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Get more from your system with NVIDIA GeForce Experience and Shadowplay

By Marc Faulkner
December 9, 2022

NVIDIA GeForce Experience is a free software suite designed to make everything about gaming easier.

Everybody wants an easy life. When you’re gaming, you need everything to be quick, convenient and easy to use. There is nothing more annoying than making a great play, performing a brilliant overtake or scoring a game winner and not being able to save the moment quickly. As gamers, we have all experienced that frustration of getting a new game that refuses to run well on your system no matter what graphics settings you try. PC Games have a lot of graphics settings that allow you freedom to tweak the visual presentation of the game to your liking. If you want high framerate performance, or lower framerate with visuals cranked up to max fidelity there is always a balance to strike. Unless you have a system with a RTX 4090 in it, then just crank everything to max settings.

The thing is, time is precious and most people don’t have more than 10 minutes to spend setting up graphics settings. Frustratingly, most games have built in default settings where they will identify your hardware and throw the settings to whatever default the game thinks will work. Always far from optimal.

NVIDIA GeForce Experience is a software tool that is designed to add value, usability and features that gamers need. Your gaming system should be easy to use and GeForce Experience simplifies a lot of the processes involved in maintaining your graphics hardware as well as giving you many options to maximise the features your graphics card can offer you.

If you have an Stormforce Gaming system with an NVIDIA graphics card, we recommend that every gamer uses GeForce Experience to help maintain their system.

You can download the latest version of GeForce Experience here

When you finish installing the software and first boot up, it is recommended to set up an account with NVIDIA to make logging in, saving settings and linking external accounts like discord and youtube to activate extra features easier.

 

Using GeForce Experience to optimise game settings

The homepage of the program presents a tile grid of all of your installed games. If you have games installed across many storage devices then hit the three dots in the top right hand corner of the app and click on ‘Scan for games & apps’. This will then populate the homepage with all of your installed games so you can manage settings from here.
From this point you can either click the same three dots and select ‘Optimise all games & apps’ or click on a tile to select a game.

Either launch the game or select ‘Details’ to go into the menu and look at a granular breakdown of every graphics setting that the game offers.
You are presented with a slideshow of screenshots that have green boxes you can hover over. This will explain simply what each graphics option does to the visuals of the game. You can usually scroll through a few example images that showcase each setting in a way that is easier to understand. This is much better than going into the graphics settings each time to test each setting and seeing how much of an impact each setting has on performance.
Half way down the screen is a bright green OPTIMISE button. This will instantly take an NVIDIA profile that is built up of mass user data and applies the best settings to the game. In most cases, this will present the most balanced mix between visual fidelity and framerate. Clicking on the spanner icon next to the green OPTIMISE button will give you an additional menu that lets you fine tune your screen settings and how you want to balance optimisation between Performance and Quality. For most people, the default settings are absolutely fine.

Once you have done this. you can launch the game from the game launcher or direct from GeForce Experience by hitting the green LAUNCH button in the top right hand corner.

 

Download and Maintain Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA regularly release driver updates that boost performance, add features and optimise more and more games. In the old days, the best practice was to uninstall old drivers, use display driver uninstallation tools to remove remnants of old driver packages. In general, this was a real pain. These days things are thankfully much simpler. GeForce Experience gives you a simple panel that allows you to manage driver package rollouts on your system very easily.

Start by clicking DRIVERS on the top left of the GFE app. This will put you onto the driver page which shows what driver updates may be available. Typically, this page will include a few different links. You can click on the ‘Learn What’s New’ tile to bring up a full list of changes that the driver brings. There is also a synopsis of what features the driver focusses on below the banner.

From this page you can Check for Updates manually, download new drivers and when the latest package is downloaded, you can hit ‘Express Installation’ to update the drivers on the fly.
This will update your drivers whilst keeping your settings the same. No need to go and reconfigure anything like G-Sync or your Shadowplay settings.

The best part is that you don’t even need to restart your system. Once the installation is finished you can jump straight into a game. It is a good idea to go back to the home page on GeForce Experience and optimise your games before starting as the new driver may have some additional optimisations that improve the settings that can be used in game

Share your greatest moments with NVIDIA ShadowPlay

ShadowPlay is a built in broadcasting tool that works within NVIDIA graphics drivers. When you are in game, press ALT+Z to bring up the NVIDIA GeForce Experience overlay. This will allow you to access all of the different in game capabilities of the GeForce Experience app. From here you can access the settings and configure each feature to different hotkeys as well as capture gameplay footage and save screenshots.

Go to Settings (the cog icon) and scroll down to video capture. This will allow you to configure how much gameplay footage ShadowPlay caputres continuously. Remember that the higher the framerate and resolution you capture, the larger the files will be when you save them. It is worth while setting the capture timeframe as 5 minutes so you can get a useable video clip to edit later on. You can also set what sounds are recorded. Useful if your teammates are talking and you want to include or remove that element of audio from gameplay footage.

You can go to the Broadcasting tile and use this to upload straight to Facebook, Youtube and Twitch. This allows you to stream gameplay footage directly captured from your GPU with minimal system overheads.
For gamers who just want a rolling highlight reel, the instant replay feature is super useful. Turning Instant Replay on will continuously capture the last few minutes of gameplay. Hitting Alt+Z when you want to save the last few moments of gameplay is a really useful shortcut and all you need to do is click the instant replay tile and hit save (or ALT+F10). This will save your video into your Videos folder in Windows meaning you can just access it later and get straight back into the game.

Nvidia Highlights is a feature available in some games. This uses ShadowPlay technology to automatically save highlights that the game picks for you. Most games that feature this contain the option to turn this on or off in the in game menu.

Learn more about how to get more from your system with ShadowPlay HERE

When you have your videos saved, you can go back to them and use the in game footage to make clips of great plays or interesting replays. Whatever you want to capture, ShadowPlay gives you the power to save gameplay without the need for any additional capture hardware.