How to fix the Modern Warfare 2 voice service unavailable error

If you see the Modern Warfare 2 voice service unavailable message, here are the steps you need to fix the error and get your squad's communication back online

The Modern Warfare 2 voice service unavailable error message is causing players some issues when playing the multiplayer game with friends. When teaming up with those you know, or even a lobby of strangers, communication is vital to winning in the FPS game, so you’ll understandably want to get this problem fixed ASAP.

There could be a whole host of reasons why you’re receiving the Modern Warfare 2 voice service unavailable error. It could be an interference in your current in-game settings, your antivirus software being overly sensitive, or perhaps even a larger issue with Modern Warfare 2. If it’s the latter, there are ways to circumvent the problem, and we’ve listed them below.

Fixing the Modern Warfare 2 voice service unavailable error

We’ll go into a bit more detail on each of these points in a bit, but here is a checklist of all the ways you can fix the Modern Warfare 2 voice service unavailable error on the PC version:

  • Check to see if your microphone is muted, both on the headset itself and in-game.
  • Check your game’s audio settings – are you in the correct voice channel and do you have push-to-talk enabled?
  • Restart Modern Warfare 2.
  • Reboot your PC.
  • Run the game in safe mode to see if your custom settings might be the source of the problem.
  • Check that your antivirus software isn’t interfering with your microphone.
  • Update your PC’s drivers.
  • Test your microphone with other software.
  • If you’re joining up with friends, set up an alternative program for voice comms, such as Discord.
  • Contact Activision support and wait for a fix.

Modern Warfare 2 voice service unavailable - the settings screen showing all of the voice settings.

Are you muted?

It may sound like a painfully obvious point to think about, but microphones are like printers: they sometimes do things you don’t expect and without any prior warning. If you’ve gone into a Zoom meeting in the past year and begun talking, only for someone to say ‘you’re muted’, then you know all too well just how temperamental microphones can be. This is doubly so if your microphone is a higher-end one with its own button to mute the device automatically.

You should check your game’s settings. To ensure that you don’t get any interruptions, make sure that you set your microphone device option to your microphone rather than ‘Default System Device’. Doing this ensures that it doesn’t interrupt your connection if you plug in another device with a microphone, such as the PlayStation 5 controller. If you still face problems, open the in-game launcher and click the cog to access settings. Click on the audio option and scroll down to the voice chat settings. Here you can check to see if your microphone works and your general voice chat settings, particularly your voice chat recording mode.

Have you turned it off and on again?

Closing and reopening Modern Warfare 2 may also work, but if you find this only fixes things temporarily or if it doesn’t work at all, chances are that the immortal words of all IT professionals may be the answer. First, turn your PC off and then back on again after around 30 seconds. This will allow your system to refresh itself, potentially fixing the problem.
Check to see if problems persist in safe mode

If problems persist, then your settings may be the issue. Try to run the game in safe mode if the game crashes and see what happens. Since this version of the game uses the default game settings, you can see if there are any custom settings you may have changed that are interfering with voice chat.

Modern Warfare 2 voice service unavailable - a soldier with thermal goggles aiming an assault rifle.

Check your antivirus and firewall settings

Those experiencing the error, even in safe mode, will need to start looking elsewhere for answers. The first port of call is your antivirus or firewall software. Chances are that this may automatically block your microphone. Most protection software such as these will give you a prompt if it thinks it’s potentially hazardous to your computer, so make sure you click the option to allow access when launching the game. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to dive into the antivirus/firewall software to change some settings. You can add Modern Warfare 2 to your antivirus/firewall software’s list of exceptions and see if that helps.

Update your drivers

If that doesn’t help, you should see if both your graphics card and your microphone have received any firmware updates from its manufacturers. Use GeForce Experience (Nvidia graphics cards) or AMD Radeon update tool (AMD graphics cards) to get the most up-to-date graphics drivers. If this doesn’t work, try a clean install of your graphics card drivers to see if that works.

Most higher-end microphones these days have launchers where you can easily download updates, so make sure you have both installed. If your microphone is older, you may need to go into the Device Manager, find your device in the Audio inputs and outputs tab, and right-click on the microphone. You should see an option to update drivers.

Modern Warfare 2 voice service unavailable - a soldier looking at around as two of his platoon run towards a fence. Something is on fire offscreen as the embers blow into shot.

Testing with other software

If all of that doesn’t work, there’s a sure-fire way of seeing if it’s a problem with Modern Warfare 2 or your microphone setup. First, see if someone can help you test your microphone on another service, such as Discord. If you can talk to them there just fine, suggest using that instead. If you opt to go this route, turn off your microphone settings in Modern Warfare 2 before proceeding.

It’s not perfect, as you’ll only be able to speak to your friends rather than the entire team, but it’s better than nothing. This also won’t work for everyone’s setup, especially if you are playing with friends using Modern Warfare 2 crossplay. That said, it seems PlayStation 4 users are also experiencing problems with ‘audio continuity’, so they may be up for using an alternative service.

Contact Activision Support and wait for a fix

If it still isn’t working after all of this, it’s worth contacting Activision Support to see if there’s anything they can tell you on their end. Make sure to detail every step you have taken so far, and they may be able to assist with further steps unique to your setup. Chances are you’re not the first person to ask for help regarding this situation, as this Tweet shows.

If you’re still having problems, unfortunately it becomes a waiting game. Given that this problem is affecting many people, a fix to the “voice service not available” error will likely appear sooner rather than later. In the meantime, tinker with your Modern Warfare 2 settings to ensure you have the optimal options selected. You should also practice with the best Modern Warfare 2 guns, as good communication only helps if you’re also quick on the draw.