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The ability to capture images of your gaming experience to share with the community is useful. Screenshots also aid the usability and visual appeal of VGG. 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.

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PC - Linux/Macintosh/Windows

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

Platform Instructions
Platform: Linux
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.
Platform: Macintosh
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.
Platform: Windows
Windows Press the +PrtScn key. Then paste and save it as a file in an image program - paint, Gimp, Photoshop, etc.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
Platform: Android
Android Hold the Power and Volume Down buttons together until the screen flashes and you hear the shutter sound. Alternatively, hold the power and Home buttons together.The screenshot image will appear in your Gallery app, usually inside the Screenshots folder. Any stock Android phone running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) or later can easily take a screenshot. Many manufacturers 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.
Platform: iPad
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.
Platform: Windows Phone
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
Video Game Hardware: Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch Press the square screencap button on the left Joy-Con right, just below the directional pad.
Video Game Hardware: PlayStation 4
PlayStation 4 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.
Platform: Wii U
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).
Platform: Xbox One
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.
Video Game Hardware: Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo 3DS 3DS capture card (must be compatible with your model) or hack your 3DS to install custom firmware that gives you the ability to take screenshots (not recommended).Hacking the console will void the warranty and possibly cause irreparable damage to your device. Nintendo has reportedly banned users with hacked devices from using online services, including the eShop.
Platform: PlayStation Vita
PlayStation Vita/TV Press the PS button and the START button at the same time.To transfer images to a PC:
Step 1. Download and install the Content Manager for your PC or Mac.
Step 2a. Connect your Vita to a PC using a USB cable. Or...
Step 2b. Alternatively, or if using a Vita TV, you can transfer images using a wifi connection: select [PS TV System → PC], photos, then select the checkboxes of the content you want to copy. Then select Copy.

7th Generation Consoles

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

Platform Instructions
Platform: PlayStation 3
PlayStation 3 Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
Platform: Wii
Wii Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
Platform: Xbox 360
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
Platform: Sega Dreamcast
Dreamcast Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
Platform: GameCube
GameCube Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
Platform: PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2 Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
Platform: Xbox
Xbox Requires a capture card to take screenshots and video from.
Platform: Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS Use NITRO software (very expensive and rare), a mobile phone, or TV & Camera setup.
Platform: PSP
PSP TV & Camera setup or...

Step 1. Connect your PSP to your PC using a USB Cable.
Step 2. Download THIS file.
Step 3. Extract the files. Copy the “seplugins” folder.
Step 4. Paste the whole folder into your PSP’s memory card.
Step 5. Exit usb mode and you can now take screenshots on your PSP by just pressing the note button

You need to have custom firmware 5.00 to 6.60 installed on the PSP for this to work.

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.

Physical Media:
Light: For physical media - boxes and discs, you will want to use natural white lighting (sunlight) or the "White balance" option if your camera has it, to keep the colors true. Artificial lighting gives photos an orange/yellow color and shade produces dark blue/grey tones.

Light Direction: You may also want to consider light direction: front, side, and back. "Frontal lighting" is lighting that emanates either from behind the camera or from the camera itself. Built-in or on-camera flash is a frontal light. Frontal lighting evenly illuminates your subject, but tends to flatten a subject because shadows are out of view. "Side lighting" is light that falls on a subject at roughly ninety degrees to the camera. This means that one side of a subject will be lit and the other side will be in shadow. Of the three directions, side lighting creates the strongest sense that a subject has three dimensions, but also has the strongest contrast. "Backlighting" is caused when the light source is behind the subject shining towards the camera. If your subject obscures the light source – the result will be a silhouette. Silhouettes look flat, almost like a cardboard cut-out. If the shape of your subject is strong this can be very effective.

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