Beginner Tips: Using the Xbox One and PS4 Record Features

Image courtesy of Derek Nichols
Image courtesy of Derek Nichols

To me, one of the best aspects of this new generation of systems is how easy they make capturing video gameplay. For those of you who have been playing games for a while, I’m sure you can pinpoint a few times where you do something great or see something totally crazy happen in a game and only wish you could have somehow recorded the moment to show other people. Thankfully, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One now make this dream an easy reality.

I’m using these features quite regularly (probably more than I figured I would), but I will admit trying to use these features successfully was a little obtuse at the beginning. Certain aspects of these sharing features were either not explained well or just not documented clearly enough. So, in an effort to provide some community service to you all, I figured I’d lend a helping hand and share some tips for both systems.

Have anything else you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.

Xbox One
I have to hand it to Microsoft, they really made the video capture process super simple and thankfully it’s been well documented and talked about from the beginning. Being able to record video clips on the Xbox One was a natural and fun process. What the system doesn’t do as well as it’s PlayStation counterpart is capturing screenshots. It’s a little more in depth than just pressing a button, but we’ll get tot hat. For now, the following tips will be your best friend for capturing that epic moment on the Xbox One.

“Xbox, Record That”
The phrase that everyone with a Kinect should know, saying this particular phrase will record the last 30 seconds of gameplay for you. So if you do something cool and you want to share it, say that phrase and it’ll be yours to keep and then upload via Upload Studio. Granted, now that Xbox One can ship without Kinect, this phrase will only be available to those with a sensor (obviously).

Snap Upload
Lets say you want to record something longer than 30 second. For that, you’ll need to first boot up the game and then snap the Upload app. If you have a Kinect, you can say the phrase “Xbox Snap Upload” as well for the same effect.

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Once that is done, you can start recording and either have the timer run out after 5 minutes or stop the recording at any time. Unlike PlayStation, Xbox (at the time of this writing) records up to 5 minutes of gameplay. For you voice activation fans, the commands to say are, “Xbox select, Start Recording” and then “Xbox select, stop recording”.

Keep in mind that to switch windows, double tap the middle button on the Xbox controller. You’ll also want to save your video clips in the Upload DVR as unsaved gameplay clips do have an expiration date on them.

PlayStation 4
Honestly, out of both systems Sony’s console is the one that seems to have the most questions surrounding video capture. Sure, we all see the big “Share” button on the controller and capturing cool screenshots is a breeze, but how do you capture video? Let the following tips guide you!

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This one is a little obvious considering that there’s a button on the face of the controller named “Share”. It’s through this button where everything happens.

Pressing the button once will bring up the share menu screen which will allow you to change your share settings, broadcast gameplay, upload a screenshot, or upload a video. That’s all well and good, but where do I record?

The PlayStation 4 is always recording you. Sounds freaky I know, but let me explain. In the share menu, pressing the square button on your controller will actually save the last ‘X’ amount of gameplay you just played. X in this case represents the amount of time you have specified in the share settings, so by default, it’ll be the last 15 minutes of gameplay.

Let’s say though, you know something cool is coming up and you want to be proactive about recording. Not a problem. Double tap the share button and the system will start recording from that point forward up to the amount of default time you specified for your share settings. To end the recording, just press the share button once and press square to save it to your hard drive. *IMPORTANT* Keep in mind that by doing this, it’ll overwrite your last 15 minutes of gameplay that was being recorded at the time.

So as you can see, even though it’s not explained terribly well on the console, taking screenshots and videos on the PlayStation 4 is incredibly easy.


  1. willgsrr says:

    It seems like both systems have a few issues. For me on Xbox One 5 minutes isn’t enough. It needs to be longer. Im pretty sure your average MP game will be 10-20 minutes unless its BF4, so why not make it that long?
    PS4, it seems to be difficult to publish videos unless its to Facebook. The lack of YouTube integration is mystifying, although it is in the works right?

    Lets not also forget Twitch, and that you can archive your footage. Well you can on XB1, I don’t know about PS4?


    1. Yes, you’re right about the 5 minutes especially when you compare it to the PS4. I’m hopeful that it’s a restriction which can be updated through a firmware update or something.

      Last I hear, Sony is working to bring the ability to upload right to YouTube from the PS4 sometime in the Fall. Currently getting your video to YouTube is a pain as you have to go to Facebook, download it, etc etc…

      As for Twitch, I don’t think the PS4 can archive footage yet, but that’s another thing they’re working on. In my opinion, Xbox One has the PS4 beat in terms of Twitch streaming ease of use and setup.


  2. Hatm0nster says:

    I didn’t know you could set the PS4 to manually record video. That’s nice to know. I’ve just started using the recording features, so this was actually pretty handy. Thanks for sharing!


    1. duckofindeed says:

      I’ve been trying to get into recording gameplay videos, so I need to check this out, too, once I get my PS4. Not likely until KH3 comes out, though.


    2. Not a problem, glad to have helped!


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