Headset etiquette for the refined gamer

%26bull; Orange is mute and green is not mute

Real gamers don’t waste time flipping through switches and then going back to double-check the one (and only) switch on their headset that controls the mute function. You must know at all times where your switch is, whether it’s in the fully activated green position or mashed all the way down into the inactive orange position. If you can’t tell whether the switch is in the “on” or “off” position from the subtle shift in headset weight distribution, you can try using visual clues:

1. Push the mute switch on your Xbox 360 headset. It looks like this:

2. Look at the color being displayed by the switch. It should be one of these:

3. Ask yourself if your headset is muted. You can say this:

Answer: If it is showing green, you should have said it is not muted. If it is orange, you should have said that it is muted.

4. Repeat steps one through three until you can play Left 4 Dead 2 better.

%26bull; Clip the mute button onto your lapel

In case you didn’t notice, you can keep everything nicely organized by attaching the clip to the lapel of your jacket or tuxedo. It should stay on there until you move your arms, shoulders or head.

%26bull; Mastering the volume wheel

Turning in almost any direction at speeds that are both unknown and unknowable, the volume wheel is the difference between permanent hearing damage and a pleasant aristocratic conversation in which everyone sounds like they’re whispering. To master this mysterious wheel, turn it to any position and listen for someone to speak. Then, depending on whether they were too loud or too quiet, turn the wheel to adjust.

%26bull; The speaker goes on your ear

Heed our words, gentle gamer: there are people who hear what’s going on in their game and people who don’t. Though the soft ear-pad foam is very nice, we’d advise that if you want to be in the former group, you place the speaker only on your ear.

Above: This is not an ear; it is a baby

%26bull; A few words on not touching the boom mic

Don’t touch it with your hands. Also, don’t touch it with anything else.

Above: In case you didn’t think it was necessary to say “boom mic” (also, “noise-canceling”)

%26bull; In addition to a headset, consider a typepad

Headsets aren’t the only communications accoutrement available for your controller; you can plug in a typepad to send the internet’s version of a postcard to your online pen pals. Use these for more refined communication, or to have a permanent record of telling someone to “eat a butt.”

Above: Dear L3t3Skillllz43, you suck

Of course, you won’t be able to use your headset with the typepad plugged in. We just think it’s funny when people use them.