Are you looking to form an online community with your gamer friends outside the typical Facebook and other social media apps? We got you covered. Discord may just be the safe haven you’re looking for!
The messaging platform is perfect for those who are aiming to talk with like-minded people, such as those who watch the same anime or also play the games you play.
There’s also no heavy moderation of your conversations (unlike Reddit) and it strays away from the formal, corporate atmosphere of Slack, making it fair and ethical among its members.
Not Just an App for Gamers
Although it has been dubbed as the perfect app for gamers, Discord can be so much more than that. It’s a chat system that allows you to communicate over text and chat. You can imagine the many possibilities you can do with such freedom.
Businesses and other non-gaming entities also use Discord to their own benefit. This just goes to show how the app has grown over the years. If you’re unfamiliar with the app, here’s a quick run-through of what Discord is all about.
Nowadays, Discord lets anyone create a server to host exclusive discussions about anything they please. Anything under the sun — from gaming strategy to your favorite streamers. There’s a broad range of topics you can find in various thriving Discord servers.
20 Cool Things You Can Do on the Discord Online Chat
Here are some of the cool things you can do on Discord:
1. Play Music While on Call
Queue and listen to your favorite music as you talk to your friends in the voice call. Discord gives you the ability to adjust the volume of the mic of the people you are talking to and even the music playing in the background. This way, the music doesn’t overpower the call and prevents it from being chaotic. If anything, it only balances the sound.
You can also opt to listen to your favorite Spotify playlist during a call. However, if you are using your mic in voice chat for more than 30 seconds while Spotify is playing in the background, the app will tend to stop playing. You’ll also get an error bar at the top of your app.
To avoid this, use the Push-To-Talk option or adjust your voice activity sensitivity so that your mic is not activated while you listen.
2. Screen Sharing with Friends
Through a series of updates, Discord made screen-sharing possible. People in the same channel can now watch clips, videos, and movies together. You and up to 9 of your closest friends can enjoy an awesome video and screen sharing experience at the same time.
With both screen sharing and video calling, the Discord team saw an opportunity to use them side-by-side in an efficient manner. This way, you won’t have to jump all over the place to switch from one app to another. They’re both available simultaneously anytime as long as you have video call enabled.
Note: As of writing, this amazing feature is currently only available on the Windows desktop client. Unfortunately, it is still not available on macOS, the browser, or mobile client.
3. Discover Exclusive Channels and Meet Like-minded Individuals
Discord is considered as the best app for gamers in a sense that it gives you a sense of community. Most likely, there’s a thriving Discord community for the things you like. From anime TV series to indie games, you just have to search for these servers well.
With the sense of community acceptance, you can freely unleash the weeaboo in you. (If you’re a weeaboo, wear the title loud and proud as Sakura SENPAI would want you to!) In these channels, you can have in-depth discussion with other weebs and even talk about related stuff like cosplaying and local anime conventions.
4. Organize Server Occasions
If your subreddit is focused on anime, movies, or TV series – you can start a unique version of a book discussion club where a designated member picks a series for the month. This can be adjusted accordingly to fit your members’ needs so how about a poll?
A month may seem too short for members who are working full-time jobs with hectic schedules, or others may seem too preoccupied with real life happenings. You can discuss and do it per quarter instead.
Afterwards, you can do a discussion channel to talk with members who participated in the said challenge. This is a good way to foster friendship and a sense of community. You’re not limited to TV series and the like. You can also do monthly/bimonthly challenges with your members on books, recipes, among many others.
5. Jump into your Friend’s Games
Through the “Rich Presence” feature, users can now jump into their friends’ games with a single button. Players can now opt to participate in each other’s games using the app itself, dispensing with the need to add each other on different external gaming clients.
It also allows you to add beautiful art and detailed information to show off your game even more. This lets other players know what their friends are doing. They can now decide to ask to join in and play together. After confirming, both players will be partied up and ready to play.
6. Integrate Discord With Other Apps
Discord has some built-in integration with other leading social media applications. The thing is, you need to enable the connections beforehand to reap the benefits.
Connect your accounts on Twitch, YouTube, Blizzard Entertainment, Skype, League of Legends, Steam, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and Xbox Live to unlock special Discord integrations.
The exclusive features of each integration vary from one app to another. Regardless, they all help sync data from the linked app into your Discord server directly.
7. Install Discord Bots
Bots play an important role in many communication apps. From Messenger to Telegram, you’ll find them helping users manage the way they communicate with others more efficiently.
On Discord, there are hundreds of community-developed bots you can choose from. Each of these bots are designed to fulfill a specific role on the server. For instance: GameStats allows you to compare gaming stats and profiles against your pals and GAwesome Bot can be used to easily conduct polls and giveaways.
Majority of the bots are free to install and use. You can only add new bots to a server if you’re an admin, but you’re free to add as many as you want on your personal rooms.
8. Use Discord Keyboard Shortcuts
Discord offers different keyboard shortcuts aimed to make your experience more comfortable and efficient. If you’re involved in a lot of chats that’s going on simultaneously, here’s a list of keyboard shortcuts you may find helpful in bouncing between them quick:
- Switch channels: Alt + Up/Down
- Switch servers: Ctrl + Alt + Up/Down
- Answer a call: Ctrl + Enter
- Mark channel as read: Escape
- Mark server as read: Shift + Escape
- Browse through unread messages: Alt + Shift + Up/Down
- Jump to oldest unread message: Shift + Page Up
- Toggle deafen: Ctrl + Shift + D
- Toggle emoji window: Ctrl + E
9. Use Custom Emojis
You can also opt to make custom emojis and upload other personalized emotes to your Discord server. If you are the server owner, you can add up to 50 custom emojis to your stash.
- Emoji names must be at least 2 characters long and can only contain alphanumeric characters and underscores
- Emojis must be under 256kb in size
Your personalized emojis are only usable on the specific server you’ve uploaded them to. But if you have Discord Nitro, you’ll be able to use all your custom emojis on every group, server, and DM you’re a part of! Nitro also gives you an extra 50 slots available for animated emojis in addition to the 50 static custom ones.
10. Buy Discord Nitro
If the basic free-for-all version of Discord seems not enough for you, you can choose to upgrade to its paid pro version: the Discord Nitro.
The paid Nitro has some additional features like a custom Discord tag (as long as you’re subscribed), sharing your screen in either 720p (60 FPS) or 1080p (30 FPS), an increase in the maximum file upload size (from 8MB to 50MB), and support for global personalized and custom emojis.
Discord Nitro has some benefits in store for gamers. It gives you access to free games worth more than $1,000 USD, and you’ll receive game perks such as loot boxes, exclusive skins, extra characters, and a lot more.
Discord Nitro costs $99.99 USD a year or at $9.99 USD a month. There’s also a cheaper version — the Nitro Classic. It’s priced at $49.99 USD/year or $4.99 USD/month, but it doesn’t come with free games or extra content.
11. Organize your servers into folders
Here’s for our readers with OCD tendencies! Even on Discord, you can always put into action your inclination to tidy up. Having a well-organized Discord application is truly something that sparks joy.
Fortunately, the software now lets its users organize all the servers that they’re a part of into folders. It’s just like Desktop 2.0 satisfaction!
This is a really great feature for Discord users involved in a lot of servers. It can be rather overwhelming to browse through each one manually, hence organizing them into relevant folders can make it easier to sort through them whenever you need to.
How to create a folder?
Simply drag and drop one server on top of another to create a folder on Discord. If you need to add more servers, use the drag and drop method as needed.
To make it easier, you may also opt to give folders different names in order to easily distinguish them. Accordingly, you may also mark them as “read as a group” or add unique color coding to keep on top of several servers seamlessly.
12. Be loud & proud as you share your music taste
Nowadays, the music or bands you listen to can be a huge defining factor for your personality. Some people like to befriend those who have the same music taste as them, so sharing your taste in music isn’t really a bad thing to do especially on a platform like Discord.
This way, you can let your buddies know what you’re listening to on Spotify. Are you currently into KPOP? Anime OSTs? KDA? Be loud and proud!
How to connect your Spotify account to Discord?
Simply connect your music streaming account by clicking User Settings > Connections, and choosing the Spotify icon from the list.
Doing so will have your “currently playing song” to show up on your profile, like a badge of honor. That’s only if you want it to appear, though. There’s always an option to opt out of it.
Your friends will also have the option of listening with you if they’re premium subscribers.
Not only that, you may also invite contacts and channels to listen along from the main text input box.
13. Experiment and have fun with Markdown
Since Discord supports Markdown, there’s no stopping you in making the most out of the feature! If you have a background in coding or familiar with programming basics, this can turn out to be a really fun feature to explore.
Markdown is nothing new to instant messaging. In fact, the feature is well known to seasoned coders and veterans of instant messaging platforms (Slack, Skype, and the like).
On Discord, markdown lets users add fancy formatting to your text through quick styling codes such as: putting asterisks around a line of text will turn it to bold text.
This is a great way to inject some flavor into your everyday text chat. The simple plain text formatting system will easily help you make your sentences stand out! Read more about Discord’s full lowdown on Markdown here.
Aside from adding formatting effects such as bold, italic and strikethrough, you can also opt to create blockquotes and code blocks as well.
14. Order Fake Food through Discord Fast Food
You will never run out of fun, cool things to do on Discord. If you miss hanging out with your buddies and sharing a meal with them, you can even pretend to order food on the platform. However, keep in mind that this real-life simulation feature is all for fun!
Besides, who doesn’t want to skip paying actual delicious orders anyway? The catch is that you won’t actually receive the items, but the simulation is close to the real thing. This is perfect for the social distancing buddies who miss their Netflix late night parties!
The bot “Discord Fast Food” offers such a unique, imaginative experience— which is more than enough reason for you to check it out!
Order anything from the fictional chat-based service: Pizza, Burgers, Chinese food and have it delivered to your server. A member of the Discord Fast Food service will then prepare your order and deliver the items to you in 3 minutes or less… If it goes beyond that, it’s free! Talk about true to life, eh?
15. Play Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity… but make it virtual! This is another great way to bond and connect with your buddies while following the social distancing protocols in place. In particular, use Pretend You’re Xyzzy which is basically a web CAH clone.
Playing CAH with your server members is a fun way to form new connections. Check out Pretend You’re Xyzzy’s main website where the game will actually be hosted and where you’ll be doing most of the real set-up.
After finding some people to play (ideally at least 3 other players to join), you can now set up the game on your preferred server of choice! Pro tip: try to pick the server with the smallest number of concurrent online users.
Since during busy nights such as Fridays, things tend to err out pretty heavily on a full server. A rather lowkey one will definitely help you get the smoothest running game possible.
What is Cards Against Humanity?
If you’re unfamiliar with the game’s premise, Cards Against Humanity is a popular party game dubbed for “horrible” people.
During each round, a player asks a question from a black card and everyone else answers with their funniest white card. It’s kind of like completing fill-in-the-blank statements using words or phrases rather deemed as offensive, risqué or politically incorrect… which makes it all fun.
16. Host forum-style games
Hosting forum-style games is a way to get to know your server members without getting off the platform. Redirecting your members to a third party site might be too tiresome for some, so skip the hassle and host your games directly on your channels!
It’s as simple as a “Finish The Story” game where one person says a word or a sentence, with the next person having to continue to make a story. This can be a great game for those with imaginative and creative minds!
You can also put to a test how tight-knit your Discord community is by asking your members to say something about the user above them up until the last participant. Who knows, you may even discover new things and facts about each other (unknown before)!
17. Assign server roles
On Discord, assigning server roles can be more common than you think. You can observe this practice in almost all servers, especially in well-established online communities.
Upon joining a server, you’re most likely to be delegated a role in the form of a plain member, an administrator, and the like. Keep in mind that there are different Discord roles and associated permissions.
This comes with various colors and hierarchies where members inherit the permissions of the combined roles assigned to them.
Why are there Roles on Discord?
Roles on Discord offer a very structured way to delegate permissions to its members.
This way, you can establish a multi-tiered public server admin system to a willing and trusted pal in your server. In turn, they can help you out in maintaining your server.
18. Become a Discord Partner
The platform wants to support communities that devote time and effort on improving their servers through the Discord Partner Program.
You may be rewarded for creating an engaged community through the said program. If you’re interested, check out the minimum requirements here.
What is it about?
The Partner Program is designed for active and engaged communities on the platform, thus effectively distinguishing the best servers out of the thousands out there.
Partnered servers serve as role models to all of Discord. New and veteran users can use them as inspiration in building their own communities.
Perks include: unique branding, partner-only perks, and a special server badge.
19. Customize Discord’s UI
Enjoy the freedom of customizing Discord’s interface to your set preference! If you find the default UI a little overbearing, you may opt to keep Discord compact.
How to set Discord to Compact
Head over to User Settings > Appearance and switch to a compact mode. This cuts out some of the spacing and has a more old-school look.
Heading over to the Text & Images panel will also allow you to reduce the amount of possible on-screen distractions. You can disable link previews, animated GIFs and emoji reactions, and even remove image thumbnail previews.
20. Boost your server
Server Boosting on Discord is where you can add extra perks to your community. However, you must have Nitro (not Nitro Classic) to be able to unlock this feature.
This perk for Nitro users can boost servers with various add-ons such as extra emoji slots, higher audio quality, and other bonuses. These improvements are for the enjoyment of all users in the particular server.
Through boosting a server, the user gets a special badge that identifies them as a booster. They will also get a designated special role. If you’re interested, simply head on to Server Boosts to see how many boosts does your server have.
Perk levels are determined by the number of users boosting a server. With more boosters, the server reaches certain levels more rapidly.
One or two users boosting a server gets it to level one, 10 boosters helps it reach level two, and 50 or more server boosts makes a server reach level three. Here are the list of perks for the Discord Nitro Server Boost Levels:
Level 1 Perks:
- +50 Emoji Slots (for a total of 100 emojis)
- 128 Kbps Audio Quality
- Custom Splash Background
- Animated Server Icon
Level 2 Perks:
- Everything in Level 1 and…..
- +50 Emoji Slots (for a total of 150 emojis)
- 256 Kbps Audio Quality
- Server Banner
- 50MB Upload Limit for non-Nitro members (server only)
Level 3 Perks:
- Everything in Level 1 AND Level 2 AND…..
- +100 Emoji Slots (for a total of 250 emojis)
- 384Kbps Audio Quality
- 100MB Upload Limit for non-Nitro members (server only)
- Vanity URL
There’s more to this leading online chat platform than meets the eye.
Discord was primarily aimed to benefit gamers but its features have helped the app grow into far more than that. Today, it shouldn’t be a surprise when you see businesses and crypto investors use the app for their own benefit.
Make the most out of Discord by using these features! You don’t have to buy Discord Nitro to unlock cool features (but as we’ve mentioned prior, there ARE cool features only limited to Nitro users). There are still free tips and tricks that can help you make the most use of the instant messaging platform.