OBS Streaming

OBS Design Fundamentals – Game Capture Source

Game Capture source is exactly what the source is named for, capturing the video game application, and displaying the video game to your viewers. If you are going to be streaming or recording any video games from your computer, this is the first source that you should use. Once you have added the game capture source, the properties allow you to set how to capture the video game and adjust options if you are using multiple graphic cards or would like overlays such as Steam to be visible.


There are three modes that you can select from the drop-down list that will decide how the game capture source will find the video game application to capture. The three modes for game capture are: Capture any fullscreen application, Capture Specific Window, and Capture foreground with hotkey.

The Capture any fullscreen application option instructs OBS to detect any games that are running fullscreen on your primary monitor and capture that application. If you only have a single monitor and you use alt+tab to another application that will cause OBS to stop capturing as the fullscreen application will be minimized. This mode should be used if you prefer running games fullscreen but have a multiple monitor setup.

The Capture Specific Window option allows you to tell OBS to only capture a specific application. Capture Specific Window also creates two more drop down lists: Window and Window Match Priority. The Window drop down list will display any applications that are running. Window Match Priority will determine the priority of capture if there are multiple applications of the same name but different window title names.

Window Match Priority has three options: Window Title Must Match, Match Title Otherwise Find Window of Same Type, and Match Title Otherwise Find Window of Same Executable. If you run multiple instances of a game, you should use these options and look at the window title to make sure you are selecting the right game application to record.

The final mode to capture is Capture Foreground Window with Hotkey. As described, the application that will be captured will be the application that is active in the foreground but only when you press the hotkey. To set the hotkey you must go into the settings, select the hotkeys tab, and designate a hotkey for game capture. This option is useful if you find yourself changing games often during a stream as you won’t need to go into the properties of the game capture to tell OBS which game to capture.

SLI/Crossfire Capture Mode (Slow)

If you use multiple graphic cards (GPUs) in your system, this option changes the capture method from shared texture capture to memory capture. As noted by the word slow in parentheses, this is method of capture is less efficient than shared texture capture. You should only use this option if there are no other solutions with game capture if you use multiple graphic cards.

Allow Transparency

The allow transparency property makes the game capture source transparent. This option is used with games that are designed for the player to use their own backgrounds or images as a backdrop for the gameplay.

Limit Capture Framerate

This option will limit the game capture source from capturing at a higher frame rate than what OBS is set to use. For example, if you are running at game at 120 frames per second but OBS is set to capture at 60 frames per second, this option will tell OBS to capture the gameplay at 60 frames per second.

Capture Cursor

By default, the Capture Cursor option is checked meaning that your mouse cursor will be visible in the game. If you are playing a game where you don’t want your viewers to see your mouse cursor, uncheck the Capture Cursor option. Note that if the game has an art asset for the mouse cursor, the mouse cursor will be visible.

Use Anti-Cheat Compatibility Hook

By default, Use Anti-Cheat Compatibility Hook is enabled. This option is intended for games that have anti-cheat systems enabled. This will prevent OBS being detected as a cheating application.

Capture Third-Party Overlays

If you would like your viewers to see any third-party overlays that are connected to the game such as Steam’s Overlay. Selecting this option will allow viewers to see the overlay when you access the third-party overlay.

Hook Rate

The hook rate option manages how often OBS will try and initiate the capture for a game to be displayed on stream. Increasing the hook rate speed will increase the number of attempts to initiate capturing the game. Once the game is being captured the hook attempts will stop unless there is something to cause the hook to disconnect such as changing video settings or using alt-tab a game that is in fullscreen.

Create a Game Capture

Creating a Game Capture source is straightforward, but the most important part is deciding on the mode you want to use when capturing the game. Some games don’t have full screen support, and if you are streaming using windowed mode might be more efficient if you must access other applications while a game is running. For this example, we’ll be using Capture Specific Window as the mode to select the specific game we want to capture.

1.      Click on the + button in the sources window and select Game Capture.

2.      Name the game capture source and press the OK button.

3.      Run the game application you want to capture.

4.      Change the mode to Capture Specific Window from the drop-down list.

5.      From the Window drop down list, select the game window you want OBS to capture.

6.      For the Window Match Priority list, select Match Title, Otherwise Find Window of Same Executable.

7.      Select the OK button to close the Game Capture properties.

And with that you’ve created a game capture source and are now able to stream or record any games with OBS. The Game Capture source is intended for games that would typically require a dedicated graphics card. You can also create multiple game capture sources for each game you stream or create a single game capture source and use modes like Capture Foreground Window with Hotkey to quickly switch between games without having to go through the game capture properties each time you want to switch to another game. However, you set up the Game Capture source, it is the first capture option you should use when you want to capture games.