How to Record Nintendo Switch Gameplay

If you’re a VOD creator, you’re likely familiar with piecing together multiple video sources to bring your latest creation to life. In some cases, capturing video is pretty straightforward but certain video sources take more steps to record gameplay than others. One example of this is the Nintendo Switch. If you’re wanting to incorporate Switch gameplay into your VODs, keep reading for a couple of options on how to record your Switch.

Option 1: Built-in Recording Functionality

When you go to record Switch gameplay, you may be excited to learn that the console has built-in recording, unfortunately, it also comes with some cons. For one, the native recording features only records 30 seconds of gameplay. Second, once your recording is complete, you have to get the footage off of your Switch and onto your computer for editing. While this method may be suitable to small projects where only clips are needed, for more robust videos, we recommend another method.


  • Simple and straightforward
  • Appropriate for short clips


  • Only 30 seconds of gameplay is recorded
  • Have to transfer clips from the console to your PC

Option 2: Record with a Capture Card and Recording Software

For long-form video, our recommendation is to utilize a capture card and recording software, like Streamlabs Desktop. This setup requires a few extra steps, but allows for longer videos that you can layer with additional elements like scenes, alerts, webcam, and more. Luckily, once the setup is done you can both record and stream your Switch gameplay, allowing you to stream to your favorite platform while you record, ensuring you get the most value out of your content.

To record your Switch, you will need:

  • Full size Nintendo Switch
  • Capture card (for example, the Elgato HD60)
  • Extra monitor
  • 2 HDMI cables
  • Computer
  • Streaming software (download Streamlabs Desktop)

Steps to Record Your Switch (Simplified)

  1. Place your Switch console in the dock and remove your Joycons or connect your preferred controller.
  2. Plug your Switch dock output into your capture card using one HDMI cable
  3. Plug the capture card output into your second monitor using your second HDMI cable
  4. Plug the capture card into your PC using the USB cable
  5. Launch Streamlabs Desktop and add a capture card source
  6. Set up your stream with preferred scenes, overlays, alerts, etc., and go live!

For a more detailed outline of the capture card setup, see our in-depth guide on how to use an Elgato capture card with Streamlabs Desktop.


  • Record as much as you want
  • Stream and record at the same time
  • Layer on additional elements like a webcam
  • Files are already on your PC for easy editing


  • More expensive to get started
  • Takes time to set up

We hope you have found this guide helpful whether you’re looking to create long-form or short-form videos from your Switch gameplay. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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