The internet is not short of options when it comes to connecting with people and building communities online. But it’s exciting to see how someone’s desire to talk to their gamers friend turned out to be a giant online community.
If we look back, gamers didn’t have a dedicated platform to communicate a few years ago. So, they used apps like Skype and TeamSpeak to talk in-game. However, it was not an excellent chatting experience, and gamers were missing something.
As we know, the internet doesn’t take too long to solve emerging problems. So, we came across a chat app called Discord, a nearly perfect place for gamers to share their stories and go beyond gaming.
But, the interesting thing is. Discord is going mainstream and is quickly becoming popular among many rising creators, entrepreneurs, business owners, communities, and even parents.
Some parents are even getting street cred with their kids for being on the platform. And you know what else is interesting? Some kids are even giving their parents a masterclass on how to use the platform.
This blog will teach you everything you need to know about Discord, how to use the platform, and help you started building your community today.
What Is Discord?
Launched in 2015 by a couple of game enthusiasts, Discord has evolved from being a place for gamers to talk to a platform where influencers, entrepreneurs, and other diverse range of people can build communities.
Discord is an invite-only app where a user can use voice, video, and text to communicate in topic-based channels or rooms.
If you are looking for innovative alternatives to the more dominant social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you should be learning more about Discord. As a business, Discord provides you with a unique way to engage with your audience.
Discord has seen incredible growth and popularity over the past few years as people need to find effective communication means online. It had over 300 million users in June 2020. The steep rise from 45 million users in 2017 to 300 million in 2020 was mainly due to the increasing need for hassle-free communication channels online.
People often compare Discord with Slack because of the similarity in their messaging system.
Discord, however, is focused more on community building. You can access Discord on any device from Windows to Android, iOS, and Linus. Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, the founder of Discord, just wanted to build a place where they can talk to other passionate gamers.
Today, we see students, hikers, art communities, hobbyists, and influencers using Discord to grow an audience or share their interests. If you’re ready to be a part of a rapidly growing social world, join Discord.
Some Interesting Facts About Discord
After Microsoft failed to acquire TikTok and Pinterest, the tech giant now wants to buy Discord.
Discord Nitro is a monthly subscription plan that offers some additional features for advanced users.
You can go live on Discord.
A Discord server can have up to 500 channels.
A single user can have up to 500,000 members and join up to 100 servers. You might need to reach out to Discord support for additional server space if you get more than 25,000 online members simultaneously.
Discord worth $7 in 2020, doubling its valuation in less than a year.
Apps that you can seamlessly integrate with Discord include, but not limited to:
Let’s take a look at the process to register on Discord!
How To Join Discord
The first step is to obviously download the Discord app on your favorite device. But you can use it straight in a browser without even downloading it.
Launch the app once you have downloaded it.
Go to the Android or iOS app store to find the app. This is how it looks like when I launched it on my Android device.
No matter what device you use to access the app, start with getting yourself registered. Don’t worry about the price: Discord is free for everyone unless you get their Nitro plan.
Provide your basic information. You can use either your email or phone number to proceed.
What should everyone call you?
Enter your desired username and password to complete the registration process.
You can change your username anytime after signing up.
Also, Discord lets you edit your nickname on each server you join. Just go to the server and click the downward arrow next to the server name on the top left.
There you have to select “Change Nickname” and create a unique display name.
How To Set Up Your Own Discord Server
Discord is all about servers. Not sure what a Discord server is?
Let me define it real quick!
Each community you create on the app is called a server. Each server can have several channels, categories, topics, and roles.
You can join an existing server or create your own. If you want to join a server, you need an invite link.
Creating your own server is like creating your own world on the platform. Let me tell in a few steps how you can create your own server:
On the left-hand side of the Discord home page, find and click the green button with a plus sign.
You can create your own server or start from a template. Discord offers server templates to gamers, school clubs, study groups, content creators, and friends.
The next step is to decide whether you want to create a server for your friends or a larger community.
The next step is to name your server and upload a profile picture or avatar.
Feel free to invite your friends to your community. Then share link you generate will expire in 1 day.
If you get an invite from someone, just click the link to join.
This is a really simple and quick process to join Discord and build your community. Isn’t it?
It only takes a minute or so to sign up, but you should spend some time customizing your presence. Discord enables you to customize your presence and adjust the way you interact with your audience.
For example, here is what our Discord server and its channels look like:
Be creative when creating your own Discord server
Discord enables you to customize your account in so many creative ways.
For example, we have created a fun environment by creating paywalls in our Discord server. It allows us to create profitable, subscription-based chat communities.
I have my own digital currency called $GARY COIN that we use to determine how a user may engage with us. You can see who holds the most $GARY COIN.
How a user collaborates with us or what perks they enjoy depends on how many coins they hold. There is a private chat for people who hold 10, 50, 100, 1,000, 10,000 $GARY COINS.
We have also customized our club photos and created special sections for VIP members and teams. We play music 24/7 a day in a room called ‘catch a vibe’ where you can hang out with us.
How To Use Discord?
Discord is a simple and easy-to-use group-chatting app. But there is a short learning curve.
Let me make things a bit easier for you by explaining some of Discord’s basics.
How To Use Voice And Text Channels
The key part of your Discord server is its channels where you share content with your community or where your members interact with each other.
For example, text channels can be used to share text, while voice channels enable members to hang out over voice and video.
When you create a server, it will have default categories and channels. Text channels help you keep your conversations organized.
For example, if you and your community have to discuss a range of different topics, you can create separate channels for all those topics.
In voice channels, the participants don’t have to make calls to connect. When a user enters a voice channel, they can see who is in there and start talking to them right away.
When you create a new channel, first you have to select the type of the channel - voice or text.
And then name your channel to make it more meaningful. You can’t use spaces or capital letters when naming text channels.
Another method to create a channel is by cloning an existing channel and creating a similar channel with the same settings as the original one. This feature comes in handy when you have to create multiple channels with the same purpose.
There can be 50 categories in a server and the maximum number of channels you can create is 500.
Let’s see what else Discord allows you to do:
How To Find And Add Discord Friends
The Discord interface looks almost similar across devices. It allows you to find and add friends with ease.
If you are on a desktop, you will find a green “Add Friend” on top of the home page. But you need to know the “Discord Tag” or the username of the person you want to add.
You can also send friend requests to people on your chat list. Just right-click the name and select the “Add Friend” option.
You can also invite friends you added from one server to another, even though you or your friends don't need to share a server to talk directly.
How To Talk And Hang Out In Your Server
You can do plenty of cool stuff on your server, from group chat and calls to video conferencing and engaging members using your own digital currency.
If you want to talk to your audience, you can start a group call and maneuver your way during the call.
Freedom to have several text and voice channels helps you create tiered groups based on their needs and status. Customized emojis and music add fun to the overall Discord experience.
How To Use Discord Stages
What? Discord has stages?
Discord just launched a Clubhouse-like feature that lets people easily broadcast live audio conversations to a room of virtual listeners.
Voice chat has been Discord's feature for years so it makes perfect sense for them to adapt this feature.
Stage Channels are available on all platforms where Discord is available, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and the web.
How To Customize Your Profile Image
Discord allows you to customize your profile picture.
Here is what you need to do:
Open the app and go to the User Settings.
On desktop, you can find the gear icon at the bottom of your Discord home page.
Click the gear icon and it will take you to the “My Account” page where you can do plenty of things to customize your account.
To change the image, just click on the avatar or “Upload Avatar” button and upload a fresh image from your device.
Discord enables you to do some basic edits such as image resizing as you see fit.
How To Video Chat
Discord offers you and your community a video and screen-sharing experience.
Before you start a video chat, make sure to check the “Voice & Video” settings on the “User Settings” page.
Once you have checked everything and are ready to talk, start a call either in a DM or on a server. Press the video icon in the top header or just click on the phone icon to have a voice call.
What Is A Server Video?
How To Screen Share
Server video is a new way to hang out with your people together within a server space. You can hop into a voice channel and start chatting over video.
What else can you do while chatting over video?
You may choose to video chat only and screen share at the same time.
You can turn on or off the video during a call.
If you want to share your screen with others, press the “Share Your Screen” button. It’s up to you whether you want to share the entire screen or just an individual application window.
All you have to do is press the red screen-sharing icon during a conversation.
How To Listen To Music Together
While you are listening to your favorite music on Discord, you can invite your audience to listen in with you. Like we created a channel called #catchavibe where music goes on 24/7.
If you want to see the channel live in action for yourself, go to Gary.club, put in your email, and choose option one. Once you follow those steps you will be part of our live chat in Discord where you can join our #catchavibe channel.
One incredible feature of Discord is that it enables users to chat, game, listen, and party all at once.
To listen to music together, you have to connect Spotify to your Discord account and choose to display whatever you are listening to on your profile.
In case you don’t know how to connect to Spotify, click “Connections” in the menu on the left and then click Spotify.
Log in to Spotify and click Confirm.
Once you’ve connected Spotify to your Discord account, you can choose to display what you’re listening to in real-time on your profile.
How To Make Your Own Emojis
As long as you are a server owner, you have the freedom to add up to 50 custom emojis to your personal stash.
Go to the “Server Settings” and select the “Emoji” tab to upload a custom emoji on the server.
Be sure your emojis are under 256kb in size and are at least two characters long.
Sometimes, simple words are not enough to express your feelings. Animated custom emojis will help you send a clear message.
What Are Discord Bots?
Have you heard about Discord bots?
If you are an influencer or content creator, you should take advantage of these AI-powered bots that let you perform multiple actions.
For instance, bots help you welcome new community members and paraphrase your content.
As I mentioned earlier, Discord was primarily built for gamers, but professionals like marketers and influencers are finding ways to utilize this platform. Discord bots can make things easier for those looking to engage with their community in an entertaining way.
I understand how difficult it is to build a community. Bots automate so many things within the platform and make the overall experience more enjoyable for your members.
But it’s important to understand what Discord bots will be ideal for you to improve your server.
Here are some of the best bots that can help you achieve your Discord goals with ease:
- ProBot: It helps you send an automated welcome message to whoever joins your server. It can automatically kick people out who show bad behavior. The bot has over 99.99% uptime.
- Dank Memer: It comes with commands you can use to create a light-hearted community rich with fun.
Community Hubs Beta: If you want to improve the way your community communicates across servers, use this bot. It connects a Discord channel with a Hub room.
Musibeth: It plays YouTube content directly on Discord. Consider using this bot if you have a YouTube channel and you want to share videos with members to get more views.
Quillbot: Want to paraphrase something? Use Quillbot because it takes written text and rewrites for you so you may use it in your content.
GiveawayBot: As the name suggests, GiveawayBot helps you launch a giveaway, select a winner, and conclude a giveaway without requiring you to do any manual work.
🚀Want to see a bot live in action??
All you have to do is visit Gary.club. Put in your email address and choose option one.
When you choose option one you will then be able to see our Discord bots in action!
How To Use Discord As A Business
Gamers love to spend some quality time on Discord, talking, sharing, and listening to music.
But what can you do with Discord to promote your business? Popular brands like Newegg and Adobe have been using Discord to engage their audience and present their latest offers.
Whether you are a business owner, speaker, coach, or influencer, Discord has excellent potential to help you grow a community.
Now that you know the basic features of the app, here is how Discord is helping business owners and influencers achieve their business goals:
Your business growth largely depends on how you engage your customers online and foster loyalty over time.
Discord is one of those platforms that can be used to enhance the brand experience, grow the audience, and gain valuable customer insights.
Giant social media networks like Facebook and Instagram are great places to connect. No doubt about this.
However, Discord is where you talk to your prospects and customers directly through text, voice, or video. Just be creative and you will find opportunities to connect with your prospects in different channels.
Better Understand Your Audience
Do you think you know everything about your audience? If not, Discord server insights might help.
Study your audience geography, where your server members are coming from, and how they interact on other channels,
Aggregate your data and export it to a CSV file to learn more about your audience.
It is so much easier to build a community space on Discord.
If you go to server settings, you will find an option: “Enable Community” in the left sidebar. Press the “Get Started” button to set up your community server.
One thing is for sure: we still need to see how Discord will handle the needs of businesses to grow larger communities down the road.
Final Thoughts + Resources
It might take Discord some time to evolve and become a mainstream social media platform. But it's an ideal time for you to establish your presence and build a community on Discord.
Multiple communication methods, personalization, and promotion make Discord a place where you reach out to customers more effectively.
While many businesses and creators are using Discord, it may not be suitable for every brand. But if you need a virtual space to collaborate with your clients and customers, be sure to check out Discord.
With some creativity and knowledge, you could easily create engaging communication channels and take your business relationships to the next level.
How to use Discord
We're kind of in the middle of a thing globally, and while we're fighting it by social distancing, it's kind of hard to not completely lose it when you can't socialize with friends and loved ones. That's why apps like Discord are a saving grace in these trying times.
Now, Discord has a bit of a reputation as being a chat app for PC games, and while it definitely is that, it's incredibly useful for any group of people to communicate. Whether your group of friends likes to play D&D online, listen to music together or even just want to have a nice little group chat, Discord will let you do that. You can even have a group video call with up to 10 people!
However, because Discord was created with gaming in mind, the most robust experience is going to be found on PC and Mac. There is a mobile app (which we'll dive into in more detail below), but most of the features work best on a computer.
How to install Discord
If you just want to use Discord on your iPhone or Android device, you can simply download it from the App Store or the Google Play Store. If you want to install Discord on your PC, however, simply head to discord.gg and you'll see an option to download it for Windows or open it in your browser.
For the most part, running it in your browser will be fine. There are some restrictions, of course: you can't have a system-wide push to talk and you won't be able to stream video to your channels. Plus, we simply like having the dedicated app, so that we can easily switch to it when we have a bazillion Chrome tabs open like we usually do.
Creating an account
Whether you downloaded the app or are just using the web app, you'll need to create an account. The method is similar between both but not exactly the same.
Once you open the web app, for instance, you'll be greeted by a prompt to choose a username. Type in whatever name you want – you won't even need to worry about it being taken elsewhere.
When that's done there will be a prompt that pops up asking you to "claim your account" by entering in an email address and a password. This will let you keep your place in any servers you join and to store all of your chats. If you're just getting into Discord as a one-off thing, you don't need to do this at all. But, we recommend it.
In the app, when you open it you'll be greeted with a login prompt asking for an email and a password. Now, if you already have an account and the mobile app, you can scan the little QR code to instantly log in.
If you don't have an account, you can click the 'Register' link underneath the 'Login' button to create an account. Click that link and it'll ask for your email and you'll have to choose a username and password. And, then it'll take you to the home screen on Discord.
If you're setting up on mobile, the same process applies: pick a username and password, type them out and you’re in. You can set up two-factor authentication later, if you wish.
Join a server, or create one
Once you create an account and you're sitting in Discord, you'll probably notice that its a bit like a ghost town. You're going to need to join a server. If you already know someone with a server, ask them to send you an invite link. Once they do, all you have to do to join their server is to click the link, and it'll automatically send you to their server. No extra work on your end.
If you don't have a friend inviting you to a server, and you're just trying to like, see what all the Discord hype is about, you can hit the little looking-glass icon on the left-hand side of the screen to open up a server browser. Here, you'll see a bunch of hyper-popular servers listed out, with a search bar up top where you can search for individual games, esports teams, or whatever else may have a community built around it.
If you want to open your own server for you and your friends, hit the plus-sign button to open your own server. Once you hit that, you'll see a dialog pop up on the screen asking you to either create a server or join a server. You can click "join a server" and it'll ask you to enter a invite code, though it's easier to just, uh, click the link instead.
When you click "create a server", it'll transition into a screen where you'll be able to choose a name for your server, along with upload a picture to represent it. Just keep in mind that the size of the picture is limited to 128 x 128 pixels.
Once that's done, you'll be placed into an empty server. You can create new text channels by pressing the plus sign next to "Text Channels" or new voice channels by pressing the plus sign next to "Voice channels" If you want to add new people to your server, you can right click the icon for your server on the left-hand side of the screen and select "invite people". From there, you'll be able to invite specific friends or generate an invite link that you can send to anyone to have them join.
Play around with your settings
Once you're inside Discord and you're ready to hop in a voice server and chat with friends, you should take a second to make sure all your settings are on point. Assuming you're on Windows or Mac, you can click the little cog wheel next to your name on the bottom-left corner of the screen to enter the settings panel.
From here, you'll find settings that will let you change account information, authorized apps, overlay and more. However, you probably won't have to mess around with any of this to start, and where we would focus attention at first would be in Voice & Video.
In our time with Discord, we've had to deal with so many people with audio issues that it's not even funny. So before you even think about jumping into a voice chat, click on the Voice and Video section. Under Input and Output Device, make sure the devices you want to use are selected.
This isn't a hard and fast rule, but in our experience, if you join a voice server with the wrong stuff selected, it's possible you'll have to completely quit out of the program and launch it again in order to get it working right.
There's also an option to select your input mode, from Voice Activity to Push to Talk. If you're just chilling with your friends in the server, having Voice Activity enabled is probably fine: the background noise kind of adds to the experience. However, if you're gaming with friends, we'd advise selecting Push to Talk, to minimize the amount of distracting noises coming in.
Customize your server and more
Discord is an incredibly powerful and customizable platform, which means you can create as advanced a community as your imagination allows. You can add bots that will let your friends level up in the server as they talk more, bots that will play music from YouTube in the voice channels so everyone can listen together and so much more.
Frankly, the possibilities are kind of endless, and we recommend getting a bit of experience with the software before you really dive into this.
For advanced users, Discord doesn't place any real restrictions on what you can do. Our goal here is to get people started with the software, but if you really want to go all-out and create the server of your dreams, that option is definitely open to you. There are servers out there with thousands and thousands of users – giant communities with all the bells and whistles you could hope for. But, if you're just looking to virtually hang out with your friends, you don't have to worry about any of that.
Discord mobile app: streamlined, but full-featured
Like many chat apps, Discord can be used on the go via its respective iOS and Android apps. As expected with mobile apps, it doesn’t provide the exact same experience as on desktop - but it’s got the features you need most.
If you're just relying on username and password, enter those and log in, easy as that. If you’ve opted for 2-factor authentication (2FA), this can get a little trickier. You’ll need to satisfy your conditions – whether it’s using Google Authenticator, Authy, or SMS over your phone. Don’t worry if you can’t remember, that’s what the backup codes are for – though keep in mind those will change every time you reset 2FA.
You can use your phone for two-factor authentication itself via the Google Authenticator or Authy apps themselves, of course. On either version, head to User Settings > Account and click Enable Two-Factor Auth. You’ll have to run through either of the aforementioned apps to initially set up 2FA. You can also set up SMS authentication instead directly from the mobile app (in case you lose access to either of the former methods).
Once signed in to the Discord mobile app, the interface works much like the desktop app: the center is your current chat channel, swipe right to get to the members list, or swipe left from the center to see a list of channels and servers. Instead of a ‘Home’ button, the top left option is for direct messages. Instead, the app’s bottom button row has most of the ‘Home’ functions – left to right, the buttons bring you to the ‘Home’ of channels and servers, friends list, search, mentions, and account.
The mobile app keeps most of the functionality of the desktop version, though it might be shuffled around. Some features, like changing your name, aren’t present in mobile.
What is Discord and how to use it: The free chat app for gamers explored
(Pocket-lint) - People love to stay in touch. Whether that's chatting to friends and family on video calls, messaging on WhatsApp or touching base while working remotely with Microsoft Teams or Slack. Gamers are no different.
In the old days, gamers would make use of text chat services like X-Fire or VOIP servers like Mumble, Teamspeak or Ventrilo. Things have come a long way since then though and both technology and demands have changed.
Now the modern gamer needs something that can do it all and Discord is the free software that does just that.
What is Discord?
At a basic level, Discord is one of the easiest ways to communicate with your friends via voice, text and video. If you've experienced Slack in the workplace, then think of Discord as the same thing, only aimed squarely at gamers and with a lot more features.
Discord is multi-platform and can be used wherever you are too. It's available to download for free for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and even Linux.
You can also use it straight in a web browser without even downloading it. So not only can you use it while you're at your gaming machine, but you can stay in touch when you're out and about too.
Discord lets friends chat with each other either one-to-one or as a group via a server. You can use it to send direct messages to friends, have video calls with them, voice chat and even screen share.
Once you're on a server, you can join a voice chat channel to get talking to other gamers playing specific games.
Discord is very user focussed and can be as private or public as you want it to be. Using Discord you are able to choose:
- Who you add as friends and who can add you
- Who can send you direct messages
- Who you block
- Which servers you join
- Who can join the servers you create
How to get started using Discord
The first step to getting started using Discord is to download it on your chosen device. Then you need to register for an account. It's worth noting that there are no costs to this. Discord is totally free to use.
When setting up your account, we'd highly recommend using a strong and secure password and setting up Two-Factor Authentication to protect your account from being used by anyone else and to keep it safe. Discord has a detailed guide on setting up Two-Factor Authentication for the app which is worth checking out.
Once you're logged in, you can then access a variety of other options from the settings menu. Click on the cog icon in the bottom left of the screen and you can then change all sorts of settings.
This includes things like privacy settings, authorised apps, keybindings, voice and video settings and more. If you want to stay safe online, then we'd recommend looking at the privacy settings first. From there you can set Discord to scan direct messages and stop you from receiving anything inappropriate.
If you're using public servers, you can also choose to disable settings that might allow server members to send you unwanted messages or add you as a friend.
How to find and add Discord friends
Obviously, a chat app is not much use if you don't have anyone to talk to. Luckily adding friends is fairly straightforward. When you're logged in and on the home page, you'll see an option marked friends and a big green button to "Add Friend". Ask your friends what their Discord tag is and you can add them from here.
A user's Discord tag is their username with a # and four digits after it. This looks something like this provokedprawn#3221 and can be found from the "My Account" page of your settings.
Another, perhaps easier way to add friends on Discord is to right-click them when you're on a server together then click Add Friend. Of course, these options will only work if the people you're trying to add have their privacy settings set in such a way that they will receive invites from everyone.
You can also add friends by connecting your other accounts. Add Facebook as a connection under the settings menu and you can sync your friends from the social network who are already using Discord.
Basic settings to tweak
There are a few different settings within Discord that we'd recommend changing or tweaking before you go any further.
- Voice and video settings: From here you can choose your microphone and headphone input and output as well as the volumes. It's a good idea to test these settings and volumes before you start.
- Input mode: As part of the voice and video settings, you'll find "voice activity" and "push to talk" as options under input mode. We'd highly recommend using push to talk. This requires a button press every time you talk, but you'll soon find out there's nothing worse than having a person on your voice chat server who has a mic that's constantly picking up their keyboard sounds, a fan whirr or a dog barking in the background. Don't be that person.
- Overlay: In the settings, you can adjust Discord so an overlay appears when you're playing to show you who's talking. It's good to know who you're chatting to when you're gaming. Especially if you want to make new friends.
- Notifications: Another thing to tweak is notification sounds. As default, Discord will make all sorts of noises when things happen, for example, if someone calls you or joins the channel. If you've set up push to talk, we'd recommend unticking PTT activate and PTT deactivate or you'll constantly hear beeps every time you press your key.
Chatting with friends
Once you've added friends and got all the settings tweaked nicely, it's incredibly simple to get started chatting. Click on your friend on the left-hand side and you can send them messages, click to call them and video chat too.
Discord gives you plenty of ways to chat and communicate with your friends too. You can use simple text, emoticons and even add gifs. Discord also lets you share images, so you can send your pals screenshots of your winning games for them to admire.
The best way to enjoy Discord though is with servers.
What are Discord servers?
Discord servers are free places where people can gather to chat about games or use voice channels to talk with friends as they play. You'll find there are all sorts of servers out there. Game developers, for example, often have servers running for their games so like-minded gamers can get together and discuss the game and make new friends too.
You will also find clans, communities and groups of people with their own Discord server that they might invite you to.
How to create a Discord server
Discord servers are free to create. So you have the option to create your own server that you can then use to invite friends to.
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To create your own Discord server follow these steps:
- Login to Discord
- Click the green plus symbol on the left-hand side and click "create a server"
- Once created you can then click the plus symbol under "text channels" and "voice channels" to add new channels
- You'll also find a drop-down menu at the top under the server's name where you can access server settings
Server settings let you do all sorts of things. From here you can create roles for members, including setting up admin powers for trusted friends. You can also set moderation levels to stop new users spamming text chat or sending inappropriate messages. You can even add custom emojis and create a widget for your server you can share elsewhere here too.
Once your Discord server is created, right-click on either the text channel or voice channel and click invite to then send your friends an invite or create a link that'll help others join your server. You can set an expiry time, max number of uses and even tick to make the membership temporary too if you want to take care around who joins your server.
Discord server text channels
Discord's text channels are useful for all sorts of things. You can set them up for general banter, to discuss specific games, to organise gaming sessions with your friends or simply to share things you've found online.
Discord voice channels
Voice channels are chat rooms you can just for VOIP purposes. Drop into a channel and get talking with your friends using your headset and have a great time.
It's worth noting that the server gives you various controls depending on whether you created the server or not. You can do simple things like increase or decrease another user's volume in voice channels by simply right-clicking their name and adjusting a volume slider. There are also options to mute, kick, ban and more if you set up the server or have the right privileges.
When in a server, you can also mute and deafen yourself to stop from being heard or hearing others when you need quiet time. Alternatively, there's usually an AFK (away from keyboard) channel when you need it.
Read the rules
If you're creating a Discord server and you want people to behave in a certain way then you can create a rules channel. It's also possible to ensure new members read those rules before doing anything else.
You can access these settings from within your server settings menu by going to server settings > community > membership screening.
How to join a Discord server
Like creating your own Discord server, it's easy to join one too.
You can also be a member of more than one Discord server. In fact, you can join multiple servers with very little fuss. Membership is limited to a maximum of 100 servers.
To join a Discord server you first need an invite from a friend or server owner. Ask them to create you a link. Then click the plus symbol on the left of the server and click the "join a server" button. That allows you to input the link and get started. Alternatively, you can just click the hyperlink and it will load Discord with the new server open.
If a link doesn't work it might be because you've been sent an expired code, been banned from the server or it's just a bad code.
If you join a larger server, you might find that things get a bit overwhelming at times. If text channels are used a lot you'll find yourself bombarded with notifications or icons when a channel gets a new message in it. We find it's often best to mute channels you don't need or want to hear from.
Right-click on a text channel and you can choose to either mute the channel as a whole or set it to only notify you if someone mentions you.
In channels, it is possible to mention users directly with @username. Type in their name and then your message and they'll be notified. You can also use other commands like @here or @everyone to alert everyone on the server. If there are people who love the attention they might use and abuse that and it drive you mad. Don't worry, you can always turn the notifications off, so you're never notified if you don't want to be.
There are various commands you can use on Discord servers. These give you quick access to settings or let you do simple things like adding a hilarious gif into the middle of a chat.
Basic commands include:
- @username - This mentions a particular user and will notify them of your message. Replace "username" with the name of the person on the server to send them a note.
- @here or @everyone - notifies everyone to grab their attention for something special
- /giphy term - Insert a gif into the text chat channel
- /nick name - It's possible to set a new nickname specifically for the server if you're not happy with your current name without changing your username entirely
- /TTS message - this command has your message read aloud by a text-to-speech synthesiser. Use with care though as it'll quickly be shut down by server admins if it is overly used
- /spoiler message - this allows you to send a message but hidden behind a spoiler warning to stop ruining things for people.
- /tableflip, /unflip and /shrug - these are just daft extra commands that add various emojis into the chat including the classic table flip and shrug emoji
There are a few other commands you can use as well, but these are the best ones. They are also subject to change as Discord is regularly being updated and improved.
What are Discord bots?
As standard, Discord is already pretty feature-rich and intelligent too. As a server grows, it can be tough to manage though and keep an eye on things. Discord bots are useful in various ways. You can add bots to your server to help moderate or do other clever things like integrating with other services and apps too.
There are various officially supported server bots available and unofficial ones as well these bots include:
- Moderation bots: These bots are designed to automatically manage your server. They will prevent spam, handle user banning and make it easier to use admin commands from the chat too. Examples of moderation bots include MEE6, Dyno, GAwesomeBot and Gaius.
- Translation bots: If your server has users from all over the world then a bot that is capable of translating into multiple languages is bound to be a welcome addition. New View does just that.
- Image bots: Jazz up your server with bots that can bring images in beyond your usual gifs. Dank Memer promises to fill your Discord server with hilarious memes.
- Music bots: These bots bring music into your server via YouTube, SoundCloud, Twitch and other services. Rythm bot also comes with lyrics, various commands and more.
- Game bots: Idle hands are the devil's play thing. When server users aren't gaming or chatting, you can keep them engaged with game bots. Cafe is one interesting example.
How to stream on Discord - Go Live mode
We already know it's possible to stream your gaming on Twitch, YouTube, Mixer and more. But if you want to stream to a smaller audience you can use Discord's Go Live mode to show off your gameplay to your friends.
To stream on Discord follow these steps:
- Click the little TV button with an arrow near your profile settings in the bottom left of the app
- Select the application or screen you want to stream
- Then choose the voice channel you want to stream in
- Then click Go Live and you'll be live for people to watch
- Click invite to grab a direct link to give to your friends to watch
You'll find a picture-in-picture view of your stream in the corner of Discord. You can also adjust the stream quality and frame rate from here too. Though you need a Discord Nitro subscription to get the higher 1080p and 4K settings here.
To watch other users who are streaming, you just need to watch out for the "live" icon by their names in the voice channels. Click their username and you can then click the "watch stream" button to watch the fun unfold.
It's worth noting that Discord's Go Live function lets you stream to up to 10 people normally but currently has a limit of 50.
Discord screen sharing
As well as going live on Discord, you can also share your screen with individuals and small groups. This is perfect if a friend needs tech support or you just want to show someone something without the hassle of capturing video and uploading it to YouTube.
To start screen sharing you first need to start a video call. Click on a friend, click the video camera icon at the top of Discord and start the call. You'll then see the screen sharing icon at the bottom of the screen. Click that and you get the option to choose which screen or application to share.
Find out more about screen sharing on Discord here.
What is Discord Nitro?
For the most part, Discord is free to use. There's no cost to use the app or to start a server. However, if you're loving the experience you can subscribe to Discord Nitro.
Nitro enhances your already awesome Discord experience with access to things like animated emojis, bigger file uploads, higher-quality streaming options and more. It's priced at $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. Nitro is a good way to show your support for Discord and show off as a result too.
For the Discord pro user, there are a number of keyboard shortcuts you can use to quickly engage with Discord and get your message heard. Here are just some of the best ones. Firstly, press tab on your keyboard, then use your arrow key to highlight a particular message and use these shortcuts:
- Q - quote message
- + - add reaction
- r - reply to message
- p - pin message
- ALT+Enter - mark unread
Discord Stage Channels
Stage Channels are an option that can be used by Community Servers. These offer users the ability to broadcast live chats to a captive audience.
With a Stage Channel, users can create a place where people can present to an audience in a comfortable and engaging way.
When setup, there are three specific roles - speakers, moderators and the audience. Speakers are the only ones who can talk in the channel, while the moderators are there to keep things flowing. The audience is there to listen but can indicate they'd like to talk if the audience is allowed to participate.
At this point, Stage Channels are only available for community servers (find out how to enable that here). But when you do create one you can run all sorts of audio-centric events like voice ask me anything sessions, interviews, reading clubs, presentations and more.
Audience members can leave and join on a whim, without interrupting the speaker and the whole thing is designed to be seamless.
Writing by Adrian Willings. Originally published on .
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Discord is the #1 messaging platform for gamers who use text, voice chat, and video calling to play games, plan gaming sessions, and communicate with like-minded individuals. But this isn’t all that Discord is used for–in recent years, it has become a popular platform for developers, influencers, and business teams looking for a free way to make connections with fans, co-workers, and interest groups. As more teams migrate to the platform, more people are looking for Discord server ideas and tips. If you are one of these people, read on to learn how to use Discord like a pro as well as how to make a good Discord server!
This article will cover five ways to use your Discord setup so you can start making the most out of your Discord server ideas: organizing Discord channels, using bots, learning how to screen share, connecting games to the platform, and marketing your server. These tips can be used by anyone who is creating a good Discord server, from game developers to social media influencers, as well as anyone who has joined a server and wants to learn more about what they can do on the application.
How to Download Discord
First, let’s briefly cover how to download Discord. Though you can access Discord from your web browser, the desktop and mobile apps contain more features like notifications and in-game overlay. To download the platform on desktop, simply go to Discord.com and click on the “download” button. Once Discord is finished installing on your desktop, you will be able to create or sign up for an account.
On mobile, simply go to the app store to find the Discord mobile app. Once you finish downloading it, you can access the platform from your mobile device whenever you want.
How to Use Discord
So, without further ado, here are 5 ways that you can start using Discord like a pro! By using these features, you will learn how to make a good Discord server.
1. Organize Discord Channels
When you setup a server, the first thing you will notice is that servers are divided into “channels”. You can set each channel as either a text or a voice channel. Then, you choose the name for each Discord channel. You can also group together channels under the same category to further organize your server.
Creating and organizing a server with channels sets different areas for different types of discussion. For example, if you are a game developer using the platform to communicate with your dev team, you can set different categories for “Art”, “Coding”, and “Writing”. You can then set multiple channels in each category to further divide “Art” into “character-art” and “scenery”, etc.
Influencers and fan groups should also use Discord channels to keep certain topics in certain areas. Categories and channels are a great way to organize information and content and keep multiple discussions flowing. Knowing how to organize channels is one of the most important parts of learning how to make a Discord server. Channels also let you diversify your server and attract different interest groups or specialists who may focus on just a few channels of interest. You can come up with dozens of Discord channel ideas for your server.
2. Use Discord Bots
Using bots is a great way to automate certain tasks on your servers. Bots can welcome new users, filter out spam, ban users who break server rules, play games, and perform thousands of other actions that help your server run smoothly. Bots save you time and energy by running and moderating your server for you.
To add a bot on Discord, first you need to find the bot online. Various websites for Discord bots exist–the most popular are top.gg, Bots on Discord, and Discord Bots. These sites list bots by topic, popularity, date created, etc. Once you choose the bot you want, you can click “invite” to add the bot to your server. As long as you’re also signed onto your server, you can authorize the bot to perform functions on your server. Once added, your bots can be found under “server members” in your settings.
You can also create your own custom bots and add them to Discord’s Development Portal. First, you’ll need to program the bot using an application such as Node. To add your bot to the app, go to the Development Portal, click on the Applications tab, and select “Create Application”. After you’ve named your new application, click on the “Bot” tab. Here, you can generate and copy a token, then paste the token into the end of your code to verify it for Discord. For more detailed instructions, including advice for specific programming languages, you can check out WriteBots.
3. Use Video Chat to Screen Share
Screen sharing on Discord is easy! While in a video or voice chat, you can click on the “share your screen” icon to begin screen sharing. From there, you choose which window or application you would like to share. While screen sharing, you can continue to chat on text and voice channels. Up to 25 people can join a screen share or video chat. To join a live stream, simply click on the username of the person broadcasting in the voice chat. To tell if someone is screen sharing, check for the Go Live icon next to their name.
There are many reasons why you may want to screen share in your server. You may want to share gameplay for a video game you are playing or developing with co-workers, fans, or friends. You may be conducting a business meeting with your team and need to share information or content on your screen. Do note, however, that screen sharing is only available on the desktop app. However, you can still view live streams on Discord’s mobile app.
You can also share screenshots and recordings using Droplr. After you take a screenshot, GIF, or screen recording with Droplr, simply copy and paste the generated tiny URL into the Discord chat. Images and GIFs even preview on the app so others can view them without leaving the platform. With Droplr you can share any content with anyone without them having a Droplr account. It’s all automatically saved to the cloud so it doesn’t clutter your desktop.
4. Connect Games
Discord includes many perks for game developers that let you connect and sell your game on your server. With a small fee, you can open up your own store and sell your games from your server. You get to customize your storefront and set prices. The platform only takes 10% of all profits earned from selling games–much less than other online game stores like Steam and Epic. You can also run private alphas and betas for fans on your server and access daily metrics that analyze your sales.
Game developers can increase their presence online through verification and Rich Presence. Verification lets fans know that you’re who you claim to be. It also unlocks special perks like custom branding and better audio on voice channels. Rich Presence lets players launch and invite others to join your game from within the app. Both verification and Rich Presence can be added for free, though the former requires an application.
5. Market Your Server
Want to grow your server and attract more users? Then apply for Discord Partners. Discord Partners get special features like custom servers, VIP voice servers, exclusive partner badges, and free access to Discord Nitro, an enhanced Discord experience with better video and screen share quality, higher upload limits, and custom emojis. Top Discord Partners can become premium partners and get paid!
Discord Partners is geared towards influencers, developers, or fandoms that already have a significant following on the application or another social media platform. For those who want to become a partner but don’t yet have the numbers, you can increase your presence and the quality of your servers through Discord Nitro for only $9.99/month or $99.99/year.
How to Make a Good Discord Server
Knowing how to use Discord will depend on why you are using it. Game developers should apply for verification and install Rich Presence to promote their games and attract more players. They should also set up their own store in-server to connect with customers and maximize profits from sales. Game developers can also use screen sharing to share gameplay and advertise games in development.
Influencers should work towards becoming a Discord Partner by building an organized, high-quality server using Discord Nitro. They can also offer special perks for super fans through private video chats and live stream sessions. Meanwhile, businesses and freelancers can use the platform to connect with co-workers and clients through text, voice, and video chat.
Regardless of your reason for using the platform, making a good Discord server requires the efficient use of the channel feature so that discussions remain organized and on-topic. Bots can help with this by automating simple tasks and cleaning up any messes. Although Discord setup may seem complex when you first begin, by using the above tips, you can learn how to use Discord like a pro and create one of the best Discord servers!
How to discord
Discord: Everything You Need to Know
If you play a lot of online PC games, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with Discord. Essentially Skype for game enthusiasts, this service is designed to help players communicate and coordinate via private servers that let you text and voice-chat with other people.
The Discord app works with desktop and mobile platforms, combining the features of a chat lobby, a message board, a VoIP chatting system and a streaming service into one app that's not going to hog resources on your phone or PC.
Discord's popularity has only multiplied in recent years, with the app now reaching over 250 million registered users. If you're looking to get a group together to play Outriders, communicate easily to an entire server of Minecraft players, or just hang out online with a small group of friends to chat about whatever interests you, then you should keep reading to learn what this growing platform offers.
How do I get started with Discord?
Once you've created a Discord account, you can choose to run it in your browser or install the Discord app. The app gives you many more customization options and is a must for anyone looking to run a server.
Once you're set up, you can start by either creating a new Discord server yourself and sending out invitation codes right away, or by using an invitation code to join a pre-existing server. Creating a server just requires a valid server name; nothing needs to be installed.
Unfortunately, you can't browse for servers to join on the Discord app itself. But it's still quite easy to join an active community. There are many verified servers with open invitations that you can find with a quick Google search — the official PUBG server is one such example. Many popular streamers and content creators will also have public invitation codes posted on their Twitch or YouTube channels.
What makes Discord better than other VoIP services (like Skype)?
If you want just to talk with a small group of friends while playing some games, both Skype and Discord will get the job done. However, Discord stands out by giving you the option to run the app in a browser, letting you change individual people's mic levels and offering an overall lower-latency voice chat, which helps when talking to people across the globe.
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If you've installed the Discord app on your PC, you also have the option of having it run as an overlay while you're playing games. This makes it easy to tweak audio levels or type something quickly without having to alt/tab to another window.
Where can I use Discord?
Discord is available on Windows and Mac computers and can be accessed by downloading and running the Discord app, or in-browser at the official website. The browser version has some limitations, like not being able to bring up Discord's in-screen overlay while you're playing games or doing other things.
Discord is also available for Android and iOS devices and includes many of the same features on mobile that you see on desktop.
You can also currently use Discord on Xbox One, though only to see what Xbox games your Discord friends are playing; you can't (yet) chat in a Discord server from your Xbox. Discord is coming to PlayStation in some form now that Sony has made a minority investment in the chat platform, but it's yet unclear how it will work or whether we can expect cross-console Discord chat in the near future.
What makes Discord good for large groups?
Managing large groups of people is arguably where Discord shines the most. When you make a Discord server, you can also make seperate channels with different levels of access permissions for different users. This prevents popular servers from putting everyone in one giant message thread or voice-chat channel.
Several automated admin and moderation tools help keep things from going too far off the rails, even if your server doesn't have a single human moderator. Very big servers can have over 100 thousand users, with the usual culprits like PUBG and Minecraft accounting for some of the biggest groups. With groups that large, you'll need as many tools as you can get to prevent a certain flavor of internet from showing up.
A well-managed Discord server resembles an organized message board in many ways, with locked announcement and guideline threads up top and several more-specific locations for people to gather down below. The difference is that everything is flowing in real time and most channels have voice chat enabled.
What about smaller groups?
If you plan to play with just a dozen or fewer friends, Discord is still a very good tool for keeping tabs on who's available to play. Discord can notify others of what game you're playing so users don't have to check three different programs to see who's online and what everyone is doing.
If your friends are all playing different games, you can always pop open a separate voice-chat channel while still being able to text chat with them.
How is Discord good for streamers?
If you're a Twitch or YouTube streamer with an audience of any size, Discord is a great place to manage your following. Discord gives your viewers more flexibility than a simple chat window on Twitch does. As a streamer, you can also rest easy thanks to Discord's Streamer Mode, which intelligently hides invite codes, DiscordTags and other personal info should any of it find its way on-screen during a stream.
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Streamers can also sync Discord to their YouTube or Twitch accounts and do things like set up subscriber-only channels and give subs special permissions on the server. In general, a streamer's Discord server can make for a good one-stop shop for interaction among you and your followers, whether you're live or not.
What is Discord Nitro?
For $10 a month or $100 a year you can sign up for Discord Nitro, which functions more as a status symbol and a tip jar than as an upgraded version of the app. While you get some functional perks, like bigger image-upload caps (up to 100MB) and higher-quality screen sharing, the rest of the benefits are purely cosmetic. The Discord team has promised not to lock up currently free features behind Nitro in the future.
Among the cosmetic perks are animated avatars and animated emojis in chat. You can also customize the DiscordTag number that comes after your name, and you get a special badge to display your support.
What are Discord bots?
Many of the best community- and server-management tools available for Discord don't come with the app, but are installed separately as third-party programs. These are called bots, and Discord has a listing of officially endorsed bots that give server owners comprehensive moderation tools and integration with other apps, like Twitch or YouTube.
You can also find unofficial bots that do a lot more, like let you call real phone numbers, add server stat readouts or display player career stats for games like Fortnite. Not all of these bots are free to install or free to use, and there's no guarantee that they'll stay updated with the latest version of Discord. However, some of them are widely popular and offer very specific fun or useful extras to help spice up your server.
Alex Wawro is a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice. Got a hot tip? Get in touch via [email protected]
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