Same old Fraps
Derived from Frames Per Second (FPS), Fraps is a benchmarking, screen capture and screen recording tool for PC gamers. It allows you to record high-definition videos in a snap with its easy-to-use interface. But, it hit its peak in 2013. Beepa has not made it clear if they have abandoned the software or has limited it to a Windows 7 OS. Regardless, you should consider this tool as one of the pioneers of gameplay recording apps.
Does the job, but dated
Fraps has fallen behind more modern screen recording packages, and the lack of updates from the developer is discouraging.
When you first open the program, you'll see four tabs: General, FPS, Movies and Screenshots. The Movies tab acts as your main page since it features the recording tool. Under the General tab, you can choose to have Fraps start at launch, or disable the default in the header menu. You can also go to General tab to minimize the system tray - a simple but important option. Many programs similar to Fraps minimize the system tray when you hit the Close system button. But Fraps does not. Taking the old school approach, Fraps exits the program entirely when you hit X. This means you will always have to keep this in mind if you do not want to cut your recording.
Monitoring your game's benchmark will appear in-game. The frame rate counter appears while Fraps is running. You can record the game and the bench rate by selecting F11, then tweak it in the FPS tab. Becoming familiar with these tools is key to enjoying your game. The reason? Using Fraps will slow your game down. As a compromise, you will have to lower the game's settings and resolution. Fraps will then increase the frames per second so that the jumps between the minimum and maximum frame rates go unnoticed.
The utility program is capable of recording a massive 120 fps at 7680 x 4800 px. The software's ability to record at such a high resolution is possible thanks to the program's proprietary codec. With a frame rate as high as that, you can expect that your videos will eat up your computer's memory. For example, saving a one minute recording will cost you 2GB worth of storage. Another thing to keep in mind is that its codec limits where you play and post your recording. Only Fraps or ffdshow supports large AVI files, or you'll have to compress and convert your files into other formats like .mov, .mpeg4 or .wmv. You can also expect that starting and ending a recording will run smoothly and that the game's latency rate will not be affected.
Where can you run this program?
Fraps 3.5.99 can run on Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Is there a better alternative?
Fraps offered a set of innovative tools back in its heyday, so it doesn't come as a surprise that the developer asked you to pay for them at the time. To date however, there are several free game capture tools like OBS Studio and Flashback Express that offer the same features without charging you. OBS Studio is one of the most reliable screen capture software for both long-time and casual gamers. It's an open source and completely free to use program. No sudden charges. No restrictions. It supports streaming and recording in HD without limiting the number or length of your recordings - unlike the free version of Fraps, which records only 30 secs. This is possible because OBS records directly from your graphics card. You can expect to capture your game in full screen mode. It will take a while to install it and configure it to suit your needs, but OBS Studio is definitely one of the best and most powerful recording programs.
Fraps is a compact but powerful program. It has an easy-to-use interface and all the necessary features to record your game. But Fraps has been surpassed by more modern screen recording packages which can be found for free and which are often doing a more effective job.
Should you download it?
No. As mentioned, there are several free alternatives to Fraps that will be compatible to your more modern PC.
- Reliable frametime benchmark
- Supports 4k resolution
- Additional screenshot feature
- Lackluster free features
- Requires large internal storage
- Incompatible with newer OS'