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Voice chatting programs

VoIP chat applications like Teamspeak let gamers who live apart, whether across the street or two continents away, interact in real-time. This technology helps online players and gaming enthusiasts remove the barriers of space and time as they interact, communicate, and compete. An industry awash with all that investment money must have competitive VoIP options.


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About two weeks have passed since our last release third snapshot. In that time we were able to fix a few bugs and work on the overall polish a bit more, so that we can release the forth snapshot of 1. After having understood what it means for a release to be a snapshot release see belowyou can download the new version from our Downlo. Mumble was the first VoIP application to establish true low latency voice communication over a decade ago.

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Voice chat is now standard fare in video gaming communities. Gone voice chatting programs the days when you had to share a couch to socialize while playing. Why bother when you can stay at home and chat over the internet instead? However, with so many options available, you may be confused as to which one is right for you and your circle of friends.

So, here are the best free voice chat apps for gaming, along with their pros and cons. Discord is a free app that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and as a web app which sadly isn't as feature-rich as the desktop versions. In addition to voice chat, Discord supports text chat and video chat for up to 10 people. Anyone can create a Discord server for free. Users can up to different servers, and each server is essentially its own independent community.

Servers can have text channels and voice channels, and the server owner can tweak pretty much everything about it. Discord hosts the servers itself, and here's how to find the best Discord servers to match your interests. You and your friends can get set up and running within minutes.

Servers are private and people can only them through invite links a "public" server is one with a permanent public invite link that anyone can use. Discord has many features beyond just the voice chat client, and is well worth checking out.

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Since all servers are hosted through Discord, an outage means all Discord servers go down and you can't do anything about it except wait. Furthermore, Discord servers are hosted in the following locations: U. East, U. Central, U. West, U. If you're outside those regions, then latency may cause delays in your voice chat. Discord may actually be a little overkill if you only want voice chat. It's best to use if you're already participating in a few other Discord servers, in which case you'll already be running the Discord app and have nothing to lose.

For more help getting started with the app, look at our Discord tips and tricks.

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Mumble is a free and open-source app that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It's mainly used for voice chat, though it also supports primitive text chat. Mumble specializes in low-latency communication, which makes it great for high-octane games with lots of fast action, especially ones that involve teamplay.

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It can also do positional audio based where you are in the game world, but this is only supported on some games such as most Source Engine games and Guild Wars 2. Everything is within your control.

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If you want to host a server, you just download the server version of Mumble and run it on your computer. Then everyone else downlo the client version of Mumble to connect to your IP address. You can create channels to keep everything organized. And you can get hefty discounts by paying for multiple months at once instead of paying monthly.

The clunky interface is probably its worst aspect, followed by the learning curve. While Mumble is extremely easy to use voice chatting programs you get familiarized, that initial experience can be pretty frustrating, especially when you're trying to set up the server software on your computer and can't figure out why your friends can't connect. Tip: You need port forwarding what is port forwarding?

TeamSpeak is very similar to Mumble in de and operation, but offers some unique features while also falling short in certain aspects. TeamSpeak has an easy-to-use interface with high-quality audio, though with slightly more latency than Mumble. However, the difference is negligible in most cases.

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TeamSpeak also has a flexible and powerful permissions system that allows different users to have control over different areas of the server based on their "power level. This makes community management much easier.

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Self-hosted TeamSpeak servers have a maximum capacity of 32 simultaneous users. If you request and acquire a non-commercial non-profityou can raise that limit to Otherwise, you'll need to pay an annual fee based on maximum capacity.

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Thi won't be a big deal for private groups of friends, but is a possible deal-breaker for public communities. Despite being one of the most popular gaming platforms on the planet, Steam had no integrated voice chat option until Which given the astronomical amounts of money spent on the platform, the million users, and the astounding range of games available, is somewhat shocking.

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In fact, the lack of an integrated Steam Voice Chat option has helped some of the alternative options on this list grow into a better alternative, building dedicated communities of their own. If you're already playing a game on Steam, you don't have to mess around with a third-party voice chat app. Everyone you play with is using the same game launcher, playing the same game, so all of your friends can chat using the same app. As you might expect with a Steam product, Steam Voice Chat works well. Plus, the chat hub makes managing your Steam Voice Chat simple. Another plus to Steam Voice Chat is the global coverage of Steam servers.

Wherever you are, you're not far from a Steam server location. That proximity is good for latency, helping your voice sound clear. If you want to boost your connectivity further, check out the best gaming routers. There aren't many downsides to using Steam Voice Chat. The voice calling quality is poor at times, but this is often explained through other internet issues.

If you rely on Steam Voice Chat to communicate with specific friends or gamers, you won't be able to reach them if the Steam network goes down. In that, some users prefer to use an alternative voice chat client because it stops one company from consolidating the market even further. In terms of chatting to other people or different gamers, Steam Voice Chat is limiting. You're most voice chatting programs to chat with your friends on Steam Voice Chat.

Best voice chat apps for gamers

Whereas, with other options such as Discord, you can different servers and chat with different people. Tox is slightly different from the other voice chat options on this list. Unlike the alternatives, Tox has a strong focus on user privacy, using end-to-end encryption to protect your data.

It also uses a peer-to-peer connection model to boost your privacy further while chatting and playing games.

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Tox is actually a protocol that has several different implementations, depending on your operating system. The Tox protocol offers a secure voice chat option for gamers.

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Privacy is important, and many voice chat options overlook this important issue. Furthermore, as the Tox source code is open source, you can make sure nothing untoward is taking place with your data. You can find a Tox app for almost any modern operating system, meaning cross-platform chat is a possibility. Also, because Tox is cross-platform, you'll find developers innovating around the protocol and adding features to their chat clients where possible.

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Because Tox is peer-to-peer, the voice quality can suffer. The quality is only as good as your connection to one another. By extension, you cannot send messages if the other user is not connected to the Tox messenger.

Some apps might show the message as sent when, in reality, it is waiting to complete transmission.

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Moreover, because of the open-source nature of the Tox protocol, developers come and go. There are at least seven different abandoned instant messaging services at the time of writing. That could increase if a service doesn't attract enough users, or even if the development team lose interest in the project. The options above are some of the best voice chat apps for gaming. Almost every gamer develops a preference for one of them.

If you don't like any of them for whatever reason, there are two other voice chat solutions you can use: Google Hangouts and Skype. But be warned Google Hangouts lets you make free voice calls to other Hangouts users, plus video conferences with up to 10 total participants.