How to Download and Install GeForce Experience
Fortunately, GeForce Experience has a pretty straightforward installation process. First, “Download Now.”
Once the setup application is downloaded, it’s time to run the installer. Double click on the installer to install it like any other Windows application.
After installation, you will need to sign into GeForce Experience before you can start using it. If you don’t already have an NVIDIA account set up, you can use a social media login instead.
Upon initial sign-in, you’ll be brought to the Home Screen with a pop-up offering you a tour and an option to automatically optimize games as you install them. We recommend unchecking this option for now and skipping the tour. You can always come back to it later if you feel like you’ve missed something.
What’s Included in GeForce Experience?
GeForce Experience basically has three key pillars: the Game Optimization feature on the Home Screen, the Driver update feature on the Drivers Screen, and the NVIDIA Share overlay used to capture and record gameplay.
Before we jump into the extras, we are focusing on the main reason to get GeForce Experience: easy driver updates.
On the Drivers screen, you will be automatically notified when a new driver is available. You can even change settings to have driver updates be auto-downloaded, though we wouldn’t recommend this on a bandwidth-limited or latency-sensitive connection.
The driver update process is pretty straightforward, too. Once the download is done, you can choose between an “Express” and “Custom” installation. Express will just upgrade over your existing driver with minimal fuss, but Custom offers a few extra options, including a clean reinstall.
How Does GeForce Experience Optimize Gaming?
The Game Optimization available in GeForce Experience can serve as a way to somewhat simplify graphics optimization for users. This can be especially useful for those who don’t know how to optimize graphics settings on their own.
To optimize an individual game, head to the Home screen and select the game of your choice. For this tutorial, I’m using Doom Eternal.
The first thing you’ll notice when choosing a game in GeForce Experience is that you’ll be given a slideshow of different in-game screenshots highlighting and explaining different graphical effects.
Below this screen, you’ll see a list of both your current in-game settings and NVIDIA’s recommended settings:
- Decal quality
- Depth of field
- Depth of field anti-aliasing
- Directional occlusion
- Display mode
- Geometric quality
- Lights quality
- Particles quality
- Reflections quality
- Resolution scale
- Resolution scaling mode
- Resolution scaling target FPS
- Shadow quality
- Texture filtering quality
- Texture pool size
- Volumetrics quality
- Water quality
On my GTX 1070, these settings are a little overzealous by default. While my system can certainly run Doom Eternal at NVIDIA’s recommended settings and 60 FPS, I’m running on a 144 Hz monitor and want a bit more than that. Fortunately, you can adjust the curve that balances GeForce Experience by clicking the Wrench icon.
You can adjust this slider according to your preferences. For my GTX 1070 and high-intensity games like Doom Eternal, I adjusted the slider to the value in the screenshot below.
If you look at my settings, you’ll notice that more of them already match NVIDIA’s recommendations. However, NVIDIA remains a bit overzealous with a few options here, pushing Ultra Nightmare and adding lots of GPU utilization where it isn’t needed. Most of the settings being pushed to Ultra Nightmare don’t add too much stress, but something like Volumetrics Quality definitely shouldn’t be on Ultra Nightmare in a performance config.
Fortunately, where GeForce Experience makes a mistake like this, it’s pretty easy to fix. However, this is why I wouldn’t recommend that users allow GeForce Experience to auto-optimize all of their games. Unless they only plan on playing at 1080p and 60 FPS.
If you’re targeting that simpler, console-esque experience, setting games to auto-optimize on GeForce Experience makes a lot of sense, but don’t be afraid to test settings changes of your own.
For instance, I recommend against using Motion Blur or Depth of Field – not just because they use extra performance but because they can both actively impede the visual readability of a given game.
How to Access NVIDIA Share in GeForce Experience
NVIDIA Share, previously called Shadowplay, is NVIDIA’s software solution for recording and streaming gameplay directly from your GPU. We’ve actually already written a more detailed guide on NVIDIA Share, but for this article, we do still want to give you a solid place to start.
First, go ahead and hit Ctrl + Z to open your NVIDIA Share overlay. It should look something like the screenshot below.
From here, you can toggle each of these features pretty much at will and change their specific settings, as long as they aren’t enabled at the time (e.g., you can’t change Instant Replay settings while it’s enabled, as it’s still recording).
If there are any specific settings you’re looking for, you’ll want to click the Gear icon to dive into them. Most users shouldn’t need to bother with deeper configuration of NVIDIA Share, but the settings menu does have a few hidden gems.
The main things I recommend changing are “Privacy Control” and “Audio.”
If you’re on desktop, “Privacy Control” will allow Instant Replay and Recording to also work on your desktop and ill be less likely to get disrupted by alt-tabbing out of the game in question.
For desktop and laptop users, though, you’ll definitely want to go into “Audio” to split your audio tracks.
By enabling “Separate both tracks,” you’ll get cleaner recordings of your desktop/game audio. You can still use the mic track when editing and uploading the video, and having it be a separate track will make it much easier to edit and remove background noise.
For settings beyond these, check out our dedicated guide on NVIDIA Share.