The best free VoIP software to play online, Good communication between teammates can be one of the determining factors in distinguishing a good from a bad team during confrontations on various online games. If TeamSpeak, once the king in the field, is now less popular, other applications and software can fill the demand.
A few years ago, if you wanted to talk to your teammates in vocal during wild online games, you used TeamSpeak. Today, practices have changed in the field, and most players use simpler and more ergonomic means than the ancestor of the genre. While TeamSpeak still exists at the moment, other options that will be discussed here seem much more popular and convenient for players.
The TeamSpeak king is (almost) dead, long live the king!
The story of TeamSpeak matches that of many other successful creations : in 1999, a group of friends saw a need (a means of online voice communication to play with friends) and immediately created a solution, which he named TeamSpeak.
In October 2001, the first public version of the software was launched. Quickly, it meets a completely unexpected success by the development team. In fact, in the early 2000s and into the mid-2010s, TeamSpeak became the solution of choice for hundreds of thousands of players around the world when it came to communicating during online games.
However, recently, other, more viable, ergonomic and easy-to-use solutions have entered the market and have radically changed the way players consume, who have ended up abandoning TeamSpeak over the years. While it still benefits from regular updates, the software is indeed much less popular than in the past, not least because of the alternatives that we will discuss here.
Voice communication, an indispensable tool for the most competitive players
Online voice chat is a practice that has grown along with online gaming. Quickly, any gamer realized that team communication in cooperative games can bring a serious advantage in coordination over his opponent.
Thus, games like Counter Strike, Left 4 Dead or even World of Warcraft have greatly participated in the popularization of the use of voice chat alongside their practice. Thus, during the 2000s, TeamSpeak met with immense success, before finally being overtaken by various more attractive options for the player.
Today, tools like Discord, Mumble, Element, or even gaming platforms like Steam or Battle.net allow voice communication in addition to many other features. We return to the most effective and popular of them in the genre.
Discord is undeniably the most used tool at the moment among gamers. It is for this audience that it was originally created, before finally diversifying and becoming a software of choice for a professional job in particular. Born in 2015, Discord is a free VoIP and instant messaging software available on Windows, macOS, Android or iOS. It stands out from its competition by being also employable as a WebApp : one can use it simply thanks to its web browser .
Among the features offered by Discord, we obviously note instant communication by voice, written or video chat. This is the flagship of the Discord ecosystem, but not the only one. The strength of the software also lies in the use of servers : each user can thus connect to a server gathering other users sharing the same interests to converse without necessarily knowing each other. In this sense, Discord has a status as a social network and dating that many other services of its kind do not offer. It’s also a great way for players to find potential teammates for new games online.
- Voice, visual and written chat
- A tool used for both leisure and work
- The most popular option
There is no doubt that Discord is the most popular tool when it comes to communicating between players. Completely free to use, it allows voice, video and even written communication, all without having to install any software thanks to the WebApp available on all web browsers. Its popularity is obviously due to this simplicity of use allowed by an intuitive interface for all. Moreover, if the service was originally mainly used by players, it is increasingly democratized until reaching the professional sphere, the growth of Discord having been greatly impacted (in good) by the coronavirus crisis.
On the other hand, the service offers, whatever the version, an intuitive and easy-to-use interface for all. For neophytes, it will take a little time to adapt. To conclude, thanks to its popularity, its pleasant interface and the many features it offers, Discord is a must-have for any gamer. If you find yourself in a team on League of Legends, for example, it is quite possible that some players will share their Discord server to converse and win the game thanks to voice communication and the instant cooperation it allows.
Mumble is considered one of the reference services in the field of online communication, and more specifically that dedicated to gaming. Free software allowing its users to communicate vocally, it distinguishes itself from the competition by offering one of the lightest services of use on the market.
In addition to this lightness, it offers low latency and an excellent quality audio codec. There are many features that Mumble allows : the user can create chat rooms, host their own server or send written messages to other users.
- Exclusive extensions that have made its success
- A service that goes straight to the point
- Very light
Mumble is the favorite platform for those who want a simple and no-frills service. While it does not have the most attractive interface on the market, the software nevertheless offers a number of advantages that make it one of the favorite tools of players. Among them, we note for example the possibility of integrating mods and exclusive extensions, such as for example on Minecraft, one of the most popular games of the last 10 years.
In addition, the Forge extension will have accentuated the popularity of Mumble in recent years : the latter allows to synchronize the positions and voices of players in the game Minecraft . Thus, the farther one player is from the other, the lower the volume of his voice will be. A service allowing a much more engaging immersion on the best-selling game in the world.
Originally called Riot.im, Element is a free instant messaging and voice communication software available both on PC via a web application, but also on mobile (Android and iOS). Its main quality lies in its ability to connect to other messaging applications like Slack or Telegram through the Matrix protocol. The latter allows users of one service to communicate with users of another via online, voice or video chat.
In addition to this uniqueness that distinguishes it from other services of its kind, Element offers all the features expected in such a software : you can communicate directly with your friends during online games, send files of a large size, create salons, etc.
- Best Matrix customer on the market
Element is one of the most popular software in the field of online voice or text communication. It offers one of the most secure services on the market thanks to automatic encryption of conversations. In addition to these technical qualities that make it very popular with gamers, Element also benefits from a modern design and very pleasant capabilities such as the ability to transfer large files. Unquestionably a sure value of the market.
The service also benefits from a successful and easy-to-access interface for both veterans and neophytes. Moreover, the latter recalls in many aspects that of Discord. Free, Element is notably cross-platform : the user will be able to benefit from it on the go, since the application can be found on iOS, Android, in addition to Windows.
Unlike the services discussed earlier, Steam is not solely dedicated to voice or written communications between players. In reality, it is originally an online video game distribution platform. In short, it is a huge store allowing players to directly buy dematerialized games on PC.
Created by Valve, the publisher responsible for Counter Strike or DOTA games, this application has managed over the years to federate tons of publishers, and become the reference in the field of the sale of dematerialized games on PC. But this is no longer its only function. Today, it is possible to communicate with friends thanks to a written and voice chat system that works wonders.
- An essential service for any PC gamer
- A pleasant social network side
- Voice chat that gets the job done
Steam is undoubtedly one of the indispensable software for any PC gamer. A leader in the field of digital game sales, Valve’s platform also allows its users to take advantage of features that have become inherent in the practice of online video gaming, including voice and written chat. In other words, Steam brings everything together in one software : the social aspect and communication between friends, but also the direct power of the games. An all-in-one that has been successful at Valve for almost a decade.
Steam also allows a lot of fun features for players : they can give gifts to friends (buy them games), exchange items on the market, or take advantage of the famous Workshop, this space where players can design and share a lot of personalized content for various games.
Battle.net is, at the star of Steam, a software offering multiple functions. It first offers players the opportunity to purchase games from the Activision-Blizzard catalog (World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, Call of Duty) or expansions and cosmetic items through an integrated store. But, like Valve’s platform, Blizzard’s provides access to other features that are now essential for any gamer.
Among them, the ability to add/remove friends in order to communicate with them in voice or in writing. A great way to meet at online parties in the many games offered by the two now merged publishers. Among the genres of games offered by Battle.net we find MMORPG, FPS, STR, card game or MOBA.
- Activision Games catalog / Blizzard
- Quality integrated voice chat
- An easy to use interface
Battle.net is the client of Activision-Blizzard, allowing to get the games of the two publishers while taking advantage of a lot of different features. You can follow the news of the games in question (updates, patchnotes, novelties, etc.), but also join friends in chat rooms voice or written. It is not the most complete service on the market in terms of its offer or its community aspect, but it nevertheless offers a clear, direct and completely functional voice chat for those who want it.
The community aspect of Battle.net is simply limited to creating a list of friends and the ability to chat with them. This is more than enough to be able to play with several and enjoy a beautiful synchronization during online clashes, but however far below what can be offered in the competition.
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One more alternative: games supporting native voice chat
While all embedded software here offers the possibility of concentrating servers and chat rooms into a single entity, some games also allow automatic voice chat as soon as a player enters a lobby, in order to converse directly with colleagues without having to go through a third-party application or software. Among the games that allow such practice, we note, for example, Valorant, Call of Duty,DOTA 2, Fortnite, etc.