Xbox Game Bar Review & How To Use Full Review and Alternatives

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Over time, gamers have not had a reliable built-in Windows tool to help record gameplay sessions and have been forced to use third-party screen capture software to achieve this. However, with the launch of the Xbox Game Bar built into the latest version of Windows, the situation has changed a great deal. For those still not in the know of the news, Xbox Game Bar is the customizable gaming overlay coming with Windows 10 out of the box and amazingly works with nearly all PC games.

With it, you are given instant access to widgets for screen recording and the eventual sharing process. At the same time, you are empowered with sound control options for various outputs like background apps and chats on top of finding new teammates with Looking for Group (LFG). In addition to that, you will be able to chat with your Xbox friends across the Xbox console, your computer, and mobile platform without you having to leave the Game Bar.

Xbox Game Bar – Free Download

Software NameSupported OSOffline VersionFree Download
Xbox Game Bar ReviewWindows 10Free VersionFree Download
TalkHelper Screen RecorderWindows 7/8/8.1/10Full VersionFree Download

How to use Xbox Game Bar

Being a new tool, getting started is not obvious for all of us and this article gives you a step by step guide on how to get the most out of this Game bar. Let us dig in!

Step 1: Launch Game Bar to Capture

As the name suggests, the Xbox Game Bar has been perfected to work with game-play recording which basically translates to the need of running a game on Windows 10 before you can start capturing screen video of it. Keep in mind that this tool is exclusive to  Windows 10 build 1903 so do not expect to find it in another version. Having said that, start the game to record and move on to the next step.

Step 2: Start the Xbox Game Bar

After you have the game running, it is now time to start the game bar so that you are ready to start capturing the game-play footage. Doing this is pretty simple as it does not involve any complicated process. All you have to do is use the Windows logo key + G hotkey to launch the overlay which will be similar to the one below

start game bar

Do not be scared by the many overlays that appear on the screen as you will get to know what each of them does. We start with the Game bar at the top center as indicated below.

tool bar

This one will basically help you manage the active overlays by toggling them on/off depending on your preference. The next list icon after the time will give you a list of possible overlays while the cog at the end of the bar will open advanced settings when clicked. To understand the overlays, look at how each is related to the main bar when you need to toggle appropriately guided by the icons

#1: Broadcast & Capture – This is an overlay that will help you decide on the capture mode you need to use including taking screenshots, recording last 30s, starting normal recording, turning mic recording on/off or starting a broadcast session. NB: When you hover the mouse cursor on each option, you will get a suggestion of the hotkey you can use to achieve the same instead of clicking.

#2: Audio Control – Here, you will get all the adjustable volume levels for different sources like the system sounds, game sounds and even audio from apps that may be running in the background like a music player.

#3: Performance Overlay – With this, you will be able to keep tabs on your computer resources usage in real-time like the CPU, GPU, and RAM.

#4: Xbox Social – Here, you will be able to have your chats with friends besides adding new ones and basically have great control on the social part of your broadcast.

Now that you are familiar with the overlays, you will be able to use them without getting mixed up.

Step 3: Adjust Advanced Settings

Remember the settings icon we talked about in the main bar, it is time to click on it so that we can access the advanced settings so as to adjust them to fit our preferences. When you click on the icon, you will arrive at the interface below

Advanced Settings

Lots of options have been provided for you here to tinker with and are also laid out in a very organized way so that each option is exactly under the category it is meant to be. It is here that you will be able to;

      • Add your Xbox Live, Mixer and Twitter accounts
      • Manage the customizable hotkeys
      • Personalize the tool in terms of theme, animations and overlay positioning
      • Adjust capture options like what audio to record and background capture
      • Decide how you want to receive notifications as you record on Game Bar
      • Manage both input and output audio devices

Once you are satisfied with the settings you have modified. It is time to move on to the next step.

Step 4: Start Recording Screen Video

All you have to do now is start the screen capture process by clicking the circle with a dot on the Broadcast & Capture overlay that was highlighted in Step 2.

broadcast capture

This will immediately initiate the screen video recording process and a dialog box will appear on the right-hand side indicating that screen capture is active (evidenced by a red dot), how long the recording has been running, a stop button and a mic toggle option as indicated below.

Once you are sure you have captured all that you needed to, hit on the “Stop” button to mark the end of the screencast process. The moment you hit the button, you will receive a notification indicating that the game clip has been recorded and clicking on it will navigate you directly to the saving directory. It is here that you will find the gameplay footage that you can then share with the target audience as you see fit.

game clip recorded

Congratulations! You have managed to perform your first screen capture with the new Xbox Game Bar for the Windows 10. The process is very straightforward and with this guide, you are guaranteed to get started without much hassle. There you have it. What is your take on this awesome tool?

18 Alternatives to XBox Game Bar

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