Best Voice Generators for NPCs (2024)

Want to create lifelike voices for your game's NPCs? Look no further. Discover the best AI voice generators for NPCs in 2024

Gone are the days when video game developers need to hire voice actors when creating Non-Player Characters (NPCs).

Generative AI technologies like ElevenLabs’ text-to-speech model has opened the door for synthetic voice creation with cutting-edge customization and precision, allowing unprecedented efficiency, creative freedom, and global accessibility for game developers. 

This article delves into the best voice generator platforms for NPCs, highlighting their key features, advantages, and potential limitations.

Key Takeaways:

  • AI voice generators make it quicker and easier for video game developers to create NPC voices.
  • The top tools curretly on the market include ElevenLabs, Replica Studios, Speechify, PlayHT, Synthesia, Murf.ai, and Listnr.
  • When selecting a tool, prioritize those with lifelike voices and

The Top NPC Voice Generators

Platforms

ElevenLabs

Replica Studios

Speechify

PlayHT

Synthesia

Murf.ai

Listnr

Features

Voice Library, Text-to-Speech, dubbing

AI voice actors used by big studios

Natural voiceovers, a wide selection of voices

Industry-quality voices, multilingual support

Diverse voices, preview feature

All-in-one voice generator, AI voice cloning

Generative AI Engine, voice cloning

Pros

Rich voice library, language flexibility

Lifelike AI voices, trusted by partners

Unlimited uploads, ease of use

Real-time generation, capacity for a range of authentic voices

Wide voice variety, helpful instructions

Easy to use, some high-quality voices

Rapid generation, trustworthy software

Cons

Limited free usage, Text-to-Speech focus

High price points for full features, complexity

Limited generation, lack of customization

High cost, teething problems

Slow generation, pronunciation issues

Quality issues, audio glitches

Robotic voices, limited accents

Pricing

Free trial, subs from $5/month

From $10/month

From $24/month

From $31.20/month

$29-$87/month

From $23/month

Free plan, paid from $5/month

Rating


4/5

3/5

2/5

4/5

2/5

3/5

2/5


1. ElevenLabs

ElevenLabs offers three dynamic tools for AI-driven character voice generation: an extensive Voice Library resource, an industry-leading text-to-speech model that synthesizes life-like character voices, and dubbing, which can smoothly adapt character voices into multiple languages. 

Pros

  • A rich resource: ElevenLabs' comprehensive voice library is ideal for voicing NPCs—having a wide availability of diverse voices ensures life-like variety for game worlds.
  • Multilingual capabilities: With ElevenLabs, you can create voiceovers in a range of languages, helping you localize your video games.
  • Realism: ElevenLabs’ synthetic character voices use natural pauses, and proper intonation, and respond to emotional cues. This creates true-to-life characters that enhance the in-game experience

Cons

  • Limited free usage: ElevenLabs' AI synthetic voice generation can be trialed for free, but only allows for 10,000 characters per month. Subscriptions start from $5/month.

Pricing

ElevenLabs' text-to-speech tool is available for a trial at no cost. For more comprehensive use, subscription plans vary based on your needs—from $5 for individuals to $330/month for company use.

Rating

5/5

2. Replica Digital Voice Studio


Replica Studios were the first to open the floodgates on AI usage for game character voices. They’ve been building up the capabilities of their AI voice actors since 2021, and last year announced Replica Smart NPCs, promising NPC-specific software for gaming that can fully voice 100s of characters in no time.

Pros

  • Lifelike process: Taking inspiration from the traditional voice acting process, creators using Replica’s tools can audition and direct the ‘performance’ of their AI voice actors.
  • Trusted software: Replica’s voice API is trusted by some pretty serious partners—Google Cloud, GlobalLogic, and Unreal Engine, to name a few.
  • Multiple Export Formats: A range of export formats ensure compatibility with new games.

Cons

  • Expense: reflecting their use by big clients, Replica’s premium features come at a high price point.
  • Tricky to use: Replica offers a complex model with a range of uses. While this software is well-suited for established studios, its tools are not designed with the new or emerging developer in mind. 

Pricing

Solo developers can expect to pay $10/month for Replica software, with their first month free. The more comprehensive Indie Plan is $30/month, while pros will pay $100/month or more according to their needs. 

Rating

3/5

3. Speechify

The Speechify Voice Over Generator creates natural voiceovers from text, allowing the user to select from 100+ AI voices in 60 languages.

Pros

  • Accessibility: Speechify has an intuitive, simply designed user interface—it’s used by anyone from students, editors, and readers to workplaces.
  • No limits on audio upload: Unlike some software, Speechify has no limit on the amount of text the user uploads to be converted, well-suited for large chunks of NPC dialogue.
  • Commercial usage rights: Speechify’s AI voices grant the user rights for full commercial usage, including in video games.

Cons

  • Limited voice generation: Users can only generate 50 hours per user per year, which is unlikely to be enough for game developers.
  • Lack of customization: While Speechify offers a choice between 60+ synthetic voices, it doesn’t generate new voices from scratch, limiting the app’s scope as a creative tool.
  • Not game-specific: While other software on this list was developed with gaming in mind, Speechify is mainly used as a transcription service, and is therefore not best suited to the purpose of generating NPC voices.

Pricing

Speechify is costly. Users can test out the tool online for free, but to download your generated voices, plans start at $24.00/month.

Rating

2/5

4. PlayHT

PlayHT’s voice cloning and text-to-speech tools are designed specifically for use in games, movies, and animation. Voices generated are industry quality and offer 

Pros

  • Vast range of languages: PlayHT boasts one of the best multilingual capabilities on the market, producing content in 142 languages from across the globe.
  • Unique features: The Multi-Voice Feature allows creators to create conversations between different voices in the same audio file, while Custom Pronunciations can be saved and reused, perfect for fantasy games.
  • Real-time generation: PlayHT’s Voice Cloning and Voice Generation API can generate output in real-time, ideal for meeting tight development deadlines.
  • Customization options: Few providers offer as high a level of control over their AI voices—users can fine-tune each character's voice based on emotion, expression, dialect, and language. In addition, voices are trained to be as human-like as possible, taking into account intonation, pauses, and speech style.

Cons

  • Cost: Starting at $31/month per user, PlayHT is one of the most expensive AI voice generation tools on the market, limiting its affordability for individuals or indie developers. 
  • Teething problems: The PlayHT 2.0 model is still in Beta, and users have experienced some errors and issues with accuracy when using the software.
  • Intonation issues: Several users report issues with intonation and non-verbal utterances, which can add a time burden to developers using the tool to generate large amounts of character speech.

Pricing

PlayHT does offer a free plan, but it’s limited to online usage and only allows for 5,000 free words per month. Professional plans currently start at $31.20/month.

Rating

4/5

5. Synthesia

Synthesia is primarily an AI video generator. However, it has recently added a built-in text-to-speech function to its wheelhouse, allowing creators to generate natural-sounding  voiceovers.

Pros

  • Diversity: Synthesia offers 400 different male and female voices in 120+ languages. You can also use SSML tags (Speech Synthesis Markup Language) to fine-tune realistic accented voices.
  • Previews: The software allows for a preview of the AI voice narration, before taking the time to download the generated audio. This is helpful for a streamlined game development workflow.
  • Helpful instructions: The Synthesia website offers a host of helpful support tools and explainers, ensuring picking up the new software is as easy as possible for new users.

Cons

  • Slow generation: Users report that it can take several minutes to search the library for a suitable AI voice. This could pose a problem for developers hoping to quickly turn around new games.
  • Pronunciation issues: Synthesia’s model can’t pronounce all words, and sometimes needs the user to input phonetic spelling, which could become a real time-suck for developers generating large volumes of NPC speech.
  • Not tailored to gaming: This voiceover software is mainly used for corporate scripts, meaning it’s unlikely to be well-suited for more creative uses, like video game production.

Pricing

After a free trial of some simple demo features, subscriptions to Synthesia range from £23-£69/month [or approx. $29-87/month], making it one of the more expensive options.

Rating

2/5

6. Murf.ai

Murf.AI is one of the fastest-growing AI software providers out there. They offer 120+ text-to-speech voices in 20+ languages, and an all-in-one AI voice generator along with voice cloning tech.

Pros

  • Easy to use: Murf.ai’s ‘All-in-one’ voice generator is designed for optimal user experience.
  • Quality: Voices generated by Murf software are realistic and high-quality, good for injecting games with industry-quality character voices.
  • Customization options: Murf’s voice cloning and generation software has strong customization features including adjustable pitch and speed. 
  • Range of use cases: Murf’s AI voices have found a range of successful use cases—from e-learning to advertising and podcasts. Their versatile tools are well suited to creative uses like game design.

Cons

  • Low-quality languages: The model is yet to be able to synthesize non-English voices to the same quality as English ones, posing issues for high-quality game dubbing.
  • Audio issues: Many users report issues with the voice generation software, especially glitches in the customization tools.
  • Cost: Again, Murf.ai provides another software that don’t come cheap. To have free reign across their suite of audio editing features, you’ll need a paid plan, which starts from $23/month.

Pricing

A Creator starter plan will cost you $23/month, while a fully comprehensive business plan increases to $79/month.

Rating

3/5

7. Listnr

Listnr is a Generative AI Engine that uses a library of 1000+ voices to create voiceovers, along with offering voice cloning capabilities. 

Pros

  • Rapid generation: Listnr’s Text-to-Speech engine works in seconds, bringing huge time benefits to game developers
  • Trusted software: Listnr’s quick and sleek software has gained them over 1,000,000 users worldwide
  • Game-specific capabilities: Among use cases in sales and social media, podcasts, and YouTube content, Listnr creates authentic voices designed specifically for game characters.

Cons

  • Robotic voices: Listnr’s voices are not ideal for expressive, emotive game characters as they can often sound flat and robotic. 
  • Not many non-English language accents: While Listnr can provide voices in 63 US English accents, other languages are more limited—Japanese speakers can choose from 13 accents, while only 2 accents are available in Arabic.

Pricing

Users can get 20 downloads/exports per month and 1GB storage for free, or upgrade to Student ($5/month), Individual ($19/month) or Solo ($39/month) price plans.

Rating

2/5

How To Choose The Perfect NPC Voice Generator

When selecting your NPC voice generator, bear the following considerations in mind.

Avoiding Robotic Speech

Synthetic speech varies in its ability to recreate the work of real voice actors. While tools like Listnr are good for corporate presentations and voiceovers, engaging NPC voices need to be expressive, emotive, and characterful.

ElevenLabs' text-to-speech tool, for example, personalizes each character's voice, taking into account their narrative role, personality, and background. These characters will respond with life-like emotion as the storyline unfolds, each maintaining consistency in a unique tonal quality and personality. 

Global Reach

If you’re hoping to capture the imagination of gamers worldwide, it’s critical to make sure your NPCs will sound at home in a variety of languages. Some platforms offer a range of languages, but differences in dialect that would be obvious to a native speaker are left lacking. On the other hand, tools like ElevenLabs can generate authentic, life-like speech in 28 languages.

Creative Control

NPCs can provide a high level of creative control for game developers—these characters can be personalized by the game creators in every aspect, especially voice. ElevenLabs' synthetic voices can be customized to adapt accent, language, emotion, and speaker profile. The more you can fine-tune character voices and adapt them to different situational contexts, the more lifelike, engaging, and exciting a collection of NPCs can be.

Time-Efficiency

NPC speech generation can be an incredibly time-consuming process—the more NPCs you want to create, and therefore how fleshed-out and engaging your game will be, the greater this time-suck. AI tools present the opportunity for game developers to turn months into seconds, so it’s important to consider how rapid, easy to learn, and easy to adjust your character voice model would be.

Final Thoughts

AI voice generators like ElevenLabs, Replica Studios, and Speechify enable game developers to animate NPCs with striking, lifelike voices, enhancing narrative depth and player immersion. These technologiesoffer vast voice libraries, multilingual support, and customizable features, optimizing NPC dialogue for emotional resonance and global reach. 

With the perfect voice generator for NPCs, developers can ensure narratives are rich, engaging, and accessible, all while cutting costs and labor-intensiveness in their development workflow.

As the demand for more interactive and immersive games grows, selecting the ideal voice generation platform becomes crucial, shaping the future of storytelling and game development.

Want to try ElevenLabs' NPC voice generation capabilities for yourself? Get started here.

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