Smooth OBS studio recording of MSFS?

It really feels like trying to find the holy grail on this.

I have a decent speced machine with a 3080 10gb card and i9 11900kf 5.3GHz turbo CPU.

Flying in the sim with a 4k resolution and most settings on ultra I get smooth performance with the exception of more complex payware sceneries etc where occasionally there is the odd stutter when taxiing around for example.

For OBS i downscale the output to 1080p amd record in CQP 20 at 30fps with the Nvidia Nvenc 264 encoder. I also have the sim capped to 30fpswith the 50% monitor refresh rate.

The problem is no mattet how smooth my flight or what and where I am flying I notice stutters on my recordings. I’ve tried various “fixes” running obs as admin, setting it to a high priority etc updating drivers and I’ve watched a load of “get smooth recording” youtube videos but nothing really seems to work!!

Would be interested to know if any of you have achieved smooth recordings and how you did it?!

There’s a plugin that makes it smooth. At least in VR it works great.
Don’t remember the name, when I get home will post.

I had similar issues last year before I got me a 4090. For me it worked with my 3090 to not just cap the fps, but to set the VSYNC to adaptiv, either full 60 or half fps (30) via the nvidia driver. The downside is, that tearing can appear (and most likely will at fast camera movements) , but obs did run way better then.

Since you don’t use VR my previous answer doesn’t apply. So you need to go to Settings->Video and change the Integer FPS Value to match your monitor’s refresh rate.

Thanks for the replies. Interestingly most of the “guides” I have read said use CQP for recording. Just did a quick test between CQP and CBR and the CBR recording appears to be as smooth as the gameplay. Now trying it out for a full flight to see if that holds true over an extended period of time.

Obviously it’s not helping with your OBS settings but have you tried Nvidia recorder? Really low impact on the fps.
I’ve been using it for years.


Hi man! Did you remember the name of this plugin?

I am really struggling to get any recording as smooth as I see it on screen during gameplay (not VR).

I bought an Elgato PCIe 4k60 Capture Card thinking it would help, but it really doesn’t. And since then I read that the card could actually use MORE CPU than just using the OBS apps’ “Game Capture” source as that takes frames direct from the GPU memory, and bypasses the CPU, whereas a capture card needs the CPU to process the data real-time. I thought the card would handle all that and offload ANY duty from the CPU and do full resolution at 60fps but maybe I’m massively mistaken. Sounds like I need a SECOND PC with the card in it, to record on there, but I still think that won’t help the stutters.

Might take it out and send it back for a refund but want to see what I can do first!

Weird thing is before I started messing with settings, I am sure I had better smoother playback but I can’t get it back now! I am totally lost lol

EDIT: For what it’s worth, I tried loads of settings but basically trying this:

  • 3440x1440 is my native monitor (RTX 4080) on an AMD 7950X3D
  • Tried scale down to 2752 x 1152 or 2580 x 1080
  • Tried all encoders. Suppose H.264 is preferred?
  • Indistinguishable quality preset is what I want - for clarity. The others MAY actually be smoother, but it looks terrible really.
  • 60fps – maybe this is the issue? I have the game set to 60fps cap but with Frame Generation… not sure if it sees the rate BEFORE the FG (so 30) or the final output?
  • From Elgato onto “cloned” monitor then resized to fit ultrawide (the card outputs 16:9 so I have to stretch it to the right size for 43:18!)
  • From Game Capture > MSFS.exe window (this sees the correct aspect ratio)
  • To MPEG-4 (I know it suggests MKV but that makes it more awkward for me to work on post processing then in Adobe After Effects - which doesn’t import that format)
  • Processing Priority = Above Normal
  • Using the Simple page of options. Is there something better in Advanced??
    -AAC Audio encoder (Default)

By stutters do you mean frame drops in the recording where frames that got rendered on screen and ought to have been captured didn’t get recorded? Or like, you have the capture set to 60fps and you got some 50fps rendering happening so some frames are duplicated in the 60fps capture?

The latter seems difficult to avoid since there’s no way to set capture to happen with v-sync or g-sync (VRR), rather it’s a fixed frame rate timer.

The former isn’t a problem I have on my system; I use OBS to record 4K 60fps HDR using the Radeon 7900 XTX’s HEVC codec and it’s nice and smooth.

Hey thanks for the reply.
Just general sluggishness, much of the time. For example, when flying on screen I can look sideways and everything flows really smooth, on the video it’s quite steppy.

I just tried recording 30fps both with desktop only (Game Capture source) and using the Elgato, and it’s much worse in both cases. So I need to use 60 for sure.

It’s not TERRIBLE don’t get me wrong - just not as smooth as I was hoping I could get. As in, exactly what I get on screen. It looks pretty nice when I watch on phone (from my YouTube upload) but playing full screen on desktop from the actual file, it is worse.

Sure if the GAME stutters (terrain loading, traffic blah blah), then of course that will come out in the video - but it’s real smooth here playing all the time, then when I watch back it’s just hitching sometimes (in between it has smooth moments so it’s not constant, but often and usually when I turn my head in the game).

Take a look around the 12:00 mark for example. Looking left, it’s hitching but playing was completely smooth and around 16:50 looking down it’s steppy. Just examples, that is what I am talking about:

EDIT: another example: (at 10:35 - inverted pass on that white building - see it’s not smooth. Then when I come out of of the inverted, turning right the grass steps, Didn’t do that in gameplay. Like the game is taking priority and it skips on the recording.

This is what I use GitHub - Crowsinc/LiveVisionKit: LiveVisionKit brings the powers of computer vision and image processing to OBS Studio; implementing state of the art filters such as image enhancement and real-time video stabilization.

Those look like the rendering frame rate lowering a little bit as you’re moving the camera around? I’d expect the live view to have been similar, though if you’re using VRR output it should have looked slightly smoother on screen in terms of judder (the recording will be a fixed frame rate).

(To be clear, that recording looks pretty normal to me. I don’t see anything out of order.)

The second video does appear to drop a frame or two? Frame drops do happen sometimes, alas, in the world of multitasking desktop operating systems.

I do recommend against using the HDMI capture widget unless you’re recording on a second machine – otherwise why bother? just capture and encode from GPU memory, it’s much faster. (Unless something exists that handles VRR correctly, which it sounds like it isn’t in your testing.)

Yeah I think I misunderstood the benefit. It’s an internal card (PCI slot) but using HDMI port from the out of RTX4080 to the IN socket on the card.

I (wrongly?) assumed that having a dedicated card for it would completely take the load away from the game/sim and the card would process everything plus write to disk with no impact on the gameplay.

I have a few days that I can still arrange to send it back for a refund so will likely do that. It was £185 so not the end of the world but I’d rather spend it on something I’d use lol

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I’ve had a look at this on GitHub but really not sure what I need from it. None of these sound like anything that will make the overall thing smoother. Do you mean the Stabilization? That is like an artificial gimbal effect, which is not really the problem I have here I think.

  • AMD FSR 1.0 Video Scaler
  • AMD FidelityFX Sharpening
  • Video Stabilizer
  • Adaptive De-Blocker
  • Lens Correction
  • Calibration Tool

I don’t know about your problem but I use video stabilizer and improves my VR recording a lot.