Voice chat allows you to play games with your friends when you are in different places. It’s a great tool for connecting players around the world and enhancing gameplay by allowing you to coordinate organized attacks with your teammates.
Voice chat is a built-in feature of nearly every current-gen console, but the Nintendo Switch certainly lags behind in this regard. Rather than being available natively on the system, the Nintendo Switch has a more roundabout way to chat with your in-game friends using the Nintendo Switch Online app.
Do all Nintendo Switch games support voice chat?
Nintendo’s voice chat feature is widely considered a poor experience 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 and buy a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, but there are also only a handful of games that are actually compatible with voice chat.
As of August 2022, 14 third-party and exclusive Nintendo Switch titles 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 have access to with your Nintendo Switch Online membership.
While this list of games might seem a little lackluster to some, there are quite a few great titles available on this list. You can check which games are compatible with Nintendo Switch Online voice chat on the Nintendo Support website.
Is there an integrated 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 the Nintendo Switch has already been proven capable of running voice chat natively on the system.
There are a few 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 enable voice chat for these games is plug your headphones into the Nintendo Switch’s 3.5mm headphone jack and start playing 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 need to download and install the app first. You will also need a valid Nintendo Switch Online membership as well as a compatible game and headphones 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 in to your account. If you haven’t created an account yet, you can do so on the Nintendo Account Login Page.
- Connect your headphones via Bluetooth or by plugging them into your smart device’s headphone jack.
- On the home page, you will see a section titled Game specific services. These titles include their own separate setup instructions. So if you want to play any of these exclusive titles with voice chat, tap the corresponding icon and follow their unique instructions.
- For all other titles, you can access them via the section below titled Voice chat. Launch the compatible title you want to play.
- The game will appear in the voice chat box. Hurry Begin to create a lobby that your friends can join at any time.
If you want to configure your Nintendo Switch Online app to send you a notification whenever a lobby is available, you can do so in Settings.
- From the home page, press your user icon in the upper right corner to open the settings.
- Click on Notice.
- Hurry Modify the parameters.
- Hurry Notice in your application settings and turn the Allow notifications button on.
- Return to the Nintendo Switch Online app settings and tap Voice chat.
- Toggle the Launch the alert button to the “on” position.
You can also customize your notifications by changing their vibration or sound alerts if you wish.
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 regions in Asia and South America. This can be inconvenient as many games have a global fan base, so you may not be able to coordinate with your whole party through the Nintendo Switch Online app.
If you’re playing your Nintendo Switch on a PC and have an audio mixer, you won’t be able to enjoy the full voice chat experience either. Since your headset needs to be connected to your phone, you can’t use a single pair of headphones to hear both your game and your voice chat.
For this reason, you might be tempted to avoid the problem by using a third-party app such as Discord or Mumble to play Nintendo Switch games with voice chat. Although Discord is the most popular option for gamers, there are several other great Discord alternatives that you can try out for yourself.
For privacy reasons, some players may 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 while playing voice chat online.
Try Nintendo Switch Online Voice Chat for Yourself
A good, reliable voice chat feature is a great way to virtually connect with your friends and improve the outcome of your gaming experience. Although voice chat on the Nintendo Switch isn’t perfect, it has come a long way in recent years and can be a useful tool if you take advantage of it.