With video game capture and streaming rising in popularity year on year, getting in on that action means having a great capture card that works well across multiple devices. You’re also going to need one that matches the resolutions of your consoles, whether that be the maximum 900p of the Nintendo Switch all the way up to the 4k of the PS4 Pro.
If you are looking for the best Nintendo Switch capture card or even the PS4 for example, take a look at our picks below. We’re going to detail some portable capture cards as well as some high-performing internal options to hopefully provide you with the best capture card to suit your needs when it comes to capturing your footage from your video games.
Capturing that content
The amount of streamers looking for the perfect capture cards for Nintendo Switch is on the rise as Switch streaming continues to grow as a topic among content creators, but fortunately, the chip shortage doesn’t appear to have affected this market – at least not yet, and while consoles such as the Xbox One can manage to stream natively if you want to game capture to your PC that is a different proposition.
Best Capture Card for Switch and PS4 (Internal & Portable)
Up to 2160p recording
Elgato build quality
Elgato, widely renowned for their gaming capture cards, are probably the best in the business and the HD60 S+ variant of their top-tier portable capture cards offers maximum functionality and great overall specs.
You’ll be getting recording resolutions of up to 2160p at 60 FPS which is far greater than the limits of the Switch but also useful for that PS4 Pro which offers those premium visuals. The max bitrate you can record at is 60 Mbps but if you’re requiring a higher bitrate than that, you’re going to be wanting a 4k capture card. It’s powered through USB-C too, perfect for the Switch which also utilizes USB-C, meaning you should have a spare cable around if you forget to pack the one you get in the box.
The software that gets bundled with all Elgato capture cards is stellar, providing some really brilliant features that revolutionized the game capture experience. Flashback recording for example enables you to catch those missed moments that you weren’t prepared for, essentially going back in time to grab those insane plays or a must-see moment in Animal Crossing.
Full HD recording
No 4k recording option
AVerMedia is another company producing some fantastic gaming capture cards. The Live Gamer MINI that we’ve chosen as our budget pick is a really great choice for those looking for full HD capture whilst not breaking the bank. Looking at the specs, we can see that you’re getting full 1080p recording at 60FPS, enough for both Nintendo Switch and PS4. The Avermedia Gamer Live Mini however lacking that 4k functionality, so if you own a PS4 Pro and want to record at higher resolutions you’d have to dig a little deeper in that wallet. It’s also powered by micro USB, which may be a downgrade from the HD60 S+ but the cables are readily available and are super cheap so that quality issue isn’t that much of a problem.
Moving to the key feature of this capture card – portability. The Live Gamer MINI is tiny, probably one of the smallest capture cards out there. Perfect for transporting with your Switch as well as being easily able to conceal your PS4 setup. The software that gets bundled in is pretty great too. The REcentral program allows for a full streaming and recording experience, with scene creation, overlays, and live editing to quicken up all the work done in post. Summing this card up, we can see that it does exactly what it’s supposed to.
With the small form factor of the Avergamer Live Gamer Mini it means it has great portability as well as the full 1080p 60FPS recording that’s the standard of today.
Full HD recording
Micro SD card recording
No 4k recording option
So, after the Live Gamer MINI being such a portable option, why is the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus our best portable pick? Well, that’s due to a couple of factors. First, you’re getting an increased pass through resolution of up to 4k at 60FPS, a bump to that 1080p max of the previous product. While this may not matter to you Switch owners, PS4 Pro users will be appreciative. The other, and most impressive function of this capture card is the ability to record straight onto a micro SD card, no PC required. This is essential for Switch users wanting to maybe record gameplay in tabletop mode or even on the road, eliminating the need to carry round a laptop just to secure those top gaming moments. Finally, the handy feature of allowing voice capture straight into the card is a welcomed addition, furthering that PC-free recording approach for individuals wanting to add their commentary.
However, like the Live Gamer MINI it is powered through micro USB as its power supply, a little annoying at this price point but something that isn’t a complete deal breaker. Additionally, it would’ve been nice for there to be 4K recording due to the 4k passthrough but it is unfortunately capped at 1080p. Not a problem for capturing Switch footage but annoying for PS4 Pro owners. All in all, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus details some brilliant extra features that really benefit portable users. It is a little costly compared to the Live Gamer MINI but having those additions really makes a difference.
Elgato build quality
No external recording
The second Elgato recording device to make it on our best Capture Card for Switch and PS4 list. However, it’s the first 4k recording, and only internal choice taking up a PCI E slot on your motherboard. You can capture full 4k HDR10 gameplay coupled with 240 Hz passthrough if you’re utilizing a dual PC setup. There’s a 140 Mbps bitrate limit too, more than double that of the HD60 S+, allowing for crystal clear quality. You’ll also be receiving that top-tier Elgato software with its intuitive flashback recording and overall easy-to-use functionality. With this being internal, you’ll avoid all of the cable worries, making it much less prone to fail.
The one major drawback to this thing is the fact that it is internal. While some may regard this as a plus, and it is with individuals who have a beefy PC setup, those wanting to record on the go or move it around multiple setups will be left wanting. Additionally, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag, almost eliminating it as a choice for budget conscious gamers.
Things to consider
The max recording resolution of your capture card is probably the most important aspect you need to consider when trying to capture footage from your games consoles. You’re going to want one that matches the top resolution of your device, for example the Nintendo Switch maxes out at 900p but the PS4 Pro has a limit of 2160p therefore, choosing 1080p and 4k max cards respectively ensures you’ll be recording at those top resolutions. You do need to be careful however, as some have higher passthrough resolutions than recording so keep an eye out for that in the specs.
For the best Nintendo Switch capture card, you know you’re going to need a portable solution. Having the enhanced portability of the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus, recording on the go is simplistic and removes the stress of having to also bring a laptop with you. For those looking to capture gameplay at home, portability is still pretty important. You’ll be able to move your capture card around the house, hooking it up to the Nintendo Switch in your front room and your PS4 in your man cave with minimal hassle. Of course, if you opt for an internal Switch capture card, you’re losing portability in every sense, so that’s certainly something to think about.
There aren’t a huge amount of ports that you need to consider when looking at purchasing a capture card but how it’s powered is one aspect that should be thought about. With the majority of capture cards utilizing micro USB, you’re always going to run into how long those cables are going to last.
They are cheap and readily available but that’s not the point. However, selecting a product like the Elgato HD60 S+, you’ll receive a USB-C connection, providing that superior quality and futureproofing. Compounding this, the Nintendo Switch runs off a USB-C cable, meaning you use the providing cable for both devices. Handy for those always forgetting something!
Things To Consider
After reviewing all of these top capture cards for Switch and PS4, we can see that while they’re all fantastic options, the slightly different features of each make them stand apart from one another. In our eyes, the Elgato HD60 S+ is extremely hard to beat. Elgato have been making the HD60 line for a number of years now and is the option for most Youtubers and streamers out there. The build quality and software are best in class, making sure they work as intended now, and in the future. However, as we are looking at the best capture card for Switch as well as the PS4, portability may be key so if that’s your biggest concern, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus is the way to go. It’s a lifesaver with that micro SD recording, heavily reducing the amount of equipment you’ll be lugging around while also being small and very lightweight.