Voice chats have long been the norm in video game communities. The days when you had to sit on the same couch to communicate during the game are gone. Why make such an effort if you can stay home and communicate over the Internet?

However, there are so many options here that it’s easy to get confused about which one is best for you and your friends. Therefore, we have compiled a selection of the best free programs for communication in games with all the advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the best for yourself.

5 Best Softwares for Communication in Games

1. Discord

Discord is a free application that can be run on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and in the form of a web version (which, unfortunately, is inferior to desktop in terms of functionality). If you’ve ever used Slack or IRC, Discord will feel right at home. In addition to voice chat, Discord supports text chats and video conferencing for up to 10 people.

Advantages of Discord

Anyone can create their Discord server. It’s free. A user can simultaneously join a maximum of 100 different servers, each of which is an independent community. Each server can have text and voice channels, and its owner can configure almost every detail there. Discord also has its servers – with the help of search engines, you can find a variety of servers by your interests.

Setting up your Discord server is also quite simple. There are many detailed step-by-step instructions on the Internet explaining the whole process. You can keep in touch with your friends in a few minutes. All servers are private, and users can join them only through special invitation links (“public” servers use a permanent public invitation link). Discord also has many features besides voice chat, and they also deserve attention.

Disadvantages of Discord

Since all servers are hosted on Discord’s platform, any failures in its operation lead to the disconnection of all servers. And there’s nothing you can do about it, wait.

In addition, Discord servers are located in the following regions: East, West, Central, and South of the United States, Europe, Russia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Japan, South Africa, and Australia. If you or your friends are outside, there may be delays in voice chat.

If you only need voice chat, Discord may be redundant. Unless you are already connected to several Discord servers anyway and use their application, you have nothing to lose in any case.

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2. Mumble

Mumble is a free, open-source application for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can use third-party solutions on mobile systems: Plumble for Android and Mumblefy for iOS. Its primary purpose is voice chat, although the primitive text is also supported.

Advantages of Mumble

Mumble specializes in low-latency communications, making it ideal for fast-paced games, especially when teamwork is required. In addition, it supports the formation of spatial sound from your interlocutors by the location of their characters in the game world, but only in some games (in particular, most games on source Engine and Guild Wars 2).

Everything is under your control here. If you want to raise your server, just download the server application and run it on your computer. Then everyone else can download the client version and connect to your IP address. To organize everything beautifully, you can create channels.

You can also read: Best Real-time Voice Changer Software Tools

If you need to work 24/7 without having to keep your computer on at all times, you can use Mumble’s paid hosting. The cost is $2.5 per month for five slots, but the price for an individual slot drops dramatically as their number increases. There are also significant discounts when paying for a long time.

Disadvantages of Mumble

You can only connect to one Mumble server at a time.

Perhaps the most severe drawbacks are the inconvenient interface and the difficulty of mastering. Mumble is very easy to use when you’ve figured it all out, but the process can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to set up a server on your computer and can’t figure out why your friends can’t connect. Tip – You will need port forwarding.

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3. TeamSpeak

TeamSpeak is a free application for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS (mobile applications support only client functionality). In terms of design and operation, TeamSpeak is very similar to Mumble but has several unique features, although, at specific points, it is inferior.

Advantages of TeamSpeak

TeamSpeak boasts a simple interface and high-quality audio, although the latency is slightly higher than in Mumble. But in most cases, this difference is negligible.

TeamSpeak also has a flexible and powerful permission system that allows you to give different users control over other parts of the server depending on their “strength level.” Permissions are divided into groups so that you can delegate the authority of the channel to one user and server management to another. This dramatically simplifies community management.

As with Mumble, you can install the TeamSpeak server yourself or pay for hosting.

Disadvantages of TeamSpeak

You can connect to only one TeamSpeak server at a time.

The maximum capacity of TeamSpeak servers with self-hosting is 32 simultaneous users. If you request and obtain a non-commercial license for non-profit use, this limit can be raised to 512. Otherwise, you will need to pay for an annual subscription depending on the maximum capacity. This is unlikely to be a problem for smaller friendship companies, but it can be a critical disadvantage for public communities.

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4. Steam Voice Chat

Even though Steam was one of the most popular gaming platforms until 2018, it did not have its voice chat. Considering the astronomical amounts of money spent on the platform, the 100 million users, and the astounding number of games available, this is shocking.

The prolonged absence of an integrated Voice Chat Steam helped several applications from this collection become a much better alternative and form their dedicated communities.

Advantages of Steam Voice Chat

If you’re already playing through Steam, you don’t have to complicate your life with an additional communication app. Everyone you play with will use the same launcher, play the same game, and therefore be able to communicate with you in the same chat.

Steam voice chat works well, which is expected from a product under this brand. In the chat, you can easily share different media types, such as GIFs or audio recordings. In addition, the chat hub simplifies management.

Another plus of Steam voice chat is the global coverage of servers. Wherever you are, the Steam server will be located relatively close by. This has a beneficial effect on reducing latency, so your voice will be heard well.

Disadvantages of Steam Voice Chat

Steam voice chat doesn’t have many cons. At times, the quality of communication drops here, but this is most often due to other Internet problems.

Use Steam Voice Chat to communicate with specific players or friends. You will not be able to contact them in the event of a Steam network failure. Therefore, some prefer to use another client for voice chats so that one company does not capture the entire market (even more than now).

In addition, Steam voice chat is limited in terms of the ability to communicate with various gamers and other people. Through it, you will most likely communicate with your friends on Steam, while other applications, for example, Discord, allow you to connect to different servers and communicate with a broader range of people.

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5. TOX

Tox is somewhat different from other applications for communication in this collection. Unlike them, Tox pays considerable attention to user privacy, and end-to-end encryption is used to protect your data. In addition, to further enhance privacy when playing and communicating, a peer-to-peer connection model is used here.

Tox is a protocol that has several implementations for different operating systems. Voice chat apps that use the Tox protocol are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. There is also a web version.

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Advantages of TOX

The Tox protocol provides gamers with secure voice chat. Privacy is an important point, but it is not given due attention in many applications for communication in games. Moreover, the source code of Tox is open, so you can be sure that no unauthorized actions are performed with your data.

Tox applications are available for almost all modern operating systems, so cross-platform communication is possible. In addition, due to the exact cross-platform nature, developers are constantly updating the protocol and do not miss the opportunity to supplement the functionality of their client applications.

Disadvantages of TOX

Due to the use of peer-to-peer connections, the sound quality may suffer. It’s entirely driven by the quality of your connection to each other. Also, you can not send messages if another user is not connected to the Tox messenger. Some apps may show that a message has been sent while waiting for the transfer to complete.

Due to the open nature of the Tox protocol, developers come and go. As of this writing, there are at least seven abandoned instant messaging service projects. If a service does not attract enough users or developers lose interest in the project, this number may grow.

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Worth Noting: Google Hangouts And Skype

Above, we have considered a number of the best, in our opinion, programs for communication in games. Almost every gamer has a preference for one of them. But if for whatever reason you don’t like any, there are two more solutions you can take advantage of Google Hangouts and Skype. But keep in mind they have several significant drawbacks.

Google Hangouts allows you to make voice calls to other Hangouts users and create video conferences for a maximum of 10 participants. Not a bad option to chat with gamer friends, but not the best for communicating directly in games, because the quality of the connection is not optimized for these purposes. In addition, it is not possible to speak only after pressing a specific button and the ability to set the permanent composition of the participants.

Skype is better suited for gaming because you can create permanent groups for voice communication, but the application itself leaves much to be desired. It is full of bugs and errors, and the quality of the voice itself is mediocre, with a noticeable ratchet.

You can also read: 9 Best Softwares to Record Video in Games

Communicate Without Stopping Your Game

This collection has analyzed several free applications for communication in games. We’re willing to recommend each of them, but it would be Discord if you only had to choose one.

Author

Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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