I'm wondering if it'd be better to place tabs on the top or bottom of the chat window to navigate between chat instances in a video game. Any thoughts on which would be better? On one hand, placing them at the top splits focus between the input and tabs. On the other hand, it seems logical to have tabs at the top so that when you switch to an instance with unread messages, your eye can naturally read them top-to-bottom and then reach the reply box when you're finished reading.
Depends on the game functions. Both work just fine, though the game itself is the priority, not the chat; placing things on the top of any screen makes them the priority, so inherently the chat window tabs should be on the bottom.
That said, it also depends on how much space they take, whether they overlay above the entire screen or just a portion, etc. Can you give some more detail on the behavior of the chat, especially in regard to how it connects to the game visually?