The best free chat community online!

A Guide to FreeChatNow

Is someone breaking the rules, spamming, flooding, or otherwise ruining the chat experience for you and/or others? Contact the first available moderator! Those are the blue names at the top of the user list.

System Requirements

FCN will work on any relatively modern system, with any better-than-dialup connection, and any currently supported operating system. There are a few particulars to be mindful of:

  • Make sure your operating system is up to date. You may not be running the latest version of your operating system, but if yours is a currently supported version, there may be updates available that you may need.
  • Make sure that you are running the latest version of your web browser. Many web browsers automatically update themselves, while some are packaged with their host operating system and will be updated along with everything else. Malicious software (malware) may cause this process to fail, however, so you should make sure the update process is working correctly for both your operating system and your web browser.
  • Make sure you have installed the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. It should update itself automatically, but as with other updates, malicious software may block the process. It doesn't hurt to manually install the latest version of Flash, when in doubt.

Connection Issues

FCN will work on most Internet connections, but make sure you are not using any kind of VPN or proxy. Mostly, you will already know if you are doing this, but some malicious software can reconfigure your connection.

Joining Chat

If you're ready to begin, simply use the links on our home page to join the chat room of your choice, supply the required information, and come on in!

The Chat Applet

After a brief loading sequence, you will be in the chat room you chose, with the username you chose, so long as it was not already registered or in use.

Registration

Registration is optional, but it has benefits. You can keep your name, so that you have a persistent identity within the chat, and no one else can use it. It will even be password-protected! To register, look for the wrench icon at the top-right. Click it, and then "switch account/register" to reach the Sign-in/Register screen. (This is also how to log in if you have previously registered but are not currently logged in.) Fill out the fields on the right side and click "register" and you're good to go!

How to Chat

Once you're in the chat, you'll see three major panes.

Chat Pane

The biggest pane is the chat itself. It shows messages left in chat by other users, starting with the username of the person who typed it. The top of the chat pane contains a strip of tabs that let you select which room, if you are in more than one, you would like to chat in and see messages from.

Input Pane

Beneath the chat pane is the input pane. This is is where you type your messages. Here, you can change your font, color, or select emoticons to use, as well as change the appearance of the chat room and share it with your friends on Facebook.

Users Pane

To the right of the chat pane and input pane is the users pane. This lists every user who is in the current chat room. Hovering over any user in the list exposes some information, while clicking on the user presents options you may perform on that user. The top of the users pane has three tabs, one for showing the user list, which is displayed by default, the next for viewing and interacting with your friends list, which only registered users may do, and the last for joining rooms.

How Do I Join and Leave Rooms?

To join a room, go to the last tab, containing a chat bubble icon, at the top of the user list. You will see a list of rooms. Click one, then click the "Enter Room" button to join it.

To leave a room, hover over the tab corresponding to the room name in the strip of tabs above the chat pane. While hovering, you will see a faint "x" in the tab. Click the "x" to close the room.

How Do I Private Message?

You have two options for chatting privately with other users, and one for directing messages to users, but keeping the message visible to the rest of the chat room.

Whisper Message

To whisper, click a user in the user list, then click "whisper message." The dropdown in the input pane will change to reflect who you are whispering to, and any message you type, until you change it back, will be whispered to that user. This means that, while the message will show up in the chat pane, only the user you whispered it to will be able to read it. (To reset this, use the pulldown at the top-left of the input pane and change it back to "all users.")

Private Chat

To open a private chat session, click a user in the user list, then click "Private Chat." This opens a window where you can type messages to the user.

Personal Message

To send a personal message, click a user in the user list, then click "Personal Message." As with whisper messages, the dropdown at the top left of the input pane will change to reflect who your message is directed to, and any messages you type will be directed to that user, will show in the chat pane, and can be read by any user in the room. (To reset this, use the pulldown at the top-left of the input pane and change it back to "all users."

How Do I Ignore People?

To ignore a user, find them in the user list, click their name, and click the "ignore" button. Ignoring users is a first resort; don't feel bad about ignoring anyone who is disrupting your experience. Often, ignoring someone is the best solution when they are disrupting your chat experience but not breaking any rules.

What are Moderators?

Moderators are the blue names at the top of the list in the users pane. They are here to enforce the rules. If you see anyone breaking the rules or upsetting the chat experience, contact a moderator.

If you are experiencing difficulties not addressed in this text, contact us.

FCN Cam and Mic Guide

If you've been a little confused about how exactly to use FCN's webcam and microphone features in the chat rooms or in private, we'll explain it all here.

Webcam and Microphone Process

  1. You must be registered and logged-in.
  2. Due to a persistent bug with the Flash chat client we currently use, after logging in, you must join a second room. Any room will do. If you don't do this first, there will be no webcam button.
  3. Return to the room where you want to broadcast, and the webcam button will be available at the top-right of the chat. Press it!
    Press this to publish your webcam.
  4. You may have to confirm a prompt from your browser, and/or from the Flash plugin, to allow FCN to access your webcam and microphone. Click "Allow" to proceed.
    Confirm access to webcam and microphone.
  5. A playback preview window will pop up over the chat. You should at this point be broadcasting video by default.
    Broadcast preview window.
  6. Hover over the webcam preview for more controls. From here, you can push and hold a button to talk (1), push a button to go hands-free (2), disable or enable video (3), disable or enable audio (4), and shrink, enlarge, or fullscreen the webcam preview window (5).
    Broadcast controls, mapped.

Once you are broadcasting, you can allow or reject any person who requests permission to view your webcam. You can use the time between when you begin broadcasting and when you allow your first viewer to select which features you want to use. For instance, you might decide that you want to show your webcam and use your microphone in hands-free mode, or you might want audio only, with no video.

Setup time is also a great time to perform any necessary troubleshooting. For example: Flash uses your default system webcam and microphone automatically, but that might not be what you want. You might be using a laptop and prefer to use a better external microphone or higher resolution webcam than the one that is built-in. You can change these defaults by right- clicking the webcam preview window, then "settings" in the popout menu.

Example Flash webcam configuration.
Example Flash microphone configuration.