How to set up voice settings on Steam?

Anyone who’s played multiplayer games knows how significant the communication aspect is. Sometimes one unheard piece of information can determine the outcome of an important ranked match. In this guide, we’re going to cover all the voice settings available in the Steam client. We’ll tell you how to find them and set them up properly. If you’re a frequent user of a Steam voice chat or are experiencing any problems with it, be sure to check out this article. 

How to open Steam’s voice settings?

First, we’ll show you where the voice settings are located.

  1. Open the Steam client
  2. Select “Friends & Chat” in the bottom-right corner of the Steam app

  1. Click on the gear wheel in the upper-right corner of your “Friends & Chat” pop-up window

  1. From all the options you get, select “Voice”

  1. From here, you’ll have access to all the voice settings of the Steam app

All settings overview

Now that you know how to get into the voice settings, let’s describe all of them and explain how to set them up properly.

Voice setup and testing

  1. Start Microphone Test  — By clicking on this button, you’ll be able to hear exactly how your voice sounds for other voice call participants.
  1. Voice Input Device — Here, you select the recording device you want to use for the Steam voice chat.
  2. Voice Output Device — Here, you select the device from which you want to hear other voice call participants (speakers/headphones).
  3. Volume
  • Input volume/gain sets the volume of your microphone. The more you move the blue bar to the right, the louder other voice call participants will hear you.
  • Output volume/gain sets the volume of your speakers/headphones. The more you move the blue bar to the right, the louder you’ll hear other voice call participants.

By default, the bar for setting the volume of both devices is set to half. Keep that in mind if your input/output device is very loud or quiet.

Voice transmission type

  1. Open Microphone (default option) — With this option selected, the Steam voice chat will capture all sounds from your microphone, all of which will be audible for other voice call participants. This will be the most convenient option if you’re confident that you’re not exposing other voice call participants to any unwanted sounds.
  2. Push to talk  — When using this option, Steam voice chat will only capture audio from your microphone when you press and hold a specific button on your keyboard or mouse. This will be the best option if you fear you may expose other call participants to any unpleasant sounds.
  3. Push to mute — When using this option, Steam voice chat will capture your microphone’s sounds until you press and hold a specific button on your keyboard and mouse. This is a slightly safer alternative for Open Microphone.

Voice transmission threshold 

We could say that this setting is responsible for the sensitivity of your recording device. 

  1. Off — Very high sensitivity. You might be audible even if you walk away a few meters from the microphone.
  2. Medium (default option) — This setting provides an optimal sensitivity level for most microphones.
  3. High — Very low sensitivity. You’ll probably have to hold the microphone very close to your face to make yourself audible.

This is one of the most important voice settings. For most laptop or webcam microphones, the “Medium” option should be optimal. For high-end recording devices, you’ll probably want to go for a “High” setting.

If none of these options give a satisfactory result, make sure you’ve installed the latest drivers for your recording device and change these settings from within your operating system.

Advanced Settings

When you scroll down to the bottom of Steam’s voice preferences, you’ll get to advanced settings. There’ll be 3 default sound effects:

  • Echo cancellation
  • Noise Cancellation
  • Automatic volume/gain control

These effects are the source of many audio problems. If you seem to be heard in more inferior quality on Steam voice chat than on other voice communicators, consider turning them off.


We hope this article was helpful to you and that the quality of your voice conversations using the Steam platform will improve to the next level!