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voice chat gaming programHave you ever heard about the paradox of choice 6 Mind-Blowing TED Talks About Psychology & Human Behavior 6 Mind-Blowing TED Talks About Psychology & Human Behavior The human brain is complex and confusing, which explains why human behavior is so complex and confusing. People have a tendency to act one way when they feel something completely different. Here are a few... Read More ? Here’s the gist of it: the more choices you have, the harder it becomes to make a satisfying decision. This is slowly becoming a reality in the world of voice communication because the number of available programs is rising. Which one is the best? Which one should you use?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reviewing a number of voice communication software, most of which were specifically designed with gamers in mind. However, though you may not be a gamer yourself (or just a casual one at that), these programs can still be useful for general social activity over the Internet like chit-chatting with your friends. All you need is a microphone, and you’ll be good to go.

Join me as I compare the best of the best offerings to see which ones excel, which ones fall short, and which ones provide the best overall experience.

Razer Comms

voice chat gaming program

Razer Comms is actually the newest voice chat gaming program on this list – so new, in fact, that as of writing this article it’s still in open beta status. The best way I could describe Razer Comms is that it’s like Skype meets Steam 8 Things You Didn't Know About Steam 8 Things You Didn't Know About Steam Steam started out as an annoying program that came with Half-Life 2, but it’s grown into the PC game store of choice for most PC gamers. Although some people aren’t fans and prefer alternative stores,... Read More : it’s like Skype because there’s a centralized server that manages everything and you can create your own group chats, but it’s like Steam because it integrates with your games and acts as a game launcher.

The Pros: Despite how you might feel about their products, Razer has been an integral part of the gaming scene for many years. This gives them a good edge in knowing what gamers want from a voice communication program, and I think it shows. The centralized server, the friends lists, the group creation and administration, the chatrooms, the voluntary microphone toggles that let you choose whether or not you want to participate in a voice chat at any given time, the game launcher – the features list is wonderful on paper.

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The Cons: The downside to Razer Comms is that it’s in open beta, which means subpar performance and the occasional bug. Some windows might lag or take inordinate amounts of time to load. There might be a feature that you think is crucial but not yet implemented. I have a high tolerance for beta software, but I know I’m in the minority, so before you give Razer Comms a try, make sure you quell your expectations until it’s out of beta.

If you’d like a full overview of this program, check out my review of Razer Comms Razer Comms: A New Free Voice Chat For PC Gamers Razer Comms: A New Free Voice Chat For PC Gamers Voice communication is a fantastic bit of technology that truly complements the fast-paced nature of multiplayer gaming. It frees up your hands from typing out long messages, allowing you to chat in real-time without any... Read More .

Overall: B+ in current state / A- when beta issues are fixed


best voice chat program gaming

I instantly fell in love with Mumble when I first discovered it back sometime around 2009. At that point, it had been around for about four years (first launched in 2005), and proved to be so much better than all of its competitors. The main point that drew me was the freedom it provided, particularly in being able to host a free server without a user cap.

The Pros: Mumble is entirely free in all senses of the word – it doesn’t cost you a cent to use it as a client or host as a server AND it’s open source. It’s cross-platform too, which is great for those of you who have friends that span the gamut of operating systems. The program is extremely lightweight, the latency is fast, and there’s a plugin system that allows you to play around with positional audio depending on where your friends are standing in a game.

The Cons: Since Mumble is designed in a server-client way, you’re out of luck if you don’t have a friend who can set up the server properly. In that case, you’ll have to rent a Mumble server, which typically costs $0.30 per month per user slot. Mumble has an automatic voice normalizer that is great in theory, but can prove annoying, especially when you want to manually adjust someone’s volume and you can’t. The voice pickup algorithm for non-push-to-talk is subpar.

If you’d like a full overview of this program, check out Chris’s Mumble review Get The Advantage By Talking To Your Gamer Friends With Mumble Voice Chat Get The Advantage By Talking To Your Gamer Friends With Mumble Voice Chat Mumble improves on other voice chat applications for gamers and offers quite a few advantages. It's optimized for low-latency communications, making it perfect for hectic game situations where every second counts. If you're coming from... Read More .

Overall: B+


best voice chat program gaming

Skype has gained a bit of notoriety ever since Microsoft decided to buy it out. Perhaps Microsoft really is ruining the once-great Skype, or maybe it’s all a placebo effect, but there’s no denying that Skype is constantly evolving. It’s most known for its ability to call phone numbers around the world for low prices Skype - The Best Tool For International Video Conferences & Cheap Phone Calls Skype - The Best Tool For International Video Conferences & Cheap Phone Calls On the surface, Skype looks like an application for text, audio, and video chats, a great way to stay in touch with a friends. Only that it's more than that. Skype is a Voice over... Read More , but it does have user-to-user voice chat, group voice chat, and even video chatting.

The Pros: The centralized nature of Skype, where you log in with an account on Skype’s servers, instead of having to host your own individual servers, is extremely convenient. It’s easy to build a list of friend contacts on Skype and just call them for a voice chat whenever necessary. Plus, Skype is pretty popular amongst gamers and non-gamers alike, so you’ll rarely need to convince someone to “download Skype so we can voice chat.” Big bonus there.

The Cons: Skype is a terrible resource hog. When idling, it requires upwards of 100 MB of RAM. When in a voice or video chat, it requires even more, which can be problematic when you’re playing a game that’s also hard on the resources. Voice quality can fluctuate a lot depending on your location and your ISP, sometimes so much that dropped calls become a frequent occurrence.

Overall: B+


best voice chat program gaming

With a name like TeamSpeak, you might think this program is too hardcore for you. But really, it isn’t. While it was originally built for competitive teams who needed fast and effective voice communication during matches, TeamSpeak has evolved into a robust program with broad appeal. Like Mumble, TeamSpeak does not run on a centralized server, so you’ll need to host your own.

The Pros: Easy-to-use and intuitive interface make it easy to pick up. TeamSpeak’s voice quality might just be the best out of all the voice communication programs on this list. In addition, TeamSpeak is available not only across Windows, Mac, and Linux, but also as apps for Android and iOS. Now you can speak with your friends no matter where you are.

The Cons: The default free hosting license only allows up to 32 slots on a server, though you can bump that up to 512 if you register with TeamSpeak as a non-profit entity. If you can’t host a TeamSpeak server yourself, you’ll need to rent one for approximately $0.30 per month per user slot.

TeamSpeak is listed as one of the best programs on our Best of Windows page. If you’d like a full overview of this program, check out my review of TeamSpeak TeamSpeak 3: The Original Cross-Platform Voice Chat For Gaming Teams and Clans TeamSpeak 3: The Original Cross-Platform Voice Chat For Gaming Teams and Clans I’m a big fan of voice communication when it comes to gaming. Wearing a headset while gaming adds a social element that makes the gaming experience that much better. While TeamSpeak may have started off... Read More .

Overall: B


voice chat gaming program

RaidCall is a gaming voice communication solution that focuses on the user experience and ease-of-us over flashy graphics. With the help of competitive gaming team Fnatic, RaidCall has slowly but surely placed itself on the map as an effective means for not only voice chatting but community building as well.

The Pros: RaidCall is very light on the resource usage, which is great considering how many features it has. With RaidCall, you create your own groups, which are like individual servers, except groups are hosted on RaidCall’s servers so you don’t have to worry about hosting. Groups are further divided into channels, and there is a group-wide chat so you can chat with people even if they’re in other channels.

The Cons: Since groups are hosted on RaidCall’s servers, you’re limited to their locations: US and EU. If you live anywhere else, you’re out of luck, or you’ll have to deal with increased latency. The program itself has some great features, but it sorely lacks in proper interface design, which won’t be a problem for too many people, but it was a problem for me. Though RaidCall isn’t resource-intensive, it still feels bloated with superficial features that are more distracting than helpful (such as channel levels).

If you’d like a full overview of this voice chat gaming program, check out my review of RaidCall RaidCall: Free & Hosted Voice Chat and Gaming Community Wrapped Into One Package RaidCall: Free & Hosted Voice Chat and Gaming Community Wrapped Into One Package Voice communication allows gaming to transcend to the next level. It’s one thing to play a multiplayer game with your friends - it’s something else when you can talk with your friends while playing. However,... Read More .

Overall: B


If Razer Comms could fix all of its beta performance issues, I would be very tempted to call it the perfect gaming voice chat solution. Alas, it probably has three to nine months ahead of it before it reaches that point. Until then, I’m going to say that Skype is the best solution if you want a centralized service and Mumble is best if you don’t mind hosting your own setup.

What do you think? Which of these programs do you like the best and why? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Image Credits: Gamer Headset Via Shutterstock

  1. Christiaan
    August 18, 2016 at 5:04 am

    What about Discord

    • Joel Lee
      August 19, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Discord came out way after this article was written! But I do like Discord. A lot. It's nifty and very convenient. :)

    • absurd
      September 7, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      thanks, i was trying to remember the name of that.

  2. me
    July 25, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Have you try Dolby Axon? It's free, simple, lightweight, and have clearer voice. Just like razer comms and raidcall, it has its own server.

    • Joel Lee
      July 29, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      I haven't used it in a few years. I remember it being a bit too simple and primitive back then, but I'm sure it has improved quite a bit between then and now. Maybe I'll give it another run some time. Most of my friends use Discord nowadays though.

  3. GoblinBerserker
    May 13, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Curse ?

    • yea righ
      August 30, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      curse is a bloated piece of shit garbage compiled by a bunch of monkeys, so no, mentioning curse would be a bad idea. It was good, but now its just a huge drain on any computer.

    • Blastguy
      September 28, 2016 at 1:09 am

      Actually, Yea Righ, I have most of the voice programs that PC gamers commonly use and I can say that Curse uses the least amount of memory out of all of them. I just opened my task manager to check whats using how much in the background and curse is using about 80 mb while Discord is running at 70 mb. Not a huge difference, but UI-wise, I prefer Curse but people don't even have to download Discord to use it so it's my favorite.

  4. Kai
    March 15, 2016 at 3:32 am

    not to mention security lack and possibility of getting doxxed through some of these...

  5. Wyrdone
    February 25, 2016 at 12:47 am

    No mention of the venerable and still most widely used Ventrilo?

  6. jimmmmmmmmmm
    December 27, 2015 at 3:36 pm


  7. Jody Gardener
    October 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I've used most of what's out there and my favorite is buddy comms. It's lightweight and the voice quality is really good. I like razer comms when it works but it's too hit and miss to really rely on.

    • Joel Lee
      October 17, 2015 at 12:37 am

      Hmm, I've never heard of Buddy Comms until now. Thanks for mentioning it, I'll give it a look. :)

  8. David Jeske
    February 1, 2015 at 12:21 am

    You missed Curse Voice ! So much better than skype. Better multi-party voice quality. You don't have to add people to friends lists (you can just join a voice chat with a URL) . It shows what games your friends are playing.

  9. Sirillion
    October 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Have you taken a look at C3? C3 is a up and coming chat client from Vivox. I've been using it a while myself and even though it is still in beta I must admit that I find it to be much better than any of the alternatives in your article.

    • Anonymous
      May 13, 2015 at 4:36 am

      I agree, I downloaded recently to play online and it has a very good sound interface and is very easy to use and organize.

  10. Skrell
    October 9, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    which client uses the least CPU do you guys think? Axon?

    • Joel L
      October 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Axon and Mumble are probably the lightest in terms of CPU.

  11. Potamoose
    October 2, 2013 at 4:56 am

    Voice chat lists rarely mention Dolby Axon. Not sure how it manages to continue to fly under the radar.
    My friends and I have zero use for the surround sound feature at all, but continue to use it due to voice clarity and the client being so lightweight.

    • Joel L
      October 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      I recently wrote an Axon review so you can expect to see it on MUO in a few weeks. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Bo
    September 10, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Great, do post it here if you have a review on Garena Talk. I'll come back and check it out. Many thanks. :)

  13. Bo
    September 9, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Have you tried Garena Talk / Talk Talk? I heard that this is currently the most popular free voice chat client for gamers in many regions including Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Russia. It's used by many professional gaming groups like last season's LoL world champion TPA. Any comments or review on Garena Talk / Talk Talk?

    • Joel L
      September 9, 2013 at 2:57 am

      I've never used Garena Talk so I don't have any opinions to share on it. I'll check it out, though, and if I like it I will write up a review on it. :)

  14. Sagar Sanjeev
    June 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

    In My Opinion TeamSpeak 3 Is The Most Popular Among The Clan And Guilds
    I am Member Of Many Guilds And Almost All Use TS3 Just 1 Uses Rapidcall

  15. Hekutoru
    June 20, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Please review Evolve which includes media sharing, universal matchmaking, free VoIP, a gaming VPN and more.

  16. Jack Giebel
    June 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    All of my friends and use a Google+ hangout. Its great to see everone for those of use with two monitors and we can add people over the phone if they prefer that,

  17. Carl Cox
    June 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Steam actually has a great voice chat feature, and since the vast majority of my games are on Steam, the interface is already active, meaning that it doesn't require any extra resources.

    • Joel Lee
      June 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Interesting you'd say that because I never had a good experience with Steam voice chat. Maybe it's particular to my computer rig or maybe my settings aren't right, but yikes, Steam communication sometimes just feels really clunky. If you like it, though, keep at it!

      • Carl Cox
        June 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm

        It's possible that your settings are the problem: I think you have to run the setup wizard to get the levels and everything set properly. I've actually used TeamSpeak and other services, and I always found myself coming back to Steam. The thing I like best about it is the hands-off feature works really well (if you have have the threshold set properly). You can have a conversation with people in the chat just like you were talking to them in a real-life conversation. In fact, the only downside I've seen is that the Steam servers occasionally cut out. It never lasts more than a few minutes, but it can be annoying.

  18. Skrell
    June 20, 2013 at 12:28 am

    What about Ventrillo??

    • claudine ratelle
      June 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Same, we used Ventrilo in my guild too, for guild things. And skype for friend groups or small groups.

    • Joel Lee
      June 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Ventrilo was the first ever voice chat program I used, way back when I was a CS 1.6 fanatic. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the current alternatives have surpassed it and Ventrilo has never really caught up. I'm willing to be proven wrong, though.

    • Muka
      October 9, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Vent is great, but it's not free, so it falls out of the list here

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