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How To Record Gameplay On Linux With Simple Screen Recorder

OBS is one of the most popular screen recorders for Linux. It’s feature rich and popular enough that few other screen recorders get much attention. While OBS is great, those wanting to record gameplay on Linux should consider using Simple Screen Recorder. It’s a great little tool for Linux that can record many different types of video, including: OpenGL (games), the entire desktop and etc.


The Simple Screen Recording tool is one of the more popular recording tools, so a lot of different Linux distributions have it in their software sources. To install it, open up a terminal window and enter the installation command.


sudo apt install simplescreenrecorder


sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S simplescreenrecorder


sudo dnf install simplescreenrecorder


sudo zypper install simplescreenrecorder

Other Linuxes

Most modern Linux distributions carry Simple Screen Recorder in one way or another. To install it, open up a terminal search your package manager for “simple screen recorder”, and install it. Alternatively, open up Gnome Software, or whatever software browsing tool your operating system has and find it that way.

Want to use SSR but can’t find it to install? Consider building it from source instead. To do this, go to the developer page, and scroll down to find “Build dependencies”. Read everything, as this area of the page explains all that goes into making the software build.

Creating A New Recording Profile

Simple Screen Recorder requires a bit of configuration before you can start recording. To start the configuration process, open up the app. When it opens, you’ll be greeted with a startup screen. This screen will display the meaning behind “simple screen recorder”, and some other relevant information. This notice pops up each time you run it.

To continue on to the next page in the recorder tool, click “Continue”. What follows is the video configuration setup. In this area, you’ll be able to specify the types of video input, frame rate and even audio input.

For best results, select the option to “record the entire screen”. This method captures your current desktop layout i.e. the X session, and is currently the best way to record gameplay on Linux. Alternatively, select the OpenGL option to capture the game directly.

After selecting the recording type, move down to the frame rate. Select the box next to “Frame rate:” and enter 60. When it comes to video games, the best frame rate to record at is generally 60 FPS.

Note: if your Linux PC has trouble recording video smoothly at a rate of 60 frames per second, consider setting it to 30 or 45.

Lastly, move down to the “Audio input” section. Want to record commentary over your video? Use the drop-down menu and select your microphone. Alternatively, record the audio for the game by selecting “monitor of” option.

When everything is set up, click “Continue” to move on to the next page.

Setting Up Encoding

Along with making a recording profile, you’ll also need to make a profile for the encoder inside SSR. Start the setup by selecting a container (aka video file type). Video file containers currently supported with Simple Screen Recorder are: MKV, MP4, WEBM and OGG.

Click the drop-down menu and select MP4, as it generally is the best for recording in the program.  Under codec, make sure that H.264 is also selected, and move down to the constant rate factor slider.

The constant rate factor slider determines the quality of the video recording. The higher the number, the worse the video quality. A low number is always better. Adjust the slider depending on what your system can handle. If you’re not sure about a custom setting for the rate factor, consider clicking one of the presets instead and see how they work for you.

Lastly, change the audio encoding to AAC, and click continue to finish the setup process.

Record Gameplay

To record gameplay on Linux follow these steps. First, install your video game, and go through the settings to make sure that it’s the correct resolution for your monitor. Additionally, make sure that the game can run well while the recorder is running. If it slows down while SSR is open, it may be a good idea to turn the settings down i.e. record at a lower frame rate.

Note: Be sure to put your game in fullscreen mode. Simple Screen Recorder can capture video games no matter what, but gameplay is best recorded in full screen.

Go through and double check the codec and audio settings. When everything looks good, click the “start recording” button to begin the recording process.


Simple Screen Recorder has hotkeys that can be used to start and stop the recording process. Hotkeys can be configured on the recording screen. By default, the user can start a recording at any time by pressing Ctl + R. To change the hotkey from the default, select one of alternative modifiers (Ctrl, Shift, Alt or the windows key). Then, choose the key to press instead of R in the drop-down menu.


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