Have GameVoice; Will Teamspeak

Since I purchased a high-speed wireless internet connection a month or so ago, I've been able to get into the online gaming scene a little more.  Online gaming of any type is loads of fun as you try to p0wn other players from literally around the world.  What makes Online and LAN gaming so much fun is not only the capacity to play against other human players, but also the ability to interact and chat with them verbally.

Like many people, I purchased a Microsoft GameVoice a few years back, and it has been helpful in rendering this experience more enjoyable.  I don't think much of Microsoft's software for voice chatting, but the hardware is decent as it allows you to simply, with the push of a button, change channels, address multiple channels, and even issue commands to your computer verbally.  Months ago, Microsoft announced that it would no longer support or update it's GameVoice hardware, so us suckers who bought this product are now left out in the cold. . . Until Teamspeak that is.

Teamspeak is a freeware program that allows you to set up chat servers with multiple channels on the internet or LAN.  These servers can be password protected and are a great tool for low or high bandwidth Team chat.  One of the nifty features of Teamspeak is the "GameVoice Hardware Support" feature, but unfortunately, many people don't realize the potential or know how to set it up.  This little article will try to help solve the mystery, as well as introduce you to a tool that will greatly enhance your TeamSpeak experience.

If some of you have GameVoice's and don't know what TeamSpeak is or looks like, below is a quick at the main screen when logged into a TeamSpeak server.  This server is the TS server that BCC and DC play some BF1942: DesertCombat on.  It has several channels, which traditionally, can be quite a pain to switch between.  Normally, most people will minimize the game, switch channels, then maximize the game to continue.  What an unnecessary pain!

To allow your GameVoice to work properly through TeamSpeak, you have to head on over to the "Settings" menu, and go to "Options".  There you'll find the check box to enable GameVoice Hardware support under the "Other" Tab.  Alot of people I know have checked that box, and wonder why it doesn't work.  There is more setup to do, so let's get to it.

Once you do the obvious and check the afore mentioned box, you must then go setup TeamSpeak to work with your GameVoice.  This is done under "Settings" -> "Key Settings".  Here you have the option to bind keyboard keys to specific functions in a particular server.  Enabling GameVoice Hardware Support will also allow you to bind these functions to your GameVoice buttons.  Keep in mind that most of these functions, in particular channel switching varies server to server, so you must be logged into the TeamSpeak server of choice before setting up this section.

To set up channel switching, you must first select the action, the channel or server, then the channel or server name.  If the server or channel is password protected, you must enter it now.  Once that is done, click the "Set" button on the far left, then press you desired button on the GameVoice.  Click okay, and ta-da, you've bound a key!

You can add more funtions and even combine keyboar & GameVoice functions if your run out of GameVoice buttons.  To can switch channels, whisper to specific channels, and even increase/decrease the volume from the GameVoice buttons.  Binding Keys is a very handy and powerful ability.  And yes it's really that simple.

Earlier I said that I would introduce you to a tool that would make TeamSpeak better.  I introduce to you: TeamSpeakOverlay (TSO). 

This little app runs in the background after you've fired up TeamSpeak and uses an overlay that works in OpenGL or DirectX based games and shows you who is chatting, and channel information.  This software is freeware and carries an "Alpha Software" warning, but it's been running great on my machine for quite a while.  There are several options available, but the most important one is the TeamSpeak NickName.  A cool little feature is the Show FPS Counter, which works in every game I've tested.  Kind of like FRAPPS lite.

TSO in action blends very nicely, and shouldn't really interfere with your gaming experience.  I couldn't capture any pics of it in action due to it being an overlay, and my screen capture utility didn't like it, but I've included one taken by the author of TSO.

Click To Enlarge
(Click To Enlarge)

There you have it, a quick guide on setting up GameVoice Hardware to work or TeamSpeak as well as a handy little utility that will eliminate the "Hello New Player" greeting that we all say way to often.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this guide, please head on over and post them in the forum here.  You can download the latest version of TeamSpeak and TSO over in our Download Section here.