Windows 10 Audio & Chat

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By Blaze
Last Updated:

If you're experiencing issues chatting with other players in Sea of Thieves, for example, they can't hear you, there are a few things you can try.

Windows 10 Privacy Settings - Let Apps Use Your Microphone

You must ensure that Sea of Thieves has permission to use your microphone within your Windows 10 Privacy Settings. Simply follow the steps below to check your settings:

  • If Sea of Thieves is open, close the game entirely
  • Click the Start Button
  • Type "Privacy" without quotes
  • Select "Microphone Privacy Settings" from the given results
  • On the left of the new screen, select "Microphone"
  • Under "Let apps use my microphone", ensure the toggle is set to On.
  • Scroll down the list of apps below that toggle to find "Sea of Thieves" and "Sea of Thieves Insider". Make sure they are also toggled to On.
  • Launch Sea of Thieves again and try chatting with your crew.

Also, please disconnect and reconnect your headset/microphone as this will refresh your device settings and prompt new driver installations which may be required.


Xbox Party chat

Party Chat – We know from our forums that some crews are entering the game and setting up a party chat for their crew. Players who don’t accept the invite or join the crew late are not automatically added, so they may believe that their chat isn’t working and their crew is silent.

  • Unplug and reconnect your headset
  • Ensure your microphone is not muted
  • Ensure that neither you or the person you want to communicate with are using Party Chat


Issue: I’ve joined a crew, and I can hear them talk but, they cannot hear me

Game Chat & Microphones – This could be caused by a variety of issues. Here’s what to try to resolve this issue: 

  • Unplug and reconnect your headset
  • Ensure your microphone is not muted
  • Check whether your privacy settings allow voice communication. This can be viewed and changed here: Privacy Settings


Voice chat in game

Below are details for the various voice chat statuses when looking directly at another player. All of the below work both for your own crew and enemy crews:

For the sake of clarity, we will refer to the players in the below scenario as You (Your character) and Fred (Crew mate/enemy).

Not talking


The player will see no symbol above Fred’s gamer tag due to the following circumstances:

  • Fred has no microphone connected.
  • Fred has a microphone connected but is not talking.
  • Fred has their microphone muted.

Player talking


The player will see a speech bubble symbol above Fred’s gamer tag due to the following circumstances:

  • Fred is talking and you should be able to hear him.
  • You may encounter our voice chat bug which means you would see this but not hear Fred, this can be fixed by unplugging and re-plugging in Your headset.
  • If You see this and still hear no talking then you may have your audio setup incorrectly through the OS.

Player Muted


The player will see a symbol with a line through it above Fred’s gamer tag due to the following circumstances:

  • You are in an Xbox party and the symbol will appear when Fred is talking, when he is not you will see no symbol.
  • You have muted Fred and the symbol will be permanently above his gamer tag.
  • You have blocked Fred and the symbol will be permanently above his gamer tag.
  • You have set up your OS security settings to block all talkers.


Further Troubleshooting

If the above solutions do not solve you chat issues then you may need to further investigate into the possible cause. We would recommend the following:

Ensuring your signed in accounts match

Please ensure that the profile which owns and you use to play Sea of Thieves (or linked to Steam) is also signed in to your Xbox Console Companion app / Xbox (Beta) app.

Reset your copy of Sea of Thieves (Windows Store Version)

  1. Press the Windows Key
  2. Type in Apps and Features
  3. Select Sea of Thieves
  4.  Advanced Options
  5. Select Reset

Verify integrity of local game files (Steam)

  1. In Steam, right click Sea of Thieves from your games list
  2. Select Properties from the context menu
  3. From the Properties menu select Local Files
  4. Click 'Verify Integrity of Local Game Files...'

Check you NAT type

Your Routers NAT settings must be set to 'Open'. An easy way to check this is:

  1. Press the Windows Key
  2. Type in Xbox Console Companion app and hit enter
  3. Select Settings
  4. Select Network
  5. Await results from the network troubleshooter

Once confirmed you will need to access your router to make the configuration.

Check your Microphone is listed as the default device

  1. Right click the speaker icon found in the taskbar
  2. Select Sounds
  3. Select Recording
  4. Right click your desired Microphone and select Set as Default Device
  5. Right click the desired Microphone and select Properties
  6. Select Levels
  7. Confirm the Headset Microphone level is set to the desired value
  8. Select Apply then OK
  9. Talk into your microphone at this point to confirm the microphone itself is working
  10. If the Microphone is not outputting any audio please make sure it is not muted, should this not be the case please refer to your Microphone / Headset manufacturer

Configure the individual Microphone input for Sea of Thieves

  1. Boot Sea of Thieves
  2. Minimise Sea of Thieves
  3. From the system tray in the bottom right corner of Windows, right click the Speaker Icon and select Open Sound Settings
  4. Scroll down to the Advanced Sound Options and select App Volume and Device Preferences
  5. As Sea of Thieves is open, it will show in the displayed list. From here you can specify the output and input.

Confirm Microphone Selection in the Xbox Console Companion App / Game Bar

For the Xbox Console Companion app

  1. Press the Windows Key
  2. Type in Xbox Console Companion app and select it from the list
  3. Select Settings
  4. Scroll down to Microphone
  5. Confirm the correct microphone is listed from the drop down list

For the Xbox Game Bar app

  1. Press the Windows Key
  2. Type in Xbox Game Bar and select it from the list
  3. Once viewing the game bar all sound input and output settings can be found on the left

Restart your Windows Audio Service

  1. Press the Windows Key
  2. services.msc and select the Service app
  3. Scroll down your Services(Local) list and locate Windows Audio
  4. Right click Windows Audio and Select Restart
  5. Check that your Microphone is now working
  6. If that does not work, right-click the Windows Audio and select Properties
  7. In the Windows Audio properties window, check if the Startup type is set to Automatic. If not, set it to Automatic and click Apply to save the changes. Restart the computer and see if this solves the problem

Update your Microphone Device Drivers

  1. Press the Windows Key and type Device Manager
  2. Expand Audio Inputs and outputs
  3. Right click each device and select Update driver.

Remove then update Microphone Device Drivers

Sometimes you will need to completely remove old drivers before an update can work effectively. To do this:

  1. Press the Windows Key and type Device Manager
  2. Expand the Sound, Video and Game Controllers options
  3. Right click the device and select 'Uninstall Device'. Once complete unplug the device from your PC
  4. Now either download the latest drivers from the company website and then plug your device back in. Or plug your device back in and let Windows automatically retrieve their own drivers. (this may be an option to try out both sets of drivers to see if it solves the problem)
  5. Once installed, right click the driver again and select 'Update Driver' (to ensure at the latest version)
  6. Proceed through your sound settings as detailed above to ensure that the device is configured as your default Input / Output device.
  7. Then once complete perform a reset of Sea of Thieves and boot the game again

Disable any VPNs

Disabling any VPNs which are in use have also been shown to solve this for certain users

If your problem is not resolved and you perhaps need further support please create a ticket for the Sea of Thieves customer support team.

Information we would ideally like to get would include: 

  • What type of headset and adapter are you using?
  • Do you regularly use party chat in other games?
  • Can you hear enemy crew members, or is it just your own crew that you cannot hear?
  • Is the issue reproducible? If so, could you detail the steps required


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