Party Banter Guide for Dragon Age: Inquisition by Heidirs

Find the thread here.
You should be hearing party banter about every 15mins, give or take a few (I've had banter trigger anywhere from 11 to 17mins). If you are not hearing banter this often, there are a few things you could try.

No banter? Give this a try
  • Get off that mount - banter won't trigger while riding mounts and is believed to pause the 15min timer
  • Don't move around so much - loading screens will restart the 15min timer, so think twice before fast traveling from Exalted Plains to the Emprise. The vilas in the Emeralds are also a culprit and party banter doesn't trigger inside them, though quest specific dialogue will.
  • Don't leave your game on pause - bringing up the menu screen pauses the 15min timer. Leveling your characters can't be helped, but if you are getting up from the game to grab a snack or use the bathroom, it might be a good idea to leave the game running. Waiting to travel to Skyhold to go through your inventory will also mean less of a wait between banters.
  • Play the game with a timer - You'll be surprised how many times you are ready to leave a map only to look down at your watch and realize you have 3mins till your next banter. Don't waste the 12mins you've already spent. Find an excuse to stick around and leave the area after the banter has triggered.
Some "fixes" that might help
  • Untick new items - check your journal, inventory, and codexes. New items will have a yellow star next them. Hover over the item to get the star to disappear. Do this for everything. The theory is that these new items clog up the system somehow and prevent banter from triggering. This is especially important early game as there is a lot of new content to untick. As you progress through the game, you'll have to keep up with this less and less.
  • When leaving Skyhold only fast travel from the war table. Don't know why it works, but it has helped some people. (Does not work at Haven)
  • Try playing offline.
Wait, you actually are getting banter!
  • Turn on subtitles - there may be something wrong with your sound system, and though banter is triggering, you just aren't hearing it.
  • Map-specific dialogue - your companions have dialogue that relates to each specific map area. For example, in the Emerald Graves, Cole might say something like "It's peaceful here." In the Emprise, Dorian complains about the cold. These trigger just like normal party banter and count as such, meaning that if a one-liner is triggered, you'll have to wait another 15mins in the hopes of hearing normal party banter. Horror of horrors, right?!

    There's no way to avoid these as every companion has specific map-related dialogue. However, if you do hear a one-liner from someone, it may be an indication that specific companion has nothing to say to the others at the moment (some banters only trigger at certain map areas or after completing certain central quests). Switch the offending party member out for someone else or change your party up entirely to increase your changes of hearing normal banter.
Party banter, not to be confused with...
  • Location specific banter - there is some banter that triggers upon encountering specific locations. For example, when approaching the shore in the Storm Coast, Varric will comment on the journey from Kirkwall. Someone in your party will comment when approaching the red lyrium in Emrpise Du Lion. Solas will comment when approaching the Dalish in the Exalted Plains. These do not count as party banter. Meaning, they will not reset the 15min timer.
  • Quest specific banter - some banter triggers upon completing or approaching quests. For example, Cassandra will say "another rogue mage/templar" when working on her "Unfinished Business" quest. Blackwall will comment when picking up Grey Warden items. Someone will comment when approaching a place to camp. These do not count as party banter and do not reset the 15min timer.
Map areas to take note
  • The Western Approach - there's a reported bug that party banter does not trigger no matter what you do. There is no known fix for this, and thus it may be best to limit your time there.
  • The Hissing Wastes - reported to be the best location for party banter as it seems to trigger more frequently (in the 11 to 13mins range).
It's supposed to do that
Normal Banter will not trigger in the following areas (though quest specific dialogue may occur):
  • Haven
  • Skyhold
  • Abor Wilds
  • The Winter Palace
  • Vilas in the Emerald Graves
  • Val Royeaux unconfirmed
  • Cradle of Sulevin
  • The Fade
  • Lost Temple of Dirthamen
  • Therinfal Redoubt
I still don't have banter. Now what?
  • Sit down with a watch - record the time when you enter a new map area. Note the time, fifteen minutes from then when you should hear banter. If you get on a mount, note how much time you spend riding and extend the expected time of banter by that amount. If you pause the game, extend the expected time again. If you encounter a loading screen, you have to start the timer all over again.

    Example (I'm completely making this up):
    7:50 - entered Emerald Graves
    8:00 - entered villa - loading screen
    8:15 - exited villa - lading screen - timer reset
    8:22 - mounted
    8:27 - dismounted - banter paused 5 minutes
    8:32 - leveled characters
    8:36 - finished leveling - banter paused 3 minutes
    8:38 - Cole comments on the trees, damn it - banter in 22mins since villa - 8mins paused = 15mins
    8:40 - fast travel to camp, switched out Cole for Sera
    8:42 - Cassandra commented on Venitori - quest related?
    8:52 - Sera and Solas argue - party banter 14mins since last

    It's entirely possible, from the example above, if only looking at start and end time to believe it took an hour to hear banter. You need to take map-specific dialogue, pauses, mounts, and loading screens into account. If you sit down with the game and time yourself and take everything in this guide into account and find that you are still not getting banter, congratulations your game is bugged.
I have a bugged game!!!
  • There's a banter toggle to manually trigger banter - only works if you only play on PC.
  • Consider repurchasing or upgrading - it's not known what causes the banter bug. Players with older systems seem to report more bugs with the game. Therefore, replacing or upgrading your system might be worthwhile. However, this is not recommended as it can be expensive, and people across all platforms have experienced banter issues. That said, if banter is really important to your gaming experience, it might be worth selling your console copy for a PC one so you can use the banter toggle as it's the only fix we have at this time.

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