Splatoon 2 supports voice chat in LAN play, fans discover
From the start, Splatoon 2 fans were perplexed by the game's voice chat option through the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app. And after players found the game supports voice chat in LAN mode, fans are even more confused why the game doesn't natively support in-game communication.
Over at NeoGAF, user PetrCobra was playing with friends when their group accidentally stumbled across the feature. One player had a microphone attached to his headphones, so once the group entered a LAN lobby, his fellow players heard sound broadcast loudly into the lobby.
Splatoon 2 players have since tested out the game's voice chat feature, confirming that the game has voice chat support for LAN games. No special setup is required to get voice chat working, either. Players simply need to plug a mobile headset into the earphone jack and they can immediately begin using their microphone, according to Reddit user SareturuWeststar.
Another NeoGAF user, eRonin, reported back on the LAN mode's voice chat features in one-on-one play and Salmon Run. LAN mode allows players to hear each other in the lobby, regardless of their team affiliation. Things become more complicated between modes. Players can always communicate with each other during Salmon Run, Splatoon 2's co-op mode. But during player-vs-player modes, players can only hear their own teammates in-game.
Splatoon 2's voice chat support in LAN mode opens up new avenues for the game's esports community. For local tournament organizers, LAN play lets players reliably communicate with one another without worrying about their connection to Nintendo Switch Online.
And LAN mode's abilities may open the way to more efficient online play among international friends, too. Twitch streamer N_Squared previously used a virtual private network to play Splatoon 2 over the internet in LAN mode with a friend, demonstrating the feature live on Twitch. Other players may be able to use VPNs to play matches with friends online at any time without needing Nintendo Switch Online to communicate.
But fans are confused why Nintendo downplayed LAN mode's voice chat features. Since the game natively supports voice chat, and Nintendo Switch Online needlessly complicates online communication in Splatoon 2, fans are curious why Nintendo decided to remove voice chat from the game's online modes in the first place. Some point to business decisions from above. Others suggest that Nintendo simply wanted to minimize online harassment for the game's playerbase. For the time being, it remains unclear.
For players that want to try the game's built-in voice chat, or otherwise play a game in LAN mode, Nintendo provides online instructions on how to host LAN games. As Nintendo officially phases in Nintendo Switch Online's paid service model, it's not clear if Splatoon 2 will receive native voice chat in the months ahead. But for now, players can at least play on the same local area network without dragging out their smartphones.