There are many ways to communicate in games, such as through chat or contextual commands, but none are as fun as talking with a mic. Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, allows a gamer to talk to other players using voice input. With the myriads upon myriads of games on the market, what mic and mic settings do you exactly need?

 

FPS (Spatial-based)
Example: Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Squad, Call of Duty (with the right perks)

  • Talking can be heard by everyone, including opponents.
  • Distance determines the volume of the receiver.
  • You can give away your location to your enemy by talking.

 

To maximize spatial awareness among allies, it is best to use stereo headsets. Using speakers might diminish awareness in the group. To improve further, headset-mounted mics (such as the HyperX™ Cloud™ series of headsets or recent Logitech® headsets) allow Ambient Noise Cancellation, which lessens static “brushing” sounds. Other mics, such as those that use Dolby® audio drivers (see Plantronics® headsets) have their own software which further maximize this function.

 

FPS-RTS Hybrid
Example: Nuclear Dawn, Heroes and Generals, Battlefield 2-onwards

  • One player takes the role of “commander.”
  • Everyone in the team can hear your VOIP.
  • Communication is important to victory.

 

Since the commander needs to keep talking, there are certain situations that require a specialized mic. For example, A4Tech and Logitech® have specialized mics that are connected via USB interface, similar to some headsets (see HEBE series). However, while headsets might restrict some functions because their drivers can be specific to the peripheral and are not cross-platform (some work only on Windows® 10), specialized mics tend to be more compatible, with some USB interfaces working all the way to Windows® XP. Communication is paramount – no mic, no win.

 

Flight Simulator
Example: War Thunder, Star Wars Battlefront series (both Pandemic classics and DICE reboots)

 

Since flying a plane while avoiding anti-aircraft fire is tough, it’s going to be a pain in the ass to have headsets whose mics are not prepared fast enough for the job. There’s no time for micromanagement! Best for this is to have a headset that has a dedicated jack instead of a USB port, so that drivers need not be installed and managed mid-flight. An example is the HyperX® Cloud series, which can switch to an analog jack should the user not wish to use the USB 3.0 interface.


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