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POV Demos

   yogrrt   - 2/25/2021

One of two types of demos that TF2 handles, Point of View (or POV) Demos are a recording of one player’s gameplay from their point of view. RGL requires all players to record POV demos of their league matches, and can issue penalties for not being able to submit a demo when requested.

This guide focuses on POV demos; for our guide to SourceTV and its demos, click here.

How do I record demos?

There are three methods generally used:

Method 1: In-game Demo Support

TF2 provides a built-in way to automatically record POV demos within its Advanced Options under Demo Support.

  • Recording Mode
  • - Chooses between the following methods of recording:
    • 1. Auto-Record Tournament Matches
    • - This is the recommended setting. TF2 will automatically record all matches played on servers with tournament mode enabled (mp_tournament 1). (This also includes Mann Versus Machine matches.)
    • 2. Auto-Record All Matches
    • - TF2 will automatically record all matches played on all servers, competitive or not. Note that this will take up a lot of space on your storage device!
    • 3. Auto-Record Competitive Matches
    • - TF2 will automatically record all matches played within Competitive Matchmaking. This method is not recommended as it will not record matches played under RGL’s server configurations!
    • 4. Manual
    • - TF2 will not automatically record any matches. Recordings must be started/stopped using the ds_record / ds_stop commands in the developer console (all subsequent settings will still be used).
  • Folder to be used
  • - Determines the folder which will be used for all demos recorded and other files created by the Demo Support system. This folder must be within your TF2 game directory. For instance, setting this to demos will result in demos being placed in \tf\demos\.

Once the above two settings are appropriately set, TF2 will begin recording demos for your matches and place them within the folder given, conveniently named by date and time. For further customization, feel free to experiment with the rest of the settings:

  • Filename prefix
  • - Affixes a prefix to the filename of all demos recorded. For instance, setting this to prefix- will result in demos labelled prefix-exampledemo.dem.
  • Play sound for start/stop events
  • - Toggles an audio notification for starting and stopping recording.
  • Log events
  • - Toggles logging game events to an _events.txt file within your demos folder.
  • Location of the in-game notifications
  • - Chooses between the following in-game notifications of recording:
    • Console only
    • - Produces a text notification of recording in the developer console.
    • Console and chat window
    • - Produces a text notification of recording in the developer console and the chat window.
    • Console and HUD
    • - Produces a text notification of recording in the developer console and in TF2’s HUD.
  • Auto-save a scores screenshot at the end of a match
  • - Toggles automatically saving a screenshot of the scoreboard when a match ends. This screenshot is saved through Steam’s screenshots feature.
  • Min killstreak count
  • - Determines how many kills are required to be considered and logged as a killstreak.
  • Max time between kills
  • - Determines how many seconds between kills before the killstreak count is reset to zero.
  • Auto-delete recordings
  • - Toggles automatically deleting recordings with no associated bookmark or killstreaks. It is highly recommended to keep this setting turned off.

Method 2: P-REC

P-REC is a plugin that automatically records demos while tournament mode is enabled in TF2. It is available for download here: https://github.com/RGLgg/P-REC/releases/latest/download/PREC.zip

To install P-REC, simply unpack the contents of the P-REC archive into your custom folder at \SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Team Fortress 2\tf\custom\. If the custom folder does not already exist, create one.

Once installed, P-REC automatically records and saves demos into your base TF2 directory at \tf\. For further customization, P-REC’s readme describes how to utilize extra settings such as bookmarks, custom notification text, and demo naming.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of writing (7/17/2021), P-REC is incompatible with In-Game Competitive Matchmaking and will crash your game. If you plan to queue up for Competitive Matchmaking, you will need to move P-REC out of your custom folder, and move it back when you’re done.

Method 3: Manual Recording

Manually recording demos can be done using the record “[name]” command in the developer console to begin recording, and the stop command to stop recording. Like P-REC, the demos from this method will be saved to your base TF2 directory at \tf\. This method is not recommended as it is easy to forget compared to either of the automatic methods listed above.

How do I view demos?

Demos are viewable through the in-game Demo UI, which can be accessed by the shortcut Shift+F2 or by using the command demoui in the developer console. From the Demo UI window, you can load specific demos through a file explorer and control playback using the controls provided. Unlike STV demos, POV demos can only be viewed through the eyes of the player that recorded it, so you cannot change cameras, switch to a different player’s perspective, or open up the scoreboard.

Be aware that loading a POV demo also loads the config associated with it, so if you load another person's demo be sure to backup your current config or set it to read-only before loading it.

A Note About Storage

RGL requires you to keep all demos from matches for the current season. Demo files are not necessarily large, but it’s easy to acquire a large number of them very quickly while playing scrims/matches, so remember to organize or clear them if your storage space is limited.

Guide written by - Flare