Record Your Screen on Android With Google Play Games
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Recording video game footage is an increasingly popular pastime, as a visit to Twitch or YouTube will quickly show. But it’s a bit trickier for mobile devices. Fortunately, the latest version of Android’s Google Play Games app has added a record option for your mobile gaming pleasure, saving you from using third party apps or ADB New To Android Debug Bridge? How To Make The Process Simple And Easy New To Android Debug Bridge? How To Make The Process Simple And Easy ADB is incredibly useful for sending commands to your Android device from your computer. For the beginners out there, here's a dead simple way to use ADB. Read More .

Capturing Video Game Footage

Various platforms have tools and systems in place for capturing video game footage. So far, Android users have been able to rely on third party apps for screen recording What's the Best Way to Record Your Screen on Android? What's the Best Way to Record Your Screen on Android? Need to record the screen on your Android phone or tablet? Here is exactly how to get it done. Read More (although it is built into the Android API since 5.0 Lollipop), some of which require root.

Other platforms can also record video game footage. Windows users have a selection of tools, from third party screen recording options How to Take Videos & Screenshots of Games in Windows How to Take Videos & Screenshots of Games in Windows You want to document your game progress, but when you hit PrtSc on your keyboard, all you get is a snapshot of your desktop? Here's how to take video game screenshots. Read More to the native game DVR system in Windows 10 Here's How Gaming Will Work With Windows 10 Here's How Gaming Will Work With Windows 10 With Windows 10, Microsoft is bringing PC gaming and the Xbox One together in a big way. Find out what to expect once Windows 10 arrives. Read More , which will record games on your PC and Xbox One. For consoles including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U, game capture boxes can also be purchased How To Capture And Stream Video Games From A Console How To Capture And Stream Video Games From A Console Read More , and the XB1 and PS4 also support a dedicated app for recording or streaming games.

So, back to Android. We now know that the new version of Google Play Games includes game-recording support. Let’s take a look at how to set this up on Android 5.0 Lollipop Android 5.0 Lollipop: What It Is And When You'll Get It Android 5.0 Lollipop: What It Is And When You'll Get It Android 5.0 Lollipop is here, but only on Nexus devices. What exactly is new about this operating system, and when can you expect it to arrive on your device? Read More and later.

Is Google Play Games Updated?

Get started by finding the Google Play Games app, which is usually found in a Home screen subfolder (typically labeled Play), although you will also find it in the App Drawer as Play Games.


Open the menu and check Settings; scroll to the bottom of the page and check About. Here, the version should be 3.4.12 or later, with the last three numbers in brackets reading 038. If not, you have two choices: wait for the rollout of the new version of Google Play Games to your device (updating from Google Play won’t necessarily work) or download from APK Mirror [No Longer Available], and install the file with Settings > Unknown Sources enabled.

Recording Your Game

Next, find the Play Now screen via the Google Play Games menu, and tap the Record gameplay button. At this stage, it doesn’t matter which game it brings up, just go with what’s selected.


From here, tap the Record button, and select your preferred resolution for recording the gameplay – you can choose between 720p and 480p. A message will then appear, informing you that everything on your Android display will be recorded (so keep this in mind – and observe that you can use this to make non-game recordings).


Tap Launch when you’re ready to start, and the recording interface will open. Four circles will appear together: the record button, the microphone mute button, the camera off button and a larger disc displaying the image of you from the front-facing camera.

You’ll see this interface throughout the recording, so make sure you tap-and-drag the image from the front-facing camera to where it will be most useful, and out of the way of your controls. When you tap record, the buttons will disappear, leaving just your gaming face, and you can then go ahead and launch whatever game you want to play.

Audio-wise, you’re looking at two options — on and off. Tapping the Mute button will disable audio, both from your phone’s mic and within the game, whereas the alternative is to have audio from the game and your reactions. If you’re planning on talking, it is a good idea to plug in a headset, or reduce the in-game audio volume as this can drown out your observations and suggestions.

When you’re all done, tap the circle with your face in it to open the interface and stop the recording.

Uploading and Saving Footage

With your game footage recorded, you have a number of options. Most likely you’ll want to upload to YouTube’s new gaming service, YouTube Gaming YouTube Gaming Goes Live, How to Get a Job at Google... [Tech News Digest] YouTube Gaming Goes Live, How to Get a Job at Google... [Tech News Digest] YouTube goes Gaming, Google recruits programmers, the invisible women of Ashley Madison, take the Free Reddit Check, and no one should want a virtual reality Facebook. Read More , and this can be done automatically when the recording stops. If you want to share your footage on Twitch Run a Better Twitch Stream With These Tools Run a Better Twitch Stream With These Tools Twitch channels rarely grow popular by accident. Far more often, fame and attention are the result of long hours, innovative ideas, and tireless dedication to making quality content. Read More , you’ll have to manually move the footage to your PC and upload it to the website — for now at least.


The YouTube app lets you crop the recording as necessary, but before you upload using the arrow in the top-right corner, remember to give the video a name! You’ll also spot two other options on the left and the right. Use the musical note icon to add music to the clip, and the wand to add an appropriate filter to the clip, if you so desire.

Don’t forget to close the recording tool — just drag the larger disc into the center of the screen, where a large X will appear — and you’re done.

How Do You Record Your Screen?

I’m impressed by this new method of recording your screen on Android. Having a built-in option is a massive advantage over installing a third-party app like AZ Screen Recorder, and there’s no messing around with ADB.

Ultimately, this is the best option for Lollipop and Marshmallow device owners, although if you have an older Android handset, a third-party root solution will have to remain your screen recording tool.

And don’t forget, you can use this method to record any app on your device — not just games! Simply open up the recording tool with any random game, then press the home button on your device and navigate to another app. You could use this to demonstrate moving through menus or creating tutorials for any Android device.

Have you tried the Google Play Games screen recording app in Android Lollipop or later? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Image Credit: crazy gamer by phloxii via Shutterstock

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  1. Mustafa
    January 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    This is an awesome feature but it keeps recording the environment sounds while the mic. button is disabled. Any solution for this?

  2. Jamie
    September 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Works on my Motorola Droid Turbo, but I really don't like that you can't remove the floating bubble from the screen. I removed the front facing camera but it still leaves a bubble there that gets uploaded with the video. Very useless to me. Going to find an app to record the screen that will keep the screen completely free of everything.

  3. Andrew C Dela Torre
    August 30, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Not working on my Asus Zenfone 3 max "Device not supported"

  4. Gianflow
    February 7, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Me too

  5. Muhammad Afaq Haider
    December 6, 2015 at 7:42 am

    I am updated to the latest version . I am using galaxy note 3 with latest lolipop 5. But there is no record button. Please help