A few improvements that would make the chat(ter) box more user friendly.
Longer messages - The max character count is much too low for when trying to explain stuff.
Scrollable text - Like “who was that that tried to join a couple of minutes ago?” or “where did he say I could find that schematic?”. Scroll up and find out.
Adjustable text size - Bigger for those of us with worse than average eyesight, smaller for those who want to see more text in the box.
Highlight, copy and paste text - Useful, obviously, for pasting in information from an external source.
Acessability option - Better contrast option by applying an adjustable transparent chat box background color.
Cursor controls - Show where the cursor is when typing. Functionality to move the cursor when typing to delete part of the message or insert missing words or letters.
Many of these features are kinda standard in online games. Maybe look to other games for ideas.