Teamspeak Guide

What is TeamSpeak?

TeamSpeak is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) program that allows players to communicate with each other by voice. Used in conjunction with Battlefield and other games, it allows players to communicate with their teammates in real time. People reside in a particular “channel” on the TeamSpeak server, and communication only happens between people within each channel.

What is special about Pure Battlefield’s TeamSpeak server?

When players connect to our TeamSpeak server, they are automatically put in a private squad channel with their in-game squadmates. (If you are the only TeamSpeak user in your Battlefield squad, you are put in a private team channel instead, along with any other “TeamSpeak orphans” from your team.) This feature has become a favorite of many Pure Battlefield regulars as it allows for squad members to coordinate together to become a much more effective force on the battlefield.

We use a customized version of a software package called “TS3Sync” to accomplish this. It happens automatically on the server, and requires no input on your end.

What do I need to use TeamSpeak?

You will need speakers (or headphones) and a microphone. While stand-alone speakers and microphones can be used, most people prefer some sort of headphone/headset, since speakers create background noise which may “bleed into” your microphone (and into the ears of other players). If you use speakers while running TeamSpeak, you’ll need to moderate your volume so your game sounds aren’t annoying other players.

There are tons of headsets available with varying features. Here is a headset buying guide with numerous different headsets with multiple features; cheaper models can be found than are shown on that page, but it gives you an idea of some options. If you already have a pair of decent headphones, another great option is to just buy a standalone microphone. Most headphones will provide higher quality sound compared to a similarly-priced headset. This microphone is a great cheap microphone that can be clipped on to your current headphones.

How do I install TeamSpeak and connect to Pure Battlefield’s TeamSpeak server?

You can download TeamSpeak here. Choose the client software (not the server) and then select the correct version of the client (and 32-bit or 64-bit versions if you’re using Windows — if you’re not sure, click here). The process is straightforward so just follow the steps and accept all the agreements.

Once TeamSpeak is installed, open the program and you will be prompted with an introductory setup wizard. It is best to go through this introduction, as it will help you set most of the necessary settings needed in TS.

Once this is complete, select “Connections” in the upper-left hand corner of the window, and select “Connect” from the dropdown menu. For server address, enter Pure Battlefield’s specific address (teamspeak.purebattlefield.org),and in the nickname box enter your Battlelog ID so your teammates know who is talking. Leave the password box empty as there is no password needed for Pure’s TS server.

Microphone and Volume Tuning

One important aspect of TeamSpeak that can be a little daunting for new users is how to control the volume of your microphone and the volume of the other users you hear over your headphones.

Microphone volume can be tricky because there are several places that may control your microphone volume (or mute it altogether), and if your volume is not where you want it, you may need to check all of them.

  • Windows master microphone volume: You can access this by going to Control Panel ->Sound->Select Recording Tab->Select the Mic->Properties->Levels Tab
  • Sound/video card software: If you have an add-on sound card (or possibly video/graphic cards) with additional software, it may add another layer of adjustment for you to fine tune inside that program.
  • Physical Headset/microphone volume knob/mute switch (often on the cable or headset itself)

For simplicity’s sake, you should think of your Windows control as a master control. Because of this, it is usually best to leave your microphone sensitivity and speaker/headset volume at 100% through Windows control. This allows you to modify and perfect the settings within TeamSpeak (and other programs that use a microphone — Skype, Battlelog Chat, etc.), without needing to worry that they’ll be affected by a changed Windows volume setting later.

Why You Should Consider Voice Activation

The two common methods for using your microphone in TeamSpeak: Push-to-talk and Voice Activation. Both have their pros and cons.

Push to talk is exactly what it sounds like — hold down a button to turn on your mic, and release it when you’re done speaking. This helps insure that you only broadcast what you intend to. You will want to set the hotkey in a convenient location that you are able to trigger quickly. Some suggestions for possible locations are unused mouse buttons, your alt key, or unused keyboard buttons (Caps Lock works nicely if you have a way to disable it).

Voice activation transmits whenever your microphone picks up a loud enough sound (doesn’t have to be your voice). You can configure a volume threshold for voice activation during the introductory setup wizard, or by going to Settings -> Options -> Capture. You should set this so that your normal speaking voice is loud enough to be transmitted, while typical background noise is quiet enough to not be transmitted.

If you use voice activation, it is important that there be little to no background noise. Keep in mind that if you are playing with speakers (or even open-ear headphones that bleed out a lot of noise), you will annoy the hell out of your teammates — they will not only hear your own game sounds, but they will hear their own voices whenever they talk to you over TeamSpeak. When using voice-activated mode, it’s advisable to set up a convenient TeamSpeak hotkey to mute & unmute yourself. That way if you find yourself eating crunchy potato chips or find the need to break out in song in between rounds, you can do your teammates a favor and mute yourself.

If you have limited background noise, and a convenient mute/unmute button, many players find voice-activated mode provides a more enjoyable playing experience. Because voice-activated mode is closest to the way humans naturally communicate, we can all do it subconsciously, whereas push-to-talk requires the conscious effort of holding a button down. While holding a button down is negligible effort by itself, most gamers are already concentrating heavily while playing, and find that even one extra thing can interrupt their “flow” and playing performance. (Do you think real soldiers use push-to-talk? Why not?)

There is one last option for broadcasting over TS but it is not highly recommended. This is continuous broadcasting, which just leaves your mic on the whole time, which means all background noise will get transmitted to others. You will most likely have your teammates telling you to turn off your mic soon after you log on TS. Please do not use this option on PURE’s TS server.

Key TeamSpeak plugins

Volume Control Plugin: The volume control plugin reduces the volume of your applications (i.e. Battlefield) while someone in your channel is talking. Without this, it is often difficult to clearly hear your teammates over your game. This is especially important when you’re in a tank and have the constant hum of the engine, which can make it very hard to hear your teammates.

You can download the volume control plugin here. Just download it and install and it will automatically be activated in TeamSpeak. To modify the settings, just go back to settings -> plugins and select the volume control. If you are using an older version of TeamSpeak, you can download the volume control plugin here; you will want API18 for 3.0.8.

TeamSpeak Overlay: Please note that this plugin has been deprecated and is unlikely to work. You may have better mileage with one of the supported replacements, such as Project: Kryptonite.

The overlay brings a small permanent window up while you play Battlefield. The window contains the usernames of everyone in your specific channel. When a teammate is speaking, his/her username is highlighted. When a payer mute his/her mic, their name will appear blue. This is extremely helpful when playing with new individuals — when someone calls out “enemy behind us”, you actually know who it is coming from.

The plugin is actually included in TeamSpeak’s default installation, but additional steps are required to set it up:

  • Activate the plugin by going to settings -> plugins, and click the overlay’s checkbox.
  • You will also want to assign a hotkey to modify the overlay while in game:. To do this, you need to go into settings -> plugins -> overlay and look in the Input tab.
  • Check the “enforce loading” box in the plugin settings (for some people, the overlay will not appear otherwise)
  • Make sure to run TeamSpeak before you run Battlefield (for some people, the overlay will not appear otherwise)
  • Turn off “Origin in Game” overlay (for some people, the overlay will not appear otherwise)

If Battlefield crashes while you are running TeamSpeak, try to de-activate the overlay. Unfortunately, some people are not able to get the overlay working with their game.

In-game TeamSpeak commands

When on a Pure Battlefield server, you can type commands into the chat box to help you join the general “server lobby” or find an open squad using TeamSpeak. Type the following commands in directly in chat box in game:

  • !tssquads – This command will tell you which squads have teamspeak users in them and if there are any openings in the squad.
  • !tslobby- This command will take you out of your squad/team channel and put you into the main server lobby.
  • !tssync- This command will rejoin you back into the correct channel for your squad/team.

Using TeamSpeak with other games

On the TeamSpeak server you will see a separate section of rooms under “Other Games.” These are rooms for the PURE community temporarily created by high-ranking members that can be used for any other multiplayer game that would benefit from communication and coordination. They are open for use by PURE members at any time.

Closing Notes

Pure Battlefield’s TeamSpeak community is one of the many reason people enjoy this community. People are very welcoming and new people are showing up everyday. Join in and introduce yourself and see how great this community can be. Once you play a couple games as a well coordinated squad, you’ll never want play without TeamSpeak. If you have any problems with setting up TeamSpeak, please feel free to contact any of the community volunteers found the right side panel on the Pure Battlefield subreddit. See you on the Battlefield and remember to keep things PURE.