play of the Game and how a match ended. If I wanted to just rip out the Play of the Game later in Premier this was easy enough to do. Adjust your Replay Buffer to the length you want your clips to be.

OBS Video Settings

In your Video section you can set your FPS there for your recording. There’s not much else to talk about on that screen. For local recordings you should be able to easily set this to 60 fps.

OBS Advanced Settings

OBS Advanced

OBS Advanced

Advanced section is where you will basically just want to copy this entire image. The Custom Encoder Settings line you can play with, 15 is a generally well accepted value for quality, but you can go up/down from there, but I wouldn’t go much over 20. I want to play with this some more on my system now that I’ve upgraded some items.

OBS Keybind Settings

OBS Keybinds

OBS Keybinds

The keybinds section is the place where we can make starting/stopping recording and taking replays/clips pretty easy to do.

With these keybinds here is what I usually do.

Game starts (either a match or literally just the game) – F12
Want to capture last X seconds from my replay buffer – F11
If I want to record any specific section that I’m aware of, maybe I’m setting up a trap or some skillshot. I can just hit F10 to start recording it, and hit F10 when I’m done. You might use this instead of the replay/clip method because you want to record a longer segment than your replays would capture, etc.

If you just want to record the entire game, F10 at start, F10 at end.

Any questions reach out to me @Nicarras on Twitter.

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