Skip to main content

Sharing your success: How to take screenshots and videos of PC games

how to screenshot pc games pcgamingscreenshotheader
From funny glitches, to amazing achievements, there are any number of reasons you might want to take screenshots of your gaming exploits. Whether you’re sharing them with friends or keeping them for your own reference, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite ways to capture pictures and video of your PC games in high quality.


The shareware application FRAPS is by far our favorite way to capture your gameplay in a number of formats. It’s free to use for basic purposes, lightweight, and comes with a slew of additional features that will improve your gaming experience across the board.

After downloading and installing the software from the website, simply launch the program. The program’s window is mostly reserved for configuring the software to run properly in the background while you’re gaming, so once you’ve got everything the way you want it, you can just minimize the window and start up your game.

Fraps Screenshots
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You’ll notice that there’s now a yellow number in the corner of the screen, which shows your FPS while you play to keep track of your system’s performance. By default, pressing F10 will take a screenshot of the current window, and saves the image file in the directory where you installed FRAPS. The default is C:FrapsScreenshots.

Fraps movies
Image used with permission by copyright holder

FRAPS also has the added benefit of capturing video while you play, with a bevy of settings to fine-tune your gaming films. The default key for starting and stopping video capturing is F9, and the resulting videos are saved in C:FrapsMovies.


FRAPS is great, because it will work on almost any video game or application, regardless of how it was installed or where it came from. If you’re using Steam to play games, however, you have another option for grabbing pics of your sweet DOTA2 match. By default, the key for saving screenshots while in-game is F12, although you can change this and a number of other options by clicking Settings under the Steam menu option, then selecting the In-Game tab.

Steam In-Game Settings
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Take as many screenshots as you like and when you decide to put down the sticks, Steam will present you with a handy dialogue to choose what you want to do with each one. Screenshots are all saved to your hard drive automatically and hidden away deep in your Steam folder, but you can upload them to your account in order to easily access them as well as share them with friends.

Print Screen

When all else fails, you can always use the built-in Windows screenshot function to capture shots of your gaming exploits. The Print Screen (Prt Sc) button is a little awkward for this task, since it simply saves the image to your clipboard, so to take multiple screenshots you have to go back to the desktop and paste the screenshot into an image editor between each one. If you’re using Windows 8 or 10, you can hold the Windows key and press Print Screen to save the screenshot as an image file in the Screenshots folder in your photo directory.

However, the screenshot function may not always work, as some games will only output a black screen when captured in this way. It’s also impossible to save more than one screenshot in succession.

Brad Bourque
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Brad Bourque is a native Portlander, devout nerd, and craft beer enthusiast. He studied creative writing at Willamette…
How Intel and Microsoft are teaming up to take on Apple
An Intel Meteor Lake system-on-a-chip.

It seems like Apple might need to watch out, because Intel and Microsoft are coming for it after the latter two companies reportedly forged a close partnership during the development of Intel Lunar Lake chips. Lunar Lake refers to Intel's upcoming generation of mobile processors that are aimed specifically at the thin and light segment. While the specs are said to be fairly modest, some signs hint that Lunar Lake may have enough of an advantage to pose a threat to some of the best processors.

Today's round of Intel Lunar Lake leaks comes from Igor's Lab. The system-on-a-chip (SoC), pictured above, is Intel's low-power solution made for thin laptops that's said to be coming out later this year. Curiously, the chips weren't manufactured on Intel's own process, but on TSMC's N3B node. This is an interesting development because Intel typically sticks to its own fabs, and it even plans to sell its manufacturing services to rivals like AMD. This time, however, Intel opted for the N3B node for its compute tile.

Read more
Qualcomm just made some bold claims about gaming on ARM PCs
A laptop and a camera on a table with a Qualcomm logo on the screen.

Qualcomm shared an exciting teaser during the 2024 Game Developers Conference (GDC), hinting that the PC gaming market might not be so limited to x86 architecture going forward. The company spoke during a session titled "Windows on Snapdragon, a Platform Ready for Your PC Games," and it claimed that Windows games will simply work on laptops equipped with the latest Snapdragon X Elite chip -- no extra prep required -- all thanks to emulation.

As reported by The Verge, Qualcomm's engineer Issam Khalil discussed how the company hopes to achieve realistic gaming on its ARM-based chip as early as May this year. Khalil explained the ins and outs of x86/64 emulation on Snapdragon X Elite, explaining that game devs will be able to port their titles to native ARM64 for the best performance, but they can also do "next to nothing" -- the game should just work anyway due to x64 emulation.

Read more
This new GPU feature is ‘a whole new paradigm’ for PC gaming
RX 7900 XTX slotted into a test bench.

Microsoft has released its Agility SDK 1.613.0, which features some critical components that will be shown to developers at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco next week. The most interesting component is Work Graphs, which Microsoft describes as "a whole new paradigm" for graphics cards.

Work Graphs enable GPU-driven work. Normally when you're playing a PC game, there's a relationship between your GPU and CPU. Your CPU gets work ready and sends it to your GPU, and then your GPU executes that work. Work Graphs is an approach that allows your GPU to schedule and execute its own tasks, which has some massive implications for performance.

Read more