Riot should make voice chat a permanent feature in League of Legends

Almost all the top esports have embraced voice chat, so why hasn't League?

Image via Riot Games

League of Legends has voice chat, but it’s rather limited. In its current state, it allows you to talk to other players in your pre-made party, but that’s as far as it goes. It’s useful if you’re teaming up with friends, but it’s obsolete if you’re playing alone.

Riot needs to implement a permanent in-game voice chat. This would allow players to instantly be able to communicate when they enter the pick and ban phase. The alternative is what we have now, and it’s far from ideal. The ping system is a nuisance, and typing in the chat is often lost in translation.

If you consider the benefits of voice chat, the drawback is almost nothing in comparison. You could even argue that having a wordy text exchange with a teammate mid-game has much worse repercussions than a verbal argument. At least if someone calls you out in voice chat, you can keep your eyes on the game.

Typing and taking your eyes off the game for just a moment immediately benefits your opponents. If you continue to get baited by your teammate and exchange insults, the game will likely slip out of your reach. Voice chat is the solution.

It’s relatively easy to concentrate on the game when you’re talking. It’s not just about focusing, either. There are plenty of benefits to using your voice to communicate.

Shotcalling and in-game leading both make CS:GO a better competitive experience. If you join a match and everyone refuses to speak, you’ll likely lose. Of course, raw mechanical skill can often shine through, but without proper strategic depth, godlike aim is far less effective.

Adding voice chat to League isn’t going to make you a pro, but it will help improve the game’s skill ceiling. How many times have you lost a match because one of your teammates was out of position in a teamfight? Voice chat could prevent this.

Many abilities and spells are also much more effective with quality communication. If everyone on your team is ready for an incoming teleport, your powerplay is more likely to succeed. It’s not easy for your teammates to pay attention to the map at all times. With voice chat, there’d be no excuses. Your teammates would be ready for you. And if the play failed, you’d only have yourself to blame.

The general consensus from Riot and even much of the community was that this idea would be unhealthy for the game and encourage toxicity. Riot has said it has changed its stance around negative behavior, yet the steps towards implementing a permanent in-game voice have never been explored.

Now is the time to give voice chat a chance. The options are readily available, and it wouldn’t hurt to try. If a teammate deliberately tries to antagonize you and troll your game, you can just as easily mute them.

League is supposed to be fun, after all. Even if you’re grinding ranked all day and you want to improve, having an enjoyable time should be the endgame. A fully functional voice chat would only add to the experience of the game.