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Collaboration to competition: 3 things gamers want from in-game chat

November 17, 2022 in Games | 6 min. read
3 things gamers want from in-game chat | Hero image
3 things gamers want from in-game chat | Hero image

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With the rise in popularity of gaming came the demand and growth of in-game communication. Today, more than half of multiplayer gamers (56%) prefer to use an in-game chat tool to talk with teammates or opponents, rather than separate software or devices.

A big part of multiplayer gaming is the social connection it provides. So, what do gamers expect and want from in-game communication experiences today?

We pulled some of the data from our Multiplayer Report 2022 to answer this very question.

What is in-game chat?

In-game chat tools allow players to communicate with each other in their multiplayer gaming sessions.

There are two main ways to implement player comms:

  • Voice chat: Where players can speak directly to each other through microphones and speakers
  • Text chat: Where players communicate through text somewhere on-screen in the game

When determining which to use, there are many considerations for what type of in-game chat solution might be right for your game. Because we won’t cover that in this blog, you can learn more about choosing an in-game comms solution with this in-game chat guide.

Now, let’s cover three key findings from this year’s report.

1. Communication tools are key decision and engagement drivers for multiplayer gamers

So do gamers care about the in-game chat tools provided within a multiplayer game? The short answer is yes.

When we surveyed 1,400 gamers across the globe, they told us that when it comes to choosing the next game to play, social features are a prime decision driver.

Game genre aside, the second and third most important game features center around social connection – with the ability to chat with friends in-game and having friends already playing the game being key decision factors.

Prospective gamers want to pick up a game that their friends are playing and chat with them while they play. Providing an in-game chat option to facilitate that connection within the game is a priority, as gamers prefer an in-game option rather than using a separate app or device.

Bar chart depicting the most important features for multiplayer gamers in descending order by percent of respondents choosing the feature in their top three.

After the purchase, gamers also rely on communication features to ensure their ongoing enjoyment of a multiplayer game. Ease of player communication is rated as a top-three must-have feature for enjoying a multiplayer experience by nearly 1 in 3 multiplayer gamers (31%).

Bar chart depicting the top features that lead to an enjoyable multiplayer experiences in descending order of importance.

2. Gamers are predominantly voice and text chatting with their friends

Knowing that in-game communication is so important for gamers to select and engage with multiplayer titles, who is it that they’re chatting with during their gaming sessions?

Here’s what the data shows.

In live gaming sessions, how often do multiplayer gamers…
Voice chat with friends only
  • Never 19%
  • Sometimes 43%
  • Often 25%
  • Always / almost always 13%
Voice chat with everyone on team / in match
  • Never 31%
  • Sometimes 41%
  • Often 21%
  • Always / almost always 8%
Text chat with friends only
  • Never 20%
  • Sometimes 42%
  • Often 28%
  • Always / almost always 11%
Text chat with everyone on team / in match
  • Never 24%
  • Sometimes 43%
  • Often 23%
  • Always / almost always 10%

The most popular in-game chat combo is text chatting with friends only (39% of gamers do this often to always) and voice chatting with friends only (38% do this often to always).

Nearly 1 in 3 multiplayer gamers (31%) claim to never voice chat with their whole team in the match, which may indicate that gamers are wary of toxic or disruptive interactions with other players and prefer to keep their in-game chat with people they already know.

You can read more about the state of toxicity in multiplayer gaming in our previous blog.

3. Gamers want their chat tools provided in-game

So we know that having in-game chat to facilitate cooperation and competition in multiplayer titles is a must, according to multiplayer gamers in 2022. But what do they expect that experience to look like?

When asked, over half of multiplayer gamers insisted that they want an in-game chat party functionality, rather than having to rely on separate software (like Discord) or device (like their phone).

2022 Multiplayer Report | Unity Gaming Services (UGS) - In-game chat poll results

If gamers are using separate apps, what are their go-tos? It seems to vary by region, but the most popular game communication apps are:

  1. Discord (45% use this) – Most popular in Korea and the U.K
  2. Zoom (28%)
  3. FaceTime (26%) – Most popular in the U.S
  4. WhatsApp (24%)
  5. FB Messenger (20%)
  6. Line (18%) – Most popular in Japan
  7. Google Meet (11%)
  8. WeChat (7%)

Add in-game Voice and Text Chat to your game with Vivox

Players overwhelmingly prefer to stay in your game to chat with their friends – so why not offer that option for them? If you’re looking to allow your players to better compete, collaborate, and communicate within your game, check out Voice and Text Chat from Vivox today.

Interested in the full breadth of our multiplayer gamer findings? Check out the Unity Multiplayer Report 2022, which details trends of what multiplayer gamers across the world want from their gaming experiences.

November 17, 2022 in Games | 6 min. read

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