Monster Hunter Rise will be the first in the real-time action loot chaser series built from the ground up for the Nintendo Switch. Despite supporting four-play online co-op, however, the game won’t have any form of voice chat.
Capcom confirmed the absence of that communication feature in an interview with IGN that was published earlier today. While players will be able to type messages, create quick commands, and perform gestures to connect with one another online, voice chat won’t be an option either on the hardware itself or even over smartphones using the Switch Online mobile app. “When asked to elaborate as to why, they said they ‘cannot comment on Nintendo Switch hardware features,’” IGN reports.
On the one hand this isn’t entirely unexpected given Nintendo’s paltry attempts to make modern party chat a thing on Switch in the past. In the summer of 2017, four months after the Switch launched, Nintendo debuted phone-enabled voice chat for Splatoon 2. Players had to download an app, plug a headset into their phone, and then get all of their Switch friends into the same virtual room in order for it to work.
Three years later that’s still the case, but whereas hardly any games supported the feature in the beginning, there are now plenty that do, ranging from first-party multiplayer games like Mario Tennis Aces and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to third-party ones like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 and Dragon Quest Builders 2. Even Stardew Valley supports it.
Built-in voice chat directly on the Switch isn’t a complete rarity at this point, either. Fortnite, Overwatch, and Warframe all let you plug a headset directly into the console and start talking with teammates. Last year tech company Vivox even went ahead and made its voice chat SDK (software development kit), which Fortnite on Switch uses, available to any developer that wanted to use it.
Features like Apex Legends’ ping system, which make it easy to call out enemies, supplies, and gather points with the click of a button, showed you don’t always need voice chat to communicate effectively with co-op partners. But it’s undeniably fun to shoot the shit (with appropriate filtering and moderation controls) in multiplayer games, especially during quieter moments while waiting for people to change loadouts or compare their loot. I struggle to think of a good reason why in 2021, when Monster Hunter Rise is currently slated to come out, the game won’t let players do just that.
Capcom and Nintendo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.