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The Ping Tool is a communications mechanism introduced in Portal 2. The Ping Tool is only available in Co-op mode, and is used by players in order to identify specific locations within Test Chambers, as well as synchronize activities through the use of an on-screen timer. In the Edit Keys dialog, the Ping Tool is called the Communications Menu.
The Ping Tool possesses two primary functions; the "Look" Ping and the "Timer" Ping.
When invoked, the Look Ping (default key "F") displays an icon that appears on the screen of both the initiator and their Co-op partner, for the purpose of pinging, or targeting, a specific location within a map. Pings can be used for a variety of purposes, the most common of which is identifying one or more locations upon which a player's Co-op partner should place Portals. This helps players to effectively co-ordinate their Portal placements in order to solve obstacles, and is often essential when voice communication is unavailable.
When invoked, the Timer Ping (default key "F") displays an icon that appears on the screen of both the initiator and their Co-op partner, for the purpose of synchronizing a specific action. The Timer can be used for a variety of purposes, the most common of which is allowing Co-op partners to synchronize the creation of Portals, the activation of a switch or button, or most commonly the activation of Circuit Breakers. Because some game mechanics require a high degree of synchronisation in order to function, the Timer can be essential to successfully completing a Test Chamber.