Microsoft adds in-game chat transcription for Windows 10 and Xbox One

Windows 10 PCs can now transcribe speech-to-text or text-to-speech in Halo Wars 2.

Microsoft wants to make it easier for gamers to understand each other’s inappropriate ramblings during intense multiplayer sessions. The company recently announced a public beta release of a new game chat transcription feature for Xbox One and Window 10 PCs.

Chat transcription doesn’t create an archived record of all the insults you hurled at gdogg23’s mother last Friday. Instead, it provides a real-time display of chat comments using a speech-to-text engine. Chat transcription also goes the other way, taking typed chat and turning it into speech. There are three voices to choose from for those going text-to-speech. The voices are from Windows 10’s built-in text-to-speech feature including David, Mark, and Zira.

gamechattranscription Ian Paul/PCWorld

The chat transcription settings in Windows 10’s Xbox app.

Why this matters: Chat transcription is a welcome addition for any players who have poor hearing and need assistance, as well as people who are unable to speak during a game session due to technological limitations (i.e. no microphone) or a physical inability to talk. For those who don’t need it for physical reasons, the new transcription feature can still be a fun feature to check out—especially to see how faithful the transcription will be to all those commonly used four-letter words.

How to enable Xbox's game chat transcriptions

To start, chat transcription is only available in Halo Wars 2 on both platforms. Microsoft says it hopes to bring the feature to other games in the future.

To enable the new feature you need to dive into the Ease of Access settings on your respective device. For Xbox One users that means going to Settings > All settings > Ease of Access > Game Chat Transcription. On a Windows 10 PC, open the Xbox app and go to Settings > General > Game chat transcription.

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Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
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