PROS / The built-in live streaming tools are excellent.
CONS / You can't set custom frame rates for your video recordings.
VERDICT / With XSplit Gamecaster, you can record and stream, but the recording options and settings are limited.
XSplit Gamecaster brings a unique perspective to game capture software. This is primarily live streaming software that allows you to connect directly to Twitch.tv and other streaming services. However, unlike most live streaming software, Gamecaster allows you to record your gameplay footage and save it to your hard drive.
As Gamecaster focuses on streaming, you'll find far more options and settings for streaming than you will for recording on this software. Still, there are enough tools and settings to produce high-quality videos of your gameplay. And with built-in streaming, you can stream your content, then edit it and upload it to YouTube later.
Gamecaster has a light but noticeable touch on in-game performance while recording video. At 1080p, we noted a 7 percent decrease for in-game performance. The decrease was 9 percent for 720p videos. This is average performance compared to the other products we tested. We did notice a large increase in fps range during our testing, about 94 percent larger than the fps range without any recording. This means that there were large jumps from minimum frame rates to maximum frame rates. Most of this could be solved by enabling V-Sync and putting a cap on the recording frame rate. However, this paints a good picture of Gamecaster's consistency and stability. Jumping from 35 fps to over 100 fps can be very jarring, and this was common in our testing of Gamecaster.
Few video game recorder applications give you much control over in-game overlays, but Gamecaster lets you customize almost every element of the overlay. You'll need to opt for the paid subscriptions in order to access all of the options, but this level of customizability is useful for you and your viewers.
One problem with Gamecaster is that you can't set a custom frame rate. You can choose from a predefined set of numbers, with 60 fps being the max. This is unfortunate, as the more control you have over recording settings, the better. Also, a higher maximum frame rate would be nice for editing later on. The higher your source video's quality, the better the end product.
If you run into any problems with XSplit Gamecaster, you have several support options. There are tutorials to guide you through the software's functions, FAQs for quick reference, a manual for deeper reference and a user forum, where you can learn and contribute to the community. You can also contact the support team through email.
While it's not the best game recording software, XSplit Gamecaster has some of the best live streaming options we've seen. With average performance and a slightly weak feature set, Gamecaster will cover most of your needs, but it doesn't give you as much control or as many options as the higher-ranked game capture applications on our lineup.