What are VOIP, FOIP, and Free Look?
These three features, outlined and summarized just below, combine to give our players a more immersive experience when playing with others in the 'verse.
VOIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol
VOIP is a system by which your voice can be transmitted in-game through the use of a microphone. VOIP is useful for communicating with other players, organization mates, and wingmen. This is similar to the voice chat options used in many other online games and what is available through third-party chat and communication programs, like Discord.
FOIP: Face Over Internet Protocol
FOIP is a system by which your webcam captures your facial expressions and mimics them on your character in-game, in real time. Coupled with VOIP, it is intended to enhance a player's sense of immersion in Star Citizen. Star Citizen is able to accomplish this by using software and integrations with Faceware.
Freelook is a system by which players can freely look about the game world from the perspective of their character, using the movement of their character's head to do so. This can be done using the mouse (default keybind is Z), or through the use of a webcam and software that can detect the orientation of your head to mimic the movement in-game, in real time. The webcam tracking options allow players to better look around their character avatar's surroundings in-game without having to adjust the camera manually with the keyboard or mouse.
Players that wish to use this feature can do so using the Freelook options, in-game Faceware tracking, or the TrackIR options. The use of TrackIR will require additional hardware and software not included with Star Citizen, but several options have been added in game to allow players that wish to use that sort of setup. See more about this advanced option in our troubleshooting guide.
Before a player can make use of this feature, the proper options must be enabled and setup to allow the use of the proper devices from your computer. This article will cover the basics of getting everything started. For more in depth setup and troubleshooting, such as if you intend to use TrackIR software as well, head to our FoIP/VoIP Troubleshooting article.
- Go to the Options menu (Default key is Escape).
- Go to Comms, FoIP, & Head Tracking menu.
- Head to the Faceware options and ensure Enable FOIP (Facial tracking) is set to Yes if it is not already.
Click for larger image.
- Select camera device and mode to your desired resolution.
- Recommended settings are denoted by a * and should be filtered to the top of the list, which is based on the detected hardware. These settings are based on recommendations directly from Faceware.
- Select Calibrate. Orange dots will appear on your face if it has worked.
- Adjust settings accordingly to preference.
- Some web cameras have an auto-exposure or other "optimization" features that may interfere with calibration and the Faceware tracking. You may wish to turn these off.
Initiating Comms Calls In-Game
For general voice chatting with other players in your vicinity, enabling the voice chat options on your current chat channel will allow you to speak to any players in your comms range that are also in that channel. Be aware of this when enabling voice chat on local or general channels!
If you wish to have a more private conversation and also see the Faceware facial tracking features in action, you can contact a friend directly using the steps below:
- Open the mobiGlas by pressing F1 when in-game. This will open the main mobiGlas menu. Click the highlighted button to open the Comms Menu.
- The Comms Menu will display current available chat channels and the members within. Additionally, contacts can be browsed manually by pressing on the Contacts button in the upper-left hand corner.
- When the desired member is found, click on the small call button next to their name to initiate a Comms call.
- Once the call is accepted, a Comms window will open to the other player. FOIP must be activated, and the camera must be calibrated for this functionality to be present.
- To end the call, click on the End Comm button in the Comm call window.
What follows are some general tips and guidelines to help you make the most of the Faceware facial tracking and the FoIP feature.
- Trim any facial hair so the lips are visible.
- Glasses should be worn in a way to avoid interfering with eyebrows or removed entirely, if possible, for best results.
- Avoid lighting that puts glare on the lenses to your glasses, if you wear any.
- Turn lights on if it is too dark to see your face in the video feed.
- If there are bright highlights on the face, try to dim the lights.
- Setup lighting so that it does not cast deep shadows on the face.
- Avoid lighting setups that only illuminate one side of the face.
- Frame your face so that the top of your forehead and the bottom of your jaw are always visible in frame.
- The closer you are to the camera the better.
- Make sure you calibrate with a “Neutral” expression, staring slightly below the camera and at the monitor/game screen, exactly as you would when playing normally.