Using voice communication in games is a great idea. Many video games now use Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) to let players talk to each other using a mic. But how do you set up your mic in the first place?
1. Prepare interface drivers.
From motherboard sound cards, to I/O ports, to USB ports, you need to have the software side of your computer ready to take on the hardware side. Start with this first and foremost. Most complete computer packages have this pre-installed, but if not, you must download them yourself.
2. Check the peripheral’s interface.
Seems natural, right? Not quite. Some computers have a single jack for input and ouput, known as an analog jack. Others use a USB interface, but not just the typical USB interface – some need USB 2.0 at the very least. Make sure to check.
3. See online drivers for your specific mic.
Some mics, such as those that use Dolby® software, require downloads to start up. They do not work at full functionality without these, or they might not work at all.
4. Plug in and check prompts.
Upon plugging in your mic, be it an analog jack, a USB interface, or a dedicated mic input jack, one must prepare for prompts that may pop up (some might ask about the settings to use). This is especially evident in Realtek-based sound drivers.
5. Customize sound settings in the control panel.
In the control panel, open the Sound options. In the Recording tab, one will find the list of available devices. It is recommended in many games that unused interfaces and devices be disabled, while putting the mic’s interface to default.
6. Use the Listen functionality.
In the same tab, you could double-click the mic’s interface and check its properties. You may put a check mark on the Listen option to listen to all input before proceeding to use it. To disable it again, simply uncheck, and click on Apply.
Bonus: Use Text-To-Speech if mic does not work.
Sometimes, mics simply do not work. Problems might arise, such as failing jacks, incompatible USB interfaces, or drivers not working at all. An option around this is to use TTS programs, or Text-to-Speech. Software like this use a pre-downloaded digital voice to read text aloud, allowing the user to talk via VOIP without using a mic.
If all goes well, you need not worry about walking-in blindly with your team!