Discord is a text and voice chat app designed for gamers, enabling them to talk to each other and arrange games when playing online. It works so well that many use it as a chat app even when they’re not playing. It’s a breath of fresh air when compared to competitors, and offers a really full-featured chat experience, making it no surprise that it’s one of the fastest-growing chat apps around.
A complete and slick-looking chat app for gamers
Entirely free and full of features, it’s no wonder gamers love Discord.
Discord is an incredibly popular chat app for Windows. It’s primarily designed for gamers, allowing them to talk to each other while playing, arrange gaming matters when they’re not playing, or even just communicate socially like you would with any other chat app.
The app works via servers, which are like individual chat rooms or forums. You can create your own server, which is ideal if you want to play with friends, be fussy about who you allow in, or if children are playing. You can also join someone else’s server, which will be full of people you don’t necessarily know and which anyone else could join at any time.
Discord’s servers are categorized by topic, and larger topics are then broken up further by channel. The vast majority of servers are clustered around a given game, which makes sense since this is a chat service for gamers. It’s worth being aware, however, that you could create a server about anything, which means there’s more than enough scope for less-desirable topics to pop up.
It's very easy to set up and install Discord, as well as being super fast to invite people to join your server. The app has a one-click invite system, which makes getting set up and ready to play (or chat) very quick and simple. You can also set these invite links to expire after a certain time, which will be useful for certain users. Once everyone's in your server, you can also tweak permissions settings so you have a clear grasp of who can do what.
Discord is partially so popular because it seems to have collected together all the best features from other chat and voice apps and packaged them into Discord. It has full-text chat, you can connect your social networks to expand your friend options, there are verified channels, run by official game developers, and more. It also looks great and is pretty simple to figure out, especially if you’re already a gamer and more so if you’ve used any other chat apps in the past.
You’re likely to be able to use Discord without too much trouble, especially if you’re already managing to support the games you’re playing. The beautifully designed website has a great help section and there is loads of online support to help you out too. If you’re geographically far from one of their servers, you might find a bit of lag, but they’re well-spread around the globe and the majority of users won’t have a problem.
Where can you run this program?
This version is for Windows. You can also use Discord online, on iOS, Linux, and Android.
Is there a better alternative?
There are certainly alternatives to Discord, but we’re not convinced they’re better. Mumble is less user-friendly and TeamSpeak only lets you use one server at a time, although it is slightly easier to control. Overall, we think Discord is the best of the bunch.
If you really want to chat with friends - or strangers - while you play games, this is a great app. Discord has done a great job ensuring that it's incorporated all of the best features of the competition, but you’d want to make sure you really need them all because there certainly are a lot of them. You need to be “all in” to get the most from this app and minimalist it ain’t. There’s a clear divide among gamers - there are the strong, silent types (myself included) and chattier, more sociable ones. If you’re the former, Discord is a just whole lot of stuff you don’t need, but if you’re the latter, it will be like a dream come true.
Should you download it?
If you want a whole world of company while you’re playing games, sure, download Discord. If you’re happy by yourself, though, there’s absolutely no need.