The amazing PlayClaw video capture tool gives customers incredible power! PlayClaw has been designed to make full use of multi-core processors and hardware accelerated H.264 codecs, which ensures the outstanding quality of the output with a minimal impact on system performance.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (320 reviews) - 70% of the 320 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Sep 10, 2013

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Recent updates View all (30)

September 21

New release with the Web Browser overlay!

Now PlayClaw has a new feature useful for streamers - the Web Browser overlay. This overlay is included in the Streamer Pack DLC (former Twitch Chat overlay DLC).

Here is the full change log for build #3625

  • Added the Web Browser overlay
  • Steam version can run without the steam client with some features restrictions (DLC, achievements)
  • Added High PlayClaw process priority option (in common options)
  • Fixed some DX9 games crash after ALT-TAB
  • Fixed crash after attempt to stream with not H.264 video codec selected
  • Fixed possible bad captured OpenGL frames
  • Fixed wrong achievements conditions (the Forgetful achievement)
  • Fixed temp sensor for Intel Xeon(R) CPU E5450
  • Fixed frame capture crash on some systems in non standard resolutions
  • Added "/ignoreamd" command line key for PlayClaw5.exe to skip detection of h264 amd accelerator

2 comments Read more

June 25

Hotfix is ready

We just uploaded hotfix #3610 with following changes:

  • Fixed starting bug on some systems (SteamIO error)
  • Fixed compatibility with some Windows7 based system

15 comments Read more

About This Software

The amazing PlayClaw video capture tool gives customers incredible power!

PlayClaw has been designed to make full use of multi-core processors and hardware accelerated H.264 codecs, which ensures the outstanding quality of the output with a minimal impact on system performance. PlayClaw will record full HD videos of your gameplay with high frame rates with your audio commentary with minimal possible performance hit!

The other nifty feature is PlayClaw’s ability to render helpful overlays over game screen. PlayClaw will show you who's speaking in games using Teamspeak 3, leading to better teamwork. Check your GPU/CPU load and temperatures right in game with PlayClaw's overlays. Overlays are fully compatible with the latest versions of Windows and graphics engines.

At A Glance:
  • Capture game video with optional recording game audio
  • H.264 encoding with hardware acceleration (Intel QuickSync, NVidia Encoder, AMD VCE encoder)
  • Streaming to YouTube, Twitch and other RTMP services
  • Special capture desktop mode in Windows 7, 8/8.1 and 10
  • Adjustable video recording frame rate and size
  • Up to 16 audio sources
  • Unique pre-recording feature
  • Output in multiple formats (AVI, MP4)
  • Capture screenshots
  • Various overlays: voice overlays for Teamspeak 3, FPS, CPU/GPU statistics, timers, etc.
  • Webcam overlay support
  • Support for 3rd party overlays via plugins system.
  • Multithreaded compression code
  • Realtime audio preprocessing engine
  • Profile-based settings
  • Compatible with PunkBuster & Valve Anti Cheat

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 2-cores CPU with SSE support
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel/AMD/NVidia graphics card
    • DirectX: Version 8.0
    • Additional Notes: Administrator rights to run software are mandatory.
    • OS: Windows 8.1
    • Processor: Intel SandyBridge CPU or AMD APU A10-58xx or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia Geforce 6хх or AMD Radeon HD 77xx or better
    • DirectX: Version 8.0
    • Additional Notes: Administrator rights to run software are mandatory.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Positive (320 reviews)
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167 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Recently Posted
1.3 hrs
Posted: September 23
Maybe it's just me I'm not sure, i've just been using this for quick recordings no more than 10-20 seconds but my problem is every time I want to stop the recording it just doesnt want to do it, then it freezes up and crashes on me. Have no idea why it just does, I haven't messed with any of the settings only the hotkeys so it makes it easier for me to record quickly when I want to. Other than that I can't say that I don't reccomend it but at the same time I can reccomend it. Only reason why I'm giving it a thumbs down at the moment is cause it's constantly freezing up on me, maybe it's the update, or like I said maybe it's just me, I know I haven't spent much time using it but, like I said earlier it always seems to freeze up on me after I do a short recording. And mind you that's with almost ever game I play so. I know 2 years back I didn't have this problem I have no idea whats up at this point.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
219.8 hrs
Posted: August 26
An update broke Playclaw 5 but then Ed fixed it. Thanks Ed.

Great capture quality and additional features. Plus it's on Steam!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Les Soeurs Boulay
64.7 hrs
Posted: August 17
Broken Apps...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
A developer has responded on Aug 23 @ 1:14am
(view response)
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 5
Helpful? Yes No Funny
A developer has responded on Aug 9 @ 12:35pm
(view response)
0.3 hrs
Posted: July 27
Does not work, DO NOT BUY. If you do you will end up with what feels like poo on your face.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
A developer has responded on Aug 9 @ 12:37pm
(view response)
39.0 hrs
Posted: July 22
When I originally bought PlayClaw awhile back, it was the perfect solution for me for recording. Today, I can never get it to work. It crashes, can't find encorders, won't launch, and generally makes my PC function....weird.

Used to be great software but it has no aged well, it seems.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
A developer has responded on Aug 9 @ 12:39pm
(view response)
0.6 hrs
Posted: July 18
The software constantly crashes when trying to record. Every attempt to stream/record various games, and even the desktop in the lowest quality possible, was met with the software crashing, followed by an extremely generic "PlayClaw is crashed!" with no additional information.

You're probably better off using FRAPS or OBS.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
A developer has responded on Aug 9 @ 12:40pm
(view response)
30.8 hrs
Posted: July 9
Cancer. Please avoid at all costs. I can't even use the software anymore for recording, all it does it lags and horrible video quality. This software is the definition of type IV cancer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
A developer has responded on Aug 9 @ 12:43pm
(view response)
61.8 hrs
Posted: June 20
I do love this program! They have amazing tech support! I have had issues with it when trying to stream with it. But contacted their support and he fixed everything for me. I would recommned this software to anyone wanting to stream or record videos for any reason. Amazing software very simplistic and straight foward. I use this program to record and soon to be streaming.
10/10 software
11/10 support
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
Used to be good at launch, now it just crashes way too much and thus unreliable.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
117 of 155 people (75%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
131.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2013
The first few days I used Playclaw everything worked fine, I was able to record for more than an hour in 1080p without much lag or frame drops... Then things started to get messy when I tried it on various games and started playing with the settings. The software gives error messages right from the start and it doesn't work with every game, while Fraps does.

Sure, Fraps has a higher impact on performance but overall you can record anything (including the desktop) without having to worry about the result. Playclaw is far from perfect as of now, so for the price (and the fact that the Steam license will not be updated anymore after X years, as read in the official forums) I don't think this software is worth it. I'd recommend Fraps for now if you have a configuration that can handle the CPU/GPU stress. Playclaw has its pros (webcam display, separating audio files for editing,... and much more!) but it's way too unstable/unpredictable.
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109 of 144 people (76%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
The marketplace for screen capture tools is starting to get quite crowded, but PlayClaw stands out as it strikes a great balance between ease of use and quality. The main competitors are Bandicam, Fraps, and Dxtory. PlayClaw beats Fraps as it is much less resources intensive, and produces higher quality ouput than Bandicam in most cases. Using PlayClaw usually results in nothing more than a 1 to 5 frame rate decrease and very few dropped frames during recording. Dxtory, coupled with the Lagarith codec produces slightly better results, and is even less resource intensive, but takes a bit more effort to set it up; in contrast the PlayClaw UI is very easy to navigate.

The main features are: Record in-game footage. Record the desktop. Buffer a period of footage (from 5 to 600seconds). Take screenshots. Configure input from multiple audio sources including mic. You can also stream to Twitch, YouTube and Customer Server (not tested yet)

Recording desktop / in-game and activating recording to capture the buffered footage never show any interuption or performance hit. I have tried streaming to a 10,000prm HDD, and also 5400. As with all capture tools the faster the hard drive the better, but footage was still OK on the slower drive. Being able to define the number of CPU threads the software utilises really helps performance. Other essential options are the ability to define frame rate for capture and set the resolution (although I would recommend recording native and then scaling during editing).

One thing I really like is the ability have PlayClaw write audio tracks in seperate files. This makes it a lot more convenient if editing audio as each each source (in-game or mic) gets it's own file. So no bother with extracting audio from the video file, or having all audio streams mixed.

Taking screenshots produces a nice overlay effect - it really lets you know a shot has been taken without being intrusive. Other overlays can be configured to show frame rate, recording duration, buffer, a clock and many other features. One of the most useful overlapys shows how large your recording is.

The main area where PlayClaw could improve is around the MJPEG codec. It appears they use their own custom codec and many have found it can be a pain finding editing software to support it. (Protip - If you have problems opening the files in your editor, try installing the free version of Bandicam - this will install / update the codecs - it certainly worked for Sony Movie Studio 12 and 13). It spoils what is otherwise a very easy to use application. It would be nice if they supported advanced options that allowed the user to install their own codecs. Edit: The developer has kindly clarified the MJPEG issue. But out of all the capture software I have tested over the years, PlayClaw is the only one that caused problems like this. So I am not changing my comment, as many people have found my 'pro tip' useful.

Overall PlayClaw is a great piece of software. I am using it exclusively to capture footage. It does a great job.

Edit: May 2015 - Slight changes to incorporate questions received below
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92 of 121 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2013
I have mixed feelings on this one. tl;dr I ended up buying Fraps to get my game captures.

About me: I make a lot of fragshow/machinima movies and have about 10 years experience. This program didn't work out so well for that purpose. I also did some research on YouTube for reviews prior to my purchase, but unfortunately my mileage varied quite a bit.

I found I had to alt tab a few times to get the overlays to appear - like it wouldn't select the open game for a while. Then, even when turning all overlays off in the settings, they still appeared in my recordings.. and yes, i had turned the overlay off from the active game prior to recording!

Another problem I had was that I had to close and reopen the program a lot, and relaunch my games so PlayClaw would show up, which caused steam to go "hold the phone! we're closing or opening something" all the time [black Steam box in middle of screen.] I'd also get "failed to launch app" as PlayClaw or its "hook" which displays/hooks into games would get frozen in the background. I'd have to restart my games, steam and eventually my PC to try to get things going.

Can't blame the dev for that though, as it appears to be how Steam handles licensing. However, I can blame the dev for this: I emailed explaining my issue, and asked for a license for the non-steam version (which is feature-same, does not have new features) and was refused saying to try the new beta.

I don't want to try new betas. I want to have working software delivered through Steam if thats how I purchase it. But if one of my core issues is that I'm having problems LAUNCHING the app, I should be given a key for the non steam version as I had requested.

I can see this argument.. if you buy a game on steam, and it has issues, would you get given a normal CD key for the game AS WELL? well, no. But this is a piece of software designed to run alongside games, and maybe Steam isn't built for that.

The program also always prompts for admin rights (Win 8.1 x64) which, if you're reopening it multiple times, becomes quite the annoyance. Also each time I quit the program it would display a variable error.

Then comes the quality. I found recording the same footage in Fraps vs in PlayClaw resulted in about a 60% smaller file in PlayClaw. Maybe this is good for some people, but it wasn't good for me as I wanted to retain as much quality as possible using this type of recording method.. meaning the reds got junked up a bit due to compression.

I guess I'll close in saying that PlayClaw seems to have some cool features which I'll try to use eventually since I paid for it but it has some problems - which all software does. What wasn't cool for me was the developer refusing to let me use a non-steam version of the program I had bought a license for.

If we buy on Steam, we shouldn't have to manually install things. In my opinion If we opt to do that, we should be granted the privilege.
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96 of 136 people (71%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 13, 2014
Faulty's scorecard :-

1) Essential purchase
2) Recommended purchase
3) Recommended purchase during a sale
4) Not recommended unless heavily discounted
5) Not even recommended for Steam game collectors

A good robust piece of recording software well worth investing in

I purchased this on a whim during the autumn sale but was heading out that evening so I didn't bother installing it thinking I would get to that when I got home or possibly do it over the weekend. What I did was promptly forget about it (I had a lot of work pressures on the mind not being helped by the fact I was also prepping and studying for exams). I also have a bad habit of never remembering what I purchase during Steam sales because I seem to go into a frenzied, rabid mode where all logic and reason get left behind at the start of the sale only to be picked up again as the sale door slams shut and boots me back to reality. To be honest, I have lost count the amount of times I have gotten as giddy as a schoolboy for a game I already own of which I had no idea I already owned.
I am not what you would call an expert at this sort of stuff and quite frankly I don't aim to be so FRAPS, when introduced to me, did everything and more I could expect from software of this nature. PlayClaw 5 has made me aware that I could have been expecting a bit more - but just a bit since we are not talking Great Expectations here.

I initially had teething problems with FRAPS playing and recording on the same drive. There where some significant hits to game performance even on beefy i7 systems but that all changed when I purchased my latest gaming laptop (MSI GT70 i7-3630 with 16 RAM, 256GB SSD and 750Gb internal drive). Having FRAPS installed on the SSD and writing to the internal drive solved all my issues. I decided to install PlayClaw 5 in exactly the same manner as I did want these insanely large video files clogging up my SDD which would have had a hard time anyway of keeping more than two videos of 30 mins of gameplay before running out of space.

So for the relative newcomer to game recording how does PlayClaw 5 stack up against FRAPS, its similarly priced cousin? I have yet to try out Dxtory - which is significantly cheaper than both - but PlayClaw 5 comes with a host of options not available to FRAPS users. You can select a codec (granted you can only choose between fast, MJEPG, H.264 Intel Quicksync and the Nvidia codec if you have an Nvidia card like I do) but as mentioned above to a novice user of software of this nature I am really fine with this. Where FRAPS can be quite resource intensive, PlayClaw 5 is very much lighter on the system. FRAPS also has an annoying habit of loosing frames even though you are recording at 30fps but your systems experiences a drop in fps that is still well above the threshold limit. An example would be recording a game video at 30fps with the game running at 60fps occasionally dropping to 50/55 or lower which in turn would still show up in your recordings. Not so with PlayClaw 5 as long as your game doesn't drop below the threshold set in the options menu as this will immediately drop the recording to 15fps but anything higher will not appear which I really like. PlayClaw 5 also outputs smaller video files depending on what codec you use and I found that using the Nvidia Codec (with a few tweaks here and there in the Playclaw options menu) resulted in the qualty recordings at decent sizes for posting. I also found it useful that you can specify in the options how much of the CPU you want to use for recording.
PlayClaw 5 also has an overlay that can show a host of options to you (set in the overlay tab of the software). I found displaying the GPU temperature and usage as well as the systems CPU core temperature and usage to the screen in a non-intrusive way to be very useful. You can also display information such as write speed to drive and file size of recording (if you want to keep track of the video sizes you are recording). It will also record your webcam (displayed in the corner) should you set this in the overlay as well as Teamspeak, if so required. PlayClaw 5 can apparently record up to 16 different audio devices but I could not really test this one out. It seemed to record the game sounds and my microphone perfectly so I was a happy camper. You are also even given the option to record audio in a separate audio file. PlayClaw 5 also comes with a screenshot capturing tool which you can set to take snapshots at intervals you set or when you press the desired key pressing. Nothing new here and what I would have expected. A recent update to PlayClaw5 also added streaming games to twitch in the options menu if you prefer to stream your games (which seems to be all the rage at the moment).

The only downside I can see if you do this professionally is that the software does not allow you to select your own codec for recording that isn't already listed but neither did FRAPS (well not to my knowledge but maybe I missed something). Comparing recording quality I would have to say that PlayClaw 5 seems to have the edge but only slightly but It's not massively noticeable anyway.
If you are looking for game recording software and don't already own FRAPS (or even if you do and still want to see what PlayClaw 5 has to offer) I can highly recommend you pick up this software. Try and catch it when it goes on a sale (I got it for $12 dollars during the Spring/Autumn sale) or better yet if you can't really wait - head on over to the developers website and purchase your Steam key there for $34 instead of the $49 its going for on the Steam Storefront.

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63 of 91 people (69%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
as a noob youtube playthrough person i enjoy using this software. Its so CPU and RAM light even though its packed with so much.
10/10 I dare anyone not to like this. Files are saved as AVI but compressed in MJPEG (Moving Jpeg) so for my Half-Life 2 sries. 30 mins at 1080p is 10-15gb. Compress it to 720p in Sony Vegas and bang >1gb
For Assassins Creed 4 its more like 20GB but its Jpeg formatted so obviously the mpre colours used the bigger the file. Still... Its an EPIC peice of software. GET IT IF YOU PLAN ON RECORDING YOUTUBE VIDS!
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31 of 38 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 18, 2015
At first I was very happy witht his software; it captures video quite well with few dropped frames. After I tried to do anything more than capture gameplay this software gave me nothing but problems. I had issues with importing anything captured into video editing software, maintaining 60fps while capturing at 1080p, discolouration in the captured gameplay, as well as some audio/visual desynching that I have not experienced with other software. This program also (to my knowlege) lacks the ability to capture ingame and desktop within the same stream, the recording has to be stopped and the user must specify which mode they want to use.

Overall this program only perfoms well when doing siple video capture that other free software can do just as well. If you are looking for something like that i recommend OBS; otherwise try Xsplit.
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30 of 41 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
39.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 1, 2015
Has not worked since i purchased it. I waited for the developer to update it which they did about a month later which broke more things. I went to Vavle for a refund since it is broken showing my post on the forum when i purchased it as well as a link to the forums showing it's broken for everyone but they denied me twice. Thanks for taking my $40 steam and giving me nothing. I believe the dev is trying to fix things but it's been broken for so long and i've lost the use and money!

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23 of 30 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 24, 2015
i have a big bug so if i pause the record and i click on unpause he dont resume my record :-(
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48 of 75 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 29, 2014
While the program works well and is feature-rich (coming from Fraps), the Steam version is a pain in the ♥♥♥. Buy the non-Steam version instead and save a few bucks too.
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