How to improve Halo 5: Fix voice chat – Transcript:
G’day guys, it’s Pyroteq and today I want to talk about voice chat in Halo 5, what’s wrong with it and what we can do to improve it.
Before Halo 5 came out I wanted to make sure I had a good Xbox compatible headset so I spent $180 on a Sennheiser Game One headset plus I bought the stereo adapter because I have an original Xbox One controller.
The headset is great but unfortunately I don’t get to use it often due to a number of issues with the voice chat in Halo 5.
Halo 5 currently offers an incredibly poor social experience, especially if you’re searching solo. If you’re searching alone you can expect to have no communication with your team mates most of the time, even in ranked playlists.
It’s incredibly frustrating when you want to share the time of the next overshield but none of your team mates can hear you or if your team mates drop their rocket launcher but say nothing and allow it to fall into the enemies hands.
There’s a number of issues causing this so I want to highlight them and then offer suggestions on what 343 can do to improve the Halo 5 social experience.
Firstly there’s the major issue that fireteam members cannot hear each other in the pre-game lobby. You must search for a game and then continue searching in order to chat between games. I have no idea how this made it past play testing but it completely ruins voice chat. You can’t discuss with your friends what play list you’d like to play or pause searching so someone can take a quick break while you chat amongst each other.
This has a snowball effect and causes even more issues.
Since friends can’t chat in the pre-game lobby they will create an Xbox Live party instead. This means members of your party can chat between lobbies, but any team members outside your party won’t be able to talk to you.
Because of this, people searching solo may not bother plugging in their headset at all since no one is communicating since the use of parties is so prevalent.
The problem becomes even worse when people searching solo or in smaller groups run into full teams that are communicating.
There are a lot of complaints in the community about solo searching or smaller groups running into teams of 4. Many people say the game should only match a team of 4 against a team of 4, however these complaints fail to address WHY running into a team of 4 is so frustrating.
The problem isn’t running into teams of 4, the problem is the inability or refusal to communicate with your team mates against a team that is communicating. Playing in a team of 4 doesn’t magically make you better at the game, but it does ensure you can communicate during the game.
Not only is the competitive aspect of Halo 5 ruined, but the social aspect is ruined as well.
Sometimes I just want to have fun and chat to team mates and if they’re cool I might decide to add them to my friends list. This no longer happens because I hardly get a chance to talk to my team mates.
I don’t get to say “good game” to my opponents at the end of a close game and I don’t get to hear the hilarious trash talk at the end of a game between rivals.
Halo 5 allows for huge 12 vs 12 battles but half the time I’m playing Warzone I feel like I’m playing alone because barely anyone is talking.
I believe this is going to have a negative effect on the longevity of Halo 5. People like to play games with friends. Friends encourage each other to get online and play but people right now aren’t making as many friends as they should be because no one can communicate with each other.
So how can 343 fix the voice chat in Halo 5?
The first solution is to fix voice chat so players can chat to each other between lobbies without the need for an Xbox Live party.
Another fix required is an improved user interface so you can see who is chatting easily in game.
The next solution is very controversial but it’s definitely needed. There should be no party chat allowed in ranked team playlists, similar to what Call of Duty has done in the past.
If players are playing a ranked playlist I expect them to play to their best ability and that includes communicating. If a player is unwilling to call out enemy positions then they should play Free For All or social playlists. If someone decides to play a ranked team playlist and then loses to a team of 4 when they’re not communicating then they really have no one to blame but themselves.
This would encourage more players to use the games voice chat instead of party chat which means more people will plug in their headsets to communicate with team mates in game since they won’t be stuck in a game with 3 of their team mates in a separate voice chat system.
Just today I was lucky enough to run into 2 guys communicating in the games chat while I was searching solo. We were all communicating during the match and after the game they wanted to party up with me because we worked well together.
We then went on to win numerous games in a row and had a great time playing together.
This is the old school Halo 2 experience I remember – making friends online and then playing together for many years to come.
When Xbox Live first launched on the original Xbox in 2002 it was a revolution in online gaming. Never before was it so easy to communicate with people online thanks to the included headset with every Xbox Live subscription. Although Xbox Live was criticised for the subscription fee I think it was worth it because it provided a superior online social experience to PC games at the time since voice chat wasn’t very common and many PC gamers didn’t have microphones.
Halo 2 improved on this with a fantastic chat system in the game featuring proximity chat that allowed you to be heard by friend and foe alike within a short range. It’s a shame that a decade later it seems like the awesome Halo community is disappearing and segregating themselves into their own private parties which will definitely have a negative effect on newcomers to the series that haven’t already established a large friendslist.
Until 343 fix the issues with voice chat I’d suggest trying to communicate with your team mates if possible. It will result in a much better online experience for both you and your team mates and you’ll win a lot more games. Who knows, you might even make new friends. I’m still friends with people I met 10 years ago during Halo 2.
Give your team mates the benefit of the doubt and try communicating. If they’re an asshole you can always mute them very easily.
So what do you think? Agree or disagree, please leave your comments below and if you enjoyed this video don’t forget to hit that like button and subscribe for more Halo content in the near future.
That’s all for now. Thanks for watching.