OBS Not Capturing Game? Here’s how to fix

OBS Studio is a video recording and streaming software that is widely used for both the mentioned purposes. While trying to record a video game or anything, some users experience an issue where the software does not record the game at all. Upon seeing the recorded file, there is audio of the game but no video to follow it up rather it is just a black screen. This issue of OBS not capturing games is pretty common and is often faced by newcomers to the software. However, because of this, there are quite a few solutions available that will help you fix the issue.

OBS Not Capturing Game

As it turns out, the issue in question can be caused by a number of reasons depending on your system. First of all, if the application is running without having sufficient permissions, it will not be able to capture your game and you will be left with a black screen in the preview window of the application. In addition to that, other third-party recording software that you might have running on your system can also interfere with OBS Studio due to which it isn’t able to capture the game. Before we get into the different workarounds that you can implement to circumvent the issue in question, let us first establish a better understanding of the cause of the problem. The following list will help you with that.

  • Different GPUs — As it turns out, one of the reasons the issue might appear is when your OBS application is using a different GPU then the one your game is on. Having multiple GPUs is not necessary for this as most CPUs or some motherboards come with an integrated GPU which can be the reason the issue is being caused. In such a case, you will have to change the graphics settings for OBS and to ensure that both the game and application is on the same device.
  • Insufficient Permissions — Another reason the issue may occur is when the application is running with insufficient permissions on your system. In such a scenario, you will have to run OBS Studio as an administrator so that it has all the permissions it requires to properly capture your game.
  • Other Third-Party Software — As it happens, if you have other third-party recording software installed on your system that are running, there’s a good chance that they are causing the issue as well. This includes software like Fraps and more. If this case is applicable, you will have to turn them off and then try capturing your game to see if that resolves the issue.

Now that we have gone through the possible causes of the issue in question, without further ado, let us get into the various solutions that you can implement to get the issue resolved.

Restart Game or OBS Studio

As it turns out, in some cases when you are facing the problem in question, a simple restart of your OBS Studio application or the game that you are trying to capture fixes the issue. This has been reported by several users who face this issue that a simple restart of either the application or the game resolves the issue for them and then they are able to capture their game without any issues. Therefore, go ahead and try restarting your OBS Studio or the video game and see if it works out.

Run OBS as an Administrator

In case restarting OBS Studio or the game does not fix the issue for you, it could be due to insufficient permissions of the OBS Studio. In such a case, you will have to run the OBS Studio with administrative privilege so that it has all the permissions required to capture your game without any issues. If this fixes the issue for you, you can simply change the properties of OBS Studio to run as an administrator every time you open it. To run OBS as an administrator, follow the instructions given down below:

  1. First of all, open up the Start Menu by either pressing the Windows key or clicking the Windows icon on your taskbar.
  2. In the Start Menu, type in OBS Studio and wait for the result to be shown.
    Searching for OBS
  3. Then, right-click on the OBS Studio result shown and from the drop-down menu, choose the Run as administrator option.
    Running OBS as an Admin
  4. Click Yes on the User Account Control dialog box that appears.
  5. Once you have done that, go ahead and see if the issue persists.

Stop Other Third-Party Recording Software

As it turns out, if you have other third-party recording software installed on your system like Fraps etc, there is a good chance that they are interfering with the OBS Studio application on your system and as a result, preventing it from capturing your game which is why you get a black screen. This has also been reported by other users who were trying to capture their game but were left with a black screen in both the preview window and any recordings. Therefore, if you have any such third-party software running your system, go ahead and stop them to see if the issue persists.

In addition, if you have third-party antivirus software installed on your system, it would be a good idea to disable it temporarily and see if OBS Studio is able to capture your game. Often these antivirus softwares on your system interferes with other processes which can cause issues.

Disabling Antivirus

Run Game in Fullscreen  Windowed Mode

In some cases, if you are trying to capture an old game, it can cause such issues with OBS as it is not able to hook into the game. In such a case, one way of fixing it would be to run the game in fullscreen windowed mode to see if that resolves the issue. You can easily switch to Fullscreen Windowed mode via the display settings of your game. We’ll be using CSGO as an example here to show you how to switch to windowed fullscreen mode. With that said, follow the instructions given down below to do this:

  1. First of all, open up your game. Then, make your way to the game settings.
    Opening Settings – CSGO
  2. There, switch to the Video or Display section.
  3. Look for a Display Mode option and change it to Fullscreen Windowed mode.
    Changing Display Mode – CSGO
  4. Once you have done, try capturing your game again to see if that resolves the issue.

Change Graphics Settings

As it turns out, in some scenarios, the issue is caused because your OBS Studio is using a different GPU than the one your game is on. This often happens when your system has an integrated GPU and thus OBS does not choose the right GPU. In this case is applicable, you will have to simply change the graphics settings from the Windows Settings app to resolve the issue. To do this, follow the instructions given down below:

  1. First of all, open up the Windows Settings app by pressing Windows key + I.
  2. On the Windows Settings window, make your way to System. This will take you to the Display section. You can, alternatively, right-click on your desktop and choose Display settings from the drop-down menu.
    Windows Settings
  3. Scroll all the way down and then click on the Graphics settings option.
    Opening Graphics Settings
  4. Then, depending on your Windows version, make sure it is set to either Desktop app or Classic app.
    Graphics Settings
  5. Then, click the Browse button.
  6. Now, navigate to the directory where OBS is installed. By default, you will find it in C:\Program Files\obs-studio\bin\64bit.
  7. There, choose obs64.exe and click Add.
    Adding OBS
  8. Once you have done that, click the Options button.
    Changing OBS Graphics Settings
  9. Choose High Performance and then click Save. If you are using a laptop, choose Power Saving instead.
    Changing OBS Graphics Preference
  10. Once you have done that, open up OBS Studio again and see if the issue is resolved.

Muhammad Zubyan

Muhammad Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with over 7 years of extensive experience. He has worked on more than 1500 computers, gaining valuable insights that enable him to detect and troubleshoot any complicated root cause of Windows-related issues and errors. In addition to managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is currently developing his own Game Optimization program that caters to both gamers and casual users alike.