How To Record or Live Stream a Nintendo Switch


Wanna know How To Record or Live Stream a Nintendo Switch? Read on my good friend and you’ll be on YouTube and Twitch in no time! As a 1080p console, it’s exactly the same as recording or streaming previous gen consoles, so bear that in mind.

If you were wondering How To Record or Live Stream a Nintendo Switch, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together 8 steps to get you live on Twitch TV or uploaded on YouTube in no time. All you need is an HD capture card and a couple of HDMI cables before you start. Let’s get started!

1. Get an HD capture card.

Record or Live Stream a Nintendo Switch

If you want to know how to record or live stream a Nintendo Switch, you’re going to need an HD capture card to start with. Even though these capture cards were released before the Nintendo Switch, they will all be fully compatible as the Nintendo Switch runs at 1080p. There’s only two players worth mentioning, Elgato and AverMedia and then one question: internal or external?

Some capture cards go right into the guts of your computer (inside the case) and some are no-brainer USB plug and play. Due to the nature of USB latency, I’d always recommend you install one directly inside your computer but if this isn’t possible then USB will do the job. Here’s your options, including what we use on our YouTube channel:


External (USB)

2. Install your HD capture card.

Record or Live Stream a Nintendo Switch

If you went for an internal capture card, start by installing it inside your PC into its PCIe port. It’s literally a case of popping it in the PCIe slot and using one screw to secure it. Definitely refer to the instructions for installation provided with your capture card for specifics as they all vary slightly. If you’ve got an external capture card, just simply plug it in via USB now.

3. Plug your Nintendo Switch dock and your TV into your capture card.

Record or Live Stream Nintendo Switch

Make sure your Nintendo Switch is comfortably in its dock. To record or live stream a Nintendo Switch, it must be docked at all times, so you’ll need to grab a pro controller or use a Joy-Con grip to play after you’re done setting everything up.

Take an HDMI cable and plug it into the back of your Nintendo Switch dock’s HDMI port. Take the other end and plug it into the ‘input’ HDMI port of your capture card.

Take another HDMI cable and plug it into the ‘output’ HDMI port of your capture card. Plug the other end of the HDMI cable into your TV. You’re done setting everything up.

4. Install capture card software.record-or-stream-a-nintendo-3ds

Install the capture card software bundled with your capture card. It’s worth checking for updates as manufacturers will likely add profiles for the Nintendo Switch soon after it’s launch, but it’ll still work nevertheless. Elgato’s Game Capture HD has everything you need to start recording gaming footage at 1080p at 60fps.

Your capture card manufacturer may include software which allows you to record your gameplay, but step 7 will point you in the direction of software which allows you to record and live stream too. You’re almost done learning how to record or live stream a Nintendo Switch!

5. Fire up your Nintendo Switch!

Record or Live Stream a Nintendo Switch

After you’ve set up everything and have your capture card software open, turn on your Nintendo Switch. If you’ve done everything right, you should see Nintendo Switch gameplay on your TV and on your PC. You’re ready to record gameplay! Just hit the big record button to get started. If it’s not working, just refer to the diagram above to make sure everything is plugged in properly.

If you don’t intend to live stream your Nintendo Switch, you’re done! Follow tutorials on Elgato’s website if you want to know how to add your webcam/microphone etc. using Elgato’s Game Capture HD.

6. But what about live streaming?

Record or Live Stream a Nintendo Switch

If you’ve done all the previous steps, it means everything is set up correctly and you’re ready to live stream! But first, you’ll need to download broadcasting software to go live on YouTube or Twitch TV. There’s only two options really, OBS is totally free and awesome and XSplit isn’t free and slightly more awesome. Choose wisely!

Download your software of choice and install.

7. Add a Video Capture Device source.

Record or Live Stream Nintendo Switch

After installing the broadcasting software, go ahead and launch it. You’ll need to add a source that records your capture card’s footage so do as the image shows above; just right-click in the Sources box. This guide shows you how to add a video game capture source in OBS, but it’s pretty much the exact same process in XSplit too.

Record or Live Stream Nintendo Switch

Select your installed capture card from the Device drop-down list. Click on OK. If your Nintendo Switch is powered on and you’ve set everything up correctly, click on Preview Stream and you should be able to see your Nintendo Switch gaming footage. Congrats, you now know how to Record or Live Stream a Nintendo Switch!

For more information on how to set up OBS with your Broadcast settings, encoding settings and how to add other sources (like your webcam and microphone), that’s gonna be a whole new Google search for you, buddy! But I promise you, if you got this far, you won’t struggle.

Need help? Any questions?

If you need help or have any questions on how to record or live stream a Nintendo Switch, just leave me a comment below. Feel free to Tweet us and we’ll try and help if we can! Don’t forget to go over to YouTube and subscribe to our channel, where you can watch me steamroll through Breath of the Wild using the set-up shown here. Happy recording/live streaming! If this guide helped you, please consider helping us by donating to keep this blog and our YouTube channel alive! 🙂


  • What about the so called nintendo copyrights on youtube showing any nintendo gameplay?

    • GearWax

      It sucks, but people have to deal with it

    • Mark Becky Games

      Yep, they claim half of our stuff and there’s not much way around it. Maybe one day they’ll finally get that this is how gaming works these days! I’ve started just streaming on Twitch instead lately.

  • Carl O

    I have tried this and when I do this OBS says it is in use by another program? Any help?

  • GeXXy

    how are you supposed to connect the Elgato Game Capture HD60 to your switch and your PC at the same time? not everyones switch is right next to their pc!

    • Mark Becky Games

      That is a very good point I didn’t include in the guide! I had this problem too so I got some 10m HDMI cables from Amazon and run them around the edges of my room/behind furniture etc. It’s a pain in the ass to set up but you only have to do it once. Good luck!!

  • tyler

    does this method allow for streaming through applications such as discord?

  • bianca ozawa

    Hello fellow Switch users! Whenever I want to live stream my switch, I use the AceThinker Screen Grabber Pro as I connect my Switch to my PC. This software can cast in HD quality, both video and audio, which is perfect live streaming videos. You can try this tool’s free trial on both Windows and Mac. Enjoy! 🙂