Online gaming had initially made its debut back in 1980 when a couple of undergraduates created a fantasy game called “Multiuser Dungeon”, or MUD.
Since then, playing online with friends has grown to become more and more of a cornerstone for the gaming industry than ever before.
Today, online gaming is an undeniable worldwide phenomenon.
Players can connect just as easily from down the street to across the ocean.
Companies who design consoles for players to enjoy take notice of this growth, so of course, they develop new and improved accessories to continue to satisfy the market.
The PS4 system was released on November 15, 2013, and throughout its run, it’s sold over 110 billion copies to players outselling the Playstation and PS3 before it.
And of course, playing online remained a staple through a setting called “Party Chat” where gamers can connect to old friends and make new ones.
This includes an improved voice chat option. But did the PS4 accessories support this ambitious setup?
Is There A Microphone On The PS4 Controller?
The PS4 controller alone does not have any direct function to speak to other players while gaming or otherwise. The DualShock 4 model was merely designed to release selective sounds from the console depending on player activity from within the game or menu.
Players have the option to select whether or not they want their controller speaker to be used, but there’s no option for speaking into it.
Even though there isn’t a direct way, are there still options to voice chat with others?
How Can You Voice Chat Online On PS4?
When you purchase a PS4 box set, you’ll typically see a pair of earbuds inside with the rest of the parts.
By either using those earbuds or a separate compatible headset, you can plug into a small circular port under the DualShock 4 and speak into the microphone of your device.
Other older model headsets may allow you to plug into a rectangular port in the console itself.
When your PS4 is active you can then press and hold the Home button which will reveal the Quick Menu.
There you’ll find the Sound/Devices tab where you can access all of your immediate options to enable or disable the game chat audio, mute your microphone, or even turn off your device entirely.
The longer way may involve moving up while in the PlayStation menu and scrolling to your settings.
Once there, you scroll down to the Devices tab for “Audio Devices” which dictates if you’re output sound comes through the TV or headset speakers.
You can also scroll down to the Controllers tab where you can raise or lower the DualShock 4 speaker.
How Do I Join A PS4 Party Chatroom?
The PS4 console is designed to keep its usage very simple and accessible. Party chats are no exception.
While in your PS4 menu, move up to the higher options and scroll over to the clearly marked “Party”.
When you select it, you’ll either find friends who are currently in an active party you may freely join, or you can start your own party as indicated at the top.
When you select “start party”, you’ll be allowed to select groups in your already established text chats, or you can simply “create group” and select from your friends list choosing individuals to join you.
As the Party owner, you’ll have the authority to keep it open for any of your friends to join, which includes their extended friends, or keep it private to the specifically selected guests.
All Party members involved can choose between party chat or game chat.
Party chat, as expected, keeps everyone’s voices within the party where outside players in the game can’t hear you or vice versa.
Game chat lets you remain in your party but switches your voice to mingle with the outside players.
What If I’m A Content Creator?
Many players enjoy sharing their gameplay footage with others showing their skills, making funny clips, or giving tutorials.
But will your voice be included?
The option is completely yours in the menu. Again, in the PS home menu scroll up then right to your settings.
When you scroll down far enough, you’ll find the tab for “Sharing and Broadcast”.
Here, you’ll find options for sharing your voice during recordings and/or live streaming.
These selective options also extend to the productions of others.
You’re in control of whether your voice is shared on your party member’s stream or recordings as well.
Do All Games Support Voice Chat?
In so many words, no. But as explained before, Online gaming is a worldwide phenomenon.
So typically, when new online games are being produced, they have settings in which players can chat with each other without the need for a Party.
These options are found in virtual game lobbies as players prepare for action.
Most games provide the option to mute other players or listen to what they say during the session.
The same, of course, applies to invited players for private sessions as well.
It’s rare to use game chat with friends when the PS4 offers Party Chat, but details like these may come in handy for some.
Is There A Way To Show My Gameplay Without Streaming It?
The PS4 party settings are capable of so much more than simply chatting and grouping in games.
In the PS4 Party menu, there’s also an option called “Share Play” available to all.
With decent internet, you can connect the events taking place on your game screen and show it to your Party member’s game screen as it happens.
The excitement is multiplied by the added ability to either play with the person you’re sharing with, or even completely give them control over your immediate game so you can watch them try it.
Voice chat remains completely the same in all facets.
However, Share Play does not work on the PlayStation menu as it does in-game.
And the party owner remains in complete control to reclaim their controller decisions.
Share Play also has a limit of one hour per runtime.
Will There Be An Upgrade?
While it’s true, the PS4 DualShock controller doesn’t allow voice speak on its own, the new PS5 DualSense controller does indeed allow direct chat into its built-in speaker.
Sony did eventually create this method as a possibility, so their players can continue to find more and more conveniences in their shared gaming experiences with next-gen consoles.