Voice chat

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A speech bubble indicating a speaking player.

The voice chat is a communication feature available in all versions of Team Fortress 2. It is displayed at the bottom right side of the HUD.

In the PC version, voice chat functions in a push-to-talk manner (default key: V, bound to +voicerecord). Voice chat on the Xbox 360 is activated simply by plugging in a headset into the controller. On the PlayStation 3, a wireless Bluetooth earpiece can be used.

When a player is using voice chat, a speech bubble icon is displayed on the right side of their HUD. Another bubble appears above the player's head, visible to teammates. Additionally, a talking player's name and team are displayed as a colored bar on the right side of the HUD. If they are waiting to respawn, Health dead.png will appear by the side of their name.

A player's voice can only be heard by their own team by default, but dead players can still be heard by their living teammates (again, by default). Voice chat volume can be reduced with the command voice_scale, which goes from 0 to 1.

On servers where "alltalk" is enabled (with the setting sv_alltalk 1), all players can hear each other, including players who are on opposite teams or waiting to respawn. The normal speech bubble is replaced with a team-colored speech bubble that is shown over all talking players, including cloaked and disguised enemy Spies. The alltalk feature is not available on the console versions.

As of July 3, 2020 Patch, in order to use the voice chat in Valve official servers, a player must have a premium account and a non-limited user account on Steam.

Specific players can be muted in the PC version via the main menu by clicking the "Mute players" button near the bottom of the screen. Voice chat can be fully disabled in the Advanced options dialog.

In-game voice chat is sometimes complemented by the use of third-party VoIP software, such as Discord or Mumble, mainly in tournaments. This allows players to coordinate with their teammates quickly, regardless of server limitations.

Update history

October 1, 2014 Patch
  • tf_teamtalk is now on by default - the dead can talk to the living
  • When you mute a player, the mute settings now apply to text chat as well as voice chat. If you want the previous behavior, change convar cl_mute_all_comms to 0.

March 12, 2015 Patch

  • Reduced the latency of voice audio.

November 18, 2016 Patch

  • Added beta support for the CELT voice codec
    • Currently only enabled in community servers that opt-in to the beta
    • Server operators can enable CELT usage by setting the below convars, followed by a level change
      • sv_use_steam_voice 0
      • sv_voicecodec vaudio_celt

December 21, 2016 Patch

  • The CELT voice codec is now the default for all game servers
    • Community servers can enable use of the older steam voice codec with sv_use_steam_voice 1

June 16, 2020 Patch

  • Added "Enable text chat" and "Enable voice chat" options to the top of the Advanced Options dialog to disable in-game text and voice chat

July 3, 2020 Patch

  • Accounts that are unable to chat in matchmaking are now also restricted from sending voice chat