OBS Replay Buffer – The Best Clipping Tool

There are many tools (NVIDIA Shadowplay, AMD Re:Live, Medal.tv, etc) out there that allow you to clip parts of your gameplay so you can save your sick plays. The problem with these solutions is that people keep having issues with their recordings being low quality, corrupted files, missing files, degraded game performance, etc.

These issues will not pop up every single time you try to record with these tools, and I am not trying to discredit them, but since there is a better solution that offers a stable experience with a lot more customization available I feel the need to talk about it.

OBS Replay Buffer

If you have been using OBS for streaming or recording there is no reason not to use their Replay Buffer feature which works like all the other clipping tools. All you have to do is enable the Replay buffer in OBS and you are good to go: Settings -> Output -> Replay Buffer -> Enable Replay Buffer.

obs output replay buffer

In there, you will find your 2 main settings which are the duration of the clip from the moment you press your hotkey and the space allocated from your RAM to the Replay Buffer. Generally, you should start with a clip length of around 30 sec, and see if it is long enough to capture all of the content you want to showcase during gameplay.

The maximum memory value will depend on the length of the clips and the quality settings you are using for your recording – you can start at 1024 MB (1GB) and work your way up or down depending on your RAM capacity and needs.

OBS Replay Buffer Quality Settings

The Replay Buffer quality settings are your OBS recording settings meaning you need to set them up once and you can use both the recording and the replay feature. These settings majorly depend on your PC and quality needs.

For a deeper dive, you can look at the OBS recording article, otherwise, you can start with something like these settings and tune them depending on what you need.

obs recording settings

OBS Replay Buffer Hotkeys

The last thing you need to do is to set up your hotkeys for the Replay Buffer feature (Settings -> Hotkeys). First of all, you can have dedicated keys for starting and stopping the Replay Buffer if you do not want to click on the dedicated menu in the bottom right corner.

start stop obs replay buffer

Once that is done, the most important keybind needs to be set so you can save the replay. This should be set to a combination or a dedicated key you can press easily during gameplay so you can save your footage at any time.

save obs replay buffer

How to Use the Replay Buffer: Step-by-Step

Your settings are ready but you are confused as to how to use the Replay Buffer altogether? No worries, here is what you need to do.

  1. Open OBS, make sure you have your game capture active, and your Replay Buffer settings are all correct
  2. Start the Replay Buffer from the menu or your hotkey
  3. Open your game and confirm on your OBS preview that OBS is capturing what is happening in your game – also look at your volume meters to make sure OBS is capturing in-game audio
  4. Disable your preview (right-click -> untick enable preview) to save some resources and minimize OBS – DO NOT CLOSE OBS BUT MINIMIZE IT
  5. Play the game until something amazing happens – press the save replay hotkey you have set up beforehand
  6. Navigate to where you have your recordings saved and enjoy your replay clip (usually it is in the Videos folder)
  7. Once you are done gaming stop the Replay Buffer and close OBS fully

Why Use the OBS Replay Buffer

One big question for many people will probably be why bother going through this entire setup when they can use some other tool that requires no setup at all? The main reason I would recommend the OBS Replay Buffer over any other tool is the fact that you have full control over the quality of your recording, the length of the recording, and how many resources you dedicate to this process.

The setup process takes 1-2 minutes instead of no setup, but you also get a much more stable and predictable tool that you can be 100% confident in. I have heard many stories where people missed out on some amazing clips because of their Shadowplay or Medal.tv messed up or corrupted the video file.

The CPU/GPU usage with OBS is also predictable and there are no big FPS drops/ frametime skips which are quite common while using the other tools. In short, the OBS Replay Buffer tool is much more stable and reliable while requiring a tiny bit of effort during the initial setup.

About The Author


Custom Windows ISO enjoyer, FPS optimizer, and aim improvement enthusiast. Will disassemble all of his peripherals (and sometimes PC parts) to mod them even if all of them work perfectly fine. Follow him on Twitch.

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