Steam is not only one of the largest video game stores in digital format, but it is also a great platform or social network for gamers. All users who connect to it can communicate with friends and other people (teammates, for example) in various ways. For example, you can use the game chat, the Steam chat if we have them on our friends list or the voice chat systems if we have a microphone connected to our PC. However, for the latter to work, we must know perfectly how to configure Steam and our computer for it.
Activate the micro in Windows
First of all, the first thing we have to do is activate and configure the micro in Windows 10. To do this, what we will do is open the Configuration menu of the operating system, and go to the System> Sound section. Here, we will have to locate a section called “Input”, from where we will be able to control the sound input devices (that is, the microphones) that we have connected to the PC.
We have to select the micro that we are going to use, and check that the volume bar works correctly. If this is not the case, then we will have to use the troubleshoot button that will help us detect faults and repair them so that Windows can use our microphone correctly.
Although we have the microphone configured in Windows, in order to use the voice functions we must also configure our Steam client, since it will be in charge of processing, sending and receiving the audio. Not configuring the use of a microphone on Steam is one of the main reasons why we tend to have problems when trying to communicate with our friends, either through voice chat or within games.
Therefore, in this manual we are going to explain step by step how we should correctly configure the microphone to use it on Steam. The manual is already updated for the new Steam interface, and also with the new chat.
How to set up the Steam microphone
In order to use the microphone on Steam, the first thing we need to do is make sure that we are using the latest version of the client. As this application has automatic updates we should not have problems.
To open the microphone options, the first thing we will do is open Steam and, within the main interface, open the chat window. Once we have it on the screen, we will click on the gear-shaped button to open the configuration options for everything related to chat.
Once we have the Configuration menu on the screen, what we must do is select the «Voice» section to reach the following configuration options.
The first thing we can configure from here is the possibility of choosing the voice input and output devices that we want to use. For example, we can choose to use a specific microphone to capture our voice, and headphones, a handsfree or speakers for voice output (that is, the audio of other colleagues or players).
We will also be able to configure the gain, both of the audio input and the output.
Another very interesting and useful option is the possibility of choosing how we want the voice to be used . By default the microphone will always be open, so everything we talk will be heard. We can change this option so that it is only captured when pressing a key (which we can configure) or vice versa, to use that key to silence it.
Finally, we can also configure the sound threshold. A threshold below which no sound will be output. In this way, you avoid sending distant and low sounds to others.
Advanced options for Steam audio chat
In addition to the previous options, in Steam we can find a series of advanced options that allow us to configure the use we make of the microphone much better. Click on the advanced settings link, at the end of everything, and we can see the following options.
As we can see, Steam lets us configure an echo cancellation system, noise cancellation and even an automatic volume and gain control system.
With all these options we already have Steam and our computer ready for voice chat. We can test if everything is correct using the microphone test and, if everything is correct, we can now start communicating by voice with our friends.
How to test if the microphone really works on Steam
As we have seen in the previous steps, being able to communicate with our friends and contacts on the popular PC gaming platform, Steam, is quite simple. At the same time, in addition to the parameters that Windows itself presents to us , the Steam client allows us to make many changes and adjustments in this same sense. But of course, we will not be 100% sure how this component of our PC, the microphone, actually works.
Therefore, to make sure that everything is going as we originally expected before entering a real-time game with friends, we are going to make sure that the mike works. For this we can do a test that shows us this. In principle, we will go back to the configuration window mentioned above, in order to access the Voice section.
Well, in the same window where we were making the adjustments previously, at the top we find a useful button called Start microphone test . With this, what we achieve is, if all goes well, to hear our voice through the computer’s speakers.