How ShadowPlay Highlights and Nvidia Ansel make GeForce cards more fun

For years, the software that shipped with graphics cards didn’t add a lot of value when you were actually, you know, playing games. Sure, you wanted the latest drivers for the best performance, and it’s nice to be able to adjust how your monitors behave or optimize your games with a click—but none of that is exciting in the heat of the moment. Nvidia’s new ShadowPlay Highlights and Ansel features in GeForce Experience change that.

Let’s dig into how ShadowPlay Highlights and Ansel make using GeForce graphics cards just plain more fun, letting you easily create and share stunning gameplay videos and glamoured-up screenshots, respectively. You’ll need a GeForce graphics card to take advantage of these Nvidia-created goodies, of course.

If you’ve ever wanted to mimic PewDiePie or DeadEndThrills, read on, but be warned: Once you’ve dabbled in these dandy features, you’ll wish they were available in every game.

What is ShadowPlay Highlights?

shadowplay highlights nvidia Nvidia

ShadowPlay Highlights builds atop Nvidia’s long-lauded ShadowPlay technology, which helps make GeForce Experience the best PC game recording software for owners of Nvidia hardware. It takes the hassle out of capturing your most glorious gaming experiences, automatically saving video of key moments like kills, deaths, match wins, and more, then letting you share those clips easily to Facebook and YouTube—or you can save the clips locally. It’s similar to a feature that rival game capture service Plays.tv uses to grab your e-sports highlights, but built right into your graphics card’s software.

And ShadowPlay Highlights is a blast. I’m not the type of person who normally blasts videos of my gaming escapades out to the Internet because, well, editing and uploading videos sounds like the last thing I want to do when I find some free time to play. ShadowPlay Highlights takes all the time and legwork out of the process, so that even video noobs like yours truly can start sharing gaming clips and aspire to become a YouTube sensation one day. (Hey, it could happen—right?)

Here’s an Nvidia video showing how it works. I’d share Highlights of my own, but watching me get massacred after landing in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds again and again isn’t exactly must-see TV. 

The biggest issue is finding games that support it. Like the Plays.tv version of the feature, ShadowPlay Highlights only works for games that explicitly support it, and given that it’s only been available for a short time, that whitelist is limited to a scant two games at the moment: Cliff Bleszinski’s LawBreakers ($30 on Amazon) and the wildly popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds ($30 on Amazon). More PC games are planning to include ShadowPlay Highlights support, though, including Final Fantasy XV, the martial arts RPG Absolver ($30 on Steam), and campaign shooter Raider of the Broken Planet.

Here’s hoping a lot more will come sooner than later. Popular e-sports games would be a good place to start—I don’t think it’s coincidental that the first two ShadowPlay Highlights titles are first-person shooters. In the meantime, ShadowPlay Highlights is stellar for chronicling LawBreakers multi-kills or the journey to those elusive PUBG chicken dinners.

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