Voice chat allows you to play games with your friends when you’re in different places. It’s a great tool to connect gamers from around the world and enhance gameplay by allowing you to coordinate organized attacks with your teammates.
Voice chat is a built-in feature of almost every current-gen console, but the Nintendo Switch is most definitely lagging behind in that respect. Rather than being available natively on the system, the Nintendo Switch has a more roundabout way of chatting with your friends in-game using the Nintendo Switch Online app.
Do All Nintendo Switch Games Support Voice Chat?
Nintendo’s voice chat feature is widely considered a sub-par experience when compared to consoles like the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S. Not only do you have to download an entirely separate app to access it as well as purchase a Nintendo Switch Online membership, but there are also only a handful of games that are actually compatible with voice chat.
As of August 2022, there are 14 third-party and exclusive titles on the Nintendo Switch that are compatible with the Nintendo Switch Online voice chat feature. In addition to these 14 titles, voice chat is also available for the catalog of retro NES games that you gain access to with your Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Although this list of games may seem a little lackluster to some, there are quite a few great titles available on this list. You can check what games are compatible with Nintendo Switch Online voice chat on the Nintendo Support website.
Is There a Built-In Voice Chat Option for the Nintendo Switch?
The concept of voice chat only being widely available on the Nintendo Switch Online app is perplexing to some. This is mainly because it has already been proven that the Nintendo Switch is capable of running voice chat natively on the system.
There are a couple of titles like Blizzard’s Overwatch and Epic Games’ Fortnite that bypass the Nintendo Switch Online app and offer built-in voice chat for their games. All you need to activate voice chat for these games is to plug your headset into the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Nintendo Switch and begin gaming with your friends.
How to Use Voice Chat on the Nintendo Switch With the Nintendo Switch Online App
To use voice chat on the Nintendo Switch Online app, you will first have to download and install the app. You will also require a valid Nintendo Switch Online membership along with a compatible game and a headset with either Bluetooth or a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Once you have all of the above, you are ready to chat with your friends on your Nintendo Switch in compatible games. Here’s how:
- Launch the Nintendo Switch Online app and sign into your account. If you haven’t made an account already, you can do so on the Nintendo Account login page.
- Connect your headset via Bluetooth or by plugging it into your smart device’s headphone jack.
- On the home page, you will see a section labeled Game-Specific Services. These titles include their own separate setup instructions. So if you would like to play any of these exclusive titles with voice chat, press the corresponding icon and follow their unique instructions.
- For all other titles, you can access them through the section below labeled Voice Chat. Launch the compatible title you wish to play.
- The game will appear in the voice chat box. Press Start to create a lobby that your friends can join at any time.
If you would like to set up your Nintendo Switch Online app to send you a notification whenever a lobby is available, you can do so in the settings.
- From the home page, press your user icon in the top-right corner to open the settings.
- Click Notifications.
- Press Change settings.
- Press Notifications in your app settings and turn the Allow Notifications button on.
- Head back to the Nintendo Switch Online app settings and press Voice Chat.
- Toggle the Start Alert button to the “on” position.
You can also personalize your notifications by changing their vibration or sound alerts if you would like to.
Using Voice Chat With Third-Party Apps
There are a few flaws when using the Nintendo Switch Online app for voice chat. The service is region-locked and is currently unavailable in several parts of Asia and South America. This can be troublesome since a lot of games have a global fan base, so you might not be able to coordinate with your whole party through the Nintendo Switch Online App.
If you are playing your Nintendo Switch on a PC and have an audio mixer, you will also be unable to get the full voice chat experience. Since your headset has to be connected to your phone, you can’t use one pair of headphones to hear both your game and voice chat at the same time.
For this reason, you might be tempted to avoid the trouble by using a third-party app such as Discord or Mumble to play Nintendo Switch games with voice chat. While Discord is the most popular option for gamers, there are several other great Discord alternatives you can try out for yourself.
For privacy reasons, some gamers might prefer to use a voice changer when using voice chat features. The Nintendo Switch Online app does not offer this option natively. But you can check out these great free voice changers if you want to keep your identity private when playing with voice chat online.
Try Nintendo Switch Online Voice Chat for Yourself
A good and reliable voice chat feature is a great way to connect with your friends virtually and improve the outcome of your gaming experience. While voice chat on the Nintendo Switch isn’t perfect, it has come a long way in recent years, and it can be a useful tool if you take advantage of it.
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