How to Decide on a Video Format to Encode Gaming Videos

    When you’re done recording gaming videos you may be asked to select the video format that you want to save the video in. That choice is more important than you might think, and can affect your video in several ways.

    Simply put the video format will determine the video’s compatibility and its file size. That alone makes it worth carefully thinking about which format you should use.

    The easiest way to decide which video format you should use to encode your gaming videos however is based on how you intend to use them:

    • Save and watch on your own computer or device

    If all you’re going to be doing is storing your videos to watch on your own computer or some other specific device – you can try to find a supported video format with the best compression. In particular you can check if H.265 (HEVC) is supported, and if it is you can use MP4 with H.265.

    In the event that it is not you can default back to MP4 with H.264 – which should definitely be supported by practically any device or platform.

    • Upload to online streaming platforms or social media

    Assuming you’d like to share your video with others or publish it online via an online streaming platform you should use the format recommended by that platform. In most cases nowadays online platforms favor MP4 with H.264 – though there are a few exceptions.

    • Publish as a HTML5 video on a website

    The formats that you would use if you want to publish HTML5 videos depend mostly on the browser support that is available. The safe option is MP4 with H.264, though it is possible to use WebM so long as you provide an MP4 with H.264 option for Safari and Internet Explorer.

    • Distribute and share via file transfer or other means

    When you’re manually distributing videos your goal should be to make sure it is as widely compatible as possible. As you may be able to guess by this point – that means using MP4 with H.264 normally.

    • Burn onto a video DVD

    Video DVDs have strict specifications that need to be adhered to if you want it to be playable on most DVD players. In line with that you will need to use MPEG-2 to encode your video, otherwise you will only be able to watch it on newer DVD players.

    That should cover most of the common ways in which you’re likely to have to use the gaming videos you create. As you have probably noticed, MP4 is one of the most versatile and compatible formats. Even if you don’t encode it in, it can help to know how to convert to MP4, and for example you can convert MOV to MP4 online using Online Video Converter.

    At the end of the day encoding in the right format will help ensure that you can use the video the way that you want to without any issues. In some cases it may even help to preserve its quality better – which definitely makes it worth keeping in mind.


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