Can Cross-Play Games stop me from being in Voice Chat?
Online gaming has had voice chat for many decades. Voice chat was initially reserved for those playing the game. However, over time, players have been able to communicate with one another regardless of their gaming situation by using party chats or third-party voice communication software for mobile and PC.
Over the past few months, however, it seems that online multiplayer games, at least on consoles, have taken over your voice chat settings. Multiplayer games can broadcast your voice to chat, which could be detrimental to the purpose of private chats instead of public voice chats.
Although games may have done this for years, it was only in Back 4 Blood that I first noticed it. This was especially shocking considering the fact I was playing with the same person at a party, so our audio was being broadcast twice. Halo Infinite was also affected by this, but both games could be fixed in the options menu.
Rainbow Six Extraction recently made the same push to talk in chat even though they were in party chat. However, when you look through the options menu it is not immediately obvious if the option can be turned off while still enabling cross-play. Cross-play is enabled so that you can automatically put all your colleagues.
You can mute your team members manually once you are in a game. However, it is not clear if muting them just means that you can’t hear their voices or if they don’t hear you at all. There’s also an option to disable voice record mode, which controls how “your voice communication will be captured”. I think that it’ll prevent my voice from being broadcasted through party chat, but the language is not so clear. It could be a way to disable the microphone alerts on my screen while I swear about team members running away on their own. It could be a mode to remove the on-screen notifications of my microphone being active while I swear about a teammate running off on their own.
Video games have shifted to the “forced chat” communication model. All three games featured cross-play in their matchmaking. There are very few options for voice communication on consoles that do not require the use of a third-party app like Discord. They can also be a hassle to set up, especially for those who are just looking to have a casual chat with friends.
Party chats, on top of all that, are a great way for gamers to have fun with the social aspects of gaming. I don’t want the usual toxic, racist stains of the gaming community that launch whatever obscenities they feel like.
Communication is key to success in competitive multiplayer games or co-op games with high difficulty. It’s easy to see why developers want to make sure gamers can communicate easily on every platform. But that shouldn’t be at the expense of players’ anxieties or preferences. It is best to make it an option at the beginning of the game.