One of the best parts of gaming online is the possibilities for interacting and talking to other players all around the world. Something many PC gamers struggle with however, is choosing the most efficient push to talk key. Having gone through a selection of different keys I have a few tips towards helping you pick one and what to avoid.
How To Pick The Most Optimal Key
Choosing the correct key will depend on a variety of different factors. The first of these is what keybinds you use in your favourite games. If you have ones you rely on for specific movement or actions, the last thing you will want to do is set your push to talk key to any of these buttons.
Another thing you will want to consider when picking your push to talk key is how accessible it is. You want to ensure the key is in close proximity of your fingers without requiring you to stretch. If there’s a key you never use for your games, and it is easily accessible its sure fire choice for your key.
One of the most popular keys for push to talk is the mouse 4 or 5 buttons or the side buttons as they are often called. These buttons are easy to reach, keep your hand free for keyboard movement and don’t interfere with any of your keybinds for actions within the game.
The only downside of using the mouse as your push to talk key is that it can effect your aim. Pushing your side button in for a long length of time if when talking for an extended period causes your hand to strain which can impact the precision of your aim.
It is also worth ensuring that the button you are using doesn’t have another use that could cause an interruption to your gameplay. The Windows key, in particular, can be a problem here. If you do choose to use a key with a menu function, make sure to disable its functionality.
Push To Talk Keys I Actually Like
Now that you know what to look for in a push to talk key choice let’s take a look at some of the options you have. If you are someone that can comfortably use your thumb for your push to talk key, C, V, or B on your keyboard may be suitable options.
Another great key choice could be the scroll wheel click on your mouse. If you have a standard mouse with three buttons instead of 5, using the scroll wheel can be the next best thing for a key that is accessible but it may also affect your aim similar to using the mouse 4 and 5.
As an alternative to a push to talk key, many online game streamers will simply use a mute key. This means that your mic will pick up everything you are saying, and you can choose when to mute and unmute what others are hearing. Using your mute key can be a lot easier than having to push and hold a button to talk.
What Keys Do Streamers Use for Push to Talk?
The ones we should be looking to for our push to talk dilemma are the streamers. Streamers need an easy way to allow their viewers to hear them. However, when playing with other streamers they also need a way for only the viewers to hear them and not the people they are playing with.
We did some digging into what keys streamers use the most for push to talk, and most of them actually resort to third-party apps as part of their streaming system. Many don’t rely on a push to talk button at all.
Most streamers use platforms such as Stream or Twitch to record their gaming sessions. They use their broadcasting software to set up a hotkey to mute their mic. This is instead of having a push and hold button like the traditional push to talk keys if you want to speak during the game. A lot of online gamers are turning to options such as this, where their entire game is recorded unless you mute the mic. It certainly seems like an easier option than having to hold down a button to talk.
What Are The Best Push To Talk Keys According To Reddit?
It couldn’t be conversation on computer and PC gaming without Reddit coming into the picture. Reddit is full of opinions on the subject, most of which are very helpful.
A large percentage of players use a button on their mouse. The Reddit users who have their mice as the push to talk keys bind the action to the side buttons (so mouse button 4 or 5). This means gameplay isn’t interrupted, it’s easily within reach and can be used as and when you need it.
Another fan favourite push key for Reddit users is the caps lock button. Generally, the caps button won’t be used for anything else in your game and is easily reached using your pinky.
Ctrl keys have been widely discussed on the Reddit boards, but many people find these fiddly to use and hard to reach. An alternative however is the alt key which is easily pressed using your thumb.
Don’t Use These Push to Talk Keys
The trick here is that there aren’t any unsuitable options. The button you choose is completely down to personal preference, and anything that feels comfortable for you is the perfect option. As long as the key feels right and doesn’t affect your gameplay, there’s no need to change it to something everyone else uses.
Overall it would seem that using a mouse button or a button you can easily access with your thumb is your best bet. Alternatively you could set up a mute key instead and toggle it off and on when you want to speak. If you have any other keys you think are better or want to share your key, please leave a comment below.