While some players prefer to experience games alone, fighting their way through a campaign or an array of story missions without outside influence, others like to experience games in groups. Over the past couple of decades or so, multiplayer has really come to the forefront of video games thanks to technological advancements and cultural trends. It can take the form of an MMO, co-op with a few close friends, or just a multiplayer experience with complete strangers. the Xbox platforms offer many options for how players can engage and experience multiplayer features, with text or voice chats, or even just pings to help players communicate.
One feature that has proven popular on Xbox consoles is proximity voice chat. Being able to talk with friends and strangers can be a crucial feature of some games, especially those where players will need to strategize and coordinate. Some games have different approaches, like only allowing players to chat with people they’ve added to their friends list, or only their teams, or only one person at a time after being specifically selected. However, Proximity Chat is something different – it mixes real life with video games and only allows players to interact with those within earshot in-game. This can provide a tactical advantage to teammates, but it also means enemies could also eavesdrop if they’re close enough. While not every game with a voice chat feature uses this feature, some Xbox titles have used it in interesting ways.
How proximity chat can be used in games
There’s no doubt that proximity chat can be a useful feature, especially for titles where players need to play as part of a team. Games like Rare’s Pirate Adventure sea of thieves need players to work together if on a ship. Using voice chat is a quick and efficient way for players to give orders, report problems, and plan things like attacks, especially when navigating a ship can require a lot of hands on deck. sea of thieves also uses proximity chat, which means that while players can communicate with allies, enemies can also eavesdrop and participate. This could lead to humorous results as enemies trade threats when confronting enemy ships, and could also be used to deliberately mislead antagonistic players with false information.
Some titles, like social deception and survival game Winter Project, have optional voice and proximity chat. Like most PC games, the Xbox port has a push-to-talk system allowing players to engage in proximity chat. For a game where communication is key, it’s important to have multiple methods for players to talk to each other. When players only want to communicate with loved ones rather than the whole party, proximity chat is an incredibly useful feature. In order for the survivors to escape and win the game, they must work together, but if a traitor is suspected to be among them, then isolating part of the communication becomes vital to their success and also offers difficult risks since no anyone could listen.
Xbox titles with proximity chat
From Friday the 13th: the game to Bethesda’s online RPG Fallout 76, proximity chat can be both a help and a hindrance in many cases. In Friday 13, the counselors must work together to escape Camp Crystal Lake and the murderous clutches of Jason Voorhees. While Proximity Chat allows players to find each other and collaborate to create a means of escape, it also means that the player controlling Voorhees is alerted to others nearby and can more easily track them down when they participate in their planes.
While some games use proximity chat successfully and serve to help players, others can have hilarious consequences. In the hugely popular online social deduction game Among usYouTuber KSI accidentally revealed his identity as the killer in a proximity chat error which immediately led to his downfall in the game. While proximity chat was not initially a feature of the game, modders have since added to further complement the gameplay and lead to more humorous hijinx like KSI’s accidental unmasking.
Here are the games available on Xbox who currently offer proximity chat:
- Among us
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Back 4 Blood
- BattleBit Remastered
- DC Universe Online
- The Division 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Fallout 76
- Friday the 13th: the game
- hell loose
- Hunt: Confrontation
- Winter Project
- Check-in room
- sea of thieves
- Tom Clancy’s Division
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