Wondering how to record the screen on your Android device? Perhaps you want to show off how well you completed a game or help someone find a settings item. Maybe you feel like recording a video chat or demonstrating an app or game you’ve developed.
Whatever the case, you’ll need a screen recorder app for Android. Several options are available, from built-in tools to third party apps. Here are the best app-based Android screen recorders, along with one bonus option for developers.
The 5 Best Screen Recorder Apps for Android
If you want to keep it straightforward, you can install a simple Android screen recorder on your device. Simply launch the app, hit record, switch tasks to the app or game you want to record, and play.
After some testing and research, we’ve whittled down the five best screen recorder apps for Android to these choices:
- Google Play Games
- Screen Recorder
- AZ Screen Recorder
- Mobizen Screen Recorder
However, you have other options for doing this. For example, your phone manufacturer may have included a screen recording app with your device. Alternatively, if you’re using a custom Android ROM, it may have a screen recorder baked in.
In addition, you can also record your device screen using the Android SDK. Jump to the end of the list to find out how that works.
1. How to Screen Record on Android With Google Play Games
The first way to record games on Android is to use Google Play Games. This allows you to record any title with Google Play Games integration.
First, open the Play Games hub on your device, then switch to My Games. Scroll left and right through the list to find the game you want, and tap to select. In the top-right corner of the view, you should see a camera icon. Tap this to start recording.
You’ll have two options for video quality: 720P HD and 480P SD. You should also see how much HD recording time remains, based on your phone’s storage.
To proceed, select a quality setting, then Launch. The game will open with a set of screen recorder controls. You can drag these around the display by holding the game icon (or image from the camera). You’ll also see a mic icon, camera icon, and record button. Tap the first two to toggle off and on. The Record button, once tapped, will count three seconds into recording.
Once you tap Stop, the video will save to your device. You can either edit it or upload straight to YouTube.
Interestingly, you’re not limited to games. If the screen record buttons are visible, you can open an app and record that as well.
Download: Google Play Games (Free)
2. Record Your Android Screen With Screen Recorder
Formerly known as EZ Screen Recorder, this intuitive app is a one-tap Android screen recording tool. Whether you’re recording games or apps, it offers unlimited recording time, an image editor, and video trim tool. You can even livestream from the app, as well as add the view from your phone’s camera.
You control the Android screen recording via the floating controls, which you can reposition anywhere on the display.
The app allows you to stream video to YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and others. Meanwhile, if you’d like, you can adjust the frame rate, bitrate, video quality, and compression.
Download: Screen Recorder (Free)
3. AZ Screen Recorder
AZ Screen Recorder is a flexible option that works on older devices (Android 5 Lollipop and later) without root. It’s suitable for current devices too, with a bunch of configurations to help you record your Android screen.
You can adjust the resolution of your recordings, as well as set the frame rate, bit rate, and orientation. There’s also the option to record in time-lapse mode. Again, you start and control recordings using the movable floating menu controls. You can even record audio from your phone and include the view from the front-facing camera.
If needed, you can edit recordings in the app. AZ makes it easy to then easily share them via your preferred social network, or upload them to YouTube.
Download: AZ Screen Recorder (Free, in-app purchases available)
4. Mobizen Screen Recorder
Claiming to be “the most easy-to-use, convenient screen recorder,” Mobizen offers the tools you need to record games and apps on the fly.
Using the obligatory floating menu, Mobizen lets you record your Android screen at up to 1440p, which is 2K resolution. There’s a maximum of 60 frames per second, giving you superb, high quality recordings. Recordings can include your reaction (via the “facecam”—your phone’s front-facing camera) and any audio from your phone’s mic.
You can also a custom watermark for your videos, enabling you to retain ownership and build your personal brand. Note that you’ll need to pay to unlock the default watermark, however.
Mobizen Screen Recorder also offers platform-specific versions for Samsung and LG devices.
Download: Mobizen Screen Recorder (Free, in-app purchases available)
Download: Mobizen Screen Recorder for Samsung (Free, in-app purchases available)
Download: Mobizen Screen Recorder for LG (Free, in-app purchases available)
AirDroid might not be the first app that comes to mind when you think of recording your Android device’s screen. However, this screen mirroring tool can be used to record video of your Android activity on your PC.
You’ll need the desktop app for this to work, rather than the web interface.
Simply install the Android app and the desktop app, then create an account. Next, sync your phone with your computer using the app. From the desktop app, select AirMirror > View Only Mode and you’ll spot the video camera icon. Click this to commence recording, then start using your phone as planned.
Recordings are saved to your PC—check the AirDroid Settings screen for the exact location. You’ll notice there is no “facecam” or on-board editing tools with this solution. Rather, this is for existing AirDroid users, or anyone who doesn’t need the features of a typical Android screen recorder.
If AirDroid doesn’t work for your needs, other Android screen mirroring apps are available. They may also offer screen recording as an option.
Make a Screen Recording Using the Android SDK
Screen recorder apps can be a problem for some. The floating controller is often difficult to use with larger fingers, for example. It might appear in the finished video, too—something you might find undesirable.
So if an app isn’t suitable, you can use the Android SDK (Software Development Kit) and the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) instead. With this running on your computer, you can record your Android screen without a dedicated app.
The Android SDK is compatible with Android 4.4 and later. Start off by installing it from the Android Studio Developer Tools page.
Next, refer to our Android ADB guide to set it up on your computer and Android phone. Once that’s working, connect your phone to your PC using the correct USB cable, ensuring the screen is unlocked. Launch the command line, and enter the following:
adb shell screenrecord /sdcard/FILENAME.mp4
(Remember to change “FILENAME” to the name you want to give the file.)
This commences recording. You can then start using your phone, perhaps to demonstrate how to use an app. When you’re done, press Ctrl+C to stop recording and save the MP4 file on your phone.
Everything You Need to Record Apps and Games on Android
Whatever your preferred approach, if you need a way to record apps on Android, you should find something suitable. Whether it’s the built-in functionality of Google Play (or some games) or a dedicated app, be sure to use a solution that you’re comfortable with.
Once you’ve recorded your footage, what next? Well, you might sync it to your PC for editing—or you could use an Android video editor app!