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VGG Screenshot Guide

Video games are a visual medium and the ability to capture and share images is a real boon to the individual wanting to share their gaming experiences with like minded people. Screenshots also aid the usability and visual appeal of VGG immensely. We hope to educate and expand the number of VGGers who can take screenshots from their preferred platform(s).

Some platforms are harder or more expensive to get images from than others. Often times getting good quality images is a whole other hurdle entirely. This guide will start off with some of the easier platforms to capture images off of and then get into the more complicated stuff further down.

Other Useful Pages:

Free Image Editing Tools:


PC - Linux/Macintosh/Windows

PCs are among the easiest to get free, quality images from.

Platform Instructions
Linux To get a screenshot of only the active window, use Alt-PrtSc. This is easier than using the GNOME "Take Screenshot" tool. You can also control this GNOME screenshot tool from the terminal as described in a newer Linux screenshot tutorial.
Macintosh Press Command, Shift, and 3 all at the same time. You'll hear a camera click sound, and your screenshot will appear on your desktop in .PNG format, with the title Screen Shot [Date + Time]. Double click on the screenshot to open and share it with Preview. Right click and choose Open With, or drag and drop it, to open and share it with another app.
Windows To take a screenshot and save it as a file press the Windows logo key +PrtScn. Or, if you're using a tablet, press the Windows logo button + the volume down button. The screen will dim for a moment when the screen is copied and saved as a file in the Screenshots folder (which is in your Pictures folder).


Smartphones are also great for quick, simple, quality screenshots.

Platform Instructions
Android Any stock Android phone running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) or later can easily take a screenshot. Hold the Power and Volume Down buttons together until the screen flashes and you hear the shutter sound. The screenshot image will appear in your Gallery app, usually inside the Screenshots folder.
Unfortunately many manufacturers modify this default and require different buttons to be pressed, or an alternative method to be used. For example the Samsung Galaxy S series with physical buttons take screenshots using the power and home button and later versions without physical buttons take screenshots using a palm-swipe gesture.
From Android 7.0 with the Google Now launcher installed, screenshots can be taken by holding the menu button to launch Google Now, then clicking the Share icon.
iOS (iPhone/iPad) The method for taking a screenshot in iOS has been the same since version 2.0. Hold the Power (Sleep/Wake) and Home buttons together until the screen flashes and you hear the shutter sound. The screenshot image will appear in your Photos app under Camera Roll.
Windows Phone Hold the Start and Power buttons together until the screen flashes and you hear the shutter sound. The screenshot image will appear in your Photos app under Albums > Screenshots.

8th Generation Consoles

The eighth generation of consoles are among the first to have screen capture options built into the consoles themselves.

Note: In some rare cases screenshots for a particular game may be disabled by the publisher. Other times a publisher watermark or logo may be applied to your screenshots without your knowledge. This is done by the game publisher and not the hardware manufacturer.

Platform Instructions
PlayStation Press and hold the SHARE button for at least 1 second. Press either the square or triangle button, depending on whether you want to save a still image or video.
Wii U Have the desired image displaying on your television and/or Gamepad. Then press the Home button on your Gamepad. Press MiiVerse which will take you to the community for that game. Press post in the bottom right hand corner of the Gamepad. Press the “image” icon with the little plus on it in the top right. Select if you’d like to post the television screenshot (top image) or Gamepad screenshot (bottom image).
Xbox One You can capture a screenshot by saying "Xbox, take a screenshot." If you wish to use the controller to capture a screenshot, double-tap the Xbox button , and then press the Y button.

7th Generation Consoles

The seventh generation of consoles require a device to capture screenshots and video from.

Platform Instructions
PlayStation 3 Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
Wii Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
Xbox 360 Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.

6th Generation Consoles

The sixth generation of consoles also requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.

Platform Instructions
Dreamcast Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
GameCube Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
PlayStation 2 Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
Xbox Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.

Useful Devices

Screenshots are easy to get off of most PC and mobile phone devices. However, it can still be a hassle to get images from handhelds and older console devices. Even some of the newer consoles that have screen capture options will have a few game titles that have elected to disable the feature entirely or slap gaudy logos/copyrights over the images.


Price Range: $50 to $150

A printer that doubles as a scanner will give you better quality images than a camera. Remove the cover art insert from the game case or fold/flatten the cardboard box, then place on the scanner surface and press the scan button. No glare and no or very minimum cropping required. However remember that the maximum image size for the Covers and Media gallery is 1400 x 1900. Many scanners scan at a high resolution, so remember to resize before uploading.

Capture Device

Price Range: $30 to $250

Capture cards or devices allow you to take screenshots and gameplay recordings directly from your TV and console. The image quality and how much the device interferes with your game's framerate will vary depending on the device brand and quality.

Capture cards are devices with a component cable that connects to the TV (there are no component slots on old box TVs or very new 'HDMI only' TVs). There is an additional component cable that connects the Capture card to the console. They come in many different brands, produced by numerous companies and can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 with the quality of the images they capture varying widely depending on the brand. They usually require a connection from the capture card directly to the internet or to a PC in order to directly stream images/video. There are models that are completely internet/PC free however, and require the purchase of an HDD or USB drive to save the images/video directly onto.

TV & Camera

If you are using a device that does not have screen capture built-in and lack the technical know-how or funds for a capture card, there is always the TV and camera option. The quality may not be the best but it works in a pinch.

Mount your camera on a tripod, positioned perfectly perpendicular from the TV to produce an unskewed image. Photos will be best in a mostly dark room, but you will very likely need to edit the photos regardless of how well you setup your camera and lighting.

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