Communication is obviously a huge part of gaming, and Discord is the absolute standard for gaming comms right now. One thing a lot of gamers find difficult is picking the optimal push to talk (ptt) key.
What is push to talk
Push to talk means that your mic is muted to voice communications until you press a button to broadcast. It’s preferred because it prevents accidental and embarrassing moments, while also keeping overall noise down from environmental noise like your keyboard or your mom yelling at you.
The best push to talk key is easily accessible, but not a key you would accidentally hit during gaming.
What’s the best push to talk key for Discord?
There are a couple of popular key options for push to talk that should work for most games and not have it interfere with other software.
Mouse side buttons (button 4 or 5)
For gamers that can aim well with it, the side buttons are the best push to talk key for Discord.
The side buttons are a very popular option, it requires very little adjustment from your right hand to press and it. Your keyboard hand is free to focus on movement and other important keys.
Mouse buttons can feel weird if you’re in the middle of a gunfight to press and communicate, so keep that in mind.
The side buttons can interfere with browsers, as those keys are often mapped to go forward and back in a browser.
Some fps games make good use of the side buttons, like for melee and other abilities.
C and V
The V button is the best push to talk key for people who don’t like the side buttons when aiming.
Located just above the spacebar, C and V are great options for push to talk, easily reachable with your left thumb and low interference with other software.
C and V are sometimes used for in-game keybinds so be sure to re-bind in games that use it.
V is less often used for in-game binds and is easily accessible above the space bar.
Left alt button
An easy button to locate with your left thumb without having to adjust your hand position very much. Lalt is a great option, games don’t use it frequently and its in a prime location.
A lot of games keep their scoreboard binded to the tab key, so be careful if you’re using Left alt not to alt+tab out of games by accident.
Middle click button (button 3)
The middle click button is similar in nature as the side mouse buttons, except using the middle click button without affecting your grip during gameplay might be a little bit more awkward.
The good thing about the middle click button is that its not used a lot in games or in other software. Browsers use middle click for closing tabs and opening new links.
Caps lock is a key that isn’t used at all during gaming, so it makes sense for it to be a common choice.
The main issue with capslock is that is requires your left pinky to reach, and often times, especially in shooters, left pinky is occupied sprinting with left shift or crouching with left control.
Also be careful not to accidentally type in all caps in text.
Left Ctrl has the same issues as caps lock. Left control requires the left pinky to use. Left control is used frequently enough in all types of games to have a clash with key bindings.
Best push to talk key according to reddit
Reddit has a bunch gamers discussing their favourite PTT key. Reddit seems to favour the side buttons.
The most upvotes comments seem to recommend these keys:
- Side button
- Left alt
- Caps lock
I would recommend trying out the side buttons and the V key as starting points and seeing how it feels. One of those two keys will good to you. If you just can’t find the right fit, you could always go voice activated or just leave the mic wide open.