For the online gaming community, reliable and uninterrupted communication is important for not only coordinating during gameplay but also as a way to expand the gaming group.
Most of the competitive games come with their own text and voice chat services but are not as reliable as some of the third-party VoIP software that are developed keeping gamers in mind. These voice chat clients offer low latency, minimal impact on system performance and are light on your pocket as well as PC.
While there are a ton of VoIP software, Skype being the most popular one, today, we will try to keep the article to the gaming niche.
If you are looking for a reliable VoIP software for gaming, look no further as we took the liberty of doing some research to find the best VoIP software for gaming.
In this article, we have tested and reviewed the best VoIP for gaming. Some of these tools are free and open source while some come with a limited trial after which you may need to purchase the license for the continued usage.
What are the best VoIP software for gaming?
Express Talk VoIP Softphone
If you’re looking for a good VoIP software, you might want to consider using Express Talk VoIP Softphone. This application works as a softphone and you can use it to call any other PC with softphone installed. Thanks to this application, you should be able to make free voice and video calls between computers.
In addition to calling other PCs, this software also supports PC to phone calls using a VoIP SIP gateway provider. As for calling, all standard features are supported, so you can easily see the caller ID and log all calls. There’s also a hold feature, and you can even play on-hold music to callers that are waiting.
Express Talk VoIP Softphone also has a built-in phone book so you can easily organize all your contacts. In addition to organizing your contacts, you can quickly call them right from the phone book. Another useful feature is full integration with Microsoft Address Book which will be quite handy to some users.
The application also has some features that will enhance the call quality including the data compression, echo cancellation, and noise reduction. The software can be used with USB phones, but it also works with headphones, microphones, and webcams.
As for advanced features, the software supports conference calls with up to 6 people and phone call recording. If you want, you can also transfer calls or use a Call Pickup feature and answer the call from a different location.
Overall, Express Talk VoIP Softphone is a great VoIP tool, and while it can perform audio and video calls, it can also work as a softphone, so it will be useful to advanced users as well.
- Ability to make free voice and video calls
- Support for PC to phone calls
- Caller ID and call logging
- Built-in phonebook
- Call Holding, Call Transfer, and Call Pickup features
- Price – Free
Let’s begin with the new kid in the block who is making all the noise for the right reasons. Discord – a free voice and text chat client made for gamers and currently among the most popular VoIP software for players.
Discord is developed by the like-minded people belonging to different shades of life but shares one passion that is gaming. The app is being used by around 14 Million users daily as per the developer’s statistics.
It is an open source project which explains the free tag. But, don’t let the free tag fool you as Discord comes well equipped with all the tools that gamers need to interact with others on the network.
The users can interact easily with others via Video calls, Voice Calls and text messages with up to 10 users at a time. The user interface is similar to what we have seen in Slack and other VoIP applications which is easy and practical to use.
It is a cross-platform application so irrespective of the computer or handheld device you are running, you should be able to install and use Discord from anywhere there is a connectivity.
As a user one can create and join as many Discover server for free. The server owners can customise the channels as per their needs while the servers are hosted by Discord itself. You can join or add other users to the server using the invite links for private groups. The public servers are open for all, hence can be joined by anyone.
Discord has all the features that you would need from a VoIP service including chatting and screen sharing features. You can also use the browser version of the software if you don’t want to install the client on your PC.
If you are looking for a new VoIP software, give Discord a try as it will cost you nothing but a few megabytes of bandwidth.
- Price – Free / Premium private servers
TeamSpeak is another popular cross-platform VoIP application that comes with a host of features that allows you to use the public servers as well as self-hosted servers to communicate with the team members.
TeamSpeak client is free to download and use. However, unlike Discord, it is not completely free when it comes to server maintenance. You can download the software and connect to any public server available for free.
The self-hosted TeamSpeak servers allow you to keep a maximum of 32 connections active at a time. If you have more than 32 people to communicate or part of MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games, you would need to get the premium paid plans.
The user interface is simple and easy to use. The audio quality is excellent but not the best when it comes to latency. For added functionality, you can make use of the wide range of plugins offered TeamSpeak.
TeamSpeak claims to offer military grade encryption for secure private communication, advanced permission controls, LAN functionality, anonymous usage, codes like CELT and Speex in addition to Opus and GamePad and Joystick hotkey support.
The TeamSpeak mobile app allows you to issue commands directly from your smartphone.
TeamSpeak is a secure and safe way to communicate with the online community. While the program itself is easy to use, setting up your self-hosted servers can be a tedious task for the non-tech savvy users.
- Price – Open source free
Mumble is known for its low-latency communication and is a popular free, and open-source voice chat software primarily developed keeping the gaming community in mind.
However, the developers don’t offer the mobile version of Mumble for the users. Although, you can download the third-party apps like Mumble for iOS and Android devices.
For users, Mumble offers low-latency voice chats, encrypted communication with and public/private key, in-game overlay to see who’s talking without switching back and forth from game screen to chat screen, positional audio and a wizard that guides you through the setup for the first time.
For the administrators, Mumble offers an open-source, free VoIP software with ACL ( Access Control List) for extensive user permission. You can further extend the functionalities through Ice Middleware and add web interfaces, channel viewers and allows users to authenticate against an existing user database.
Mumble can be either self-hosted by the one user, and other members can connect to the server using the IP address. Or you can opt for the Mumble servers that cost as little as $2.50 per month which comes with five slots.
What’s not so good about Mumble is its user interface. It is clunky and involves a learning curve. However, once you get used to the working of the software, it becomes much easier to operate.
Mumble is free, affordable and offers low-latency voice chats which essential for fast peace multi-player games where each second counts.
- Price – Free
If you are looking for a less resource hungry VoIP client, Ventrilo is a good option. It is a lightweight software that doesn’t take too much of resources, as a result, running this VoIP client alongside your games will have minimal impact on system performance.
All the communications done using Ventrilo are encrypted, and the recordings are stored in your local client system. The app also does not collect any user data, offering complete privacy to the users.
Similar to other VoIP client, Ventrilo also requires the users to have their own server to use the software. If not, you can purchase the premium server plans from Ventrilo to manage 24×7 servers and be saved from the hassle of the server setup process.
Ventrilo is a multi-platform software except that there is no Linux client for the Linux users.
The user interface is rather colourful. You can further customise the look by downloading themes from the official website which includes Egyptian Female Ruler, Projection and ShakenNotStired themes.
The fact that it has less features than other VoIP client listed above means you have less functions to deal with making it easier to learn and use.
- Price – Free
Skype is an all-purpose VoIP software backed by Microsoft and boasts of its 300 million user base which is impressive to the say the least.
However, Skype is not made for gamers only. We all have used Skype for voice chats and video calls and even text messages at some point in time.
With Skype, you don’t have to worry about servers and hosting. It is free to use, and the group chat function makes it ideal for gamers.
Skype is not as feature rich as other software such as Discord or TeamSpeak, but if you don’t need advanced features, Skype offers all the basic functionalities that you need from a VoIP software to play games.
Skype supports features like call recording, Skype to phone number dialling, screen sharing, HD video calling, Live caption and more.
On the flip side, Skype can be buggy and may face occasional crashes. It is also a resource hog, which will have a moderate impact on system performance.
What’s your pick?
The VoIP gaming programs allow you to bypass the traditional phone network for digital medium of communication.
VoIP software like Discord and TeamSpeak has kept the VoIP market for gaming niche alive and running. And the growing popularity means the software is bound to make it even bigger thanks to the ever-growing multi-player online gaming community on mobiles phones.
Apart from the one mentioned above, there were a few other popular VoIP software like GameVox and Curse which were unfortunately discontinued for various reasons.
It is also important that you pick a voice chat client based on your requirement. If you don’t need too many features, pick something that is light and fast and has minimal impact on your computer’s performance.
What’s your pick? Is it Skype, Mumble, Discord or TeamSpeak for you? Do let us know your pick in the comments below.
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