How to Record on Nintendo Switch

how to record on switch

It’s a no-brainer that gamers love to capture the best in-game moments, fun clips, etc., and showcase their skills. For the Nintendo Switch users, the scenario is no different. So say you are at your absolute best gameplay on Nintendo Switch right now, and you’re about to defeat the final boss that’s not done by many- your desire to share these moments with your friends is inevitable!

The only way to capture those moments is to know how to record on Switch. This article will walk you through a step-by-step recording Switch gameplay tutorial. So without any further ado, let’s dive in!

How Can I Record Gameplay On Nintendo Switch?

Both Switch and Switch Lite are equipped with an in-built screen record functionality for starters. However, you can only record video clips at a max of 30 seconds on a Nintendo Switch device (on Switch lite too).

Added to that, the recorded video will be limited to only 720p at 30 frames per second. External video capture hardware is needed to record Switch gameplay longer than the 30-sec time limit and at a higher resolution.

Table of content:

  • Procedure To Record Video On Nintendo Switch (the usual method)
  • Record More Than 30 Seconds Of Gameplay On Nintendo Switch

(NOTE: As Nintendo switch lite isn’t capable of producing output video via HDMI cable, this method is exclusively limited to Switch)

Step-by-step Procedure To Record Video On Nintendo Switch

Both Nintendo Switch and Switch lite house a dedicated capture button to record video clips. It is a square button with a circular indent at its center, and it serves a dual purpose: to help you take a screenshot and to record 30 seconds of gameplay.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Load your favorite game on Switch and start playing it.

Step 2: Long-press the capture button if something interesting happens that you want to video capture.

Step 3: A Saving icon will appear on the upper left corner of the screen.

Step 4: Post video capture, a ‘successfully saved‘ message will appear on the screen.

Viewing, Editing & Sharing Saved Gameplay Video On Switch

While the maximum length of Nintendo Switch captured video is only limited to 30 seconds, it makes up for it by allowing you to edit and share those clips.

Let’s see how we can edit and share gameplay footage:

Step 1: To view captured gameplay video, head on to the ‘Albums‘ folder from the home menu.

Step 2: Using your d-pad, navigate to your desired screen record and then press A.

Step 3: While you’re viewing the video, press A to access the edit and share options.

Step 4: Choose your desired action from the following 5 options:

  • Please post it on social media platforms, like Facebook pages. It requires you to have a linked Twitter or Facebook account.
  • Send the clip to your smartphone or PC for easy share via a QR code.
  • Trim the video to your desired length. Using the d-pad, seamlessly choose the start and endpoint of a clip, and save the trimmed video.
  • Make duplicate copies of your video clips if you need them for different editing purposes.
  • Delete your Nintendo Switch gameplay video if you no longer need it.

How To Transfer Switch Game Video file To PC?

Before you can transfer videos, a couple of things are required to do it successfully- an SD Card and SD Card Reader.

The micro SD card should have the video recordings that you’ve recorded in Switch. Then the SD card reader will help you transfer the SD card contents to your PC.

First, let’s look at the process of copying the switch contents to your micro SD card-

Step 1: Head on to the switch home screen and select the gear icon aka the System settings.

Step 2: Once you’re in the System Settings screen, locate the Data Management option. Then find the Manage Screenshots and videos option > post that, Press A on your switch pro controller.

Step 3: You may want to transfer all your screenshots and gameplay videos on the next screen by choosing the first option (refer to the snippet below). Then, you will be presented with an on-screen tutorial on how to transfer videos and screenshots from micro SD to another device- feel free to skip that and successfully complete the transfer process.

Step 4: You may also head on to “Album” and choose screenshots and videos for editing. To edit, press A from your d-pad. Once edited, you can post them too. Then, you will be able to see a menu pop up telling you to copy the edited video to your micro SD card- proceed further to do so!

Pat yourself to the back, you have successfully transferred all your desired assets from switch to a micro SD card.

How Can I Record More Than 30 Seconds Of Gameplay On Nintendo Switch?

To record switch gameplay longer than 30 seconds, you require a video capture card. We will all agree that 30 seconds is too little to work with and capture even one level of gameplay- get ready to hit that capture button a ton of times. It is straight-up inconvenient!

Of course, you can transfer a dozen of video playback to your PC and stitch them up together on a video editing software, but it requires a lot of effort. Thanks to the video capture card, we can avoid the fuss.

Prerequisites To Record Switch Gameplay Using A Capture Card

First things first, let’s take a moment to know what a capture card is all about? It’s a simple device that helps to deliver video output from a console to another device so it can record or live stream for you in a preferred resolution and frame rate.

NOTE: A capture card utilizes HDMI to deliver video output, so this method is limited to Switch and not Switch lite.

Now, the stuff you need to record longer gameplay are:

  • USB 3.0 cord (male-to-male).
  • A capture card (there are loads of options available in the market, but the most popular ones are Elgato HD60 and Avermedia Live Gamer).
  • A PC ( which acts as a video receiver).
  • A screen recording software.
  • Dock Set for switch console.
  • And of course, your Nintendo Switch.

Now you’re all set to record longer videos.

How To Record Switch Gameplay For More Than 30 Seconds Of Gameplay Using Capture Card?

Follow the step-by-step process below:

Step 1: Connect your Nintendo Switch to the dock.

Step 2: To your dock, connect an HDMI cable. (connect only if there’s no cable already connected)

Step 3: Now, the dock output needs to be connected to the capture card’s input port.

Step 4: Take another HDMI cable and connect it to your PC’s monitor.

Step 5: The output port of the other HDMI cable needs to be connected to the output port of the capture card.

Step 6: Now, connect the capture card to your PC.

Step 7: Launch a switch game you want to play and record.

Step 8: Ignore the capture button and head on to your capture card. Press the recording switch of your capture card.

Step 9: Enjoy playing games while your PC will automatically record gameplay simultaneously.

Step 10: Your switch gameplay recording will be streamed via your PC or recorded by the screen recording software running on your PC.

The Nintendo Switch & HDCP

When only a tiny handful of apps are active, the Switch can support HDCP. To put it simply, a capture card aids Switch in gameplay recording, streaming gameplay, and navigating menus- but fails when browsing apps like Netflix or Hulu. It is due to copyright issues- and this is where HDCP comes into play.

If you launch an app that requires HDCP support, your switch’s video output will be a blank screen sent to the screen recorder. The only way to get through this would be to use a device that strips the HDCP between the screen recorder and your switch.

Overview: Why Is It The Best Option to Record & Stream Switch Gameplay On A PC?

Here ate three good reasons to use your PC for recording and streaming switch gameplay via PC:

  • Firstly, it doesn’t make sense to get rid of the 30-sec max record time limit.
  • Your content shall not be exclusive to only four games- you can do much more than that!
  • All the other existing ways are cumbersome and require a lot of effort. With a PC, transfers, edits, and sharing become a cakewalk!

To Conclude

Rumor has it that soon, Nintendo will be allowing longer videos in their switches. However, we are not there yet. So, for the time being, this is the only way out of 30 secs of max gameplay capture via the inbuilt recorder is the use of capture cards to record and stream longer content!

The only tricky part is the first-time setup. It’s all smooth sailing from thereon. This tutorial aims to bring out the joy in every switch user by helping them to share their favorite moments with the gaming community.

Steve
Steve currently serves as a chief editor at Techdentro, covering all things Tech, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice. He's also passionate about solving android mobile issues.