How can I voice chat with other players in an online game?

Question

I do alot of online multiplayer gaming and have heard there is a way to actually talk to the other players while in the game. Is that a function thats built into Windows or do I have to use 3rd party software?

Answer

This question was answered on April 6, 2001. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Online multiplayer gaming has been getting very popular as technology advances There are many situations in a multiplayer game where typing a chat message to a teammate is not convienient or gets there too late Real time voice chat is the ultimate solution.

There are 2 choices I am aware of and have used The first is only available if you are using Windows ME and the game in question supports voice chat All players wishing to chat must be using WinMe The second is a third party application called Roger Wilco that runs in the background on any Win9x version (includes WinMe) Both options require a microphone, a sound card that supports full duplex, and an internet connection of course.

To voice chat with Windows Me, go to the Control Panel and open the Gaming Options Applet Then select the Tab titled Voice Chat Here you will see a list of installed games that will support this option Select the game(s) desired

To talk to other players while playing a game, the host and the other interested players must all turn on voice chat on the selected game before launching the game Other players can play the game without turning on voice chat, but you will not be able to communicate with them.

Only games that support DirectPlay technology and did not come with voice chat capabilities are listed below Depending on the speed of your computer and Internet connection, using voice chat could reduce the performance of the game.

If you use a gaming Web site or matchmaking service to start the game, the site or service must allow voice chat to be used with it.

Each player must also select "Internet TCP/IP connection for DirectPlay" if prompted by the game.

For Windows 98 or 95 users, the solution is an application called Roger Wilco.

Roger Wilco is a free realtime voice chat technology that allows you to talk to anyone on the web that is also using the application All that is required is a microphone, a soundcard capable of full duplex audio and a minimum of a 28.8 modem connection to the internet.

It can be downloaded from <a href="http://www.rogerwilco.com" target="_blank"><font color="#003399">www.RogerWilco.com</font></a> and is only 450k in size.

Once installed and configured you simply launch it, Create or Join a channel and then minimize it You can now chat away to everyone on your channel at will It uses minimal system resources and does not interfere with any games I have tried it with (many!).

Between the two choices here, I recommend Roger Wilco because it works on any version of Win9x (and Mac) and is not dependent on the actual game supporting voice chat internally.

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on April 6, 2001