As a highly adjustable screen recorder, OBS wins people’s hearts on the one hand. On the other, given that there are 7 sections on OBS’s Settings window and dozens of professional terms along with countless values awaiting your decision, quite a few OBS users have no idea how to set up a series of best settings for OBS recording.

General, Stream, Output, Audio, Video, Hotkeys, and Advanced, the 7 sections of OBS Settings are not easy-to-figure issues. If you’re stuck in the complex OBS settings, look no further than this tutorial. No matter whether you’re trying to record gameplay, movie, or regular video for any purpose, you can always find the best settings on the following content accordingly.

OBS Best Recording Settings

I. Basic settings for all OBS users

Before we start setting up those best settings for recording a video, let’s modify some important and fundamental items to have a better experience while using OBS.

Launch OBS on your computer and click Settings on the Controls section.

First, on the General module, scroll down and find System Tray, tick Enable. In this way, OBS will be active in the background and you can activate it with shortcuts.

Gameplay Enabled System Tray

Then, go to the Audio section where you can decide on the audio source of OBS.

  • Channels: Set it as Stereo and your video will have a better sound effect.
  • Desktop Audio: If you want to record desktop audio, make sure you insert a speaker or headphone and choose that audio device here.
  • Mic/Auxiliary Audio: Plugin a microphone device if you want your voice to be recorded.

OBS Audio Devices

Next, go to the Hotkeys section to decide the shortcuts for some functions.

You can set up some convenient and easy key combinations as shortcuts for the functions that you often use, like Start Recording and Stop Recording, etc.

OBS Shortcuts Settings

II. Best OBS recording settings for game recording

For game players, I guess you’re in high demand for video quality. So, here, I will tell you the best OBS recording settings for gameplay. 

Launch OBS, and open the Settings window.

1. Output

Here are several items you need to focus on:

  • Advanced Mode: To make a perfect video, you need to enter Advanced Mode.

Then, click the Recording tab.

  • Recording Path: You can use the default folder or choose a new one that is more convenient and easier to find.
  • Recording Format: If you’re about to upload the video to YouTube or other platforms, choose the mp4 format, this is the most compatible format that can be directly uploaded to YouTube without converting.

Gameplay Output Settings Advanced Mode

  • Encoder: Choose x264, choosing this new encoder, you’re available to adjust the bitrate and other items.
  • Bitrate: The correct number of bitrate is related to the resolution of the video. Check the table below to choose your number for bitrate.
Quality of the video Resolution Bitrate File size
High 862*480 1,200 Small
High Definition 1280*720 1,500 Medium
High Definition 1928*1080 4,000 Large
Ultra-High Definition 4K 8,000 Very Large
Lossless / 20,000 Tremendously Large
  • CPU Usage Preset: Want to record the gameplay with no lag? Here is the key item. Choose ultrafast, OBS will take up the least proportion of the CPU. For most cases, veryfast or superfast will be quite good.
  • Keyframe Interval: You can set it as 2 and your video will be smoother.

Tip: You must choose these options based on your own computer performance to avoid some possible errors like a black screen, overloading, etc.

2. Video

  • Base(Canvas) Resolution: This option decides the preview on your OBS display, set it to 1920*1080, and you can have the best preview experience.
  • Output (Scaled) Resolution: This is the option that you can decide on the resolution of your video. 1280*720  is the most commonly adopted one, you can 1980*1080 if you want to.
  • Downscale Filter: Choose Lanczos (Sharpened scaling, 36 samples), so you’ll have fewer troubles if you want to downscale the video later.
  • Common FPS Value: Choose the maximum one – 60, you’ll have the smoothest video clip. Or you can click on the Common FPS Value and choose Interger FPS Value from a drop-down list, then enter a custom frame rate.

Gameplay Video Settings

3. Advanced

  • Process Priority: This is an option that decides your CPU will give priority to OBS or your gameplay. Choose Normal, it’s 50-50. If you choose Above Normal or High, your CPU will handle the request of OBS prior to your gameplay and give you laggy gameplay. So, to reduce or erase lags, choose Normal or Below Normal.

If you want a better color rendering in your video, set up the following items:

  • Render: Direct3D 11
  • Color Format: NV12
  • Color Space: 709
  • Color Range: Full

Gameplay Advanced Settings

So, these are the best gaming recording settings in HD at 60fps with no lag.

III. Best OBS settings for recording movies, tutorials & online conferences/lecture

To record a tutorial video, online conferences, or lectures, check out the following contents.

Launch OBS first, and click Settings.

1. Output

  • Output Mode: If you got no special need for an encoder and bitrate, the Simple Mode will satisfy most of your needs.
  • Recording Path: You may use the default folder or choose a new one.
  • Recording Quality: By default, it’s Same as stream which is 2500 Kbps and equals an HD resolution. You can choose High Quality instead which shares almost the same resolution of 2500 Kbps. Or, if you’re pretty strict with the video quality, you can choose the other two superior qualities.

Caution: If you choose Indistinguishable or Lossless Quality, the file size will be extremely large, which causes inconvenience for later editing and transfer.

Toturial Video Output Settings

  • Recording Format: If you’re about to share the file on YouTube, select mp4. Or, you just want to a perfect video with a better format, the mkv will be perfect.
  • Encoder: If your computer is not well equipped, you might choose the Software (x264 low CPU usage preset, increases file size) option to enable OBS takes up less CPU proportion and it won’t slow down your computer.

2. Video

  • Output Resolution: You may choose a suitable resolution as you want. If you want an HD video, 1280*720 or 1920*1080 will be fair enough. Want a much clearer video, you can choose a higher value.
  • Custom FPS Value: Set fps as 60 and you’ll have the smoothest video. You can set it to 30 fps as well, such value can satisfy most of the needs though.

These are the best settings for creating a movie or tutorial and keeping a record for online conferences or lectures.

Gameplay Video Settings

IV. Best OBS recording settings for low-end/bad computers

If your low-end computer nearly catches the requirements of installing and using OBS, or you try to run OBS on a not-so-advanced laptop, you might need help to change the settings and have a fluent recording.

Launch OBS and go to Settings.

1. Output:

Set the Output Mode as Simple, and go to Recording Quality, choose High Quality, Medium File Size, in this way, OBS won’t work harder to create a higher-quality video and take up mode CPU usage.

By default, the recording format is mkv, you’d better change it to flv – the format that makes up the smallest file.

Low End Computer Output Settings

In Encoder, choose the Software (x264 low CPU usage preset, increases file size) option. In this way, OBS won’t slow down your computer and give a burden to the CPU.

2. Video

Here, you need to decide the resolution and fps of the output file.

Low End Computer Video Settings

As for resolution, you’d better choose 1280*720 or the values below, otherwise, OBS will have extra efforts of making an HD video and lay more pressure on your PC. And for fps value, you’d better choose 30 fps or those below.

3. Advanced

Here, you only need to set up one item – Process Priority. This is the option that decides which activities your CPU will handle first. If you choose Normal, the CPU will handle all activities without any priority.

Low End Computer Process Priority Below Normal

But once you choose Above Normal or High, your CPU will focus on responding OBS process so that other activities will not respond perfectly and your computer will get stuck.

So, you’d better set the Process Priority to Below Normal or Idle.

Now, you know the best recording settings on a low-end computer, you can adapt these settings and try recording your video.


The following contents are some frequently asked questions from OBS users and the answers to the questions.

1. What is the best recording format for OBS?

There are 3 best video formats for OBS, mp4, mkv, and flv. Depending on your need, each one will have different benefits.

Format Feature File Size
mp4 1. The most compatible video format

2. Supports directly upload to YouTube


1. Designed for movies, animation, and other professional videos

2. Supports multiple soundtracks and adjustable frame rate

flv 1. Designed for streaming videos

2. Make up a small-sized video in high definition at a high frame rate


2. What is the best bitrate of OBS settings

The correct value of bitrate is related to resolution and file size, so before you set up a bitrate number, make sure you are aware of the connection between bitrate and resolution/file size.

OBS alternative: Aiseesoft Screen Recorder

OBS is helpful but too difficult to master. If you’re a beginner, it takes time and practice to use the software properly. Or, you can find yourself an OBS alternative to do your recording. Here, I recommend Aiseesoft Screen Recorder.

As the most user-friendly screen recording, everybody can use Aiseesoft Screen Recorder to create a perfect video for the first time. With an easy interface and a series of simple settings, Screen Recorder will ensure you have a pretty good experience while using the program.

Key features of Aiseesoft Screen Recorder:

  • Quick-response hotkeys;
  • In-app editing and clipping tools;
  • 8 video file formats (mkv, mp4, wmv, flv,etc);
  • Audio recording feature;
  • Up-to-lossless recording ability;
  • Etc…

If you’re interested in making a video with fewer struggles, try Aiseesoft Screen Recorder, it’ll never let you down. Click the button and start to record for free.


Here are all the best OBS recording settings. OBS is helpful, but for beginners, it causes trouble. You can try another screen recorder or you can just stick to OBS and try the best settings I listed above.

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