If you're unhappy with how the voice chat feature works in the Nintendo Switch Online app, you're not alone. Lots of people avoid it altogether, especially since not many games work with it. Luckily, you've got choices. If you're looking for a different way to communicate with friends (or even strangers) while playing Mario Party Superstars, Among Us, or any of the other best Nintendo Switch games, here are the best voice chat clients around.
Discord is the best chat client of the decade. It quickly became the VoIP of choice for gamers and has held that spot for five years. It works across platforms and provides customizable public and private chat channels. You can even video chat if you want. You can create or join as many servers as you want so you don't have to switch chat clients when you switch games. Just jump into your new channel where your friends await. Another pro? Discord uses encrypted server-to-client communications to protect you from nefarious gamers that think it's funny to hack your account.
The best chat client of the decade, Discord lets you chat alongside all your games. With lots of customization options, public and private channels, and video calls, it's easy to see why Discord is a favorite among gamers.
TeamSpeak is a voice chat service that's been around for a while. It's great for established gamers that already have group servers set up. If you're the type of person that likes to adjust your game chat software to your specific needs, TeamSpeak will be your preferred method. It supports several features that can only be accessed at the administrative level. So if you're the leader of a group, you can do a lot of cool things that no one else can.
TeamSpeak offers a lot of functionality within the chat room, so it's a great alternative for people with a lot of specific needs while gaming.
TeamSpeak has been doing VoIP for nearly two decades. The app has lots of features to control your server.
One of the standout features of Mumble's free voice chat service is positional audio. For some games, this will make or break your score. It sends audio to you based on the person talking's position in the game. So, if your buddy is to the right behind you, you'll hear them speaking from that direction. It's a fun feature that works well in group games. You can chat with friends on any one of Mumble's public servers, and you can connect to remote servers using encrypted voice data transfer. It's the perfect mix of solid features with simple access.
With positional audio, easily one of the neatest features I've seen in a VoIP service, Mumble adds a little extra fun to your gaming servers. This app is also super easy to use and very secure.
Hangouts is not what I would normally recommend for groups of friends trying to play a video game together, but it's one of the most widely used voice chat platforms and doesn't require any type of server. If you're running a quick game of Splatoon 2 with four of your friends and really don't want to bother with the Nintendo Switch Online app but don't have a current server with any other voice chat client, Hangouts will do the trick in a bind. Just don't rely on it for too long. It works good enough but is likely to leave you stranded in your game without your friends every once in a while.
Google's messaging app also supports voice and video chats. While it's not ideal for extended calls, it will do in a pinch if one of the other apps isn't an option.
Great gear to go with your voice chatting
If you're just getting into the online gaming world in terms of chatting with others, there are two specific accessories that I highly recommend.
This is a must-have set of headphones for the current audio setup for Switch. Why? Because it uses both 3.5mm audio connection and Bluetooth connection — at the same time! You can plug the Arctis 1 into your Switch to hear the in-game music and sounds and connect your phone to the headphones using Bluetooth to hear your friends in one of your chat rooms at the same time.
Since you're probably going to use your phone to access your chat clients, you might as well have your phone right in front of you while you play. The Clip Grip Power has many uses. You can clip your phone right to it, so it's never far from your hands. You can also store about a half-dozen game cards or microSD cards in the center compartment. Finally, it has its own internal charging brick to power up your Joy-Cons while you play.
When playing Switch online, a great voice chat app is necessary to communicate with friends (or strangers!). Since the Nintendo Switch Online app isn't the most popular choice, having options comes in handy. Pick one that appeals to you and game on!