These days, it feels like everyone’s capturing and sharing their gaming adventures.

Whether it’s for YouTube compilations, personal commentaries, or just swapping highlights with friends.

Xbox and Sony took notice of this trend and made game recording a priority in their next-gen consoles.

But, here’s the catch—on the Xbox Series S, you’re stuck with just 4 minutes of recording time.

But hey, don’t sweat it! I’ve got your back. In this article, I’ll show you some nifty tricks to break free from that limit and capture up to an hour of gameplay at a time.

I will warn you though, it does require a little bit of financial investment.

How Long Can I record on the Xbox Series S

Straight out of the box, the Xbox Series S can record 3 minutes of gameplay in 720p or 1 minute of 1080P footage.

This is long enough to record a short clip, but nowhere near the duration needed for uploading gameplay and commentary.

When I first started uploading content I’d have to pause the game and hit record every minute. This required a lot of editing and a lot of the time the video would still jump or show the menus at every cut.

It wasn’t very enjoyable for me, or for the viewer either.

Why can I record for only 3 minutes on Xbox?

The Xbox sets a recording limit to manage storage and keep the console running smoothly. Shorter recording times help balance system resources and storage space. Without this limit, you’d start to experience performance issues in the game.

If you need longer recordings, using external devices can extend the duration without affecting performance.

How do you Record longer than 3 minutes on Xbox Series S?

The only way to record for longer using the built-in recording feature is to use external storage.

This can be done using a USB device or External hard drive.

I have a cheap 128GB USB stick and this is more than enough for me.

I see others recommend a full 1TB hard drive but this is unnecessary unless you’re stockpiling gameplay for months on end.

As long as you’re somewhat efficient at editing, uploading, and then deleting your raw footage, there’s no need for huge storage devices.

How To Record Up To 1 Hour Of Gameplay on Xbox Series S

The first thing you’ll need to do is use a computer to format the device to NTFS.

Format Xbox Series S USB to NTFS

Some devices already come pre-formatted. This is the case with devices such as the WD EasyStore and the Seagate Xbox hard drive.

Once the device is formatted, plug it into your console and head over to the capture & share tab in the Xbox menu. At the bottom of this tab, you’ll see the “capture settings”. Press A and it’ll come to the screen below.

Xbox Series S Capture settings screen

Find the capture location and click on it.

Change it from internal to your external device.

Once you’ve done this, it will prompt you with a screen saying that you can now capture longer clips and edit them on your PC.

By doing this you also lose the ability to edit them in Upload Studio or upload them to Xbox Live. Everything has to be transferred to your PC and edited that way, whether it’s via Sony Vegas or Clipchamp.

Notice that allows you to record for 1 hour

To recap, what you need to do to record for longer on Xbox Series S is:

  1. Format external storage to NTFS
  2. Plug the external storage device into the console
  3. Head over to capture and share menu screen and press capture settings.
  4. Change capture location from internal to your external storage device
  5. Confirm the changes
  6. Record for up to an hour at a time.

That’s all there is to it. There’s no secret trick, just buy a USB stick, format it, and change a couple of settings.

My Storage Device Recommendations

I recommend any USB device of 128gb or more. This is going to be the cheapest way to start recording hours of gameplay from your Xbox.

I don’t recommend an external hard drive if I’m honest. I’d rather use them to store games.

Unfortunately, you can’t share the space on an external hard drive. You can only store games on it, or clips. You can’t store both at the same time.

Buy a USB, stay on top of your editing, and don’t let it get too cluttered with footage.

The Downsides Of Using Xbox To Record

Down below is a video recorded using the Xbox game record feature. It’s nowhere near as high quality as a proper capture device.

As you can see it’s lower quality than the footage that’s recorded on an Elgato or any other dedicated capture device.

While it is 1080p and good enough for starting a channel, you’d want to upgrade to an Elgato relatively quickly. That is of course once you have the money and setup to fund it.

Alternative Recording Methods

Elgato HD60X

Elgato Game Capture gadgets help you record your gaming moments from consoles like PlayStation or Xbox.

They connect your console to your computer so you can save or livestream your gameplay.

People who love sharing their gaming use these gadgets to make videos for Twitch, YouTube, and more. You can edit, share, or livestream your gaming videos using software like OBS or Elgato’s own.

Using a dedicated capture device requires some investment though as you need a PC, multiple HDMI cords, as well as a recording and editing software.

The Elgato devices cost a pretty penny themselves so the Xbox recording feature makes more sense for a lot of people.